Boston College might be getting its next Brian Boyle or Kevin Hayes when Alex Tuch arrives on campus in September. There is certainly no denying to logical comparison between Tuch and the recently graduated Hayes, who was a big power forward taken in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Chicago Blackhawks.
Whether Tuch pans out to be as dynamic of a college player or as strong a pro prospect as Hayes remains to be seen, but NHL scouts are salivating over the size and strength of the Baldwinsville, NY native.
Tuch has seen his stock rise dramatically this season in his draft year, elevating his ranking among NHL Central Scouting from 21 to 12 from the midterm to final rankings.
Tuch, a product of the Syracuse Jr. Stars youth program, continues to work on his stride, but it would be unfair to characterize him as a player whose speed is an issue. When this observer saw Tuch at the CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, it was evident that he knows how to use his strength and size to be a force offensively.
Tuch, a right shot who can play either rightwing or center, played on the right side along with center Nick Schmaltz and leftwing and fellow BC recruit Sonny Milano in the game in Pittsburgh back in September.
He did a good job in his role as being the physical force on the line with two of the most gifted American offensive players in the draft. He is very strong on pucks, especially down low and in the dirty areas.
Tuch has scored at every level he has played and will almost certainly find himself in a prominent role for BC's Jerry York come October. His game certainly projects very well to the NHL level and almost every mock draft has him going in the top half of the first round.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.