2018-19 Team: USNDT (#19)
Date of Birth: May 14, 2001
Place of Birth: Island Lake, IL
Ht: 5 foot 11 Wt: 185 pounds.
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 4th (among North American Skaters)
- Future Considerations: 5th
- Hockeyprospect.com: 4th
- McKeen’s Hockey: 7th
- ISS Hockey: 6th
- Bob McKenzie: 11th
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.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Alex Turcotte – NHL Draft Projection
While the top of the 2019 NHL Draft appears destined to feature Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko going first and second-overall (in no specific order), the real draft is set to begin at pick No. 3. Turcotte is very much in the discussion for that selection. Still, a fair range would be anywhere from the fifth overall pick to the eighth overall selection.
“Across-the-board talent with a smart and efficient style. Great offensive instincts, quick acceleration and already the most complete two-way player in the crop. A constant battler, with underrated puck skills.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects
“The University of Wisconsin commit plays a disciplined game, makes plays at top speed, has good hands, grit, and can move the puck effectively.” – Mike Morreale, NHL.com
“Alex has a combination of important assets in today’s game, like skating ability, being able to play above the pace of what the game is, reading the play, hockey sense and compete. That’s not even mentioning puck skills, but his skating, hockey sense and compete are at a very high level and very important when translating to what the pro game is today.” Dave Gregory, Central Scouting
“The best projected two-way game in this draft class. Has been hampered by injuries.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
- High Hockey IQ
- Faceoff Potential
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Size (could stand to gain some muscle/upper-body strength)
- Shot, while improved, still needs more velocity and accuracy
- Defers to the pass more than he should at times (likely due to his shot being the weak-point of his game)
Turcotte doesn’t project to be a superstar the way his teammate Hughes does, but that doesn’t mean he can’t still be in the upper-echelon of players as a top-line center at the next level. Top-six potential with No. 1 center upside for Turcotte.
Risk – 1.5/5 | Reward – 4.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 8/10 | Defense – 8.5/10
Turcotte would win a bronze medal at the U18 World Junior Championships in 2018-19 as well as the silver medal in 2017-18. He’d also win gold with Team USA at the U17 WHC in 2017-18.