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The Copper And Blue 2021 Top 25 Under 25: #19 Tyler Tullio

The recently signed 2020 fifth round pick makes his first appearance inside the T25U25 top 20 after a positive year that saw him get his first taste of professional hockey.

Ottawa 67’s v Oshawa Generals Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images

Tyler Tullio — a 5’10’’, 165 pound RW from Ontario — came to Edmonton via the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, a shrewd fifth-round selection (126 OV) that put to rest some angst regarding Ken Holland’s decision to trade out of the third round. Tullio, by many accounts, was great value in the fifth and, despite not playing a ton in 2020-21, his limited results are encouraging enough to keep him on the ascent in our Top 25 Under 25.

Rankings

2021 C&B Staff Rank 2021 C&B Reader Rank
2021 C&B Staff Rank 2021 C&B Reader Rank
19 18

Last Year: 23

Copper and Blue’s readers and writers are once again in lockstep on a player, and with pretty good reason.

Tullio’s draft year counting stats were pretty nice for a fifth round selection. He collected 27-39-66 in 62 GP (playing as a 17-year old until April of that season) for an NHLe — a proxy for what those points might project to at the NHL level — of 12.57.

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full effect, Tullio took it upon himself to find work overseas rather than wait for the OHL to figure out its plan for resumption. He wound up in Slovakia’s Extraliga, joining a struggling MHK 32 Liptovský Mikuláš team that managed just 6 lonely wins in their 50 game schedule. Tullio was part of 19 of those games, amassing a solid 4-9-13 in them for an NHLe of 16.55. Progress. Nothing that knocks your knee highs off but, still, we’re talking about a depth draft pick here. Any progress is good progress.

Tullio returned to North America in the spring and spent time in AHL with the Bakersfield Condors after a signing an ATO in March. Unfortunately, he didn’t show enough to break into a gameday roster so we don’t really know what to expect at that level just yet.

That uncertainty didn’t stop Ken Holland and the Edmonton Oilers from putting pen to paper and getting his ELC signed last week, though.

Tullio — such a longshot to make the Oilers this season I didn’t even consider it — will spend the season with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals, where he was recently named captain. It will be interesting to watch his progression. He should be somewhat dominant in that league as a 19 year old with a few games of pro hockey under his belt, and given his history there, my expectations are pretty high. I’d argue that anything less than stellar counting totals (~1.5 points per game or better and an NHLe closer to 20) will represent somewhat of a step back at this point in his development. He should have every opportunity in Oshawa to find success.

Look for Tullio to be in and around the mix for the 2021 WJHC team, too. He might be on the outside looking in today, but if he takes off in the OHL this fall he might stand a chance after his inclusion in Team Canada’s 2021 Summer Showcase.