Analyzing Tyler Madden’s Bag Of Tricks

The Vancouver Canucks have quite a bit of depth in their farm system. General Manager Jim Benning and his front office have done an outstanding job of stock-piling talent across the board.

Since Benning was hired in May of 2014, the Canucks have drafted Vasili Podkolzin, Nils Hoglander, Quinn Hughes, Jett Woo, Tyler Madden, Elias Pettersson, Kole Lind, Michael DiPietro, Olli Juolevi, Brock Boeser, Adam Gaudette and Thatcher Demko. The Canucks easily have one of the best (if not the best) farm systems in the NHL. While we could talk about how outstanding their farm system is for days, I would prefer to hone in on one prospect in particular. Let’s talk about Tyler Madden.

Tyler Madden

The son of former NHLer John Madden (not the football coach and sportscaster) has blossomed into one of the best forward prospects in the Canucks system. Last season, Tyler Madden completed his freshman season at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. In 36 games played, the Deerfield Beach, Florida native tallied 12 goals and 16 assists. In addition, he suited for USA Hockey at the World Junior Championships in British Columbia. Madden dazzled on the international stage as he mustered up 3 goals and an assist in 7 games.

Next season, Madden will go back to Northeastern. He has decided to go back for a sophomore season and spend some more time with Northeastern Huskies head coach Jim Madigan and his coaching staff. Since Madigan took over as Northeastern’s head coach, he has worked with Zach Aston-Reese, Gaudette, Josh Manson, Matt Benning and Dylan Sikura. Madigan is well known across college hockey as one of the best coaches for developing prospects and getting them NHL-ready. Aside from Madigan’s influence on Madden, the 19-year-old will benefit from playing in a high-octane college hockey conference. Northeastern’s main rivals, Boston College and Boston University have done an excellent job recruiting-wise and will be tough competition for the Huskies. Boston College has added Spencer Knight, Drew Helleson, Marshall Warren, Matthew Boldy and Alex Newhook. On the flip side, Boston University recruited Trevor Zegras, Robert Mastrosimone, Alex Vlasic, Case McCarthy and Domenick Fensore. With Madden facing quite a bit of elite talent, that might be the best recipe in order for him to get more accustomed to the NHL-style of play.

Madden’s Player Profile

Madden is not a big forward. He is 5’11” and 150 lbs. Most of the time, Madden will avoid being physical. Given his body type, he is not going to lay down hits very often. While he won’t slam his opponents against the boards, he loves puck battles and challenging the opposition for loose pucks. Madden will charge you for the puck and deliver poke-checks to strip the puck. The best way to describe Madden is that he is puck hungry. The centre always wants the puck on his stick and will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Madden’s biggest strength is easily his skating and speed. His transition play is phenomenal. Madden will go from zone-to-zone with the puck on his stick blade and will avoid heavy traffic. He is capable of tight turns, beautiful cross-overs and great inside/outside edge-work. He shows just how impressive his skating is when he is facing quite a bit of traffic. Madden will swerve in and out of traffic and create opportunities to score. In the video below from Mike Ashmore, you can see just how impressive Madden’s skating is. His turning and edge-work are impeccable in this clip.

The centreman also loves to plant himself in front of his opposing goaltender. His vision is quite good as he will pinpoint the most ideal times to park himself in front of the crease. Madden will often choose dump and chase and sequences that involve his teammates going behind the net as the optimal times to create some havoc in front of the goalie. When the play is underway, Madden is not shy about being vocal and letting his teammates know that he is ready to pounce on the net. Once his teammates fire the puck over to him, he will lower his body slightly, pick his corner and fire. In the video below from the Canucks, you can see Madden do just this at the 2018 Canucks Summer Showdown.

In addition, Madden is the ultimate special teams guru. He fits in well on both the penalty kill and power-play units. On the penalty kill, he will use his outstanding poke-checking skills and look for the most advantageous times to strip the puck away. When his team is on the power play, Madden tends to take over the ice. He will go around the zone and make sleek passes as he tries to find ways to capitalize when up a man or two.

There is a lot to like about Madden. He will spend at least one more season with the Huskies. Depending on how his sophomore campaign goes, Madden could potentially make the jump to the NHL once the Huskies’ season concludes.

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Special Note: I just want to thank Cam Lewis for letting me write a guest post on Canucks Army. I write for several sites including DobberProspects (Buffalo Sabres scout/writer), WingsNation, JetsNation and Editor In Leaf. You can follow me on Twitter @JoshTessler_.

  • Adamemnon

    Ummm, is that actually the clip the writer meant to post as an example of Madden’s “turning and edge work”?

    If so, I would question his qualifications in assessing skating ability. This was a very poor example of Madden’s abilities in every possible metric. On top of being caught flat-footed on multiple occasions, slow to both read and react to a developing play in the offensive zone, and nearly losing his balance after weakly trying to muscle an opponent off of the puck, there is actually no evidence of Madden being a “puck hound” in this clip. I am almost positive Madden is a better player than is evident here, on top of everything he even loses the damn face-off!

    The tone of this article is also amateurishly biased toward the Canucks in a way that some might appreciate, but I’ve always read Canucks Army because I appreciate the objectivity. What evidence is there, as in which other pundit in the entire hockey world agrees, that the Canucks have possibly the best farm system in the league? That seems far-fetched at best. Saying Madden “dazzled” on the international level with 4 points in 7 games belies the author’s homerism even more, as does the entire paragraph about how amazing Madden is on special teams. Evidence please? A stat, a clip, something to back up this gushing would be nice.

    I fear the constant attacks and negativity in the comments section may actually be succeeding in watering down this site’s generally laudable analysis. I hope I’m mistaken.

      • DJ_44

        This is just amateurish cheerleading without any foundation, precisely the opposite of the strength of Canucks Army

        We all agree then: CanucksArmy strength was amateurish negativity without any foundation.

        If only we could have another article telling us Ben Hutton was a top-4 defencemen …… those were heady days my friends.

    • Chris the Curmudgeon

      Indeed, I watched that clip and wondered if anything the least bit impressive was going to happen, then it ended. I strongly hope that’s an example of a below average shift for him, not an exemplar of his best.

      And I also agree on the tone. Listing a bunch of draft picks, several of whom are stalled prospects or are years away from the NHL (including Madden) and 4 of whom are former top 10 draft choices (ie: I’d hope you get someone who qualifies as a good prospect there), as a demonstration of how great the regime is reeks of homerism. We have a few good players in the system, no doubt. So do a lot of other teams.

      Glad you’re able to get chances to show off your writing, Josh, but this read more like an advertisement than actual analysis.

    • Beer Can Boyd

      Totally, 100% agree. The Royal Rumble format was about 10 billion x more fun to read and comment on. Now its just a bunch of dull old armchair GM’s attempting to show off their “hockey expertise”. Where’s PQW when you need him?

      • Gino's 3rd Cousin

        If you just miss his virtual beers I can offer you a pint here and there. He isn’t missed by anyone. The new format does seem a little amateur though.

  • Defenceman Factory

    I believe Madden is a promising prospect but if you are going to rant about his puck control and elusiveness a clip where he actually has the puck would be better.

    Have to assume an error was made.

  • J-Canuck

    Yes the clip wasn’t the best example of, well, really anything.

    That being said, Madden is an intriguing prospect that GMJB got grief for taking because of his size…. sounds like a number 5 pick everyone loves now.

  • canuckfan

    I am not sure if Utica is the top farm team. So far they have not proven anything to get that label. The upcoming season I would hope will be better because of the players that have been signed to give them more depth.

  • DB1282

    A guest writer had nice things to say about a Canuck prospect and talent pool, even though the video didn’t show much, I felt positive about the post, some here are negative nellies there is no pleasing you. changing the subject , the board sucks now, I find myself reading the flames and Oiler boards, though I don’t comment, its fum to see whose getting thumbs up or being trashed

  • Fred-65

    The notes about the current NHL players that have passed through NorthEastern make me wonder if Vancouver should be looking at Madigan as our head coach for Utica. It seems certain that Madigan has produced more players than Trent Cull or Travis Green for the NHL LOL

  • Burnabybob

    Not sure I agree with the optimism about the Canuck farm system. The Canuck prospect pool lost a fair amount of its lustre last season, with the injury to Juolevi, the departure of Dahlen, and disappointing performances by Lind and Gadjovich.

  • Rodeobill

    I think Madden has the skills (a broad toolkit and good motor) to make it to the NHL, and depending on his year coming up, I imagine him going to the comets for a bit first then after maybe getting some bottom 6 minutes. If he outplays that, I will be ecstatic. Nice to see a kindly written article.

    • Tedchinook

      I wondered about the 150 pounds too. That;s what he was when he was drafted and if he hasn’t gained any weight in a year of maturing it’s a really bad sign. I suspect this writer just took his drafted weight and doesn’t have any clue what the kid weighs now.

  • Giant-Nation

    5’11 that’s no problem – 150 lbs – I doubt he could survive the AHL. That’s a skinny kid. But if he could gain 25 lbs…ok. Even EP could not go the whole season this year, the NHL is so freaking heavy in the post season, remember #16 pics w Kirk McLean after game 7 imagine Petey in Stanley Cup Playoffs..some get you there and some special players elevate post season or disappear.