This is Tyler Ennis. He’s a center for the Medicine Hat Tigers of the WHL. Ennis is listed as 5-9, 160 on the WHL site and turned 18 in early October of this year (he’s 57 days younger than Sam Gagner).

Ennis is a “player of interest” for the 2008 draft and has an outside shot at the first round depending on which service you follow.

We “saw him good” at the Memorial Cup in the spring, but a better test imo is how well a prospect plays during the regular season of his draft year. Ennis appears to be up to the challenge (37gp, 22-23-45 so far with the Tigers) as he sits in a 6th place tie for WHL scoring currently. Among the 5 players ahead of him are 2 players already drafted and an overager, so Ennis is right at the top of the draft in terms of total points among draft eligibles this season.

Ennis played 3 seasons for the Edmonton Knights of Columbus in the Alberta Major Bantam Hockey League (AMBHL), peaking as a 15-year old with a 35 goals in 33 games performance in 2003-04.

He is a small, skilled player with terrific speed and nice touch around the net. Redline Report says Tyler Ennis— Yes, he’s tiny. But he’s burning up the WHL and has the balls to go to the dirty areas and fight for loose pucks. Small in stature, but a huge heart. He was ranked as the 19th best prospect for the 2008 draft by ISS in the summertime, but has slipped past their top 30 (published today by tsn). He has represented Canada in the U18′s and fits Edmonton’s definition of Best Player Available for their top picks each draft year in the following areas: Skilled and North American.

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10 Responses to "2008 NHL Draft TYLER ENNIS"

  1. jon says:

    While it’s probably a good sign that he’s getting good reviews as an under-sized forward in the WHL as opposed to the softer CHL leagues, there are so many small scoring forwards that never make the jump from the AHL game to the NHL level that I could see teams being wary. Might be a decent option for a flyer in the 3rd round if he’s still around though.

    Look forward to more write-ups as the draft approaches. :)

  2. Ribs says:

    He’s way too ugly to be an Oiler. The Hot Oil girls would form a lynch mob if he gets picked.

  3. doritogrande says:

    If we’re going small, I’m begging and hoping that Zack Boychuk’s still availible when we’re picking. They seem similar in their styles on paper, but I’ve seen what Boychuk can do first hand, and he’s going to be dangerous.

  4. oilerdiehard says:

    I flew home to visit my parents in October. They have Rebels season tickets and I got to take in some games, including MH.

    The kid really did look very skilled, strong on the puck and pretty game. I was to see you list him as 5’9 though. He looked plenty small even next the other kids out there.

  5. choppystride says:

    I was able to watch him live last season in the WHL final between VAN and MH. Even then he was really noticeable as someone who can flat out create.

    This kid has trememdous hands and is an exceptional skater. Not only is he fast, but the attribute that stood out most for me is his Datsyuk-like shiftiness and agility. The way that he can seem to just “float” around laterally with the puck attached to his blade, ready to make a play…that’s a skill only the most high end NHLers possess.

    Of course, the knocks against him are that he has an 1989 birthday, and he’s currently listed at only 160 lbs. Assuming that both my memory and his measurements are correct, I don’t he has made much progress on the weight front, and that’s a bit worrisome.

    But the fact is that he’s putting up good numbers in a tough junior league and on a team that does not provide him much offensive support (no on else on MH is currently over 1 Pt/G).

    At this point, no one knows whether he’ll turn into another Datsyuk or flame out like Chistov. But with several high end attributes already in possession, he certainly looks like someone with a lot of upside.

    He is a player whom I would love to see the Oilers take a chance on at some point during the draft. But I bet it’ll be the Red Wings who’ll grab him with 30th pick. :)

  6. Lord Bob says:

    I refuse to believe that you can be shorter than I am and have a productive career as an offensive centre in the National Hockey League. Has anybody since the 1980s been that short and gone on to offensive success at that position? Anybody?

    It’s one thing for Martin St. Louis and Theo Fleury to rock the wing, but centre is a different story. Now, if the guy can be moved to the wing, we can talk. But otherwise, pass.

  7. dwillms says:

    Has anybody since the 1980s been that short and gone on to offensive success at that position? Anybody?

    Denis Savard
    Cliff Ronning
    Pat LaFontaine

  8. Bruce says:

    Marc Savard

  9. Ribs says:

    Just for fun…

    D.Savard had played 9 seasons before the 90′s came around

    Cliff Ronning 3 seasons before the 90′s, and was drafted in the 7th round.

    LaFontaine played more than 5 seasons before the 90′s came around.

    M.Savard drafted in the fourth round and has been marginally successful in the offensive sense. Four 20+G seasons to his credit and has broken out in the last 2 years with 96 and 97 points.

    These guys don’t really make too much of an argument for drafting a player like this early into the draft. You could use guys like Comrie(3rd Round Pick) or Datsyuk(6th Round pick) to compare but you could end up with Yan Stastny.

    Most players of this stature are moved to the wing pretty quickly once they try to break into the big league (see Robert Nilsson) and it will be interesting to see how Ennis the menace turns out. Does he excel at the center position? Does he win faceoffs? ..Or is he just centering because the club needs him to?

  10. Newton says:

    I am Tigers Season ticket holder – have got to watch Ennis his whole WHL career.

    First – the kid is very skilled. He reminds me alot of Lupul – who is a great NHL player in the eyes of everyone outside the city of Edmonton. (note he would be 2nd in Edmonton team scoring with his philly production this season)

    The WHL is also the most clutchy / grabby / pre NHL lockout style of hockey left in the world of hockey – and Ennis fights through that to be a very productive forward. Usually the WHL is dominanted by guys who are already drafted – if any of you follow the WHL that closely you would see its quite an accomplishment to be a star in the league at 17.

    Ennis can play centre or wing – he is good on face offs and also draws alot of attention after the draw.

    He is VERY creative with the puck -he reminds me alot of Datsuk or Husleius for the Flames – and he makes the players around him better – he gets down and dirty – and he is clutch – scoring the biggest goals for his team in the playoffs – including the WHL championship winning goal to defeat the Giants.

    Being ahead of your peers at 18 is no gurantee of NHL success – but the NHL has a bunch of smaller players thriving – you cant write a guy off for being short – he isnt even done growing.

    You’d have to see him play – when he is on his game he can dominate offensively…thats a pretty valuable trait to have.

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