Jeff Taylor

Hometown:

Albany New York

Currently Playing In:

NCAA

Birthday:

1994-04-13

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2012

Shoots:

left

Drafted:

2014

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

7th round (203rd overall), 2014

Weight:

181 lbs.

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History

2009-10: Jeff Taylor skated for the Syracuse Junior Nationals in upstate New York. He was selected by Dubuque in the 21st round (307th overall) in the 2010 USHL Entry Draft.

2010-11: Taylor skated for Albany Academy near his hometown of Clifton Park, NY. As a junior with the Cadets he scored 7 goals with 28 assists in 36 games. Taylor was the first recruit signed by head coach Rick Bennett when he took over at Union College in June; signing to join the Dutchmen for the 2014-15 season.

2011-12: Taylor was a team captain for Albany Academy in his senior season with the Cadets. In 26 games he scored 10 goals with 28 assists.

2012-13: Taylor was the second-leading scorer amongst defensemen for the USHL champion Dubuque Fighting Saints trailing only St. Cloud State recruit Niklas Nevalainen. In 57 games he scored 5 goals with 22 assists and was +41 with 16 penalty minutes. Dubuque won 45 games in finishing first in the Eastern Conference and lost just two games in the playoffs — sweeping Fargo in three games in the Clark Cup Finals. Taylor had 5 assists and was +6 with 4 penalty minutes in 11 playoff games.

2013-14: Taylor went from winning a USHL championship to skating for Union College as the Dutchmen won the first NCAA championship in school history. Taylor skated in 41 of 42 games for Union as a freshman, scoring 3 goals with 13 assists, and was +21 with 18 penalty minutes. Union captured the ECAC Hockey regular season and playoff titles and was 16-0-1 in its final 17 games; defeating Minnesota, 7-4, in the Frozen Four championship game. In his third year of draft eligibility Taylor was selected by Pittsburgh in the seventh round (203rd overall) of the 2014 NHL Draft.

2014-15: Taylor stepped into the spotlight for Union College as a sophomore with Shayne Gostisbehere (PHI) and Mat Bodie (NYR) moving on to pro hockey. The leading scorer amongst defensemen for the Dutchmen, he scored 4 goals with 27 assists and was +5 with 28 penalty minutes in 34 games. The defending national champions slipped to 10th in ECAC Hockey, sweeping seventh-place Cornell in a first-round playoff series before falling to Quinnipiac in a best-of-three quarterfinal series.

2015-16: Taylor moved into more of a defensive role for Union College in his junior season as the Dutchmen struggled to score goals much of the season. He finished the year with 2 goals and 10 assists and was -8 with 37 penalty minutes in 36 games. Union finished ninth in ECAC Hockey and was swept by Cornell in a first-round playoff series.

Talent Analysis

Taylor is an undersized but skilled defenseman with seemingly endless energy. Physically he will be overmatched at times in his own end but he uses his quickness and anticipation to make up for at least some of his physical shortcomings. He is a smooth passer and has outstanding instincts in the offensive zone — particularly on the power play. He needs to learn to play a more responsible game, as he will often carry the puck through three zones and take unnecessary risks with the puck.

Future

Taylor had a challenging junior season at Union College in 2015-16, working to play a more traditional defensive style after a 31-point year in his sophomore season. He will look to bounce back as a senior in 2016-17 and the experience gained could benefit him when he turns professional. A seventh-round projection pick when he was taken in the 2014 NHL Draft, Taylor has the skill set to be an effective puck moving defenseman.

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