2014 NHL Draft Prospect: Jack Glover

Shaun Botterill

The Player

Jack Glover

Defense

US NTDP U18

2013-2014 stats: 59 games 2 goals 26 assists 28 points 30 PIMs

Final Central Scouting Rank: 38th NA Skaters

Height: 6'3.25" Weight: 190 lbs.

What are his strengths? Weaknesses?

Glover measured in at just a hair over 6'3" at the NHL Combine, so he's definitely got the size necessary to play in the NHL, and he's an excellent skater, so there are no concerns about his mobility.  Glover might be one of the better pure athletes available in the draft. He's not an overly physical presence, preferring to use his skating ability to make plays than brute force.

The question is if he can be a hockey player. For a player with his physical gifts, Glover just doesn't dominate games with his skating in the way one might hope. He's a very good defenseman that looks like he has the tools to be a great defenseman. There are also some concerns about his defensive play. He can get lost in his own zone at times, leaving forwards wide open, and is serviceable, but not great defending one-on-one rushes.

How was his draft year? Trending up or down?

Slightly downward. Heading into this year, Glover was considered a potential first round pick by many. But as prospects are watched more closely in their draft year, the finer points of play are given more emphasis, and Glover slipped a bit. Glover didn't necessarily have a poor season, but rather than continuing to develop and becoming the top defenseman on the NTDP squad, he was just one of a bunch of pretty good pro prospects on the NTDP blueline alongside Jack Dougherty, Ryan Collins, and Jon MacLeod.

Draft Projection?

Glover's draft projection is fairly easy to peg. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone that places Glover in their first round at this point, but it's hard to imagine a player of his size and skating ability being available for too long in the draft. The safest bet is likely sometime in the middle of the second round, and it would be a huge shock if he hasn't gone off the board by the end of the third round.

Pro Upside?

This one could really go either way. There are some scouts that strongly believe you just can't teach hockey sense; that it's an innate thing a player either has or doesn't have, and the fact that he's had two years of high-level coaching in Ann Arbor likely lowers the level of optimism a bit. But Glover has some attributes that very few players possess, and sometimes it takes a little longer for the light to go on for some players than others.

Glover will have the benefit of a few years to develop at Minnesota. He's a bit of a project, but one with enormous upside and potential. If he can tighten things up in the defensive end, his upside is as a very good third or fourth defenseman in the NHL, and possibly someone that can play on a top pairing in the right situation. If he doesn't improve in the defensive end, he's likely an AHL/NHL tweener that is never quite consistent enough to stick in the big leagues.

Where will he go next?

Glover will play for the University of Minnesota next season. With the Gophers' top defensemen in Brady Skjei and Mike Reilly being left-handed shots, there's potential for the right-handed Glover to slot in as partner to one of those two and see significant ice time right away. Whichever teams drafts Glover will hope he can follow a similar development path of Skjei, who showed similar upside as a big, smooth-skating defenseman that sometimes lacked hockey sense. Skjei struggled in his freshman season of college hockey, but after a year of development at Minnesota, turned into one of the better defenders in NCAA hockey in his sophomore campaign.

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