PROSPECT PROFILE: JARRED TINORDI

By Dan Kramer, @DanKramerHabs

Vitals

PHOTO: ANDRÉ PICHETTE, LA PRESSE

PHOTO: ANDRÉ PICHETTE, LA PRESSE

Born: 1992-02-20; Millersville, MD, USA
Height: 6’6”
Weight: 227 lbs
Contract: ELC – $870,000 cap hit ($1,082,500 w/ bonuses), expiring after 2014-15 season (RFA)
Waivers: Exempt in 2014-15

Draft

2010, 1st round:
19 – Nick Bjugstad, Florida
20 – Beau Bennett, Pittsburgh
21 – Riley Sheahan, Detroit
22 – Jarred Tinordi, Montreal
23 – Mark Pysyk, Buffalo
24 – Kevin Hayes, Chicago
25 – Quinton Howden, Florida

Experience

NHL – 30 GP, 0G 4A 4PTS
AHL – 114 GP, 5G 17A 22PTS
OHL – 111 GP, 3G 27A 30PTS

Strengths

Size/strength – Tinordi has progressed in filling out his 6’6” frame
Skating – A fluid skater who gets up and down the ice with ease, even with his big body
Puck rushing – Despite limited offense, Tinordi is adept at leading rushes up ice
Shot power – He leverages his strength well to fire a heavy slapper from the point

Weaknesses

Positioning – Tinordi often struggles to contain his man on in-zone coverage situations
Overplaying puck – Relies too heavily on stick-check when defending, playing the puck over the man
Physicality – For a player his size, needs to engage physically more often to maximize potential
Confidence – Limited physicality stems from not wanting to fall behind play; must be more confident
Offensive awareness – Despite puck-rushing abilities, limited creativity or play-making ability

Career Projection

Tinordi’s rare combination of skating and size means that he has significant upside, but at this stage, he has thus far failed to put it all together at the professional level. He is projected to fill a #4 or 5 defenseman role, capable of defending teammates, but not truly excelling on either offense or defense.

Current Evaluations

Sep 29 2014:
– Tinordi’s training camp in Montreal has mirrored his professional career to date nicely. Early on, there was a complete absence of any physicality from the big blueliner, outdone by fellow prospect Greg Pateryn in that regard, as he typically is with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs as well.

Tinordi lacks the gumption of some of Montreal’s bigger hitters in Alexei Emelin and P.K. Subban in the sense that he fears getting caught away from the play. While this possibility burns the more experienced d-men at times, Tinordi’s development in that area will require him to better understand how to pick his spots. It boils down to confidence in his ability to complete his checks and/or get back into a play in time.

Hitting aside, Tinordi continues to have flaws in his defensive game, not living up to a shutdown billing. While he shows flashes of poise and promise in puck retrieval and battles, he frequently loses his men in coverage, and is slow to react to changes in puck carrier angles. He develops tunnel vision on the puck and thus can be beat by shiftier or quick-passing forwards. He needs to become either a better zone player (e.g. a Hal Gill type) or stay tighter to opposing players in order to engage in physical battles in time to break up plays; currently he seems too frequently undecided between the two approaches.

On the positive side, Tinordi continues to be an excellent skater even as he has filled out his 6’6” frame. He is adept at rushing the puck for breakouts, and tends to make the safe, simple plays when it’s on his stick. He seemed to emerge from his nervous shell in preseason action on Sep 28, delivering a few big hits vs. the Washington Capitals, though two in particular – a knee and a shoulder to the head – were very borderline in terms of legality, resulting in his finishing the night with 24 PIMs.

At age 22, Tinordi would be better off playing big minutes in Hamilton to start the year than sitting in Montreal’s press box, given the Canadiens seem set to graduate Nathan Beaulieu into the top six first. Depending on who fills that #7 NHL job, Tinordi should battle Greg Pateryn and Magnus Nygren to serve as first call-up if/when an injury occurs.

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