Whenever I read draft rankings I always like to know context first. That is, where the evaluator is coming from so I can incorporate that into my own analysis. These rankings are not based on who is the best Junior player, but who appears to have the best chance of success in the NHL.
While reviewing the prospect’s profiles, you’ll notice at times I will be highly critical of a certain player’s game. Just so you know, it is meant to be constructive criticism and it is certainly not personal. I’m simply identifying potential red flags I see in a Prospect that I feel may hinder them at the next level. That doesn’t mean I dislike the kid as a person or don’t think he can improve in those areas. I simply try and call it as I see it from an NHL perspective (I am not affiliated with any NHL team). Where a prospect starts and where he ultimately finishes the year can be two totally different things too. I’m a bit of a draft historian and look for things that others may overlook or dismiss. Highlighting some negatives gives me a measuring stick in terms of progression for later in the year. Progression is an important tool in the evaluation process.
It’s important to note, all of this is subjective and everyone has a different way to scout these players. In terms of rankings, the #1 focus for me is to look for NHL translatable skills and potential red flags. The NHL translatable skills I value the most are: Speed, smarts, puck skills and compete level. If a player plays a complete 200 foot game it is considered a bonus at this age. The red flags I look for: Lack of compete, poor decision making, high risk plays/turnovers, lack of footspeed. What a player does without the puck is almost as important as what they do with it. That’s where things like 200 foot game and hockey sense come into play. Important tools to consider and much easier to track in person than on TV.
I don’t care what anyone says, there is absolutely a difference between playing a Junior style game and a pro style game. I typically don’t care HOW MANY points a player gets I care more about HOW they get them. Garbage goals on bad goalies look good on the stat sheet but do nothing to sway me that it will translate to the next level, as you don’t get to take those goals with you to the pros. Yes, there is such a thing as “Junior goals”, and playing good defence is an integral part of a defenceman’s evaluation – it is not overrated. Puck moving ability is also a must for any defencemen ranked in the top few rounds for me.
I don’t typically use advanced analytics in my evaluations at this age other than the basic scoring stats, though I do have certain offensive thresholds players need to hit. Once they achieve these they are grouped together in Tiers and evaluated on their NHL translatable skills & red flags from there. I compare each prospect among his peers in his specific league first and pull data from previous years (same league) to determine their league ranking. Once all the leagues are done, then I cross reference and rank accordingly to determine a final NHL draft list. In this case, it is an OHL list only and at this point I am confident in my player summaries. Enjoy:
After an impressive World Junior appearance, Jamie Drysdale remains my #1 prospect out of the OHL. I understand everything Quinton Byfield brings to the table and his potential is enormous, but Drysdale (who’s only 4 months older) is the most complete defenceman to come out of the CHL since Drew Doughty in my opinion, and projects as a legit #1 defenceman and potential future Norris Trophy winner. Plus, he’s been more impressive than Byfield in the last 5 tournaments/showcase games they’ve played together. That’s why he’s number one for me. A can’t miss prospect who is the total package, and who will thrive in the new age NHL which is focused on speed & puck moving ability. For all the elite qualities he has offensively, it’s also his work on the defensive side of the puck that makes him the best OHL prospect for me.
Drysdale is an elite skater and “thinker” of the game. Referred to by some as a “genius”, he possesses great offensive instincts but also is a fearless and determined competitor in the defensive zone. He competes extremely hard in his own zone, almost to the point where he sacrifices some offense in an effort to do so. Make no mistake, he can and likely will be coached in the future to take more chances offensively because he definitely has that ability in him. He possesses breakaway speed & great puck rushing ability. He is adept at jumping up into the rush & acting like a 4th forward out there if need be. His shot isn’t booming but he has a quick, hard release and soft hands in tight.
In terms of skating, Drysdale is a phenomenal skater with a flawless stride and explosive acceleration. He also has terrific agility and moves extremely well from side to side. He is more than capable of keeping pace with some of the fastest guys in the OHL like Liam Foudy and shutting them down completely. In fact, he probably skates as fast backwards as many prospects can forward. His backpedal is simply astonishing as he generates such power in his strides and he exhibits phenomenal edgework. At theCHL Prospect Skills competition, he blew away the competition in the skating drills.
Drysdale can be a transition nightmare for opponents & is a natural at breakouts with his terrific vision and puck moving ability. A real student of his craft, Drysdale is a zone exit machine and closes gaps quickly in the neutral zone. He likes to direct traffic and quickly join the rush though is always cognizant defensively first. He is calm & poised with the puck and always has his head up. A real leader on the ice, he has a great feel for the game and sees the whole ice extremely well.
Though not overly physical, Drysdale displays great anticipation and an uncanny ability to beat attackers with superb positioning. He typically will out-think opponents in a battle for the puck. Some detractors will also point to the fact he hasn’t really flourished on the Powerplay in Erie, but he exhibits all the traits (ability to walk the line, get pucks on net, move puck quickly) to suggest he can be at the next level.
In terms of comparables, I would say Drysdale is at least on par with recent 1st rounders Cale Makar & Quinn Hughes in the NHL. And while they may be considered better puck rushing offensive defencemen, I would say don’t underestimate Drysdale’s ability to do so as well. He is the better defender already IMO, and takes great pride in his defensive game. I really think some draft analysts don’t realize or appreciate how good Drysdale is defensively which is a shame.
Drysdale is easily the best defenceman in this class and the most complete defender to come out since Drew Doughty. A future, #1 right shot dman very reminiscent of Scott Niedermayer but much more refined defensively at his age. He hasn’t been super productive offensively which may turn some people off, but I believe he has all the tools to explode statistically if and when he decides to open it up offensively. He has an elite hockey IQ, is an elite skater, has elite puck moving ability, and is as good a defender as anyone in this draft. He’s mature beyond his years, is a leader and a real student of the game. For me, he’s the total package.
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Long considered the best prospect in the OHL by seemingly everyone but myself, some people started to criticize Quinton Byfield after his disappointing World Junior performance 2 months ago. While I think it’s a bit ridiculous to judge a player off of one short tournament alone, I have pointed out in my previousTop 31 list my concern that he wasn’t showing enough in big games and in big tournaments. For me, the World Juniors just reaffirmed my opinion on that.
There’s no question Byfield has the size/skill/speed combination that makes scouts drool. He has quick hands and a heavy shot and release. He also have a very high hockey IQ and is reliable at both ends of the ice. He can beat you wide with his speed while shielding the puck with his big frame, or he can stickhandle right past you if you’re not careful. His vision & passing ability are also top notch. He possesses great offensive instincts & is very sound defensively. The agility and acceleration he displays at his size are also very rare. Byfield is always active on every shift as he has a great motor. He’s always moving his feet and using his long reach to pick off passes. He’s good at faceoffs and is an effective penalty killer.
The concerns I have with Byfield are real and frankly I’m surprised no one else really bothers to bring them up. For one, his shows a real lack of physicality despite the large frame, and at times he tends to shy away from contact altogether. He loses more battles along the boards than he should. He is too often too easy to shutdown when teams focus on him. His size and reach allow him to have success in Junior, but I would like to see a more willingness to fight through checks and not give up on plays as much. He is a bit of a gentle giant which is something teams could take advantage of at the next level. He’s a big target & NHL defenders will take shots at him. Ironically, he is now injured after taking a rather innocent looking hit where he injured his wrist.
The 2nd reason he is #2 on this list is because he doesn’t quite show enough grit and determination you would like to see from a Top pick – especially in big games. Nobody seems to care but to me this matters. In the last 5 tournaments/showcases he and Jamie Drysdale have played together (U17’s, Hlinka-Gretzky, CIBC Canada-Russia series,World Juniors & CHL Prospect Game), I have felt Drysdale had the better overall performances in all five. Statistically, they are close in the first 4:
0 goals, 5 assists, +6
3 goals, 2 assists, +1
0 goals, 4 assists
2 goals, 1 assist
0 goals, 1 assist, +2
0 goals, 2 assists, +1
1 goal, 2 assists, +3
0 goals, 1 assist, -3
1 GOAL, 12 ASSISTS, +11
5 GOALS, 6 ASSISTS, -1
At the CHL Prospect game, Byfield was almost non-existent and registered zero shots on goal. Not the kind of performance you would expect in a Top Prospect’s game especially considering Alex Lafreniere had a big night and was all over the ice. In addition, in the 2 games versus (who I consider) the Top OHL teams in Ottawa & London this season, Byfield finished with 1 assist and was a -5. The London game in particular, he was practically invisible. Sure, he beats up on the North Bay’s & Sarnia’s of the OHL but I have yet to see him dominate against a Top team.
In fact, even if you go back to the 2017-18 OHL cup in Minor Midget, Byfield was outscored by his teammates Cameron Butler & Evan Vierling, despite destroying theETAMMHLwith 92 points in 34 games as team captain that year. In the 2nd round in last year’s OHL playoffs, Byfield registered 1 assist and was a -7 in 4 games as his Sudbury Wolves were swept by the Ottawa 67’s. Now he was only 16 yrs old then, but there’s a pattern developing here of Byfield not playing up to his full potential in big games and tournaments.
Bottom line, despite the tantalizing skill-set & tremendously high ceiling, I do feel like Byfield is a tad overrated when projecting to the NHL level. People are enamoured by his skill at his size but he plays like a smaller player, so I don’t see that as a big advantage right now. Of course, he could fill out as he adds more strength and physically dominate eventually but that’s not his game. I don’t view him as a generational talent, but he will surely be a very good NHL player for many years. I compare him to Rick Nash in terms of his potential impact in the NHL. He won’t score as many goals as Nash did, but will certainly have more assists……if he stays healthy.
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3. Marco Rossi
Marco Rossi might be the most “pro-ready” prospect in this draft. Despite his smaller frame, he is a bull on his skates and a tough player to knock off the puck. His work ethic is tremendous. He is always moving his feet and adjusting positionally it makes him very difficult to contain. He’s a very strong skater with excellent agility & edge-work but it’s that shiftiness that makes him hard to stop. He also has great balance. He’s the most complete centerman in this entire draft who has great command of the ice and never seems to be out of position.
Rossi is a multi-faceted, dynamic player who can beat you with his shot, or his terrific playmaking ability. He has very good hands and a lightning quick release. I love how he reads the play and doesn’t force it if it isn’t there which is a sign of a very intelligent player. He rather circle back or attempt a different angle of attack rather than cause a turnover. He does not turn the puck over very often at all.
Rossi is extremely responsible defensively and is a beast in transition which is a real treat to watch. Quite often you can even find him below the circles in the defensive zone battling for pucks and then leading the breakout. He’s usually the first forward back on defense and he hustles hard through the neutral zone. I love his attention to detail in all 3 zones. He’s such a smart player who makes great reads and never seems to be rattled. He’s also excellent at faceoffs currently sitting 5th in the OHL with a 59.4%.
Rossi has all the traits of an elite playmaking center at the next level. He’s very quick, highly intelligent and skilled, and his motor never stops. He is committed to being a complete player and makes players around him better. He’s the type of player you notice on every single shift. Extremely high compete level. Rossi also has that look like he is always in control on the ice. He shows great poise and makes great decisions. Few make scoring look as easy as he does. He’s a silky smooth pivot.
Now, I could understand if some people rank him above Byfield quite honestly because he is such a complete and effortless player, though because he is almost a full year older he still ranks #3 for me. A future #1 center in the NHL, Rossi reminds of Sebastian Aho though even stronger on his skates.
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4. Jan Mysak
Mysak was a 1st round sleeper by many draft enthusiasts coming into this year mainly because of his impressive performances internationally for the Czech Republic. He didn’t exactly light any of those tournaments up but you could see the speed, skill & playmaking ability that he possessed and foresee that translating well to the NHL one day. At the most recent World Junior Championship, he didn’t play a lot but once again was impressive in a limited role.
Since then, Mysak decided to come over to North America and play for the OHL team that drafted him in the Hamilton Bulldogs. While some expected a bit of an adjustment period, it didn’t take long for Mysak to get comfortable. Currently, he’s up to 12 goals & 18 points in 15 games which if you calculate over a 52 game stretch, would equate to 42 goals – just 3 off of Jack Quinn‘s pace. Now add in the fact Mysak is 9 months younger than Quinn and is playing on the North America ice for the first time, and you can see why I have Mysak ranked ahead of him.
It’s apparent watching Mysak a few times that he likes to attack defenders with speed and power which makes very tough to stop on zone entries. He also has very quick feet that allow him to accelerate fast and catch defenders off guard. His puck skills are exceptional and he does a great job of shielding the puck. He’s not afraid to go hard to the net and has real quick hands in tight. He also appears to be a very smart, heady player with good vision.
The rest of Mysak‘s game is still a work in progress. He commits to a 200 foot game in that he at least gains positioning defensively and does a good job of tracking his man. He’s not real aggressive along the boards but doesn’t shy away from contact either. His hockey IQ is apparent as he makes good reads and breaks up a lot of plays with his active stick. I like his poise with the puck and he has a real good motor.
In Hamilton, Mysak certainly is still adjusting to his teammates. You can see he and Arthur Kaliyev still don’t have great chemistry and he is still learning about positioning on the smaller ice. Plus, Hamilton has had him play center and wing so far, so he’s still learning to adapt on the fly a bit. But, there’s no denying he is a terrific talent who’s only going to get better once he gains more confidence. Which is pretty scary if you think about it because he is already averaging over a point per game.
There’s no doubt in my mind Mysak will explode offensively in his draft +1 year. He’s not nearly as polished as Marco Rossi right now, but I do like him better than Jack Quinn because of the age gap, but also how he attacks the middle of the ice with speed and skill. I also think Mysak is a much better playmaker than Quinn. That’s why he is #4 on my list.
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5. Jack Quinn
Like many draft analysts, I have struggled ranking Jack Quinn all year. You see, Quinn is a late 2001 birthdate and didn’t have the most productive year last season which definitely played a factor for me in his ranking. However, he also played a limited role on a stacked team and did have some nice flashes so I also take that into consideration. If he were even 6 months younger doing what he is doing this year, he would have been a surefire Top 5OHL‘er for me right from the beginning. But he wasn’t, so I really wanted to see if he was just a late bloomer, or was an older player and by-product of a really good team. After much deliberation and several viewings, I am comfortable with his ranking now……I think.
Quinn leads all CHL draft eligibles in goals currently with 45 goals in 52 games. One thing I don’t hear mentioned much and I’m not sure if people realize it or not, but he doesn’t usually play with Marco Rossi 5 on 5. In fact, he rarely has all year. Despite that, he currently has 31 goals at even strength which is absolutely insane. His usual center is New Jersey 6th round pick Mitchell Hoelser. So you can’t chalk up Quinn’s even strength production to playing with Rossi which makes the goal total even more impressive.
In terms of NHL translatable skills, it does appear Quinn has improved in several areas dramatically since last season. Skating was a bit of an issue with Quinn when he came into the OHL, but it appears he has made great strides (pardon the pun) in that area. His overall speed and quickness is much more noticeable first and foremost. He consistently beats defenders wide now and is able to create much more space to get his shot off with better explosion in his first few steps. He’s also much bigger now compared to last year which has helped shield off opponents & reach for loose pucks. Currently, Elite Prospects have himlisted at 5’11”, while he’s listed at 6’1″ on the OHL site. He’s bigger, stronger, faster than before and it has translated into more offensive opportunities because of it.
Offensively, Quinn is putting the puck in the net at incredible rate which is what he projects to be at the next level – a scorer. He possesses soft hands and a dynamite shot & release on the wrister. His 12 PPG‘s lead the team and he has a team leading 201 shots on net in 52 games which puts him 3rd overall among 1st year draft eligibles. He’s good in puck pursuit & creates a lot of turnovers with his aggressive forecheck. There is still a bit of a perimeter player element to his game but that has noticeable improved over the last few viewings too. Bottom line, he is a dangerous goal scorer who appears to keep getting better.
Defensively, Quinn shows a good commitment to coming back and providing good puck support. He doesn’t peel out of the zone too early in most cases, and will battle down low to assist his defencemen. He hustles back through the neutral zone and typically makes good reads defensively to start the transition the other way. I like the energy he plays with and his commitment to a 200 foot game. He’s not overly physical but shows good effort in board battles.
So, there is a lot to like about Quinn‘s game. Because he just missed last year’s cut-off & and had noticeable holes in his game coming into the year, I was certainly worried about ranking him this high but I’m convinced now. As mentioned, he has made dramatic improvements since then and is much bigger and faster now. I believe he is a late bloomer who is a natural scorer with even a bit of power to his game and intriguing upside as he fills out. All that I see translating well to the NHL. I still like Mysak‘s playmaking skill and all round game a bit better, but I see Quinn’s game being more effective than Perfetti‘s at this point, mainly because of that speed & explosiveness.
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6. Cole Perfetti
Cole Perfetti is an intriguing prospect in that statistically he is right up there with guys like Marco Rossi and Quinton Byfield. Plus, he appears to have very good hockey sense, terrific passing ability, and an excellent shot and release. On the PP, he’s always a shooting threat from the right circle with that deadly wrister. He also has very quick hands in tight and excels on breakaways and shootouts. He reads the ice very well, and is capable of threading the needle in tight passing lanes. Overall, he is a creative playmaker with excellent offensive instincts capable of posting some big numbers. Based on all those traits, you would think he is a sure-fire Top 10 pick in this draft.
However, there are concerns I have about his game translating to the next level that I can’t ignore. Many people “assume” he’ll eventually improve in those areas but you know what they say about assumptions. For one, his skating leaves a lot to be desired. He does have good agility and edgework but his top speed is average and limits his effectiveness when it comes to things like zone entries, and driving the play thru the neutral zone. Gap control in Junior is a major issue. So players like Perfetti, Kaliyev & others who aren’t the best skaters but can shoot the puck, are still allowed too much room to get their shot off. In the NHL, those gaps are closed so players like that typically struggle to separate and create space. For this reason, he is definitely a winger at the next level for me.
Perfetti‘s work ethic is also a major concern as too often he is viewed as floating, and not playing a determined enough game. Quite often he can go shifts, and sometimes even games where he is practically invisible until his team gets a powerplay then he shows up on the scoresheet. Again, he can get away with that in Junior, but at the pro level will need to show much more consistency and competitiveness if he is going to stick in the lineup. I will say it has been noticeably better lately, but he’s still got a ways to go in my opinion. His motor definitely pales in comparison to players like Rossi, Mysak & Quinn.
The other thing I worry about is his lack of overall strength and physicality. He appears to fall to the ice a lot and can be muscled off the puck especially along the boards where he tends to shy away from contact. That’s a concern and certainly a contrast to a guy like Rossi who is just a bull on his skates and tough to get the puck from.
Ranked by many ahead of Marco Rossi earlier in the year, the gap between the two prospects is huge now in my opinion. Some draft enthusiasts are conveniently overlooking obvious flaws which could hinder him at the next level which is a mistake. If you don’t count his skating and game away from the puck, and just go by his stats he should be near the top of list. But in today’s NHL, skating matters more than ever which is why Perfetti is ranked this low for me. He has elite skills but also red flags that I can’t ignore.
In terms of a comp, I can see where Cole Perfetti becomes another Brayden Point – who is a terrific NHL player. But, until his work ethic, skating & overall commitment to playing a 200 foot game improve, I can’t rank any higher than this. I really do like the player, I just don’t love him. I’m also prepared to eat crow for underestimating him but I gotta trust my gut on this one. Hopefully, he proves me wrong.
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7. Tyson Foerster
Tyson Foerster is one of my favourite prospects in this draft. After the trade deadline which saw both of his linemates get traded (Matej Pekar & Ryan Suzuki), even I expected a drop-off in his offensive production despite singing his praises all year. However, since that point he’s actually been even better and to many people’s surprise he was named the MVP of the2020 CHL Prospect game. In his last 15 games since the trades, he’s only been held off the scoresheet ONCE, registering 9 goals & 23 points in that span.
Tyson Foerster is not the sexiest player at first glance, but he is the type of player who grows on you the more you watch him because he does so many things well. He’s consistent, reliable, hard-working, and very smart. His bread and butter though is his shot and release which is NHL caliber. His one-timer from left circle on the PP is a real weapon. He’s also an underrated passer who sees passing lanes develop & is capable of hitting teammates right on the tape. I love how he reads the ice and is able to weave in and out of lanes to find an opening. Currently, he leads all OHL draft eligibles in PPG‘s with 14.
Foerster is also the type of player who always seems to be in the right place at the right time. He plays a very good 200 ft game and displays determination on every shift. He’s always around the net looking for a rebound, and quite often he is the first man back on the backcheck. He’s also aggressive on the forecheck and picks off a lot of pucks with his long reach. He’s a model of consistency and hard work, who plays a very smart & quietly effective game, but also possesses that big shot that he can hang his hat on.
After a big performance at theCHL Prospect game, I don’t think anyone is sleeping on Foerster anymore. His skating will require some fine tuning and that may turn some people off in terms of draft position, but I’m confident based on his work ethic it will improve over the next couple years. His 5 on 5 numbers aren’t eye popping but again once he gains a bit more strength & explosiveness he should become a real dominant force. He’s a smart, reliable, big-time scorer who could end up being a steal for some NHL team come draft day.
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8. Jacob Perreault
Perreault is the son of former NHL‘er Yanic Perreault. His real strengths are his booming shot which is NHL caliber, his hockey IQ, and his ability to find open areas on the ice. He can pretty much snipe it from anywhere though he loves that one-timer from the left circle. He also likes to go hard to the net. That makes him a very dangerous scorer in the offensive zone. He has been extremely productive since he joined the league registering 30 goals last season as a 16 yr old, and is on pace for over 40 goals this year. That kind of production is hard to ignore.
Perreault is a very good skater with good top end speed and strong strides. His edgework appears to be good and he has surprising agility. But, when you watch him he doesn’t appear to be that elite skater on the ice consistently. Perhaps, he should be described more appropriately as a patient skater with excellent top end speed. Regardless, he surprised many people at the CHL Skills competition by registering the fastest time in both speed & agility drills among all invited prospects including J.L Foudy. Pretty impressive stuff and certainly checks the boxes in terms of NHL translatable speed for me.
However, much like Perfetti I’m not a huge fan of Perreault‘s game away from the puck either, as he tends to float at times and is slow coming back in the defensive zone. He does also show some inconsistencies from shift to shift in terms of effort which is a bit of a concern. He can be physical at times but definitely needs to add more strength as he tends to get knocked down a lot. He’s not the greatest passer and does turn over the puck more than you would like at times as well. Currently, he is a team worst -34.
There’s also something I don’t like about his game I can’t really put my finger on. I mean, on paper he is a speedy scorer who has put up big numbers since he entered the OHL. But, I’m not sure I like his work ethic and decision making. Neither are bad, but watching Perreault he kind of always leaves me wanting to see more. The playmaking can be a bit erratic at times & although his was registered as the fastest skater, it doesn’t always seem like he fully attempts to take advantage of that. I expect to see more considering the skill-set but quite often I’m left with a feeling of “meh” after watching him.
In many ways, I see Perreault in the same light as I see Perfetti. In fact, I think they are very close in terms of strengths & weaknesses, and how they project as future NHL‘ers. After 116OHL games, Perfetti has 71 goals. Having played only 2 less career OHL game, Perreault has 64 goals. They both need to get stronger, work on their defensive games, and show more consistency from shift to shift. Overall, they’re very similar though I give Perfetti the clear edge in terms of high-end playmaking ability, which is why he is ranked ahead of Perreault accordingly despite the speed advantage. Foerster still ranks ahead of Perreault because of his work ethic & 200 foot game.
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9. Martin Chromiak
Chromiak was drafted 2nd overall in the2019 CHL Import draft. Shortly after, he committed to playing in his home country of Slovakia. However, after being a surprising cut for Team Slovakia at the 2020 World Junior Championship, the young Chromiak had a change of heart and committed to the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL for the remainder of the season. By doing so, he has boosted his draft stock in this upcoming NHL draft.
It was a great start for Chromiak in Kingston, as he has now developed some good chemistry with 15 year old phenomShane Wrightand his offensive numbers are excellent. He’s registered points in 15 of 20 games and has 27 points total so far. He looks comfortable and confident, displays strong offensive instincts and a keen attention to detail on the defensive end. He has that “look” of being a future impact NHL player despite still being a bit raw.
In terms of NHL translatable skills, Chromiak‘s best traits appear to be his strong skating, big shot and quick release. I will say however, I’ve seen him mistime his shot or shoot off-balance a lot in the limited games he’s played in Kingston. This appears to just be a timing thing as he rushes it too much sometimes. When he hits it, he can absolutely wire it. His wrist shot has great torque and the puck jumps off his stick. Really, it’s just the one-timer that he needs to work on consistently but it is also deadly if he times it right. Either way, he is a legit shooting threat and should be considered a dangerous sniper with room to grow.
In terms of playmaking ability, I also like what I see from Chromiak. He’s pretty creative in the offensive zone and is capable of some high reel passes. He displays good vision & can catch defenders off-guard with his creativity. I also like his work ethic. He’s constantly moving his feet and he exhibits a lot of effort on most shifts. He’s an energetic player who seems to have a real passion for the game. The defensive side could still use a bit of work but he’s already improving in that area since he first game over I’ve noticed.
It’s also important to note too that Chromiak is one of the youngest draft eligibles in this year’s draft. He is a highly skilled offensive player who is still adapting to the North American game and will be playing with Shane Wright again next season in Kingston so his game should improve leaps and bounds over the next year or so. He is a very intriguing prospect and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if an NHL team takes him in the late 1st round. Big upside here.
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10. Ty Tullio
Tullio, who is another one of my favourite prospects, should play for Hamilton because he is a bulldog on the ice. He’s listed at anywhere between 5’9″ and 5’11”, 161-166 lbs but he plays much bigger than that. He’s a warrior who never stops battling for pucks. He was putting up nice offensive numbers to start the season, but oncePhilip Tomasino joined him in Oshawa, those two have been absolutely dynamite together ever since.
The thing about Tullio is he has a big shot, dynamite release & a relentless motor. He’s fearless going to the net, fights for his space and has a knack for getting open. He’s basically your prototypical power forward minus the size, but he has all the other traits NHL teams look for. His one-timer might be the best in his class as he generates so much power even from one knee. He has excellent offensive instincts and great anticipation of plays developing. He knows how and where to get open and will take it hard to the net and battle for rebounds if need be.
In terms of skating, I wouldn’t say Tullio is a speedster but he has a powerful stride, quick feet and shows good agility skating east-west. He’s very elusive and shifty with the puck and has great edges. Now factor in his tireless work ethic and I consider him a very good skater overall. Wouldn’t shock me at all if he adds even another gear or two as he gets stronger over his career. Skating is definitely one of his strengths.
One thing I’ve learned over the years is never count out a player with his kind of determination, especially when he has the speed & skill to go with it. He might not be as natural a scorer as a guy like Jack Quinn, or as gifted a playmaker as Perfetti, but no one is going to outwork Tullio. He’s an energetic kid who can skate, shoot and gives you a 100% on every shift. That’s why he’s on this list. Some will question Tullio‘s size at the next level, but I’m not betting against this kid. As long as his rambunctious style doesn’t cause injuries, he’s a surefire NHL‘er in my books.
In terms of a comparable, his energetic style is somewhat reminiscent of Travis Konecny, but Konecny was more dynamic and had more flash. I think Brendan Gallagher is probably a better comp for Tullio at this point. Both like to be aggressive on the forecheck, hound pucks along the boards, and battle in front for rebounds despite their smaller frames. Tullio likely won’t be drafted in the 1st round due to his lack of size & high-end playmaking ability, but any team would be lucky to snag him in the 2nd round. The fearlessness and determination he plays with inspire those around him, and his shooting ability gives him a chance to be a really good scorer in the NHL.
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Antonio Stranges – With the additions of Mysak & Chromiak in the list, Stranges just misses the cut. His production hasn’t met expectations yet and consistency is still an issue. But, he is supremely gifted and could still claw his way back up this list by year’s end.
Jaromir Pytlik – Does so many things, plays a pro-style game. Reliable in all 3 ones. Excellent stickhandler, Good not great skater. Plays power game. Just not sure about the offensive upside. Late 2001 birthdate not productive enough for me in OHL. Disappointing WJC too. Could carve out a bottom 6 role in NHL.
Jean-Luc Foudy – Elite speed, good vision, nice playmaking. But, a perimeter player who just doesn’t go hard enough to dirty areas. Lack of strength an issue. Reminds me of Ryan McLeod.
Ryan O’Rourke – Solid 2 way defenseman with good leadership skills & good compete level. Good not great skater, probably limited offense at next level. 2nd best dman in this league but likely a late 2nd-early 3rd rd pick.
Will Cuylle – Big shot, good skater, sneaky hands. But, inconsistency & work ethic an issue. Reminds me of Blake Murray last year. Should be more productive than he is.
Brandon Coe – Good player on a bad team similar to Ty Dellandrea a few years ago. Highly skilled prospect who can skate, but inconsistencies in his game are still there and effort level is questionable at times.
James Hardie – Volume shooter who has been on a tear for awhile now. A bit of a one-trick pony who’s shot selection and decision making are an issue, plus there are some concerns about his game away from puck. Climbing though.
In this throwback episode, Dirtbag Donny makes a surprise return to discuss everything Oilers. The guys also open up the phone lines for an “OilKnight openline” segment. WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE. Listener discretion advised.