May
18

2018 NHL Draft Profiles: Joel Farabee, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Serron Noel

May 18, 2018, by

joel farabee

Check out our other reviews: Oliver WahlstromQuinn HughesBrady TkachukAdam BoqvistNoah DobsonEvan Bouchard, Ty Smith.

The major prospects that might be available to the Rangers at #9 have been reviewed, and it’s likely the Rangers will be able to grab at least one of the seven listed above. If they grab one of the big three, well I apologize for not reviewing them, but rest assured they are all awesome.

Now we are getting into the next level of prospects, those that will more than likely be there after the top-ten. This is the area where we might see the Rangers move up from 26 (Boston) or 30-31 (Tampa), or if they like one of these guys they might trade back. These are mostly high ceiling guys, but more boom or bust potential.

Joel Farabee

Farabee is one of the biggest movers in the rankings as time passes. The 6′, 180 lb winger (lefty) is committed to BU next year, and is coming off an electric year with the US National Team. At the World Juniors, he put up 4-4-8 in 7 games. He also put up 15-25-40 in 26 games with the USNDTP.

Farabee was expected to go in the middle of the first round, but might now actually sneak into the top-ten if a team reaches. Being a skilled skinny American in the first round has been a good pick lately (Keller, DeBrincat, Gaudreau, etc), so size shouldn’t be an issue. You know, 18 year old kids stay skinny forever.

Farabee is a very skilled and smart player who plays in all situations. He’s a born playmaker with dangerous speed that throws defenders off guard. He can go from 0 to 60 very quickly, which helps him burn the opposition and create chances. He has a pro shot already with a quick release. He has the skill set to be a top line winger. He’s very high ceiling, but whether he gets there is a different story.

jesperi kotkaniemi

Jesperi Kotkaniemi

I’m going to be upset if the Rangers draft him because I will never spell his name right. But other than that, Kotkaniemi is another solid Scandanavian kid who is all around solid. The 6’2″, 190 lb Finnish center uses his size to protect the puck and work down low. He’s not a burner, but that doesn’t mean he’s a slouch on his skates either. To be effective low like that, you need to be strong on your skates with balance and agility, and Kotkaniemi has all that.

As with most kids in that region, Kotkaniemi has great vision and hockey IQ. He sees the ice well, which helps him out as a playmaker. There are questions about whether he will be a center or a winger, which may hurt his value. Centers are worth more than wingers.

Kotkaniemi likely projects out as a lower level 1C or higher 2C. He’s a solid get in the middle of the first.

serron noel

Serron Noel

Noel is going to be a kid that a lot of people like because he’s a monster. At 6’5″ and 200 lbs, he’s a kid that is going to get a lot of talk. The soon to be 18 year old put up 28-25-53 in 62 OHL games with Oshawa this year. Noel is one of the few power forward prospects in the draft, which makes him a bit of a rare commodity.

Noel probably has one of, if not the hardest shots in the entire draft. His release is very quick for such a hard and accurate shot. He’s great in front of the net and isn’t afraid to get there. In addition to his great shot, he has soft hands in front and is pretty good with deflections. That is where most of his chances come from.

Noel uses his size and strength well in all three zones. He gets in on the forecheck, is good along the boards and cycle, and forces turnovers. That said, he is not a big hitter. So if the Rangers wind up with him, I’m sure a ton of people will hate him because he doesn’t hit much.

The big concern with Noel is his skating. Last year it was a huge issue. This year not so much, as he made great strides (see what I did there?). It’s an area he still needs to work on though, if he’s going to make it in the NHL. Noel is a project pick. He has size and strength, but lacks speed and skating. That keeps him out of Chris Kreider territory. If he improves his skating, he could be a steal in the middle of the draft. Noel seems very boom or bust.

"2018 NHL Draft Profiles: Joel Farabee, Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Serron Noel", 4 out of 5 based on 9 ratings.

33 comments

  1. Richter1994 says:

    I mentioned Farabee about 6 months ago when I thought the Rangers would draft around 15ish. So it speaks to what Dave is saying that he would be considered in the top 10, how he’s moved up the charts.

    From what I hear the Rangers have gone back to their favorite trading partners, the Yutes, for their 5th pick, to take either Tkachuk or Wahlstrom (I hope it’s Wahlstrom if the Rangers get this pick). The Yutes are looking for vets like Zuc or Hayes, along with the 9th pick, to take a D man (which there are plenty of at 9) because OEL rejected $8M per and wants $10M per from the Yutes. That’s not happening, IMO.

    But, if the Rangers stay at 9, one of the players that Dave mentions here could very well be the pick, depending on who might not fall to 9.

    Farabee is smallish but has a relentless motor on the ice, a trait that Gorton is currently looking for. He wants the Rangers to be tougher to play against. No brawlers in Vegas but they are son of a guns to play against with their relentless forecheck, similar to the 2011-12 Rangers. So you can outwork your opponents if you do not match up in talent.

    One thing is for sure, this is an exciting and very interesting offseason for the Rangers. Certainly not the same ole.

    • James1090 says:

      I could see them trading with the Coyotes. Maybe one of Hayes or Zuccarello and the 9th for the 5th and Domi.

    • czech!!! says:

      Hey Pal

      Why is there such negativity towards Brady Tkachuk? The dude is a good skater with good speed. He is a good stick handler and has some shiftiness to his game too. Also is a very good passer who sees the ice very well. He has a good shot and a quick release. Takes the body and is physical. He also was the captain for the U18 team so that means he has good leadership ability. To me he seems like a heck of a player and if we get the pick from ARZ I would be thrilled if we got him. Many people say he is a better version of his dad. That would be incredible!

      • Richter1994 says:

        Suspect skating and low shooting %. Red flags for me pal.

        Trading up to #5 to get him over Wahlstrom would be a disaster IMO.

    • gene4240 says:

      Tampa is the Rangers South, and Arizona will be the Rangers of the west..Anti and Derek might have some former teammates with them next year.

    • Egelstein says:

      If they trade up to five to take Tkachuk while Wahlstrom is still on the board, you may see me in the news soon thereafter for vehicular arson and/or attempted vehicular arson. Will pull some strings with a friend at the DMV in advance, in case this happens. Always wondered what type of cars Gordie Clark and Jeff Gorton drive.

    • James1090 says:

      Maybe they make a big trade where the swap 1st rounders and other roster players like Zuccarello and/or Hayes for the Rangers and someone like Domi for the Coyotes.

      • Reenavipul says:

        Max Domi is his dad, but a 1st rd pick. I like the guy, but he’s a middle 6 F at best.

      • Richter1994 says:

        Domi has definitely been mentioned for trade. But I don’t know if there will be room for him in the Ranger lineup.

        There are 4 players that it will be interesting to see what the Rangers do with them: Zuc, Hayes, Svet-whatever, and Spooner.

  2. Walt says:

    SERRON NOEL should be drafted with a late first round pick, not waste an early first rounder on him. I’d do whatever it takes to go after Oliver, he’s for real.

    Can you imagine Serron in front of a goalie, he’s like a billboard. I like the fact that he wins board battles, something we currently lack. I just hope we get this right, with so much talent to chose from, I still want Oliver, or Tkachuck. I love that name, and the player who skated for us some 13-14 years, centered our Bull Line, Walt, if he turns into a player like that, we would be lucky!!!!!!!!

    • joen7 says:

      Haven’t heard the bull line in years. He and Fairburn were great on the PK along with Nilson and Seiling on the back line!

      • Walt says:

        From that era, Brad Park was my favorite d-man. That line was good both ways, and I loved how Walt would go over the top, rather than around the defense to make a play. Great memories!!!!!!

    • Reenavipul says:

      I don’t think Noel makes it to the later picks the Rangers have. His production picked up as the year went on, had a pretty good U18 tourney. He’ll go to somebody at 20, make the show as a 19yr old Dave Andrechuyk.

      • Richter1994 says:

        He won’t, I think he’s around the 10th pick if not a top 10.

        • Reenavipul says:

          Doesn’t have the production: a big guy who can skate and is getting top 6 minutes needs to pot 35 minimum in junior to go that high.

  3. Jb says:

    The Knights have two of the biggest, meanest guys in the game Reaves & Engelland …in addition to several other rugged guys…Carrier/Garrison/McNabb and then several tree trunks…Neal/Nosek/Tuch/Sbisa…

    It called balance…which the Rangers have none of…I am all for skilled guys…but if that is all you have…u wont win….pretty simple!

  4. SalMerc says:

    Pick skill early and size later. 1-10 are highly skilled players, so do not dip into late first round players early in the 1st round.

  5. Leatherneck says:

    I haven’t mentioned Noel and Jett Woo who I think will be gone by the time we pick and better picks available if we trade into the 10-15 range but if they fall….good selections indeed.
    Ty Dellandrea…..Gotta get him….but looks like his stock has risen into a mid 20 pick now to early 20’s….Dellandrea over Noel and Woo….this kid is gonna be way way good

    Farabee is unknown because his sample size has lots of Jack Hughes involved so I would stay clear of him too unless I am picking 28 and he is still available.

    Kotkaniemi on the other hand is rising into the top 10 on his own accord. Huge difference here between him and Farabee

    Kotkaniemi, Noel and Farabee is how I rank them

  6. Leatherneck says:

    Well Hello Dartanian

  7. Lace says:

    Are any of these kids right handed? I’d like to see the Rangers wind up with a righty they like. Seems like we look away from right handed shooters. I wouldn’t suggest looking away from a prospect for his handed ness but we can’t continue to go out every day with 11 left handed forwards. I really think this is a big reason the PP is an issue. Also helps at 5 on 5 to have guys on their natural side.

    • Richter1994 says:

      The righty issue is very understated.

      I remember reading a while ago that teams’ power plays are more successful with righty shooters on it. The puck comes in at a different angle that goalies are not used to seeing.

      Agree with you.

  8. carlos says:

    Good write-up Dave – as I mentioned in earlier posts, this draft is a pretty decent one, and some mid-teen to late projected picks could end up being nice gems in this draft – NYR staff better do their homework these next few weeks – should be exciting. I like Kots and Farabee are both rising in mocks…

  9. czech!!! says:

    Farabee would be a reach at 9 but much less of one then the other 2 kids. I pass on both due to lack of speed. A big dude should be able to skate at least as well as Howden, otherwise I am not interested at 9.

    • Reenavipul says:

      If Noel skated like Howden he’d be going for 1st overall as he would’ve added another 15 goals. The production would scare me except he really turned it on later in the season(even if shut down in the 1st round)

  10. Reenavipul says:

    DeBrincat was passed on his 1st season, drafted in the 2nd as a 19yr old after having a 2nd monster season in Erie

  11. Bloomer says:

    All the mentioned young players look intriguing. This is a very important draft for the Rangers as it will shape their franshise for years to come. I have faith in their scouting staff that they will get it right.

  12. Reenavipul says:

    Kotkaniemi did pretty good for Ässät, the Rangers should have good intel on him as former farmhand Phil McRae played with him and can give them the steaming poop. I don’t think he’d play next season, but he’s only a year away.

  13. JoeS. says:

    Dave, I would just like to personally thank you for these draft profiles. As someone who doesn’t follow that level, it is very informational and provides me with, at the very least, an educated idea in which to follow the draft and the lead up. So, yea, Thanks!