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ITO Prospect Files: Tanner Pearson






This is a prospect file that; if you asked me in August if I thought I would have to write this, I would have laughed. As it turns out, the Barrie Colts’ high scoring forward is getting the last laugh as he rockets up the draft charts of every NHL team and has even secured a spot at Team Canada’s World Junior Selection Camp. Let’s get to know the game of the Ontario Hockey League’s leading scorer Nail Yak... wait, no, 19 year-old, Tanner Pearson a little better…

NHL Draft Prospect: Tanner Pearson – Barrie Colts

The Line:
Height: 6’0”
Weight: 192 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: Left Wing
Draft Eligible: 2010


Being passed over twice in the NHL draft usually is not a recipe for success, but for the Ontario Hockey League’s leading scorer that is precisely what happened. Tanner Pearson has had a breakout season with the Barrie Colts and Kevin Prendergast and the rest of the Team Canada brass have taken notice as he has been named to the roster for the Canadian World Junior team camp. The Kitchener, Ontario native is the definition of late-bloomer. His game has always been a skill game at every level, scoring 42 points in 56 games as a rookie in the OHL last year on a terrible Barrie Colts team, getting 3rd line minutes.

Pearson has made a name for himself this season by fooling goalies with what many consider one of the fastest releases in the OHL right now. He gets it off very fast and always accurate, but you don’t score 56 points in 25 games with just an accurate shot. He has great vision in setting up his teammates and doesn’t mind getting dirty down in the corner or dropping the gloves like he did against the Sudbury Wolves last Saturday.

What most impresses me about his game is his ability to get open in the high slot, especially on the rush. He likes being that high-trailer and defenders have a hard time picking him up. This shows the level that he sees the game at. Pearson is also a good penalty killer and can play a solid two-way game when it is asked of him. I am excited to see what he can do in a playoff atmosphere.

The only downfall here in drafting Pearson is that he is 19. You are missing two years of development. But, he is outperforming all of the players that were in the 1992 draft class that are in the OHL to this point, so it would be natural to assume he will continue to do so as he matures.

NHL Player Comparison: Rene Bourque – Calgary Flames

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