Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/ OHL Images

2019 Draft Countdown: Karl Henriksson, Billy Constantinou, Vladislav Kolyachonok, Antti Tuomisto, and Brayden Tracey

Welcome to Canucks Army’s 2019 Draft Countdown. Over the next four weeks leading up to the draft, we’ll be rounding up scouting reports, quotes, and videos about our Top-100 prospects available. Here are aggregated profiles on 2019 Draft Countdown: Karl Henriksson, Billy Constantinou, Vladislav Kolyachonok, Antti Tuomisto, and Brayden Tracey. 

No. 70: Karl Henriksson

Date of birth: February 5th, 2001

Nation: Sweden

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Position: C

Shoots: L

Height: 5’9” / 176 cm

Weight: 174 lbs / 79 kg

Profile: One of the top players at the U18s, Henriksson is a great playmaker who is also sound defensively. Henriksson is small at at 5’9″ and some scouts question if he has enough speed and raw skill to be a difference maker. 

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One thing that really stood out (At the U18s) was his net-front presence, likely due to the fact he had two future stars as linemates. Henriksson, who led the Swedish SuperElit junior league with 36 assists, created havoc, both with and without the puck, and showed he can be more than a great playmaker, showcasing his strong defensive play at the tournament. Steven Ellis, The Hockey News

Good skater, can put the puck into the net and also a good passer with above-average playmaking skills – Christoffer Hedlund, EP Rinkside 

No.69: Billy Constantinou

Date of birth: March 25th, 2001

Nation: Canada

Position: D

Shoots: R

Height: 6’0” / 183 cm

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Weight: 185 lbs / 84 kg

Profile: An intriguing defensive prospect, Constantinou is an excellent skater with great offensive skill. His defensive play is lacking, but his risk taking and offensive talent suggests major upside.

He immediately grabs your attention on first look because everything about his game is bipolar. At times he is an excitingly skilled offensive generator, and at others he makes you question his future as a professional.

Constantinou is mobile in a non-traditional way. He routinely finds the holes in the opposing defence and exploits them with a constant use of crossovers. He can waltz through, fake wide, go inside the defensive formation, and attack the net to create scoring chances while drives his body into multiple changes of direction by crossing his feet. This way, he accelerates and draws half-circles around opponents. His great crossover techniques transform what should really be a weakness for Constantinou into a strength. The prospect’s best plays this season often originated from his speed.

Experience alone will teach Constantinou a lot about how to approach the game, but he can already be electrifying. When the defenceman jumps on the ice, it’s guaranteed fun for everyone. Spectators lean in to better catch his attempts, and teammates profit from the high-event hockey the defenceman likes to play. If he can limit how much opponents also benefit from it, learning to harness his wild nature and unleash it at the right time, Constantinou could become a talented offensive defenceman at the next level. – David St.Louis – Habs Eyes on the Prize

Everything about Constantinou’s skating is excellent, except that maybe he could add a step in his first couple strides. If his edgework, lateral movement, backwards skating and overall agility isn’t the best in the draft class, it’s definitely top-2. When carrying the puck, it allows him to slice through opponents almost at will.

Offensively, Constantinou has shown in his time with Niagara that he can play with a talented roster around him. His skating and high hockey IQ allows him to join in the rush. His excellent vision allows him to be a set up guy from the point. He can see and find even the smallest of lanes. His ability to move laterally and control the offensive blue line makes him an excellent power play quarterback.

Defensively, I don’t want to say the move to Kingston has exposed a flaw in his game. The horses aren’t there in Kingston and what it has done is forced him to play more on the defensive side of the puck. His gap control is very good. He recognizes the need and has the ability to keep players to the outside. Once he adds more muscle, he will become more adept at winning battles along the wall and in front of the paint. His strength has been and always will be the transition game with an excellent ability to clear his zone with an excellent first pass or to take care of business himself and skate out of danger. – Dominic Tiano, OHL Writers

Constantinou is an outstanding skater. His edgework, agility, and pivots are outstanding. He also has very good speed going forward. This gives him great mobility. Constantinou pairs this with very good stickhandling ability and is able to skate the puck out of his own zone as well as lead the rush. Constantinou loves to do so and is a big risk taker from the back end.

Constantinou also has a very good wrist shot and a good release. He can also take a strong slap shot from the point on the power play. Constantinou also has very good vision and passing skills. He can start the breakout or quarterback the power play. He needs to work on his defensive game as he can struggle in his own end. – Ben Kerr, Last Word on Sports

No.68:Vladislav Kolyachonok

Date of birth: May 26th, 2001

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Nation: Belarus

Position: D

Shoots: L

Height: 6’2” / 187cm

Weight: 181 lbs / 82 kg

Profile: An excellent skater with fantastic speed, Kolyachonok has the tools to become a reliable two-way defender. There are questions about his overall offensive upside, but Kolyachonok is very efficient defensively and has a strong transition game. 

“Kolyachonok is an excellent skater with tremendous agility and very good speed. He is capable of jumping into the play but chooses his opportunities very carefully. Once in the offensive zone, he rarely makes a bad pinch, choosing the safe play most of the time. He sees the ice extremely well and is an excellent passer. He has a very good shot from the point that almost always hits the target.”

Kolyachonok is an intelligent player. His positioning in the defensive zone is very sound. His skating allows him to angle opponents off – difficult to beat one-on-one. He uses a very active stick to defend and closes lanes smartly and quickly. His transitioning from defence to offence is excellent. He has the ability to skate out of danger and out of the zone, but he is also capable of making an excellent first pass. He is also a left shot defender who plays as strong on his off side.” – Dominic Tiano/OHL Writers

“From Game One, Kolyachonok’s transition to the smaller North America rinks and two-way style of play was seamless. Most European players go through an adjustment period but with his elite mobility, speed and a strong understanding of his position, it allowed him to step right in as if he were a seasoned veteran. His on-ice composure and off ice maturity beyond his years have no doubt helped with his North American transition, making him one of the best at his position in the 2019 NHL Draft class.” – Karl Stewart, NHL Central Scouting

Kolyachonok is an impressive skater who utilizes his explosive speed and ample agility in order to rush the puck up ice or smother attackers within his defensive zone. Once in possession of the puck is when Kolyachonok’s skating shines the brightest, as the native of Minsk, Belarus can blow past opposing players and his endlessly confident in his ability to do so.

Although Kolyachonok’s skating abilities and confidence with the puck stand as two of the youngster’s most impressive traits, they can — at times — lead to significant defensive lapses. Owing to his natural offensive instincts and drive, Kolyachonok can be caught out of position at times due to his attempts to single-handedly generate scoring chances. – Prospect Pipeline

No. 67: Antti Tuomisto 

Date of birth: January 20th, 2001

Nation: Finland

Position: D

Shoots: R

Height: 6’3” / 191 cm

Weight: 176 lbs / 80 kg

Profile: A tall two-way defenseman, Tuomisto makes smart plays and is great with his stick. His skating is the biggest concern, but his physicality, puck-moving ability and long reach have some scouts projecting that Tuomisto could develop into a top-four or top-six blueliner.

Tuomisto is an offense-minded defenseman with good puck-skills and a great shot. His skating is good for someone his size, and it’s been getting better all season long. Tuomisto’s defensive game needs some improvements but because he has great size and good hockey sense, it’s reasonable to expect that part of his game to grow. He hits players to separate them from the puck but doesn’t go looking for big hits. He’s very lanky at the moment and will need at least a couple of years to add more muscle to his frame. Tuomisto has top-four upside, and he’s likely to get drafted in the second round this summer. – Jokke Nevalainen, Dobber Prospects

There are good basic elements to Antti Tuomisto’s game. The Finn’s gap control is fine and he manages to reduce the attacking player’s space in the offensive zone. As a power play quarterback, Tuomisto looks for a simple and safe pass with no risk of turnover. Tuomisto’s straight line speed is quite slow and he doesn’t gain a lot of momentum during his few first steps. His lateral movement is better but it requires anticipating the play. All things considered, he relies heavily on his positioning.The Finn uses his body well near the boards. He has a big body but there’s a plenty of room to fill out. On the downside, Tuomisto has a tendency to get himself off balance under the pressure. He compensates it by using his stick to cover passing and shooting lanes effectively. –Markus Suhonen, Finn Prospects

Measured at 6’3”, Tuomisto is a tall two-way defenceman. His skating (U20 game) looked quite good going forward and backward, but his lateral movement was not great. Tuomisto was able to make up for his lack of mobility with his reach, but against quick opposing forwards it could end up being a problem. He showed good poise with the puck in his own end, regularly making solid breakout passes. Tuomisto did not look very comfortable with the puck in a few situations, but by keeping his play relatively simple, it was not a big problem. Tuomisto skated in an upright stance and seemed very engaged, always reading the play developing around him. He has a very powerful shot from the point, which he used multiple times on the power play. Defensively, Tuomisto missed a few assignments here and there but used his reach and size very well. He will be even more difficult to play against once he fills out his frame. – Lassi Alanen, Finn Prospects 

No.66: Brayden Tracey

Date of birth: May 28th, 2001

Nation: Canada

Position: LW

Shoots: L

Height: 6’0” / 183 cm

Weight: 176 lbs / 80 kg

Profile: A monstrous rookie season in the WHL has put Tracey on many team’s radars. He’s been climbing in the draft rankings thanks to his creative playmaking, lethal shot and impressive offensive hockey sense. 

Solidly built winger who is confident in his carries in the high traffic. He is not the finished product and he needs to become a higher pace 60 minute player. Light on his skates and edges, he finds the soft areas and is opportunistic in tracking down rebounds, like he was built to be a greasy area scorer. His rookie WHL season is one where he has excelled with no fear failure. Will need time to round out is development, but clearly his name has been rising on draft boards. Bill Placzek, Draft Site

The winger has a goal-scoring instinct, and he possesses a precise release to go along with it. Tracey can shoot from a stand-still with the use of a catch-and-release motion, and can also fire in stride and combine his shot with a couple of moves to further surprise the goalie. He only needs a second of space to pick his spot and hit the back of the net. – David St-Louis, Habs Eyes on the Prize

Brayden Tracey owns the high slot on the top PP and he uses his simplistic puck control skills to change the angle on the shot, fake the pass, shoot with power and accuracy, or slip down to grab an easy one-timer. As far as draft eligible forwards go from the WHL, Brayden Tracey might be the best at adjusting to line mates, filling gaps, and playing the system. His individual skills might not top the charts but it’s hard to ignore the type of numbers he is putting up. – Joel Henderson, Dobber Prospects

Tracey is an excellent possession player who uses his long stick and frame to protect the puck. His passes have tricked more than a few WHL goalies and defenders this season. He likes to fake the shot and feed his teammates with clean, crisp passes from anywhere. Like his passes, Tracey’s shot is deceptive. He has an effective, heavy wrister that he can change the angle on to fool goalies, but he can also unleash a wicked one-timer from the high slot on the powerplay. – Lauren Kelly, Mile High Hockey

Read Also:

2019 Draft Countdown: Colten Ellis, Nikola Pasic, John Beecher, Cole Moberg, Jamieson Rees

2019 Draft Countdown: Nicholas Porco, Yegor Serdyuk, Jackson LaCombe, Tuukka Tieksola, and Alex Beaucage

  • jaybird43

    Like the sound of this Constantinou kid. Especially the part about him being maybe the second best skater in the draft. Maybe a bit of a project defensively, but it sounds like he’s got all the tools to maybe be a top 2 defenceman. And a R Hand shot to boot.

      • Cageyvet

        Agreed, if the rankings are reasonably accurate, we will have a few defensemen to choose from in the third round, and it’s a spot where many gems at the position have been found over the years.

    • jaybird43

      Went over to the sister site for the Red Wings, and the writer there has ranked Constantinou as #24, a mid-high first-rounder, not 69th like here. Interesting …

  • Rodeobill

    Combine results just in today, be an interesting article to look at how predictive they are in relation to success as an NHLer. I kind of think not so much, but possibly helpful at finding some diamonds in the rough? Or certain tests more predictive than others?