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2014 NHL Draft Prospect: Dakota Joshua

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The Player

Dakota Joshua

Forward

Sioux Falls Stampede

2013-2014 stats:

Height: 6'1.5"  Weight: 182 lbs.

Final NHL Central Scouting Ranking: 157th among NA skaters

What are his strengths? Weaknesses?

Joshua has a big frame and is magnificent at using his size and long reach to protect the puck from attacking players. He's still relatively skinny for his size, but once he fills out, he has the potential to be a true power forward that handles the puck well enough to be a consistent scoring threat.

There aren't any huge issues with his skating stride, but Joshua is just an okay skater. He's more likely to create offense by grinding along the boards than off the rush.

How was his draft year? Trending up or down?

Joshua was a bit buried on Sioux Falls roster this year behind some very good veteran players, but still put up a very respectable 38 points in 51 games in his first USHL season. Joshua has always been a player with a big frame and high potential. While he's not all the way to reaching his full potential, he showed enough signs of positive growth over the course of the year to suggest he's on his way to doing so.

Draft projection?

Interest from NHL teams has seemed a bit stronger than his maybe he'll be picked/maybe he won't-ranking from NHL Central Scouting. The ceiling for Joshua is somewhere in the third round, with it most likely he goes somewhere in the fifth round.

Pro upside?

Joshua's size makes him pretty versatile as a pro prospect. He could play a lower line role at the pro level, with the offensive upside to be an offensive-minded power forward on a second line, and net-front presence on a power play.

Where will he go next?

Joshua will return back to Sioux Falls next season, where he will be expected to play a much bigger scoring role for the Stampede. Following that, he will head to the Ohio State University to begin his college career. The team that drafts him will have up to five years to let him fill out his frame and develop his offensive skills, though Joshua could be ready for the pros after only two or three years in Columbus.