Nolan Allan Scouting Report: 2021 NHL Draft #68

Nolan Allan Scouting Report
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Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Nolan Allan Scouting Report. 

The nephew of former NHLer Chad Allan, Prince Albert defenceman Nolan Allan is carving his own path to the NHL. Drafted in the first round, third overall of the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, Allan has not disappointed. Known for his defensive game, the offensive numbers are pedestrian though. In 16 games with Prince Albert this season Allan scored a goal and an assist for two points. He also picked up two goals and three assists for five points in five games while on a short loan with the La Ronge Ice Wolves in the SJHL. Allan really made his presence felt in a checking role for Team Canada at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. While he scored just a goal and an assist, he was a big part of the Canadian Team that won Gold in Texas.

In 2019-20 Allan scored two goals and eight points in 56 games with Prince Albert. He was also selected to play for Team Canada Red at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. Allan picked up one assist in five tournament games. Allan got in seven games with Prince Albert as an underage in 2018-19. He picked up one assist.

Nolan Allan Scouting Report

Left Defence — shoots Left
Born April 28th, 2003 — Davidson, Saskatchewan
Height 6’2″ — Weight 195 lbs [188 cm / 88 kg]

Skating

Allan is a solid skater, especially given his size. His mobility allows him to play a solid defensive game. He has a good stride in both directions and is especially quick going backwards. His crossovers are strong and efficient. They allow him to pick up speed while defending, and also give him good lateral movement to maintain his gap control. His agility is also very good and it is tough to get around him in one-on-one situations. Allan is strong on his skates. He is tough to knock off the puck. He also does a good job of winning battles along the boards and in front of the net. Allan should only continue to get better at this aspect of his game as he continues to mature and get stronger.

Offensive Game

What you see is what you get with Allan’s offence. There is not a lot there. Rather it is his defensive game that is his calling card. Allan makes a good first pass to start the transition game but does not carry the puck up the ice himself very often. He is also not the type to join the rush as a trailer, preferring to stick to his defensive responsibilities. In the offensive zone, he lacks offensive instincts. Allan moves the puck quickly, taking the safe pass instead of being patient at the line and finding scoring opportunities.

Allan can also work on his shot. He doesn’t use his lateral mobility well enough to open up shooting lanes. As a result, Allan’s slapshot can either hit the defender’s shinpads or miss the net. He is a bit more effective with his wrist shot though. He has good power and a quick release on it. However, Allan does not shoot enough. Again he prefers the safe pass around the perimeter of the zone and asks teammates to do the offensive work. He is also pretty safe at the blue line. He does not pinch in to keep the play alive very often.

Defensive Game

Allan is an excellent defender for his age. He is very physical and will through a big hit if an attacker comes down his side of the ice with his head down. He maintains very good gap control and funnels attackers to the outside and away from the net. If they try to sneak by him, he will lower the boom. Allan also likes to step up in the neutral zone to throw these hits or to make a poke check and cut off the attack before it even reaches the defensive zone.

In the zone, Allan is physical in defending the cycle along the boards and fights for loose pucks. He also does a good job of keeping the front of the net clear. Allan is strong positionally, with his active stick cutting down passing lanes. He reads the play well, anticipating the plays of opponents and cutting them off. Allan is particularly strong on the penalty kill, maintaining his position and cutting off passing and shooting lanes. He also does a good job of preventing the opponents from setting up and getting the puck down the ice. When a turnover is created, he is able to move the puck up the ice quickly with a pass, helping his team transition to offence.

Projection and Comparison

Allan has the size, skating, physicality and defensive skills to develop into a top-four defenceman. He will likely never be the lead defenceman on his pair but would be a compliment to a more offensive defenceman. With his ability to dominate defensively in the WHL, there is hope that he can take more risks and develop some offence in the next couple of years. That would be a real bonus to the team drafting him, but it’s really the defensive projection that will get Allan drafted. He could play big minutes against opponents’ top lines and on the penalty kill if he reaches his potential. Allan’s game is reminiscent of Joel Edmundson, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Nolan Allan that are available on youtube as well as Twitter.

 

Check back later for our latest draft article.

 

Nolan Allan Scouting Report Main Photo: