2021 NHL Draft Prospect: Joe Palodichuk


The Participant

Joe Palodichuk

Hill-Murray College(MN)/Bismarck Bobcats(NAHL)

5’11” 154 lbs.

Closing NHL Central Scouting Rank: 109th amongst North American Skaters

The Narrative

Joe Palodichuk was one of many high gamers in Minnesota highschool hockey this previous season, ending as a finalist for the state’s Mr. Hockey award. He was a standout defenseman Hill-Murray, one of many high hockey packages within the metro Twin Cities. There wsa a time when that alone was sufficient to get a participant drafted. However with US junior leagues turning into deeper in expertise lately, NHL groups have began to position extra emphasis on gamers that produce towards larger ranges of competitors, viewing them because the safer alternative.

Palodichuk is an especially cell defenseman that has proven nice skating capability, however doesn’t fairly have the monitor report of a number of the different top-rated prospects on this draft with intensive junior and worldwide expertise. There’s a number of guesswork and projection that goes into each draft choose, however assessing Palodichuk would possibly take greater than some others.

What I Like

-Puck Retrieval Means

Palodichuk’s foot velocity and quick twitch quickness make him actually good in puck retrieval conditions. He can change instructions along with his toes to flee stress and begin the break-out out of his personal zone.

This can be a delicate little play, however watch this clip of Palodichuk capable of pretend up the ice along with his skates then flip again to shake a forechecker and keep possession:

Right here’s one other little easy retrieval from his NAHL stint to get in and transfer the puck in a decent space to start out a breakout:

-Pushes the puck up the ice

Palodichuk is a good skater, able to transferring the puck by the impartial zone and gaining zone entry. Right here’s an instance the place he makes use of his velocity to interrupt by a pair of defenders and get the puck deep into the offensive zone.

What I Don’t Like

-Defensive Finish

Like many defensemen at this age, particularly after they face a number of over-matched competitors at the highschool stage, Palodichuk is a lot better transferring ahead and attacking than he’s enjoying in his defensive zone. His backward skating is a little bit too crossover-heavy, which may get him into bother towards quicker skaters. He’s definitely athletic sufficient that that might enhance with time and improvement, and I like the way in which he competes defensively, however it’s not there but general.

-Wants so as to add energy

Once more, that is an especially widespread critique amongst 18-year-old draft prospects, however Palodichuk weighs in at a CSB-listed 154 lbs. He’ll have loads of time to develop that, however it must develop. He’s at a deficit in board battles and might want to get higher at successful 50/50 pucks.

-Low scoring output

Palodichuk had a 0-5-5 scoring strains in 20 video games with the Bismarck Bobcats of the NAHL this previous season. It’s not a full season’s pattern dimension by any means, however it’s extra of a pattern than you’d often get with a highschool draft prospect. Although it’s value retaining in thoughts that as sort of a weekend fill-in after the highschool season, he was actually solely getting second unit energy play time in Bismarck.

I do like his hockey sense within the offensive zone. Right here’s a play(6 White)the place he reads a gentle spot within the protection and will get to the web for a scoring likelihood that doesn’t fairly work. I wouldn’t be shocked if his scoring numbers enhance fairly a bit subsequent season when he’s enjoying a full season in a single spot.

Draft Projection

Traditionally talking, NHL Central Scouting tends to be a bit extra beneficiant on the common to Minnesota highschool gamers than NHL groups are on draft day, and I get the sensation that that is likely to be the case right here. Anybody that may skate like Palodichuk goes to be within the dialog to be chosen, however I’m undecided he confirmed sufficient else, particularly outdoors of highschool hockey, to be way more than a late-round flyer choose. Within the later rounds, there aren’t going to be any full gamers obtainable. Largely, you’re in search of at the least one or two elite, projectable expertise and hoping the remaining develops sooner or later. And should you needed to choose one talent, skating might be the perfect you may have, so Palodichuk is probably going definitely worth the choose.

Professional Projection

Palodichuk’s skating capability is what is going to carry him if he progresses to the subsequent stage. Ideally, you’d prefer to see him develop sufficient offensively that he can contribute on the ability play, or at the least generate sufficient offensive pop to offset a number of the defensive points. However most definitely, he’ll be a strong decrease pairing participant who’s nice at transferring the puck out of his personal zone and into the opposite workforce’s zone.


Palodichuk is extra of a mission choose. No matter workforce drafts him will get the advantage of letting him develop for a couple of years earlier than he heads to the professional sport. He’s more likely to play at the least a full 12 months of junior hockey earlier than heading to the College of Wisconsin, the place he’s dedicated to play faculty hockey, and three to 4 years of school hockey would possible profit him. That may enable him to slowly acclimate to the faculty sport, after which hopefully tackle an even bigger function as an upperclassman.


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