After the defenseman in Jake Sanderson, next on our community draft board is forward out of Sweden, Noel Gunler. As one of, if not the most, polarizing prospects of this draft class, Gunler could be one of those late first round steals when all is said and done.
BSH 2020 Community Draft Board, No. 14: Noel Gunler
Team: Luleå HF
Statistics: 4g, 9a in 45 games
No. 9 (Euro skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 18 by Future Considerations
No. 18 by ISS Hockey
No. 10 by Wheeler/The Athletic
What’s there to like?
Offense, offense, and more offense. That’s the name of the game for Gunler who is just about everything you’d want in a winger. He’s a solid skater, great passer, and even better shooter. His shot is what stands out the most from a highlight standpoint as he possesses a quick release and a hard shot to boot. A shooting mentality combined with a great shot and the ability to make the high difficulty pass? Sounds like a perfect mix.
But it’s not just the passing and shooting that makes Gunler stand out, as his hockey sense is plenty to make himself a threat. Take for example this play below: he realizes there’s not going to be much room to get a pass off no matter where he turns, so he does a quick pivot, and rifles a hard shot on net with bodies in front creating in a greasy goal. It’s not the flashiest play you’ll see, but going back to the shooter mentality, you love to see plays like this.
What also helps Gunler’s case is he already has a full season of SHL games under his belt, and is probably pretty close to being NHL ready. For a team like the Flyers, more of these players the better. The team is looking to win now so prospects who are a year away at most will most likely be on their radar.
What’s not to like?
When I said Gunler is a polarizing player, it wasn’t an exaggeration. There are some serious concerns about his consistency:
One of the more polarizing players in this draft, Gunler is an unquestionably talented creator who has drawn criticism internally and externally (as well as from Team Sweden) for his shift-to-shift consistency, skating and commitment off the puck. — The Athletic
Now while this isn’t something necessarily to scoff at, it might be exactly the kind of gamble the Flyers should take if he falls to them at 23rd overall. He seems to be the definition of high risk/high reward. There’s already a decent amount of winger prospects in the system, so they could afford to gamble here.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
As previously mentioned, there are a good amount of wingers in the Flyers system already. But, getting another shoot first kind of player I think is exactly what this team needs. We all know how desperately the fanbase is craving a pure sniper, so stacking up the farm with them may not be the worst idea, especially with Gunler who brings much more than a wicked shot to his game.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
It’s conceivable, actually. Corey Pronman of The Athletic has him going to Philadelphia on his mock draft, and without a doubt those concerns about his character and commitment will at least make some teams hesitant on picking him. He’s one of those players that could go right outside the top 10, or could fall into the 20’s.
We’ll make two additions to the poll:
Jack Quinn — RW, Ottawa 67’s (OHL) — 52 G, 37 A in 62 GP
Quinn always had the talent, but it was his slight build and lack of power that held him back. Once he began working with trainer Tony Greco, who also trains Philadelphia Flyers Captain Claude Giroux, Quinn was able to bring up his fitness to match his on-ice ability. It sounds cliché, but it’s that tireless work ethic on and off the ice that has allowed the young prospect to shoot up the draft rankings so quickly. With nearly a goal per game this season, it goes without saying that Quinn can really shoot the puck. In a recent OHL coaches poll, he finished third in Eastern Conference voting for both “most dangerous in goal area” and “best shot,” beat out by the aforementioned Robertson plus Hamilton Bulldogs sharpshooter Arthur Kaliyev. — The Hockey Writers
Mavrik Bourque — C, Shawinigan Cataractes (QMJHL) — 29 G, 42 A in 49 GP
Bourque was a top scorer in the QMJHL this season, as Shawinigan’s clear leading player. He’s a player who gets a lot of praise for his skill and especially his hockey sense. Bourque is an elite passer. He has tremendous patience and anticipation to let plays develop, hold the puck for an extra second and find his teammates. He makes difficult plays that most other players don’t see. While his passing is his clear best strength, he also has a great shot and can score from tough positions on the ice. His hands are high-end, but he has a pass-first mentality with the puck. I find instead of making a skilled move and making a hard play to the net, he likes to slow it down and look for his passing options – something that will need to improve at the quicker paces. Bourque isn’t that big, but I like his compete level and that he can penalty kill. His skating is fine, but not great. He has enough quickness to get around and is agile in tight areas, but he lacks the ability to create true separation at the NHL level. — The Athletic
2020 BSH Community Draft Board
- Alexis Lafreniere — LW, Rimouski (QMJHL)
- Quinton Byfield — C, Sudbury (OHL)
- Marco Rossi — C, Ottawa (OHL)
- Tim Stützle — LW/C, Manheim (DEL)
- Cole Perfetti — LW/C, Saginaw (OHL)
- Lucas Raymond — RW, Frölunda (SHL)
- Jamie Drysdale — D, Erie (OHL)
- Alexander Holtz — LW/RW, Djurgardens (SHL)
- Yaroslav Askarov — G, SKA (KHL)
- Anton Lundell — C, HIFK (Liiga)
- Connor Zary — C, Kamloops (WHL)
- Seth Jarvis — RW/C, Portland (WHL)
- Jake Sanderson — D, U.S National U18 (USDP)
- Noel Gunler — RW/LW, Luleå HF (SHL)
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. 16 on the 2020 BSH Community Draft Board?
This poll is closed