Scout Quotes

exciting to watch … plays at high speed and tempo … strong 200-foot game … constantly competing … strength to his stride … plays confident, ISS Hockey 2017

The Draft Analyst:

Powerful center with excellent playmaking abilities and game-changing speed who has the potential to become a top-line pivot in the NHL. Turcotte, who’s father Alfie was a first-round pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 1983, was a key contributor for both the NTDP’s under-17 and under-18 programs, including a midseason promotion to the latter where he produced 16 points in 19 games in a limited role.

Turcotte is a low-maintenance center in that he can excel in both optimal and non-optimal conditions, plus handle physicality better than most offensive forwards. He is a fast, agile skater with a wide, powerful stride and the balance of a seasoned NHL power forward. Getting knocked off the puck while he’s either static or moving is something you rarely see.

Turcotte possesses superior vision and passing ability, and it’s clear from his first shift that he understands the game’s intricacies and nuances that require a center to develop chemistry with his linemates. He plays smart hockey with his head on a swivel and attacks with decisiveness, maintaining situational awareness no matter how fast he’s motoring up ice.

Turcotte is one of the few draft-eligible forwards who can time his passes with precision while moving as fast as he can. Although he seems to like to defer to the pass, Turcotte owns a hard, accurate wrist shot with a quick release, and he’s proven to snap off high-velocity shots within tight windows.

AJ’s Thoughts

Turcotte isn’t a very big guy but he plays a pretty big game. His skating is high level and his all-around game jumps off the ice pretty quickly. It’s obvious he’s comfortable in all three zones, though he rarely spends much even strength time on defense. He covers his position well and his defensive game is one the reasons I really enjoy watching Turcotte play. I’m not sure about all the talk surrounding him as a potential Selke guy down the road because there are about five of those guys on earth at any given time but his defensive acumen is absolutely going to play in the NHL.

His offensive profile, however, is something I’m a little less convinced about. Playing on a stacked team against significantly weaker competition every game isn’t a great barometer for finding future success in his style of play. He’s a very smart player, though, and he’s the real deal as a playmaker. How much of that translates in the next levels of hockey will play a major role in if he becomes a dynamic top-flight center or more of a guy with Ryan O’Reilly’s ceiling where his defense lags behind his offense just a touch.

Either way, this kid looks like a surefire NHL player and one who should have a very long career ahead of him marking opposing teams’ star player.


Avalanche Fit

He’d be an excellent fit. With Nathan MacKinnon in tow, the pressure immediately is off Turcotte to come in and save the Avalanche and be the face of a generation. He could simply come in, play his game, and take some of the pressure off the league’s top line last season.

Turcotte’s experience playing surrounded by high-caliber talent also means that whatever threat of developing an ego as “The Man” isn’t a real threat because he’s spent his formative years living in the shadow of Jack Hughes. Now that it’s time for him to spread his wings and be his own center, look out. If Colorado got this kid at four, it would be a slam dunk victory.


Ranked #11 by TSN/McKenzie
Ranked #4 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)


A.J. Haefele, was born in Aurora, Colorado, raised in Katy, Texas and is the Avalanche Editor and Editor-In-Chief of BSN Denver. Education: A.J. studied at Stephen F. Austin State University before moving back to Colorado in 2009. Career:  Before joining BSN Denver, A.J. had been writing for and briefly managed the popular Avalanche blog, Mile High Hockey. A.J. began contributing in 2010 with detailed practice reports, training camp coverage, and in-depth looks at Colorado’s divisional foes. He would expand his horizons with free agency analysis, draft coverage, and more day-to-day looks at the team before taking over the blog as Co-Managing Editor. It was a short-lived tenure atop before BSN Denver came calling. Most memorable sports moment: Ray Bourque lifting the Stanley Cup in 2001. John Elway winning his first Super Bowl is a very close second but Bourque winning the Cup and finishing “Mission 16W” is one of the greatest stories in all of sports. The finest sports book I’ve ever read: Big fan of “Moneyball”. The implications on the sport and the inside look at how an organization changed its attitude to exploit a market inefficiency was fascinating. One sports movie that I can’t live without: There aren’t really any I dislike. Major League and Cool Runnings were my favorites growing up but Miracle and Goon have been my favorites as an adult. Also can’t live without the Rocky and now Creed movies. Most memorable experience as a reporter: Covering the 2017 NHL Draft was a dream come true for me. I’d always wanted to attend a draft and I got to do it while covering the team selecting fourth overall. Interviewing Cale Makar after he was selected is something I’ll never forget. The sport that started it all: Baseball! My dad was an enormous baseball fan and when the Rockies came into existence, it was an instant bond for the two of us and created sports fanaticism that has defined most of my life.


  1. Avatar

    AJ – any concerns about offensive production on the 2nd line with no real snipers to skate with him?

  2. Avatar

    Read elsewhere about his father helping him stay focused and humble about hockey. This kid seems like the Total Package

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