NHL Draft: Dylan Plouffe

Name: Dylan Plouffe

Team: Vancouver Giants (WHL)

Position: Defense

Height/Weight: 6’0 201lbs

Hand: Left

NHL Draft Ranking: N/A 

Western Prospects Ranking: 45th

Estimated Draft Position: Camp Invite


 

Areas of Strength

  • Maturity
  • Physical Defensively
  • High Level Skater

Areas of Weakness

  • Discipline
  • Over Committing
  • Improving in All Areas

Report: Its a shock that Dylan Plouffe has yet to earn looks from an NHL Team, outside of camp invites Dylan Plouffe’s name is surprisingly unknown. This was Plouffe’s fourth full season in the WHL, surpassing 200 games played and well on his way to reaching the 300+ regular season games played club. Throughout his time with the Vancouver Giants, Plouffe has been a stable on the team’s top two defensive unit, improving his versatility and earning a constant increase in minutes every season with the Giants. Plouffe is coming off of a WHL finals appearance loss, he totalled 51 points in 85 total games during the 2018-2019 season and behind Bowen Byram no other defensemen meant more to the Giants. While it’s a long shot that a team takes a double overage defensemen that didn’t produce over a point per game average, not taking Plouffe at the 2019 NHL Draft just mean’s he will likely have to wait a bit longer before earning a professional contract, something that we believe he could get during the 2019-2020 campaign. 

Not many other defensemen in the WHL play with the polish and maturity that Dylan Plouffe displays game in and game out. Plouffe has looked increasingly more comfortable in his ability to take over the game from the back end with every season that goes by, now managing the game from the back end better than any other undrafted 1999 defensemen during the 2018-2019 season. Plouffe is a hard nosed two-way defensemen that plays a tenacious stay at home game. Equipped with eye gazing mobility and fluid four-way skating, Plouffe is able to glide like a figure skater around the ice (with and without the puck) while accelerating with a long powerful stride, he abuses this talent in offensive end to adjust his shooting position on the blue line. I really like the intensity that Plouffe brings, he’s dialled in like a professional defensemen which allows him to never lose track of the puck whilst defending the rush. Scouts love players who display good body language and strong body positioning, Dylan Plouffe does just that. With a stocky bulking physique, Plouffe exploits his physical strengths defensively in every aspect he can. Dialled in attention to controlling the gap defensively and laying the body on a forward when he’s comfortable to step up, mirroring players one on one with shoulder to shoulder body positioning and once again using that dialled in mind set to star down his target before closing him off. Assertive defensively and strong-arming opposing players a lot the wall, he’s able to out muscle and outworking others for the puck. A quick puck retriever who doesn’t waste time in the transitional game, bursting below his goal line with speed and looking to rip the puck back up ice with his feet or a blistering pass. Purposeful with his puck touches, very efficient in his mechanic’s. Offensive Plouffe’s game is very structured, he’s not a flexible defensemen who uses his instincts but instead one that relies on following where his coach wants him to be a slipping down to the ringette line. Given how hulking of a defensemen Plouffe is, its no surprise he can absolutely hammer pucks on net from the blue line. It may not be as accurate as his wrist shot but its off his stick with intimidating power. I’d like to see him use his shot more often, he only wrists the puck when in stride as he seems more comfortable shooting off two feet rather than from an uncomfortable spot on his body. Overall there’s a lot to like with Plouffe, he’s very easy on the eyes as he commands the ice from the back end with his size to cut off the ice and has the smooth skating qualities of a much smaller defensemen. Plouffe still needs to improve in a lot of different areas like his offensive game and also in recovering defensively, I’d love to see a team take a chance on Plouffe at the draft before they regret not doing it eight months from now.