Kris Baker of SabresProspects.com has submitted his annual rankings of the top 30 draft-eligible prospects. Check back each day as we prepare for the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida on June 26-27.
|(Photo Credit: Getty Images) |#30 - NOAH JUULSEN
Defenseman, Everett (WHL)
6’1.5”, 174 lbs.
A patient, mobile defender, Juulsen packs a booming pro-caliber shot with a battler’s mentality in his own zone. He’ll throw his weight around in the corners and step in front of shots, all the while taking advantage of his long limbs to cover a lot of ice and cancel out sticks in front of the net.
His improved play at both ends of the ice was clearly noticeable at the end of the season as he shined in a top-pair role for the surging Silvertips. The overall commitment to the team’s growth was rewarded by being named Everett’s Most Dedicated Player.
While demonstrating the ability to play tough, competent hockey in his own zone, Juulsen has also worked hard to become more of a threat when transitioning into the role of offensive catalyst.
The 18-year-old, whose basic playmaking agenda is built on sharp outlet passes and an ability skate himself out of trouble, led the Silvertips’ blue line corps this past season with nine goals and 52 points.
His work on the power play helped him top all WHL draft eligible defenders with 21 primary helpers. He’s not an elite back-end engine by any means, but his decision making is ahead of the curve.
An exciting player to watch, Juulsen is trending upward with the potential to develop into a top-four NHL defenseman once he adds mass to an already thick-looking frame.
For more on all the youngsters in the Sabres pipeline, check out Kris Baker’s website, SabresProspects.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@SabresProspects) for in-game updates throughout the week on any Buffalo prospects that are in action.