Jared McIsaac; Best Canadian Draft Eligible Defenceman?
It really is tough to predict who will be the most impactful Canadian defenseman of the 2018 NHL Draft. Is it Ryan Merkley of the Guelph Storm? Is it Evan Bouchard of the London Knights? Or is it Ty Smith of the Spokane Chiefs? I think it will be Jared McIsaac of the Halifax Mooseheads with the tools he can bring into your lineup.
McIsaac, out of Truro, Nova Scotia, is what scouts describe as a smooth skating two-way defenseman. He has great hockey sense and can make perfect decisions when the puck is on his stick. While he is not as offensively gifted as Merkley and Smith are, he truly has the best defensive game with an added offensive flair which most NHL teams are really looking to draft. If you watch his highlights on YouTube, you can clearly see the skill he brings to the ice whether its shooting the puck, passing the puck, or skating with the puck. Let’s not forget the occasional highlights where he makes a big hit on the ice that sparks his hockey club. At 6-2, 210 lbs, he has the perfect size as a competent stopper.
So far into his second season in the Q, McIsaac has 4 goals and 16 assists in 34 games for what is a very strong Halifax Mooseheads team. Last season he had 4 goals and 28 assists in 59 games while picking up 2 points in both his international competitions of U17 and U18 performances for Team Canada. Jared was also one of top defenceman in this year’s Ivan Hlinka tournament where he picked up a goal and 2 assists in 5 games for Canada. Unless he gets hit with a major injury, he will surpass his points totals from last season as he continues to quarterback Halifax’s powerplay.
Will Jared be the first Canadian defenseman to have his name called at the NHL draft? I think so as I predict he will be selected into the top ten of the draft based on the potential he has. He’s not the type of player that will immediately make the NHL out of the draft, as I think having a couple more seasons at the junior level and the experience of playing for Team Canada will help bloom this talented kid into a really good defenceman for the team that selects him.