Flyers Prospect Breakdown: Devin Kaplan, RW, Boston University, NCAA

The Player

Devin Kaplan hails from Bridgewater, NJ, and played for the North Jersey Avalanche AAA program before joining the USNTDP program. Devin Kaplan’s strength is his transition game. He has very good small-area puck-handling ability and good edges to maneuver through the neutral zone.

He was the catalyst for transition on the McGroarty/Stramel line for the games that I tracked which included two games against Big 10 NCAA teams and two USHL games. During those games, he was a part of 51% of all successful transitions for his line which is an astounding percentage of involvement.

Dolans Wiffleball 2024
Dolans Wiffleball 2024

Even crazier: he was successful on almost 83% of those transitions. It is rare for Devin Kaplan to have an opportunity to enter/exit the zone and for the USNTDP to not do it with possession. Kaplan reads the defenseman’s pass as he tries to go d-to-d behind the net and turns the puck over on his forecheck.

More

Going into the corner he picks his head up to scan his outlet as he has two players coming in to pressure him and gets the puck out to the point for a low-to-high cycle start. A bad pass/first touch back to him and he still can feed #24 behind the net who is then setting up #10 for a high-danger shot. Kaplan then supports the forecheck across the ice, picks up the loose puck, and feeds a beautiful high-danger pass for USA’s first goal in the gold medal game. 

He can forecheck hard as the F1 is smart on the wall as the F2, and possesses the brain and the hand-eye coordination to excel as an F3 forechecker as well. His speed allows him to suffocate space and he’s not afraid to use his size and physicality to separate players off the puck. He delays at the right moments, inviting pressure before passing. Anticipates teammates moving into space and hits them with the lead pass. Look to the inside and cross-ice for options rather than forcing a low-percentage shot or up-the-board dump.

Projection

Now with two years of Division Hockey complete the future may be now for Kaplan.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.

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