With the 5th Pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Los Angeles Kings Have Selected Alex Turcotte From the US NTDP Program.
About Alex Turcotte
Two-way players have taken the NHL by storm in recent years. While it’s hard to not be infatuated by electric offensive highlights and potential, the NHL is slowly but surely transitioning into players who exhibit strong offensive tendencies while also featuring high-end 200-foot play. This is why a player like Turcotte was so enticing at this point in the draft.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“The first round of the NHL Draft always requires some sort of balance when deciding who is most worthy of a selection. Some players appear to be slam-dunk selections from the second they’re drafted and go on to prove scouts right. Other times, though, scouts have to weigh various aspects against each other such as offensive upside, defensive upside, maturity, size and other factors.
For Alex Turcotte, arguably the most well-rounded two-way forward in the entire 2019 Draft Class, scouts will have to weigh his long-term upside against other players who are more electrifying offensive players but who may not bring the same level of accountability or defensive responsibility to the table.
Make no mistake about it, Turcotte isn’t a slouch offensively and would be a very effective scorer this season (as a teammate of Hughes despite not playing alongside him at even strength), scoring 27 goals and 62 points in just 37 games between Exhibition and USHL play.
Turcotte has improved as far as his shot is concerned but he does seem to prefer passing. To his credit, he’s able to find lanes and move the puck accurately to his teammates while playing at full-speed; a rare feat for someone his age.
Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2019 Edition
More than the offense he brings to the table, though, Turcotte plays bigger than his size at 5 foot 11 and he uses that grit on both sides of the ice to drive possessions and turn defensive stops into offensive opportunities. This could be more of an issue at the next level against significantly bigger and more physical players, though he’s proven he’s willing to adjust when necessary.
Teams are putting more emphasis on well-rounded, accountable players now than ever before and Turcotte could be the next 200-foot sensation in the NHL. While it’s easy to get excited about end-to-end players with countless dekes and dangles, Turcotte is more straight-forward in his approach and plays as effective a north-south game as this draft class has to offer.
To put it simply, Turcotte has the makings of a dream player for any NHL coach and an improved shot could really go a long way.”
How This Affects the Kings Plans
The Los Angeles Kings need a complete overhaul. This has been the situation brewing for a few seasons now, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that the current team isn’t getting it done and signing Ilya Kovalchuk to join the squad didn’t make things better.
The silver lining for the Kings is that their poor 2018-19 season landed them a top-five pick (despite losing the Draft Lottery in a season that featured losses at a concerning rate). With that pick, the Kings got a bonafide star prospect in Turcotte who could eventually become the cornerstone player of this team.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.