With their sixth-round draft pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, the Maple Leafs have selected 6’4, 187-pound left-shot defenseman Noah Chadwick of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

In his first full WHL season, Chadwick produced five goals (two game-winners) and 20 points in 67 games, which ranked him fourth among rookie WHL defensemen in points. Five of his 20 points came on the power play. He added one assist in four games during Lethbridge’s first-round sweep at the hands of the Moose Jaw Warriors.

While the point totals don’t leap off the page yet, Chadwick brings some offensive pose, instincts, and puck skills to the table inside a big package, so this is a swing on the upside of a long-term project who needs work on his skating. It’s noteworthy that Chadwick actually played quite a bit at the forward position growing up according to reports.

Surprisingly, it’s been 12 selections since the Leafs drafted their last defenseman — Topi Niemela back in the third round of 2020. While it’s always BPA and not positional need that is the driver when projecting players four or five years down the road, no doubt, another lottery ticket on the blue line is a worthwhile addition to the prospect stable.

The Leafs will walk away from the 2023 draft having made the three picks they entered the week with at #28, #153, and #185. They selected all Canadians (two from Saskatoon, and Chadwick and Hudson Malinoski were former teammates in AAA), including two forwards and a defenseman.

Noah Chadwick’s pre-draft rankings:

  • Ranked #231 by FCHOCKEY
  • Ranked #117 by DAILY FACEOFF
  • Ranked #162 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
  • Ranked #65 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)

Noah Chadwick Scouting Report

courtesy of EP Rinkside 

Even though Chadwick scored just 20 points, his point play shows more nuance and skill than many who outscored him. He moves through pass receptions, fakes plays, uses space, looks for teammates around the slot, and even if a point shot is the best play, he usually aims for sticks instead corners.  He shows a similar desire to create in transition, forgoing dump-outs for passes and deceiving opponents if necessary.

Chadwick possesses the reads but often lacks the tools to make full use of them. He creates space and lanes, but his skating and hands often prevent access. As such, he’s a low-volume creator at this stage, which explains the production. Still, for a team looking for a capable rush defender with skill in the later rounds, Chadwick is a viable option.

Noah Chadwick Video

Noah Chadwick Statistics

Born: May 10, 2005
Position: D
Age: 18
Height: 6'4" / 193 cm
Place of Birth: Saskatoon, SK, CAN
Weight: 187 lbs / 85 kg
Nation: Canada
Shoots: L
S Team League GP G A TP PIM +/- POST GP G A TP PIM +/-
2018-19 Saskatoon Stallions U15 AA SAAHL U15 30 7 6 13 2 - |
2019-20 Saskatoon Stallions U15 AA “C” SAAHL U15 21 9 33 42 4 - | Playoffs 4 1 5 6 0 -0
Saskatoon Contacts U18 AAA SMAAAHL 3 1 1 2 0 - |
2020-21 Saskatoon Contacts U18 AAA SMAAAHL 6 0 0 0 2 - |
2021-22 Saskatoon Contacts U18 AAA SMAAAHL 42 18 27 45 32 - | Playoffs 3 1 1 2 12 -0
Lethbridge Hurricanes WHL 13 2 1 3 4 -3 | Playoffs 4 0 0 0 0 -3
2022-23 Lethbridge Hurricanes WHL 67 5 15 20 16 9 | Playoffs 4 0 1 1 0 -2