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At 6’5″ Serron Noel has the size that NHL teams crave. Even with more and more small players succeeding in the league, there is still no substitute for being able to combine size and skill. NHL teams will still put a premium on finding that elusive power forward prospect. In looking at the Oshawa Generals winger, one NHL team will walk away from the NHL Draft hoping they have found that elusive combination.
Noel started this season playing for Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament. Though he scored just one goal in five games, he came home with a gold medal. Noel put up 28 goals and 53 points in 62 games for the Oshawa Generals. However, he did not have the same success in the OHL playoffs, with just one assist in the team’s five-game, first round loss to the Niagara IceDogs. Noel is currently back with Team Canada, playing at the IIHF Under 18 World Championships in Russia. Through two games, he scored two goals and two assists for four points.
Noel’s father Dean played in the CFL, spending time with the Ottawa Rough Riders, and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Serron Noel Scouting Report
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born August 8th, 2000 — Guelph, Ontario
Height 6’5″ — Weight 209 lbs [196 cm / 95 kg]
Coming into the season Noel was heavily criticized for his skating. He struggled during his rookie season in 2016-17, as he seemed to be a step behind the play. While the skating is still a work in progress, it has vastly improved this season. Noel generates very good speed for a big man and has really improved his first few steps and acceleration. While his stride looks awkward, it gets him where he needs to go. If he gets a step on his man, he can really bear down and pull away on the rush. He has a powerful lower-body, giving him excellent balance. Noel can fight through checks and get to the front of the net. He is also extremely strong on the puck and controls down low on the cycle. Noel rarely loses board battles. However, Noel has issues with his agility and edgework. He could work on being more fluid in his turns and quick stops and changes of direction.
Noel projects as a goal scorer. He has one of the hardest wrist shots in the entire draft, generating excellent power. His accuracy is good, and he features a quick release. Noel uses his size to get to the front of the net. His quick hands help him finish in tight, with tip-ins, scoring rebounds, or making quick moves to beat a goalie in tight. Further out, he needs some work on his one-timer. He also needs to be more consistent in finding opportunities to get his shot off. So much of the NHL game is generating shots, and Noel can sometimes leave one waiting for him to shoot more.
Noel creates offence through his size and strength. He is very good on the forecheck, pressuring defenders and forcing them to make poor decisions. As mentioned Noel is very strong on the boards and in protecting the puck in the cycle. He moves the puck smartly and keeps his head up to find the open man. Noel could use a bit of work on his stick handling ability though.
Noel uses his size effectively in the defensive zone. He anticipates plays well and gets his long stick into passing lanes. Noel has been an effective penalty killer for the Generals. He creates turnovers and transitions quickly to offence. Despite his size, Noel is not known as a big hitter. As mentioned he battles hard in front of the net, and he works well on the boards, but he is not one to use his frame to throw big checks.
Projection and Comparison
Noel has huge potential, as his combination of size and skill is very intriguing. He is still a bit of a project though, with refinements needed in his skating, stickhandling, and being a consistent threat in the offensive end. Already possessing a strong defensive game, and combining that with good size, Noel likely has a future in the NHL. However, the questions remain about exactly how high his ceiling can be, and if he can reach it. Stylistically, Noel’s game is reminiscent of James van Riemsdyk, but this is not to be taken as a projection of ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the many highlight packages of Noel that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
ST CATHARINES, ON – OCTOBER 15: Serron Noel #8 of the Oshawa Generals skates during an OHL game against the Niagara IceDogs at the Meridian Centre on October 15, 2016, in St Catharines, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)