Jacob Middleton

Darren Walker

Middleton is a two-way defender who skates a little too upright, but still gains adequate speed. He is fairly balanced on his feet and possesses solid lateral mobility. He stops and starts well, but often gets tangled in his own feet. A lack of coordination is a common problem for young prospects with size. Middleton has a powerful slap shot and an ac- curate wrister to get the puck on net. Middleton gives great outlet passes and solid short-range passes in the zone. His compete level is inconsistent; some nights he is on and looks like a first rounder, while other nights he lacks poise. He is more than willing to battle with opponents in front of the net and in the corners, but eases off toward the end of the battle. He has excellent size and strength that can be used as an asset if he is consistent with it. He handles the puck very well while skating backward and in transition, and he looks for options to pass or skate with the puck before he makes a play. He takes the body well along the boards and he does a good job of separating players from the puck. He does a great job of taking opponents out of the play around his own net and preventing scoring chances. Can be a little turnover prone when he tries to do too much. Was counted on as a top D-man on a young 67s squad and held his own. (May 2014)