|5’10||197||3-30-2004||RD||Right||#1 – 2020||B Prospect||CANADA|
|2018-19||GTHL U-16||Toronto Jr Canadiens||35||59||9||14||10|
|2019-20||GTHL U-16||Toronto Jr Canadiens||33||11||21||32||12|
|2019-20||U-16 AAA||Toronto Jr Canadiens||61||18||47||65||–|
|2020-21||DID NOT PLAY|
Drafted with the first overall pick at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection, 5’10, 197 pounder North Bay Battalion defenceman Ty Nelson has impressed through the first 25 games of the season. The rookie blueliner has 5 goals and 16 assists and is tied for the OHL rookie scoring lead. His 21 points place him fourth among all OHL defencemen.
Nelson is a superb powerplay quarterback and he controls the play effortlessly like few do. Moves laterally along the blue line with ease and control which opens up either passing lanes or an option to the net. When he opens up those passing lanes, he delivers a tape-to-tape pass. But if he feels the shot is the best option, he is not shy about taking it – and he has a very good shot. He’s also capable of escaping attention and drive to the net for a chance.
From his own zone, Nelson is a superb transitional blueliner, using either his feet or the ability to make all sorts of passes out of the zone and move to offense. He also competes physically but he needs to learn to pick his spots better and that will come with time. Remember, he is still transitioning to the OHL. I feel he sometimes takes himself out of the play to engage when the safer option is to retreat. But when he’s on his game, he uses a surprisingly quick and active stick to break up plays.
Skating is definitely a major strength. He keeps his feet moving with blazing speed, excellent edgework and an ability to move in any direction. The most impressive part is that he does it with the puck on his stick as well.
By the time his OHL career is over, Nelson will develop into a premiere two-way defender at this level. How that development goes over the next couple of seasons, and whether he reaches his potential will determine the kind of player he will be at the NHL level.
But I wouldn’t bet against him.