(Photo Credit: Cheap Seats Productions)
St. Louis Blues defensive prospect, Tyler Tucker is having himself quite the campaign with the Barrie Colts (OHL). I personally did not expect this much offensive production. I’m surprised, and I’m pleased. Let’s just say that right now, The Blues look really, really smart for picking up Tyler in the 7th round of the 2018 NHL Draft.
I wrote an article on Tucker in August. I’ll link you at the end. There, I left you with my expectations for the very tough defenseman that plays a strong, responsible game. Well, I dug deep to provide my analysis, but this kid has picked it up a couple notches since then when it comes to offensive contribution.
It’s so great to see Tyler take off the way he has this season with the Colts. This guy already looked to be a solid draft choice due to his grit, strength, and fearlessness, but now he’s proving that he can do a little bit more. Maybe, just maybe the Blues knew who they were picking, and he’s living up.
In August, I mentioned that he was a competitive player, a physical presence, and a great skater with a solid outlet pass. Well, that was the story then. The story now? Impressive stuff.
Let’s take a look at what Tyler Tucker has been able to do in his first 15 games this season. If you ask me, It’s quite remarkable. Is it possible that being drafted to the Blues has brought a new found confidence to Tyler? I think so. Maybe a new level of confidence coming from the Coaches at Barrie as well? Certainly, and why not?
Tyler is simply growing up. The 18-year-old has progressed drastically from previous campaigns with Barrie. The comparison below will give you an idea of why I’m so high on this kid right now. He’s being called upon at his age, and he’s answering.
In the two previous stints with the Barrie Colts, Tyler was still a kid (literally). Now, Tucker’s a young man. Naturally, he’s getting smarter too. By now, he’s finally getting the ice-time everybody wants.
I’ve said a lot of positive things about Tyler by now, so I’ll be fair and state that he could take fewer penalties, just for the record. He is, however, a tough, gritty player that will learn to discipline his game in time. I believe that. Regardless, his progress is simply undeniable. See for yourself…
- 15 Games Played (+12)
- 4 Goals, 13 Assists (17 Points)
- 59 Games Played (+27)
- 3 Goals, 20 Assists (23 Points)
- 62 Games Played (-12)
- 1 Goal, 13 Assists (14 Points)
These new numbers speak for themselves! Consider the fact that just 8 games into this season, Tucker topped his goal total from last season (3 goals in 59 games). Also, he’s got 7 multi-point games (two 3-point games & four 2- point games). Top it off with the fact that he has been (-1) in just 3 contests thus far (Again, 15GP).
Let’s pull for Tyler Tucker to continue this trend that he’s on. Regardless, he’s improved and he’s on pace for the most points put up in his OHL career. Still holding it down defensively. The Blues organization couldn’t ask for much more from the 2018 draft selection.
This is a player that we may see as that diamond in the rough in the future.
Ryan: “For the most part, Tucker hasn’t changed much. He has continued doing what it was that probably caught the Blues eye. One change he has made, that has obviously helped his production, is shoot the puck a lot more. 45 shots through 15 games. Last season he totaled 103 in 59 games.
He has already surpassed his career high in goals. And even though he has been putting up numbers, he is still running over everything. However, and despite high penalty numbers, he seems to be picking his spots better. And the other guys love him. And so do fans. He is a really good kid.”
While chatting with Ryan, he said, “I expected a big increase but not like this.”
So, I asked him to elaborate.
Ryan: “Honestly, Blues camp obviously helped his confidence. He showed up here in outstanding shape and it shows. Especially in his skating. He also gets more minutes and always has good energy. As good as he is now, crushing his career highs this year will translate in more confidence. Blues fans will honestly love him.
I expected more because it was clear he was going to get more play this season. Also, guys who come back from NHL camps always have added swagger. Even guys who attend camps undrafted return the same. Lucas Chiodo as an example who went to Columbus camp and has been an absolute monster since.
It is normal for guys to get better after having a couple years under their belt. But, we knew Tucker was going to be good when he started out here. And you can tell Dale Hawerchuk sees it and trusts him on the ice.”
To polish things off, Ryan shared a few more photos with me.
(Photos: Cheap Seat Productions)
Thanks for reading, Blues fans.
Now, Here’s that article from back in August: