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2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Colby Barlow

In the world of NHL Entry Draft prospects, many get oodles of attention. Colby Barlow isn’t. Why could he be a hidden gem come Draft Day?

One reason the NHL Entry Draft is so exciting – even many years later – is that there are always hidden gems. There are prospects who, for one reason or another didn’t rise high enough to be a first-round choice but who lift their game on NHL ice.

They surprise fans and hockey experts alike. Sometimes, they have far more impressive NHL careers than some of the bigger names who go high in the draft. Colby Barlow could be one of those players.

Colby Barlow NHL 2023 Draft
Colby Barlow NHL 2023 Draft

Is Colby Barlow a Prospect Who Has Flown Under the Radar?

Colby Barlow is a talented left-winger who plays with the Owen Sound Attack in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He could be one of “those prospects” who deserves more recognition than he’s received.

Barlow has exceptional offensive skills and leadership qualities. He also plays the kind of game that shows his serious commitment to the defensive side of the game. For these reasons, Barlow has the potential to be a terrific draft choice in the upcoming NHL draft.

Barlow Has Elite Scoring Ability

Barlow can flat-out score goals. He possesses a lethal array of shots. These include one- and two-touch shots, one-timers, and a wrist shot that he fires on the net with incredible accuracy. His release is quick and allows him to find the back of the net from all over the ice. He also has exceptional goal-scoring instincts, including the talent to finish plays both near the net and from a distance.

Barlow Is a Strong Leader Who Doesn’t Relax on Defense

Despite being a stellar offensive player, Barlow is committed to the defensive aspects of the game. That strong commitment sets him apart. He’s the captain of the Owen Sound Attack, and he leads by example.

His defensive skill also fuels his offensive opportunities. Because he’s willing to play a 200-foot game, Barlow forces turnovers and pressures opponents into making mistakes. Then he capitalizes.

Barlow also is a strong forechecker. He’s consistently willing to sacrifice his body, even when the game is decided. He’s a dedicated player whose singular focus is his team’s success.

Barlow Is an Underrated Prospect

As noted above, it’s interesting that despite his impressive play on both offense and defense Barlow’s been overlooked in many draft discussions. That said, those who have followed his development recognize his potential as a top-10 prospect.

To summarize, he has strong goal-scoring abilities, which are combined with his commitment to defense. In that, he’s a unique player who could impact the game at both ends of the ice. Watch Barlow closely. He’s underrated and could become a steal of a deal for any team that selects him.

Barlow Has Room for Improvement

As noted, Barlow has strong offensive skills and plays a strong defensive game. However, there is room for improvement. According to scouts, his skating could be stronger. In a generation of prospects who have the speed to burn, this area is one he can continue to improve upon.

However, given his willpower and commitment to his own growth, you’d have to bet on the young man to do just that. Expect Barlow to work with coaches to address these areas and better enhance his game.

The Bottom Line

Barlow has the qualities to become a successful NHL player. He’s an elite scorer, he’s a strong leader, and he’s committed to the defensive side of the game.

Barlow might not have received nearly the attention as other prospects; yet, his potential as a top goal scorer and his dedication to the team might make him a steal of a draft choice. He has the potential to be a hidden gem and could make a significant impact in the league.

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  1. Pingback: 2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Ryan Leonard

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