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Entry Draft Options: Alex Turcotte

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A talented all-around Center who projects as a safe second line pivot

2018 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The University of Wisconsin commit has had an explosive year with the USNDP and is projected to go anywhere from fourth overall to tenth. His talent and numbers are undeniable and despite his College commitment - if he is available when the Ducks select 9th - he would be a steal and worth waiting for when done with his tertiary study. The Illinois native has had a rough draft year after missing 22 games with injury but he bounced back to finish behind Hughes and Zegras on the team in points per game.

Alex Turcotte

Position: Center

Team: USNTDP

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 194lb (88kg)

Age: 18 (DOB Feb 26, 2001 - Island Lake, IL)

Shoots: Left

Of all of the names left after the Hughes and Kakko selections are made, Turcotte is perhaps one of the more contentious ones. Some scouts feel his two-way game in tandem with the kind of talent level he has demonstrated already will make him an easy safe pick for teams unwilling to take a risk on a youngster whose high ceiling may not be reachable.

Others feel that he lacks the game-breaking ability that some of his peers have and caution against taking him ahead of say the likes of Cozens or Podkolzin - particularly because he has been coming back from a major hip injury that caused him to miss a lot of time this season.

Where it is true his strengths do lie in his two way game and defensive abilities, he is noted as an excellent skater, and quick with a very good first step. He also likes to control the play down low, is patient with the puck and finding seams. Perhaps part in parcel with his defensive awareness is his relentless forecheck, and adeptness at forcing turnovers in the offensive zone to create opportunities for either himself or teammates.

Our friends at winingitinmotown are very high on him, being so bold as to say they would select him at third overall if they had the selection. Wheeler states that Turcotte has blown him away, re-iterates his fore-check ability as well as being strong on the puck and notes that he has already started evolving his game into more of a scorer. Pronman notes him as a well-rounded prospect who has matured over the season to use high-end skill & vision to create offense rather than reckless use of speed.

On the year he had 62 points in 37 games for the National U18 team and totaled 9 points in 7 games on the US team that beat out Canada for the Bronze in Sweden.

It is tough to say if he would still be around when the Ducks select at nine, but if he is - despite Murray not selecting a College-bound kid from this high in the draft in some time - I cannot see him passing up the opportunity to take a player who could potentially turn into a number one center.