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In the shadow of a Tigers teammate, Andrew Basha is a strong 2024 NHL Draft prospect in his own right

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Photo credit:Jenn Pierce/Calgary Hitmen
Ryan Pike
25 days ago
This article is brought to you by bet365.
Since the beginning of the 2023-24 season, the scouting community has largely been in agreement on one fact: it seems pretty likely that Medicine Hat Tigers forward Cayden Lindstrom gets drafted before teammate Andrew Basha. However, as the season has continued onward, it’s looking more and more like the perceived gap between Lindstrom and Basha is narrower than some had thought.
Lindstrom will likely be drafted before Basha. But Basha seems like he has a strong chance to join his teammate as a first-round selection in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Scouting report

A product of Calgary, Alberta – he played with Glenlake and the Royals – Basha is a November 2005 birthday. He’s a left shot winger listed at 6’0″ and 187 pounds.
As a November birthday, Basha is one of the older first-time draft eligible players in the 2024 class. He was a fifth-round pick in the 2020 WHL Prospects Draft, and he’s been a WHL regular for three full seasons already. On one hand, that means expectations are high because he’s older and more physically mature than some of his counterparts. On the other hand, it means that NHL clubs have three seasons of progression to help chart his potential path to the NHL.
Basha’s not considered quite as high-end a talent as Lindstrom, but he’s been really effective for the Tigers. He was named a second-team Central Division all-star this season for his efforts.
In February, Sportsnet’s Jason Bukala discussed Basha’s game:
Basha continues to impress. He plays the game with a mix of skill and tenacity. Basha is the kind of prospect who projects to be able to adapt to whatever role a coach asks of him. His combination of energy and offence are attractive attributes.
In April, Luke Sweeney of Dobber Prospects provided a detailed breakdown of his season:
Andrew Basha is a lot of fun. Basha is first and foremost an offensive catalyst, leading to a successful season where he was third among WHL eligibles in points. Basha is an entry machine. He’s equal parts quick and agile with a burning top speed to blow by neutral zone checkers. This quickness, along with a tight puckhandle, allows him to slip through the offensive zone to avoid pressure and create lanes for himself. Basha’s tendency to constantly funnel to and arrive at the net also lets him make use of his swift, hard and accurate snapshot or to slap home rebounds and tap-ins. Outside of his skating, Basha’s best attribute is his playmaking. No matter how fast he’s chugging along, Basha’s head is always up, maintaining his keen awareness for where his teammates are to make deceptive and timely slot passes. Especially with his speed, Basha has some checking upside, but at the moment he is not much of a defensive stalwart. His defensive game isn’t porous, and his checking game isn’t uninvolved, but Basha is clearly an offensively-focused player and will require a mentality shift to unlock defensive upside. Overall, Basha projects as a high-end top-nine transporter and playmaker.
There’s an argument to be made as to whether Basha has any elite attributes – his playmaking and awareness are probably his best traits. But what Basha has in abundance is pace. He uses his speed and pace to elevate whatever else he’s got going on in each game, which makes him a really useful, valuable WHLer. If he can translate that to the next level, he could be a really effective pro.

The numbers

Basha had 30 goals and 55 assists for 85 points over 63 games for Medicine Hat. He had 18 even-strength goals and 55 even-strength points. League-wide, he was tied for 33rd in goals, but he was 21st in assists and points.
Basha’s offensively numbers weren’t quite up there with Berkly Catton or Terik Parascak among the WHL’s draft eligibles, but he was neck-and-neck with Tij Iginla in terms of production.

Availability and fit

Basha has a lot of good attributes. The only question in terms of fit is him being a winger, the Flames are lean on high-end centres. They have oodles of young wingers right now, and there’s the possibility of Basha getting lost in the shuffle.
The scouting community seems to like Basha quite a bit; he’s frequently appeared in the first round of public rankings. The challenge is getting a handle on exactly where he lands; he’s generally appeared in the mid-to-late first round on rankings. He’ll likely land somewhere in the back half of the first round. It seems unlikely, though, that he’s still on the board when the Flames select at 28th overall with Vancouver’s pick.

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