Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2019 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look we feature defenceman Jayden Struble.
Every year there are highly rated NHL Draft prospects that we are just unable to get a live viewing of and unable to find any game tape on. However, since we strive to bring comprehensive coverage to you, our readers, we put these prospects down as honourable mentions. Without any first hand knowledge of the player, we don’t want to put out a ranking and so we provide a look at what other analysts are saying but leave the player out of our top 100.
This year, Jayden Struble is one of those prospects. The Cumberland, Rhode Island native put up 10 goals and 40 points in 28 games for St. Sebastian’s High School last season. He is committed to playing for the Victoria Grizzlies in the BCHL next season, before joining Northeastern University in 2020-21.
Jayden Struble 2019 NHL Draft Prospect
Defence — shoots Left
Born August 9th, 2001 — Cumberland, Rhode Island
Height 6’0″ — Weight 194 lbs [183 cm/88 kg]
Corey Pronman at the Athletic: “Struble kept impressing as his prep season went along. He’s a very good skater who projects as a push-rushing defenseman. He joins the rush easily and can push the pace. Struble also closes on checks very well, and combined with the fact he loves to play the body, he’s often a force with his body checks. He’s a skilled puck handler who can make plays to gain the zone and can saucer pucks well.”
Tom Dorsa at McKeen’s Hockey: “His mental game is his biggest selling point, and he plays a very NCAA-like game, something that will help him immensely when he transitions to play at Northeastern. His vision is incredible, and his reliability in his own zone will make him a coach’s best friend and surely will earn him some special teams and increased five-on-five time.”
Future Considerations: “A puck-moving offensive defenseman, Struble has an explosive stride and great acceleration. He possesses slick edges and a tremendous top speed. He often gets caught deep in the offensive zone and sometimes takes time to come back to his position. Using his frame, he protects the puck very effectively. Possessing a long reach and an active stick, he’s able to destabilize attackers which makes stickhandling tough for them.”
Jeff Cox at New England Hockey Journal: “The strong, athletic, puck-moving defenseman is fun to watch with his flashy style. He’s not afraid to run and gun it up the ice, and he plays with an edge.”
Darryl Houston Smith at Inside Hockey: “A dominant puck-moving offensive defenseman, Struble has a hell-bent stride and excellent acceleration. He possesses tremendous speed, but he often gets caught deep in the offensive zone and sometimes takes time to come back to his position. Using his solid frame, he protects the puck very effectively.”
Peter Kapelanski at The Hockey Writers: “Struble, in my opinion, has tons of potential that has yet to be tapped into. If an NHL team can develop him into an all-around defenseman he projects as a middle pairing defenseman who could chip around 25 points per season.”
David St-Louis at SBNation: “Struble is quick off the mark. It helps him keep the pressure up on the opposition with pinches from the blue line when his team is established on offence. He also moves fluidly in all four directions and changes from one to another very quickly, using his edges to his advantage to keep his body in between the puck and opponents. On top of that he is very solid on his skates; opponents have a hard time knocking him off possession as he carves his way up the ice with multiple crossovers.”
Draftsite: “Elite skating attacking defender who has excellent hands. Good in transition out if his end and a Power Play QB. Displays a good stick, and have a bit of edge and finishes his checks, and relishes board battles. Committed to Northeastern University.”
Main Photo via Victoria Grizzlies