2015-16 Team: Calgary Hitmen (#10)
Date of Birth: March 6, 1997
Place of Birth: Surrey, BC
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 185 lbs
Position: Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2016 second-year eligible
THW The Next Ones Ranking: 96th (June)
- THW Alternate: unranked (June)
- THW War Room: 155th (May)
- Future Considerations: unranked (June)
- ISS: unranked (June)
- Bob McKenzie: unranked (June)
- Craig Button: unranked (June)
In 2014-15, as a draft-eligible 18-year-old, Jakob Stukel had just 5 goals and 16 points with the Vancouver Giants. He started the 2015-16 season slowly, with 4 points in 12 games. He was traded to the Calgary Hitmen on October 27, and racked up 34 goals and 56 points in the remainder of the season and was one of the Hitmen’s most potent offensive weapons.
It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do for somebody, eh?
Stukel is deadly when he’s left alone anywhere near the net with the puck. He’s blessed with a really quick, accurate shot, and he can get it off from some really bad angles. He’s also pretty effective at puck distribution, and the attention he gets from opposition defenders often opens up his linemates for scoring opportunities. Stukel thrives when he gets time and space to operate, and his offensive production is heavily skewed towards his power-play time.
For all his offensive bluster, Stukel isn’t a complete player. He occasionally gets out-muscled in corner battles, his play away from the puck is prone to lapses, and his game-to-game consistency isn’t great. (Sometimes he’ll score multiple points in consecutive games, sometimes he’ll go stone cold for several games.)
But very few players in the WHL are as dangerous with the puck as Stukel, and that should be enough to get him drafted by some NHL club.
NHL Draft Projection:
Stukel seems likely to be selected later on in the draft, potentially in the fifth or sixth rounds.
— Troy Gillard (@Troy_Gillard) March 27, 2016
Hitmen agan; Stukel slides in from the side boards and finishes off a nice pass from Houck form beside the net. 5-2 CGY.
— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) March 20, 2016
Fantastic pass from Stukel leaves Fazleev with an empty netter. Hitmen lead Tigers 2-1. Oil Kings fans will be happy.
— Scott Fisher (@ScottFisherPM) March 13, 2016
- Excellent shot, both quick and accurate.
- Effective passer.
- Good skater, with good acceleration and mobility.
Under Construction (Improvements to Make):
- Doesn’t play particularly physical, needs to battle in the corners more effectively.
- Needs to improve his offensive decision-making to be less dependent on the power-play.
- Needs to improve his consistency.
- Could stand to improve his play away from the puck.
Stukel projects as a third-line winger at the NHL level, though his skill with the puck could translate into power-play time. Brock Nelson is a decent stylistic comparison for what he could become.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offense 8/10, Defense 7/10
Stukel led the Western Hockey League in power-play goals in 2015-16.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.