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Get to Know Jack Roslovic
Date of Birth: 1/29/1997
Place of Birth: Columbus, OH, USA
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 183 lbs
Position: Center/Right Wing
Team: United States National U-18 Team
Another USHL star, Jack Roslovic comes not from the Minnesota, Michigan, or Massachusetts powerhouse pipelines but from the competitively more unheralded Ohio hockey program. Roslovic is one of the most heralded players to come out of the youth program setup by the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After leaving the baby Blue Jackets, Roslovic joined the US National Team Development Program, where he proceeded to tear everything apart and show he was a legitimate player on the national stage.
What Scouts See
Quite simply, we have no idea why this kid does not receive more attention from scouting bureaus. For much of the season, he has been perhaps the best all-around player on a US Development team which features not only Colin White, but likely 2016 top-three picks Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk. Roslovic’s propensity for forcing turnovers reminds us of a young John Madden, and he could develop into a shut-down defensive center at the NHL level. Don’t count out his offense, either — he is an outstanding passer, averaging almost an assist per game in the defensively brutal USHL.
Jack Roslovic is more of a playmaker than a goal scorer off the wing. He has very good passing skill, excellent vision, and the hockey IQ to make the smart plays. When he does give up the puck, he often darts into an opening, looking for a give and go from a teammate. Roslovic has extremely good stickhandling ability, and the soft hands to make skilled plays in tight areas. This creates the room for him to open up passing lanes. He has a decent release, but his shot could add power and he could use it more often. His hands are good in close to the net…
…Roslovic’s defensive game shows the same tendencies as his offensive game. When he is really involved in the play, and willing to work in his own end of the rink he can be a very effective player there. However when the intensity wanes, he can start floating and leave the zone early. He needs to work on making sure his intensity level and commitment are high on a night in and night out basis.
What BSN Avalanche sees
Of all the prospects I’ve watched from the USHL, Roslovic confuses me the most. He’s listed at just over 6 feet tall, plays lights out high level hockey when he’s locked in, and he possesses the kind of hockey IQ and raw skill that regularly pushes guys into the first round. Corey Pronman has him rated 53rd, meaning he thinks there are 52 better prospects in this year’s draft. I can’t help but disagree. Roslovic is wildly talented offensively. He sees the ice extremely well, is a great passer, and is your classic playmaking winger.
His level of success has no doubt been buoyed by playing with Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk but Roslovic more than held his own with the two future superstars. He’s a great puckhandler, regularly working his way through traffic and creating space for himself and teammates and utilizing it by making excellent passes few other prospects in this draft could make. His production is off the charts, especially for a USHL player, and his hockey IQ is very high.
Defensively, when Roslovic is at his best, he shows flashes of being an elite defensive player. The high hockey IQ and outstanding vision isn’t just limited to his time with the puck as he reads plays very well defensively and creates havoc on the opposition. His great stickwork helps mold his defensive game as his ability to perfectly time a stick lift or get his stick in the passing lane is uncanny.
Unfortunately, Roslovic is not always locked in or at his best. The scouting report above that dings him for waning intensity and focus is spot on. Some games he’s not 100% committed to playing at his highest level and gets caught in the trap where he hangs high in the defensive zone and looks to breakout without doing any of the hard work. If he can have that coached out of him in pro hockey, Roslovic could be special.
Roslovic is one of the rare prospects currently being looked at as a second rounder who has a very high ceiling and could someday be a top line player on a team without superstars. He’s most likely set to be a very effective second line player, though, and his playmaking ability should carve out a career playing on both sides of special teams.
Expected Draft Position
Based solely on rankings, Roslovic appears to be slated for the second round as he is ranked 39th by CSS, 53rd by ESPN’s Corey Pronman, and 40th by former NHL GM Craig Button. That said, Roslovic is the kind of prospect that frequently sees helium late in the process and could sneak into the end of the first round.
How Does Jack Roslovic Fit In Avalanche Organization?
As a pure center, Roslovic would find himself buried on an organizational depth chart that features current NHL stalwarts Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly, Nathan MacKinnon, and John Mitchell and up-and-coming young players like Joey Hishon, Troy Bourke, Sam Henley, and Conner Bleackley. Needless to say, the uphill climb to seeing significant minutes in the Avalanche organization is extremely steep.
Given Roslovic’s versatility and experience playing right wing, however, he would immediately contend with Borna Rendulic as the best non-NHL regular right wing in the organization (barring the team also drafting a right wing 10th overall). Because Roslovic is such a dynamic and raw player, his availability at 40th overall, where Colorado selects in the 2nd round, is very possible and he would make for a very good pick by the organization.
While he is still several years away from pushing for NHL time, Roslovic will be attending a very good college program in Miami (OH) and should see prominent minutes to aid in his development.