Fuel Performance Review: Nathan Noel
Blackhawks assignee showed skill, toughness in first pro seasonMay 31, 2018
2017-18 FUEL PERFORMANCE REVIEW: NATHAN NOEL
#16 | FORWARD | SAINT JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND
2017-18 STATS: 21 GP, 4 G, 7 A, 11 PTS, 18 PIM, +3, 2 SHG
The youngest player to don a Fuel uniform in 2017-18, Nathan Noel brought top-end skill and a fair amount of toughness to Indy's forward contingent. Under contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, the 20-year-old split his rookie season between Indianapolis and Rockford, picking up 11 points in 21 games with the Fuel in addition to one goal in 17 AHL contests for the IceHogs.
The Blackhawks' fourth-round pick in 2016 (No. 113 overall), Noel made his professional debut for Indy in Quad City on Nov. 11, registering one shot and a fighting major. One week later, the native of Saint John's Newfoundland picked up his first pro points when he tallied a pair of shorthanded goals during a 6-2 win over Kalamazoo on Nov. 17. Noel would log three more multi-point games throughout the season, though an upper-body injury sustained in Toledo on Dec. 27 left him on the shelf for nearly a month and a half.
After spending the better portions of February and March with the IceHogs, Noel returned to Indy in time for the Fuel's final push toward the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The rookie made an impact in the Central Division Semifinals against Toledo, tallying two goals and one assist in four games.
"Noel was a little spark plug. He just loves the game, and has a little nastiness to his game, especially for his size. When he came back from the American League there was another level to his game, he was playing faster." - Head Coach Bernie John