De la Rose is a dynamic skater. He has great speed, and excellent acceleration. He is very explosive and his ability to change speeds, and that extra gear he has allows him to beat defenders to the outside and cut to the net. He’s also quick at getting in on the forecheck, and de la Rose takes advantage of this as he just loves to hit. He has good agility and edgework allowing him to navigate his way through traffic, and his great balance allows him to fight through checks.
There are a lot of tools in de la Rose’s toolbox in the offensive zone. He has great stickhandling and very soft hands. He goes to the net and can score goals in tight on rebounds and tip ins. He also has a good wrist soft, and his release is decent. He’s an absolute beast on the boards and just loves physical contact, often being the initiator. De la Rose has shown good vision and passing skills on occasion as well. There is a huge “But” here though, and its that despite showing flashes of all these tools, de la Rose has not been as productive as he could be. His Allvenskan stats are good for a 17 year old in that league, and I don’t take issue with those, but at the international level, de la Rose is just not putting up the points you’d expect given his talent, at the U18 and WJC levels.
De la Rose’s defensive game is excellent, especially for a player his age. He is an extremely responsible forward, who has great gap control and understands how to always keep himself between his man and the net. He backchecks hard, and comes down low to help his defencemen against the cycle game. De la Rose is a willing shot blocker and cuts down the passing lanes, anticipating plays well and creating turnovers. He continues to play his rough and tumble game in the defensive end and again loves to take the body. His defensive game is elite given the stage he is at in his development.
De la Rose’s style is reminiscent of David Backes of the St. Louis Blues, perhaps even with better skating. However this is a style comparison and not an assessment of potential. De la Rose could become a top 6 forward if he can develop his offensive tools and show consistent production. However, he is a player who is a very safe player as with his size, physicality, defensive prowess, and skating ability, he’s a very good bet to be a valuable third/fourth line NHLer even if the offence does not come around.