Weight: 203 pounds
Date of birth: August 8, 2000
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Position: Right Wing
OHL Draft: Round 2, 25th overall, 2016 Priority Selection
When National Hockey League Central Scouting released it’s players to watch list in October, there were some in the hockey circle that questioned Oshawa Generals’ power forward Serron Noel appearing on the list as a B prospect – defined by Central Scouting as a 2nd or 3rd round candidate.
Many of those same people, including yours truly, were happy to see that Central Scouting then upgraded him to an A prospect – a 1st round candidate – on their November players to watch list.
Noel played his minor midget hockey for the Brockville Braves during the 2015 – 2016 season in which he recorded 17 goals and 11 assists in 45 games and earned the league’s top prospect award and appearing in that season’s all-star game. Prior to that season, the Braves had made Noel the first overall pick at the CCHL Bantam Draft.
Noel also played in the OHL Gold Cup (winning bronze) scoring 2 goals and 2 assists in the tournament. The Generals would select Noel in the second round, 25th overall at the 2016 draft.
Last season, Noel made the Generals’ roster appearing in 63 of the Genies’ 68 regular season games. He would score 8 times to go along with 13 assists, and add a goal and 2 assists in 9 playoff games. He also represented Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 producing a goal and 3 assists in 5 games.
This season began with Noel representing Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial where Canada captured yet another gold medal. He would score once in Canada’s 5 games.
As of today, Noel has appeared in 19 games and is second among Generals in goals (10) and fourth in points (14). The stat that sticks out the most however is that his 10 goals have come on just 31 shots on goal (tenth among Generals) for a whopping 32.2% shooting percentage, which puts him second in the OHL in that category.
So, what exactly does Serron Noel bring to the table?
Well, at 6’5” and tipping the scales at just a hair above 200 pounds, he has NHL size. He’s improved his skating so much, that it is very noticeable. He moves so well for a player of his size. His long strides allow him to put separation between himself and an opponent. He has the agility of a much smaller player. Combined with his stickhandling abilities, he can beat defenders one-on-one. In fact, Noel has been known to go on end-to-end rushes and when he does, he brings Generals’ fans to the edge of their seats.
Noel is still learning how much he can impact the offense. With the skillset I’ve already mentioned, once he learns how to utilize his teammates more, he will help improve the Generals offense. It’s not that he lacks playmaking abilities, he possesses them as well. And even though we’d like to see it utilized more, how can you argue about a player who is scoring on 32% of his attempts? He has a pretty good shot with a deceptively quick release.
One of the things that stands out is his work ethic. We would like to see more consistency however. When he’s on, he is an extremely efficient forechecker who gets on top of pucks, uses his size and strength to win battles in the corners and along the wall, and can be an immoveable force in front of the opposition net. We believe that consistency will come as he gains more confidence and experience.
Noel has shown the willingness to play both sides of the puck. He works extremely hard to get back on the backcheck, puts himself in good position in the defensive zone whether it’s with the body or his stick. He uses his long reach and stick to get into passing and shooting lanes. It is and will continue to be a work in progress, but you can’t underestimate the value of watching and learning from Jack Studnicka has on him.
I often get asked by Oshawa fans if I would choose Noel or the Generals’ other top-flight prospect Allan McShane. (Admittedly, I am surprised McShane wasn’t upgraded to an A prospect by Central Scouting, but that’s a story for another day). There’s a long way to go until June 2018 in Dallas. But Noel’s combination of size, skillset and potential is very appealing.
Eliteprospects.com stat page of Serron Noel,