ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22-23. Serron Noel is the No. 10-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. The Avalanche has the 16th overall selection at the draft.
Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing 205 pounds, right wing Serron Noel is hard to miss.
He has the raw talent to become an amazing NHL player, and the size and strength that NHL teams want out of a player. On top of that, Noel uses his body to make his presence known in front of the net.
"I like to use my physicality and want to be rough, separate guys from the puck and give my linemates and myself more space, but I also have some pretty soft hands and can make play," Noel told NHL.com. "I want to balance it out by playing physical but also having a little bit of skill to become a more complete player."
Born in Guelph, Ontario, Noel moved to the nation's capital to begin his hockey career in Ottawa. His played his minor midget hockey with the Brockville Braves before being selected 25th overall at the 2016 Ontario Hockey League priority selection by the Oshawa Generals.
In Noel's rookie season with Oshawa, he tallied 21 points (eight goals and 13 assists) in 63 games, placing him third among rookies on the team in total points for the 2016-17 year. In the playoffs, he added three points (one goal and two assists) through nine games.
Video: Serron Noel Scouting Report
Noel has been regarded as a smart, high-reward player who shows signs of being coachable with room to improve the strength of his skating stride and his ability to generate more top-end speed. Before the 2017-18 season, Noel reached out to skating coach Shelley Kettles, who was a former figure skater, to help him become a better skater.
"I started (taking) skating lessons last summer, twice a week," Noel said. "I found tremendous improvement and feel more stable on my skates compared to last year."
His dedication to enhancing his skating helped him make significant improvements during his sophomore OHL campaign.
He put up 53 points (28 goals and 25 assists) through 62 games and finished third overall on his team in points and recorded one assist in Oshawa's playoff run.
Noel also has had a successful career representing his country at international tournaments. He won gold with Team Canada at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Tournament where he registered one point (one goal) in the five games he played. He also led the team in scoring at the U-18 World Championships in Russia.
"Serron Noel has a size-strength game that makes him the best puck protection player in this game down low. You cannot check the puck off him," NHL Central Scouting's Dan Marr told OHL.com. "But what he also has is a very strong stride and very good pull away speed. So, when he is driving outside the lane to the net, he's very hard to stop."
Noel has been described as a big, strong power forward who demonstrates good hockey intelligence and a soft touch around the net and has "puck on a string" abilities. He knows how to use his size and create space for his teammates, and knows how to utilize his skills and speed with the puck to generate offense. Noel described his playstyle to OHL.com as "smart, physical, relentless, and risk-taker."
Noel has a big frame, but his aspirations to be drafted into the NHL are bigger. With the draft right around the corner only time will tell where he will continue developing into an NHL player.