David Broll: 2011 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

As John mentioned in the first post of this series, we will be profiling various draft prospects- the big name guys whom the Devils may draft with the fourth overall pick or guys whom the Devils may draft with later round picks. In today’s profile, I’ll look at one of the prospects who the Devils might draft in a later round.

When you look at a lot of junior players, you will go and notice their size. You look at someone like Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and look at a lot of critics pointing to him being only around 170 lbs. Guys like Jamieson Oleksiak and Adam Larsson are liked by scouts because of their size. While size is one thing, you’ve also got to have the skill to go with it. Today’s prospect, David Broll is a massive specimen, but didn’t exactly have the greatest regular season this year on both a strong Erie Otters team and a relatively weak Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds team. However, Broll could be an interesting prospect- simply because he hasn't had that breakout season yet.

Who is David Broll?

Season

Games Played

Goals

Assists

PIM

2010-11

65

13

21

85

 

David Broll is a forward for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, who was acquired in a mid-season trade from the Erie Otters. Broll was selected 10th overall in the CHL entry draft by Erie, which meant he had a lot of promise to begin with. However, all the promise of a monsterous power forward didn’t really come to fruition- with only 34 points on the entire season, Broll looked to be a massive disappointment. Considering his relatively weak skating ability, it only made it worse for Broll, who saw his ranking plummet from 78th to 139th, a drop of 61 places.

Broll should be returning with the Greyhounds, which would be good for him. A knock against him has been that while he has size, he’s a bad skater. However, he has the size and power that many NHL teams crave, and at 18, the 6’2 220 lb Broll could possibly top off at around 6’3 and 230 lbs- a massive skater if I have to say.

Highlights

A Highlight package of Broll with the Greyhounds


Broll fights Mike Halmo for taking out his teammate


David Broll scores against the Windsor Spitfires


What people are saying

"Broll is a mean, nasty hitter who is the most intimidating of the three, but also possesses the lowest ceiling at present. He's got a really poor first few steps and lacks agility/turning ability, but is one of those straight-ahead skaters who's fine once he gets going. Another Hlinka alum, Broll's got some skill, too, but his real effectiveness is when he's bowling guys over and opening up space for his linemates."- Kirk Luedeke

"Broll is a massive player on the ice and many have labeled him as being a "man-child" due to his sheer presence on the ice. His physicality and ability to lay huge hits are two of the main elements to Broll’s game, but he also has some offensive upside. He’s a great guy to plant in front of the net on the powerplay and does a great job generating offense off the low cycle. His skating stride is long and awkward, which will hinder him at the draft, but he will definitely be selected and could go around the early third."- TheScoutingReport.org

An opinion of sorts

Broll looks like a high-risk kind of player to me. On one hand, if he can work on his skating, you’ve got a potential power forward who can open up space for skill guys and potentially chip in. However, if he can’t find his scoring touch and he doesn’t work on his skating, he’d probably top out as an enforcer simply because of his size and pugilistic ability. If he makes it to the NHL, he could be an agitating forward who can drop the gloves and occasionally score- similar to David Clarkson.

One thing I’ve noticed about Broll is that if anything, I haven’t seen a lot of praise or feedback on his defensive ability- something which might make me believe that he’s not going to be effective at both ends of the ice. If you compare Broll to two of the OHL’s top power forward prospects, Gabriel Landeskog and Brandon Saad, you’ll notice their excellent two way games are often highlighted. Broll is a less complete player than most power forwards, which in combination with bad skating and lack of a breakout season effectively took down his stock.

Should the Devils draft him? I personally say no. He has the potential, but there are way too many risk factors with Broll. He has the size to make it in the NHL, but his skill looks to be AWOL at the moment. There’s the chance that he finds his scoring touch and improves his skating, but those are two big ifs. However, Broll looks like he can play on the right side, which would help the Devils fill a weakness in their system- a lack of right wingers. Considering that he would be a 6th round pick, it might not be that much of a gamble for the Devils if they take him then.

NHLer I’d compare him to…

Shawn Thornton- pugilist with some offensive abilities and a good team guy, but likely a 4th liner at best. Broll has the potential to be a guy like Scott Hartnell, but unless he can improve his skating and work on his game, he’ll be regarded as more of a [Shawn] Thornton than a Hartnell.

Your opinion

What do you guys think of the big David Broll? Do you think his potential upside outweighs his current weaknesses? Do you think that the Devils could use Broll’s excellent size? Do you think the Devils should find another way to improve their weakness on the right side? Thanks for reading.

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