At 6’4″ tall Jacob Middleton has the ideal size that NHL teams are looking and has surely caught many scouts eyes ahead of the 2014 NHL draft. He makes full use of that size as he plays the game tough, throwing big hits, playing mean, clearing the front of the net, and being aggressive in the corners. He has also shown the ability to fight and is willing to stick up for teammates. His positioning is good in his own zone, and a long stick and big frame help Middleton to cut down on passing and shooting lanes.
Middleton shows great mobility for his size. He is a decent skater, with decent speed in both directions and solid acceleration. He shows very good edgework and agility for a a big man, allowing him to change directions quickly and cover a lot of ice. This agility, and edgework allows him to adjust and throw particularly big hits against on-rushing forwards. He is strong on his skates and has great balance which helps in the battles in front of the net and in the corners.
Offensively, Middleton shows good vision and a strong passing game. He doesn’t lead the rush often, but he can skate the puck out of danger in his zone, and then make a good first pass to start the transition. In the offensive zone, he is also adept at setting up teammates. His point shot lacks some power for a 6’4″ defender, and could also use more accuracy and this is what really holds him back from being a big time point producer from the point.