Rangers: spotlight on Jake Taylor

By Jon Philpot

Central Scouting has this to say about Jake Taylor:

Strong on his skates with good balance … Will carry the puck when the opportunity arises … Looks to head-man the puck and makes good, crisp passes to the breaking forwards … Has a good, low, accurate shot from the point … Makes good decisions with the puck and plays a safe, conservative game … A physical player who gets on his man quickly in the corners and in front of the net … A very competitive player who stands up for his teammates … Has an edge to his game but keeps his cool … Can and will fight when challenged.”

And they don’t even tell you half the story.

Taylor is an absolute monster on defense. He is currently listed at 6’4″, 203 lbs. His sole goal: to knock you down, make you pay, and make sure you don’t get near his goalie to get a chance. If you’re in the crease when Taylor is on the ice, prepare to get your bones jarred and your head rattled. He is a relentless, physically-imposing player who likes to get in people’s faces and (figuratively and literally) rub them the wrong way.

Taylor lists his favorite team as the New York Rangers. He may not be a hometown kid, but he has that quality that is needed in any player you have: he loves his team.

Besides spending time destroying the opposing team’s offensive line, Taylor enjoys using his great passing and shooting skills to his full advantage. He has an extremely hard, low shot from the point when he needs to use it. Although he never topped 20 points with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL, he still has a great two-way game. He was never really able to step outside his defensive boundaries, as he was the team’s best defenseman and wasn’t really allowed to use his two-way game to its fullest potential. His highest point total was 16 points in 2002-2003 (8 goals, 8 assists).

Taylor’s game could be compared to a Bryan McCabe, if he pans out to his fullest potential. He plays McCabe’s extremely physical game and also has his subtle offensive game. Taylor, like McCabe, can single-handedly shut down the opposition’s top lines and drop the gloves to protect his own players. He is a natural leader and can always be counted on to play hard 110% of his games. In Green Bay, he was considered a fan favorite and was one of the top defensive players in the entire league. His nasty streak is known there.

Taylor has committed to two-time NCAA champion for the 2003-04 season, and look for him to be a big part of that team. He spent an extra year in the USHL to make sure he’d be basically guaranteed a spot on the roster. With that, also expect the Rangers to let him use his full college eligibility so he can become what he has the skill to become. Taylor has spent all summer conditioning and has added around 10-15 extra pounds in muscle. Since he was a very feared fighter in the USHL, Taylor will now be able to get a more rounded game, and since Matt Demarchi and Paul Martin have left Minnesota, expect him to get all the ice time he can handle.

Look out for Jake Taylor in around three to four years to play his way up to the NHL level. He’s a name to watch.

Taylor’s Career Stats:










Green-Bay Gamblers








Green-Bay Gamblers