Jake Walman is arguably the Blues best defensive prospect. He is a very skilled and smooth skating defensemen. Walman was the Blues 3rd round pick (#82 overall) in the 2014 NHL draft. He played 3 seasons in the NCAA at Providence college. In his first season he had 16 pts in 41 games (1G and 15A). In his 2nd season he had an injury that required surgery, but before that he had 28 pts in 27 games (13G and 15A). In his final season, before signing an entry level deal with the Blues, Walman had played 39 games recording 25 pts (7G and 18A).
Walman could’ve been the best skating defensemen from the 2014 draft. He has elite speed, agility, and acceleration. He is very difficult to beat one on one due to his phenomenal skating ability. Walman also has a great shot, particularly his one-timer and he does not hesitate to rip it. He uses his skating ability to slip away from checks and open space. His lateral movement allows him to walk the blue line and open passing and shooting lanes. Walman’s breakout ability and poise with the puck is exceptional and he can either make a firm crisp pass or skate his way into the offensive zone.
Walman has great instincts and likes to step up and be aggressive and his hardly caught out of the play. Despite his small size and muscle mass, Walman likes to throw a big hit and plays hard in the corners and in front of the net because of his very competitive nature. He needs to add more muscle and he still could get better with his defensive positioning, although he seemed to get better with the AHL coaching. With Craig Berube now up with the Blues that may give Walman a better shot at making the team.
My prediction on Walman’s NHL potential is a top 4 pairing defensemen. With his skating, offensive, and playmaking abilities Walman would make a great pairing with Parayko in the future. He would especially be good on the power play and may be able to quarterback one. He’s been compared to this player before but my comparison would have to be Justin Faulk. Walman has the potential to produce 15 goals and 30-40 assists a season and can pose as a threat on the power play.