Serron Noel is a big boy. Standing at 6’5”, he’s one of the bigger forwards on the board at this year’s draft. As a right winger, he’s expected to be a scorer, which he’s managed to be in the OHL. With a frame like his, he’ll also be expected to play big in the defensive zone, something he’s still warming up to.
Size is one of those things that you just can’t teach, so I’m sure he’ll be on lots of teams’ radars at this year’s NHL Entry Draft.
NHL CS RANKING
Projected to go 10th overall among North American skaters.
I alluded to it above, but Noel had a pretty solid sophomore season with the Oshawa Generals of the OHL. His 53 points in 62 games was a massive improvement over 2016-17’s outing, especially considering 28 of those points were goals. His playoffs performance is a bit of a concern as he only recorded one point, an assist, through five games of the OHL’s first round. This could call into question Noel’s ability to play in high-pressure situations.
However, he did score six points in five games for Team Canada at the U18 World Junior Championships. I wouldn’t be concerned about an inability to play in big games, his playoff performance is likely just some inconsistency in his game that will need to be ironed out.
THE EYE TEST
Like most big players, Noel’s skating needs some work. He’s a little slow, especially on his acceleration. His stick work is also a little sloppy, but that’s something that is easily developed over the next few years.
Where he’s really good is against the boards and in the corners. Noel uses his strength to win battles and find open ice. He’s always got his head up and knows just where to find his teammates. He’s also got long arms and a long stick that help him take away passing lanes in the defensive zone.
Finally, Noel has a killer shot. He’s a natural goal scorer with a very strong wrist shot. He kind of reminds me of Anthony Mantha in that regard. He could very well be a 30-goal scorer in the NHL if he improves where he’s lacking.
IS HE A MOTOR CITY MATCH?
While Detroit is in desperate need of a goal scorer, they have more desperate needs in the back end and at center. I’m not a huge proponent of them taking a winger in the first round, but if Noel starts to slide and is the best player available at 30, then I wouldn’t be opposed to Detroit taking him. His size and scoring ability are great depth for any NHL team.
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