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Colin White: 2015 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

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As a forward for the U.S. National Team Development Program, Colin White (no relation to former Devil Colin White) brings great talent to both ends of the ice. So should the Devils set their sites on this forward at the draft?

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Devils are a team in need of help at forward in a big way. Is a skilled, two-way forward like Colin White someone they could target if he gets to the second round?

Who is Colin White?

Colin White (no, not that Colin White) is a forward coming out of the USA Hockey U.S. National Team Development program for this summer's draft. He hails from Hanover, Massachusetts and will likely be heading to Boston College for his freshman year of NCAA hockey in the fall. He served as an alternate captain on the United States U18 team this past season and was an integral part of the program's gold-medal-winning U18 squad. White comes in as a fairly average sized forward, based on his reported 6'-0" 183-pound frame, not really a big guy, but large enough to avoid the "undersized" label. He has been a very productive forward in his time with the U.S. National Team program and made significant impacts at both the U17 and U18 championships the past couple of years. His stats heading into the draft can be seen below:

White is a prospect who is touted for both his offensive and his defensive abilities, making him a ideal candidate to be a strong two-way forward in the league. His ranking on the various draft boards varies quite a bit, with the International Scouting Service ranking him #15 and NHL's central scouting putting him down at #29 among just North American skaters. Others, like Corey Pronman of ESPN (#22) and Future Considerations (#20), have him somewhere in between. So he figures to go somewhere in the mid-to-late first round, but there's always a chance that he slides and ends up on the board in the early second.

As far as his skills, there seems to be a lot to like about Colin White as a player, especially in the context of New Jersey's immense need for talented forwards. He is billed as a very strong skater with great quickness and good speed. He's not the type of player that has one particular skill that everyone raves about, but the general consensus seems to be that he does pretty much everything well at both ends of the ice. His hockey sense is also held in high regard, with many listing his ability to see plays develop as one of his best qualities. He finished 6th on the USNTDP this season with 54 points in 54 games, but the fact that he missed time and his complete game at both ends has him as the consensus top choice from the development team this year.

What Others Say About Colin White

Scouts definitely like what they see when it comes to Colin White, and here are a few examples from the past year of evaluations. First, here's some of what Future Considerations had to say about him back in August of last year:

Strong, well-rounded, two-way center…one of the best skaters for this draft…great speed with an excellent stride and tremendous acceleration…has a great shot and also distributes the puck well…a very hard worker with an edge to his game…great on defense with a great defensive stick and strong defensive-zone awareness.

He is still very highly touted but people really liked what they saw from White prior lo the start of this season, with Eye on Hockey going so far as to say he could have a shot at being a top-10 pick. This probably had a decent amount to do with his insane 18 points and 6 games at the U17 World Challenge, but there is clearly a lot that he does well as a player, even if his draft season wasn't quite up to those sky-high expectations. His game reads as that of the prototypical two-way center in a lot of his profiles and it's clear that he has a bunch of talent to back up his well-regarded hockey sense.

Next, we'll take at the blurb from Curtis Joe of Elite Prospects on White's game:

COLIN WHITE USA
views: 19803

BIRTHYEAR 1997-01-30 BIRTHPLACE Hanover, MA, USA
AGE 18 NATION USA
POSITION RW/C SHOOTS R
HEIGHT 183 cm / 6'0" WEIGHT 83 kg / 183 lbs
NHL DRAFT Top Prospect eligible for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft
RANKINGS Ranked #26 by Hockeyprospect.com
Ranked #15 by ISS Hockey
Ranked #20 by Future Considerations
Ranked #19 by McKeen's Hockey
Ranked #29 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
SOCIAL twitter


A prolific scoring threat, Colin White is a strong 3-zone player with an eye for scoring chances. Thinks the game at a high level and always seeks to make an impact on the ice, with or without the puck. Never seems to be outbodied and is an exceptional skater. Puck-possession is definitely a strength. All-in-all, a skilled, 200-foot player that does all of the little things right and is able to make a large impact on the game and its outcome.
- See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=183810#sthash.sUYpuKnJ.dpuf
A prolific scoring threat, Colin White is a strong 3-zone player with an eye for scoring chances. Thinks the game at a high level and always seeks to make an impact on the ice, with or without the puck. Never seems to be outbodied and is an exceptional skater. Puck-possession is definitely a strength. All-in-all, a skilled, 200-foot player that does all of the little things right and is able to make a large impact on the game and its outcome. - See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=183810#sthash.sUYpuKnJ.dpuf
A prolific scoring threat, Colin White is a strong 3-zone player with an eye for scoring chances. Thinks the game at a high level and always seeks to make an impact on the ice, with or without the puck. Never seems to be outbodied and is an exceptional skater. Puck-possession is definitely a strength. All-in-all, a skilled, 200-foot player that does all of the little things right and is able to make a large impact on the game and its outcome. - See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=183810#sthash.sUYpuKnJ.dpuf
A prolific scoring threat, Colin White is a strong 3-zone player with an eye for scoring chances. Thinks the game at a high level and always seeks to make an impact on the ice, with or without the puck. Never seems to be outbodied and is an exceptional skater. Puck-possession is definitely a strength. All-in-all, a skilled, 200-foot player that does all of the little things right and is able to make a large impact on the game and its outcome. - See more at: http://www.eliteprospects.com/player.php?player=183810#sthash.sUYpuKnJ.dpuf

A prolific scoring threat, Colin White is a strong 3-zone player with an eye for scoring chances. Thinks the game at a high level and always seeks to make an impact on the ice, with or without the puck. Never seems to be outbodied and is an exceptional skater. Puck-possession is definitely a strength. All-in-all, a skilled, 200-foot player that does all of the little things right and is able to make a large impact on the game and its outcome.

Everyone seems to be a fan of his work ethic, and he is considered strong on the puck, which is good to see from a guy who isn't necessarily a huge player. High hockey IQ and strong play in both directions remains a staple of what scouts are saying about him, but it doesn't seem to be at the expense of his offensive ability.

To wit, here is Ben Kerr of Last Word on Sports talking about some of White's skills on offense:

He uses his body to shield the puck from defenders, and good stick handling to extend plays or to get by defenders.  He has the soft hands necessary to finish in close to the net  White wins the vast majority of his puck battles showing outstanding balance and lower-body strength for this age. He can establish position around the crease and create havoc when he is there. White is equally adept as a passer or as a shooter.  He has a an accurate shot and a quick release that causes issues for goalies.

Kerr also goes on to praise White's defensive work, citing positioning, gap control, and anticipation all as strengths in his game. Kerr does have this to say on a couple small areas White has some room for improvement:

He could stand to shoot a little harder though, and adding upper body strength in the coming years, will really help him get a little more on his shot ... Colin White is a strong skater despite a choppy stride.  He already has decent top-end speed and good acceleration and there is room to improve in both areas if he can work on his stride with a good skating coach.

Overall, the profile is high on White's abilities, saying he could be a good second-line center who can also be relied on to neutralize other top lines. He's mentioned as someone who fits the general mold of a Patrice Bergeron-type player (though Kerr is careful to say it's a stylistic comparison and not in indication that he would be that level of dominant). Based on what has been written, White definitely seems like he has the potential to be a solid, well-rounded piece for the team that drafts him.

Some Video

First, we'll start off with a highlight video from White's U18 WJC from YouTube channel TheHockeyVidz. He had a couple nice moments in there, I suppose, if you consider a hat trick against Canada in the semifinals and an OT winner to take home gold versus Finland nice moments.

White had a nice mix of goals, including some strong shots slung home from the slot as well as some dirty goals where he gets to the right spots in front of the net. Showcasing some skill is this video from USA Hockey of a very nice shootout attempt when he was with the U17 team.

Finally, here's a short interview with White from the USHL talking about his game and heading to Boston College next year. There's not a ton to glean from this beyond what he looks and sounds like, but it exists, so here you go:

An Opinion of Sorts

White is clearly a very strong prospect and the fact that his game is so well-rounded is a big plus for him. He seems to do everything well, and while I'm not sure that his ceiling will be the highest out there, he seems to have very strong potential as a future forward in the NHL. He has a very good defensive game, but it doesn't seem to be at the expense of his offensive skills. If the Devils are able to pick up a top forward with their first pick, White could be an excellent complimentary piece to go with him. As these profiles continue, the picture will get clearer on who might be a good pick for the Devils at #36, but I feel pretty confident in saying that White would be a near must-draft player if he remains out there by that time.

The big question for me on White is if it is really plausible that the Devils will be in a position to draft him. Taking him at 6 is obviously not happening, but it also seems unlikely that he will slide into the second round, based on the majority of the draft analysis out there. There is always the chance that the Devils trade up from the second round to get him if they really like what they see. He is the type of player the team has always coveted (though perhaps the philosophy shifts with Lou handing the reins to Shero), but even still, it would be a bit of a surprise to see the Devils move up. If they did package one of their seconds and a later pick to move up and take him, that might be something I could get on board with. The Devils need to get stronger down the middle and he would definitely aid in that quest.

Your Take

Now that you've seen what Colin White brings to the ice, would you want him to be the second player bearing that name to be a part of the Devils organization? How do you feel about White as a prospect? Is he a good fit for the Devils organization or do you want a pick with more possible upside? Do you think there's any chance a player as touted as him falls to pick #36? Would you want the Devils to trade up for him? Sound off with all of your thoughts below and thanks for reading.