All week leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Tanner Pearson (LW)
Height: 6’0 Weight: 198 Shoots: Left
Team: Barrie (OHL)
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 25 among North American skaters
What kind of player is he?
A unique story among highly regarded prospects — this is Pearson’s third year of draft-eligibility but his first as a potential first round pick, thanks to breakout campaign with the OHL’s Barrie Colts.
He had 37 goals and 91 points in 60 contests, good enough for third in the league’s scoring race. He also made Team Canada’s roster for the 2012 World Junior Championships, where he was a point-a-game player.
Although he’s a late-bloomer, Pearson might be capable of playing on a scoring line at the NHL level — scouts have compared him to Paul Stastny and Alex Steen.
“Prior to the WJC, Pearson was leading the OHL in scoring. He was instrumental against Team Finland saving his best performance in the final game of the tournament to capture a bronze medal. Pearson’s best weapon is his shot, in particular his lack of back swing on it making it very difficult for goalies to get a read on his actions.
“His skating is average as is his commitment to defense, however in respect to Pearson he did lead the team in plus/minus and showed more effort away from the puck down the stretch. Pearson is highly cerebral in the offensive zone as he can make plays and is even more dangerous with open ice and in PP situations. Pearson’s game offers an offensive dimension that can not be ignored.” — David Burstyn, McKeen’s Hockey
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