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  • Joshua Rosa

Quentin Musty: A Salivating Toolkit With a Big Asterisk

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

Welcome to our Wide World of Prospects! Last time, we were in Sweden looking at Axel Sandin Pellikka, but now we move to Ontario to look at OHL Prospect Quentin Musty. Musty plays for the Sudbury Wolves and is a top 2023 draft-eligible prospect.

So we move from one of the most entertaining prospects this year in ASP to possibly its most frustrating. And I say that with regret. Because it's quite easy to look at a prospect and just see that it's not there. They're just not skilled enough or don't have the smarts to make it in the professional leagues.

The thing with Musty is that he could be a dominant force in the NHL if he could just put it all together. He's a big boy (6'2", 205 pounds as a 17-year-old), but he doesn't play like it. His hands are something to behold. He can stick-handle his way out of the phone booth and pairs that with a big frame.

So now I can hear all the NHL Scouts salivating at the prospect of drafting Musty. And everyone should be because when Musty is on he can pull off some incredible plays that will make your jaw drop. When he's given time he can be one of the most dominant players in the OHL.

But I wonder if you caught the big caveat in that last sentence. The thing is he has to be given time and space to work. It's the most frustrating aspect of his game. Because Musty needs time with the puck on his stick. You know that he can do something incredible with it, whether it's generating creative zone entries, making an accurate pass to a teammate, or stick-handling around the defender, Musty has flashes of brilliance. And he probably knows that he can do that, the problem is getting from the brain to the stick.

It simply just takes him too long to decide what to do and how exactly to do it. That's a problem at this level and it will be compounded in professional environments like the AHL and NHL. As you go up the ranks, the amount of time and space you're given is diminished by multiple factors and you can't expect to be able to sit back, survey your options and take the game at your own pace, especially at the NHL level.

And for a lot of players that would be that. He just doesn't have the processing speed and brain to make it at the NHL level. And I would agree if the skills that he doesn't show when he's on we're so completely mind-blowing. The guy can play, no understatement, and that's why we're having the conversation about where he goes in the draft. Because if you can get Quinton Musty to work he can be like a Tage Thompson who we've been seeing tearing it up in Buffalo. No joke, I do believe that. The thing is that is the absolute dream, the best-case scenario and so much has to go right and so much has to change for that to happen. The chances of Musty not making it are considerable, but if he does get there you have a top-six monster on your hands.

The question is can you teach the ability to read the game and react quicker than he is right now? Because that's one of those soft skills that you hear about that plague players' careers and it's very hard for them to shake that, be it stigmatism or facts. Since it's all in the brain, there's no real concrete tactic to fix that. You can see when players don't have the best shot mechanics or the best skating stride and can target those bad habits. That's because those are empirical things that you're doing right or wrong, and it's easy to see where the issue is and target it specifically. You're never going to turn a terrible skater into Connor McDavid. That's just impossible, but you can rectify bad skating habits and turn a bad skater into an average one. Whether they're too hunched over in their stride or their knees aren't flexible enough in motion or their hips aren't oily enough, that's something that can be observed, worked on, and we have very clear drills that can be used to fix those mistakes.

But when we're talking about something mental that's a lot harder to change mostly because you don't really know what exactly is possible. Because if you see a guy crouched over low while skating you know that it's physically possible for him to stand up a bit straighter, have a better center of gravity and be a better skater. You know that's physically possible. But is it actually possible to change a player's reaction time and ability to read the game from bad to average?

How you answer that question will ultimately affect your viewing of Quentin Musty. If you believe you can teach Musty to read the game at an average level then he is easily an early second-round late first-round pick no question. Maybe even a mid-first-round talent if you are really confident in that. If you don't think he could do anything like that, then he should drop pretty far because right now I don't see him as an NHL-level Talent. He's just too slow on the uptake and professional players will eat him alive. He could be a very good AHL scorer at this point because there's just more room to work there but that's his ceiling if absolutely nothing changes in my opinion.

If you do want the opinion of some guy that's just started picking up scouting and has watched just a few games of Quentin Musty's, then I think he's worth a look at around the 30 to 40 mark, maybe. I don't like doing rankings since I definitely haven't seen enough players but that seems about right to me. He's definitely not a guaranteed NHL player but that upside is just too good to ignore and if he were available in the second round I would not be averse to taking a flyer on him.

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