Alex Vlasic Scouting Report: 2019 NHL Draft #29

Alex Vlasic
ST. PAUL, MN - SEPTEMBER 19: Team Langenbrunner defenseman Alex Vlasic (7) and Team Leopold forward Jack Hughes (21) fight for 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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The cousin of San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Alex Vlasic also plays at the back end. Another member of the strong US NTDP squad this season, Vlasic put up four goals and 26 points in 58 games for the program this year. He also played for Team Langenbrunner in the USA Hockey Top Prospects Game. Last season, Vlasic scored nine goals and 29 points in 60 games for the Under-17 squad.

Currently, he and his teammates are playing in the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Vlasic has yet to record a point through four tournament games. Last year, Vlasic put up three points in six games as he helped the American team to the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge gold medal.

Vlasic is committed to attend Boston University next season. If he should change his mind and head down the CHL route, his rights are owned by the London Knights of the OHL.

Alex Vlasic Scouting Report

Defence — shoots Left
Born June 5th, 2001 — Wilmette, Illinois
Height 6’6″ — Weight 198 [198 cm / 90 kg]

Skating

Like many bigger defencemen, Vlasic’s skating has been a concern. However, he has started to improve that area of his game and it has helped him at both ends of the rink. He has decent speed and acceleration but will obviously never be confused for a speedster. Vlasic has improved his agility and edgework but more improvements can still be made in these areas. This has helped him to improve his gap control and to better defend in one-on-one situations. Vlasic shows good balance and decent strength at the junior level but can improve this before he goes to the pro game.

Offensive Game

Vlasic is better known for his defensive game than his offence but there are still some skills here. His slap shot and one-timer are decent but could use a bit more power. This may come as he adds more upper body strength. He has a good wrist shot and is effective at sneaking down from the point to get it off especially on the power play. Vlasic has shown some ability to walk the line in order to open up passing lanes for that shot.

His best offensive skills are seen in the transition game. Vlasic makes a strong first pass out of the zone. He also has the ability to make the long breakaway pass to a streaking winger. Vlasic is not the type of player to lead the rush or take the puck end-to-end. However, he does have good puckhandling skills and can make a move to get the puck out of danger in his end and create space to start that transition.

Defensive Game

Vlasic uses his big body to his advantage, especially in his own end. The towering defender already uses his size effectively to clear the front of the net and win battles on the boards. He can also lay a devastating hit if a forward comes down his side of the ice with their head down. However, he is disciplined enough not to get himself out of position looking for that huge hit. His long stick helps him to take the puck off of opponents and cut down passing lanes. However, he could be even better if he can add muscle to his frame and become even more powerful in these areas.

Projection and Comparison

It often takes big defenders a little longer to develop, and Vlasic is likely to follow that trend. He is a bit of a project at this point. However, he has the type of size that scouts salivate over and is a good skater for his size, with some puck skills. This package makes him an intriguing project with the potential to be a top-four defender in time. Vlasic’s game is reminiscent of Brandon Carlo, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.

Highlights

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

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

 

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

 

ST. PAUL, MN – SEPTEMBER 19: Team Langenbrunner defenseman Alex Vlasic (7) and Team Leopold forward Jack Hughes (21) fight for 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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