The Philadelphia Flyers selected RW Nicolas Aube-Kubel with the 48th overall pick of the 2014 NHL Draft. The pick was a bit of a surprise to many pundits, but there is reason to believe that Aube Kubel has a high ceiling. Here are his basic numbers:
Games Played: 65
These numbers do not look that impressive. Many highly skilled, draft eligible forwards average over a point per game at the junior level. Therefore, let’s go beyond the numbers to find out why the Flyers drafted Nicolas Aube-Kubel in the second round.
First, there is the linemate factor. The Val-D’Ors Foreurs had a potent top line this past season with Anthony Mantha (120pts, 57GP), Louick Marcotte (100pts, 67GP), and Samuel Henley (69pts, 51GP). Thanks to ExtraSkater.com and their new CHL stats, we can track an estimation of the ice time of the CHL forwards. Mantha averaged roughly 29:42 per game, Marcotte averaged about 26:26 per game, and Henley averaged around 26:30 per game, while Aube-Kubel averaged only 15:00 per game.
When put into points per 60 minutes, Aube-Kubel ranks only behind Mantha and Marcotte on the Val-D’Ors roster. Mantha is a 2013 first round pick who will likely be with the Detroit Red Wings next season. Marcotte is a 19 year old, undrafted player who has one year of junior eligibility left. Henley is 20 years old and played his final junior season this past year. With two of the three members of the Foreurs top line likely gone next season, we should see Aube-Kubel’s ice time and production increase dramatically.
Second, there is the fact that he was productive at even strength. Of Aube-Kubel’s 53 points, 35 of them came at even strength. Kubel averaged 2.8 points per 60 minutes at even strength, tying him for 10th among CHL draft eligible forwards.
The Flyers director of scouting, Chris Pryor echoed both of these sentiments when he spoke of Aube-Kubel:
He’s probably a little bit under the radar for Val d’Or because their (No. 1) line got a lot of minutes. But (Flyers scouts) Todd Hearty and Simon (Nolet) saw a lot of him at Val d’Or. We’re excited because I think next year you’re going to see big things from him because he’s going to get some of that quality ice time and big minutes that (their) big line got this year. He brings speed. He’s a good hockey. He plays both sides. He’s competitive. Those are attributes from a forward’s side that are pretty exciting
Although his basic numbers do not look overly impressive, there is reason to believe that Aube-Kubel is a high-end offensive talent. The upcoming season will tell us more about the second round pick.
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