Thomas Harley – 2019 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

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Thomas Harley

2018-19 Team: Mississauga Steelheads
Date of Birth: August 19, 2001
Place of Birth: Syracuse, New York, USA
Ht: 6’ 3” Wt: 183 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: D
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2019 first-year eligible


Thomas Harley has steadily been on the rise this season in rankings, ranging from the beginning of the second round to being a pick in the top-10. There’s no question that he has some improvements to make in his game, mainly in the defensive end, but that’s the same for most players his age.

Related: NHL Draft Guide | 2019 Edition

Harley’s production nearly quadrupled in his sophomore season, going from just one goal and 15 points in his rookie year to 11 goals and 58 points this season. That comes in a season where he was handed the reins after Nic Hague and Vili Saarijarvi left for professional hockey. He took over the number-one role and ran with it.

Thomas Harley Mississauga Steelheads 2019 NHL Entry Draft
Thomas Harley of the Mississauga Steelheads has been climbing the 2019 NHL Draft rankings (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Harley’s skating is likely the largest reason that he has risen in the draft rankings this past year, already being referred to as an elite skater. Mixed with his puck movement, Harley’s ceiling is high and has even been referred to as the next Thomas Chabot.

In the OHL’s Coaches Poll for the 2018-19 season Harley was represented in numerous categories, including finishing second in the Smartest Player and Best Skater categories for the East, while finishing first as the Most Improved Player and the Best Offensive Defenseman.

Other THW Draft Profiles:

Thomas Harley – NHL Draft Projection

Harley is a question mark in terms of where he gets drafted, as the rankings have him all over the first round and even in the second. With the improvements made to his game and the huge jump forward in production with the added pressure, he should be a mid-first round pick. I have him going 15th in this year’s draft.


“An efficient and play-driving defender with good size and speed. Harley has not only accepted a larger role with Mississauga this year, but he’s also thrived. Improved lateral quickness and overall speed from last season make him more of a threat off the rush. This is a player with a ton of upside.” – Cam Robinson, DobberProspects

“Continues to climb the charts due to his elite skating and puck-handling abilities. You’d much rather coach the wildness out of his game than have to encourage more of it.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet

“A high riser in the rankings, Harley has taken on a lot of responsibility for a rebuilding Steelheads squad and is still putting up points. Size, skating and skill are all strengths, but Harley also takes care of his own end. There’s a real high ceiling here.” – Ryan Kennedy, The Hockey News


  • Skating
  • Vision
  • Playmaking
  • Composure

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Defensive Positioning
  • Turnovers

NHL Potential

If Harley continues on the way he is currently trending, it seems extremely likely that he’ll end up as a top-four NHL defenseman. With his skating and playmaking abilities, any team will be lucky to have him running their power play in the near future. It might take him an extra season or two in the minors to fix his defensive game, but Harley looks to be a strong prospect.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 3.5/5, Reward – 3.5/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offence – 8/10, Defence – 6/10


Harley was named to the 2018 Under-17 World Hockey Championship as a member of Team Canada Black. As a dual citizen, he also played for Team Columbia in the 2015-16 season in the Boys Select U15 Player Development Camp by USA Hockey. Finally, He was drafted 14th overall in the 2017 OHL Draft by the Steelheads. He was also named the Steelheads MVP for the 2018-19 season.

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