Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day our LWOS Prospects Writers will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2023 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow Ben Kerr, Kyle Pereira and Frederik Frandson 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”! Today we bring you our Oliver Moore Scouting Report.
During the 2023 NHL draft, one of the very interesting stories to follow will be the placement of the four horsemen of the USNTDP. One of these four players is Oliver Moore, who is among the best skaters in the 2023 draft class. His speed sets him up for offensive success and helped him to a brilliant year despite playing on the second line for the US NTDP. In 61 games with the Under-18 squad, he had 75 points. He also had success internationally as he was a key part of the gold-winning Team USA at the recent IIHF Under-18 World Championship. Moore scored nine points in the seven-game tournament.
Oliver Moore Scouting Report
Centre — shoots Left
Born January 22nd, 2005 — Mounds View, Minnesota
Height 5’11” — Weight 188 lbs [180 cm / 85 kg]
As mentioned in the introduction, Moore’s greatest weapon is his speed. It is a real treat to watch him turn on the jets and blow past defenders. His acceleration and top-end speed are remarkable, and it allows him to be a deciding factor on most nights. When he has the puck and is allowed to skate with it, something good will happen.
On top of his speed, his slick edges and smooth transitions make Moore an extremely elusive player. He is dangerous on the rush, where his speed can be a nightmare to defend. His dynamic skating ability also helps him to beat defenders and control the puck in the offensive zone. His skating ability allows him to play in a similar way to Kirill Kaprizov. They are both able to use their edgework and acceleration to beat defenders and open up a lane for a shot or pass. Off the rush, he is as good as anyone in the draft, which allows him to be the perfect transition player. Moore is able to control the flow of a game whenever he hits the ice, speeding things up or slowing them down.
While Moore’s speed is where he shines the brightest, it’s by no means his only quality. His hockey sense is also brilliant, as he reads the game extremely well. He is able to find teammates and keep plays alive in the offensive end. Moore can also use his decent puck handling to keep the puck away from pressure. He is patient and often waits until a play develops before suddenly changing the pace of the game when a chance presents itself. Given his speed, this quick thinking and decision-making add a lot of dimensions to his offensive game.
Another of Moore’s attributes that he uses well is his shot. It comes off his stick quickly and he has a highly accurate wrist shot that can overpower most goalies. He uses it a lot off the rush to generate rebounds or as a way to create pressure on the opponent. The offensive zone pressure is often continued due to his great work rate and energy on every shift. He forechecks effectively and keeps the puck in the offensive zone.
Moore is a well-coached player, who isn’t scared to battle for the puck along the boards. Although it does present one of his weaknesses which is his size and strength. It’s not brilliant and he is often too easily pushed off the puck when defenders get close to him. However, if he can bulk up a bit or work on getting better control of the puck when pressured, he might become a very complete NHL player in the future. Given his age, it is expected that he can add some muscle to his frame.
In his own zone, Moore is also a very complete player. He works hard to win the puck back and shows his strong work ethic in all three zones of the ice. Defensively he is often the first forward back on the backcheck, and despite his size, he is able to win a lot of pucks just due to his hard work and energy.
Moore’s speed is also a great weapon to break out the puck and one that can change the momentum of the game in an instant. Once he gets the puck in his own zone, he can avoid pressure well and if he is allowed to get space, he will move the puck with speed in transitioning from defence to offence. Moore often does this in a way where defenders can be caught flatfooted, in the middle of a line change, or at the end of a shift.
Comparable and Prediction:
When looking at Oliver Moore he has a lot of tools that are similar to Cole Caufield. Another undersized forward, with blistering speed, great competitive levels, and a strong hockey sense and shot. In a draft with so many fantastic center prospects, Moore’s name has gone slightly unnoticed. Not because of his talents, but because his game and skill are slightly less refined than those of Connor Bedard or fellow USNTDP center, Will Smith. However, his speed is something that will be intriguing for a lot of teams looking for a center. The question is whether his size will make him drop during the draft.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Oliver Moore that are available on youtube and Twitter.
Corey Pronman’s latest mock draft has the Winnipeg Jets selecting Centre Oliver Moore at #19.
— Connor Hrabchak (@ConnorHrabchak1) May 11, 2023
Depending on how the board falls, I'm all in on Oliver Moore (#11, white) at 15th overall
Powerful skater who has some of the quickest acceleration in this class… handles the puck well, spins off defenders, attacks open ice, and scores a lot… all at 5'11"#2023NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/tOW3hGKEQw
— Preds Prospects (@OnTheFuturePBR) May 14, 2023
Oliver Moore (2023) with the cross-slot feed, and Cole Eiserman (2024) with the finish. pic.twitter.com/frG5DTFlDu
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) April 22, 2023
Check back later for our next 2023 NHL Draft article.
Main Photo: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports