Noel Hoefenmayer is an offensive defenseman who is currently playing for the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL. His measurables are good at 6-0, 190 pounds so there are plenty of teams that may have him on their draft boards as we inch closer to the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
The 18-year-old is a hard worker and that paid off this season. He had 14 goals and 40 points in 62 games. He carried that momentum in the playoffs and had a terrific seven points in six games.
“I felt good all year. There were a few ups and downs. Some times where I could have been better but overall I felt like I had a huge improvement from last year,” Hoefenmayer stated. “Having more experience helped me. Getting that first year under my belt is huge.”
His 36 PIMS in the regular season show his disciplined play. He had six in the playoffs when the play gets ratcheted up and that’s acceptable as well. This was certainly a growth year for him. His ice time was up and that was a positive.
“I think the big thing this year was opportunity. Last year we had a lot older “d” that were good so I didn’t really get as much ice time as this year. I got more power play time as well.”
The North York, Ontario native knows he has to get stronger and he’s been working with one of the best.
“I have a great strength trainer in, Dan Noble. He’s been helping me out a lot the past few summers,” he mentioned.
There was a spring in his skating step this year as well. His commitment to improving this part of his game could be what gets him to the next level one day.
“That’s something you have to work on every year. Nowadays if you can’t skate you’ll never be able to make it,” Hoefenmayer added. “It’s something that I need to work on more but it definitely improved from last year.”
Hoefenmayer won’t be attending the NHL Combine later this week in Buffalo, NY. He wasn’t invited but that’s ok. He’s not letting that news get him down. He’s one of those guys who doesn’t get too high or too low.
“I’ve still been talking to a good number of teams. It’s just a bump in the road and I guess I missed out on it,” said Hoefenmayer.
Like a lot of young players, he has already set the bar high for next season.
“I had a really good offensive year and I hope that will carryover. I really want to focus on the defensive side of my game and be stronger and more reliable in the d-zone,” he said.
I think Hoefenmayer will hear his name called in the second or third round. Until then, he must wait.