|Height:||191 cm / 6'3"||Weight:||216 lbs|
This year marks the highest first round pick for Detroit since drafting Martin Lapointe 10th overall in 1991. Let that sink in.. Yeah, that's pretty wild. I was freakin' two years old the last time we had a first rounder this high. Unfortunately, this year's draft isn't the biggest honeypot we have seen.. But there is plenty of talent available in the top 20. This year, I have Detroit taking New York native, Boston College commit, Alex Tuch at 15th overall. Alex is a big-bodied, right-hand shooting power-winger who is highly praised for his strong skating (curiously fast for a kid his size), smooth hands, and ability to physically support a skillful line with strong forechecking abilities. If I could pick some comparable NHL players, I definitely see him like Jordan Staal or David Backes. Uniquely gifted on all 200 feet of the ice. Offensively, defensively, and able to keep possession by using his big frame and strength. When I say big frame, I mean it. The kid's built like a tank for only being 18 years old, and his speed is impressive for his stature. His first three strides really take his game to the next level.
I had a chance to speak with USA Hockey Under 18 Developmental National Program Head Coach, Danton Cole about Tuch:
Alex had a great two years here with the NTDP. He really grew as a player and has become an excellent power forward who uses his size and strength very well. His speed and skill should not be overlooked. Alex is an intelligent young man who takes hockey seriously and was great to coach. His work ethic and attitude made him someone who we are proud of here at the national program.
Tuch is one of the more well-rounded players in the top 20, I think. I put together some gifs for your viewing pleasure:
Here he is, screening the goalie and deflecting the puck into the basket:
Here he shows off tremendous strength and skill by dragging a defender while firing a laser of wrist-shot past the net-minder.
He's elusive, and you see it here as he skates into a scoring chance undetected:
Oh, by the way.. He hits like a freight train.
You like? I like! Alex Tuch is projected to go between 7th and 15th overall, so it's highly possible that Detroit finds him in their scope. He reminds me of the player I want Justin Abdelkader to be.. Physical, strong on the puck, but actually skillful in other areas like scoring and puck movement. I think with the recent pickup of Tomas Nosek, the Red Wings have the luxury of drafting a winger as opposed to a center. Usually you don't draft by position in the first round, you just take the best player possible. If Tuch is available at 15th overall, I have a hard time believing he wouldn't be the best pick available. Go get 'em, Kenny.