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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

2019 NHL Draft Profile: The Highly Underrated Nathan Allensen


When the Colts selected Nathan Allensen in the 2nd round, 32nd overall it was the first time they used a 2nd round pick in a draft since 2011 when they selected Alex Fotinos. While Fotinos was an average OHL goalie, Allensen is a legit 2019 NHL Draft prospect and ready to be a high end OHL defenseman.

In Allensen’s rookie campaign last year he played a regular role on the 3rd pairing with big Chris Cameron which most nights were a great pair on a young, but very talented blueline. Among true 2001 born rookie defensemen he tied for the league lead in points with Mississauga’s Thomas Harley, but in 7 less games with 15. He was also tied for 2nd in Plus/Minus with a +10 rating among 2001 born defensemen. Not bad at all for a rookie defenseman in the OHL. 

While Allensen had a strong rookie season, there was a game in particular from last year that stood out. A late season matchup against the top team in the east, the Hamilton Bulldogs. Colts top defenseman Joey Keane was out of the lineup which vaulted Allensen into a top 4 role for the game. This game still had implications in the standings for the Colts. Did he ever impress. Looking at the stat line it shows 1 assist and a +1 rating, but he looked like an OHL veteran out there that game against some top players such as Robert Thomas and Matt Strome. Over an impressive rookie season, this was the game that stood out most to me.

This season look for Allensen to step into the vacant top 4 spot open with overage defenseman TJ Fergus moving on to university hockey. This also opens a spot on the powerplay, but look for Joey Keane to take over the duties for Fergus on the top unit. This should make way for a spot for Allensen on the second unit and he should thrive. After a 15 point rookie season, expect that number to climb by a good margin with the increased role and specialty teams time. Defensively, Allensen is already solid and no doubt he will continue to grow in that aspect of his game. He is also good skater and isn't afraid to join in on the rush, while always good at not getting caught defensively when doing so.  

The Colts, usually known for being an dynamic team offensively have developed some solid NHL defense prospects as of late. They include Rasmus Andersson, Joey Keane and Tyler Tucker. Right now, Allensen is ranked lower than all of us at A Very Barrie Colts Blog believe he should be. Being what teams are looking for right now as a smooth skating two-way defenseman, don’t be surprised if Allensen is a top 90 pick come June 2019.  



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