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Drafted in the second round of the 2017 OHL Draft, Billy Constantinou became trade bait at this year’s OHL trade deadline, as the Niagara IceDogs looked to bolster their squad for a run at an OHL Championships. The second-year OHL defenceman, Constantinou was sacrificed for more experienced and immediate health. Overall, Constantinou put up 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points in 66 games this season. Some might see an eye-popping minus-58 in 44 games with Kingston, but this is also due, in large part, to the amount of ice-time and responsibility that the young defender was given on a poor Kingston team. The Frontenacs finished last in the OHL, with just 30 points in 66 games.
Constantinou also played in the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Constantinou put up three shots on goal in a losing effort for Team Cherry.
Billy Constantinou Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Right
Born March 25th, 2001 — Scarborough, Ontario
Height 5’11” — Weight 190 lbs [180 cm/85 kg]
Constantinou is an outstanding skater. His edgework, agility, and pivots are outstanding. They allow him to cover a lot of ice. He transitions quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. This skating ability also makes him difficult to beat in one-on-one situations. He also has very good speed going forwards and backwards. This gives him great mobility and helps his two-way game. If there is one criticism, it is that Constantinou needs to work on his first step quickness. He is still good in this area but it simply is not at other areas of his skating. He could also stand to add more muscle to his frame. This would help Constantinou to be stronger on the puck and win more battles along the boards and in front of the net.
Constantinou pairs his strong skating with very good stickhandling ability. He handles the puck well and is able to make plays while moving at top speed. He retrieves the puck quickly and starts the transition game. Constantinou has the ability to beat forecheckers and skate the puck out of dangerous areas in his own zone as well as lead the rush through the neutral zone. Constantinou loves to do so and is a big risk taker from the back end. Most of the time these risks work out for him, but he can make a big giveaway from time to time.
Constantinou also has a very good wrist shot and a good release. He likes to sneak down from the point and take that wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circles. Constantinou can also take advantage as a trailer on the rush. He has a strong slap shot from the point on the power play and an excellent one-timer. Constantinou also has very good vision and passing skills. He can start the breakout or quarterback the power play. He shows poise at the blueline, controlling the puck and using his lateral mobility to create passing and shooting lanes.
Constantinou’s skating ability helps him in one-on-one situations. He is tough to beat off the rush as he maintains good gap control and poke checks the puck away from opponents. Constantinou will need to limit his turnovers as mentioned above. He has decent positioning and works to cut down passing lanes. This is not perfect though and good coaching can iron out some deficiencies that appear from time-to-time. His lack of size and strength is often exposed in the defensive end. He can be pushed around by physical forwards and has issues containing the cycle game.
Projection and Comparison
Constantinou’s stat line is not near as impressive as a number of other defensemen in this draft class. However, one must look past that stat line and watch his actual play. Playing on the weak Frontenacs team really depressed his numbers. Constantinou has excellent offensive skills and if he continues to develop could be a top-four puck-moving defender in the NHL. He needs to add strength though. His defensive game could also use some work even if it’s not as bad as the numbers suggest. Constantinou’s game is reminiscent of Keith Yandle, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Billy Constantinou that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Embed from Getty Images
ST CATHARINES, ON – NOVEMBER 9: Billy Constantinou #68 of the Niagara IceDogs skates with the puck during an OHL game against the North Bay Battalion at Meridian Centre on November 9, 2018 in St Catharines, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)