12. Jonathan Tychonick (Reader Rank: 14, Last Year: N/A)
Clocking in at #12 in our list as the third 2018 draftee to be featured, Jonathan Tychonick was selected 48th overall by the Sens, using the extra pick obtained by trading down with the New York Rangers. From a personal standpoint, Tychonick was my favourite pick to come out of Ottawa’s draft, as he was someone that Ary and I had deemed a player worth considering to be chosen at pick #22.
Playing his draft season for the Penticton Vees in the BCHL, Tychonick put up 47 points in 48 games, which ranked comfortably in 1st place for points-per-game amongst U18 defencemen (and 3rd amongst all U18 skaters). Furthermore, this mark has only been eclipsed by a small handful of players in the BCHL’s history, ranking ahead of players like Dennis Cholowski, Troy Stecher and Justin Schultz.
His playoff run was even more impressive, racking up 17 points in only 11 games, a BCHL record amongst U18 defenders, above the likes of Duncan Keith and Dante Fabbro. Unfortunately the Vees’ run was cut short, losing in the second round to the Trail Smoke Eaters in seven games.
I had the opportunity to talk with Tychonick at the Sens’ development camp, where he mentioned skating, hockey sense and compete level as his top three assets. “I think if you’re a fast skater you can give yourself some time and space, and if you think the game well you can read the play well and give yourself a ton of space, so that’s really important.”
That’s the name of Tychonick’s game: speed and offence. He’s not afraid to take some risks, although he also works hard to win the board battles to make room for himself and his teammates. Ben Kerr, scout for Last Word on Sports, also gives him a gleaming report:
“Tychonick is a little undersized but makes up for it with elite skating ability. He has outstanding speed in both directions. It becomes a real weapon when he is on the rush. It also allows him to get deep on the attack, or pinch at the line, and still get back defensively. He reaches his top speed in just a few strides. Tychonick also has outstanding agility and edgework. He can change directions on a dime. Strong pivots allow him to transition from offence to defence and vice-versa. Tychonick could use a bit more muscle, which would help his balance in battles along the boards, as well as help him to be stronger on the puck.”
Building strength is a goal for Tychonick this off-season, although from watching him at development camp, I was impressed with his ability to fend off some of the bigger players along the boards, such as Brady Tkachuk and Logan Brown. His work ethic is unquestionably stellar, as he keeps an open mentality moving forward.
“For me, I just want to be the best player that I can be. That’s really important to me, just really focusing on myself. I can’t control the uncontrollables out there. I think it’s really important to just keep working hard every day. Doing the little things right, asking questions, that’ll be a really big part of my success.”
One can’t mention Tychonick without also mentioning Jacob Bernard-Docker, the Sens’ 26th pick who we took a look at yesterday. Both defenceman are committed to play at the University of North Dakota next season, after having known and been playing with each other since they were 10. Tychonick shoots left, Bernard-Docker shoots right. Tychonick is the offensive wand, Bernard-Docker is the defensive shield. It’s hard not to get excited imagining the prospect of the two playing together in the NHL, and although Dorion claims it as coincidence, it will make North Dakota an exciting team to watch over the next couple seasons.
It also helps knowing that North Dakota is also where fellow Sens prospect Christian Wolanin just recently departed, and he’ll be eyeing an NHL spot. Coach Brad Berry is known to produce solid defencemen, with NHLers Paul LaDue, Tucker Poolman and Troy Stecher coming from his system in just the last three years. The UND trio have already formed a solid bond, which you can witness in the Sens Play series.
The worry with drafting from a junior A league is that the jump in quality of competition to the NCAA can be quite large. Although with the challenge in front of him, Tychonick is prepared to take it on. From his pure skillset to his strong work ethic to his bright personality, he’s a player to get excited about for the future.
“It’s all going to be earned, as it should be. The challenge is the best part. I don’t want anything given to me. It’s not going to be given to me in the NHL, it’s not going to be given in the AHL, it’s not going to be given at North Dakota, so might as well start now.”