When did we know Charlie Huddy was going to have an NHL career? I don’t recall exactly but am going to guess it was after he was actually having an NHL career. Tracking prospects with little or no pedigree is tough, because there’s only so much you can know until they hit pro.
In the year Huddy was eligible for the draft (1979), he scored 20-38-58 in 64 games. He ranked No. 3 among Oshawa Generals and No. 8 among all OHA (now OHL) defenseman. He should have been drafted, but we didn’t recognize it at the time. Could we identify a Charlie Huddy living in the modern world?
I’m proud to be writing for The Athletic, and pleased to be part of a great team with Daniel Nugent-Bowman and Jonathan Willis. Here is our recent work.
- New Lowetide: What are the Oilers’ ideal defensive pairings after picking up Dmitry Kulikov at the trade deadline
- DNB: Ken Holland’s quiet NHL trade deadline sets up Oilers for big moves later
- DNB: Why the Oilers not maximizing the trade deadline is both predictable and disappointing
- Jonathan Willis: What the Oilers are getting in trade deadline pickup Dmitry Kulikov: A cheap solution to a nagging problem
- Lowetide: What would the Oilers sacrifice if they traded their 2021 first-round pick?
- DNB: A year without Colby Cave
- DNB: To play them together or not? 97 and 29
- Lowetide: Are the 2020-21 Oilers better than the 2016-17 team?
- Lowetide: Evan Bouchard’s season of inactivity — what is the risk for the Oilers?
- Lowetide: Every major transaction Ken Holland has made as Oilers GM
- Lowetide: Oilers’ top 20 prospects, trade deadline edition
I was hoping Tullio would be more prominent in Bakersfield during his time there, but as it turns out he didn’t get mentioned often. He’s just 19 now (this past year was draft plus one at age 18), and is a full year too young for the AHL. He doesn’t have a massive draft pedigree (fifth-round pick). It’s hard to get a feel for this player. Here’s what we can say: He was among the more successful NA teenagers to play in the Slovakian League in 2020-21. Here they are, ranked:
- RW Tyler Tullio (18): 19 games, 4-9-13 (0.68)
- LC William Portokalis (18): 22 games, 8-6-14 (0.64)
- LW Martin Chromiak (18): 32 games, 7-12-19 (0.59)
Tullio was chosen No. 126, Chromiak No. 128 in the 2020 draft. Huh. That’s an interesting comparable, we may land on this spot for comparable purposes in the future.
OHL COMPARABLES AGE 17 (DRAFT YEAR)
- RC Travis Konecny 60. 29-39-68 1.13 (2015)
- LC Connor McMichael 67, 36-36-72 1.08 (2019)
- RW Philip Tomasino 67, 34-38-72 1.08 (2019)
- LC Michael McLeod 57, 21-40-61 1.07 (2016)
- RW Tyler Tullio 62, 27-30-57 1.06 (2020)
- RC Robert Thomas 66, 16-50-66 1.00 (2017)
This is a great list and an exciting indicator for Tullio. The problem is there’s so little to follow it up. The Slovaks were a Godsend, but Tullio needed a league he could play 40 junior games in and the OHL never got clearance. This is a most unfortunate situation, but the alternatives would be reckless and irresponsible. Hopefully Tullio hammers the OHL in 2020-21, his final junior season.
Huddy showed up as a substantial prospect in his first year pro. In fact, he didn’t lose much offense in going from the OHA to the CHL:
- Age 19 OHA: 64 games, 20-38-58 (0.91)
- Age 20 CHL: 79 games, 14-34-48 (0.61)
A quick thumbnail expectation is about 40-45 percent of junior offense coming with a player to pro. Huddy was at 67 percent conversion. A very good number.
We are early days for Raphael Lavoie but there are some good signs. In his first two games, Lavoie had no points, 8 shots and was 0-3 in even strength goal differential. In his most recent three games, Lavoie is 2-1-3 and delivering chances consistently.
I’ve watched his game in Bakersfield and he has a scorer’s mentality in that he’s always looking for the puck and releases it quickly after arrival. They’re playing him on left wing (to my eye) and he’s adjusting, but I think scoring goals in the AHL is a hurdle Lavoie will clear. Early days, but his instincts are exceptional. He’s going to have to work a little harder when his team doesn’t have the puck, though. Here are Lavoie’s numbers compared to some of his draft day comparables who also landed in the AHL as rookies:
- Raphael Lavoie: 5 games, 2-1-3 (.60 pts-game)
- Anthony Mantha: 62 games, 15-18-33 (.53 pts-game)
- Julien Gauthier: 65 games, 16-9-25 (.38 pts-game)
- William Carrier: 64 games, 7-14-21 (.33 pts-game)
Early days but a good sign. Lavoie’s shot can beat AHL goalies clean and he can find quiet ice already. Early days but the trajectory is promising.
LOWDOWN WITH LOWETIDE
TSN1260 at 10 this morning, there is much to discuss. Bruce McCurdy from the Cult of Hockey at the Edmonton Journal will discuss Ken Holland’s second trade deadline as Oilers’ general manager. Joe Osborne from OddsShark talks MLB, NBA and NHL, including the big Capitals-Red Wings deal and how much that moves the line. Chris Peters from Hockey Sense will talk about the big U18 junior hockey tournament in Texas later this month and how important it will be for the 2021 draft. 10-1260 text, @Lowetide on twitter. See you on the radio!