Name: Serron Noel
Team: Oshawa Generals (OHL)
Stats: 28 goals, 25 assists, 53 points
Position: Right wing
NHL Central Scouting Ranking: 10th (North American Skaters)
NHL Comparable Player: Michael McCarron
I don’t actually know how scouting departments work. That’s just part of being a blogger. I can make some assumptions, few of which are actively educated. Is it a goofy hivemind of hockey men wondering what magic beans they can get for a potential star just because he’s not part of their culture? Is it a goofy verbal brawl of scouts from different regions having to contend with someone who believes there’s value in “whacking ya with the stick”, which explains why Sean Monahan was pick No. 13 on at least one professional draft board?
I like watching this behind the scenes stuff because I don’t actually know. If we had eyes and ears for Dallas’ scouting department, we could probably make a few assumptions — namely that size matters. Whether it was Denis Gurianov over Barzal and Connor, Valeri Nichushkin over Max Domi, Remi Elie over Nic Petan, or Riley Tufte over Alex Debrincat — the Dallas Stars scouting department seem to love their big north-south wingers.
Obviously there’s some hindsight at work there; especially without knowing how some of these prospects will perform in the long run. But if Dallas holds true to form, then Serron Noel might have Dallas’ attention going into the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Noel sits at a massive 6’5” and 200 pounds, or roughly the size of a small building. Despite his frame, he’s incredibly nimble for his size. A lot of his goal work has been done as a net-front presence, as he is able to tip in, deflect, and bludgeon with the puck. In addition, he has some very soft hands, able to handle the puck in close to pull back and release.
This gif was taken from Corey Pronmen’s article back in April on prospects causing the biggest debates, so I recommend checking out the article in its entirety:
This gif is a good example of why you might not be able to blame most teams for paying strong attention to Noel. He’s more than just a big man, or power forward, but a forward with good instincts for offense (as opposed to being just good size with some finish). In fact, he’s a terror on the forecheck precisely because he’s not looking to take the man at all times, instead relying on his reach, and puck pursuit.
Where does Noel figure into Dallas plans?
I’ll be frank with my personal opinion on this — hopefully not at all. Part of my problem with teams drafting for size is their inability to recognize the circular logic of it all — if size is an asset at the NHL level, then why isn’t that power forward scoring more points than the 5’10” boy at the other end? This is a deep draft. At No. 13, there are simply too many superior options in a very deep draft.
Having said that, if Dallas thought so highly of Tufte, they’d be inconsistent for ignoring Noel. Noel is a right winger, which Dallas could still use (especially if they’ve soured on Gurianov — keep in mind, this isn’t the rumor mill; I don’t think this is the case at all). He has above average vision given his profile as a north-south winger, and he’s spent time on the PK for Oshawa to hone his defensive ability.
Noel may not be a good pick at No. 13, but that doesn’t mean the team picking him won’t be getting a good player.