Joseph Veleno – 2018 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Joseph Veleno

2017-18 Team: Drummondville Voltigeurs (#90)
Date of Birth: January 13, 2000
Place of Birth: Kirkland, QC
Ht: 6’1” Wt: 195 lbs.
Shoots: Left
Position: C
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2018 first-year eligible

Rankings

  • NHL Central Scouting: 13th (among NA Skaters)
  • Future Considerations: 12th
  • McKeen’s Hockey: 9th
  • ISS Hockey: 10th
  • Hockey Prospects.com 23rd

Joseph Veleno is the typical player who works hard and makes his teammates around him look better. Granted exceptional player status a few years ago, Veleno joined a short list of players to play in the CHL at only 15 years old.

Sort of a jack-of-all-trades, Veleno is capable of playing a 200-foot game while consistently producing offense. Playing a major role on any team he’s ever been a part of, Veleno excels at being in the right place at the right time. This isn’t luck, though, as Veleno seemingly sees the ice better than anybody else regardless of team.

Joe Veleno Drummondville Voltigeurs
Drummondville Voltigeurs forward Joe Veleno (Shawn Davidson/QMJHL)

His six goals and 31 points in 31 games with the Saint John Sea Dogs lent to the notion that Veleno would be a top prospect in this year’s draft. Scoring another 16 goals and 48 points in 33 games following a trade to the Drummondville Voltigeurs opened the eyes of anyone who may have been sleeping on him, however, as he proved to be more than just a pass-first center.

His five goals and 11 points in 10 playoff games this season weren’t too shabby either.

RELATED: THW’s 2018 Draft Guide

While Veleno’s first instinct may be to dish the puck to a teammate during a fast breakout, his ability to identify a play and shoot when necessary should not be understated. He may not have some of the goal-scoring numbers to his name that some of the other top prospects do, but that shouldn’t matter when factoring in everything else that Veleno does well.

Other THW Draft Profiles:

Joseph Veleno – NHL Draft Projection

Given how good of a season Veleno had coupled with his consistency each and every year regardless of the level he’s played at or the team he’s played for, the young center should go at some point in the top 15 selections in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. To really hone in on where he could be taken, somewhere between 9th and 13th overall seems appropriate given his production, skillset, size and position.

Quotables

“Veleno is one of the top draft-eligible centers whose size, speed and smarts will land him in the NHL sooner than the majority of his peers.” – Steve Kournianos

“A jack-of-all trades player with a nice tool belt. Great edgework, acceleration, vision and puck-protection skills. The 17-year-old is already a consummate worker in the defensive end and is a very safe selection as he has a pro-level approach.” – Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects

“It’s hard to look at the numbers (28 points in 30 games) as a gauge for this third-year junior. What was impressive was his showing in both of the CIBC Canada/Russia series games with the QMJHL where he displayed a wide array of assets not dissimilar to his performance in the 2017 Mastercard Memorial Cup.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet

Strengths

  • Skating
  • Vision
  • Hockey IQ
  • Defense

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Physicality
  • Shot

NHL Potential

Veleno has all the makings of a top-six center at the NHL level. Whether he makes it as a top-line center or a middling-player who lands somewhere between top-line duties and second-line duties, his abilities should translate with ease to the NHL. He could find himself in the league sooner than later in a lower role to start, but his ceiling is high and it shouldn’t be long before it’s realized.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offence – 8.5/10 Defence – 8.5/10

Awards/Achievements

Granted Exceptional Player Status in the CHL. Won the QMJHL Championship in 2016-17 and a Gold Medal in 2017-18 at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament

Interview/Profile Links

Videos

YouTube player