Crone has displayed the sweetest hands a 14 year old could possess. His offensive game is world class for his age, and teams will surely covet his level of skill when the WHL Bantam Draft rolls along.
Crone does things with the puck many current junior player cannot. He could be the recipient of a pass that is off target, but he just tips it right through his legs and controls it all in one motion. He could be going full speed, then pull off a spin-o-rama and separate himself from a defender. He could be surrounded by 3 opponents, but somehow stickhandle his way out of trouble and be in a position to score. He also possesses very impressive vision. On a number of 2 on 1s, he would take the puck all the way to the goal line, draw the defenseman to him, then quickly stop and feed his teammate a hard pass for an easy tap in. Around the boards, it appears as if he has eyes on the back of his head. He makes very nifty passes to his teammates when it looks like he is surrounded, and created a mini 2 on 1 chance for his team. As for his shot, he definitely needs to work on his slap shot, but his wrist shot has great velocity, and he has the ability to easily pick corners.
In the defensive zone is where Hank Crone needs to improve his work. He loves to cheat and leave his own zone prematurely, when he is the centre on the ice. He has to provide much better level of support. Along the boards, Crone is too small and not strong enough to wrestle pucks away from bigger opponents.
Another issue with Crone’s game is his overall attitude. He gives off terrible body language when his teammates are caught offside, when really it was his fault for trying to pull off too many moves on the blue line. When things do not go his way, he gets out of control and takes undisciplined penalties. It seems that he is so used to being successful, that when situations are not perfect, he loses his cool and just snaps. It would do him some good if he got benched once in a while, but coaches have no choice but to put him out on the ice when he is by far their best offensive player.
Hank Crone would be a sure fire first round pick if he was Canadian and did not have such attitude issues. His offensive game is as good as anybody’s in this year’s WHL Bantam Draft. He just needs to learn how to control his emotions, grow a few more inches and keep improving on his speed to be as successful in the junior ranks as he is at the bantam level.