HW Staff Mock Draft, Pick 12: Alex Tuch

Dave Sandford

With the 12th overall pick in the 1st round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, the Arizona Coyotes select Alex Tuch.

When doing my homework to make this selection for the Arizona Coyotes, I had some factors come into play which I normally don't consider.  Typically I just like to look at team needs and find the best fit in my opinion and make the pick. The Coyotes, however have holes everywhere, a lot of roster spots in question and with a short lease on life they need to get fans interested and in a hurry or risk ownership packing up the team and moving to colder climates. The only spot they have locked up is their goalie, but their prospect pool at forward and defense isn't exactly overflowing with prospective talent.

Who's Swimming in Arizona?

The Coyotes do have a couple notables swimming in the prospect pool.  Defenseman Connor Murphy will likely graduate to the big club in the next season, he made his debut with Arizona this past season, seeing 30 games with the big club and has likely solidified himself in the lineup.  Tie Domi's son, Max Domi has also been lighting up the CHL and was selected by the Coyotes in last years entry draft with, coincidentally enough, the 12th overall selection.  Guys like Tyler Gaudet and Brandon Gormley are also making a name for themselves with the Coyotes AHL affiliate, the Portland Pirates.

Why Alex Tuch

The Baldwinsville, New York native is a beast of a human being.  At just 18 years of age, Tuch (pronounced ‘too-k') stands at 6'3" and weighs in at about 215 pounds.  A big frame for such a young kid, but that does not slow him down on the ice.  Seeing as the Coyotes needs surround depth at the forward position, Alex Tuch seems like an excellent fit and with his size and maturity he could be fast-tracked to the NHL.

He is one of the most mature players in the draft, he isn't looking to shine in the spotlight, but he wears his heart up on his sleeve for the team. He will get the job done anywhere and looks out for his teammates. Not to mention his personality as a leader and as someone who even coaches a youth hockey team, he is character personified.

This combination of skill, maturity, hockey IQ, hands, speed, patience, and size makes the Boston College-bound prospect one of the most complete players in this year's draft class - not to mention coveted by 30 teams in a league called the NHL.

- Curtis Joe, MyNHLDraft.com

He has committed to Boston College this fall, which will do wonders for his development (I hear-tell they have a pretty good hockey program there).  Depending on where he goes in this years draft, he may not last past his freshmen or sophomore season for the BC Eagles.

Playing out of the US National Program, Tuch is a big robust winger who wreaks havoc by using his strength and size to wear down opponents. He is a rising prospect after a strong first half to his draft season and scouts are beginning to fancy his pro potential. Success has come from his competitive nature and ability to compliment his line mates by playing true to his brand of hockey - winning puck battles and dominating possession.

- Brendan Ross of Dobber Prospects

How Wild is he?

Honestly, this section should really be called "How he doesn't fit with the Wild" because the list of reason this kid would fit in on any squad is so big, it just makes more sense to list why he wouldn't fit in here.  His big body, hockey IQ, and strong possession game would meld perfectly with style of play the Wild have been installing under Coach Yeo.  About the only thing missing for him here is a spot on the roster.  With our forward core pretty well settled, and prospect pool pretty full, there just might not be enough room for him here until we trade Charlie Coyle (because we hate him right? wink wink, nudge nudge).

MOCK DRAFT IN REVIEW

Pick Team Player
1 Florida Panthers Aaron Ekblad
2 Buffalo Sabres Sam Bennett
3 Edmonton Oilers Leon Draisatl
4 Calgary Flames Sam Reinhart
5 New York Islanders Michael Dal Colle
6 Vancouver Canucks Nikolaj Ehlers
7 Carolina Hurricanes Brendan Perlini
8 Toronto Maple Leafs Nick Ritchie
9 Winnipeg Jets Jake Viraten
10 Anaheim Ducks Haydn Fleury
11 Nashville Predators William Nylander
12 Arizona Coyotes Alex Tuch
13 Washington Capitals ???
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