Tanner Pearson – The Next Ones: 2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profile – Third Time’s A Charm

Tanner Pearson THW Close-up:

Date of Birth:  August 10, 1992
Place of Birth:  Kitchener, Ontario
Height:   6’0″
Weight:  196 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position:  LW/RW
NHL Draft Eligibility:  2012
Please click here for other profiles and prospect articles on the live updated draft home page, “2012 NHL Entry Draft Guide:  The Next Ones.”
Photgraph by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

There are a few things that make Tanner Pearson stand out from the rest of the 2012 draft class, especially amongst potential first rounders, the main one being that he is entering his third year of draft eligibility.  Passed over in the previous two years, there’s little chance the same will happen this year to the Barrie Colts 19 year old leading scorer.  A classic late bloomer, Pearson stormed onto the OHL scene and was the scoring leader by a wide margin for a large part of the year.

Pearson’s torrid start earned him a spot on Canada’s entry at the IIHF World Junior Championships in Alberta this year as well, and was one of the bigger surprise picks on the roster.  He aquitted himself well on the world stage scoring 6 points in 6 games helping Canada to a bronze medal.

There isn’t many areas in Tanner Person’s game that haven’t improved coming into this season, he’s gotten bigger, stronger and faster, but the biggest area is confidence.  A player who has always possessed good hockey sense, he is now playing more assertive and aggressive and his awareness and anticipation on the ice is really shining through.

A player that can play up and down a lineup, Pearson is a complete forward. He has good size, skates well and competes hard every shift.  He plays an effective two way game and has been lethal on Barrie’s powerplay this year.

It’s hard to predict how his game will translate at the next level, with really only one season to guage from, or where he will go in the draft.  It’s very unusual for a player who has gone undrafted previously to go early, let alone twice and especially in the first round, but Pearson appears to be a special case.  He certainly possesses the size and skill set to project as a top six forward in the NHL and in a few years can certainly help an NHL team.

Ultimately Pearson has a chance of going in the first round, but will likely be taken somewhere in the early to mid second round.

International Tournaments:

2012 IIHF World Junior Championships – played for Canada helping them to a bronze medal, scored 6 points in 6 games.

Scout’s Honour:

He’s such a smart player and sees the ice so well. His anticipation and reads make him a terrific playmaker.”OHL Prospects

“He has the size to play at the next level, competes hard, skates well, and has really become a dynamic offensive player off the rush and in the offensive zone. The numbers don’t lie, he’s been extremely consistent this season, and frankly, he’s become a player you notice in every game.” – The Scouting Report


Photograph by Aaron Bell/OHL Images



Bio/Interview Links:

ETA = 2-3 years

Risk/Reward Analysis:

Risk 2/5  Reward 4/5

NHL Potential Upside:

Top six two-way forward

Strengths (See THW Close-Up):

  • Skating
  • Hockey sense
  • Two way game
  • Wrist shot
  • Work ethic
  • Playmaking ability

Flaws/Aspects He Needs to Work On:

  • Consistency (is this year the norm or the exception)
  • Continue to improve defensive zone play

Fantasy Hockey Potential:

Offensive: 8/10  Defensive: 7/10

NHL Player(s) Comparision:

  • Alex Steen
  • Paul Stastny


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Off The Iron (Interesting Notes):

  • Not only does Pearson play on a line with Mark Scheifele for the Colts, but they both grew up in Kitchener, playing their minor hockey for the Kitchener Jr. Rangers and Jr. B for the Kitchener Dutchmen. If Pearson were to be drafted by the Winnipeg Jets, their paths would mirror each other all the way along.


THW “The Next Ones” prospect profile template design architect is Chris Ralph


2 thoughts on “Tanner Pearson – The Next Ones: 2012 NHL Draft Prospect Profile – Third Time’s A Charm”

  1. Viktor Tikhonov was drafted 28th overall as a 20 year old, mainly due to the world juniors (he was named Best Forward, with 5 goals and 2 assists). The Coyotes rushed him into the NHL, but overall he hasn’t proven to be worth the late first rounder.
    Point is, I wonder how Tikhonov’s failure to prove himself at the NHL level, after being drafted at 20 with only 1 good year to gauge from, will affect the drafting of Pearson. Different situations in many ways, but Tikhonov’s failure might make teams hesitate – at least until the 2nd round.

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