Scouting the 2020 NHL Draft: Noel Gunler

The NY Rangers currently have a second 1st round selection in the 2020 NHL Draft that will be in the 21-24 range. There are a lot of good targets for the Rangers in that range. None will be Alexis Lafreniere, but the Rangers will land talent given the depth of the draft. Noel Gunler is a player getting a lot of positive reviews, and he could be a good fit if available in this range.

It’s worth noting that I am no draft expert. I did a lot of Googling and Youtubing. You should be checking out sites like Future ConsiderationsElite ProspectsDobber Hockey, and others on Twitter (@SternScouting@ManUtdTobbe@aj_ranger, and I’m sure I missed a bunch).

Gunler’s SHL Usage and Skill Set

Gunler is a guy who is viewed anywhere from top-five in talent to top-20 in results. He’s a kid that has a high ceiling, perhaps the highest outside of the bigger names in the draft, yet he seems to be slipping in draft rankings. He has one of the best shots in the draft. His 4-9-13 line this year doesn’t seem overly impressive, but that is more about his lack of usage than his skill set. Remember, he’s an 18 year old playing in the SHL, an incredible feat. If anything, that helps the Rangers out, as he may slide to a reachable point where they can trade up.

Gunler, at 6′ and 170 lbs, is an offensive force. He creates offense by driving the net, has superb skating and passing skills, and good vision to go along with that lethal shot.

The talent is there, but he’s not perfect. Like most kids playing up in the SHL, he has some struggles without the puck. Gunler sometimes coasts or looks lost, but that should eventually be worked out as he gains more pro experience. Same with his tendencies to sometimes force a pass.

Gunler’s NHL Projections

Gunler is a bit of a project, but one with a very high ceiling. He’s not going to jump to the NHL immediately. He may even take longer than some of the other top-20 prospects in this draft. But his ceiling, if he hits it, is a top line winger with an elite level shot.

Noel Gunler could be one of those homerun picks that could set up a team for years to come. He needs to get stronger and needs to work on his game outside of his offensive skills.

Prior Reports: Seth JarvisJan Mysak, Connor Zary

Show More
  • He’s a real boom or bust type of prospect. I think he’ll be a boom in the long run. The way he is perceived is all over the place. Not making the Sweden international teams for last years tournaments is a bit curious given the level of talent. His effort has been questioned. And there’s speculation that concern about his effort is over done. Time will tell. We desperately need center depth, but his versatility of playing either wing and his talent may be hard to pass up. Agree he is probably a few years away. That’s fine. It spreads out our ELC’s and helps us with cap management in the medium and long term.

    • My concern is the ability to put on weight in relation to draft position. Buch didn’t start really performing at evens until this year, will be lucky to get 2 more years of value on his contract before he hits UFA.

      As a 3rd rounder? I’ll take that.

      As a 1st rounder? Hoo boy I’m thinking twice about that unless he was EP adjacent, which is not out of the question considering how good Luleå was.

  • Brooks article today give the Islanders praise well deserved. Normally I would not read the article, being about the Islanders. But, the headline caught my attention; “These gritty Islanders are relentless”. I have stated here before, grit is something the Rangers absolutely must get. You can fill all the offensive and defensive hole you want, if you lack gritness, nevermind toughness, how far can they get without a more physical team? Their goalie is a sitting duck. Their skaters skills, some are impressive, but that does not eliminate battles along the boards or or the net.

    When was the last time somebody wrote about the Rangers’ grit? I bet they were a competitive team at that time.

    • The Islanders are a threat and can beat anyone with Trotz piloting the aircraft…..Chemistry………..tenacity….relentless…I hate them….lol……….but also give credit when credit is due…

    • Nice guys finish last and we have too many nice guys…Toughen up the team leadership….start with the 4th line and toughen up the D…I am tired of watching the opposition set up a table for 4 in front of our goalies….

      • The game that MIka got hurt in the corner with Bergeron is all that you need to know about the Rangers. Battling for a puck in the corner late in the frame, Mika Zibanejad — the team’s leader in points — took a heavy hit from Patrice Bergeron. As Bergeron got to the puck first, he levelled an unsuspecting Zibanejad during his approach and sent the 26-year-old sprawling to the ice.

        Mika is not a small man…but plays a small mans game as do about 85% of the Ranger players.

        The majority of the people who comment on this site want to obtain even more finesse guys.

        The Rangers are loaded with talented forwards…now, it is Gortons job to find a Tom Wilson type and a Matt Martin type for the forwards and then sign Brendan Dillon or Edmundson on defense.

        The Rangers scouting department has to hire scouts who can identify these types of players. The larger players we have drafted are not mean players, etc…Miller, Robertson, Baron

        It is rather simple equation, talent + grit = Cups or talent + talent equals great golf handicaps….

        • jjb

          Honest post that many of us have calling for, for what seems forever.

          I’m not say we should move Chytil, far from it, but today on the Forever Blueshirts site, an article on this very subject was written. They point out that he is a large man, 6′ 2″, but plays a small man’s game. We as fans can see this for some time, and for the last few weeks I have been on the very subject, we need grit. I also mentioned that our smaller in stature players, ADA, Lindgren, Smith, Lemieux, as an example will drop the gloves, while the bigger guys are spectators. Don’t be supersized if you see Alexis play with an edge, borderline dirty, he’s for real.

          JG will address this issue, I’m convinced of that, and will get players who will play a gritty, dirty game. For the man to state publicly that he wants us to be a hard team to play against, and the way both St Louis, and Columbus were built by JD, it’s a given.

          For the record, I can see Miller be a guy you don’t want to push around. The kid probably pushed far enough, will kick some ass. Again, without being redundant, that’s the reason I’d love Holloway!!!!!!!!!!

          • Walt,

            The current make up of the Rangers and the Rangers prospect pool has one mans stench all over it. AV!

            The Rangers went from a very gritty team under Torts to the softest team under AV.

            Clark and his crew started to draft finesse in 2015 and haven’t stopped since.

            I am not staying you have to draft for need and pass up on talent…but you have to be able to scout talent that plays with grit and we haven’t developed a guy like that ever…all of the grit we have had over the years have come from other teams and they will have to come from other teams again.

            I would hire some scouts from the Bruins, Knights and Blues/Stars.

          • jjb

            Again, spot on with your post.

            Isn’t it ironic that AV goes to Filthadelphia, where for years they played a gritty game, and gets a team that is 180 degrees from his passive style he coached here, “Turn Your Cheek”, and get smacked around a second time. Last night the Fishsticks took it to them, and pushed the Broad Street bullies around, I loved it. He also took our biggest pu-ssy Hayes with him, he plays like he hates getting hit, wimp.

            The dude is history, DQ plays a different style of game, and changes will come, mark my words.

            On a side note, the Leafs get the Pens #1 pick, 15 overall, and will make it tougher for us to get Holloway, because they are getting away from the purse carriers as well………………………….

          • That’s why AV had his team run through Wash, Tampa and Boston?

            They blanked the big bad CBJ team series in the regular season.

            Philly hasn’t been like that since the 70s, get over it. You never even played, you’re a fake, stop talking about old history lessons.

            You can cry about it all you want but Kevin Hayes has a cult following inside the city of Philly. I’d say stronger vs the one Zucc had in NYC. Your bf Brendan L could never be fan favorite like that to a city like Philly, NYC etc., hence why he’s on his 3rd team.

          • NotsoAvery

            Fake, fraud, bull crap wanta be coach, analyst, just all around know it all, but is dumb as a stump.

            Remind us that you played Pee Wee hockey, and got your ass kicked, what a joke. Tell us all how none of us can speak because you played midget hockey, to match you simpleton brain. Did you wear a helmet, because your brain dead. I see that your not using the word THAN any longer, maybe your grammar lesson worked, moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Ladies and gentlemen, we have our version of Mike Milbury, the empty barrel has spoken to us all, and with his infinite wisdom proved once again, what an empty barrel he is!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Good night fool…………………………..Kiss your boy Hayes good night for us, LOL!!!!!!

          • Walt

            Saw the same article. I totally agreed with it. If we do have to trade Chytil for it I’m all for it. There are players out there we can trade for to gain the toughness we need.

            Also saw the Tanto’s read about the Torts era,that’s what we have to get back to! Every team hated to play us, especially at MSG. We took no “s*** from no one.

            Even though Buch has been better in that aspect,I can also see him being the one to go to obtain some of it.

          • Walt;

            Trouba also plays a gritty game. He takes the body and finishes his checks.

            But you’re right. They need more sandpaper. The big guys are too nice, so to speak.

    • All during Torts’ tenure … even players that are inherently considered “softer” can develop grit and sand paper to their game, if the coach patiently demands it. Look at Buch, he’s much more engaged physically than he was when he first came here. This is part of the maturation process, some won’t adapt and some just have it built in (Lemieux, ADA, Trouba).

        • If Buch can become grittier over the course of 3-4 years, many players can. It’s attitude, not much more. For some it’s second nature, for others it’s learned through experience when they realize that their talent isn’t quite enough (as opposed to when they were playing Juniors or on the wider international ice surface. The most important quality is the one of adaptation and the ability to learn and develop.

          That isn’t to say we couldn’t use another Lemieux (preferably bigger) or two, but the resolution to this issue is going to come when virtually everyone on the team buys in — you win with team toughness, not 3-4 gritty guys alone.

  • Agree with all of the above posts……It’s time to make the opposition aware that it’s over with the ice cream, and time for some habaneros…..

  • Gunler will be 19 by the time he’s drafted, but he’s another Kravtsov type in that he’s skinny for his height(and concerning related to his age) so those players take a while to come together. (Flag 1)

    When he plays, he looks good even with scrubs, but he barely plays. Between that and the national team snubs(especially considering how shallow they were up front) makes you wonder whose corn flakes he peed in.(Flag 2)

    Considering how the Rangers manage “difficult” prospects, can’t imagine he’d be a target.

  • Fresh off the press:

    Pens, and Leafs make a trade today as follows:

    Details for Penguins:
    RW Kasperi Kapanen
    D Jesper Lindgren
    LW Pontus Aberg

    Maples Leafs getting:
    2020 Rd 1 pick (15 overall)
    LW Evan Rodrigues
    C Filip Hallander
    D David Warsofsky

    Jimmy Rutherford also said that he plans to trade one of his goalies, my thinking it will be Murry soon!!!!!!!!!!

  • So we should have tried to make the deal made by the Leafs. We should have traded Buch to the Penguins for their 1st and Wallander who is a legit prospect.

    Then we could have traded Chytil, 15, 22 and Smith to Buffalo for Eichel and a 2nd this year. Eichel solves our issues with center depth. He is also Gritty who along with or on the same line as LaFreniere another gritty player, would be amazing.

    The other option would be to use 15 and 22 to trade up to 9 and get Lundell, Perfetti, or Rossi.

    • This is a bit of crazy talk. Always looking for that shiny object. Eichel isn’t being traded … and if he was, how could we afford him long term? Plus your offer wouldn’t be enough, the Sabres aren’t looking to set their timetable back. If anything they want to build around Eichel and Dahlin — their fans are demanding it. Chytil, may or may not be ready for even full time 2nd line duty … the 15th and 22nd pick will be a few years away from making any real impact … this just doesn’t make any sense.

      Besides, you have zero clue about whether we talked to the Leafs (how are we going to beat an offer of the 15th pick anyway for Kap?) and whether the Pens were interested in Buch.

    • Jay in Toronto

      Sure do, and they should try to move up using it, and whatever to get the desired center they want. I suspect if they could, it would be Holloway!!!!!

      • If they can’t get Holloway then i would trade down and pick up a 2nd, if possible.

        Luke Tuch s/b available last first or early 2nd, 6’2 203, plays like his big brother and models his game after Jamie Benn.

        Already mentioned Jake Neighbours and Will Cuylee.

        Few other names I like, Sam Colangelo, Jack Finley, Dylan Peterson, Brandon Coe.

  • Elite Prospects via ISS Hockey. “ thinks the game well … elite shot and release … goal-scoring instincts … likes to shoot the puck … has ability to find open space and create”

    -ISS Hockey 2017

  • Brandon Brissen-C

    relentless light-footed attacking centre who understands the nuances on the attack and continues to maintain pressure with passes, positioning and poerful wrist shots. can let go off hard back-hand passes as well as burying his chances from both outside and in close. His superb skating allows him to win the races to the loose pucks, shake and roll off coverage, and take pucks to the net, always putting the defending team on their heels. light opn his blades, he will make one cut, then the next , and then pivot and shoot while in motion. He creates offense where there seems to be none, taking everything towards the goal. High temp player who is relentless and though thought of as a playmaker, there is a hungry goal scorer locked himself too. Already sows an all-around 200 foot game and habits and details in puck support that show and upward trajectory in his development. Committed to the University of Michigan. No over-all outstanding characteristic in his toolbox, just a player who does all things very well.

  • Back to top button