2024 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Max Plante

Photo Credit: INTERNATIONAL ICE HOCKEY FEDERATION (IIHF)

The Scouting Report:

Max Plante, coming from a family deeply rooted in the NHL, is no stranger to the game’s importance and the weight of the NHL draft. His upbringing in a hockey-centric environment has instilled in him a strong devotion to the sport. Despite facing a setback of missing 10 games due to a wrist injury earlier in the season, Plante has showcased his unwavering commitment to his own growth. This commitment has led to him securing a spot at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where he is set to kick off his collegiate hockey journey in the 2024-25 season.

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Draft Projections

Ranked #75 by Inside The Rink

Ranked #33 by TSN/Craig Button

Ranked #48 by Sportsnet (Bukala)

Ranked #43 by NHL Central Scouting (NA SKaters)

Ranked #73 by Consolidated Ranking

Conrad Jack of Inside The Rink has Max Plante projected at 75th overall.

I have identified some of Max Plante’s key characteristics. Now, let’s explore his attributes further and potentially identify areas where he can improve.

On-Ice Abilities/Skating:

The 18-year-old forward, standing at 5 feet 11 inches and weighing 176 pounds, demonstrated his skill on the ice by scoring a total of 61 points, comprising 15 goals and 46 assists, in 51 games for the UA18 National Team during the 2023-24 season. In the 2023-2024 USNTDP Juniors Plante put up six goals, 23 assists for 29 points in just 25 games – fifth among his teammates. During the IIHF UA18 Men’s Worlds Tournament this past spring, Plante appeared in nine games for Team USA earning 11 points (2g, 9a) and the team would take home the Silver Medal in the tournament.

Max is a quick skater, using his exceptional edgework to navigate effortlessly on the ice, whether he has the puck or not. This makes him a challenging player to defend against. Plante talent is that he is a natural playmaker with exceptional passing instincts and a skillful ability to place the puck precisely where it needs to be. Often playing alongside Cole Eiserman, Plante’s inclination to prioritize passing complements Eiserman’s aggressive approach as a goal scorer.

Hockey IQ and Scoring Potential:

In the offensive zone, his intelligence truly stands out as he excels at positioning himself in scoring areas and quickly releasing shots on goal. Despite this, he occasionally hesitates and opts to pass instead of shooting. If Plante can trust his instincts and fully embrace his shooting abilities, he has the potential to become a formidable presence in front of the net.

“All the coaches tell me to shoot all the time and I’ve tried to weave it into my game, but sometimes I get in my own head, and I feel like I should make one more pass … I got to work on my shooting,” Plante said. “Coach (Nick Fohr) puts me in different positions that I wouldn’t normally play and that helps. It allows me to use different skill sets and play in different ways. I’ve certainly played with some good players, too.”

– Max Plante, NHL.com

He excels on the penalty kill has strong defensive awareness. He is constantly anticipating the next play, which not only aids in transitioning out of the defensive zone but also generates scoring chances in the offensive zone, and often at crucial moments in the game.

Hockey Family

The son of 450-game NHL veteran and current Chicago Blackhawks assistant coach Derek Plante, Max Plante looks poised to pass his brother, Zam, as the highest-drafted member of his family next year. Zam was drafted in the fifth round by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2022. Max is likely to be a early third round pick for the upcoming 2024 draft class. His younger brother Victor is also making his way up the ranks and will be part of the USNTDP with the 2024-25 season.

His father, Derek Plante, a former NHL player who enjoyed an eight-season career in the league, with five of those seasons being spent with the Buffalo Sabres. Plante was drafted by the Sabres in the eighth round of the 1989 NHL Draft, at No. 161. After retiring from the game, Derek Plante was later named as an assistant coach for the Chicago Blackhawks in 2022.

Final Thoughts

Plante is not recognized for his physical size and while his skating skills are solid, he doesn’t particularly excel in comparison to other players in this draft class. There are potential worries about his capacity to maintain his offensive production. However, he excels in his ability to recognize the opportune moments to make plays and demonstrates exceptional intelligence in creating scoring opportunities. One area of his game that could benefit from improvement is his self-assurance in his capability to successfully execute crucial shots based on his own skill and merit.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

Karen Zehner

Credentialed Beat Writer covering the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Diving into the world of slap shots, penalty kills, and the game we love. [@RunwithK] on socials.

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