2014 NHL Draft Profile #17 Alex Tuch
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Alex Tuch has had a huge breakout season for the US National team development program. He struggled on the Under 17 team last year, but has exploded this season, with 13 goals and 32 points in 26 games in USHL action, and a further 28 goals and 57 points in the teams 51 game exhibition schedule. The focus of the U18 season though is coming up this week with the Under 18 World Championships and Tuch will hope to help lead the Americans back to the gold medal, after their silver medal performance in 2013. Tuch is committed to go to Boston College next season, though he was drafted by the Guelph Storm in the OHL in 2012.
Centre/Right Wing — shoots right
Born May 10 1996 — Baldwinsville, NY
Height 6.04 — Weight 213 [193 cm/97 kg]
Alex Tuch is built like a truck at 6’4″ and approaching 220 pounds, and he plays the game with the skill to become the type of power forward prospect who many teams covet. His skating stride seems unconventional and awkward, but it doesn’t hold him back as he generates decent speed and has a good first step and adequate acceleration. He’s not a speedster but he can keep up and he has good balance and is strong on the puck. Tuch wins a tone of puck battles using that good balance, and leverage, along with his size. He also uses his balance to fight through checks and get to the dirty areas of the ice in order to put up points. Tuch has good agility for a man his size, and can slip through openings when he sees them.
Alex Tuch uses his size and strength to establish position in front of the net or to win board battles. He also is an effective forechecker and will use his body to get the puck, and while very effective, he is not likely to throw too many highlight reel hits. He is also good at controlling the puck in the cycle game and at driving the net when an opening appears. If an opening doesn’t appear, has been known to drive the net by bowling right over the man defending him. He has soft hands to tip in pucks, pounce on rebounds, and score from in tight when driving the net. He also has one of the hardest wrist shots in the draft class, and a very good release. Tuch adds to that powerful wrister, with a cannon of a slapshot which he can unleash in one-timers. He is able to control the puck in the cycle game and make smart passes to teammates leading to a number of assists. His hockey sense is very good, as Tuch seems to almost always make the smart play with the puck, and he is able to find openings in the defence without it.
Tuch shows good defensive instincts. His hockey IQ is very apparent as he anticipates plays well leading to turnovers and starting the transition game. He is hard on the back check and supports the defense down low. Tuch’s ability to win battles along the boards is seen in all three zones, and his hard-nosed and gritty style certainly helps in his own end of the ice. He is a very good all-around type of player.
Alex Tuch’s game is similar in style to Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes, this is not a talent comparison, but a stylistic one. He could be a power winger for a team in their top six if he continues to develop, and reaches his ceiling. He can really improve if he continues to work on his skating stride.
Here are some highlights of Alex Tuch in action:
Click Here to watch a One News interview with Alex Tuch: http://www.onenewspage.us/video/20131221/1546738/FNF-National-Under-18-player-Alex.htm
Check back tomorrow for my #18 Ranked prospect.
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