We took a little break yesterday from talking about the NTDP kids, but today we are back and talking about the NTDP kids again. Please try to contain your excitement.
It’s been a prolific year for a number of players in this program, and it’s garnered them quite a bit of hype, and deservedly so. And perhaps it speaks to the strength of this class that Snuggerud’s been something of a forgotten piece, even as he scored at over a point per game pace after making very good improvements from his first season to his second. There’s another very good player here.
BSH 2022 Community Draft Board, No. 17: Jimmy Snuggerud
Team: US National Team Development Program (USDP/USHL)
Statistics: 24 G, 39 A in 59 GP (USDP) and 6 G, 20 A in 26 GP (USHL)
No. 11 (NA skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
No. 19 by McKenzie/TSN (midseason)
No. 32 by Dobber Prospects (April)
No. 26 by Wheeler/The Athletic
What’s there to like?
Well, he’s got a great name, for starters. There is that.
But as far as his game goes, there’s also a lot to like there. Snuggerud brings quite a well-rounded game. He’s been put in good situations and playing with strong offensive players, but even in that has continued to develop the defensive side of his game, which puts him in a good spot already as he heads to the University of Minnesota next season. The physical toolkit is also a good one—he’s 6’2” and 186 pounds, with a frame that looks like he’ll be able to fill out well (that is, there isn’t a major concern that he’ll always be a very lanky player), and he can make long stride well and play with the body well, and he’ll continue to get even better in these areas as he gets older and adds strength.
And while the offense of his linemates (more on them later) has been much talked about, Snuggerud has quite a nice offensive toolkit of his own, which is not to be overlooked. He has quick hands and a strong catch-and-release shot, and a heavy one-timer from distance, making him a real shooting threat as well. He’s able to find space well and isn’t easily flustered when facing pressure. He’s also very good behind the net and loves a high-to-low play, which we do love to see, and is a nice skill to have in the back pocket.
Also really standing out is how hardworking of a player Snuggerud is, in that he isn’t afraid to some of the work in the dirty areas for his linemates. He’s quite tenacious, forechecks well, and even in traffic, he sticks with plays and is hard to get off the puck once he’s got it, which makes up for having a bit less in the way of dynamic playmaking ability, relative to some of his teammates.
What’s not to like?
The biggest knock on Snuggerud’s game is his skating, which is a bit awkward. It hasn’t been a massive hindrance to him at the junior level, but it does need work and if it doesn’t improve it will be an issue at the college and professional levels. That said, he has already made progress in fine-tuning that, which is good news, but he’s going to need to be able to keep that ball rolling.
The other piece that might give some pundits a bit of pause is that he did spend this season playing alongside Logan Cooley and Cutter Gauthier, both of whom we’ve talked about in the top-10 of our draft board. Viewings haven’t given us much to suggest that Snuggerud is simply a passenger on that line, but it is always a concern, how much a player is benefitting from playing alongside others with more dynamic talent. Now, sometimes those concerns are overblown (the same was presented with Joel Farabee before he was drafted and we saw how that turned out), but it’s worth keeping in the back of our minds.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
The Flyers are already pretty well stocked with right wingers both at the NHL level and in the pipeline right now, but with the state of flux the team is in and the uncertainty around *gesturing broadly* well, everything, we’re not sure how much weight we want to give that. Snuggerud might well have to do some work to climb up the depth chart, but that shouldn't be an immediate disqualifies.
And as far as the stylistic fit goes, with Snuggerud being that sort of generally well-rounded winger who can kick in a bit of scoring, he’s exactly the type of player that the Flyers have liked to target in the draft. Has that proved to be a bit of a problem for them? Perhaps. But Snuggerud is still a good player, and if he’s the best available for them whenever a pick is happening, he should still be the guy to get.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
They sure could! It would be a reach, to be sure, to pick him at fifth overall, but if the Flyers decide to get weird and move themselves back or somehow get another first round pick entirely and find themselves picking towards the back half of the first round, getting Snuggerud is very much in play.
We’ll make one addition to the poll:
Denton Mateychuk — D, Moose Jaw (WHL) — 13 G, 64 P in 65 GP
Mateychuk is an undersized but dynamic defenseman. His skating pops, showing very quick feet that can easily transition pucks up ice with speed or evade pressure easily. Mateychuk attacks with the puck using his skill, skating and vision, making him a threat off the rush and blue line to create chances He can play with pace, but can also make passes off the point and use his hard shot to create offense. He defends well in the WHL due to his feet but at 5-foot-11 the concern for scouts is how well he’ll be able to check in the NHL. It’s a reasonable concern but I think he’s so talented and the skating is so good that he will find a way to succeed and become a top-four defenseman. - Corey Pronman/The Athletic
Who should be no.18 on the 2022 BSH Community Draft Board
This poll is closed
1. Shane Wright — C, Kingston (OHL)
2. Juraj Slafkovský — LW, TPS (Liiga)
3. Logan Cooley — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
4. Simon Nemec — D, HK Nitra (Slovakia)
5. Matthew Savoie — C, Winnipeg (OHL)
6. David Jiricek — D, HC Plzeň (Czechia)
7. Joakim Kemell — W, JYP (Liiga)
8. Conor Geekie — C, Winnipeg (OHL)
9. Frank Nazar — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
T-10. Brad Lambert — C, JYP/Pelicans (Liiga)
T-10. Cutter Gauthier — C, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
12. Ivan Miroshnichenko — LW, Omskie Krylia (VHL)
13. Jonathan Lekkerimaki — RW, Djurgårdens IF (Ligga)
14. Danila Yurov — RW, Metallurg Magnitogorsk (KHL)
15. Isaac Howard — LW, NTDP (USDP/USHL)
16. Pavel Mintyukov — D, Saginaw Spirit (OHL)
17. Jimmy Snuggerud — RW, US NTDP (USDP/USHL)