Aside from Quinn Hughes and Tyler Myers, the construction of the Vancouver Canucks’ future blue line has few certainties. The need for an army of NHL quality defencemen is apparent in Vancouver and one way that the Canucks can fill some holes is through the draft.
Leading up to the 2020 NHL draft on October 6th and 7th, I’ll be previewing defenders who should be available in the third round or later that I think can contribute to Vancouver’s future. Currently, the Canucks own their 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and a 7th round pick from Anaheim.
In the final prospect profile before Vancouver makes their first selection of the 2020 NHL draft, we are going back to the USHS and inspecting the game of 6’3” right-handed defenceman Ian Moore.
- Size with room to fill out, at 6’3″ but only 165lbs, he has a ways to go to grow into his frame and an extended development path with the Chicago Steel next season and then Harvard University after that will allow him to do just that
- Is highly mobile and a confident puck-carrier that can take advantage of open ice making him valuable in transition
- Uses his large frame to generate huge amounts of torque on his shot that will continue to improve the stronger he gets
- Has trouble identifying passing options when carrying the puck into the offensive zone and will often skate into traffic or wrongly establish where safe ice is
- Slow to process secondary and tertiary options with the puck and reading skating routes
- Extremely raw, lots of development is needed, Harvard is double edged as he could hit free agency
To be transparent, this report was done with much less game tape as my previous two reports so I wanted to reach out for a second opinion on the future Crimson defenceman. Daniel Gee of Eliteprospects.com is the USHS/USHL area scout and has a fantastic piece on this year’s USHS crop which includes Ian Moore and Wyatt Kaiser that can be read here with an EP Premium subscription. Gee was also kind enough to give me his personal thoughts on Ian Moore:
Ian Moore is a tall, but physically underdeveloped defender, who possesses an enduring desire to carry the puck transitionally up the ice with confidence and great large-ice maneuverability. He leverages his body through his tall frame to produce a booming one-time shot that allows him to crank pucks off the left point with precision at the USHS-Prep level. Moore is an adept defender during one-on-one scenarios, keeping a tightly controlled gap and using his reach to block shots and poke pucks away. Moore has some issues processing the game, however. On his offensive zone carries, he often skates into pressure, and his rush patterns devolve wide, missing obvious pass options. He also has issues recognizing secondary and tertiary threats when defending against sustained pressure. He wanders out of position frequently, creating many defensive breakdowns in my viewings — his game is very up and down, but with his projectable size and solid skating ability his potential is obvious. I like his development path; the USHL’s Chicago Steel and Harvard University will be wonders for his development as a defender.
To further expand on Moore’s development path, many readers familiar with the USHL will know that the Chicago Steel is the gold standard organization in the league. They are one of the most forward-thinking hockey factories in the world always looking to innovate player development and tactics. For instance, one of their main faceoff takers in the defensive end was Jordan Spetz, a defenceman who took over 100 draws in the Steel’s end and he won over 55% of them. The Steel clearly knows their players’ strengths and weaknesses and looks to place every one of their players in a position to succeed. They are also partnered with Darryl Belfry, an industry-leading skills coach whose clientele consists of many of the games’ best like Patrick Kane. For a player like Ian Moore who is so raw but has the mobility and size that every team covets, this environment seems like a fantastic fit to work on fulfilling his potential. Add into this the fact that he will follow his USHL season up with attending Harvard University, a powerhouse as of late in developing NHL defencemen, and his NCAA schedule should allow him for ample time in the gym to grow into that 6’3″ frame of his. Rest assured, Moore’s path to professional hockey should be in excellent hands.
Prospect Thesis & Outlook
Ian Moore could be one of those rare defenders who can move in all four directions extremely well while towering over opponents. Add in the fact that he is a right-handed shot and he’s the type of player that teams fight over and never let go. He led the USHS in scoring for defencemen by a large margin because of his mobility and cannon of a one-timer and that offensive upside will surely have NHL teams salivating at the thought.
Gaining strength and continuing to fill into his body shouldn’t be an issue given his development path. His decision making and processing under pressure and in shorter time frames are ultimately what will decide how far in professional hockey he makes it. As his skating continues to grow, it will allow him to slow the game down and this will help but it cannot be something that he solely relies on.
Ian Moore has the potential to be a true diamond in the rough prospect that can use his size and mobility to greatly impact the game whenever he steps foot on the ice.