2019-20 Team: U.S. National U18 Team
Date of Birth: May 10, 2002
Place of Birth: Marcellus, NY
Ht: 5-foot-10 Wt: 165 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting (Among NA Skaters): 51st
- Future Considerations: 62nd
- McKeen’s Hockey: 43rd
- Elite Prospects: 87th
- Bob McKenzie (TSN): 70th
- The Hockey Writers (Bell): 88th
- The Hockey Writers (Fisher): 85th
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 109th
If you are looking for a mobile two-way defenceman, look no further then Eamon Powell. Another member of the undersized club, skating is his best asset from the blueline. Arguably the best in the draft, you would be forgiven if you thought he was a forward out there as he joins the rush more often than not. He even showed the ability to score during the 2019-20 season as he potted five goals with his Under-18 team in the USHL.
Related: THW’s 2020 NHL Draft Guide
It’s unfortunate that Powell could not play in the Under-18 World Junior Championship because it would have given him an extra chance to shine and raise his stock in the draft. He may be a little slight at 5-foot-10, but his skating and edges make up for that supposed weakness. He’s also very smart in all zones and has shown a propensity for utilizing the stretch pass very effectively.
If all Powell’s skills were as strong as his skating, passing and hockey IQ, he would definitely be a first-round pick. Apart from the aforementioned three attributes, he really doesn’t have any other skills that stand out. His slap shot isn’t anything special and he’s not overly physical in any zone due to his size. He’s a steady defender in his own zone which is great, but he’s not a dominant presence on the power play which is usually an attribute of a defenceman taken in the first round. However, that could be because of his lack of time on the man advantage, as he was mostly used on the second unit.
Despite all that, he will almost certainly turn into a very solid defenceman at the NHL level. His elite skating abilities and two-way play will take him very far. If he can bulk up a bit and work on his slap shot, he could turn into more than just a “safe” pick in this draft. He’s committed to Boston College whenever NCAA hockey gets going again, so he will be coached by the very experienced Jerry York who is now part of the Hockey Hall of Fame. If anyone can help him get to the next level, he’s well equipped to do so.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Eamon Powell – NHL Draft Projection
Despite his overall package of high-end skating, hockey IQ, and two-way potential, Powell is ranked to go in the third round or later by many outlets. His slight frame is the primary reason for this, but the potential for greatness is there, so I would not be surprised to see a team rate him higher and select him in the second round instead. Like I’ve said many times in previous profiles, undersized defencemen are taking over the NHL. Quinn Hughes and Cale Makar have seen to that.
“Eamon Powell has been the man under the radar on the backend for the NTDP squad. He is an effortless skater who makes good decisions with and without the puck. Transition is his biggest area of strength. Powell moves the puck up ice effectively with both his feet and passing. He uses his skating offensively to walk the blueline and change shooting and passing lanes allowing him to use his high-IQ to make the right pass to advance the puck to forward in more dangerous positions than Powell is at the blueline. He pinches down the wall and joins the offense at smart times understanding when to take the chance and when it isn’t worth the defensive liability that results in him vacating his positioning. Defensively he relies on his skating to stay in front of opposition players and attempts to out-skill his opposition by taking the puck away with crafty stick work.” – Tony Ferrari, Dobber Prospects
“Powell might be the best skater in this entire draft. His first step and his acceleration are dynamic. His top-end speed is elite. This is true in both directions. Powell’s stride is long and smooth. He generates a lot of power as well. Powell can join the rush or pinch in at the blue line and still get back to make a play in the defensive end.” – Ben Kerr, Last Word On Hockey
“Powell isn’t dynamic offensively as evidenced by his point totals, but he’s responsible and trusted in all situations. The New York product’s mobility makes him capable of breaking pucks out with both his feet and passing ability, he’s a good decision-maker in all three zones and does a great job of staying in front of attackers defensively. Excellent positioning and slick stickwork make him a staunch defender despite his slim stature.” – Harman Dayal and Thomas Drance (from ‘Defencemen with top-4 upside the Canucks should target at the draft’, The AthleticNHL – 6/26/20)
- Hockey IQ
- Deceptive wrist shot
- Two-way play
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Slap shot
Powell has the potential to be a top-four defenceman in his prime. His skating and hockey IQ are at an elite level which could take him very far in the NHL. If he can improve on his weaknesses, the sky’s the limit for the Boston College commit.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 4.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 7/10, Defence – 7/10
Powell has not won any major awards, but he did play for Team USA in the 2019 Under-17 World Hockey Championship where he scored one goal and three points in five games. He probably would have also played in the Under-18 WJC if not for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, editor, part-time journalist, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.