After being selected fifth overall in the 2017 OHL Priority Draft, Philip Tomasino left a lot to be desired during his rookie season with the Niagara IceDogs. A year later and Tomasino is one of the most prolific goal scorers in the NHL and has shown the type of potential that should make him one of the most desired offensive threats in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Tomasino’s best trait is likely his dynamic skating ability. He has elite acceleration and the agility move east-west in a way that allows him to create space for himself in the offensive zone. He plays with an elusiveness and creativity that allows him to create offense in a way that frustrates defenders. While the agility is great, it can only go as far as your mind and hands can take it. Luckily, Tomasino is a great puck handler - something that gives him the ability to create space and take full advantage of his skating ability. This will only get better as he matures and continues to add strength to his slight frame.
His scoring is what sets him apart from others in the class. While most goal scorers in junior feast on special teams, Tomasino scored a very high percentage of his goals during 5v5 play. While Arthur Kaliyev finished with 17 more goals this season, Tomasino’s 88% even strength goal rate was significantly higher. He doesn’t need the extra space created by a power play in order to score goals - he creates it on his own.
While he’s the best goal scoring OHLer in the draft, Tomasino’s playmaking abilities are high-end as well. He has tremendous vision and passing ability. Perhaps underrated is Tomasino ability to draw defenders in to him just long enough to find an open linemate.
As dynamic as Tomasino is offensively, his defensive game is well above move of his OHL peers. Playing both center and wing, Niagara used him on the penalty kill and in a shutdown role at times throughout the season. He uses his quick steps to get on top of players and put pressure on the puck. He understands how to properly close lanes and with an active stick he has a knack for creating turnovers.
Tomasino very high energy player and despite his slight frame, he isn’t afraid to throw his body around and battle against the boards or in front of the net. There will be questions about whether or not he’ll be able to play down the middle in the NHL, but we should have a much better feeling for that after he spends next season as the 1C in Niagara.
The most impressive stat for Tomasino is that 30 of his 34 goals came at 5v5 - more than any other draft eligible player in the OHL. He finished behind only Nathan Legare in terms of 5v5 goals for all first-time draft eligible players in the CHL. Tomasino scores a lot of goals, but more importantly, he doesn’t need power play time to do it.
What the Scouts are Saying
“Good speed, excellent hands and goal-scoring ability. Playoffs will provide essential viewings.” - Sam Cosentino
An exciting forward with elite speed and agility, Tomasino has emerged as one of the top scoring threats on a team full of NHL drafted prospects. His puck control while travelling at top speed is excellent, and he can wear down opponents with his quick cutbacks and pivots.” - The Draft Analyst
Where He’ll Be Drafted
Tomasino is one of a large group of players that could end up being drafted anywhere from 20th overall to the end of the second round. He’s got a ton of skill and as a late birth date, he’s got more room for growth than a lot of his draft peers.
That said, like his teammate Akil Thomas last year, Tomasino fits the profile of a guy who could drop a lot lower than his talent would dictate. If there weren’t worries about him being able to play center at the NHL level, he’d be a lock for the first round.
Projection: 25-35 overall