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Noah Juulsen’s Highlights of the Year: The rookie lowers the boom

Talk about making an impact!

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

There’s a lot to like about Noah Juulsen’s game. He’s a big kid, he’s smart in his own end with the puck, and also he’s capable of unleashing some absolutely devastating body checks. No one found that out in a harsher way than Ryan Sproul of the Hartford WolfPack in January.

Sproul is looking to clear his own zone and exit the defensive zone with the puck on his stick. He has already passed by a forechecking forward which would usually mean he has time and space to carry the puck out of his own zone. What he wasn’t expecting was Noah Juulsen to step up at the blue line, and landing a monster body check.

With Sproul moving as fast as he was, and Juulsen having perfect leverage on him, the result is a highlight-reel hit. Sproul gets knocked into the air, almost doing an entire rotation backwards as his stick goes flying and his helmet almost pops off. To cap it all off, Juulsen takes off to get back to his defensive assignment and does so with relative ease. It wasn’t the first major hit he threw in that game, as he stepped up at his own blue line earlier in the game to lay out a Hartford player.

That aggressiveness didn’t dissipate in the NHL either and it endears him further to his coaches and fans alike. If you’re trying to carry the puck into a zone where Noah Juulsen is patrolling you would do well to keep your head on a swivel. The 21 year old defender has no qualms about stepping up and laying a major hit, regardless of which end of the ice you’re in.