When the Colorado Avalanche signed Ty Lewis this past summer, they were giving a contract to a youngster that had been passed over in the past two drafts. It was a low-risk move that didn’t cost them a draft pick, so signing the 19-year old from Brandon, Manitoba cost nothing more than an entry-level contract. If you’re going to take a flier on an undrafted player, doing it with a left winger that has scored 30 goals in the WHL is probably the right gamble.
After a breakout season last year, Lewis 59th among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting. Despite this, he went undrafted for the second straight year - showing a bias that still exists against over-age players in the draft.
Now, 57 games later, Lewis has turned into one of Colorado’s best offensive prospects.
Last night, in a 5-2 loss to the Prince Albert Raiders, Ty Lewis scored his 31st goal of the season - setting a new career high. Lewis is a goal scorer. He’s not the most polished player in the WHL, but Lewis has a tremendous release and a shot that should carry him through the next level.
He isn’t the most dynamic player and needs time and space in order to be creative with the puck, but he’s smart enough to know his limitations and now try to get too fancy. If anything, Lewis could stand to shoot the puck more and take advantage of his tremendous shot.
One thing Lewis has improved this season is his production at even strength. In 2016-17, he relied upon the powerplay to score most of his goals, but right now he sits tied for 19th in the WHL in 5v5 goals.
Though the goal totals are his calling card, Lewis is a pretty solid 200-foot player that can be relied upon in all three zones. He’s the kind of player that good teams have in their bottom-6. One that can add secondary scoring, but that a coach can trust to be responsible without the puck.
Lewis will almost certainly begin next season with the Colorado Eagles in the AHL, where he will look to prove that his game can transition to the pro-level.
He’s still a long way from being a contributor to the NHL team, but Ty Lewis is a player Avalanche fans shouldn’t be afraid to be excited about and the kind of offensive prospect that is rare in this organization.