2020 NHL Draft: Noel Gunler Scouting Report
Noel Gunler is a pure sniper and will very likely be the third Swedish prospect to be drafted in the top-ten at the 2020 NHL draft. He tore up the J20 SuperElit league for Lulea last season, scoring 27 goals in 31 games. He was moved up to the Swedish Hockey League club where he appeared in 15 games, adding five points. After being cut from the Swedish under-18 team, he lashed out towards team officials. His maturity has come into question but the skill is undoubtedly there.
Date of birth: October 7, 2001
Place of birth: Lulea, Sweden
Position: right wing
Weight: 176 lbs.
Draft year: 2020 NHL draft
Skating ( B )
Although Gunler has decent top-end speed, his edge-work and starts are only average. He needs to work on his first few steps and a more explosive overall stride. However, his mobility and confidence with the puck are more than adequate when attacking.
Hockey IQ ( A )
Offensive creativity and vision are among the better qualities that Gunler possesses. He is extremely attentive when it comes to finding space and the ability to find open teammates. His offensive instincts are near the top of the 2020 NHL draft class.
Shooting ( A+ )
A lightning quick release and a deadly accurate shot are the marks of a true sniper. Gunler without a doubt has both those traits. He also has the capability of changing his shot angle just prior to unleashing it. Using defenceman for a screen is another weapon that he has mastered. He has a multitude of shots and all are lethal.
Size and physicality ( C+ )
Gunler will need to fill out to have success at the next level but looks to have the frame to be able to do just that. Physical play is not something that he relies on, nor anything that he avoids. Added strength will be beneficial when it comes to board battles.
Defensive game ( C+ )
His defensive game is a work in progress. He makes a modest effort to get back and be in position defensively but sometimes gets caught puck watching and loses his check.
Puck protection skills ( B )
Elite vision and awareness allow Gunler to hold the puck and cycle it in the corner until he can find a more favourable option. Although I wouldn’t class him as a puck possession monster, he does have the skillset to allow him time to make plays.
Undeniably, Gunler has the offensive talent to become a top-ten selection at the 2020 NHL draft. Nonetheless, there are areas of concern that he will need to address. Attitude, coach-ability and defensive awareness are matters that must show improvement if he is to realize his potential.
Rick Warman is a Vancouver Canucks and prospects contributor for Overtime Heroics. Follow him @statman1956 on Twitter
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