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Draft Central Player Profile: Colin White

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs

The US NTDP has been responsible for a lengthy list of NHL alumni over the past two decades. Another name to expect on that list soon is Colin White.

White had a tough season when compared to expectation. A wrist injury and bout with mononucleosis both took chunks of his season and productivity away. In 20 USHL games for the NTDP, he recorded four goals and 17 points. At the U-18 World Championships he had six goals and nine points in seven games and captured gold.

Last season, White put up eye-popping numbers at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge for the United States. He led the tournament in goals, assists and points with 10 goals and 18 points in just six games. His efforts were ultimately rewarded with a gold medal.

White has committed to Boston College for the 2015-16 season.

While he is best characterized as a two-way centreman, White is very much a defence-first player. He is tenacious on the forecheck, through the neutral zone and in his own end. He plays with good speed and hockey sense, which keeps him responsible and in good position. His skillset lends itself to a third line checking centre role, but White also offers ample offence that could allow him to develop as a potential top-six player.

Despite being a productive player, White doesn't possess flashy skill in the traditional sense. He is strong on the puck but doesn't play with a ton of flair on the offensive side of the game. For him to thrive at the next level, he'll need to put heavy focus on his strength to compete against bigger, stronger opposition. As a north-south player who needs to get to tough areas of the ice, getting stronger will be a huge asset at the pro level. He plays a responsible brand of hockey that earns the trust of a coach. It'll be a matter of getting his execution to NHL level speed before he is truly successful.

Expect White to be selected in the second half of the first round.

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