Tyler Tullio was born in 2002. Think about that. That was the year that Goldmember, the final film in the critically acclaimed Austin Powers trilogy was released. Beyonce made her acting debut in that movie, I think. That means that Beyonce has been a movie star, as well as a pop sensation for the entirety of Tullio’s life. Lucky guy.
But, perhaps the more important fun fact about Tyler Tullio, is that he’s quite good at hockey.
Of course, it’s impressive to be drafted at all, but, because this article is about how he was voted as one of the top 25 players under the age of 25 in the Oilers’ organization, you probably already knew that he was drafted.
But, I would argue that Tullio is not your typical 18-year-old 5th round draft pick.
In fact, seeing as how Tullio hasn’t played any hockey, and thus hasn’t improved his stock at all since the draft, our panel of five experts, plus one non-expert (me), is very bullish on him, relative to his age and draft position.
Here is how we voted on his spot on this list:
So, how did an 18-year-old 5th round draft pick make number 23 on a list of all players in the Oilers’ organization under the age of 25?
Well, Tullio’s already scored over 100 points in his OHL career. He started the 2018-19 season with the Oshawa Generals as a 16-year old and put up 42 points in 60 games. He followed that impressive rookie season up by eclipsing a point-per-game, with 66 points in 62 games as a 17-year-old in 2019-2020.
Due to Covid-19 shutting down the OHL season so far, Tullio has yet to play a competitive hockey game since turning 18 last April.
I’m emphasizing Tullio’s age so much, in order to point out that he’s still very far from a finished product. He’s a fifth rounder, and, as such, we shouldn’t expect too much from him. He’s also undersized, listed at 5’11’’ and 181lbs.
Here is his pre-draft scouting report, via Elite Prospects:
Given Tullio’s size, scouting report, and amateur statistics, I would feel comfortable listing Jordan Eberle as an aspirational player comparison. Or, at least Eberle-light.
I realize this is a lofty comparison, and, it’s more of a best-case scenario than an expectation. But the numbers through each player’s age-17 season in the CHL aren’t that far off.
Eberle had 70 goals and 130 points in 136 games in his two years prior to being drafted, while Tullio has scored 42 goals and 108 points in 122 games. Sure, Tullio may not have quite the scorer’s touch, but we’re comparing a first rounder to a fifth rounder.
It’s not easy to score 100 points in the CHL prior to becoming draft eligible, or scoring over a point-per-game in the CHL as a 17-year-old.
Tullio can play, and I think the Oilers did well to land him in the fifth round of the 2020 draft.
Hopefully he can continue to improve once his amateur career resumes. Only time will tell.