Toronto Maple Leafs Prospect Report: A Biggs Mistake?


Tyler Biggs

Every Tuesday throughout the NHL season we will be updating you on the development, potential and realistic expectations for key Toronto Maple Leafs prospects with up-to-date stats, analysis and scouting reports.

That video makes Biggs look like a better player offensively than he is, at least at this point in his development. While some are quick to rush to label him a bust, power forwards always tend to take years longer to truly develop than other types of players.

Getting To Know: Tyler Biggs

Age: 21

Position: Right Wing / Center

Height / Weight: 6 foot 3 / 224lbs

Jersey Number: #22

Shoots: Right

Drafted: 1st Round, 22nd Overall, 2011 NHL Entry Draft

Contract Status: 3 Year ELC expires end of 2015-16, RFA eligible 2016-2017

2014-2015 League / Team: AHL / Toronto Marlies

2014-2015 Stat Line: 47GP – 2G – 3A – 5Pts – 56PIM – Minus 6

Tyler Biggs will always be famous for a few things for the rest of his Leafs career. The first, when the Leafs traded up in the first round of the 2011 draft and gave away the 30th (Rikard Rakell) and 39th (John Gibson) overall picks to move up for the 22nd overall pick and select Biggs.

At a time when the Leafs are again left questioning their guys in net in Bernier and Reimer, giving away John Gibson here is that much more of a slap in the face.

Biggs is probably the nastiest guy in this draft. He’s a big physical player that’s going to punish people once he gets to the NHL level. – Pierre McGuire, TSN Analyst

We won’t play the “what if?” game now, but players like Brandon Saad, Matt Puempel, Tomas Jurco and Boone Jenner were still on the board. The second thing he will be remembered for is being the poster child draft pick of the Brian Burke “bigger means better” regime. He was belligerent, he was going to be full of testosterone and he was the embodiment of truculence.

He was going to be the flag bearer for Brian Burke’s stamp on the Maple Leafs. Biggs was touted as a big, mean, physical, nasty winger who could score, play defence and kill penalties, all the while pummeling your team into submission. While there is still a chance he finds that level to his game, after several offensively starved seasons in junior, the ECHL and now the AHL, his chances of making the Leafs as a scorer dwindle by the day. gives a positive, if understated view of his upside:

"“Biggs is a monster on skates and moves well for a player of his size. A dominant player at times in junior hockey by playing down low in the offensive zone and on the cycle, he is still learning to play the game at the professional level. He is defensively sound and can be used as a penalty killing forward. He can be an intimidating figure but questions have surrounded his consistency. His lack of skating mobility is also a challenge at the higher levels.”"

Realistically, Biggs has been converted/developed from a possible Milan Lucic type player, into a 4th line energy player that can kill penalties. That isn’t a bad thing as every NHL team needs those type of players to compete.

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However, when you give up a potential franchise goaltender and a serviceable 3rd line player for a 4th line energy guy, something isn’t adding up about your math skills. Biggs skating, despite being “good for a player of his size” is still far from NHL calibre, but has improved remarkably under Leafs Skating Coach Barb Underhill.

His offensive game has yet to materialize in the ECHL or AHL level, and there are serious doubts it ever will at this point. Defensively Biggs is a stud, he knows where to be to break up plays, is very active with his stick and uses his “monster on skates” skills to separate attacking players from the puck.

Tyler Biggs NHL Projections:

Upside: 2nd Line Power Winger That Scores

Realistic Projection: 4th Line Penalty Kill Specialist and Energy Player

NHL Ready: 2017-2018

NHL Player Comparable: High End – Milan Lucic, Low End – Colby Amrstrong

Is Biggs a bust? Will he follow in a power forwards shoes like Chris Stewart/Wayne Simmonds and break out in a few years as a physical, offensive force? Tell me in the comment section below!

Next week we’ll continue to break down the Leaf’s prospect pipeline.

As always, feel free to comment below or reach out to me on twitter @TorrinBatchelor as you can never have too many conversations about hockey in a day!

Next: Maple Leafs 2014 Draft Retrospective

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