2020 OHL Prospect Profile: Ty Nelson
– Ty Nelson –
Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL) | Defense | 2020 OHL Draft Eligible
Toronto, Ontario | 2004-born
The 2019-20 GTHL season marks Ty Nelson’s second campaign at the Minor Midget level, a league within which he has continued to develop and hone his consistently growing game. A star defenceman for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Nelson has become a premier two-way player capable of dominating his opposition at both ends of the ice.
In the defensive zone, Nelson’s acceleration and lateral agility allow him to contain and smother attacking forwards before dispossessing them with relative ease — Nelson boasts a quick and active stick. Once in possession of the puck, Nelson fuels his team’s stellar transition game by making quick and accurate passes to his forwards as the begin to exit the zone. These abilities lead to dramatic puck possession for Nelson and the Jr. Canadiens, a reality which propels the team’s lethal offensive attack.
Speaking of offence, Nelson is no slouch when it comes to the attacking zone. Incredibly confident when in possession of the puck and not afraid to take risks to create offence, Nelson can devise scoring chances for his team in the opposing zone and features the ability to quarter-back his team’s power-play to boot. In short, Nelson is a staple within the Jr. Canadiens’ roster and arguably his team’s most effective and valuable player.
With this being said, let’s assess some of Nelson’s strengths.
- Skating Speed and Acceleration
- Puck Poise and Vision
- Playmaking Ability
- Confidence and Composure
When it comes to Nelson’s strengths on the ice, there are plenty.
First and foremost there are Nelson’s skating abilities, a trait which we touched on above. As soon as Nelson hops the bench and heads onto the ice, it’s hard not to notice him. Whether he is in possession of the puck or not, Nelson is always moving with speed and a purpose — if not in possession, Nelson will use his blistering speed and edge-work to make himself open for a pass or to support his team’s rush up ice.
GTHL teams are looking dominant but the Toronto Jr. Canadiens are exceptional. Ty Nelson drives the play from the backend. Forwards Adam Fantilli, Michael Podolioukh, Aidan Castle, Lleyton McLean, Kyan Haldenby, and Pano Fimis are throwing offensive haymakers so far. #OHLDraft
— Ryan McArthur (@ryanpmcarthur) September 7, 2019
When in possession, Nelson can absolutely fly and has the ability to weave around opposing players at will. All the while, however, Nelson remains incredibly composed and calm — a facet of his game which allows him to view and assess the ice before making informed decisions at a high rate of speed. This remarkable level of poise allows Nelson to create and implement scoring plays and chances at an impressive rate, as the youngster can sense the positioning of his teammates and move the puck to them in the blink-of-an-eye.
The Mississauga Rebels extended their #GHTL winning streak tonight with a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Jr Canadiens.
— Prospect Pipeline (@NHLProspectLine) November 16, 2018
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, there is Nelson’s general confidence on the ice. As mentioned earlier, Nelson is not afraid to take risks in order to generate offence for his team. However, when Nelson does takes risks, his decisions are calculated based on the on-ice information which he receives — a reality which allows Nelson to take risks and succeed on an over-whelming basis.
- Strength and Stability
When it comes to weaknesses within Nelson’s game, there aren’t any that detract from his overall play whatsoever. If one was to nitpick — like we’ll do now — they would likely discuss Nelson’s general strength and skating stability. Yet, it is crucial to remember that Nelson — like all of the Minor Midget hockey world — is just 15 years-of-age, meaning that he will only continue to add greater strength to his frame in the coming years.
So, while Nelson would surely benefit from greater size and strength — like all players his age — these traits will surely come in time.
Ultimately, Nelson has the skill-set and potential necessary to develop into a premier two-way defenceman at the OHL-level and beyond. As a stellar skater who sees the ice well and can operate within it without issue, Nelson will surely be selected very early come the 2020 OHL Priority Selection.
If he can continue to strengthen his existing skill-set while improving his all-around game, there’s no telling how dominant Nelson could become.