NHL Prospect Profile: Jakob Pelletier

– Jakob Pelletier –

Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL) | Center | 2019 NHL Draft Eligible

Québec, Canada | March 7, 2001 | 5-foot-9, 161-pounds

Jakob Pelletier, a third overall pick of the 2017 QMJHL Draft by Moncton, quietly had a superb rookie campaign in 2017-18. Overshadowed by the hype surrounding Alexis Lafrenière,  Pelletier racked up 23 goals and 61 points over 60 games, ranking third on the Wildcats in both categories. Pelletier also led all QMJHL 2019 NHL Draft prospects in those areas by a fairly wide margin.

Pelletier is a pass-first, two-way center with an elite hockey IQ and understanding of the game around him. He has above average speed and admirable agility with the puck. Pelletier’s rookie performance and overall improvements were rewarded with an invitation to the Hlinka Gretzky Cup with Team Canada, where he captured a gold medal.

Strengths:

  • Hockey Sense
  • Skating
  • Two-Way Play

Jakob Pelletier can often outthink his opponents, through his tremendous vision of the ice to his ability to read and react to developing situations. He understands the significance of a strong two-way game and showcases natural leadership trait on and off the ice. Pelletier is the kind of player that coaches trust to put out in any situation.

He is an excellent skater with impressive speed and good lower-body strength to protect the puck. Pelletier is agile with possession of the puck, allowing him to weave and dangle through defencemen. A playmaker by nature, Pelletier also has promising goal-scoring abilities, with a quick release and good hands in tight.

Weaknesses:

  • Size and Strength

Standing at a humbling 5-foot-9, 161-pounds, Pelletier is by no means a large center. While this fact doesn’t hold him back by any means within his own age group, older and larger opponents can sometimes outmuscle and knock Pelletier off the puck. Although he is a strong skater with a good lower-body, he would benefit from adding some size in order to maximize his defensive prowess.

Jakob Pelletier led all U17 QMJHL players in both goals and points. He will quickly be leaned upon as a top producer for Moncton in 2018-19. Photo Credit – Daniel St. Louis

While Pelletier will never be a power forward, some added strength would go a long way to improving his overall game. Aside from the physical side of the game, it would also make his shot more powerful and electric, which would also aid Pelletier to prosper at the next level.

Future Potential:

Jakob Pelletier projects to be a top-six center at the NHL level. He is a smart player with strong skating abilities and a responsible two-way game that his coaches have trust in at all levels. Pelletier plays a comparable style to that of Travis Konecny of the Philadelphia Flyers. Heading into the ’18-19 season, Pelletier forecasts as a first round pick for the 2019 NHL Draft, likely in the 20-30th overall range.

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