Name: Chase Pearson
Selected: Fifth Round (140th overall)
Weight: 189 lbs.
Birthday: 9/23/1997 (18 years old)
Current Team: Youngstown Phantoms/University of Maine
In our previous installments of this series we covered the Detroit Red Wings' first three picks of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft; Evgeny Svechnikov, Vili Saarijarvi and Joren Van Pottelberghe. This time around, we will dig a little bit deeper and check-in with the Red Wings' fifth-round selection, American-born centerman, Chase Pearson.
The son of former sixth-overall pick, Scott Pearson, Chase was ranked 123rd among all North American skaters before being selected by the Red Wings at 140th. Though still very young in his junior-hockey career, Chase possesses many skills and qualities that once better developed, could prove to be very beneficial for the Detroit Red Wings further on down the road.
Aside from Vili Saarijarvi, Ken Holland and the rest of the Red Wings' brass seemed to prefer big-bodied players in the 2015 draft, and Pearson definitely follows suit. Chase uses his six-foot-two and nearly 200 pound frame to crash the net, get to the dirty areas of the ice, and play an aggressive shutdown role. Pearson plays with grit and a bit of edginess when he hits the ice, which is evident in his 157 penalty-minutes over the last two season with the Youngstown Phantoms of USHL.
Grit and penalty-minutes will only take you so far as a professional hockey player, and Pearson knows that he needs to work on his scoring/finishing touch to take his game to the next level if he hopes to have any type of sustained success on his road to the NHL. Speaking of the NHL, Chase is understandably excited and motivated to someday be a part of the Red Wings' organization:
"It was awesome being drafted by such a prestigious organization. Original Six. Established. It was an honor for me. Detroit is a great city and hopefully I'll be there soon."
Where Is He Now?
Pearson is currently preparing to climb the next rung of his junior-hockey career as he has committed to play with the University of Maine Black Bears for the 2016-2017 season. Chase will join Jimmy Howard and Gustav Nyquist as Detroit Red Wings who cut their teeth with the Black Bears.
After being drafted by Detroit, and prior to signing with the University of Maine, Chase had a decent second season in Youngstown with the Phantoms. During his 2015-16 season in the USHL, Pearson totaled 12 goals and 38 assists in 55 regular-season games played. His 50 points that season would be good enough for second best on the team and his 38 assists would lead all other skaters on the team. The Phantoms failed to qualify for the USHL playoffs but made a strong push with a solid second-half of the regular-season.
Chase Pearson definitely has both the skill and the pedigree to develop into a decent NHL player someday. His next season at the University of Maine will be instrumental in his development. If Pearson can add a more polished scoring touch to his already established gritty and grinding game, he could potentially become a future fan-favorite in Hockeytown.