The 2018 NHL Draft kicks off tomorrow, and with Dahlin a virtual lock for first overall, we here at TCB are continuing our “Prospect Profile” series for potential targets at 32nd overall.
Next up we look at a forward who has first round potential, and was one of Canada’s best players at the WU18 tournament.
Ty Dellandrea, Flint, OHL
Pos: C, Height: 6-1, Weight: 190
Joe TCB – 24
Future Considerations – 30
The Hockey News – 16
Corey Pronman – 29
Dellandrea is a very skilled center who has spent his OHL career playing on a very weak Flint Firebirds team, the 17-year-old had a very impressive season.
In 67 games for the Firebirds, Dellandrea scored 27 goals and 32 assists for 59 points. He continued his success at the WU18 where he scores two goals and added three assists in five games for Canada.
The best aspect of Dellandrea’s game is that he does everything well. He may not do everything at an elite level, but he has a solid all-around game.
In Corey Pronman’s top-74 piece for The Athletic, Pronman wrote, “although he doesn’t do anything at a high-end level, it’s also hard to find a weakness in his game.”
Dellandrea has a big fame that makes him tough to play against. When he gets going at full speed he is very tough to knock off the puck, and when you couple his strentgh with the skill that he has you get the potential to pull off highlight reel goals like this:
Backside finish by @tydellandrea completes what was already highlight worthy 🎥#NHLDraft prospect perseveres for his 2️⃣5️⃣🚨 of the season and #OHL Play of the Night for @FlintFirebirds. pic.twitter.com/tlHVM1i6lP
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) March 4, 2018
I wouldn’t be all that shocked if he is gone in the first round, he since the WU18s his stock seems to have risen, but if Dellandrea is on the board at 32 I think that he would be at the top of the list for the Sabres.
Botterill wants to build through the middle, and if O’Reilly is gone the Sabres could have a future center core featuring Eichel, Mittelstadt and Dellandrea as the top three guys… that would be a very formidable group in the future.
Although Center isn’t a need for the Sabres, drafting the best player available in the NHL is always the better choice. And at 32, if Dellandrea is on the board, he has a huge argument for being the best player available.
Skating is very important in the NHL (obviously), just ask former Kings center Mike Richards, who’s career basically ended because he couldn’t keep up.
Dellandrea has the full package when it comes to skating. He has the speed to keep up with other NHL centers, he has very strong strides that allow him to maintain full speed for long periods of time, and he has the ability to accelerate to full speed very quickly.
He is kind of a “Swiss Army Knife”, Dellandrea can do it all. He has the speed and skill that allow him to effectively contribute on the offensive side of the game.
He is also a very effective two-way center, he is responsible in his own zone and his hickey smarts allow him to defend effectively.
The Sabres have a lot of versatile centers in their system currently (Asplund, Davidsson, Pu) but aside from Pu I think Dellandrea’s offensive ability is far superior than the others.
His ability to defend and put up points make him a perfect candidate to play in the second powerplay unit, while playing a responsible penalty killing, third-line role for the Sabres.
As said earlier it is hard to find negatives in his game, because he does everything well. For the sake of being overly critical, I’ll say the fact that he isn’t “elite” at anything is a negative.
I think that Dellandrea can absolutely be a 2nd line center at the NHL level. He has the offensive capabilities to produce at the next level, and is smart enough to defend responsibly.
However if the Sabres draft him, it will likely be to have him as their future 3rd line center, or possibly convert him to the wing. Eichel is firmly cemented as the franchise center, and Mittelstadt will take the 2nd line role once he’s ready.
But Dellandrea would still be a great pick (if he’s on the board at 32), Buffalo would immediately be getting a skilled, and smart forward could transition to the wing to help Mittelstadt or Eichel in the future.
After watching his some video, Dellandrea has quickly become one of my favourite options for the 32nd overall pick, so if he does fall outside of the first round I hope the Sabres give him a lot of consideration because he will be an impact player in the NHL for whoever calls his name.
*Follow @TheChargingBUF for draft coverage this upcoming weekend, and for more extensive Sabres coverage as well.