Name: Layton Ahac
Team: Prince George Spruce Kings (BCHL)
Date of Birth: February 22nd, 2001
Hometown: North Vancouver, BC.
Height/Weight: 6’2, 187 lbs
WHL Draft: #66 overall in 2016- Seattle Thunderbirds (Unsigned)
USHL Draft: #298 overall in 2018- Tri-City Storm (Unsigned)
College Commitment: Ohio State University (2019-20)
Eligible for 2019 NHL Entry Draft
Areas of Strength:
- Defensively Sound
- Puck Moving
Areas of Weakness:
- Offensive flair
- Physical Strength
Scouting Report: After earning an All-Rookie team nod in his first season with Prince George Spruce Kings, Layton Ahac has been recognized for his strong play once again with a nomination for Top Defenceman in the circuit in 2018-19, winning top honours among his Mainland Division peers. His first season was a successful one (6 goals, 28 points in 57 games along with 28PIMS) and he has maintained that offensive pace this year (4-28-32 in 53 games) while adding more defensive responsibility to his role. Ahac is a defensive stalwart for his Spruce Kings team that led the league with a +61 goal differential and a league low 120 goals against in 58 games. Relied upon heavily by his coaches, Ahac would likely be among the league leaders in time on ice if the BCHL tracked the statistic. As a youth, Ahac honed his craft under highly respected head coach Jim Dinwoodie at the North Shore Winter Club, which has gained a fair amount of recognition in years past for it high amount of WHL draft picks and B.C. provincial titles alike. After one season of Midget hockey for West Van Academy, Ahac made the transition to junior hockey the next year. Layton is also a veteran of Hockey Canada’s various development camps or tournaments, most notably this year when he was a member of Team Canada West at the Jr. A Challenge. Next season, Ahac will join a potentially crowded blueline at Ohio State University, most likely made more crowded by his accelerated development leaving the Buckeyes with no choice but to bring him into the fold as an 18 year old.
Layton Ahac is a left handed defender from North Vancouver who plays an extremely effective two-way game that relies on a defence first approach. More of a puck mover than a puck transporter, he has great snap and accuracy to his breakout passes and can execute tape to tape passes while moving in most directions. He is especially adept at firing breakout passes while on the back peddle which has the ability to catch opposing teams unaware. Ahac plays either the top or left side of the power play umbrella and transitions seamlessly between the two spots, displaying a good touch and nice saucer pass along with a strong point shot and an ability to change angles to get shots through with his lateral skating ability. Plays a fairly conservative offensive game, picking his spots to activate into the rush very well and as a result rarely gets caught up ice or out of position. Defensively, Ahac displays a mature approach to his processing and positioning. He deals with defensive pressure in a cerebral manner, taking his time to manage the puck and keep it on his or a teammates stick. Communicates well and gives his partner a viable option, working hard to create outlets. Ahac has a nice frame to add strength to, already possessing good height and an excellent reach. His reach, paired with strong skating and a high level of awareness make him a formidable defensive threat. In transition, Ahac uses that reach to catch attackers by surprise, knifing into attacks by closing gaps confidently in the neutral zone with an active stick and active feet. While he doesn’t play an overly physical style, Ahac isn’t one to back down from physical contact or confrontation. Plays on the penalty kill and battled hard for net front positioning and tie ups. Is an intelligent defender who reads developing plays well. Ahac has a strong stride and solid technique, keeping his feet beneath him to maintain his balance and edge control.
Ahac is a sure-fire bet to be an NHL draft pick when June 22nd rolls around, likely to be selected in the late second-third round range. His combination of size, skill, skating and ability to process the game should translate well to the modern NHL style once his physical maturation is complete. NHL teams should also be enamoured with the fact that Ahac is joining an NCAA organization directly after his draft year, making him a four year collegiate level veteran by only 22 years of age. However, Buckeyes fans may want to prepare for an early exit from the program by the talented young blue-liner if his developmental path continues on the steady upward trajectory it’s been on for the past several years.