So, just as us here at PPP were about to pack it in and crack open the hard liquor, we got a surprise:
We’ve acquired the 213th overall pick from Boston in exchange for a 7th-round pick in 2021.#LeafsForever— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) October 7, 2020
With the pick the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Ryan Tverberg out of the OJHL. More info on him to come as we find out who the hell he is.
So there isn’t a lot out there on a guy who played in the OJHL last year and was drafted late in the 7th round, like you’d expect. He did play for Team Canada at the 2019 WJAC and was used more and more often late in the gold medal game, playing a physical role.
He’s a 5’11”, 174 pound center who played for the Etobicoke Bulldogs where he had 51 points in 47 games, which was good for 37th in the league. He was born and raised in Toronto, making him a local kid. The only other note I can find on him is that he has been called physically immature who is willing to engage physically but gets knocked off of pucks a bit. So adding some muscle will help his game.
He is committed to play at Harvard for the 2021/22 season, and considering the Leafs connection with Abruzzese (2019 pick) and Fusco (2020 pick) who are also Harvard guys I guess the Leafs have a thing for the school.
Unless you put up massive numbers in a league like the OJHL, your NHL odds are probably pretty slim. Because Tverberg didn’t do that, I couldn’t justify ranking him in my top 100. He finished the season with 51 points in 47 games, good for 1.09 points per game (sixth in the OJHL among under-18 players). But every time I watched him his skill and skating always leaped out and led me to believe he was more than his numbers.
I thought he was one of the best players on the ice at the CJHL Top Prospects Game and he was consistently impressive when I watched him play for the Jr. Canadiens. If I had to bet, I wouldn’t wager on him being selected. He’s a long shot to progress as far as the NHL. But he is fast and can make defenders bite with a shoulder fake at top speed.
He can cut past them inside-out or cut through them with an outside-in fake. He’s got great hands and when he gets into a position to score, he can finish in a variety of ways. Despite his size, he also plays in the middle of the ice, adjusting his speed to dictate tempo. If he doesn’t get picked, teams should make sure they keep tabs on him at Harvard because I wouldn’t be surprised if he emerges from a four-year college career worthy of a pro contract.
Ryan plays with elite level speed and power … He has the ability to score goals, getting 26 for us in 2019-20. … Offensively he was over a point-per-game player. … His priority is to take the puck to the net with force. Ryan plays with a high level of compete in tight spaces. … He’s a very defensively sound player and is extremely good in transition, both ways.
You can see a bit of that “take it to the net with force” in one of the highlights below.
Some other quotes coming out about him:
In Ryan Tverberg, the Leafs are getting a competitive, yet skilled center who can do damage playing through the middle of the ice. Competes hard for space. Drafted by Waterloo in the USHL, Hamilton in the OHL, and headed to Harvard. #nhldraft2020— OHL Prospects (@BrockOtten) October 7, 2020
Going through some #U21 Elite Showcase Series clips.— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) October 4, 2020
Here's a goal from @OJHLJrCanadiens forward and 2020 #NHLDraft prospect Ryan Tverberg attempting to score a lacrosse goal, thinking twice, and then scoring a tap-in from the side of the net. pic.twitter.com/9FDuRSmYRd