Carter Souch came into his draft-eligible season motivated to build off a 45 point sophomore campaign and be a major contributor for the Oil Kings all season long. The 2018-19 season left the forward feeling like he had more to give and something to prove coming into this year’s campaign.
“Last year he wasn’t playing in the playoffs at the end but he left last season wanting to be a big part of it. He put the time in and he’s come back and played well for us,” said Oil Kings head coach Brad Lauer on the start to Souch’s season.
With eight points in just his first 11 games, which includes a recent dominate hat-trick performance against the Calgary Hitmen, Souch appears poised to take a major jump this year for the Oil Kings. He seems to be a player who’s playing full of confidence right now. Confidence that is noticeable the second he touches the ice, whether it’s the extra jump in his stride, poise with the puck, or the emphasis behind his shots. Souch is absolutely buzzing in all aspects of his game.
However, his coaches keep coming back to one key aspect that can be attributed to Souch’s early-season success:
“I think he’s working,” stated Oil Kings assistant coach Luke Pierce. “We showed some clips in video the other day of him and his linemates and they’re putting in the work.”
Pierce also added that a newly acquired veteran presence on Souch’s line has already gone a long way to helping the 17-year-old and his linemate Liam Keeler grow their game.
“The addition of Ethan McIndoe is really giving them some confidence and kind of led the way in doing a lot of little things right.”
While confidence and hard work are undoubtedly the catalysts driving Souch’s current production for the Oil Kings, there are a few small details that appear to be giving him an edge each and every night.
One key feature that stands out in Souch’s game is his ability to evade congested areas while carrying the puck. He’s not a player that tries to skate through traffic. Often you will see him take up ice to buy himself both time and space with the puck. When Souch does find himself under pressure he demonstrates great on-ice perception and is able to quickly distribute the puck to a teammate, rather than turning it over along the boards or throwing it away.
Another area of Souch’s game where he puts both his skating abilities and hard work on full display is his relentless pursuit of the puck. Whether it be tracking a defender down on the forecheck or in the midst of a high-intensity battle along the boards, Souch can always be found in the thick of the play and it’s the key denominator to making him a difference-maker every shift.
If Souch can continue to build off his recent success he could see his draft stock rise up very quickly and push his name into conversations among much more prestigiously ranked prospects in the WHL. He’s currently rated as a ‘C’ level prospect by NHL Central Scouting, which projects as a 4th/5th/6th round candidate.