Draft Coverage is courtesy of:
Law offices of Kimberly J. Munson
This is our first installment of our NHL Entry Draft preview. We will highlight those whom we think the Stars might be interested in drafting as they sit in the 14th spot in this year’s draft which will take place June 27th-28th in Philadelphia, PA. Like every post, I encourage comments down at the bottom with what you think. The draft is perhaps the most exciting time of the season, outside of the playoffs, as a team can go in ANY direction. Last year was a prime example. When the draft was held, it was before the move to bring in Tyler Seguin, so the Stars were still in desperate need of not only defensive help, but a perennial superstar at center. However, when the time came to pick at the 10th spot, general manager, Jim Nill couldn’t pass up on Valeri Nichushkin, the powerful winger from Russia.
So, we can spend hours, every day debating whom we think the Stars should/will take, but in the end, only the Stars front office and coaching staff will know (and even then, it might depend on the 13 teams ahead of them). So, without further ado, the first prospect that I feel could be a Dallas Stars commodity at the end of June.
Alex Tuch-18 years old-Baldwinsville, NY-RW/C
Shoots: R Height: 6’4” Weight: 214 Team: USNDTP (Committed to Boston College)
Currently ranked 12th in NHL’s scouting list of North American skaters, Tuch brings a size and ice presence that isn’t taught. Perhaps a forward’s number one weapon against large professional defensemen is being bigger than some, if not most. Already nearly 6 ½ feet tall and pushing 220, the 18 year old (just turned 18 less than 2 weeks ago) is only going to get bigger. There is no better example of this than the following video in which Tuch and his teammate, Dylan Larkin score just 6 seconds apart. Watch how Alex pushes the puck to the point and then as the puck heads towards the net, Tuch skates through the slot, boxing-out the defenseman and slide the puck past the goaltender.
This next video shows Alex getting in front of the netminder as his defensive teammate, Jack Dougherty slaps the puck from the point and the puck caroms off Tuch and into the net just 35 seconds into the game. Compared to the Czech defensemen, you wouldn’t be able to tell them apart from Alex if it weren’t for the jerseys.
Alex has won several medals as a member of the US development team, taking bronze in last year’s U17 tournament and winning gold this year at the U18 Worlds. The profile from MyNHLDraft.com said this about him:
He is one of the most mature players in the draft, he isn't looking to shine in the spotlight, but he wears his heart up on his sleeve for the team. He will get the job done anywhere and looks out for his teammates. Not to mention his personality as a leader and as someone who even coaches a youth hockey team, he is character personified.
This combination of skill, maturity, hockey IQ, hands, speed, patience, and size makes the Boston College-bound prospect one of the most complete players in this year's draft class - not to mention coveted by 30 teams in a league called the NHL.
Alex is expected to go somewhere in the mid-late 1st round. I would be shocked if he fell into the 2nd, so depending on how many European players are picked 1-13, Tuch might just fall into Jim Nill's lap. Of course, with the skill Nill has shown in his 26 years of being in the front office, perhaps he could make a move to net an extra pick or two and if Alex does fall slightly, perhaps Nill could shop the 14th pick to someone like Tampa Bay or San Jose a little further down the draft line and still pick up this power house of a forward.