Weight: 185 pounds
Date of birth: February 13, 1998, Mississauga, ON
OHL Draft: Round 2, 23rd overall, 2014 Priority Selection (Belleville Bulls)
Candella played his Midget hockey for the Vaughan Kings Minor Midget AAA where he was an alternate captain and scored 11 goals and 43 assists in 60 games prior to being selected by the Belleville Bulls in the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. Candella and his Kings also took part in the OHL Gold Cup where he registered three assists in five games.
Candella’s transition to the OHL was slow and “uncomfortable” last season – for the most part. He seemed to struggle with his decision making and would often find himself making the wrong decision.
What a difference a year makes!
Candella is a mobile defender who possesses some strong skating abilities. He is a very solid two way, minute eating defenceman whose hockey smarts seem to have come out of nowhere from last season where the smart play wasn’t always the play he made. This season he appears to think quicker on his skates and usually makes the right play.
Defensively, he has an ability to draw the opposition towards him and then use his skating abilities to close the gap and end the play there. He plays calm under pressure and makes a very good outlet pass, but is capable of skating it out on his own. He has good size and isn’t afraid of the dirty areas.
Offensively, Candella is more than capable of jumping into the play and is able to elude the opposition and be the trailer on the play. He sees the ice very well and can find open space as well as lanes to the net and passing lanes. He’s also shown an ability to quarterback the powerplay and has a powerful shot from the point.
Candella missed five weeks from December and into the New Year with fractured wrist and was just getting back into the swing of it when he had a setback at the end of January and would miss the next month.
Injuries have prevented us from getting a solid read on Candella, but we’ve seen, in somewhat limited time, what he is capable of. He should be a good third round pick in the 2016 National Hockey League Draft.
Candella would rank 65th on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings released in January.