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Prospect Spotlight: Jake Dotchin

by Phil Novotny / Tampa Bay Lightning

The Tampa Bay Lightning selected Jake Dotchin in the sixth round, 161st overall, at the 2012 NHL Entry draft. The Cambridge, Ontario, native is currently playing his second season with the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL).

When asked to describe Dotchin, Crunch head coach Rob Zettler said that the 6-foot-2, 212-pound defenseman, is known for his physicality and willingness to be involved. Zettler also noted he has a great shot from the point in addition to his finesse passing ability.

Before he began his tenure with the Crunch, Dotchin played for the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). During the 2013-2014 campaign, he had a standout season where he ranked second amongst Colts defensemen in goals with 11. Additionally, he had 25 assists along with a +22 rating in 63 games. In the OHL playoffs, Dotchin had three goals and two assists in 11 games before the Colts conceded defeat to the North Bay Battalion in the second round.

When Dotchin’s game elevated to the professional level, his performance on the ice remained persistent. Last season, he scored six goals and had 14 assists in 55 games with the Crunch. “He’s a great kid,” Zettler said. “He’s fun to have around and he has a lot of energy.”

This season, Dotchin has played 42 games and has compiled five assists. Zettler acknowledged that he’s been off to a slow start but has gotten better as the season’s advanced. That being said, Zettler also discussed his potential to be an NHL defenseman. “He’s a big guy with a long reach,” Zettler said. “His size and right-hand shot (for a defenseman) is hard to find.”

Other intangibles that Zettler brought up was his play on the penalty kill where he applauded his tendency to block shots. However, he said that Dotchin still needs to spend more time on his reads off the rush, which is something most young defensemen develop in the minors.

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