2015 Sabres Draft Profiles: Noah Juulsen
Juulsen's production jumped more than 500%, leading to some seeing him as a first-round selection.
Weight: 174 lbs.
Current Team: Everett Silvertips (WHL)
Central Scouting Ranking: 22
ISS Ranking: 29
Few players have seen their stock rise from last year to now more than Noah Juulsen. Much of that is due to a jaw-dropping increase in scoring from 10 points in his first full WHL season to 52 this year. Even just this year alone his stock has risen immensely, as he jumped from 38th in the mid-year Central Scouting Ranking to 22nd on the final list. He went from a player that would likely be taken in the second or third to one with first round aspirations.
So the real question is, was this season an anomaly or a sign of things to come?
Juulsen played for a very successful Everett team, which won the U.S. Division of the WHL this season. He took on top pairing minutes, and finished behind only two WHL draft-eligible players in points (one being the highly coveted Ivan Provorov. He isn't afraid to block shots or take a shot. He was named the Silvertips Most Dedicated Player.
He isn't the biggest defenseman or the one with the most flashy tools on the board, but he doesn't have many serious deficiencies. People applauded his defensive abilities before he became a scoring menace this season. Some project that if he continues on this trajectory, he could be a top-four defenseman. TSN lists his NHL comparable as Kevin Bieksa.
The earliest Juulsen is expected to go off the board is somewhere in the late second round. However, there is a good chance that he'll still be available if the Sabres stay at 31. Bob McKenzie has him ranked all the way down at 37 on his big board.
What They're Saying
"A solid two-way defender, Noah Juulsen is able to force plays and always find ways to support his teammates. Juulsen is a smooth, yet not dynamic skater, and is mobile when he needs to be. Plays with a chip on his shoulder, and isn't afraid to take the hit to make the play. Sees the ice well and has the individual skills to carry out the possibilities he sees. Very poised with the puck; calm and controls the play with authority. Has good hands. Without the puck and in high-pressure situations, Juulsen tends to overthink things and can try to do a little too much; that will go away with time and maturity. All-in-all, an impactful presence on the ice that strives to be difficult to play against; given how hard he works and how smart he is with the puck, he can be a very difficult player to read with and without the puck."
-Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
"Noah is a strong competitor who wants to make a difference in the defensive and offensive zones. He is good with the puck and with improvement in his agility and quickness, his game will become that much stronger. He has a good feel for situations and makes solid plays. Not spectacular in any sense of the word but has that ‘can do, will do’ approach to winning."
"Juulsen has taken his game to another level and has been consistent throughout the season. We're very comfortable saying that he is a legitimate first round contender."
-Dan Marr, Director of NHL Central Scouting
"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."
-Kris Baker, Sabres Prospects