In his second full year with the soon-to-be-moved Kootenay Ice, Krebs was named captain, and despite playing on a team destined for the bottom of the standings due to circumstances beyond his control, he still managed to put up over point-per-game numbers.
Krebs is my second love after Cozens in the wake of players left after the Kakko and Hughes sweepstakes purely because when you look at the big picture - you cannot really ignore his scoring ability.
Position: Center/Left Wing
Team: Kootenay Ice
Weight: 181lb (82kg)
Age: 18 (DOB Jan 26, 2001 - Okotoks, Alberta)
The Kootenay Ice finished second to last in the 22 team Western Hockey League and it was announced during the year that they would be moving to Winnipeg as of the next season. A tough situation for any player to be in let alone one that was selected by the team first overall in the WHL bantam draft two years prior.
But enough of that, let’s look at some numbers.
The ICE had 181 goals for and 324 goals against this season.
Krebs had 19 goals and assisted on another 49 - making that 68 that he was a part of, so essentially he was involved in 38% of his teams offence.
One potential knock on him is - given he was on a bad team - we don’t get to see how he performs in the playoffs in his draft year. However he did have a solid showing at the Ivan Hlinka tournament, netting 2 goals and 3 assists in 5 games and was awarded Player of the Game honors for Team Cherry at the 2019 Sherwin-Williams CHL Top Prospects game.
Krebs began his WHL career playing left wing and lead all rookies in scoring but he was switched to center in his second year and has not looked back since.
He is described as an outstanding skater, able to create chances in transition with his speed. His high acceleration allows him to beat defenders wide as well as in one on one situations, and he does not shy away from using his speed to cut to the net. One small knock is his strength, which will need to be improved upon before going pro, though his low center of gravity does make it more difficult to knock him off the puck. He is best known for his play-making ability - with an arsenal of skill for shifting the puck at his disposal and his wrist shot is powerful with a quick release. He could add more power to his slap-shot and one timer however. Defensively Krebs excels at reading and anticipating plays; he is especially effective on the penalty kill.
If all of that makes you think of Sam Steel, you wouldn't be alone in feeling that way - however think of Krebs as Sam Steel with a Matthew Barzal-like ceiling.
Scott Wheeler had him initially ranked 4th in his mid-season rankings and is “convinced of his standalone talent”, emphasizing his ability to still put up great numbers as a “passer on a team without shooters” and also stated he “might be the second best passer in the draft”. Where the distinction for second best would have to be between Krebs and Zegras, I would imagine.
Pronman agrees that Krebs is a “great skater” and “fantastic playmaker” with some of the “most creative dishes I’ve seen this season”. He had him ranked 12th in his midseason rankings but did not specifically state any knocks or things he did not like about him.
With the ninth selection there should be a small selection of high-end prospects left to choose from, but of all the names predicted to still be available I like Krebs the most for the Ducks. For one - the USNDP forwards likely to still be available are all College-commits and as I have mentioned before, the Ducks haven’t taken a kid bound for College in the first round since Jake Gardiner back in 2008. There isn’t anything wrong with selecting one of those kids - I just feel the Ducks are looking to get a player who is ready to commit sooner than the three years that some of those that take the College route take (at least with their early pick anyway). For the other - Krebs has been putting up these numbers on a very very bad team. The USNDP kids are putting up these numbers on a - by definition - very very good team. It just seems like the overall safer pick.