The Dallas Stars selected Nicholas Porco at 142nd overall during the fifth round of the 2019 NHL draft. The six-foot left winger comes from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario and currently plays for the Saginaw Spirit in the OHL.
Porco played in 67 games for Saginaw last season. During that time, he picked up 20 goals and 16 assists for a total of 36 points. His penalty minutes were a bit higher than average (20), but still reasonable. Porco was a solid contributor in Saginaw’s postseason campaign, as he posted seven points (three goals, four assists) through 16 games. He finished the playoffs with a +7 plus/minus rating.
The 18-year-old winger was ranked at No. 65 overall by Future Considerations and No. 103 among North American skates by NHL Central Scouting. While there is a large disparity between those two rankings, keep in mind the large pool of North American (and specifically, American) skaters at the 2019 draft, which accounts for some of the difference in ranking. Porco will fit in nicely on the left side of the lineup within the Stars’ development pipeline, and if he reaches the NHL level, will be an asset for depth scoring and offensive opportunities.
Our prospect reporter, Derek Neumeier, had some initial thoughts on the drafting of Porco:
Dallas takes Nicholas Porco at 142.— Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) June 22, 2019
Quick thoughts: I really like this pick. He was 88th on my Top 101 list. Porco is a former high OHL draft pick who hasn't gotten the chance yet to play a lot of minutes, but the tools are there. Good size, powerful skater, can carry the puck
Curious to see how Porco skates? Here’s a great clip of him in transition on the ice:
This is Porco in transition. pic.twitter.com/28V0b4AHQr— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) June 22, 2019
And if you need further highlights, Derek has you covered with this clip from October 2018:
While it takes Porco a few steps to get up to speed, once he’s moving, he uses his quick strides to create separation from the competition and becomes hard to defend against one-on-one due to that fast agility. According to Future Considerations, Porco is also “particularly hard to defend against on the forecheck.” While he doesn’t score in volume, what Porco excels at is creating plays in tight spaces and controlling the puck. Future Considerations did caution that he sometimes “gets selfish with the puck,” preferring to attempt a goal or play himself instead of involving teammates, but that is a trait that can be smoothed out with time and development. Perhaps the best news about his style of play for Stars fans? He absolutely excels at capitalizing on turnovers and executing a fast transition up the ice after doing so.
We’ll have more interviews and content in the coming days thanks to our staff at the draft in Vancouver.