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2015 NHL Draft Prospect Profile #53 - Nicolas Meloche

Next up is the physical, two-way defenseman out of the QMJHL, Nicolas Meloche

Nicolas Meloche

Position: D
Current Team: Baie-Comeau Drakkar, QMJHL
Date of Birth: July 18, 1997
Place of Birth: LaSalle, QC, Canada
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 205 lbs
Shoots: Right

Nicolas Meloche is a young defenseman, still just 17 years old, out of the QMJHL.  He brings a physical edge to his game, as he racked up 99 PIM last season.  Meloche plays a positionally-sound game and is not afraid to jump up into the play offensively.  He has the potential to play on both special team units.  The one weakness to his game is his skating and food speed, but he makes up for it with his positional play.  Most mock drafts have him off the board in the early to mid second round.

Scouting Reports

A smooth skating defenceman who can put up points, utilizing his strength behind his shot, and plays with an edge. Has very good awareness on the ice, and notices possible scoring chances before they happen. Very intelligent defensively and makes high percentage decisions in his own end. When at the top of his game, Nicolas Meloche can be a game-changing, physical two-way defenceman - Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects

A good sized, two-way blue liner…has some power to his stride but his footwork is still a little clumsy and off balance…a big kid who isn’t afraid to use his size to play physical in the corners and along the walls…sees the ice well and makes some strong outlet passes…very active using the stick…likes getting under the skin of his opponents…has a heavy point shot…needs to read the play in his own zone a little quicker and play with more intensity on a consistent basis…at his best when he keeps his game simple. - Future Considerations

Usually young defenders who display strong two way game don't come with a full package and toolbox. Not so here. He is player who is strong positionally but also displays mobility and strong physicality. Already mature in his understanding of his position. He takes attackers to the outside, with good gaps and timing. Outstanding in his own end.Retrieves many of those pucks and quickly advances them with quick outs. Reads the outlets and is precise in his passes, causing odd-man breaks at the other end. Is developing as pointman on the PP. Will walk in along the wall to open things, and is also starting to walk the blue line to set up the attack on the PP. A big man with excellent mobility, who throws hard hits Looks destined to go early.- Bill Placzek, Draftsite.com

A Good Fit in Columbus?

We have mentioned dozens of times the need to bolster the blue line pipeline this draft, especially with Mike Reilly heading elsewhere.  Meloche could fit the bill with one of the second round picks.  He is right-handed, which is not currently a strong area for the organization.  Meloche sounds a bit like a more-skilled Dalton Prout.  He is a big bruiser, yes, but he will also put up points offensively.  Depending on how things shake out early in the draft, it would not be a surprise to see Nicolas Meloche end up in the CBJ sweater.

Meloche in Action