At this point in my profiles, I'm starting to talk about prospects who are (or likely will be) ranked well outside of the first round. Taking them in the first round is not impossible, but they'd be a Cowan-level "reach" – at least in terms of drafting them so much higher than their final rankings.

This means they are more likely to be taken if Toronto trades down, or as potential fourth round picks if they slip even further beyond where they were ranked. One guy I think could fit that mold is Luke Misa, for a combination of reasons. I do like him as a prospect, especially if he becomes a value pick in later rounds. But he fits a type of player that typically does not get much love from NHL teams, in spite of how the public ranks him.


  • Position: Left-shot center/winger
  • League(s): OHL
  • Height: 5'10"
  • Weight: 165 lbs
  • Birthdate: November 25th, 2005

Here are his draft rankings, as of writing this:

  • Bob McKenzie: 67th
  • Will Scouch: 21st
  • Elite Prospects: 58th
  • Scott Wheeler: 50th
  • Dobber Prospects: 32nd
  • FC Hockey: 34th
  • McKeen's Hockey: 69th

Misa has always had a bit of hype behind him. He was a 9th overall pick by Mississauga in the 2021 OHL draft, thanks mostly to his 2019-20 season where he was one of the top point producers in his league – along with other NHL draft picks, Nick Lardis and Calum Ritchie. Misa, who is a late 2005 birthday, was always one of the youngest players wherever he played.

After missing an entire season due to the pandemic in 2020-21, Misa was an OHL rookie in 2021-22 and finished with 26 points in 62 games. That was good for 10th in the OHL for U17 players. He followed that up with 43 points in 64 games last season, which was good for 8th for his birth year – but first among those not eligible until this year's draft. This season, Misa had another big breakout and finished with 81 points in 66 games, which is 4th in the OHL for those eligible for this year's NHL draft.

This season, Misa roared out of the gate as one of Mississauga's top centers. He was in kind of a 1A/1B situation on their 'kid line' with top 2025 prospect Porter Martone. He did get used in all situations, but wasn't necessarily the top go-to guy all the time. He led the team in points, assists and shots on goal, and was third in goals.

Due to a variety of reasons (size, age, play style), Misa has never represented Team Canada in any international tournaments. Some of that honestly seems logical given the other players Canada has always been taking, so it's not like Misa has ever been a clear upgrade over anyone else. But the rest... well, we'll get into that below.

The fact of the matter is by any metric, Luke Misa was one of the very best players in his age group in the OHL this year.


The keys to Misa's game all start with his skating. He is one of the fastest and best overall skaters in this draft, a true speed demon in that regard. He may not ever be as fast as the elite skaters in the NHL, but unlike other prospects I have profiled so far it will never be a reason why he doesn't become an impact player at the highest level.

From what I've read, in the past Misa was the kind of speedy, small forward who would try and solely rely on that speed to drive his offense. He had the one trick: try and skate around any defenders, which sometimes worked for rush chances but was harder to pull off on established offensive zone possessions. This year, I've read – and observed – that he has learned how to use his speed and skating in other ways. He does get to the dirty areas, and he does attack the middle of the ice. This touches on another important skill for Misa, which is being able to use his puck handling and playmaking while at high speeds. It allows him to play at a very high pace, something that very few junior defenders can handle.

As far as his puck skills, Misa is definitely a better playmaker than a goal scorer. He is a pretty high volume shooter, but not an elite finisher. I don't want to undersell his shooting, however. He did have some nifty highlight reel snipes, but they came from closer to the net. This season, at least, he got a good amount of goals from being around the net rather than beating goalies from distance.

Misa's playmaking helped his linemates in setting them up for a ton of dangerous scoring chances at a high rate. I've read some scouts express concern that Porter Martone, who will very likely be a top pick in next year's draft, made Misa and his production look better than it would be on his own right. But from what I've seen and read from others, the two definitely helped each other a good deal. Misa is not Ty Voit, who is a playmaker and not much else.

From Scott Wheeler at The Athletic:

He wins races and can create with his feet, regularly beating his man wide and getting a step on defenders for partial breaks (he rounds corners particularly fast and tight). He's not the biggest kid, and the knocks on him in his first two years in the league were that he needed to use his speed to get to the middle third of the ice more and play with a more competitive edge, but he has made noticeable progress on both fronts this year to score more (though I know some, given his size, wish he’d put the puck in himself more again this year) and become more of a play-driver at both ends. He sees the ice well and processes the game quickly even at speed, which can sometimes be a problem for faster skaters. I like the way he jumps into gaps and creates quick looks.

Outside of the flashy skating and skills, Misa definitely made some big strides this season at becoming more of a complete player. Despite still being a bit undersized, he does have an element of fearlessness and aggression to his game that smaller guys definitely need. That's not to say he's reckless, throws his body around, or puts himself at risk of injury from all the contact from bigger players, but he definitely found a better balance and was not just a perimeter player.

Something that always drove me crazy about Dmitri Ovchinnikov, who is also a very speedy and skilled forward, is that he very rarely used his speed until he had the puck. But Misa did gain some trust from his coaches this year to play on the penalty kill and in defensive situations because he used his speed to aggressively harass the other team when they have the puck. He won't necessarily try and check them, but he'll get onto them quickly to make them panic with the puck and force turnovers. Or jump into passing lanes to pick off or knock away cross ice passes. The effort is there, though the execution still looked inconsistent by the end of the season. I can definitely see Misa being more of a winger in the future than a center.

From Will Scouch:

I adore the pace and intensity he brings to the game. He’s an elite offensive transition player. He’s determined, battles hard, and is equal parts playmaker and shooter. He’s a fearless player that I think people overlook because of how he’s more speed and quickness oriented than puck protection oriented, and does look pretty small out there admittedly. If you ask me though, I would love to see if this is a motivator for Misa out there. He certainly doesn’t float around and wait for things to happen. He’s trying to make things happen often, at least offensively. I admit his defensive results aren’t great, but offsetting that with excellent forechecking data and very strong offensive production metrics relaxes me a bit.

The other area of improvement for Misa this season was his strength on his feet. Despite still being a bit undersized, he is very strong on his skates and not that easy for bigger and stronger players to knock on his butt. That helped him get his game to a new level in junior, and is one of the big reasons behind his breakout this season. I don't want to overstate it, however. He has certainly improved in this area, but he is not completely immune to being pushed around. But when you combine that with his fast and shifty skating, it does make Misa a difficult assignment even along the boards.

From Lauren Kelly at Elite Prospects:

Misa creates his offence through give-and-goes and a variety of short-range passes. In spite of a smaller frame, he’s difficult to knock off pucks, evidenced by his prowess at entering the offensive zone with controlled possession while under pressure. He works pucks off the boards, is a deft handler, and constantly supports his teammates at both ends of the ice.


There are two names I want to reference to touch on the red flags with a player of Misa's archetype: Nick Robertson and Ty Voit. They are different styles of players, but they have three things in common. They are both smaller, they both have different types of fearlessness, and both also have a history of getting rocked and suffering serious injuries. Even though Robertson was a goal scorer whose fearlessness leads him to throwing himself head first into the dirty areas of the ice, while Voit was more of a perimeter playmaker.

Misa is something in between the two. He has the added dimension of being a much better skater than both, but he has become more inside-driven and willing to attack the middle of the ice than Voit. Misa has avoided major injuries in junior so far, which is not something that the other two managed. But the concern about his size is real. His listed height and weight now is actually more or less the exact same as it was when he was drafted in the OHL in 2021. So there's some added concern that he doesn't really have much more room to grow physically, like others.

Aside from that, there are the concerns with Misa's defense and off-puck play. Some of this is more of a carry over of his reputation going into this year, since as I mentioned he made some good improvements in those areas this season. But I did touch on his defensive consistency when it comes to his execution, even effort is not an issue.

But these concerns are the main reasons why he has never been part of any international teams for Canada. It is also, reportedly, why a lot of NHL teams are not very high on him despite being one of the top point producing forwards in his draft class in the CHL. I admit, I'm not as high on this kind of fast, offensively skilled forward prospects if they don't show as much impact in other areas of the game. I wrote about Teddy Stiga yesterday and about how versatile he has been as a small winger before he had his offensive breakout this season. That's something that Misa doesn't have going for him, at least not to the same degree.


So here's where I stand on Misa. While I don't value players of his type as much anymore, that doesn't mean I don't value them at all. It's hard to not like the idea of having a player like him to add a great amount of speed and skill as a winger, even if it's in the bottom six. If he can continue to work on his penalty killing and defensive play off the puck, to the point that he becomes more consistent in having a positive impact, that's a useful piece to have in your system.

So while I may not value Misa so much that I'd take him with a first round pick, I do think he is the kind of player that would make for a good pick after that. Take the speed and the skill and bet on your development team being able to lift him up in those other areas. Turn him into a speedy little demon that can generate dangerous scoring chances off the rush and be a menace to the other team with his speed.

In his most recent ranking, Bob McKenzie had Misa at 67th. Not just that, but I can see his ranking slipping a bit on his final rankings before the draft itself, and have his final draft selection spot come even later than that. That type of player who is smaller, skilled in a one-dimensional way but has concerns with his size and physicality are more likely to fall. That reputation may not be fully accurate in terms of reality, but that is the reputation he seems to have among at least some NHL teams.

So if Toronto trades down from their first round and wind up having a later second rounder or a third rounder, or if they acquire a third round pick with some other trade, or if Misa falls all the way to the fourth round – which seems increasingly like an actual possibility based on some people's final rankings coming out recently – well, then someone like Misa could become a good value swing.

Thanks for reading!

I put a lot of work into my prospect articles here, both for the draft and Toronto's prospects. I do it as a fun hobby for me, and I'd probably do it in some capacity even if PPP completely ceased to exist. But if you like reading my work, some support would go a long way! I pay for a few streaming services (CHL, NCAA, USHL, the occasional TSN options for international tournaments that are broadcast) to be able to reliably watch these prospects in good quality streams. I also pay for some prospect-specific resources, such as tracking data and scouting reports from outlets like Elite Prospects, Future Considerations, McKeen's Hockey, The Athletic, and more.

Being able to get paid for this helps me dedicate more time and resources to it, rather than to second/third jobs. And whatever money I make here, a lot of I reinvest back into my prospect work through in those streaming and scouting services. Like I said, I'd be doing whatever I can afford for this anyway, so any financial help I get through this is greatly appreciated!

PPP Leafs Runs on Your Subscriptions

Consider making a commitment today.

Support PPP