MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 22: Max Gruzewski of Victoria Metro celebrates a goal with teammates Nicholas Watson and Matthew Jefferson during the 2022 U18 Championships match between Vic Metro and Vic Country at Marvel Stadium on September 22, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

193cm-tall Oakleigh Chargers utility Max Gruzewski is one of the most versatile players in the draft with his size, athleticism and ability at either end of the ground an attractive mix for AFL scouts.

He has an exciting vertical leap which allows him to impact overhead contests and make difficult spoils or take strong pack marks.

While he is not yet a fully developed player, his upside is attractive. He could be a valuable tall behind the ball, playing a Jeremy Howe or James Sicily-type role, and his versatility means he has the capacity to shift forward as a tall marking option if needed.

After a strong start to the year, Gruzewski unfortunately suffered an injury and was absent for most of the National Championships. He would return later in the season and finish the year strongly with some highlight plays and moments, including a hanger for Vic Metro in the National Championship grand final win over Vic Country.

Gruzewski impressed recruiters considerably during the draft combine after a tremendous moment of sportsmanship by helping fellow prospect Lewis Hayes complete the 2km time after falling, an act that improved his draft status notably.

Position: Utility
State: Victoria
State League Club: Oakleigh Chargers
Community Club: Surrey Park
Date of Birth: 21-07-2004
Height: 193cm
Weight: 84kg


Overhead Ability


Work Rate

Draft Range

Early-Mid Second Round to Third Round

Potential Landing Spots

Hawthorn (Pick 24), St Kilda (Pick 28, 32), GWS (Pick 31)

AFL Comparisons

James Sicily
Jeremy Howe

Expert Comments

"Every player needs at least one weapon to be picked by an AFL club, and then to make it at the level. Gruzewski's is his marking, which has been on show throughout this year despite an injury absence mid-season. He showed it last week for Vic Metro, too, when the versatile key-position player flew high and took a massive hanger in the front half and slotted the goal. Gruzewski can read the play well, be used at both ends and grabs it when it comes his way." - Cal Twomey (