2022-23 Team: Flint Firebirds (OHL)
Date of Birth: Dec 13, 2004
Place of Birth: Newmarket, ON, Canada
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 172 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 37th (among NA skaters)
- Elite Prospects: 53rd
- Peter Baracchini’s April Rankings: 69th
- SMAHT Scouting: 59th
- Bob McKenzie’s Rankings: 67th
- Craig Button’s Rankings: 48th
One of the big storylines of the 2023 NHL Draft will be players available who lost their entire 2020-21 season to the Covid-19 pandemic. In the case of Flint Firebirds’ star Coulson Pitre, it meant being drafted into the OHL only to not be able to play.
But that’s where Pitre’s rise with the Firebirds started. He was drafted by the Windsor Spitfires in the fourth round of the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. He came in the next season ready to compete for a spot. Except a funny thing (and what turned out to be the best thing) happened to him. He was traded.
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During the 2021 preseason, Pitre was dealt to the Firebirds in exchange for a sixth and a 15th round pick in the 2023 OHL Priority Selection. He was good enough to play in the OHL. However he wasn’t good enough in the eyes of the Spitfires to knock someone else out of a roster spot.
The Spitfires loss was the Firebirds gain in a big way. Pitre went on to score 23 goals in his rookie season which earned him OHL First-Team Rookie Honors. He immediately became one of their best players and was one of the driving forces behind going to Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals before losing to the team that traded him away.
Pitre was second in goal scoring among rookies in the 2022 postseason with six. He’s followed that up in 2022-23 with 25 goals and 60 points while adding another 2-3-5 in six playoff games against Saginaw this season. His creativity and strength jump out as soon as you watch him on tape.
Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide
The first thing you see with Pitre is just how smart he is. Every time I look up, he’s in the right spot to make a play or finish a scoring chance. His awareness is one of his best attributes. It allows him to read the play and get the puck to where it needs to go. His linemates benefit from his smarts. But then he adds creativity and compete to make him hard to stop. This goal against the Greyhounds shows off both of those components.
While Pitre wins a lot of battles and uses his strength to his advantage, he does need to continue gaining strength for the NHL. And at times, he would try to force a play that wasn’t there, mostly as a result of trying to make something happen. But overall, he is someone who could gain some late steam as we count down to Nashville. Centers are in high demand. The fact that he could become one of the OHL’s best goal scorers next season will make him intriguing to a lot of teams.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Coulson Pitre – NHL Draft Projection
The consensus believes Pitre will be picked either in the second or third round of the draft. His combination of smarts and skill will get the attention of a lot of teams. The fact he is a right-handed center willing to battle will make him an attractive option for a lot of teams.
“Pitre is a highly intelligent player who responds well on both sides of the puck. He plays in all situations including the PK but it’s his effectiveness 5-on-5 that draws interest in him. He’s an above average skater but doesn’t possess any after burners. Instead he uses his high IQ along with the skating skills he does have to be in the right places.” –Dominic Tiano, OHL Writers
“Pitre is a versatile forward who didn’t look out of place playing alongside Connor Bedard on Team Red’s top line. He’s a strong and agile skater who gets good stride power from a low stance, is hard to knock off the puck, and is effective winning possession in physical battles along the boards.” –Joseph Aleong, Future Considerations
Latest News & Highlights
“Pitre is a versatile forward that has shown the ability to play up and down the lineup and on both special teams units. In the CHL top prospects game, he spent time on a line with Connor Bedard and did not seem out of place. He’s very strong on his skates, and has a mechanically sound stride that makes it difficult for opponents to turn the puck over. He has strong board play, where he has a strong stick retrieving loose pucks and winning 50-50 battles. When in transition he moves the puck accurately and quickly and does a decent job reading the play. There are times, especially when Flint has been down late in games where he has forced the issue a bit and force fed passes into areas that led to turnovers.” –Ben Jordan, Smaht Scouting
“Coulson Pitre is a guy that many of our evaluators like as a sleeper. Someone who might be there in the second or even third round but could crack off for 40 plus goals next year in the OHL and have people wonder why he did not go in the first round. He has good size, is smart with the puck, creates his own space, and has an underrated shot that once he really starts using it will start to show his true value.” –Dan Stewart, Draft Prospects Hockey
“Coulson Pitre got my attention. The Flint Firebird forward plays quick and fast and he can be a threat off the rush. His best work, for me, came off pucks he chipped deep in the zone. He won the ensuing puck battles and took the play to the net.” –Jason Bukala, Sportsnet
- High hockey IQ
- Physical play
- Above average skater
- Creating on the rush
- Underrated finisher
Under Construction- Improvements to Make
- Needs to get stronger for NHL
- Will sometimes force plays
Pitre’s NHL potential is that of a middle-six center who can play on both special team’s units. His smarts, creativity and ability to finish puts him in a position to surprise some teams that he was available later in the draft. While he doesn’t have elite qualities, he has the makings of someone who can carve out a long NHL career as an important contributor.
Risk- Reward Analysis
Risk- 4/5, Reward 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense- 8/10, Defense 8/10
Pitre was named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team in 2021-22. He was also named to the CHL/NHL Top Prospect’s Game in 2023.
- Flint Firebirds: Coulson Pitre Named to CHL/NHL Top Prospect’s Game