Looking Ahead: Justin Barron

Josh Tessler

2019-10-10

 

Overview:

Justin Barron is a 2020 NHL Draft-eligible prospect, who could potentially be a top-20 draft selection. Barron is a Halifax, Nova Scotia native and grew up playing in the Halifax ACCEL Hawks organization. After he completed his two bantam seasons in 2016, he suited up for the Halifax McDonald’s for one season. Throughout his time spent with Halifax ACCEL Hawks Bantam and Halifax McDonald’s, he recorded 15 goals and 36 assists in a combined 96 games played.

 

Barron was drafted by the Halifax Mooseheads in the 2017 QMJHL Entry Draft at 13th overall. Since joining the Mooseheads organization, he has been featured in 126 games. Barron has mustered up 11 goals and 53 assists. Last season, he was the 15th best offensive producing defenseman in the QMJHL. Barron was just a few points short of cracking the top 10. Gabriel Bilodeau, Pierre-Olivier Joseph (Pittsburgh Penguins prospect), Xavier Bouchard (Vegas Golden Knights prospect), Dominic Cormier and Ryan DaSilva performed slightly better than Barron did. So far this season, Barron has appeared in seven games and tallied 2 assists. If Barron surpasses last year’s point totals (41 points), he can help raise his draft stock. As an offensive defenseman, Barron’s point totals will be crucial to how far he goes in the NHL Draft. 

 

Throughout his time in bantam, midget and junior hockey, he has played alongside many NHL prospects including Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Anaheim Ducks prospect), Arnaud Durandeau (New York Islanders prospect), Raphaël Lavoie (Edmonton Oilers prospect), Jared McIsaac (Detroit Red Wings prospect), Alexis Gravel (Chicago Blackhawks prospect), Ostap Safin (Edmonton Oilers prospect), Filip Zadina (Detroit Red Wings prospect), Otto Somppi (Tampa Bay Lightning), Matthew Steinburg (Colorado Avalanche prospect) and Ethan Phillips (Detroit Red Wings prospect).

 

All-in-all, Barron has had a solid junior career, but the right-handed defenseman still has a lot of work ahead of him. There is a lot of fierce competition for the second overall drafted defenseman. Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters) is the clear number one defenseman, who will be selected in the draft. Aside from Drysdale, Barron will be competing against Jérémie Poirier (Saint John Sea Dogs), Lukas Cormier (Charlottetown Islanders), Shakir Mukhamadullin (Salavat Yulaev Ufa) and Tyler Kleven (USNTDP) for the second defenseman selected.

 

Player Profile:

  • Shoots: Right
  • DOB: 11/15/2001
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 187 lbs

 

Skating:

Barron’s skating might be the worst component of his game. He has a fast stride, but his edges and crossovers are not as impressive as the skating of Lukas Cormier, Jérémie Poirier and Jamie Drysdale. While his edges and crossovers are weak compared to the competition, his lateral movements are solid and he shows them off on the point as he transitions from side to side on the blue line as he attempts to find the optimal teammate to pass the puck to. 

 

Even though there are some flaws in his skating ability, he is a solid puck-moving defenseman and always tends to find gaps in all three zones as he glides the puck up the ice. 

 

There is one component to his skating that I have not touched on yet and that is his ability to make quality tight turns. His turning radius is solid and he will use his turns to psych out his opponent in the offensive zone as he looks to make passes from the point. In the video below, you can check out one of his turns.

 

Shot:

Barron’s shot is easily the best component of his game. He consistently fires lasers from the blue line. Barron has a quick release and has a filthy slap shot. With his powerful slap shot, he creates several scoring chances and his shot paves the way for