Ty Nelson Scouting Report: 2022 NHL Draft #28

Ty Nelson Scouting Report
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Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2022 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Ty Nelson Scouting Report. 

Drafted first overall by the North Bay Battalion in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection Draft, Ty Nelson had to sit out the entire 2020-21 season due to COVID-19. Back on the ice this year, he had an excellent rookie year. Nelson scored nine goals and 42 assists for 51 points in 66 games. Nelson led all OHL rookies in assists. He also scored 10 assists in 12 OHL Playoff Games. He helped North Bay to the Eastern Conference Final before they fell to the Hamilton Bulldogs in a four-game sweep. Nelson also played for Team Red at the 2022 CHL Top Prospects Game.

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In 2019-20, Nelson represented Canada at the Youth Olympic Games. While he didn’t put up any points in the tournament, he played four games and helped the Canadians to a bronze medal. He came up through the Toronto Jr. Canadiens program in the GTHL and AAA Hockey. In his last season of AAA, Nelson scored 18 goals and 47 assists for 65 points in 68 games. He also put up one goal and 12 points in 11 playoff games. Nelson added four goals and 13 points in eight games at the Toronto Titans Tournament.

Ty Nelson Scouting Report

Right Defence — shoots Right
Born March 30th, 2004 — Toronto, Ontario
Height 5’10” — Weight 196 lbs [178 cm/89 kg]

Skating

An undersized defenceman, Nelson overcomes that lack of size with very good skating ability. He has a powerful first few steps and good acceleration. When he gets by a forechecker or gets a step in the neutral zone, Nelson can accelerate into the open space and create separation from his man. He also shows really good agility and lateral movement. This allows him to walk the line and create chances in the offensive zone. He also has good edgework. Nelson can make quick cuts and turns, allowing him to weave through traffic and avoid defenders. Nelson is also strong on his skates. He has good lower body strength and a low centre of gravity. This allows him to fight through checks and win battles on the boards and in front of the net.

Nelson’s backwards skating isn’t quite as good as his forwards skating. This is the biggest weakness in his game right now. His crossovers could be crisper and give him more power and lateral movement. He also needs to show a little bit better bend in his knees and waist. Nelson could work with a good skating coach and this should really improve this aspect of his game, and help him to better utilize the strong lower body that is key to his forward skating.

Offensive Game

Nelson has an absolute rocket of a slap shot. He also does a good job of moving laterally to open up shooting lanes and get the puck on the net. Nelson understands that if he keeps his shot low and on the net, he increases opportunities for his teammates to create screens, get deflections, and pounce on rebounds. He also does a good job of adjusting his feet and his hands if the pass is slightly off and still gets off a powerful one-timer. Nelson has a good wrist shot and snapshot as well. He gets them off with good accuracy and power and a quick release. Nelson uses these shots off the rush and in pinching in from the point to fire the puck from the top of the faceoff circle.

Nelson pairs his good skating with strong puck handling skills. He can carry the puck out of the defensive zone and through the neutral zone. His ability to avoid defenders, move through traffic and create separation helps him to generate effective zone entries. Once in the offensive zone, Nelson has poise with the puck and can control and quarterback the play from the point. He has good vision and makes creative passes through tight lanes. Nelson is very effective on the power play but can also create offence and start the rush at even strength. He loves to join the rush and push the pace.

Defensive Game

Nelson’s defensive game is a bit of a work in progress. The limited backwards skating makes him vulnerable to speedy forwards on the rush and Nelson often has to turn and move forward to continue to defend. Once in the zone, he is a bit limited by his size. He needs to add upper body strength to deal with forwards, especially once he is out of the junior leagues. However, Nelson does not back down from physical battles. He brings an aggressive and feisty attitude to board battles. He also makes good use of his stick to cut down passing and shooting lanes. Once a turnover is created Nelson quickly gets the puck out of the zone and transitions to offence.

Projection and Comparison

Nelson may never be a franchise level #1 defender, but he has the chance to play on a top-pair and be a key contributor on the power play if he reaches his ceiling. He needs to work on his backwards skating to be able to play bigger minutes at even-strength though. Expect him to spend another year or two in the OHL and to play for Canada at the World Juniors at some point. He also will likely get some high-end coaching on his skating once he gets into an NHL team’s development program. Nelson’s game is reminiscent of Ryan Ellis. This is a stylistic comparison only though and not one based on skill and ability.

Highlights

The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Ty Nelson that are available on youtube and Twitter.

 

Check back tomorrow for our latest 2022 NHL Draft Article.

 

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