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Noah Nystrom Scouting Report (RBM 1)

The Prospect Times
Noah Nystrom Scouting Report
Before the season started, The Prospect Times scouted and wrote a piece on Noah Nystrom, evaluating him before he was drafted. We predicted he would go high, and the SMJHL seemed to agree. On draft night, many of the commentators picked Nystorm as a steal if people could get him in the second round. It turns out, Nystrom was talked about enough to go in the first round. The Kelowna Knights took him 6th overall, a big draft pedigree for a new create. While many thought highly of the Swedish defenseman, there were still legitimate questions. How would Nystrom adapt to North American ice? Would his big physical game not translate well to a faster game? How much opportunity would he get off the bat?

It turns out the answers to these questions, at least so far, are well, yes, and a lot. Nystrom has just taken what he did well in Sweden and translated it to the SMJHL with little problem. Kelowna, impressed by his abilities, has put him on the first pairing with Luciano Vessot, a big responsibility for a rookie. Nystrom has repaid Kelowna with this trust in spades. While averaging over 22 minutes a game, at time of writing Nystrom leads his team in hits with 19 and is second on the team in +/- with 4. If you don't recall our interview with him, these are the two statistics Nystrom aimed to be great at. He is playing a defensive, physical game and making an impression already in the league leading the defense of Kelowna, a team on one of the hottest streaks in the SMJHL at the moment.

While his defense and physicality are on point, Nystrom was billed as a two way defenseman, not a defensive defenseman. While no one would ever mistake him for a scoring machine, many nationally thought Nystrom would be able to do more in terms of assists. His underlying numbers are there. He again has a +/- of 4 and has been able to pass the eye test in terms of creating offensive opportunity, but most see the 4 points in 12 games and dismiss his offensive potential. However, that would be a mistake. A great example of the offensive potential of Nystrom can be seen in Game 53 of the season. Kelowna was on the road against one of the best teams in the the league, Colorado. It was a very defensive game, which required Nystrom to defend big plays by some of the best forwards in the league. However, Noah shined and was able to help keep the game tied 1-1 after 2 periods of play. In the third, Nystrom had what might be one of his best periods of the season. Midway through the period, the Knights got a sustained drive of offense against Colorado. The passes the team were making were crisp and sharp. From the left faceoff dot, Theo Golury passed it back to Oscar Cordero at the blue line. He skated a bit, then faked a shot. Instead of shooting, he passed to wide open Noah Nystrom at the right faceoff dot and Nystrom blasted it in for his first goal of the season. Now, Nystrom had a great period outside of the goal, making some great defensive plays to keep the Raptors from coming back and tieing the game up. But we think Noah Nystrom will remember this game most for his first SMJHL goal. For his great effort in this game, including the game winning goal, Nystrom also got first star.

So what's next? For this season, The Prospect Times easily can see Nystrom continuing on his defensive pace. He has shown and will continue to show how a rookie defenseman should play. Kelowna can trust him for great defensive play and a phsyical presence. However, Nystrom still has room to grow. His offensive game is still in progress, and throughout this season we find it very likely at some point he will start producing some offense as well, especially with his talent, potential, and current playing time on the first paring. As for when he will start producing offensively, who knows? It could be this season or the next. The SMJHL is a hard league to adjust to as a european, and while we see a bright future for Nystrom, as for right now his best asset is still as a stay at home defenseman. However, be on the lookout for this to change as Nystrom grows and evolves his game.

(750 words)

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Love this

Excellent stuff! Keep doing what you are doing and you will be a star some day.

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