With their third pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft (47 overall), the Colorado Avalanche have selected right-handed defender Drew Helleson. At 6’3 and 200lbs, Helleson was the shutdown defender on last year’s star studded USNTDP U-18 team.
He is a solid defensive defenseman with a high compete-level and really good hockey instincts. But beyond that. Helleson skates well and has a ton of patience with the puck — he rarely makes mistakes. He’s cited as having a very strong first pass, and is smart enough to jump up into the play when needed. He can also quarterback a power-play when needed.
Like 16th overall pick Alex Newhook, Helleson is committed to Boston College for next season. Helleson is likely three years away from turning pro. Given a few years to fill out his frame in the NCAA, it’s easy to project Helleson as a solid bottom-4 defender in the NHL.
Despite the outcome, the U18s came out flying in yesterday's lopsided loss to Russia. They carried the play very early on, but obviously that wasn't sustained.— Stars n’ Stripes Hockey (@StarsStripesHKY) February 10, 2019
Here is a scoring chance early, off the draw, on a pretty pass from Cole Caufield to a cutting Drew Helleson. #NTDP. pic.twitter.com/Lq9Mr06Y5F
Helleson is the most reliable puck manager on a very talented NTDP blue line and is capable of maintaining control while being tightly checked or double teamed. He plays in all situations, and he is most effective when he is orchestrating a lengthy possession inside the opposing zone. Helleson does not play like he hungers for his name on the stat sheet — he’s an unselfish rearguard who is comfortable distributing the puck, and one who involves himself in the play as much as possible. - The Draft Analyst