Photo Credit – ZSC Lions
Noah Meier is a 2021 NHL Draft eligible left handed defenseman from Switzerland. This season, he has played in five games for the GCK Lions U20 (U20-Elite) and 17 games for GC Küsnacht Lions (Swiss League, B League in Switzerland). During his five games with the GCK Lions U20 squad, he tallied one goal and seven assists. As you would expect, his offensive production dropped in his 17 games with GC Küsnacht. He has managed to tally one goal and four assists.
Meier’s rights are owned by the Zürcher Schlittschuh Club Lions/ZSC Lions (Swiss National League). But, he has yet to play in a game this season for ZSC. But, he did make his National League debut last season for ZSC and suited up in three games for the Zürich based squad.
Meier is in attendance at the 2021 World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Alberta. He has been on the second defensive pairing for Switzerland and has been paired with Cédric Fiedler (Western Michigan University, Left Handed Defenseman).
In addition, there is no relation to Timo Meier of the San Jose Sharks. Meier is a very popular last name in German-speaking countries including Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
D.O.B – September 24, 2002
Nationality – Switzerland
Draft Eligibility – 2021
Weight –170 lbs
Position – Defense
Handedness – Left
Meier’s Style Of Play
When it comes to the Swiss defenseman, the two best attributes in his game are his skating and passing.
With Meier’s skating, he has shown that he possesses a quality first step for acceleration purposes. After the initial lengthy first step, he tends to trim down the foot extension into a smaller release. His outside edges are strong, especially when button hooking, which he will do depending on how tight the forechecking pressure is. The only area from a skating perspective which needs further development is his crossovers. Meier does not often start a breakout rush with crossovers. The goal should be to work on implementing crossovers, especially when starting the breakout from behind his own net and/or if he has to move around traffic when initiating the breakout. In the clip below from Dylan Griffing (Dobber Prospects), you can take a look at a controlled zone-to-zone transition in which Meier implements good first steps that help him gain speed out of the gate.
From a puck possession perspective, Meier seems to be more conservative with his puck control. If he is controlling the puck and facing a tough forecheck, you can expect him to alter his plan and look for a teammate to pass the puck to. Meier also has shown that he can be creative with his passing. Meier makes good use of the boards for bounce passes. Sometimes, he will play a pass off the boards in the defensive zone and it will ricochet off to a teammate in the neutral zone. But, from a more traditional tape-to-tape feed perspective, Meier has strong range. Quite often, you will see Meier elect to complete a stretch pass from the defensive zone into the neutral zone in hopes of driving the play into the offensive zone. When it comes to puck collection from a pass, it appears that Meier has challenges with capturing possession from time to time. Perhaps Meier is having difficulty reading his teammates and has challenges at identifying the precise moment when the puck will arrive at his location.
In the offensive zone, you will often see Meier stick to the blue-line. Occasionally, he will shift over to the right side, when he has control of the puck and look for a lane that he can exploit with a pass. But, more than often, Meier plants his skates at the blue-line in anticipation of his opponents securing the puck and attempting a rush. He will shift away from the blue-line if his teammates have control of the puck in the trenches. If they are cycling the puck behind the red-line, he will jump up to the perimeter and thus gives his teammates a fellow teammate to pass to, who could potentially instill a medium danger scoring chance. From a shooting perspective, don’t expect Meier to take many shots per game. Per InStat Hockey, Meier has averaged 1.2 shots on goal per game in league play. Meier prefers to find another teammate than take a shot from the blue-line.
In the defensive zone, Meier can get out of position, as he sometimes drifts too far towards the blue-line and can leave his defensive partner to fend for himself. But, the area the most development in the defensive zone is gap control and assertive play. Meier will plant himself in front of an attacker, but still give enough room to the attacker. This allows the attacker to skate around Meier or shoot/pass without fear of a deflection. Perhaps, Meier is hoping that his reach will allow him to shut down further puck movement, but it doesn’t always play out in Meier’s favor. Meier should look to be more assertive and aggressive. He should look to pin attackers against the boards and limit where his attackers can go. Aside from gap control, I have noticed that Meier is quick to a loose puck. He will not always win the battle, but he puts on the jets in an effort to grab possession.
Mike Reilly, Left Handed Defenseman, Ottawa Senators
Like Meier, Reilly has struggled at time with his defensive play and has had to work on defensive awareness throughout his time in the NHL. Both, Reilly and Meier have proven to be effective passers and both have strong range. In addition, both defensemen are quality skaters, who can garner good speed off of their first extensions.
If Meier can become more assertive and aggressive with his defensive play, it is possible for Meier to be a bottom pairing defenseman in the NHL.
stats from InStat and EliteProspects
Prospect report written by Josh Tessler. If you would like to follow Josh on Twitter, his handle is @JoshTessler_.
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