Colorado Avalanche prospect Conor Timmins is having a very good year both in OHL and international competitions.
We all knew Colorado Avalanche prospect Conor Timmins was good. He was scouted to go in the first round, but Colorado was lucky to steal him with the first pick of the second round.
He did very well in his prospect development and, especially, training camps. Indeed, at one point cornerstone defenseman Erik Johnson even remarked that Timmins was the “best defenseman on the ice.”
However, the kid was just 18, so Colorado sent him back to his major junior team, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Well, the young defenseman has been playing ridiculously well for the Greyhounds — 19 points (2 goals, 17 assists) in 18 games.
I repeat, he’s a defenseman, and he’s scoring a point a game at major juniors.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that he had a five-assist night in a 7-0 win over the Flint Firebirds on October 28. Previously his best night had been a three-assist night on October 20 against the Kingston Frontenacs. He also had a two-assist game against the North Bay Battalion early in the season and again last night.
His two goals came against the Sarnia Sting (October 27) and the Flint Firebirds (November 11.)
Prior to this season, Timmins had recorded 11 goals and 63 assists in 127 games with the Greyhounds. He also has a goal and seven assists in 11 playoff games.
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The 2017 Canada Russia Series has been taking place across Canada with young players from the major juniors suiting up against Russian players of the same basic age and level. Timmins was chosen to represent Team OHL. That game took place at Sudbury Community Arena. During his play there, Timmins recorded a goal and two assists.
Conor Timmins isn’t known for being the smoothest skater on the ice. Indeed, when I was watching him at the prospect development camp this summer, I noticed that he had trouble keeping up with the skating coach’s instruction. He was downright awkward.
Well, as we can see from his numbers, that hasn’t been stopping him. What he lacks in skating finesse, he makes up for in general speed. What’s more, he’s big enough to be strong on his skates.
As his numbers suggest, Timmins is known for being a savvy puck handler. He’s good at seeing plays develop and inserting his moves at the right time.
What I like about Timmins is he’s not strictly an offensive defenseman. None of this “smallish, puck-moving defenseman” that already characterizes Tyson Barrie, Cale Makar, and our newest acquisition, Samuel Girard.
That’s good for the Colorado Avalanche. Since they already have two of those players in the system and a third one drafted, they didn’t need another one. Instead, Conor Timmins is the type of defenseman who can get physical, especially in the corners. And with experience, he’s only going to get better.
I’m not sure how much more experience the Colorado Avalanche are going to expect him to get in the OHL. Already at this year’s training camp and preseason he was making the decision to send him back to major juniors difficult.
Depending on how the Greyhounds do this year, Timmins may see himself following the way of Nicolas Meloche, Julien Nantel and J.C. Beadin and signing an early-spring entry-level contract.
After all, if Conor Timmins is playing so ridiculously well at major juniors, maybe it’s time to start developing him at the next level.