Draft rankings

Jacob Battaglia – – Underrated for the 2024 NHL Draft

Kingston Frontenacs had a disappointing season, but one positive take away was the development of forward Jacob Battaglia. The 6-0, 205-pound right winger emerged as a first line OHL player.

Battaglia very quietly scored 31 goals and had 65-points in 67 games for the Frontenacs in his draft year.

Despite his production he was not selected to the CHL Top Prospects game, even as an injury relief player. The Frontenacs did have a player representing them in the game as their 2022 first round pick (17th overall) Gabriel Frasca was selected.

While Frasca missed time to injury, he did play 44 games for the Fronts and posted 32 points. Not bad.

But night in and night out he was outplayed by Battaglia. Battaglia held the first line winger position for the season and was driving the offense for Kingston, finishing second in team scoring behind 20-year-old Paul Ludwinski, a Chicago Blackhawks 2022 39th overall selection.

For the better part of the season, Frasca was ranked higher than Battaglia, but by seasons end, Frasca had fallen to 85th on NHL Central Scouting NA skaters, while Battaglia moved up to 42nd.

Battaglia has above average puck skills, he protects the puck using his size and wingspan, drops the shoulder to drive to the net and has excellent one-touch ability. Battaglia has dual threat scoring potential as he has an accurate shot and has playmaking vision and a soft pass that can set up teammates. What really drives his game however is his hockey sense. Battaglia has a tremendous sense of timing, finding open ice at the right time to be available to receive a pass. He finds holes in coverage to make plays, reads defenders positioning well to exploit opportunities to beat them.

On a nightly basis, Battaglia would have at least one play that would make me say something like, “that was nifty”, or “what a move!”.

The red flag that holds his ranking back is his skating, it is rough. His top speed is sufficient, but the mechanics of his stride are awkward, clumsy and inefficient. However his skating showed considerable improvement over his rookie season, and as his draft year developed, so did his skating.

In some ways, Battaglia reminds me of another former Kingston Frontenac in Jason Robertson. Both have good size, puck skills, hockey sense and shooting ability and drive pucks to the net. The knock-on Robertson was his skating as well. Robertson has overcome his skating deficiencies, if Battaglia can do the same his upside could be much higher than his current draft ranking.


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