Prospect Profile: Aiden De La Gorgendiere

Photo source: Saskatoon Blades

Name: Aiden De La Gorgendiere 

Team: Saskatoon Blades (WHL)

Position: Defense

Date of Birth: February 22nd 2002

Hometown: Langley, British Columbia

Height/Weight: 6’0 179lbs

Hand: Left

WHL Draft: 5th Overall in 2017 – Saskatoon Blades (Signed)

 

*Eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft*


Areas of Strength

  • Transitional Game
  • Athleticism + Endurance
  • Shutdown Potential

Areas of Weakness

  • Offensive Skill
  • Consistent Production

Player Report: In his WHL Draft year, Aiden De La Gorgendiere was arguably the most reliable defensemen in his draft class, ranked second amongst all defenders and third amongst the entire draft class by DraftGeek. The Saskatoon Blades selected Gorgendiere with the fifth selection in the draft, there first of two picks in the first round that year. Gorgendiere’s high draft stock stemmed from a remarkable John Reid Memorial tournament in January of that year, he posted 15 points in six games and was the tournaments top defender in our eyes. Gorgendiere spent that season with the Yale Lions of the CSSHL Bantam Prep division, he boasted 26 points in 30 regular season games that season and earned four games with the Elite 15s where he had a point per game pace. He returned to the Yale Lions after his draft year to play with there Midget Prep’s, Gorgendiere struggled with injuries for parts of the season but managed to finish with 16 points in 19 regular season games. He played one game with the Saskatoon Blades that season. A big game player, Gorgendiere has been a point per game or better in his last two playoff runs.

Aiden De La Gorgendiere is a dependable two-way defender who plays a balanced game with mobility. He brings the full package you want in a defender, a steady defensive game along with a cerebral offensive side, rarely ever makes mistakes when he on the ice. Gorgendiere’s a mature defender, he see’s the ice at an elite level and can anticipate the play better than most other defenders. His ability to cut off passing lanes and quickly transition the play make him one of the biggest puck hounds in Western Canada. His individual effort on the puck and hockey IQ will allow him to quickly transition into the WHL style of game and he should have no problems defending WHL players when he steps into the league. As competitive as it gets, Gorgendiere has shown that he can log 30+ minutes a night and be that defensemen coaches can rely on. He bring a pressured defensive game, suffocates the opposition to the outside before closing the distance and making a physical play to cause a turnover. His urgency and awareness give him that ability to shutdown players, he can play man on man and clog skilled players. A great net front presence who can either box out infront or tie up sticks depending on the situations all while being aware of where the puck is and being in a position to make an adjustment on the puck carrier or block a shot, he has excellent body positioning. His gap control has improved a tonne since bantam’s, he keeps an active stick and moves well going backwards. Offensively Gorgendiere isn’t the flashiest, he can be active in the rush when he recognizes an opportunity to do so and often retreats quickly to his position. Doesn’t fool around in his defensive zone, can make simple plays off the wall/glass or to the open man when he feels pressure. An under rated puck transporter, Gorgendiere attacks with a north-south game and can beat defenders by changing his line of attack quickly. When given space, Gorgendiere has shown he can be an above average puck mover as well, making accurate long distance passes in transition and being able to utilize his vision on the blue line when he needs to. His capabilities as a power play defender have started to flourish this past season, he looks a lot more mobile on the blue line and his knowledge of the offensive zone is improving, I wouldn’t say he is a shooting threat as of yet but he can get pucks through traffic and hit his spots occasionally. His hockey sense is through the roof, Gorgendiere consistent makes good reads with the puck and adjustments to the play. As efficient as they come. A versatile option on the back end who can seemingly do it all while playing heavy minutes day in and day out. Gorgendiere is as competitive as they come and he brings those intangibles that leaders have. Quite determined both on and off the ice on his development. 

Aiden De La Gorgendiere should be able to step into the Saskatoon Blades line up with ease,  he has the size and skating to play at the WHL level and given his hockey IQ he should immediately make an individual impact on the game. Likely won’t be a highly productive player as a 16 or 17 year old, Id project him to be a 12-15 point player in his rookie season and 20 – 25 point player as a 17 year old if he manages to stay healthy. Will likely be given opportunities on the penalty kill and power play to earn more ice time. Id expect him to be a 25+ minute a night defender as a 18/19 year old, he is as versatile as they come and plays that complete style of game. Gorgendiere won’t wow you with his numbers but he’s that Parker Wotherspoon like defender and will produce at likely a similar rate.  Future captain I would project.

GM Quote: “he’s a franchise type D for us down the road . High character, extremely competitive , and with his size, hockey IQ and ability on both sides of puck it makes him a great pro prospect and someone we expect to lead our D in the future” – Colin Priestner (GM/Saskatoon Blades)

 

Past Seasons:

2015-2016 – Delta Hockey Bantam Varsity: 24GP-6G-18A-24PTS 22PIMS Playoffs: 4GP-0G-1A-1PTS 4PIMS

2016-2017 – Yale Lions Bantam Prep: 30GP-5G-21A-26PTS 50PIMS Playoffs: 4GP-2G-7A-PTS 0PIMS

Yale Lions Elite 15s: 4GP-2G-2A-4PTS 2PIMS

2017-2018 – Yale Lions Midget Prep: 19GP-3G-14A-17PTS 38PIMS Playoffs: 3GP-0G-3A-3PTS 4PIMS

Saskatoon Blades: 1GP-0G-0A-0PTS

 

Accolades:

2015-2016 – CSSHL Bantam Varsity Champion

2017-2018 – WHL Gold Medal