Tristan Bertucci – 2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Tristan Bertucci

2022-23 Team: Flint Firebirds (OHL)
Date of Birth: July 12, 2005
Place of Birth: Vaughn, ONT
Ht: 6-foot-2, Wt: 172 pounds
Shoots: Left
Position: Defense
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 first-year eligible


Tristan Bertucci is one of the more exciting defensive prospects eligible for the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. With his combination of size, skating ability, and hockey IQ, he has shown tremendous potential as a two-way defenseman with the tools to become a valuable asset for any NHL team in need of defensive stability and offensive contributions from the blue line. One of his standout attributes is his skating ability. He is an excellent skater with above-average speed and quickness, allowing him to cover a lot of ice efficiently. He displays strong edges and agility both in tight spaces and in open ice. He transitions smoothly and exhibits good acceleration with the talent to recognize when to join the rush. His skating ability also allows him to be a factor in all zones of the ice.

Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide

Bertucci’s defensive game is characterized by strong positioning and anticipation skills. He consistently reads plays well and uses an active stick to disrupt passing lanes and break up plays. He demonstrates a good understanding of gap control and uses his size effectively to box out opponents in front of the net. He is reliable in his own end, showing a strong work ethic to win battles along the boards and retrieve pucks. His willingness to block shots and commitment to defensive responsibilities make him a reliable shutdown defenseman.

Tristan Bertucci Flint Firebirds
Tristan Bertucci, Flint Firebirds (Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images)

While defense is his primary focus, Bertucci possesses offensive upside as well. He has good puck-handling skills and makes smart decisions with the puck in the offensive zone. His passing is accurate, and he can initiate breakouts effectively. With his skating ability, he is also capable of joining the rush and creating scoring opportunities for his teammates. He may not be an elite offensive defenseman but his ability to contribute offensively does add value to his game. The numbers would testify to that. He had 11 goals and 50 points in 63 games during the 2022-23 season. He’s done it in all situations too, seeing time on the power play but putting up his share of offensive results at even strength.

Not known as a particularly physical player, Bertucci does use his size and strength effectively. He plays a solid physical game when needed, using his body to separate opponents from the puck and win battles along the boards. While he could be more aggressive at times, he makes up for it with his positioning and timing, rarely taking himself out of plays with unnecessary physicality. Overall, he plays a smart and disciplined game while still maintaining a physical presence.

Other THW Draft Profiles

Tristan Bertucci – NHL Draft Projection

Bertucci is a bit of an enigma in that there is no general consensus as to his ranking. I think teams drafting somewhere in the mid-second round to low third round should take a long look at him. One of the youngest in the 2023 Draft class, he is a potential steal for any team willing to take a flyer on him.


“He’s come along nicely, progression-wise from last year to this it’s been a steady incline, and I think that’s going to continue…The strongest asset Tristan has is his mind. He makes good reads, good decisions with the puck, and that’s not something you can really teach. He’s got a big frame and he’s gradually getting stronger. He already skates well and has shown he can be an effective player in any situation you put him in, so I think as he continues to get stronger, you’re going to see him as more and more of a factor for our team.” – Firebirds head coach Ted Dent

Latest News & Highlights

“Bertucci is a trustworthy defenseman who plays with composure and smartly in all three zones. In addition to his hockey IQ, he has a lot of potential on the offensive end. He is confident with the puck and recognizes when to find open spaces, making himself available for a pass. When he moves laterally with the puck along the blue line, his hips open up nicely, allowing him to evade opponents̵” – Arttu Myllymaki, FC Hockey

“We talked a fair bit about working on my shot, I took that back home with me, spent a fair bit of time on it and I think we’re seeing some positive results now. It’s also something we spend time on in practice – getting pucks to the net in game-like situations.” – Tristan Bertucci


  • High hockey IQ
  • Skating
  • Plays with quiet, calm confidence

Under Construction – Improvements to Make

  • Needs to add bulk and strength to his lanky frame
  • Needs to up his pace to take it to the next level
  • Shot needs improvement

NHL Potential

Although not yet NHL-ready, Bertucci has the potential to become a top-four NHL defenseman. His skating, decision making and size are all positives for Bertucci. He has the added bonus of being able to play both the left and right sides. He will probably be sent back to junior for the 2023-24 season where he can further hone his skills as a two-way defenseman prior to turning pro.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offence – 5/10, Defense – 7/10

Awards and Achievements

  • Bertucci was named to Team Canada for the 2023 U18 World Championship

Tristan Bertucci Stats


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