ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver on June 21-22. Forward Alex Turcotte is the No. 4-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. The Avalanche has the fourth and 16th overall selections in the first round of the draft.
Soon another member of the Turcotte family will be likely joining the ranks of the NHL. Alex Turcotte, son of former player Alfie Turcotte, grew up around the game and is eligible to be selected in this year's NHL Draft.
As a center, Alex plays the same position as his father. Alfie suited up for the Montreal Canadiens, Winnipeg Jets and Washington Capitals and played in 112 NHL games through seven seasons. Alex says that he was around 7 years old when he brought the toe-drag move that his father was known for, aptly named "the Alfie," into his own arsenal.
"He plays a team game better than I did," Alfie said of his son to NHL.com. "I was still learning as I went along in my professional ranks and he's already bypassed that. He's at a higher level than I was at a younger age with his team game and knowing when to give it up or go. He's a lot more disciplined than I was, too. I think he might be faster."
The younger Turcotte spent the past two seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program. He missed the beginning part of the 2018-19 campaign due to injury, but the center finished the year with 62 points (27 goals, 35 assists) through 37 outings. His 1.68 points-per-game average ranked second on the team.
"Alex plays an abrasive style and is a jackknife because he's got so many different tools," NTDP head coach John Wroblewski said to NHL.com. "Jack Hughes is our most electrifying player but Alex is right there as our most valuable player because his game just transcends so much in so many different areas.
"He has grit, can slow it down, speed it up, bring it to the net or play on the half-wall."
Video: Turcotte talks playing like Toews at Scouting Combine
Turcotte, who has committed to play at the University of Wisconsin next year, tallied 12 points (six goals, six assists) in eight games against college opponents this season. In international play, the forward racked up 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in 11 contests where he represented the United States.
Just like his father, who represented Team USA at the 1984 World Junior Championship and 1986 World Hockey Championship, Alex is familiar with representing his country at the international level. The Elk Grove, Illinois, native has medaled in every international appearance he's made. He earned gold at the 2018 U17 World Hockey Challenge, silver at the 2018 U18 World Junior Championship and bronze at. The 2019 U18 World Championship.
A versatile defensive forward, Turcotte earned a plus-33 rating this year. He is known for his faceoff prowess and his playing style has been compared to some of the NHL's finest.
"Alex's personality is a blend between Sidney Crosby and Brad Marchand because he's so agitating like Marchand but will never give you the time of day like Crosby," Wroblewski said to NHL.com. "Just the way he carries himself on the ice is very annoying to the other team because he's so good and so versatile. He can go right through you or dangle you."
Video: Turcotte talks battling nerves at Scouting Combine
Fellow teammate and roommate Jack Hughes, who is projected to be selected first overall in this year's draft, also has nothing but praise for Turcotte.
"He's a beast," Hughes told NHL.com. "He plays a hard, heavy, skilled game and that's a tough combination to deal with. Not only does he score goals and make plays, but he's probably the best face-off guy on our team.
"A lot of his goals are net-front tips, rebounds and shots in front, proving he's not just a skilled guy who can score from the perimeter but a guy who goes to the net."
Though the 18-year-old is projected to be selected in the top 10 of the first round at this year's draft, no matter where he ends up, Turcotte is sure to bring "the Alfie"--along with many other moves--with him.