2016-17 Team: Cape Cod Whalers (#5)
Date of Birth: May 20, 1999
Place of Birth: West Roxbury, Massachusetts
Ht.: 5’10” Wt.: 165 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: Prospect is eligible for 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
- NHL Central Scouting: 57th (NA, Final)
- NHL Central Scouting: 78th (NA, Mid-term)
- Bob McKenzie: Unranked (Mid-season)
- Craig Button: Unranked (March)
- Jeff Marek: Unranked (October)
- ISS: Unranked (May)
The son of former Boston College forward Jason Rathbone, Cape Cod Whalers defenseman Jack Rathbone is set to make a name for himself. Committed to play at Harvard next season, the smooth-skating Rathbone is poised to be selected in the middle rounds of the 2017 NHL Draft.
After sitting out nearly four weeks with a concussion, Rathbone returned to his prep team, Dexter School, in February and scored the game-winner during his first game back. A bit undersized, Rathbone will need to bulk up to compete effectively as he moves up in levels the next few seasons.
You're 2015 Lawrence/Groton Holiday Tournament Champions! pic.twitter.com/iVuJRS8BGS
— Dexter Sports (@DexterSports) December 19, 2015
Following Dexter’s season, Rathbone joined the USHL’s Youngstown Phantoms for a brief stint. He posted one assist in the four games with the Phantoms. He also collected 12 points, including four goals, in 14 appearances with the Cape Cod Whalers of the MHSL.
Known for his swift skating style, Rathbone makes up for a lack of size with speed and defensive grit. He passes with precision and consistently pushes teammates in transition. Rathbone utilizes his mobility to elude fore-checkers and create offensive chances for himself and teammates. His patience for allowing plays to develop underscores his advanced hockey IQ.
NHL Draft Projection
Despite concerns with his size and recent concussion issues, Rathbone’s fluid skating style and intensity will attract an NHL general manager to take a chance on the smallish blueliner. He is projected to be taken in the fourth round, but could go earlier if an organization has a need for a slick-skating, puck-moving defenseman.
“Undersized defender with good vision, high-end skating ability and grit. Very elusive and uses his shiftiness to move pucks out of his zone and to the attack, which he will hop in on. His low center of gravity give him the ability to cannonball opponents and knock them off the puck.” – Bill Placzek, www.draftsite.com
- Skating ability
- Quarterbacking the power play
- Transition game
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
NHL insiders project Rathbone will serve as organizational depth while he develops muscle mass. His elite footwork will enable Rathbone time to gain strength. With patience, scouts believe Rathbone will ease his way into becoming a top-six defenseman.
Risk – 3/5, Reward 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7.5/10, Defense – 7/10
Jack Rathbone was named to the USHS All-USA Hockey First team for 2016-17 and competed in the All-American Prospects Game in September 2016. He also was selected to be a candidate for Midseason American Family Insurance ALL-USA Player of the Year. In 2015, he helped lead the Whalers to a Midget Minor Tier 1 Massachusetts State Championship.
Jeff Hawkins is a career sportswriter who has collected eight industry awards, including two Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) honors. Hawkins has served as a beat writer for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and UHL’s Adirondack IceHawks. A husband and father, Hawkins enjoys live music, hiking, New York-style pizza with Dr. Pepper, and writing with his golden Labrador retriever “mutt” cuddled around his feet.