Once considered a second or even third round draft prospect, Noah Juulsen’s stock has soared this season, to the point where he may even get picked in the first round. Here’s everything you need to know about the Everett Silvertips defenceman.
Age on June 26: 18
Birthplace: Abbotsford, B.C.
Current team: Everett Silvertips, WHL
Weight: 176 pounds
NHL Central Scouting rank (North American): 22nd
Marek’s Take: Fantastic skater with a big shot from the point. Able to play big minutes against top competition. Loves the physical game and when he fills out he’ll be scary back there. Comparable: Jack Johnson meets Brian Campbell
Fast riser late in the year
After scoring just 10 points for the Silvertips in 2013-14, Juulsen was considered a late-second or early-third round pick heading into this season. But then everything changed.
Juulsen’s production from the back end improved by more than 500 percent as he recorded 52 points in 68 games for one of the top teams in the WHL. Among draft eligible defencemen in the league, Juulsen was only behind Ivan Provorov and Ryan Pilon in scoring.
“Juulsen has taken his game to another level and has been consistent throughout the season,” said Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting. “We’re very comfortable saying that he is a legitimate first round contender.”
His favourite player is Kevin Bieksa
A good Western boy, Juulsen grew up a Vancouver Canucks fan and wears No. 3 because of his favourite player. With Juulsen’s stock rising into first round territory and the Canucks holding the 23rd overall pick, he may even end up with his favourite team. Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek has Juulsen going to the Winnipeg Jets at 25th overall in his mock draft.
And while he broke out on the offensive side of the game this season, Juulsen can also hold his own physically, just like Bieksa. It’s not the focus of his game, but it most certainly is a part of it.
A good option for teams targeting defence
As Elliotte Friedman wrote in his 30 Thoughts column in mid-July, it’s starting to get really interesting in terms of defencemen this draft.
“It’s starting to happen,” an executive told Friedman. “Teams who want defencemen are phoning the teams ahead of them, laying the groundwork in case they need to move.”
Ivan Provorov, Zach Werenski and Noah Hanifin are considered the top three defencemen available and Oliver Kylington was once highly regarded, although his draft stock has tailed off all year. After that, it’s mostly forwards crowding the draft, but that “second tier” group of defenders offers all sorts of skill sets and potential. Jakub Zboril, Brandon Carlo, Gabriel Carlsson and Jeremy Roy are some of the blueliners who could go in the back half of the first round, but don’t forget about Juulsen. The way his game took off this year, if a team is hoping to acquire a defenceman, but can’t move up in the draft to pick one of those top three, Juulsen would be a very nice consolation prize.
And if he slips into Round 2, he could be one of the great steals of the 2015 NHL Draft.
His favourite actors are Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler. His favourite TV shows are Ridiculousness and Duck Dynasty. His favourite movie is The Blind Side – and his favourite musicians are Blake Shelton, Lee Brice and Eric Church, per the NHL.