2017 NHL Draft Profile: Ryan Poehling
Two years ago, the Columbus Blue Jackets traded away a top center for a top defensemen. This coming draft, the Jackets might find themselves another of the former.
Team: St. Cloud State (NCHC)
Date of Birth: January 3, 1999
Birthplace: Lakeville, Minnesota
Weight: 177 lbs
Ryan Poehling has an opportunity to do something kind of amazing. He can go from dawning the best logo in American college hockey on his chest to the best logo in American professional hockey on his chest. That'd be neat, right?
In hockey terms, Poehling would be a gift if he were able to fall to Columbus at #24. By every account, he's hard working and as dedicated to the game as one can be. So much so, in fact, that he took summer classes to graduate high school early to begin his collegiate career.
A consensus mid-20's pick, any team who gets him should have the luxury of allowing him a little while to develop in the minors (mostly to beef up, especially if he's going to remain at center), and Columbus would be no exception. With Brandon Dubinsky signed through 2020, Lukas Sedlak signed through 2019 and Boone Jenner and William Karlsson signed through the end of next year, there shouldn't be the need for a ton of roster moving to bring Poehling to the NHL.
Winging It In Motown likened the Minnesota native to some cat named Ryan Johnasen, and honestly I see the same thing. Just about every scouting report you'll find has him as not only a potential sure-fire top center, but if he doesn't work out, his risk value isn't too high. High floor, highest of ceilings.
The number one criticism is that he doesn't shoot the puck often enough to scouts liking (something that'll fit right in on the Blue Jackets BAZINGA). Outside of that and his starting size, there really isn't a whole lot scouts don't like about the kid. He's good with the puck, but not too flashy. He's reliable on offense but has seemingly better reviews on the defensive side of the puck and his defensive IQ seems to be quite impressive.
Sounds to me like he'd become a staple on the ice for Columbus, and if he can find a knack for taking a few more shots, could become quite the fan favorite.
For his stats at St. Cloud State, including a game-by-game breakdown, click here.