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Drafted by the Saskatoon Blades in the 2015 WHL Draft, and by the Fargo Force in the 2016 USHL Draft, defenceman Jonny Tychonick opted to keep his college eligibility and to play at home, instead of going either of the junior routes. He choose to play for the BCHL’s Penticton Vees, the same junior club that featured recent first-round NHL draft picks Tyson Jost and Dante Fabbro. Last season, he helped the Vees to the BCHL Championship as a 16-year-old. This year, Tychonick put up nine goals and 38 assists for 47 points in 48 games this year. He turned up his game in the playoffs with three goals and 14 assists for 17 points in 11 games.
Tychonick has been able to represent his country at a number of international events. He played for Canada White at last year’s World Under 17 Hockey Challenge, scoring four points in six games. He also represented Canada at two straight World Junior A Hockey Challenges, scoring two points in each tournament and winning gold this year. Tychonick recently played in the IIHF Under-18 World Championship, with two points in five games.
Tychonick will follow in Jost’s footsteps in more ways than one. He is committed to the University of North Dakota for next season. His WHL rights were traded to the Calgary Hitmen.
Jonny Tychonick Scouting Report
Defense — shoots Left
Born March 3rd, 2000 — Penticton, British Columbia
Height 6’0″ — Weight 173 lbs [183 cm / 78 kg]
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.
Tychonick’s game is based on his playmaking ability. He can start the transition game by making strong passes, including the long, home-run pass if he catches a teammate streaking. He pairs his excellent skating with good puck handling skills. Tychonick can skate the puck out of danger in his own end. He can also continue up the ice, with the skill to lead the rush. His speed backs off defenders, and they must respect it. This opens up passing and shooting lanes. With his good vision and anticipation, he can take advantage of them.
Tychonick also has the poise to control the play at the blueline and quarterback the power play. He can thread the needle through tight spaces and set up teammates for scoring chances. Tychonick needs some work on his slap shot though. His shot may improve as he continues to add muscle to his frame. He utilizes his wrist shot and snapshot more often, sneaking down to let it go from the top of the circles. They both feature quick releases.
Tychonick’s size can be an issue on the defensive end of the ice. He can be overpowered and knocked around along the boards and in front of the net. This is especially true when he faces bigger forwards. He works hard and does not shy away from the physical play, so this can improve as he adds muscle. Tychonick is a smart player though. He has good positioning and uses a quick stick to poke check opponents.
Projection and Comparison
The college hockey route is a good choice for Jonny Tychonick. At North Dakota, he will be able to spend plenty of time in the weight room, improving his strength. This is the biggest issue in his game right now. More muscle on his frame will make him better at both ends of the rink. He will also face a much higher level of competition and must adjust his game to the faster level at the NCAA. His skating is elite, but his other traits are merely good. He could use some work to take other areas to a higher level.
Tychonick could be an excellent second pairing defender, who can also quarterback the power play. His game is reminiscent of long-time NHL player Brian Rafalski. This comparison is stylistic only and not meant to be an indication of skill or potential.
The following is a compilation of some of the many highlight packages of Tychonick that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Main Photo via player’s twitter account, @JTychonick