Ty Dellandrea was a bright spot for the struggling Flint Firebirds this season. This was after an impressive rookie season in 2016-17 that saw him post thirteen goals and eleven assists in 57 games with the Firebirds.
Given his team’s struggles, it can be hard to accurately project with Dellandrea and what he may be but there is a lot to like about his game. It’s easy to dismiss his offensive numbers as being the key cog of a bad team.
However, Dellandrea was the biggest riser in the NHL Central Scouting rankings from mid-season, moving all the way from 76th to 25th in the final rankings and it was a reflection of how well he played in the second half and at the U18 World Juniors.
We’ll break down the young centre’s game as he lands in the 43rd spot of our 2018 NHL Entry Draft rankings.
- Age/Birthdate:17.15/ July 21, 2000
- Birthplace: Port Perry, ON, CAN
- Frame:6-foot-1/ 190 lbs
- Position: Centre
- Handedness: Right
- Draft Year Team: Flint Firebirds(OHL)
- OMHA Atom A Champions
- ETAMMHL Most Goals (36)
- Hlinka Memorial Gold Medal
Dellandrea was selected with the 5th overall pick in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection draft and then immediately made the leap to the Ontario Hockey League the following season. He represented Canada at the 2017 U18 World Juniors to close out that 2016-17 campaign.
He again represented Canada at the Ivan Hlinka to start this campaign but was held off the scoresheet in all five games en route to a gold medal. With Flint missing the playoffs this year, he dressed for Canada at the 2018 U18 World Juniors and made his impact with two goals and three assists in five games as he was leaned on a bit more offensively.
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Dellandrea stands out in terms of INV%, SEAL, and XLS% as he helped push the Firebirds offensively. There are some concerns about reliance on powerplay production and GF% but that can be partially explained through the struggles of Flint.
The 2018 draft eligible centre was a shot generator, finishing third among first-time draft eligible OHL players in shots per game, and his point totals weren’t inflated by an unsustainable shooting percentage.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
In terms of GF%, it can be hard to take any conclusive evidence from it as the Firebirds just struggled so badly. They finished last in goals for and last in goals against in the OHL with a goal differential of -122. Given that they scored 194 goals in total, there wasn’t a lot of offence from them and they were giving up quite a bit.
Dellandrea was lower in terms of 5v5 eP60 than his most common linemates but was the youngest of that group.
He started the season slowly and then slowly built on that offence as he was given a larger role for the Firebirds.
Dellandrea had a good rookie season in the OHL with an expected success rate of 25.9% of his statistical cohorts going onto becoming NHL regulars based on that D-1 production. Despite the Firebirds struggles as a team, Dellandrea was able to increase that number to 39.2% for his draft season.
It’s great to see him take that step forward offensively and given that he got better as the season went on, it’s all promising signs for him as a prospect.
Dellandrea started the season leaving a little bit to be desired but steadily improved over the course of his season. You could see tangible improvement in all parts of his game culminating in a noteworthy performance at the U18’s.
The Port Parry native is a well balanced offensive player that can score or set up his teammates regularly. He likes having the puck on his stick so that he can dictate the play and attack as he sees fit. I really like his wrist shot, he pulls it back well to get velocity and weight to his shot. But isn’t afraid to mix it up with his slap shot. It’s not flawless but has been surprising to me when viewing.
His skating wasn’t great to start the season but he figured out how to get going with decent acceleration and top speed. He is strong on his feet, using his legs to create a wide base to prevent opponents from pushing him off the puck. It allows him to use his reach to keep the puck at a bit of a distance, which he then can use to move to an open teammate or pull it in and rip it with his wrist shot.
One skill that seems to be underrated or overlooked is the ability to not skate by the net or fly by the puck. Dellandrea is smart with his positioning and seems to know that you need to stop at the net to get those loose pucks.
Dellandrea is smart with his offensive attack, zone entries, and puck distributions.
On the defensive side of the game, there is work that needs to be done. But the struggles of his team as a whole may be a part of those issues. It wasn’t an issue at the U18’s as he was relied on to produce offensively and could be a sign that if plays with better players, that concern will be alleviated.
Dellandrea played at the Sherwin Williams CHL Top Prospects Game where he posted two goals for Team Cherry, showcasing his puck skills, hockey IQ, and work ethic.
Despite being only 17, Dellandrea was an alternate captain for the Firebirds this season and you know that NHL teams will love those leadership qualities. Jokes aside, many people have spoken highly about his work ethic, attitude, and demeanour as things that will help him excel as he works up the hockey ladder. There is value in those attributes and the young centre has a desire to be better every day.
The Hockey News has Dellandrea ranked as the 16th best prospect in this draft, which I feel is a little too high for him and likely suffers from some recency bias based on his performance at the U18’s in April. The average ranking has him within the early parts of the second round and this likely where we see him go. With that in mind though, some team in the latter part of the first round may feel he is one of the better players in that cluster and we could see him go late on day one.
He probably doesn’t have a first line centre upside but likely slots into the second line centre spot that does everything for his team while creating offence in a variety of ways.
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Ty is one of the most improved players in the draft since the start of the season. His skating is noticeably better, he is quicker in every area and has become very hard to handle off the rush. He is also playing with way more confidence and is trying things he never would have at the beginning of the season. Ty has the puck on his stick a lot and creates chances for himself and his teammates. He has a very hard and accurate shot off the wing and surprises goalies with his release.
Highly gifted centre with deceptive offensive abilities and instincts – possesses high end puck skills and can be very clever in one on one situations – displays good vision with the puck and can execute skilled plays in traffic – high hockey IQ and ability to anticipate the play make him an important figure on his team’s offensive attack.
CanucksArmy’s 2018 NHL Draft Rankings