Illinois Native May Go 3rd Overall to Blackhawks In 2019 NHL Draft
By Tony Gianares
The Blackhawks have the opportunity to add a big-time playmaker in Alex Turcotte, who’s also an Illinois native. Turcotte has seen his stock skyrocket lately with strong performances on both the USA U-17 and U-18 teams.
This is one of the most interesting storylines of the 2019 NHL Draft. Turcotte is from Island Lake, IL and has been connected to the Blackhawks. Drafting him would help the Blackhawks fill a team need, as the talent level at the center position has a significant drop off after Jonathan Toews and Dylan Strome.
Who Is Alex Turcotte?
Alex Turcotte is an 18-year-old center who stands at 5’11” 194 lbs. Turcotte plays a solid two-way game with a high motor and high hockey IQ. He tends to be in the right place at the right time. Although he is seen as more of a pass-first playmaker, Turcotte also possesses a strong, accurate wrist shot that he can fit into tight windows.
In today’s NHL, there has been more of an emphasis placed on speed and athleticism. Alex Turcotte checks off both of those boxes. You can find Turcotte using his elite speed to routinely blow past defenders while creating prime scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates. He also likes to create havoc on the forecheck.
This scouting report found on thedraftanalyst.com paints a very vivid picture of what you’re getting with Alex Turcotte,
"“Powerful center with excellent playmaking abilities and game-changing speed who has the potential to become a top-line pivot in the NHL.Turcotte was a key contributor for both the NTDP’s under-17 and under-18 programs, including a midseason promotion to the latter where he produced 16 points in 19 games. He is a fast, agile skater with a wide, powerful stride and the balance of a seasoned NHL power forward.Turcotte possesses superior vision and passing ability, and it’s clear from his first shift that he understands the game’s intricacies and nuances. He plays smart hockey with his head on a swivel and attacks with decisiveness, maintaining situational awareness no matter how fast he’s motoring up ice.” (via thedraftanalyst.com)"
Alex Turcotte’s Resume
Various mock drafts have Alex Turcotte as the 2nd best center, behind Jack Hughes, in the 2019 NHL Draft class. His performance in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship really helped him solidify that spot. In the U18 WJC tournament, Turcotte posted 9 points (4G, 5A) in 7 games with a 4 ± rating.
Overall, Turcotte had a great performance during the 2018-19 season. As a member of the U.S. U18 National team this season, he tallied an impressive 62 points (27G, 35A) in 37 games.
If you’re like me and enjoy player ceiling and point projections, then this next part is for you. Dobberprospects.com currently has Alex Turcotte as an 8.5 fantasy upside (85 point ceiling) with an 8.0 NHL certainty (80% odds of being a full-time NHL player). While these numbers aren’t necessarily set in stone, they’re certainly interesting to think about.
Alex Turcotte has a lot to offer the Blackhawks. He’s a playmaker with the ability to change a game in an instant. He can also help out on special teams which boosts his value even more. This highlight reel should answer any questions you have about Turcotte.
While defense is the Blackhawks’ most glaring need, it is really hard to pass up a playmaker like Alex Turcotte. The Blackhawks can definitely use more game changers like him. The roster depth was exposed last season and a part of the reason why they didn’t make the playoffs.
As it stands right now, Turcotte is committed to the University of Wisconsin for next season. A season of college hockey wouldn’t hurt for development purposes, but fans might not like waiting another year to actually see him make a difference for the Blackhawks.
Good things come to those who wait, and ultimately, Turcotte is a player worth waiting for if he decides to honor his commitment to playing for the University of Wisconsin in 2019-20.