Charlie McAvoy's biggest strength as a defender is his skating ability. He was one of just two college hockey players to earn an "A" rating from NHL's Central Scouting for skating ability. His ability to skate helps him tremendously with puck possession and he shows poise in deciding whether to move the puck with a pass or skate it himself.
From Steve Kournianos of The Draft Analyst:
"He’s a confident puck carrier who attacks openings with speed, but can also slow it down and patiently weigh his options. Always moving his feet, McAvoy is capable of slipping through gaps without the puck, or stickhandling around traffic while keeping the puck close to his body. He has a heavy shot that can be delivered with accuracy, and his passes are tape to tape, An undervalued part of his game is physicality, which gets him in hot water as he’s still learning the difference between a timely, legal bone-crushing hit and gross negligence of the rule book."
McAvoy is looking to join a growing list of successful NHL players from Long Island. That list includes Jeremy Braco (#61 overall pick in 2015 to Toronto) and of course Sonny Milano, the first-round pick of the Blue Jackets in 2014. Other NHLers from the area include Rob Scuderi, Mike Komisarek, and Eric Nystrom.
Current Team: Boston University, NCAA
Date of Birth: December 21, 1997
Place of Birth: Long Beach, NY
Weight: 205 lbs
A Good Fit in Columbus?
McAvoy certainly is not going to be the "best player available" at #3. He is in the second tier of defensemen in the first round as he needs to temper his physicality as Kournianos notes in his scouting report. McAvoy noted he has spent extra time working on his gap control the last couple years in an effort to become a better two-way defender, not just an offensive force. He comes in somewhat as a "risky" pick because of the areas to improve, but would be a great value pick for a team in the 20's. Unless Columbus really wants to trade down to acquire some more picks (hello, Cleveland Browns) then he probably will not be on the radar for Jarmo & Co. The Jackets picked a fairly similar player, albeit a lefty, in Zach Werenski last year and should have Seth Jones for years to come, so a puck moving defender is not at the top of the needs list right now either.
McAvoy in Action