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Prince George winger Terik Parascak could be a late-bloomer in 2024 NHL Draft class

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Photo credit:James Doyle/Prince George Cougars
Ryan Pike
12 days ago
This article is brought to you by bet365.
There are a lot of talented young hockey players in the 2024 NHL Draft class. However, there’s one potential first-rounder than has a much smaller sample size in high-end hockey than just about anybody else.
A year ago, winger Terik Parascak was playing at the Edge School and wasn’t on anybody’s NHL Draft radar. After a season with the Prince George Cougars, he could go in the first round of this year’s draft.

Scouting report

A product of scenic Lethbridge, Alberta, Parascak is a May 2006 birthday and is one of the youngest first-time draft eligible players in this year’s class. He’s a right shot winger listed at 5’11” and 179 pounds.
Parascak was a Bantam Draft selection of the Cougars in 2021, but he didn’t sign with the Cougars until September 2022 and didn’t play his first WHL game until February 2023. And he only played five WHL games (between the regular season and playoffs) before the 2023-24 season.
But man, he absolutely crushed the 2023-24 season.
Here’s what Dobber Prospects’ Hadi Kalakeche had to say in November:
Scoresheet-wise, there is so much to love with Parascak. He is clicking at a goal per game and 30 points in 18 matches played as of writing this. Beyond the point totals, however, what makes Parascak so interesting is the way he puts up those points.
A vast majority of the points he has produced so far have come from the low slot and off one-touch plays, which seems strange at first given how poor his skating is. He shouldn’t be beating players to dangerous ice so consistently with that skating stride, and yet, he always is. That’s a testament to how intelligent Parascak is, both on and off the puck. Perfectly-timed inside cuts, one-touch passes and net drives put him and his teammates in prime scoring real-estate almost every shift, and he has also improved his long-range scoring to complement his short-range threat. Starting from scratch with a skating coach could unlock so much potential in Parascak’s game as a two-way forward.
McKeen’s Hockey’s Ben Misfeldt had this assessment in December:
Unquestionably, Terik Parascak is the name that has caused the biggest stir amongst scouts in the WHL region this season– one glance at the scoring leaderboard will tell you why. However, Parascak’s high-flying campaign is made even more impressive by the fact he didn’t even play junior hockey last season– he was playing U18 AAA hockey. Now that he is finally in the WHL with significantly better players around him, he has been able to unlock another layer of offense that simply wasn’t available at a lower level of hockey. There is something special about players like Parascak who can move up to a significantly better league and somehow replicate their production and overall on-ice impact. It makes you think about his impending jump from the WHL to the NHL and how that might go.
Sportsnet’s Jason Bukala provided his own rundown of Parascak’s game in March:
Parascak is an intriguing prospect who produced 43G–62A for the Cougars in the regular season and was also an astounding plus-49. Parascak extends plays along the wall and escapes pressure in small areas. He isn’t the biggest, or strongest, prospect but he’s plenty slippery and hard to defend. His three-zone detail is reliable as well. I’m monitoring him in the playoffs to see how he handles the extra attention that will come. It’s somewhat difficult to put into words but Parascak, despite his statistics, isn’t necessarily a play driver. He’s a play “extender” who capitalizes on his chances when he finds quiet ice to score.
Here’s the challenge with Parascak: with a lot of the other potential first-round talent, there’s a body of work split across several years of high-end hockey with which to make assessments of their progression. Heck, if you look at basically every projected first-rounder from Canadian major junior, basically all of them have played a couple full seasons in their leagues. Parascak? We have a single year, which makes it challenging and a little risky to try to project the late-bloomer.
If you want to take most pessimistic possible viewpoint on Parascak’s game, he at the very least is a high-end complimentary player that can ride shotgun with talented junior players. But the scouting consensus suggests he’s even more than that. The question is: how much more?

The numbers

In his first full season in the Dub, Parascak put up monster numbers. He had 43 goals and 62 assists for 105 points over 68 regular season games, plus another 14 points in 12 playoff games. If you decide that special teams points don’t count, he had 64 even strength points – just shy of one per game.
He ranked eighth in the WHL in points, ninth in goals, and was tied for 12th in assists. Two of the seven players with more points than him were his Prince George teammates, Zac Funk and Riley Heidt. Parascak didn’t play all of his season with those two players on his line; he was usually with one or the other.
The impressive thing about Parascak is that it wasn’t like he was racking up secondary assists on the coattails of his more experienced teammates: he had 80 primary points in all game situations. He had help, sure, and had the benefit of playing with some high-end talent, but he fit in really well. It’s unclear from his metrics whether he’s a play-driver at higher levels, but it certainly suggests that he’s got the chops to play alongside high-end talent.

Availability and fit

Parascak is a talented, right shot winger. The Flames don’t have a ton of rightie wingers in their system – the list is basically just Adam Klapka – and adding to their prospect base with a player with Parascak’s skill profile makes a lot of sense. It’s also a nice coincidence that he hails from Southern Alberta and played at the Edge School. There’s a lot of connective tissue that would make him a really nice fit in their system.
In terms of availability, it’s also looking fairly promising. In the publicly available profiles and rankings, Parascak is generally seem as a late first-round prospect. He’s appearing as early as the teens on some rankings and some entities see him more as a second-rounder, but typically he shows up in the mid-to-late 20s on ranking boards. Yeah, there’s some risk involved in taking him because he has just the one year in the WHL to base his talent level and potential progression from, but he seems like a player that potentially lands in Calgary with the 28th overall selection.

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