“Your talent sets your floor. Your character sets your ceiling.” – Bill Belichick
The early days of the Kootenay Ice are long gone. Three WHL championships in 2000, 2002 and 2011 while winning the Memorial Cup 2002 (Avalanche draftee Marek Svatos was apart of that team) are far in the rear view mirror. The 2015-16 was rock bottom. With only 12 wins to their name, they were awarded the first pick in the 2016 WHL Bantam Draft, and the Ice chose Peyton Krebs of the Rocky Mountain Raider Bantam AAA team.
In his draft year he put up an amazing 102 points in 27 games. The following year, he put up 40 points in 29 games for the UFA Bison Midget AAA team, while also skating in 6 games for the ICE and recording a goal and 5 assists. He followed that success into the 2017- 18 season by putting up 17 goals and 54 points, which lead WHL rookies that season. He then represented Canada in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup and helped the team win gold. Putting up 2 goals and 5 points in 5 games. This past season he increased his point total to 68 in 64 games, scoring 19 times. Now while his point total are not eye popping, it is important to note the Kootenay Ice, now Winnipeg Ice, were a poor team. In the 2 seasons Krebs as been there, they have only won 40 games, so a little context into his numbers. Krebs recorded a point on 40% of Kootenay’s goals this season.
In comparison, Dach was 31% and Cozens 32%. 5v5 he has 11 goals and 42 points and while on the PP he had 8 goals and 26 points. 72% of his point total were primary. Remember he was on a poor team, he was the guy who drove this team. He created a lot of plays which lead to nothing due to a lack of finishing, which really summed up his past season. He did represent Canada in the U18 in April, were he was slotted in with fellow WHLer Dylan Cozens and BCHL player Alexander Newhook, which formed Canada’s top line. In 7 games, Krebs had 6 goals and 10 points. Showing that with talent, he can produce.
Skating, IQ and Leader
When you ask people who have watched Krebs over the last few years, generally you’ll get told about his skating, playmaking and leadership. Skating and IQ highlight his main strength in hockey. Krebs is an excellent skater and has great speed to go along with it. One key aspect with his skating is his ability to change speed with quick acceleration and deceleration to push defender back or to draw defenders towards him. He uses this aspect of his game to find the open man with ease or he makes a play to move past his defender. In the offensive zone Krebs is a fantastic playmaker and can do it at a high pace.
His vision is off the charts and his elite passing from the perimeter is a true asset to his game. When you package this with his elite skating, he is an offensive threat that can make plays at a very high speed. In the defensive zone he is aggressive and reads the play very well. He works hard in clogging up passing with an active stick and turning the puck the other way with speed. He is also a great penalty killer. Once final thing about Krebs is his leadership.
On and off the ice he is a high character guy. By lifting up his team-mates on the bench after a missed play, a clam collected talk with the ref after a questionable call and answering the same questions after another disappointing loss to the media. He wore the team and was the face of it. There were rumblings heading toward the WHL trade deadline that he would be moved, but instead he chose to stay and except the captaincy of the Ice and be the lead man as they make the move to Winnipeg this fall. Like every prospect, he will need to add muscle to his frame to help him be more balanced on his skates and been able to with stand the grind of an NHL season and to be quicker and faster.
#WHL: C Peyton Krebs (Ranked No. 6) put Kootenay on the board early in the 3rd with this nice solo effort, walking in alone and wiring one inside the far post. Thought he had a strong game effort-wise but the Ice were outclassed in a 6-3 loss to host Spokane. pic.twitter.com/Fbt8Ft97gM— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) September 30, 2018
What others are saying about him
“Krebs is more of a pass-first center, but he has very good hands and proved to be reliable as a shooter off the pass. His wrist shot is hard and accurate, and bad-angle shots get kicked into the low slot with regularity. He is excellent during cycles and board play, and he’s capable of engineering trick or set plays off faceoffs or corner battles. Krebs can handle physical play from bigger opponents and finishes his own checks with authority. His leadership traits and on-ice persona should make him a candidate to one day be named any teams captain.” – Steve Kournianos ~ The draft analyst
“He is a leader on and off the ice, with a Steve Yzerman or Joe Sakic type comparables in his manner. Krebs is an excellent skater with great speed and edge work that will make him difficult to contain in the offensive zone. He’s aggressive in the defensive zone, uses his stick well and transitions very well. He produces regardless of who he plays with.” NHL scout
Where will be drafted and NHL time frame
He is in a group of prospects that could go anywhere from 4-12, I have had him in the top 10 all year and that’s where I have him going. Time line to the NHL, for me is 2 more years in the WHL then he will start his NHL career. I think he will have a massive year this coming year, with Winnipeg revamping there team this offseason.