2015 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #25 - Noah Juulsen
Another big bodied defender in this year's draft class, Juulsen has impressed a lot of scouts with his two way play in the WHL this season.
Current Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Date of Birth: April 2, 1997
Place of Birth: Abbotsford, BC (Canada)
Weight: 181 lbs.
Noah Juulsen is one of those late-round players that makes General Managers and scouts reach for the Maalox now and then. He's a big bodied defender who's been an excellent two way player, but the sudden jump in his scoring from his rookie season to draft year brings up all sorts of questions. Is this the sign of a player who got hot at the right time to boost his draft stock, and could easily come back down to Earth, or is he a late bloomer who needed a year to get his feel under him before he started to tear things up? Bet wrong, and you might waste a draft pick in what looks like a very deep draft class for blueliners - or, worse, end up seeing him go to a divisional opponent where he carves you up five times a season.
In Juulsen's case, the the combination of being placed unexpectedly in a top pairing role for the Tips after Mirco Mueller made the leap to the NHL and playing for an organization with a strong record for developing D (including Columbus' own Ryan Murray) would make me think he's most likely the real deal...but the men at the podium can never be 100% sure until the pick is in.
Juulsen has the potential to be a top four defender in the NHL, and produce offence at even strength and on the power play. He needs some maturity and some good coaching in his own end of the ice to reach his ceiling though.
Without the puck and in high-pressure situations, Juulsen tends to overthink things and can try to do a little too much; that will go away with time and maturity. All-in-all, an impactful presence on the ice that strives to be difficult to play against; given how hard he works and how smart he is with the puck, he can be a very difficult player to read with and without the puck.
Noah Juulsen is a solidly-built defender who competes and is a favorite of one of our western league evaluators. He works hard and is involved all over the ice. Not overly offensively minded, although he has been putting up good numbers early, but does make a strong outlet pass and shows the smarts of knowing what each situation calls for.
A Good Fit In Columbus?
Juulsen certainly isn't the guy to take with the #8 pick - though I do believe he's got a lot of potential, that's just too deep of a reach with guys like Wierinski and Provorov still available. But, if the Jackets decided to double down on D, he might be a good player to trade back up for, or to try and snag early in the second round if he should slip down that far.
If Noah continues to develop as many scouts believe he will, he could easily become part of a one-two punch with Ryan Murray on the team's first pairing, and Juulsen on the second, forcing opponents to deal with one or the other in almost all situations. He could also be a potential 2nd unit Power Play QB, perhaps offering the team a "double threat" in those situations as well.