2016-17 Team: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (#21)
Date of Birth: September 18, 1998
Place of Birth: Thorold, Ontario
Ht: 6’1” Wt: 181 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2017 first-year eligible
- THW Alternate Rankings: 47th (January)
- Future Considerations: 36th (Spring)
- ISS Hockey: 28th (April)
- McKeen’s Hockey: 19th (February)
- Bob McKenzie: 31st (Mid-season)
- Craig Button: 25th (March)
It’s not where you start, it’s how you finish. This saying is true of almost any situation. It’s especially true when trying to evaluate draft prospects.
Take Sault Ste. Marie defenseman Conor Timmins for example. Some outlets had him as low as 266th in their initial draft rankings. He was the third or fourth defenseman on his own team to start the season with the likes of Gustav Bouramman and Colton White there. By the time the playoffs started, Timmins was the Greyhounds number-one defenseman.
Scouts took immediate notice of this. Timmins started the season as a “C” prospect. He was a “B” prospect at midterm. Now he has a convincing argument to go in the first round this June. What was he able to do to shoot up the rankings so quickly?
Timmins vastly improved at the offensive end. One of his biggest strengths is his passing ability. Whether it’s clearing the zone or making the right pass in the offensive zone, Timmins is decisive in his decision-making. This led to him becoming the Greyhounds’ quarterback on the power play.
Timmins recorded 7-54-61 in 67 games in 2016-17 after scoring just 13 points in 60 games last season. He was given a golden opportunity and has run with it. He’s also an effective defender. He’s not afraid to get physical with you. As with most young defenders, he needs more strength for the next level. But given his overall skill set, Timmins deserves the attention he’s getting as one of the fastest risers in the entire draft.
NHL Draft Projection
Timmins could sneak into the end of the first round. Good, puck-moving, right-handed defenders don’t come around everyday, especially ones that can quarterback a power play. Previous playoff teams looking to add a solid defender will consider Timmins late in the first. His name will be among the first called on day two if he slips. I personally have him 25th on my list, going in the first round.
“Timmins is a very smart defenseman; he has good vision and good offensive instincts. He can read the play well, and his passing ability allows him to be a constant threat in the transition game. I like his poise under pressure, something I feel extremely important in a young defenseman.” –Mike Morreale, NHL.com
“A prototypical new age defender who is an elite puck mover. Timmins was born to play in the system the Greyhounds have and has thrived in it. With 2 NHL defenders ahead of him at the start of the season Timmins has seemingly passed them on the depth chart and has been an important offensive cog with the high scoring Greyhounds. Another late birthday who made his OHL debut last season Timmins thrived in protected minutes finishing 3rd among rookies in +/- ( I know it is flawed stat but impressive given his age). This season in more leveraged minutes against high quality competition he hasn’t missed a beat and is currently 6th in the league in that category and first among Draft Eligibles. He also leads draft eligibles in assists.” -Peter Kneulman
“Has crept into my (OHL) top 10 and is well deserving of it. With a lot of draft eligible players having up and down spurts this year, Timmins might just be the most consistent of the bunch. From the get go this year, he’s been the Greyhounds’ best defender (on a team with two 19-year-old NHL drafted blueliners). Timmins is just an exceptionally well-rounded player who is actually close to being pro ready IMO. Makes a great first pass, brings intensity to the defensive end and skates well.” -Brock Otten
- Excellent first pass
- Good decision maker
- Good skater
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Needs more strength
Timmins projects as a solid, top-four defenseman at the next level. I think he lacks the élite skills that would give him the upside of a franchise, number-one defenseman. That said, he is a solid prospect that can help you at both ends of the ice while giving a boost to your power play.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 8/10, Defence – 7.5/10
Conor Timmins did win an OMHA Silver Medal in the 2013-14 season.
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2022-23 season will mark nine seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.