2015-16 Team: Calgary Hitmen (#24)
Date of Birth: November 24, 1997
Place of Birth: Calgary, AB
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 200 lbs
Position: Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2016 first-year eligible
THW The Next Ones Ranking: 120th (June)
- THW Alternate: 75th (June)
- THW War Room: 147th (May)
- Future Considerations: unranked (June)
- ISS: unranked (June)
- Bob McKenzie: unranked (June)
- Craig Button: unranked (June)
Following the 2014-15 season the Calgary Hitmen lost two of their established offensive weapons in Adam Tambellini and Connor Rankin, and as the 2015-16 season began it seemed likely that the Vancouver Canucks were going to keep Jake Virtanen up in the National Hockey League for the season (they ended up doing so). As a result, not much was expected of a very young Hitmen club. But over the course of the season, a handful of forwards grew to fill the hole that Virtanen left in their line-up and helped push them into the post-season. Carsen Twarynski is arguably the best of those young forwards.
Along with teammate Jake Bean, Twarynski was probably the most consistent Hitmen player over the 72-game regular season schedule. He’s a well-rounded player who uses his size and frame intelligently. He’s not often beaten in corner battles and he plays with a bit of an edge, though he’s not one to take careless penalties. He’s a good skater, passes well and has a good shot, and he’s able to get to the front of the net effectively and create trouble for the opposition. However, his best asset is his compete level: he just keeps working and battling throughout a 60-minute game. You could make a pretty compelling argument that he has no specific holes in his game, but he also doesn’t have many attributes that are truly high-end except for his work ethic and competitiveness. That trait drew him frequent praise from coaches and scouts during the season, and it’s that trait that’s likely to help him improve as his career progresses. His competitiveness elevates every other trait he has.
NHL clubs often value players based on traits, and decisions on whether or not to draft a player are usually informed by how much of each attribute they have in their organization. Few players have the combination of skill, size and competitive fire as Twarynski. He’ll be a unique addition to any club’s prospect pool.
NHL Draft Projection:
It’s hard to say where Twarynski might be selected. He could go anywhere between the third and fifth rounds, depending on the needs of the various teams selecting.
— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) March 16, 2016
@carsentwarynski scores the Hatty.. Like his game .. Some NHL team is gonna get a nice draft pick with this guy.. @WHLHitmen
— Roger Millions (@RogMillions) February 13, 2016
Shocked Carsen Twarynski’s name is not on the mid-season rankings. He’s been by far the most consistent Hitmen player this season. #Sleeper
— Jason Pirie (@JP_Hitmen) November 24, 2015
- Excellent competitiveness and work ethic.
- Uses size intelligently and effectively.
- Great consistency, both game-to-game and within games.
Under Construction (Improvements to Make):
- Could improve his defensive positioning.
- Could improve his decision-making in the offensive zone.
Twarynski projects as a third line energy forward along the lines of Lance Bouma or Tommy Wingels.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential:
Offense 8/10, Defense 8/10
Twarynski hasn’t hit any major achievements or won any major awards yet.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.