Tag: Draft profiles

Jacob Trouba

Get to know a draft pick — Jacob Trouba

All week leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.

Jacob Trouba (D)

Height: 6’2 Weight: 193 Shoots: Right

Team: U.S. National Development Program

Country: United States

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 9 among North American skaters

What kind of player is he?

Trouba has all the “measurables” teams look for in a blueliner. He’s a a strong skater (despite almost giving up on it when he was four), throws his sizable frame around and can contribute offensively as well.

Trouba needs to polish his overall game, though, and one of the chief criticisms is that he needs to “refine” his defensive decision-making.

Of note, his favorite video game is “Super Monkey Ball.” You know that now. There’s no un-knowing it.


“He’s got good size, he’s got good skill. He plays a pretty solid two-way game and he probably plays with a little more edge than some of the other (defensive prospects) that are bigger point producers.

“I think that’s part of his appeal, that he plays the game well at both ends of the ice and plays with a little more edge and assertiveness than some of the other guys do.” — Carolina Hurricanes director of amateur scouting Tony MacDonald.

More draft profiles:

Nail Yakupov

Filip Forsberg

Malcolm Subban

Ryan Murray

Pontus Aberg

Oscar Dansk

Griffin Reinhart

2011 Draft Profile: Sean Couturier

2011 IIHF World U20 Championship - Day Four

Sean Couturier is a big body center who has excellent vision and hands. He’s responsible in his own zone, can grind with the best of them, and is one of the best face-off guys in this year’s draft. If this were the pre-lockout NHL, scouts would be drooling all over him (more than they are) because of his combination of size and skill.

Before the season started, Couturier competing for the #1 overall spot in the draft; he was the only underager to make Team Canada’s World Junior Championship team as well. But concerns about his skating ability knocked him down a peg from the likes of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Jonathan Huberdeau.

Comparisons for Couturier have ranged from Jason Allison to Joe Thornton. He’s a big player who just looks like he’d be a dominant force with his playmaking ability. Unfortunately, like Thornton he doesn’t always use his big body to his advantage. A truly talented player, he should be able to make it in the NHL—but if he can improve his skating, he’ll be able to thrive. It hasn’t been a problem so far.

Height: 6’4”
Weight: 197 lbs
Position: Center
Team: Drummondville (QMJHL)

  • 2008-09: 9 goals and 22 assists (31 points) in 58 games
  • 2009-10: 41 goals and 55 assists (96 points) in 68 games
  • 2010-11: 36 goals and 60 assists (96 points) in 58 games



From NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards

“Sean has excellent puckhandling and playmaking ability; he sees the ice and reads the play very well . . . He’s extremely smart and gets himself into good scoring position. He plays a solid two-way game and is very responsible defensively.”

From International Scouting Services:

“He is an extremely smart and skilled playmaking center. He sees the ice well, knows where team mates are at all times; his passing is exceptional plus he is extremely dangerous in close. He creates offense and makes player better around him.”

2011 Draft Profile: Jonathan Huberdeau

Saint John Sea Dogs v Mississauga St. Michael's Majors

No one has shot up the draft rankings over the last 12 months like Jonathan Huberdeau. He’s a player who really doesn’t have any weaknesses to his game. On one hand, he might be the most dependable, 2-way player in the entire draft. On the other hand, he can be absolutely electrifying when he has the puck on his stick. He can create offensive for himself with a very good shot; but he’s even better when he’s setting up teammates with great vision. He’ll only improve as he continues to fill out into his 6’1” frame.

As great as his hockey skills have proven to be over the course of the year, Huberdeau took the leap into the draft’s elite prospects with his outstanding play in the QMJHL playoffs. He raised his game when the stakes where the highest as he lead the talented Sea Dogs to a QMJHL championship and Memorial Cup victory. If he can put on some muscle over the summer, he could be on an NHL roster on opening night.

Height: 6’1”
Weight: 170 lbs
Position: Center
Team: Saint John (QMJHL)

  • 2009-10: 15 goals and 20 assists (35 points) in 61 games
  • 2010-11: 43 goals and 62 assists (105 points) in 67 games



From NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Bordeleau

“He’s the type of player who can change the outcome of a game suddenly and quickly. He’s displayed unbelievably quick hands and an ability to set up and score goals. He definitely has NHL hands and playmaking ability . . . he’s also gritty and does not back down when challenged.”

From International Scouting Services:

“He is a complete player; a great combination of work ethic, skill, competitiveness and hockey sense. He contributes at both ends of the rink. He is an offensive threat whenever he touches the ice; he creates scoring chances with good 1 on 1 ability, vision, passing and he can score. The type of player you win with.”

2011 Draft Profile: Adam Larsson

2011 IIHF World U20 Championship - Day Eight

As has become an annual tradition, the best defenseman coming out of Sweden must be compared at some level to Nicklas Lidstrom. Perhaps the most telling compliment to Adam Larsson’s versatility is that International Scouting Services has him listed as one of their best offensive defenseman and one of the best shutdown defenseman. People can talk about his powerful skating or his skating, but it’s his poise that separates him from any other blueliner in the 2011 class. He has the uncanny knack for slowing the game down—something that hard to do at any age, let alone as an 18-year-old in the Swedish Elite League.

His poise certainly makes it easy to draw similarities to Lidstrom; but a better comparison would be another Swede: Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman. Whoever drafts him in the first hour of the draft will have a prospect who will be the cornerstone of their defensive corps for the next ten years.

Height: 6’3”
Weight: 200 lbs
Position: Defense
Team: Skelleftea HC (SEL)

  • 2009-10: 4 goals and 13 assists (17 points) in 49 games
  • 2010-11: 1 goal and 8 assists (9 points) in 37 games



From NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards

“Adam is one of the best skater’s in this year’s draft — he has excellent speed and mobility. He also has patient puck handling abilities and can surprise an opponent with a solid hit. His size and skating ability make him comparable with Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman.”

From International Scouting Services:

“A very good skater, Larsson is poised in every situation on the ice and calculates his decisions with precision and quickness. His panic threshold is off the charts and his demeanour rarely changes. He can chip in offensively by leading the rush, springing teammates with stretch passes or finding a hole from the point with his good shot.”

2011 Draft Profile: Gabriel Landeskog

USA Hockey National Evaluation Camp - Finland v Sweden

Even though he was a European import playing in the OHL, Landeskog still able to demonstrate the leadership qualities that helped make him a captain. In fact, at 17 years old he was the youngest player to wear the “C” for the Kitchener Rangers in three decades. People are so obsessed with his spectacular leadership qualities that sometimes his play on the ice isn’t adequately appreciated. Landeskog has the ability to play the grinding game of a power forward, but still possesses the vision and skill of a potential top five pick. Since he has off-the-charts leadership qualities, the most common comparison is to former Flyers captain Mike Richards.

Something to keep in mind when looking at his statistics is that he was injured when playing with Team Sweden at the World Junior Championships. If it weren’t for the midseason injury, the numbers would have been that much more impressive. Landeskog is the most NHL ready player in this year’s draft and could very well make an NHL roster this fall.

Height: 6’0”
Weight: 207 lbs
Position: Left Wing
Team: Kitchener (OHL)

  • 2009-10: 24 goals and 22 assists (46 points) in 61 games
  • 2010-11: 36 goals and 30 assists (66 points) in 53 games



NHL Central Scouting’s Chris Edwards

“He is a good-size guy who is solid on his skates, not afraid to take the puck to the net or battle for it along the boards. His skating is very good in all areas. He plays the game with so much passion, he plays the game hard, he’s a great mentor for players that are younger and older, maturity beyond his years. (He) doesn’t need one game in the American league next year — he should step right into the NHL. I think the team that gets him next year is going to get a player that helps them win a Stanley Cup.”

From International Scouting Services:

“He has great hands and agility, is determined and focused around the puck and isn’t afraid to take abuse to make a play. He is very strong on his skates and takes contact well while protecting possession or drawing defenders to him.”