DOB: Feb 24, 1995
Height & Weight: 6’0” & 190lbs
This week our Eyes On column shifts to Tyler Bertuzzi of the Detroit Red Wings, the nephew of former NHLer Todd Bertuzzi. In 2013, Bertuzzi was the 2nd round pick (58th overall). He finally broke into the NHL this past season, playing 48 games and recording 24 points with the Wings.
He also played 16 games and recorded 14 points in the AHL. During his AHL career, he played 137 games and put up 82 points with 204 penalty minutes. This is uncannily similar to his uncle during Todd Bertuzzi’s first couple of seasons in the NHL.
Bertuzzi is a product of the Red Wings system. This club is known for letting their players stay in the AHL to take their time and develop. Some of the products of this system include Tomas Tatar, Gustav Nyquist, and Jimmy Howard. While the Red Wings have produced players in the past, they have had a recent string of inconsistent players and play which has put them behind the eight ball. Yet, it looks like Bertuzzi may break that recent string next season.
Bertuzzi has NHL blood in him. Obviously, his uncle was in the NHL and was also a Detroit Red Wing during his career. In addition, Bertuzzi has a couple of different skills to his game. First, he knows how to win a game. He has hardware to his name.
During his junior career in the OHL, he won an OHL championship trophy and was a big factor in getting the Guelph Storm to the Memorial Cup. During those playoffs, he had 17 points in 18 games. That’s a little under a point per game during the playoffs. Not bad at all.
Later, he would play for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the AHL. There too, he would put hardware to his name. During the 2016-17 season, he split time between the NHL and AHL. He would spend his playoff time back with the Griffins.
There he would put up 19 points in 19 games and help get an AHL trophy to his name. Not many players can say they have hardware from the OHL and AHL at his age. This kid knows how to win, and this Red Wings club needs young players like that.
Another asset to his game is his ability to hang around the net and tip pucks. Most of the goals that he scored this past season in the NHL were in front of the net with a tip. Everyone looks to Joe Pavelski as a player that is known for his redirection of the puck but where Bertuzzi is in his career and what he has shown, number 59 could be in the top five for redirection soon. Just look at the next couple of clips. Most of his goals are redirections. No explanation needed this time.
One last area to look at in 59’s game is his pursuit of the puck and his playmaking skills. He may drive the net hard and get a redirection but when he can make a play happen while going hard after the puck, it can pay off. The chemistry developed with Henrik Zetterberg during the season showed this.
To top it all off, he is not afraid to get dirty. He can make plays and throw the gloves down. Players like this don’t come around often. This next clip is on the older side but if he is willing to drop the gloves with a teammate during camp, you know he is willing to do it in an NHL game.
Tyler Bertuzzi has something special. He has the NHL bloodline. Now it is up to him to put it all together. If he keeps switching back and forth with two different clubs, his growth will be stunted. The Red Wings need him to work out and take the next step. Plus, that flow and smile need to get a permanent address in Mo-Town for good.