Tyler Tullio Is The Most Underrated Oilers Prospect

Tyler Tullio Is The Most Underrated Oilers Prospect

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The Edmonton Oilers have one of the weaker prospect pools in the NHL but they do have young talent who could become full-time NHLers. Aside from the more popular prospects, Beau Akey, Xavier Bourgault, and Raphael Lavoie, the team has other potential gems, including Tyler Tullio. He may still be a ways away from getting an opportunity at the NHL level, but he is coming off of a solid rookie season in the American Hockey League (AHL) with the Bakersfield Condors. 

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Tullio is from Detroit, Michigan but played his youth-level hockey in Ontario, Canada. He gained attention from Ontario Hockey League (OHL) scouts after a strong showing at the U16 AAA level where he scored 12 goals and 34 points through 29 games. After that, he earned an opportunity to play with the Oshawa Generals where he again showcased his his offensive firepower and solid two-way game. 

Tullio’s Career So Far

Tullio began his junior career in the 2018-19 season with the Generals, scoring 15 goals and 42 points through 60 games, which, for a rookie, garnered him some NHL attention. He finished 8th on the team in scoring that season. In the same season, Tullio earned the opportunity to represent Team Canada on Canada Black at the U17 World Hockey Championship where he had an assist through five games. 

Tyler Tullio of the Oshawa Generals (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Tullio followed that up by averaging over a point per game the following season, scoring 27 goals and 66 points through 62 games in 2019-20, and finished third in team scoring. He continued to gain attention from NHL scouts, as his offensive firepower seemed to only be getting better, and the Oilers selected Tullio in the fifth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft at 126th overall. 

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However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the OHL was shut down (like many leagues) due to the rising cases in Canada, and Tullio was forced to find a new place to play. He went to Slovakia for the 2020-21 season, joining HK 32 Liptovsky Mikulas, where he scored four goals and 13 points through 19 games and added a shocking 77 penalty minutes.

In his final junior season, Tullio returned to the Generals, scoring 42 goals and 44 assists through 65 games. He proved that he could play at an elite level and was only getting better offensively. The Oilers’ fifth-round pick quickly began to look like a steal.

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The 2022-23 season was Tullio’s first professional hockey season, and he scored 13 goals and 26 points through 63 games in the AHL. He’s expected to take a massive step forward with the Condors this season and could hit the 40-point mark. Luckily, the Oilers seem to be patient with his development and not rushing him into a call-up, though that will eventually happen. 

What’s Next for Tullio?

As a fifth-round pick, Tullio’s offensive production makes him the most underrated prospect in the Oilers’ system. He was never expected to be a top-six forward, and the team still doesn’t expect it of him. But, if he continues to bring his game up to an elite level, he may squeeze into the team’s bottom six as early as the 2024-25 season.

Tullio will be returning to the Condors this season, where he will likely play in the top six. Lavoie is expected to make the Oilers’ opening-night roster, so there will be an open spot and a massive hole on the team for someone to fill. If Tullio can step up his game even more, the Oilers won’t have a choice but to consider him for a roster spot in 2024-25.

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