The St. Adolphe, Manitoba native was drafted in the ninth round, 177th overall, in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft by the Swift Current Broncos. Since being selected, Pickering has experienced a tremendous growth spurt.
He’s still just 179 pounds but should fill out as he continues to mature physically.
In the COVID-shortened 2020-21 WHL season, Pickering tallied two goals and seven assists for nine points in 23 games. This past season, he blossomed into one of the more productive defensemen in the WHL, pacing all Swift Current Broncos defensemen in points (33). At the U18 World Championships, Pickering tallied two assists in four games for Team Canada.
Here’s a look at where he shot and scored the puck this past season.
Pickering has good speed for his size, showcasing the ability to change directions quickly. He can carry the puck through all three zones, join in the rush, or hang around the net for scoring chances.
From the blueline, Pickering has a heavy one-timer that often creates rebounds for his teammates. Scouts rave about his ability to keep shots low on net and through traffic. Goaltenders have a difficult time seeing his shot.
Pickering can quarterback the power-play and uses his great vision to find wide-open teammates. Last year, he tallied four goals and 13 assists on the man advantage. He has a deceptive wrist shot that throws off goaltenders’ timing.
That said, Pickering needs to add more muscle to his frame in order to be successful at the next level. Far too often, he was stood up going in to deliver a big hit or knocked off a puck by the opposition. He has the propensity to lose board battles, but that should improve as he gets stronger.
- D.O.B – January 27, 2004
- Age – 18
- Place of Birth – St. Adolphe, MB, CAN
- Draft Eligibility – 2022
- Height – 6-foot-5
- Weight – 179 lbs
- Position – Defenseman
- Shoots – Left
Ranked #25 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #15 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #32 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #36 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
Ranked #37 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #13 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #15 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #15 by SPORTSNET
Ranked #21 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #16 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #44 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #33 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #46 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY
“Pickering’s tools are evident to anyone who watches a game or two. He’s a 6-foot-4 defenseman who skates quite well for his size and has offense. He can carry through the neutral zone to create controlled exits/entries and is good on retrievals. He can also pull up to make a good outlet or seam pass in the o-zone. He can use his size and feet to close on checks efficiently. Pickering’s ascent has been quick, and thus there are some raw aspects with his play with the puck and overall consistency. He projects as a second-pair defenseman.” – Corey Pronman/The Athletic
Pickering has an outstanding shot. He generates a ton of power on his slapshot and one-timer. Pickering can adjust well if the pass is a little bit off, taking a slight half step to his right or left and still getting his one-timer off. He also does a really good job of keeping his shot low and on the net. This allows his teammates to create screens, get deflections, and go for rebounds off the goalie’s pads. Pickering also does a good job of moving laterally and walking the line to open up shooting lanes. He also has a good wrist shot and will use that off the rush. He is also willing to skate down to the top of the circle in order to get his shot off. It is powerful and accurate. Pickering also has a quick release which can confuse goaltenders. – Ben Kerr/Last Word On Sports
“Everything in Owen Pickering’s game, all I see is development. All he needs is time. I don’t see any inherent weaknesses in that kid’s game.” – Craig Button, TSN