2014 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #27: Alex Tuch
A bit of a diamond in the rough, Alex Tuch is a big bodied power forward who has been having a breakout season with the US National Development Program Team in the USHL. Committed to Boston College for next season, he could be one of the real steals in the late first round for the team willing to ca
Name: Alex Tuch
Position: Forward (Centre / RW)
Team: US National Development Program (USHL) / Boston College Commit
Date of Birth: May 10th, 1996
Place of Birth: Baldwinsville, New York
Height/Weight: 6'3" / 216 lbs.
I'm honestly a little shocked it took us this long to talk about Alex Tuch (pronounced ‘too-k'). A big, powerful, playmaking forward who's been on a point per game pace in his draft year? That's a pretty nice combination.
Add in some surprisingly good skating ability, some pretty impressive hands, and a talent for protecting the puck, and you've got a guy who is likely to make the fans at Boston College very happy for as long as his NCAA career lasts.
The only reason I can see for Tuch to have flown (relatively) under the radar is that he struggled a bit in the U-17 program last year, and may have been dismissed as a big guy who might not be able to put his game together against tougher competition. Clearly he's shown the hockey world that they may have missed the boat on that one. Interestingly, Tuch was also drafted by the Guelph Storm, though at this point he seems fixed on taking the NCAA route. Either way, if he's selected by the Blue Jackets, he'll be going to an organization with a recent history of success and ties to the club here in Columbus.
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. - MyNHLDraft.com
Massive power forward has every physical tool in the kit: an enormous frame and strength, long reach, powerful skating stride and booming shot. Shields the puck and is dominant on the cycle. Displays surprisingly soft hands and finishing skills around the net. Lightning-quick release on a hard shot; can find the back of the net from just about anywhere around the faceoff circles. -NY Hockey Journal
Tuch shows good defensive instincts. His hockey IQ is very apparent as he anticipates plays well leading to turnovers and starting the transition game. He is hard on the back check and supports the defense down low. Tuch's ability to win battles along the boards is seen in all three zones, and his hard-nosed and gritty style certainly helps in his own end of the ice. He is a very good all-around type of player. - Last Word On Sports
Why He'd Be A Good Fit In Columbus:
Passionate, skilled, physical, mature, and a damned big bastard on top of all that. Tuch is pretty much right in line with everything the team is looking for - I'd go so far as to say that if he'd had a better year in the U-17s, we might be hearing about him as a top five candidate. If he should slip into the middle of the first round, or later, Jarmo should be picking up the phone. Columbus has frequently talked about wanting a powerful forward who could really do a bit of everything - a Joe Thornton type player, if you will. Ryan Johansen has filled that void as he develops, but Alex Tuch shows every sign of becoming another, and would make for a fearsome one-two punch once he finishes rounding out his game with the BC Eagles.