This week’s prospects include Jonny Tychonick (Penticton Vees), Evan Bouchard (London Knights) & Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Halifax Mooseheads).
Jonny Tychonick, D, Penticton Vees, BCHL
Weight: 175 lbs.
Born: March 3, 2000 – Penticton, British Columbia, Canada
NCAA Commitment: University of North Dakota (2018-19)
Jonny Tychonick is a highly skilled and reliable defenceman who finished off his first season in Penticton as a BCHL champion. A strong skating puck rusher who can send pinpoint passes through traffic and then likes to join the rush and help out below the goal line in the offensive zone. Quick feet give him the ability to skate effectively east to west and impress in neutral zone. Good puck skills and good anticipation with the puck on his stick. In his own end, he is evasive and can lose forecheckers with one slick move to keep the puck alive and transitioning to offence. Not very strong physically and can be knocked off the puck easily. Seems to back off when it comes to digging the puck loose in the corners and this could be just a confidence thing that he should outgrow as the long season goes on. Committed to North Dakota for 2018-19 while the Calgary Hitmen own his WHL rights.
2016-17 Season: In his first full BCHL season, Tychonick played in 48 games for his home town Vees, netting three goals and 20 assists while racking up 30 penalty minutes. He added four assists in 21 postseason games and ended the season as one of the top BCHL players eligible for the NHL Draft.
Evan Bouchard, D, London Knights, OHL
Weight: 193 lbs.
Born: October 20, 1999 – Oakville, Ontario, Canada
Draft: 2015 OHL Draft – Round #1 (17th overall) by London Knights
Evan Bouchard is an OHL veteran who is entering his third full season in the league and is a very poised and confident defenceman. Tremendous hockey IQ and is very effective defending in his own end. A real strong kid who is a real solid puck mover and gets the puck out of his zone quickly. Not a flashy skater by any means but looks comfortable skating the puck out of his zone and joining the play. Knows when to pinch and contribute offensively. Not a real fast skater and not a great range of mobility but gets the job done. Makes smart plays with the puck and when he decides to shoot, he has a cannon from the blue line. Quarterbacks the power play and is in the top pairing for London. Has grown his game in the last year and has become a responsible two-way defenceman.
2016-17 Season: Bouchard got into 68 games last season and had a good offensive season posting 11 goals and 44 points. He had a total of 135 shots on goal. He added three goals and seven points in 14 postseason games before the Knights were ousted in the OHL Western Conference Finals by eventual OHL Champion Erie Otters.
Benoit-Olivier Groulx, LW, Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL
Weight: 192 lbs.
Born: February 6, 2000 – Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Draft: 2016 QMJHL Draft – Round #1 (1st overall) by Halifax Mooseheads
Benoit-Olivier Groulx is real intelligent in every aspect of his game and does everything he is asked to do to help his team win. Has the skill set and the IQ to develop into a real offensive threat. Good core strength gives him the ability to dig deep in the corners and stay in hot pursuit of loose pucks. Plays an “in your face” style and creates a panic for defencemen to get rid of the puck quickly or he will take it away. He seems to own the game when the puck is on his stick and has the ability to set the game pace. Reacts quickly in all three zones and is a reliable two-way forward. His feet never stop moving and this creates the ability to draw penalties and get in fast on the forecheck. Not afraid of getting dirty in front of the net and getting in the middle of traffic. Understands the league and has been around it his entire life as he is the son of longtime QMJHL head coach Benoit Groulx.
2016-17 Season: Groulx did not disappoint in his rookie season with Halifax. He posted 17 goals and 31 points in his rookie campaign and while he did finish -18, he has taken his game to a new level this season in the defensive zone. He dressed for all six postseason games against Rouyn-Noranda, posting one goal and two points with 12 shots on goal.
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