“With the ninety-fifth pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft, the Los Angeles Kings select, from the Moncton Wildcats, defenseman Jordan Spence.”
After being overlooked in his first year of eligibility for the QMJHL Draft, Jordan Spence has made massive strides over the last two years. Spence’s rookie season proved doubters wrong with six goals and 43 assists (tops for all QMJHL rookies) in 68 games. QMJHL authorities are projecting him to notch 70 points next season. But before we get to the strengths and weaknesses, let’s get the basics out of the way...
Born: February 24. 2001 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: Sydney, Australia
Weight: 165 lbs.
2018-19 Season: Moncton Wildcats
68 Games, 49 Points (6G, 43A), 18 PIM, +11
#59—NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (North American Skaters)
Based on his skyrocketing stock over the last seven months, Spence, a mobile left-shot defenseman, has unlimited upside. An afterthought two years ago, he worked his way into the top-100 with quick feet, good top speed, excellent acceleration, and continued strong play. He’s an excellent passer with great on-ice vision. His game is constructed around his high-end hockey sense and he uses his puck confidence to create offense in abundance. He has excellent stick-to-itiveness never shying away from adversary or being told he isn’t good enough. He’s excelled to a second round pick just two years after going unselected in the QMJHL. He’s sprouted five inches in the time and on the fast-track to be a top 4 offensive defenseman.
Just weeks ago, draft experts that his size limits him and that he’s not good enough to be drafted anywhere above the sixth round. Others said that if his skating doesn’t improve he won’t make it past the ECHL. Spence has above average gap control which keeps opponents on the outside. His quick stick lights up an excellent poke check that allows him to play smart positionally. His lack of size has been an issue in the D zone and containing bigger forwards and clearing the front of the net continues to haunt him.
“To become a successful and impactful defensemen in today’s game, you must excel in the transition, keep a tight gap, have good puck retrieval skills and the ability to jump up into the rush. Jordan Spence in one capacity or another, displays all of these fundamental skills at a good level. ” – Finlay Sherratt, The Puck Authority
WHY THE KINGS TOOK A CHANCE
Once projected as maybe a sixth round pick, the Kings simply couldn’t pass on Spence’s superior hockey sense, ability to produce offensively, and his work on the special teams.