NHL 2016 Draft Radar: Charles McAvoy

Charlie McAvoy isn’t on the same level as the “Big 3” defensemen in this draft. It is a fact that shouldn’t bother the young American as he looks to make a lasting impact in the NHL. He brings something totally different to the table. Did the college route help McAvoy be the current prospect he is now?

NHL CS Ranking

6th among all North American skaters.

The Stats

Scoring at such a young age in the NCAA is very hard to do. While not exactly on a Zach Werenski type level, nonetheless, his numbers are very, very impressive. Boston University found some success this year and he was right in the middle of it all. Taking Hockey East by storm, he is someone that could make the jump to the NHL faster than most prospects. Could a team drafting for need pick him up with that in mind?

Eye Test

As I have done many times already, I go back to Buckeye State Hockey’s Paul Berthelot for a scouting report on McAvoy’s time at the WJC.

“McAvoy played on the third pair for the USA. With Werenski eating up so many minutes for his team, McAvoy’s pairing didn’t see a ton of icetime. McAvoy has a solid shot and good hands. He has 11 points in 19 games with Boston University, and those offensive instincts were on display at the WJC. He joined the rush and pinched to create chances. He has a strong first pass, and he did a good job at moving the puck both out of the defensive zone and while in the offensive zone.”

MyDraftAnalyst’s Steve Kournianos had this to say about McAvoy’s year:

“Sturdy two-way defenseman who immediately became a key cog on Boston University’s blueline. A native of Long Island who was reared in the Gulls’ program before a run with last year’s NTDP under-18 squad, McAvoy is built for the modern game – thick, explosive and assertive. He’s a strong skater with excellent balance and superior mobility both up and across the ice. McAvoy loves to join the rush and can read a play as good as any of his draft-eligible peers – something we saw last year as a defenseman on Team USA.

He’s a confident puck carrier who attacks openings with speed, but can also slow it down and patiently weigh his options. Always moving his feet, McAvoy is capable of slipping through gaps without the puck, or stickhandling around traffic while keeping the puck close to his body. He has a heavy shot that can be delivered with accuracy, and his passes are tape to tape, An undervalued part of his game is physicality, which gets him in hot water as he’s still learning the difference between a timely, legal bone-crushing hit and gross negligence of the rule book.”

Does he fit on the Red Wings?

The prospect pipeline for the Wings defense isn’t strong past Russo and Sproul, it could use someone to give it some real top end depth. McAvoy has played at the highest level and isn’t someone to back down from it, a player that seems to fit into the Red Wings philosophy. He isn’t particularly great at one thing and is good at everything. If the Red Wings are looking to make a splash, this isn’t the player to draft. If they are looking to draft someone solid, that won’t burn them long term, this is the pick to make.

Player Oddity

He will call you out if you steal his tweet. So don’t do it.