#14 Jared McIsaac, D, Halifax (9/30/17)

vs. Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

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Rangy 2018 NHL Draft defensive prospect Jared McIsaac shows he has no shortage of confidence in his ability to make opponents miss. Scooping up the puck behind his net, he uses a very slick delay on the attacking forward making him think he was caught. Bursting right past him took guts, and skill, but it was very risky. Volatile seems to be the name of the game with McIsaac.

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Here McIsaac shows classic defensive zone puck movement that is crisp until he puts it diagonally on the tape of teammate Barrett Dachyshyn. Dachyshyn bungles forward progress by bringing the puck back into his own zone and flinging an errant pass. Thankfully, McIsaac comes to his aid along the R boards, collects the puck, and jams it out. This is a plus sequence for McIsaac who shows fluid in stride mobility/hands with the puck as well as composure to clean up his teammates mistake.

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Keep your eye on the eventual one-on-one matchup where McIsaac gets taken wide and beaten by a step to the middle of the ice. Atoning for his open ice misplay, he doesn’t give up using his stickwork to prevent the shot from getting off. With the play driving to the corner boards, he makes no mistake on finishing his check off aggressively.

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Entrusted as the lone D on the PP formation, McIsaac shows some unsteadiness in pass delivery sending one puck into Max Fortier’s skates, and the other lands as a slap pass that doesn’t have enough steam for the amount of finesse it lacked.

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All is well until the shot is taken, where McIsaac proceeds to get pushed lightly and loses his man in front of the net who ends up scoring.

#19 Benoit-Olivier Groulx, C, Halifax (9/30/17)

vs. Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

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2018 NHL Draft top prospect Benoit-Olivier Groulx takes a lead pass from his D man and goes exit-to-entry with significant steam in an impressive pro display. We see him release a shot in the slot, but what’s going to excite scouts is how he stops at the net and gets his own rebound and jams it home. That, friends, is an NHL caliber goal. With size, more speed, and more skill, he might just be what we all wanted Max Comtois to be last year.

#1 Alexis Gravel, G, Halifax (9/30/17)

vs. Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL)

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Despite teammate and fellow 2018 NHL Draft prospect Jared McIsaac getting turned inside out badly, Alexis Gravel is fascinatingly still as he waits for the Titan’s Truchon-Viel to take the direct path/shot he’s waiting for. Gravel’s presence screams top prospect as he stays square, uses minimal effort on the L pad kick, and pushes off smoothly and quickly into standup facing his redirect.

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Again, it’s not chaotic flair that catches you, it’s the fact that Gravel has such calm mannerism when surveying the developing play. He navigates the play around his zone, and is more than ready when that point shot is taken. Gravel makes a really difficult R leg kick save on a close range shot look easy.

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This is a real simple frame demonstrating Gravel’s poise with Acadie-Bathurst bringing the puck and bodies at the net full force. He keeps his position with opponents barreling at him, and makes a easy L pad save.

#53 Noah Dobson, D, Acadie-Bathurst (9/30/17)

vs. Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL)

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2018 NHL Draft top prospect Noah Dobson gaps up fellow draft eligible Benoit-Oliver Groulx, puts a stop to his left wing drive, and manages to pressure him into leading the puck out of the offensive zone right after the entry. Groulx’s a thick 6’1” 190 so it’s nice to see Dobson move confidently against him.

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On this play, unlike the last, Dobson can’t handle the overwhelming closing speed of Benoit-Olivier Groulx and gets pressured into a turnover that is righted with the help of his teammates.

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Dobson and Groulx are back at it again, this time with Dobson gapping up just like the first clip. While this is becoming an apparent matchup, keep watching. Dobson has the presence of mind to present himself right after the stop as a breakout option, delays for support, then takes off again in the neutral zone, and then stops himself at center ice and peels off. Very impressive offensive patterning with smart executional instincts.

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This clip is about a minute long showcasing Dobson as a triggerman on the PP. He has a very secure handle on the puck, as the first reception and subsequent body angling for a shot shows.

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Dobson loses the puck initially in the corner boards, but sticks with the play and is able to recover possession. From there, you can see his puck moving ability shine as he accelerates through a check in a dangerous spot behind the net and gains separation. He is able to swiftly hit the center point in his own zone with momentum and head man a crisp pass to his teammate streaking into the offensive zone.