2019-20 Team: North Bay Battalion (#21)
Date of Birth: December 1st, 2001
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Ht: 6-foot-4 Wt: 190 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 35th (Final Rankings, NA Skaters)
- Future Considerations: 114th
- McKeen’s Hockey: 70th
- Josh Bell’s Final Top-155: 124th
- TSN/Bob McKenzie: 65th
North Bay GM Adam Dennis calls his skating and skills “excellent.” Head coach Ryan Oulahen even went as far as suggesting his skills are elite. When it comes to talented winger Brandon Coe, there is no shortage of superlatives about his game.
So why are we not talking about him more? I think the primary reason for that is because Coe played on the worst team in the OHL in 2019-20. The Battalion had a season to forget. Long-time coach Stan Butler was reassigned by the team to be a special advisor in December. This was after losing 23 of their first 28 games. Nothing was going right in North Bay.
Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide
But to their credit, the Battalion finished the shortened season on a much better note winning 12 games and gaining points in 16 of their final 34 games. Amazingly they finished just four points off from a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. A big reason for that was Coe putting the team on his shoulders.
The Battalion ended the season on a 6-3-1 run thanks in large part to Coe. He recorded a hat trick in Niagara on Mar 1 and finished the season with six goals and seven points in his last five games before the stoppage. He started to tap into his potential.
In my viewings of Coe, the first thing that stands out is his skating. For a big man, he can fly. But he also has good edge work. That helps him with his speed and balance. He’s also really good with the puck on his stick. For someone who is 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, this is impressive. His stop and turning ability thanks to his edge work make him tough to defend. The other thing that stands out is he plays with an edge. He has a mean streak about him that can help elevate his teammates when needed. He isn’t afraid to start something and has no problem getting in someone’s face when necessary. He does all that while demonstrating an ability to finish and an underrated ability to create plays.
As for improvements, Coe does need to find consistency in his game. When he’s on, he’s a menace. But too often especially early in the season, he didn’t make the impact you’d like to see. Being on a bad team had a lot to do with this. But if he hopes to make a big impact at the next level, he has to find a way to do it every game even when he doesn’t have his best. He also needs to show improvement defensively. He usually saw the opposition’s best and had a tough time slowing them down. It improved some in the second half but his defensive development must be a point of emphasis moving forward.
Overall Coe brings a lot of intriguing tools to the table that teams love to see. There will be no shortage of interest in him. He’s primed to have a breakout season in the OHL once the 2020-21 season begins. If he can find consistency, look out.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Brandon Coe – NHL Draft Projection
Coe is making a case to crack the second round. His combination of size, skating and skill will make him hard to pass up as the draft moves on. If he manages to slip past the second round, he becomes one of the steals of the middle rounds.
“I’ve liked Coe since I saw him at the CHL Top Prospects game and I only like him more and more the more I watch. I’m not anti-size. I just want my size to be able to actually play hockey. Brandon Coe can play hockey. I think he’s extremely undervalued considering the team he plays on. He’s extremely skilled and great on his edges around the ice. He can cover a ton of ice quickly and create space extremely well. His scoring ability is also high level both shooting and passing. Coe is a guy I’m really going to have to fast-track a data set on. I’m fascinated by him and think he’d be a great pickup in the first 62 picks of this year’s draft.” – Will Scouch
“A 6’3” forward who almost put up a ppg on the worst team in the O. How is this guy not talked about more? Coe is a good skater for his size and also has great hands. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him picked earlier than most think because he is the type of player NHL execs love.” – Tate Harris
“He’s another guy who is the best player on a really, really bad team and to me that shows character. He’s another big guy who skates awfully well and is working hard on a team going nowhere. He’s in his 3rd year in the league and is coming into his own.” – Steve Clark
- Skating and edgework.
- Plays with an edge.
- Good finisher.
- Good hands.
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Overall defensive game.
Coe has the tools to become a mainstay in someone’s top-six. I see him as someone who lands in the middle-six but plays important minutes in all situations. He is the kind of player many executives in the NHL would love to have on their team.
Risk – 3.5/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 8/10, Defence – 6/10
Coe was the third overall pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. He also won a silver medal at the 2017-18 U-17 WHC.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2021-22 season will mark eight seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.