Griffin Sturm is a 2008 prospect that I’m liking a lot as he showed a great deal of maturity for a freshman on the St. Cloud Cathedral blueline. Sturm was calm while providing tight coverage and such great decision making. During viewings last season I was enamored with his responsible play and his ability to close the gap while not being hyper-focused with just the puck carrier. He was able to keep his spidey-senses up and breakup numerous plays with his anticipation.
Sturm contributed 23 points in 31 games, scoring 4 goals and adding 19 helpers while lining up on the top defensive pair. His offensive ability stems from clean stickwork and great skating agility. He demonstrated such a nice ability to gather the puck quickly, move to open space, and then scan for opportunities to open up. This aspect of his game is on the verge of exploding as he has the tools to be an offensive force moving forward.
Griffin’s size is not prototypical for a defenseman, but as the game continues to evolve, players like Sturm are using quickness and positioning to gain the advantage. Every recruiter and scout will have a close eye on his play around his own goal and if he can show that he can control the slot area, he will have a lot of opportunities to play top level hockey for the foreseeable future.