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.
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.
stats from elite-prospects.com
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_.