Welcome to our sixth player profile for the 2015 Draft. If you missed our fifth profile, you can check it out by clicking here. There will be several of these coming in the near future and leading up to the draft. Each profile will document a 2015-draft eligible player that the Panthers could pick based on their draft position, which we now know to be the 11th pick.
Today, we’ll highlight Timo Meier, a right-winger for the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Read on for a look at the number 10-ranked North American skater in this year’s draft.
Timo Meier was drafted 12th overall by the Halifax Mooseheads in the 2013 CHL Import Draft, the same draft which saw players like Nikolaj Ehlers, Jacob de la Rose, and André Burakovsky drafted as well. In his first season with the Mooseheads, Meier played on both the 1st and 3rd lines (depending on the night) with either Jonathan Drouin and Darcy Ashley or Danny Moynihan and Connor Moynihan. Over the course of the season, he showed flashes of potential, but his play was raw and underdeveloped with it being his first time playing the North American style. Meier ended the season ranked 15th in rookie scoring with 34 points in 66 games. This past season was his second with the Mooseheads, and with Jonathan Drouin playing with the Lightning, Meier was able to step up to Halifax’s top line where he played with the Winnipeg Jets’ 2014 1st-rounder Nikolaj Ehlers and Danny Moynihan. Meier’s development as the season went on was noticeable as he began using his size to his advantage more than he did as rookie and was on another level level offensively. He finished the season with 90 points in 61 games which is a 56 point improvement in 5 less games played compared to last season, and he went on to also put up 21 points in 14 playoff games, including three game-winning goals. Meier led the Mooseheads in goals and was 5th in the QMJHL with 44, was second in assists on the team with 46, and was 2nd in the league with 10 game-winning goals. Meier had a 27-game point streak which lasted from November 22nd to February 26th, tying Connor McDavid for the second-longest point streak in the CHL this past season behind teammate Nik Ehlers.
At the end of the season, Meier was awarded the Mike Bossy Trophy as the QMJHL’s best professional prospect, and he was also named to the QMJHL’s Second All Star Team. Panthers defenseman Dimitry Kulikov received the same trophy for his 2008-09 season in the QMJHL.
Meier has also competed internationally for his home country of Switzerland. As a 14-year-old, he played for the Swiss U16 team and competed against the likes of David Pastrnak, Elias Lindholm, and Filip Forsberg, and he put up 16 points in 15 games which was good for 2nd on the team. As a 15-year-old, he participated in the U18 World Juniors but was held pointless in 2 games. Meier also played for the Swiss U20 team at this year’s U20 World Juniors tournament and tallied 6 points in 6 games, including 2 goals and 4 assists, and at the end of the tournament, he was selected as a top 3 player on the team along with Predators top prospect Kevin Fiala. Meier was chosen to Team Orr for this year’s CHL Top Prospects game where he played on a line with the highly-touted Connor McDavid and Travis Konecny, leading the team to a 6-0 victory with a goal and 2 assists.
When it comes to Meier’s style of play, he’s physical, energetic, aggressive, and athletic. While he’s certainly not the fastest player in the draft, he has above average speed for a 6’1″, 210-pound frame and as a north-south type of player, he has the ability to rush the puck up the ice by himself and get past defenders with his quick hands. He’s not afraid to be physical, and something he’s learned especially since his rookie season is that his large frame can be used to his advantage by allowing him to protect the puck in the corner or along the boards as well as take his opponents off of the puck.
Meier has a nose for the net, and as a player that will more often that not shoot rather than pass, he knows where to go to score goals and will often be close to the net. However, he is very cerebral and has the ability to find pass options easily when necessary. His shot is certainly above average and it projects him as a top 6 sniper at the NHL level. Defensively, Meier could use some work in his own zone, but in general, his play away from the puck is fairly average. Although some may argue that his point total in his second season was inflated due to him being on a line with offensive dynamo Nikolaj Ehlers who had back-to-back 100-point seasons, Ehlers didn’t play every game during the season and Meier was not out of place without Ehlers. It’s even possible that Ehlers benefited from Meier being on his line rather than vice-versa, but either way, Meier can be a complimentary player or one that you form a line around depending on a team’s needs.
Draft-wise, it’s fairly likely that Meier will be chosen somewhere between picks 10 and 15. Having played right wing for the Mooseheads, Meier is a very viable option for the Panthers being that he’s a player with the ability to score goals which is something the Panthers desperately need. As a player with a big body, he would fit well into Dale Tallon’s vision of having a team of players that have size and skill. While there’s a chance Meier could go in the top 10, it’s not very likely considering the players that have a good chance of being picked in that area of the draft board.