Weight: 185 pounds
Date of birth: March 25th, 2001
Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 2, 36th overall, 2017 Priority Selection (Niagara IceDogs)
Billy Constantinou played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2016-2017 season for the Toronto Marlboros before he got a look with the Aurora Tigers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League. The blue-liner appeared in 33 games for the Marlboros, scoring 3 goals and 16 assists. His brief stint with the Tigers had him score 2 goals in the OJHL.
The Niagara IceDogs would use their second-round pick, 36th overall to select Constantinou at the 2017 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
The 2017-2018 season was Constantinou’s first in the OHL and the IceDogs’ rookie defencemen had a good year notching 3 goals and 9 assists in 45 contests.
This season was turning out to be a breakout year for Constantinou. In 22 games to start the year, the rearguard was off to a great start with 4 goals and 11 assists and an impressive plus-12. In fact, by the end of November, the defenceman scoring race among draft eligible players was a two-horse race between Constantinou and Mississauga Steelheads, Thomas Harley. He was a model of consistency, going pointless back-to-back just twice in his time with the IceDogs.
On November 20, 2018 everything changed. The IceDogs were preparing to make a Memorial Cup run and Constantinou was traded along with Ian Martin and 11 draft picks for Jason Robertson and Jacob Paquette. Transitioning from a championship favorite to a rebuilding Kingston Frontenacs has definitely put a damper on his offensive production.
Through 27 games with the Fronts, Constantinou has managed 2 goals and 8 assists and a minus-34. The obvious question now becomes: Is the real Bill Constantinou the one we saw in Niagara or the one currently in Kingston? Or is he somewhere in between?
Everything about Constantinou’s skating is excellent, except that maybe he could add a step in his first couple strides. If his edgework, lateral movement, backwards skating and overall agility isn’t the best in the draft class, it’s definitely top-2. When carrying the puck, it allows him to slice through opponents almost at will.
Offensively, Constantinou has shown in his time with Niagara that he can play with a talented roster around him. His skating and high hockey IQ allows him to join in the rush. His excellent vision allows him to be a set up guy from the point. He can see and find even the smallest of lanes. His ability to move laterally and control the offensive blue line makes him an excellent powerplay quarterback.
Defensively, I don’t want to say the move to Kingston has exposed a flaw in his game. The horses aren’t there in Kingston and what it has done is forced him to play more on the defensive side of the puck. His gap control is very good. He recognizes the need and has the ability to keep players to the outside. Once he adds more muscle, he will become more adept at winning battles along the wall and in front of the paint. His strength has been and always will be the transition game with an excellent ability to clear his zone with an excellent first pass or to take care of business himself and skate out of danger.
Ask anyone who watches him play and the word that is most often spoken about Consantinou is “confidence”. That goes a long way to becoming successful.