Last year, Nick Robertson dropped far lower than he should have in the draft because many NHL scouts still have a hard time taking size out of the equation when evaluating a prospect. This year, the same thing is going to happen to Oshawa Generals forward Ty Tullio.
An undersized forward who can play all three forward positions, Tullio is a duel-threat when it comes to offensive impact. He is a tremendous playmaker who makes his linemates better but he can also contribute as the scorer on his line when need be. He’s a highly skilled player that plays with an edge and despite being one of the smallest guys on any given shift, he’s the one opponents hate to play against.
His playing style has been described as “abrasive” and that’s the perfect adjective. He never stops working, isn’t afraid to get physical with bigger players - both in front of the net and against the boards - and whichever zone he’s in, Tullio will stop at nothing to have the puck on his stick.
As silly as it may sound Tullio is a guy personifies “compete level”. He is an explosive skater who wants the puck on his stick and does everything in his power to gain possession. A hard forechecking grinder who above all else, has the skill to drive his team’s first line. He has very good puck skills but more than anything it’s Tullio’s instincts that allow him to both create scoring chances as well as constantly find the right position to give an outlet for his linemates. He’s got an uncanny knack for finding the loose puck in scrums and being able to finish in close to the net.
For someone who is as offensively skilled as he is, it’s his play away from the puck that is often the first thing someone will notice about Tullio. He is aggressive in all three zones, whether it be forechecking, backchecking, or driving to the net.
When he does have the puck, Tullio is a smart playmaker who has the vision and creativity to exploit defenses at the junior level. He doesn’t have the strongest shot in the world but Tullio scores a lot of goals for two reason - he’s got a quick release and even quicker hands when in front of the net.
Greet feed from Ty Tullio for a primary assist. His awareness is definitely one of his top traits-- knows exactly where to find Tomasino for the backdoor finish here. pic.twitter.com/pRpxRqWWuU— Sam (@DraftLook) April 8, 2020
If there’s a major weakness in his game, it’s his physical strength. Both on the puck and with his shot, you can tell Tullio isn’t as physically mature as some of the players around him. He’ll never be the biggest guy out there but has he adds lower body strength, Tullio will grow into his style of play even more.
Like Robertson before him, Tullio has the potential to see an offensive explosion in his draft+1 season. Comparing the two, Robertson was 1.02 points per game in his draft year while Tullio was at 1.06 points per game right this season in Oshawa.
What Others are Saying
“He plays a high-level offensive game and easily surpasses the point-per-game mark in his draft year. Tullio is quietly one of the most complete players in the draft class. He can play in all situations and anywhere in the top-nine. He has good awareness at both ends of the ice and brings a creativity to the offensive zone that makes him dangerous anytime the puck is on his stick. He is craft y with his stick and strips opponents through the neutral zone with consistency. Tullio engages physically despite being a bit undersized thanks to a non-stop motor. A versatile forward who can get under the opponent’s skin.” - Tony Ferrari (Dobbler Prospects)
“I try and model a little bit after Brad Marchand, not the dirty side. He’s a small guy like me, he’s offensively gifted, can shoot, make plays, has great hockey vision and uses his body. He’s gritty. He has all the things I have in my game as well.” - Ty Tullio
A scenario exists where Tullio could develop into a complimentary top-6 winger in the NHL. He’ll never carry the offensive load for a line but the right situation, he could could fill a role skating on the wing of a star winger where he does the “dirty work”.
Where he’ll be Drafted
Much lower than he should.
Tullio is going to fall into the late second round - or even third - and it’s going to look crazy in a few years. Like former Oshawa General (and new Stanley Cup Champion) Anthony Cirelli, Tullio is going to drastically outplay his draft slot as he turns into a key contributor on whichever NHL team drafts him.