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Noel has huge potential, as his combination of size and skill is very intriguing. He is still a bit of a project though, with refinements needed in his skating, stickhandling, and being a consistent threat in the offensive end. Already possessing a strong defensive game, and combining that with good size, Noel likely has a future in the NHL. However, the questions remain about exactly how high his ceiling can be, and if he can reach it. – Last Word on Hockey
Hooo boy. Here we go. Every draft has a player or two in it that are just such impressive physical specimens they have to be considered for the first round. Noel is absolutely one of those guys this year as he comes in at a clean 6’5″. He’s built to be a power forward but he has the hands and goal-scoring ability to be a dominant player at the NHL level. His effort level is inconsistent and his inability to put together his vast physical tools on a nightly basis is the reason he’s not being talked about in the top ten.
Like everyone else, I love his game when he’s locked in but it simply doesn’t happen enough. Defensively, he doesn’t move his feet well and he seems okay letting his teammates do the lion’s share of the work to retrieve the puck and then suddenly wants to get actively involved in the play. He’s not an explosive skater but for a player his size, he’s got an impressive top gear.
Given Colorado’s inability to draft and develop a true power forward save Gabe Landeskog, Noel would be a really interesting fit in Colorado’s system. They’ve failed so far to get quality NHL minutes out of A.J. Greer and Cam Morrison so it’s a concern for me taking Noel and trying to develop him into something they’ve not had much of in recent history. That said, it’s not entirely Colorado’s fault (it’s never fully on the organization or the player when they don’t pan out) they’ve struggled in that area in recent years. It’s still cause for pause with the 16th pick. Like several other first-round prospects, he would be a much more intriguing fit for the Avalanche should they find a way to trade down in the first and pick somewhere in the 20s.
#21 Hockey Prospect
#29 Future Considerations
#22 McKeen’s Hockey