2018-19 Teams: Lincoln Stars/Tri-City Storm
Date of Birth: November 12, 2000
Place of Birth: Franklin Square, New York
Ht: 6-foot-2 Wt: 192 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible
- The Hockey Writers (Pike’s Picks): 68th (final)
- Future Considerations: outside of top 100 (final)
- ISS: outside of first round (April)
- Bob McKenzie: outside of top 15 (April; draft lottery update)
- Craig Button: 40th (June)
In every draft class, there are usually a handful of pretty promising players that slide down the draft board at the event because they simply don’t have a large high-end sample size. USHL forward Shane Pinto had a strong draft eligible season, but his limited window against upper-echelon opposition will likely push him into the middle rounds.
Originally from the Long Island hamlet of Franklin Square, Pinto has worked his way up quietly and confidently through two seasons at the Selects Hockey Academy before landing in the USHL to kick off the 2018-19 season. Everywhere he went, he was a consistently productive offensive player – not the team’s outright leader usually, but one of the key cogs in their attack.
Pinto bounced around a bit this past season, beginning with the Lincoln Stars but ending up traded to the Tri-City Storm following his participation at the World Junior-A Championship – his WJAC head coach, Anthony Noreen, is the bench boss for Tri-City. Regardless of his movement during the season, Pinto was one of the most consistent offensive players in the USHL.
Related: Our Free NHL Draft Guide
Relative to his age group in the USHL, Pinto was sixth or seventh at most offensive measures. He finished 14th in the circuit in goals and 13th in points. Simply put, Pinto can score. There’s some questions about how the rest of the game will translate at higher levels, but he’s definitely shown that his offensive awareness is up to snuff. He’s headed to the University of North Dakota in the fall, where he’ll spend his time trying to flesh out the rest of his game.
Pinto has established himself as a reliable, productive scorer as he’s worked his way up the American junior ranks. The burning question for NHL scouts is how early to take him, as the degree to which he’ll be able to flesh out the rest of his game is a bit of a mystery. If nothing else, he could be decent offensive depth for an NHL organization.
Shane Pinto – NHL Draft Projection
Pinto projects to be selected sometime in the second or third rounds of the 2019 NHL Draft.
“One of the top scorers in the league with seven points in four games, Pinto is a North Dakota commit who keeps plays alive and does a lot of good work around the net. The 2019 draft prospect has a great work ethic and a nice frame at 6-foot-2, 185 pounds.” – Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News
“Developing centreman with good size and feet, decent vision and creativity and passing savvy, but still putting the other pieces in place. A willing worker but has to improve his release, and his effectiveness in greasy areas and not play soft on the forecheck and in the battle zones. Committed to the University of North Dakota.” – Bill Placzek, DraftSite
- A dangerous player with or without the puck in the offensive zone.
- Quick, accurate shot.
- Effective puck distributor.
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Needs to work on his awareness in the defensive and neutral zones.
- Needs to keep developing his play away from the puck.
- Has a decent frame, but doesn’t play particularly physical or mean.
Other 2019 NHL Draft Profiles
Pinto projects as a bottom six center at the NHL level – though if he can improve his defensive play, his ceiling jumps up a little bit. The best-case scenario, stylistically, would potentially see him project as Vinnie Hinostroza at the NHL level.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense 8/10, Defense 7/10
Pinto made the USHL’s All-Rookie Team for 2018-19 and represented the United States at the World Junior A Championship
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.