Josh Davies – 2022 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Josh Davies

2021-22 Team: Swift Current Broncos (WHL)
Date of Birth: March 24th, 2004
Place of Birth: Airdrie, AB, Canada
Ht: 5-foot-10, Wt: 195 pounds
Shoots: Left
Position: C
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible

Rankings

The game at the NHL level is the fastest it has ever been. With the speed of the game today, being a good skater has become a necessary talent for up-and-coming prospects who wish to fill any role on a big-league roster. At 5-foot-10, what Josh Davies lacks in size he makes up for in speed. He’s well regarded by scouts as possessing the speed to play at the next level. In fact, many say that it’s his best asset.

Related: THW’s 2022 NHL Draft Guide

While a bit undersized, he’s known to play with a gritty chip on his shoulder. His 119 penalty minutes in 2021-22 with the Swift Current Broncos out of the Western Hockey League (WHL) say that he doesn’t shy away from physical play. In fact, scouts who have watched him said that he can get too involved in playing that style. His size often makes him ineffective at doing it within the rules, and it can often get him into trouble. He’s been noted as getting too wrapped up in things outside of the play, to a point that diminishes his hockey IQ during a game. While the speed is there, sometimes his gritty play takes him out of the game and makes him less effective and not as noticeable on the ice (from ‘22690 — Swift Current vs. Medicine Hat’, FC Hockey, 10/27/21).

In terms of his actual game, Davies’ speed makes the game a lot easier for him. He has the ability to go end-to-end and open up the ice for those around him per Derek Neumeier of FC Hockey (from ‘23760 — Swift Current Broncos vs. Calgary’, FC Hockey, 4/18/22). With 16 goals in 2021-22, he showed flashes of goal-scoring ability with Swift Current. While the intangibles and raw skill helped him at the WHL level, there are legit questions as to whether they’ll be enough to get him to the next level. That skill only came to fruition in flashes this past year, something that NHL clubs will take note of when deciding whether to take a late-round flyer on him. However, his speed will keep him relevant in these discussions, especially given its importance in today’s game.

Other THW Profiles

Josh Davies – NHL Draft Projection

Davies’ raw skills make him worthy of being drafted in 2022. While it will probably be in the later rounds of the draft, don’t be surprised if a team looking for speed up the middle takes a flyer on him in the middle rounds. With the offensive numbers not jumping out at you, it’s hard to make any other case for him being drafted before the fifth round other than his speed. When combined with the penalty issues and the lack of size, it’s tough to see someone drafting him in the middle round solely based on speed. The more likely scenario is for him to be a late-round pick, likely in the fifth or sixth round.

Quotables

“He’s the type of player who goes invisible for long stretches of time but will then do something that makes a huge difference in a shift and makes you raise your eyebrow. His acceleration is probably his single best asset, as every now and again he’ll burst into space with or without the puck and change the flow of play. He shows flashes of being dangerous as a puck carrier, as he’ll scoot around the ice with the puck on his stick and show poise about what to do with it, making dekes and shimmies to maintain the protection. Plays with his head up and can make the occasional nice pass into space that he opened up with his skating and poise. Unfortunately, he just isn’t as involved in the play as you’d like to see, which raises questions about how well he understands and anticipates.” – Derek Neumeier, FC Hockey (from ‘22690 — Swift Current vs. Medicine Hat’, FC Hockey, 10/27/21)

“Davies is one of the fastest skaters in this entire draft class, and that trait alone will help him continue to get ice time as he progresses on in his career. His speed is an undeniable weapon, as he is able to both explode from a standstill and hit a very impressive top gear that allows him to get behind opposing defenders. He can really open up a lot of ice for his team on the rush, including going end-to-end. Davies wins a lot of footraces to loose pucks, which does him a lot of favours as a forechecker. His puck control is good enough that, when combined with his skating, he can create zone entries all by himself.” – Derek Neumeier, FC Hockey (from ‘23760 — Swift Current Broncos vs. Calgary’, FC Hockey, 4/18/22)

Strengths

  • Speed
  • Skating
  • Stickhandling/Puck handling

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Anticipation
  • Staying out of the penalty box
  • Consistency

NHL Potential

The raw skill is what makes Davies an interesting prospect moving forward. He has the speed and hands that will give him a chance at the next level. However, being well below a point-per-game at the junior level, along with the penalty issues, there are major red flags moving forward. If he can get stronger and build off his speed, he could find a nice role as an efficient third-line center in the NHL who can fly around in all three zones and be a pest to play against. While he is far from NHL-ready right now, he is still young, lending to the opportunity to grow and build a game around his current skill set that will allow him to play in the bottom six at the NHL level someday.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 4.5/5, Reward – 3/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offense – 6/10, Defense – 3/10

Awards and Achievements

Davies was selected to play for Team Canada at the 2022 IIHF U18 World Championship. In three tournament games, he recorded one assist. Prior to that, he was drafted 54th overall in the 2019 WHL Draft by the Swift Current Broncos.

Interview/Profile Links

Josh Davies Statistics

Videos


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