Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: C Noah Gregor

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks owned seven picks early in each round. That changed after trading the second and fourth-round selections to the Florida Panthers, but who knows what will happen on draft day to get those back. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Let’s take a look at WHL Moose Jaw Warriors forward Noah Gregor, one of the biggest risers on NHL Central Scouting’s rankings.

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Name: Noah Gregor

Position: Center 

Shoots: Center

Height, weight: 6’0”, 176 lbs

Team/League: Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL

Stats (from 







NHL CSS Ranking: 45th (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2/5, 4/5

NHL-potential: Middle-Six Forward

Draft Range: Mid-Second to Early First Round

Scouting report

"Undersized centre-forward with great skill and ability to generate offensive. Has high end attack instincts and the ability to create on both the PP and even strength. Not the biggest guy or the strongest skater, but he has a knack for finding the the right area with his quick smart passes and shots. A player still in the developmental stage. many areas are going need to improve to continue his upward spiral. Has a quick stick recognition skills and ability to get loose. His defensive game is a work in progress, but can’t be accused of not given effort in all three zones. (Bill Placzeck,"


Noah Gregor is a talented two-way center in the making. He is not the biggest guy, but battles hard in all three zones, doing what it takes to get the puck. With all eyes on fellow Moose Jaw Warrior Brett Howden, Gregor quietly outscored the potential first-round pick by four goals and nine points, scoring 28 goals and 73 points.

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Gregor is an explosive skater who plays a high-tempo game that defensemen often struggle to keep up with. His first few strides are outstanding, and his hands are easily able to keep up with the foot speed. When Gregor accelerates and uses a quick deke or two to move past his opponents, there is little that can be done to prevent a scoring chance.

Furthermore, Gregor has a high hockey IQ that allows him to anticipate plays before they develop. He envisions what will happen in front of him, allowing to make split-second decisions on what to do next. Whether it is a deke, a shot or a pass, you can be sure Gregor makes a decision before you even know all the options.

Despite his smallish frame — six feet and 180 pounds — Gregor is willing to pay the price to score. He battles hard in the corners, drives to the net hard, and does not shy away from physical play. What matters to him is getting the puck to the net, even if that means getting banged up by a bigger defenseman.

Last but not least, Gregor knows his responsibilities in his own zone. His defensive game is a work in progress, but he has the hockey sense and raw tools to be a successful two-way player.


As mentioned, Gregor is not exactly big. He gets by in junior, even laying the occasional hit, but he won’t be able to play his style at the next level if he doesn’t bulk up. Corner battles, driving to the net and hitting can become nasty tasks when executed against the Nikita Tryamkins of this world.

Gregor’s general defensive game could need some work as well, although it is clear to see that he is making an effort to improve. He goes down low to offer puck support, and he forechecks and backchecks well. His positioning could use some improvement, but he has an active stick that allows him to steal the puck from oncoming forwards.

Final Thoughts

Noah Gregor shows several promising tools, but his style might not be easy to translate to the next level, thanks to his stature. He is a hard worker who battles hard in all situations and has a little grit to his game, but none of that will help him at the next level if he doesn’t bulk up. If he grows a couple of inches and adds some weight to his frame, he could be a mid-round steal — if he even gets to the mid rounds.

If the Vancouver Canucks like him, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t, they need to hope he falls down to 64th, which will be their first pick after the fifth-overall selection, barring any trades. With Brandon Sutter, Bo Horvat and Markus Granlund, the Canucks have three middle-six centers on the roster right now, but that can change by the time Gregor is NHL-ready. Plus, if his frame does not allow him to play his two-way center game the way he wants, Gregor could be moved to the wing.

Next: More 2016 NHL Draft Profiles

With Dryden Hunt and Brayden Point off the Warriors roster next season, Gregor could get an even bigger role than he had so far. Perfect circumstances to further develop his game.