After a run of defensemen on the draft board, we see two forwards in a row. Let’s learn about Joe Veleno.
BSH 2018 Community Draft Board, No. 11: Joe Veleno
Position / Team: C/ Drummondville Voltigeurs, (QMJHL)
2017-18 Statistics: 22 G, 57 A in 64 GP
Size: 6’1” 194
What’s there to like?
Joseph Veleno spent his 2017-2018 season with two different clubs in the QMJHL this year, and it was essentially a tale of two seasons. Veleno came into the year with the Saint John’s Seadogs as the captain, however he was traded midseason to Sean Couturier’s QMJHL team, the Drummondville Voltigeurs. After scoring 31 points in 31 games with Saint John’s, Veleno scored 48 in 33 games with Drummondville.
Veleno is one of the more high hockey IQ players in this draft, that along with his skating are two main reasons for his high spot in draft rankings. Veleno is an explosive skater who — when at top speed — can create real problems for defenses. He’s also strong on the puck which gives his playmaking ability a chance to shine. His actual passing talent isn’t so much what makes his playmaking so deadly, it’s his ability to read defenses and know how plays are going to develop. With that said, his passing is pretty good as well.
Veleno can do a great job of getting under opposing player’s skins with his forechecking ability, which one would hope translates to him being able to draw more penalties than he takes, at the NHL level.
What’s not to like?
The main issue with Veleno is his shooting and finishing ability. Veleno has shown flashes of having a really good shot, but the consistency of that shot has been lacking. He’s always going to be more of a playmaker, and that’s fine, but he’s going to need to finish if he wants to take his game to the next level.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
Veleno would slot in behind Frost in terms of center prospects at least for me. I think Frost’s upside is better but Veleno absolutely has the makings of a play-driving dominant third line center in the NHL. And if he sorts out his consistency issues, all of a sudden we’re looking at him most likely more as a very good second line center.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
I think he would have to fall a bit, but yes. It’s not a shoe-in that he’ll be there at 14 but if the right things happen, the Flyers could be looking at another top notch center prospect.
What the Voltigeurs forward has is a good shot, great hands and the ability to distribute the puck. He’s accurate in his passes, can thread the needle to his targets and collects assists by doing so. He also consistently looks to get inside the dots in the offensive zone, making him a player to watch.
There’s no shortage of different elements to like about Veleno’s game, and the things that jump out at you in a good way can change from shift to shift. What stands out the most often though is his puck control, as it’s a regular occurrence to see him assertively guiding the puck around his body like a puppeteer controlling a marionette. With quick, smooth hands and quick, smooth feet, Veleno is able to navigate the rink with ease and poise, while opposing players try to calculate the best possible ways to get the puck away from him.
Going to continue the trend of adding two the board, this time with forwards Serron Noel, and Grigori Denisenko.
Serron Noel — RW, Oshawa Generals (OHL) — 28 G, 25 A in 62 GP
Noel is a very intriguing player that will likely cause a few battles in draft rooms. At 6’5 and nearly 210lbs, he is going to open the eyes of a lot scouts that still value size and grit over other things. They will see his game down low and in front of the net and envision James van Riemsdyk or even Blake Wheeler. There are aspects to Noel’s game that give him the possibility to become that good - it will just be a long development process. He has proven the ability to put the puck in the net, particularly in close to the crease.
— via Mile High Hockey
Grigori Denisenko — LW, Loko Yaroslavl (MHL) — 9 G, 13 A, in 31 GP
As he moves from zone to zone, he can beat opponents one-on-one in a multitude of ways if they skate too slowly against him, and do so very smoothly: go under their sticks, push the puck through feet, or, as he gains the zone, make a quick and powerful cut to the middle to fire a shot.
— via Habs Eyes on the Prize
2018 BSH Community Draft Board
- Rasmus Dahlin — D, Frolunda (SHL) (no vote)
- Andrei Svechnikov -- RW, Barrie (OHL) (60% of the vote)
- Filip Zadina — LW, Halifax (QMJHL) (74%)
- Brady Tkachuk — LW, Boston University (NCAA) (57%)
- Oliver Wahlstrom — C/RW, USNTDP (USHL) (40%)
- Quinn Hughes — D, Michigan University (NCAA) (50%)
- Adam Boqvist — D, Brynas IF (SHL) (42%)
- Evan Bouchard — D, London (OHL) (49%)
- Noah Dobson — D, Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) (50%)
- Jesperi Kotkaniemi —C, Assat (Liiga) (34%)
- Joe Veleno — C, Drummondville (QMJHL) (38%)
Please use your vote below to answer the following question: If all of the players listed were available when the Flyers were on the clock, who would you want them to pick?
Who should be No. 12 on the 2018 BSH Community Draft Board?
This poll is closed