Name: Ryan Poehling
2016-17 Team: St Cloud State University (NCAA)
Stats: 35 GP, 7 goals, 6 assists, 13 points, 12 PIMs
Future Considerations Ranking: 20th
NHL Comparable Player: Patrik Berglund
When looking at the stats from his draft season it wouldn’t be outrageous to ask why Ryan Poehling was being considered as a first round pick in the draft.
Poehling has spent the past year with St Cloud State university in the NCAA, facing players who are multiple years older than him, on a depth line for the Huskies.
He would probably be one of the youngest players in the NCAA and despite his low numbers it doesn’t show his inherent talent level.
Firstly his seven goals last season comes off the back of only recording 33 shots on goal through 29 games. Like many young freshman in the NCAA, Poehling has been playing a careful game, focussing more on not making mistakes rather than rushing up the ice and shooting the puck constantly.
On the face of it Poehling has the frame to be a big centreman at the NHL level. Currently he is 6’3” and 185lbs, by the time he leaves the NCAA it would be expected that he would be closer to 200lbs.
Poehling is a good skater, but not brilliant, and plays a solid but not flashy game. He has a lot of hockey awareness and is already a reliable player defensively in the NCAA.
He is good on the forecheck and helps out a lot in his own zone.
Unlike many other forwards who could be taken in the first round, Poehling needs to work on his offensive game.
First of all he needs to shoot the puck more and be more confident in coming out of his defensive role.
Some suggest his offensive production has been lowered from playing on a team where there isn’t a lot of talent at his level.
He played with his brothers on a line, both of them are also Huskies, but neither are at the same talent level as him.
In terms of his potential, Poehling has the skill to be a second line centre in the NHL whose emphasis will be more on defense than offense but will be able to chip in.
Poehling is expected to be taken anywhere from 15th to 25th overall in the first round, in the gap between the Dallas Stars first round picks.