DOB: June 02, 1996
Height & Weight: 6’0″ & 185lbs
During this week’s Eyes On, our feature shifts to the collegiate level and Montreal Canadiens prospect, Jake Evans. Evans is a player that grew during his years at Notre Dame. Evans is a player that has grown through the college ranks. Every year his point totals have increased while playing approximately 40 games per year. It is a sign of individual growth and a sign of what head coach Jeff Jackson has done with his program.
As Notre Dame’s captain, Evans was on full display this year by leading them all the way to the Frozen Four Finals where they eventually came up short. He finished with a career and team high of 46 points and a Big Ten Championship. It was almost a perfect collegiate end for Evans, with the exception of just missing the biggest prize of all.
In the upcoming season, Evans is expected to start off with the Laval Rocket in the AHL. That doesn’t mean he won’t push for a roster spot with the main club this year. The bottom lines for this Canadiens club will be wide open and it is expected that Evans will make a big push. This 7th round pick in 2014 seems like it could be a diamond in the rough. Now it is up to the Canadiens to polish his game off and make him into an NHL player.
One of Evans biggest assets to his game is his putting his hard hat on a going to work. What does that mean? It means that Evans will bring his A game night in and night out, giving his all every shift. Believe it or not, there are players in the NHL that will take shifts off or take games off.
If you want a player that goes hard on every shift and puts pressure on the forecheck, Evans is your guy. With this attitude, he pushes the pace and helps create turnovers. When he has the puck, he can set up his teammates for quality scoring chances. Let’s look at an example.
This must be his “never forget” moment in college. Beating Michigan University with under 10 seconds to play is remarkable.
As you can see, he dishes the puck out of the zone to his fellow winger. His teammate drives the net hard, but Evans follows up the play even harder and makes it count. If Evans doesn’t give it his all, that goal wouldn’t have counted. He loves to clean up in front of the net, and in this case, he showed why having a nose for the net counts.
While putting on his hard hat, Evans can also dish out the puck. He loves to make the sweet pass and catch defenders off guard. This asset of being able to create space and make sweet passes is what will get him to the next level. The next three plays display his vision.
On the first play, he sees the trailer coming in and slides it cross-ice, catching the defense off-guard. The second play is another pass to an incoming teammate. He slides it past two defensemen, across the slot, right on the tape for an easy tap-in by his teammate. The third and last play is when he catches the defense off guard with a backhand pass. He sees his teammate come into the play out the corner of his eye and makes the dish. Once again, it sinks five-hole. These are just a couple of examples of his passing ability and vision.
Evans was a quiet pick by the Canadiens and looks like he could have a future with the NHL club. For now, expect him to start off in the AHL. That doesn’t mean he won’t push for a job in the NHL. He has proven his ability and talent in his college career. Now it is in the hands of the Canadiens to mold him into a day in and day out NHLer. Before you go, take a look at this clip below made by Notre Dame. Pretty cool stuff there.