Alex Turcotte Scouting Report: 2019 NHL Draft #5

Alex Turcotte
ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 19: Team Langenbrunner forward Alex Turcotte (19) skates with the puck during the USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game between Team Leopold and Team Langenbrunner on September 19, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. Team Leopold defeated Team Langenbrunner 6-4.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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Last season, when Jack Hughes was called up to the Under-18 team, Alex Turcotte took over as the top centre on the US NTDP U-17 team. He would also get called up to the Under-18 team later in the season. Turcotte scored 63 points over 58 games. He also added six points in six games at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge and five points in seven games at the Under-18. He was injured early in this season and missed a long period of time. Turcotte has come back really strong with 23 goals and 53 points in just 30 games.

Turcotte comes from outstanding bloodlines. His father, Alfie Turcotte, was drafted in the first round of the 1983 NHL Draft by the Montreal Canadiens. He played 112 career NHL games. His grandfather, Real Turcotte, played in the NCAA for Michigan State. Turcotte’s uncle, Jeff Turcotte, played in the OHL and ECHL. His cousin, Tara Turcotte, is also playing in the NCAA. Alex Turcotte committed to play for Wisconsin next season. Should he change his mind, his CHL rights are owned by the Saginaw Spirit.

Alex Turcotte Scouting Report

Centre — shoots Left
Born February 26th, 2001 — Island Lake, Illinois
Height 5’11” — Weight 194 lbs [180 cm / 88 kg]

Skating

Turcotte is an excellent skater. He has a long and powerful stride that makes it very difficult to knock him off the puck. Turcotte is exceptionally quick, he has a very good first step and excellent acceleration. His top-end speed is also very good and just a notch below being great. Once he gets a step on a defender, he can take the puck to the net. That may even improve as he continues to recover from the lower body injury that plagued him early in the season. On top of all that is the fact that Turcotte has a non-stop motor. He is always moving his feet, which keeps him one step ahead of his opponents.

Offensive Game

Turcotte controls the play down low, extending the possession and waiting for teammates to get open. When there is an opportunity, he can make a tough pass through tight spaces. Turcotte also has an excellent wrist shot and a quick release. His snapshot and slap shot are also very good. Turcotte has the soft hands to score goals in tight to the net. He is not afraid to take the punishment in front of the net and has the hand-eye coordination to get tip-ins and pounce on rebounds.

Alex Turcotte is relentless in his play, forechecking hard and causing turnovers in the offensive zone. He is a real thorn in the side of opponents. He also has plenty of skill, with his ability to control the puck and make plays while skating at top speed a real asset to his game. Turcotte could use some improvement making quick moves and changing the angles to open up passing lanes and find open teammates. He is a smart player who reads the play well and keeps the puck moving effectively but often is forced into taking a safe pass instead of creating a great scoring chance.

Defensive Game

Alex Turcotte is excellent in the defensive zone. He reads the play well and keeps himself between his man and the front of the net. Turcotte uses an active stick to poke check opponents as well as to intercept passes. He is extremely effective on the penalty kill. He quickly transitions turnovers to offence. Turcotte is not a big hitter, but he is not afraid to take a hit to make a play. He is also relentless in getting after the puck and getting in the mix in the dirty areas of the ice. Despite the lack of really big hits, he is always in the face of his opponents.

Projection and Comparison

Turcotte’s non-stop motor and offensive skills make him a prospect who can play in any situation and fill any role. He may need some time before he is NHL ready but will get plenty of time to bulk up while playing in the NCAA. With a few small improvements, Turcotte could become a number one centre in time. Even if he never reaches that ceiling and becomes an effective two-way second line centre, he will still be a coach’s favourite due to his defensive game and relentless energy. His game is reminiscent of Ryan O’Reilly, but this is a style comparison and not one based on skill or ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Alex Turcotte that are available on youtube.

Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

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