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Grading the Maple Leafs’ 2020 NHL Draft Class: Ryan Tverberg

Here’s my analysis and scouting report for Leafs draftee Ryan Tverberg. If you’re interested, check out the full article here.

Ryan Tverberg

Drafted: Round 7, 213th overall
Age: 18, turning 19 on January 30th
Height: 5’11
Weight: 174 lbs
Position: C
2019-20 Season: 26g/25a/51p in 47 games with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens (OJHL)
2020-21 Season as of October 7th: Set to start the season with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens (OJHL), committed to Harvard University in 2021.
Projected Draft Position: Late Round Longshot

The Toronto Maple Leafs traded back into the 2020 NHL Entry Draft to select their last player of the draft class. Local boy Ryan Tverberg.

The Leafs love Tverberg, that’s something that’s clear. John Lilley, the Leafs’ Director of Amateur Scouting, said that they had a bunch of guys pushing to pick Tverberg, which is why they traded for one last pick. In particular, he singled out Reid Mitchell, Director of Hockey and Scouting Operations, as someone who wanted him.

A similar message came from the Jr. Canadiens, the team that Tverberg plays for. Their GM, Blake Ricci, said that they saw the Leafs almost every week, and says he doesn’t think they missed a single game of the Jr. Canadiens playoffs.

So, yeah, they like this kid a lot. I took a look at his game, and I mostly agree.

Offensively, Tverberg was a stud in the OJHL, he finished 7th among U18 OJHL players, but he looked even better out there.

His skating is great, he’s able to use his speed to breeze past defensemen and get to the net.

He has a lot of confidence in his shot, which I like. He knows when he should and shouldn’t use it, and it makes for a good weapon. However, his shot isn’t good enough where I think, as it is right now, it’ll be a weapon at a higher level. Hopefully, he’s able to develop it further, I think it has quite a bit of potential.

His vision and hockey IQ is above-average, he’s able to read plays well and find teammates for high-quality chances. His hands are also great, he’s able to use his speed and hands to fool defenders and goalies alike.

Tverberg’s abilities also make him a threat in front of the net and in the corners. He’s able to seek out quality deflections and rebounds when he’s in front of the net, it’s where most of his production comes from. Even though he’s not the biggest, he’s able to win net-front battles or fight off long enough to get a great chance. In the corners, while he can’t always outmuscle the opponent, he’s able to use his speed and hands to get out of tough situations.

I like the heart that he has, he plays with a lot of effort even though he has the ability to make the game look easy. He likes driving to the net on rushes, another area where he finds success.

His skating, smarts, and work ethic are also tools defensively for him, he’s able to strip and help break the puck out.

What the Leafs really liked was something that I can’t scout: His character. After getting to know him very well, the Leafs had him as the last guy on their list that they really thought fit their culture.

Grade: B

My biggest concern with Tverberg is how his game will translate to the next level, which, for him, will be Harvard University. He’s set to spend another season in the OJHL, hopefully, he’s able to refine the finer points of his game.

I want him to improve on his shot, he knows when and how to use it but it’s just not strong enough in my opinion.

Overall, it’s hard to project a guy like Tverberg, however, he looks great at the level he’s at right now.

I think his ceiling puts him as a bottom-six centre. I think he plays with the heart that is needed for that kind of role, he’ll be able to provide offense even lower in the lineup in my opinion. However, it will take a lot of development to get to that level, but the Leafs know that and will give him the time.


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Spencer White
Spencer White is a Managing Editor of Hockey and MMA at Overtime Heroics. He writes about hockey, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Marlies, Newfoundland Growlers, and the Toronto Six. Spencer is also the Director of Gaming at Overtime Heroics. You can find him on Twitter at @klapanen, @SpencerWhiteOTH, and @LeafsMoves.
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