Noah Juulsen THW Close-Up
Date of Birth: April 2, 1997
Place of Birth: Abbotsford, BC
Ht: 6’1” Wt: 181 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2015
Noah Juulsen began his draft-eligible year in relative anonymity, listed by the NHL’s Central Scouting Service as a “B”-rated prospect – one that could become a second or third round pick. He was coming off a 10 point 2013-14 season, his first full year in the WHL, and undoubtedly the scouts were hedging their bets a bit on his potential.
With his draft-eligible season in the rear-view mirror, I think it’s safe to say that Juulsen exceeded expectations with a 9 goal, 52 point campaign for the Everett Silvertips. His performance ranked him as the third highest-scoring draft-eligible blueliner in the Western League, just a tad behind Brandon’s dynamic duo of Ivan Provorov and Ryan Pilon. That’s pretty good company. For his efforts, Juulsen was ranked 38th among North American skaters at the midterm rankings and jumped to 22nd in their final rankings.
For his part, Juulsen lacks any big holes in his game. He played a ton for Everett this season, managed to score a lot of points, and managed not to take a ton of penalties in the process – something that’s often a challenge for young defensemen seeing a big jump in ice time and responsibility. He’s shown both defensive responsibility and offensive creativity this season, which bode well for his future. Six of his nine goals this season were scored at even-strength, so it’s not like he’s reliant on getting power-play time to create offense. He’s a very talented defender, but he’s just not quite elite right now. If there’s a challenge for Juulsen after the draft, it’s ensuring that his development hasn’t topped out. He made a huge leap over the past year, and it’s important it’s followed by another big leap if he hopes to become a good professional hockey player.
Juulsen’s a pretty attractive prospect for NHL teams. He’s an April birthday, so he’s on the younger side of his age cohort. He’s also a right-handed shot, which has become a very valuable commodity in the NHL in recent years. Given how much his draft stock has reportedly shot up over the last several months, it seems apparent that the folks at Central Scouting feel that his progression this season is a sign of things to come. If even a handful of NHL teams feel the same way, he’ll likely go in the second half of the first round of the 2015 Draft.
“Noah Juulsen is a strong skater, with a smooth and fluid stride. While he’s not an absolute speedster, he does have good speed and acceleration. Its in his edgework and agility though that he really shines. Juulsen pivots quickly and this allows him to cover large areas of the ice.”
–Ben Kerr, Last Word On Sports
Juulsen was part of Team Pacific in last year’s World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
Risk 1/5, Reward 3.5/5
Second pairing defenseman.
- Good 200-foot game.
- Good vision of the ice and the players on both sides.
- Good, accurate shot.
- A very quick learner; adapts well to changing circumstances.
Flaws/Aspects He Needs To Work On:
- The physical side of his game could use a bit of work.
- It would be useful for him to add some muscle to his frame before he goes pro.
- Game-to-game consistency could use some improvement.
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offensive 8/10, Defensive 8.5/10
NHL Player(s) Comparison:
If he continues developing, Juulsen could progress into a player reminiscent of Sami Vatanen or James Wisniewski.
When He’ll Go In June:
Juulsen will likely go somewhere between the middle of the first round and the very beginning of the second round.
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.