2018 Draft Prospect Profile: Blake McLaughlin
The lightweight American knows how to fill the net
Date of birth: February 14, 2000
Place of birth: Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Youth team: Chicago Steel (USHL)
Weight: 161 pounds
Position: Left Wing
The United States Hockey League claimed seven first round picks in the NHL Draft last year, and winger Blake McLaughlin hopes to add to the 2018 edition of that list.
McLaughlin posted an impressive 52 points (23 goals, 29 assists) in 54 games for the Chicago Steel last year. The left-winger checks in at a feather-light 161 pounds, a number coaches at the University of Minnesota (McLaughlin’s next stop) will be raring to bump up. That weight allows him to speed down the ice, though, which he combines with strong passing ability.
He also turned in impressive stints with the USA U-19 team at the WJC, tallying four assists in five games after scoring two goals with an assist the prior year with the U-18 squad.
McLaughlin got off to a fast start in his only season with the Steel and finished strong as well, posting three goals and four assists in the Steel’s seven playoff games. He worked his way up the rankings to finish as the 24th-ranked North American skater by Central Scouting. There’s a good chance he goes in the second round, but whoever takes him will have a solid winger with a strong base of offensive skills to build upon.
54 GP/23 G/29 A/52 P/70 PIM/-5
He displays mature playmaking skills however, with a penchant for making deft passes that set up teammates well. He’s extremely elusive making him particularly dangerous on special teams, having nailed two shorthanded goals this year as well as five on the power play. And he’s shown some physical chops on defense, utilizing his quickness and somewhat surprising strength to effectively slow opponents. – Kevin Wickersham, Dobber Prospects