Published on June 3rd, 2014 | by Harris Peskin0
Draft Profile: Josh Jacobs
One thing is apparent from watching videos of Josh Jacobs, the kid has a really smooth stride. His grace on the ice is comparable to breakout prospect Calvin de Haan. At first glance there really isn’t too much to complain about. This past year in the USHL Jacobs skated to a +36, good for 5th in the league and 2nd among defensemen. Unfortunately it appears that his offense is not his strongest suit, no doubt this had an impact on ISS’ ranking of 45th among skaters.
What skillsets do these stats translate into? Well, Jacobs, and whatever team drafts him certainly hopes he can be solid positionally with the ability to play a good possession game. With an already strong frame (6’2” and 194 lbs) at the age of 18 he can only expect to keep growing and getting stronger. There is no denying that size is certainly an asset of his, it enables the smooth defender to knock players off the puck and create a quick transition up ice. Without any recorded advanced stats how effective his neutral zone play is not determinable without extensively watching the USHL; nevertheless, by all accounts he plays his angles well and has a solid first pass out of the zone.
Pinning success on a strong frame is not always a recipe for success. New York Rangers prospect, Dylan McIlrath (6’5”) is a prime example of this. Dominating smaller competition at a younger age does not always translate into success at a bigger and more competitive level; in fact it can be one of the more difficult things to project. Still, Jacobs has bigger things to worry about. The biggest knock on him to date has been his inconsistent zone play and over ambitious offensive nature. Hopefully with solid coaching he can drop those bad habits.
Currently Jacobs is projected to go in the early parts of the second round. At the absolute earliest its possible he might climb to the late first round. Such a jump is certainly possible; TSN Director of Scouting, Craig Button has Jacobs ranked at 26th on his final list, impressive considering in October Button had Jacobs at 43.
I don’t see the Islanders drafting Jacobs, due to the fact that the team needs to replenish their forward system. He might be available when they pick at 35; however, if Jacobs is drafted by a team in the first round it will likely be a playoff team looking to improve their defensive position for years to come, think Pittsburgh.