Sometimes, when a scout sets out to see one player, they leave the rink impressed with another one all together. Columbus, Ohio native Jack Roslovic has been sending scouts out to watch Auston Matthews home very impressed all year, as he’s steadily climbed up the draft boards to the point where he’s now a consensus late-first or early-second round pick.
- Age: 17.63 years old at start of season. Born January 29, 1997
- Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio
- Frame: 6’1, 187 lbs
- Position: C/RW
- Draft Year Team: U.S. National U-18 Team (USHL)
- Accomplishments: 2014 U17 WHC Gold Medal, 2015 U18 WJC Gold MEdal, 2015 U18 WJC Top Three Player on Team
|PCS% 2014||PCS Pts/82 2014||PCS% 2015||PCS Pts/82 2015|
|PCS Most NHL GP||PCS Highest Pts/GP|
|Thomas Vanek||Paul Stastny|
|Paul Stastny||Thomas Vanek|
|Andy Hilbert||Kyle Palmieri|
- PCS = Our Player Cohort Success model. Click here for more information about PCS.
Roslovic is a smooth puckhandler that excels in one-on-one situations and can make dazzling moves with speed and in tight spaces. He is excellent at using those skills to gain zone entry and establish possession in the offensive end. Once in the offensive end, he’s an effective passer that sees the ice well and does a good job finding open areas of the ice away from the puck. He has added some muscle over the past two seasons, but still has a lot of strength to add. He looked great playing against his age group, but was neutralized too easily in some of the NTDP’s games against older college competition this past season. He’ll also need to improve his shot to be more of a complete scoring threat rather than a pass-first player.
His game can be described as complementary but he carries a lot of strong play on his own. Plays a straight ahead, competitive game and he reads the game and reads off his line mates very well and then makes the play that gets the most out of the situation. Can play all situations and he doesn’t allow himself to be denied.
Jack Roslovic has been a climber on draft charts all season, likely due to the exposure of playing with talented 2016-eligible Auston Matthews and Matthew Tkachuk on the prestigious United States National Team Development Program Juniors. Still, even when considering the help from Matthews, Roslovic’s season can only be described as superb.
Roslovic distinguished himself as a smart and skilled player that works hard at both ends of the ice, and has a knack for playing a strong puck possession game. He sees the ice well and is able to find soft spots in coverage to manufacture scoring chances and score goals, even though his shot isn’t great. He also has an element of flash in his game, with the ability to make impressive rushes up the ice and beat opposing defenders, demonstrating a significant amount of stand-alone skill.
In terms of offense, Roslovic was the second most productive USHLer this past season on a per-game basis, tallying 38 points in 25 games with the USNTDP Juniors, out-pacing potential top-10 pick Kyle Connor by a fairly significant amount, and tallied 127 points total between the USHL and USDP in 2015. Given his output, age, and size, PCS compares him favourably to Paul Stastny and Thomas Vanek, and gives him a relatively excellent chance at developing into a very, very good top-6 forward.
But the Auston Matthews connection has to be considered when looking at Roslovic, so we can extend the bounds of “similar” in our PCS model and look at guys who scored at a lower rate than Roslovic. Doing so, we lose the Vanek comparison, but Max Pacioretty, Patrick Sharp, R.J. Umberger, James van Riemsdyk, and Erik Cole also enter the picture. As do guys like Jason Zucker, Eric Nystrom, Chad LaRose, and Justin Abdelkader.
The point being that Roslovic scored just too much for us to brush him off due to playing with Matthews, and history shows us that guys who score a fair bit less than Roslovic still tend to find a great degree of success developing into NHL players.
To take his game to the next level, Roslovic will have to continue to get stronger so he can improve his shot and his physical game. He’ll have ample opportunity to work on this however, as he is committed to attending Miami University in Ohio next season and for the next few years before turning pro. Roslovic has the skill to develop into a top-6 winger in the NHL; it’s just a question of whether he’ll develop.