Noah Powell has persevered despite hearing loss since birth

Philadelphia Flyers fifth round draft pick Noah Powell skating at Development Camp.
Philadelphia Flyers fifth round draft pick Noah Powell skating at Development Camp. /

The 2024 NHL Draft was different for Noah Powell. He had been through this process before, though it had a different ending than this year. Every pick came and went without his name being called.

Unfortunately, it wasn't too much of a shock. His first season with the Dubuque Fighting Saints wasn't a great one. Powell had eight goals and 19 points in 53 games. There was room to grow.

The next season didn't start so hot either. Powell had just one goal in his first 16 games. Given a chance to move up in the lineup due to injuries and suspensions, something clicked. He finished with 42 goals in his final 45 games. He ended up finishing with the most goals in the USHL.

""I feel like I came in, things were a little slower than I expected. There was a little spot in the lineup due to injuries and suspensions. And I kind of ran with it from there. Just built up on my confidence as things started to go better and better for me.""

Powell will be going to Ohio State University this upcoming year. It's a place that he described as "taking a leap of faith" in him during his rookie season in the USHL. The Buckeyes will get a player who has shown that he'll never give up when the going gets tough. His game took a huge step forward thanks to the opportunities he was able to have.

Noah Powell persevering despite hearing loss

The most incredible part about all of this is that Powell is doing it with hearing loss. It's something he has dealt with his entire life. His family found out about the loss during a mandatory hearing screening in first grade. With Powell having played hockey for two years up to that point, they thought he's have to find another sport.

But that all changed thanks to the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association. It was a place that gave Powell's family the belief that he could continue playing. As the years have passed, Powell has learned to adapt and finds ways to ensure he understands what the coaches are trying to tell him.

""I read lips pretty well and I do wear hearing aids. Sometimes it's hard to wear them just because there's a lot of sounds on the ice and it can echo and ring. But I feel like I've gotten better over the years in terms of really listening and hearing what the coaches are saying."

"Sometimes it's just kind of double checking with the coaches or one of the guys around and really kind of paying attention. I've really got to focus in and make sure I'm hearing what they're saying so I can go out and execute.""

His coach with the Saints, former Reading Royals head coach Kirk MacDonald, even went as far as making sure he was in full view of Powell when they would go over video in the dressing. It gave him the opportunity to read his lips to help understand what he needed to do in order to be successful.

The game will be much different at the collegiate level. Things will be faster and it will be another chance for Powell to prove that this is something he can do. The Buckeyes showed their faith in him. Now it's his chance to return the favor.

And maybe one day, Powell can show the Flyers they made the right choice as well.