— BC Hockey (@BCHockeyNews) January 17, 2015
After McEichel in the 2015 draft, it’s not certain how NHL teams will go. Most have college defender Noah Hanifin ranked at No. 3 overall but he’s not delivering a lot of offense—certainly not at the level we associate with such a high draft pick. What’s the story on Noah Hanifin?
Happy 18th birthday to BC freshman Noah Hanifin- it’s remarkable what he & Zach Werenski are doing in the NCAA this season #2015NHLDraft
— Kirk Luedeke (@kluedeke29) January 25, 2015
I spoke to Kirk Luedeke of Red Line Report today on the Lowdown about Hanifin and as always Kirk’s take was reasonable and insightful.
- Luedeke: “He is a potential cornerstone franchise type defenseman who can do everything. He has been described by BC assistant coach Greg Brown as the baseball equivalent of a 5-tool player.”
Luedeke: “He’s such a fluid skater, his gaps are excellent. He’s got the size and the skating. I’ve
been looking at the finer things, the gaps, stick positioning, footwork.
There’s really no weakness in his game. He’s very effortless in terms
of his ability to sidestep oncoming pressure and he can make the right
— ISS Hockey (@ISShockey) January 11, 2015
THINGS TO WORK ON
- Luedeke: “His shot is a pretty good one, could certainly stand more power. It’s not like he has a popgun drive, but he recognizes he needs to make it harder and more accurate.”
- Luedeke: “If there’s one thing he could improve upon at this stage of his development is he’s not an overly physical guy. He tends to be a body leverage, angles type of player. If there is a knock on his game it’s that he doesn’t have a robust physical element to his game. It isn’t necessarily a weakness, but something that it not a strength or something he’s going to get drafted on.”
REMEMBER, HE’S VERY YOUNG FOR NCAA
Luedeke: “He should be in high school, he just turned 18 yesterday! Yet he’s here at BC, one of the best programs in the country and playing at a high level.”
SHOULD THE OILERS TAKE HANIFIN?
It’s a tough call. Craig MacTavish is clearly focused on building up the middle and there appear to be three flat out cornerstone players in this draft (with Mitch Marner trending that way). Defensemen do pose more of a risk, but this guy absolutely has the entire tool kit (save the shot).
I think Edmonton probably has Hanifin ranked at No. 3 overall and if he’s available and they pick at that number, he’ll be an Oiler.
Previously in the series: