Get to Know a Draft Pick: Tyler Ganly

The Hurricanes added yet another Ontario Hockey League prospect to their system by selecting Sault Ste. Marie defenseman Tyler Ganly in the sixth round of this year's draft. I mentioned earlier that the Hurricanes often use the later rounds to address needs and take chances on "project" type players who they believe will fit their system. They sort of did that in the fifth round by taking big Brent Pedersen and they followed suit in the sixth round with the Ganly pick. This isn't to say that Ganly is a reach because it's hard to call any late-round pick that, but he is someone who has a lot of intangible qualities that the Canes seem to want.

He is a pretty big kid at 6'1 and 201 lbs. and plays a physical, hard-hitting defensive game. Scouting reports have him pegged as a "shutdown defenseman" and every aspect of his game seems to indicate that, as well. Ganly blocks shots, is known for leaving his mark on opposing forwards and was regularly used on Soo's penalty kill last year. has a great overview of his game in their Black Book from this year. It goes over just about everything I said and they also praised him for being someone who stood up for his teammates if needed. The site also says that he can emerge as one of the leaders on Soo's blue-line next year if Darnell Nurse is in the NHL.

Ganly's 17 points in 62 games (all of them coming from assists I might add), aren't going to dazzle anyone, but his all-around play took a huge step forward from what it was in previous years. He came into the season as an unknown commodity who didn't make the team after being taken in the 5th round of the OHL draft the previous year. Apparently his all-around game and defensive play needed a lot of work before he was ready to play in a bigger role. He must have made a lot of improvements because Sault Ste. Marie leaned on him to do quite a bit this year according to this article from the Sault Star. He wasn't given a shutdown role with Darnell Nurse & Alex Gudbranson on the team, but Ganly was still relied on to kill penalties and give a strong defensive presence on a club that needed it, which is exactly what he did.

Not much was said about Ganly's puck-handling ability or his offensive upside, so I'm going to assume that his ceiling there is pretty low considering that he is more of a "defense first' kind of player. It doesn't mean that he can't improve, though. His play took a couple huge steps forward last year and we'll have to see what he does to improve next year. At the very least, Ganly seems like a hard worker and that alone makes him a good fit in Carolina's organization.