Developing defensemen is a bit of a hallmark for the Nashville Predators organization, and American blueliner John Moore might be the next great prospect to join the program. A 6'2", 190 pound defensemen playing for Chicago in the USHL, Moore draws attention due to his elite skating and heady offensive play.
Slated to join Colorado College next fall or perhaps head into the Canadian junior system with the Kitchener Rangers, he would seem to have all the physical tools and raw skill to make a solid two-way NHL defenseman, and Nashville might make a decent fit. His "family advisor", after all, is Wade Arnott, brother of the Preds' captain. More opinions and some video after the jump...
For some personal insight from Moore himself, check out Coming Down the Pipe, which featured a number of guest blogs by the young star over the last few months. For example, a snapshot of his experience at the NHL Combine:
The first part was a thorough physical evaluation that took about an hour. From there we went upstairs to the actual testing room.
I will never forget this moment for as long as I live.
I walked into the ballroom, which was overflowing with scouts, GM’s, and media. It definitely got your heart racing and it was a lot of fun. If I had to describe it I would call it a meat market as they were examining every prospect from top to bottom.
NHL Central Scouting's Jack Barzee says,
"I watched John Moore as an underage player and I knew he was a must see player for this year; he hasn’t disappointed me one bit. His first two strides are like Paul Coffey and he has been labeled as a world-class skater. He is poised with the puck, he gets his shots through to the net and he has gotten a lot stronger this season. He resembles (Calgary Flames) defenseman Jordan Leopold and similar to Leopold at the same age he needs to get a little bit better at playing more aggressive and more physical, but John is going to be a one-two defenseman in the NHL."
While his defensive game requires further refinement, that skating and offensive ability might buy him the time needed to round out his game.
Lastly, here's John's profile video from NHL.com: