A shout out to all the Maple Leafs Nation fans on Facebook, who I’m sure are thrilled that I’m once again suggesting the Leafs draft an offensively minded defenseman who is under six feet tall. I can assure you it’s not intentional that Calen Addison and Jonathan Tychonick are the first two profiles I have written up, but rather I truly believe they could be the best players available to the Leafs at 25th overall.
Who Is Jonathan Tychonick?
It seems more and more there have been Canadian Junior-A players creeping into the 1st round of the entry draft. Cale Makar, Dante Fabbro, Tyson Jost, and Dennis Cholowski being the names that highlight the trend, but this year Jonathan Tychonick is arguably the most most intriguing name available, and like Fabbro and Jost, he’s a product of the Penticton Vees of the BCHL.
The players who have gone the Junior A route aren’t necessarily lesser talents than their Major Junior peers, but instead they’ve chosen to maintain their NCAA eligibility by not being compensated for playing hockey. Jonathan Tychonick was a 12th overall pick by the Saskatoon Blades in 2015 before choosing to go the BCHL route.
Tychonick is left shooting defenseman, who is 5’11 and 174 lbs. He has a March birthday, so he’s neither on the old or young side of the draft, and he’s committed to the University of North Dakota for the next season.
Jonathan was a First Team All-Star in the BCHL this season, and represented Canada at the U-18s.
Where Is Tychonick Ranked?
|The Athletic- Wheeler||Top 31 ($)|
|Dobbers Prospects- Robinson||28th|
|Dobbers Prospects- Harling||30th|
|Canucks Army- Davis||49th|
|NHL Central Scouting (NA)||36th|
So it seems that most people who do this for a living like Tychonick a little less than me. I’m fine with that, but perhaps I can explain my ranking a little. First off, I think highly both of the Penticton Vees organization and the University of North Dakota program. I have confidence that Tychonick’s development will be handled well prior to joining a pro team. Secondly, Tychonick isn’t a safe pick, and I might like swing for the fences picks a bit more than others. No matter what, Tychonick might be someone who could be acquired while trading down as well.
What the Numbers Say About Tychonick
So Tychonick is definitely someone who could be slotted into a power play quarterback role. Unfortunately, not a lot of data finds its way out of the Canadian Junior-A leagues, but it’s probably safe to assume the majority of the points that Tychonick put up came on the powerplay.
Tychonick’s involvement percentage is the 7th highest of first time draft eligibles. Names like Boqvist, Bouchard, Addison, Merkley, Alexeyev, and Ty Smith are ahead of him, and pretty much that entire group will get selected before him or around the same time as him later this month.
As for the NHLe numbers, I think they probably aren’t entirely fair to Tychonick, who is more capable than what is typically seen in Junior-A, but saved his gaudy numbers for the playoffs where he put up 17 points in 11 games.
What’s Been Written About Tychonick
Tychonick is a two-way, intelligent defender…his skating checks off all facets you look for as he is fluid and mobile…generates good levels of speed and displays strong lateral quickness…impressive offensive instinct to his game and he sets up many potential chances thanks to his heads up reads that extend zone time and create opportunities…carries the puck with confidence…dishes timely and creative passes, displaying impressive vision…
Tychonick is a little undersized but makes up for it with elite skating ability. He has outstanding speed in both directions. It becomes a real weapon when he is on the rush. It also allows him to get deep on the attack, or pinch at the line, and still get back defensively. He reaches his top speed in just a few strides. Tychonick also has outstanding agility and edgework.
The Eye Test
Why the Leafs Should Draft Jonathan Tychonick
The case for Tychonick as the best player available might be a tough one to make when most of the published rankings disagree with me here, so maybe Tychonick is more of a sales pitch for trading down a couple of spots and drafting a good defenseman that I honestly believe should be held in higher regard.
Tychonick seems like more of the same when you look at Morgan Rielly, Jake Gardiner, and Travis Dermott, but here’s the thing there. If your system does well with developing mobile defensemen, maybe taking mobile defensemen isn’t a bad thing when you can feel pretty confident about turning them into NHLers.
The interesting thing on Tychonick is that he really does seem a lot like Morgan Rielly. He’s a little undersized, but fast as all hell. His offensive game is his primary strength, but doesn’t appear to be a slouch in his own end either based on his decision making and recovery. He’s not the brute, knock you off the puck defender that many people see as a missing element of the Leafs lineup, but generally that isn’t something you should be trying to fill in the first round and you still have Greenway, Rasanen, and Gordeev already working to fill that role.
MLN Draft #Content
|Draft Articles||Who to take at 25th Overall||Maybe Later|
|Case for Trading Up||Calen Addison||Blade Jenkins|
|Case for Trading Down||Ryan McLeod|
|Case for Picking 25th||Jonathan Tychonick|
|Case for Trading the Pick|
|Leafs Geeks Draft Preview|
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