by Christopher Nardella, Staff Writer, All Habs Hockey Magazine

Jarred Tinordi (Photo by La Presse)

POINTE CLAIRE, QC. — The nightmare surrounding former Canadiens first-round pick Louis Leblanc finally ended when he was dispatched to Anaheim (for no return) in June 2014. But there’s another first round pick in the Canadiens sytem who has generated a great deal of discussion.

The 2015-’16 season has not been kind to Jarred Tinordi, son of former NHL’er Mark Tinordi. who played 663 games for the Rangers, Stars and Capitals. The younger Tinordi has yet to play an NHL game this season and has been assigned to the St. John’s IceCaps for a conditioning stint..

When the Canadiens drafted Tinordi with the 22nd pick in the 2010 draft the Canadiens farm system, and back-end specifically, was depleted. The 6-foot-6-inch blueliner marked the new age for the Habs organization who, with Pierre Gauthier in charge, had not focused on rebuilding.

The gradual development of Jarred Tinordi has left some contemplating his future in Montreal and even more wishing on his seemingly inevitable departure. Fantasy sports-type rumours of a potential transaction involving the former London Knight have spread throughout the fanbase. Elliotte Friedman reported that the Canadiens GM was likely looking for a pair of second round picks for the gargantuan blueliner.

Former Minnesota North Star Mark Tinordi has been outspoken in the past about the way the organization has mishandled the development of his son specifically complaining that Jarred had been encouraged to fight and that he played when he had a wrist injury. TSN’s Sergio Momesso reported that Mark declined to attend team’s father-son trip.

On January 14th of last year the man who had a 16-year NHL career went on TSN 690 and gave his son a vote of confidence “At some point he needs a 50-60 game shot at it, not a 10 game shot. I think he would be,” he said of his son getting more of a shot on a worse team. “This year a team that’s lower in the standing would’ve given him 50-60 games. Montreal doesn’t have that luxury. I think he is [ready for the NHL] you have to get him in the right situation and let him play.” This was after the younger Tinordi was knocked out by Andrey Pedan of the Utica Comets.

With just a few injuries to their backend the Canadiens have the luxury of having a player, who some contend is not NHL-ready, sitting in the press box. Tinordi fell victim to no longer being exempt from waivers, a system that was implemented in 2005 when the new CBA was put in place. The Canadiens are currently in the highest echelon of teams in the NHL and with an injury to Alexei Emelin, they favoured Greg Pateryn, who played well in his five game stint in the lineup, over Tinordi.

Now comes the headache of mulling over the idea of trading him. On one side, it would eliminate a distration and a favorite talking point of the media. Judging purely from speculation, Tinordi could bring a decent return before his value falls. The Canadiens do have defensive talent in their organization and, in my opinion, could afford to lose him from a numbers standpoint.

Conversely, the Canadiens would be trading away a player who clearly still needs time to develop and could become an effective defenceman. In his NHL career to date, he has yet to be put into a position to have success. Infamously Tinordi was benched by Michel Therrien on March 20, 2014 after a turnover to Ryan Johansen who scored a game winning goal which overshadowed a solid game. In the off chance that Marc Bergevin arranges for him to be dealt within the Atlantic division then the Canadiens would be a player numerous times a season who could become a massive inhibitor to the Canadiens’ success if he develops properly.

Something not always illustrated about the Burnsville, Minnesota native when his name is discussed is if his style is still effective in today’s NHL. The Canadiens blueline is regarded as one of the best in the NHL because of their ability to move the puck and enable the transition game. Most teams try to have as many puck movers as possible and the stay-at-home defenceman is a dying breed in the NHL with few players still sporting that label. The New York Rangers have a couple in Marc Staal and Dan Girardi but they do have the ability to move the puck once well relative to their size. In terms of high end prospects moving up the ranks that are equatable to Tinordi the most relatively precise comparisons I could find were Samuel Morin and Brandon Carlo.

Morin, a Philadelphia Flyers farmhand is similar in size to Tinordi at 6-foot-7-inches. Morin, like Tinordi had a great final year of junior hockey with 32 points in 38 games accompanied by a plus-26 rating on a Rimouski Oceanic team that made it to the Memorial Cup. Take the comparison with a grain of salt because Morin can actually move the puck well even with his size. Both Morin and Tinordi have an underrated part of their games which is their skating, which, relative to their size is very good.

Carlo, drafted 37th overall by the Bruins in 2015, is a shade under Tinordi at 6-foot-5-inches and has spent his entire WHL career with the Tri-City Americans. Through his first two seasons in junior, Carlo racked up 38 points in 134 games with a collective minus-28 rating. Carlo’s offensive upside has been noted as average or slightly below with low offensive instincts and a mediocre point shot, but even he has some offensive ability as he’s had 12 points in 16 games so far this season with the Americans.

The Canadiens prospect is somewhere between the two in terms of skating ability, intangibles and offensive inefficiency. The former first round pick has the work ethic and leadership abilities to become an NHL defenceman but the style he plays might be his deterrent.

As we near a potential decision on Jarred Tinordi’s future, discussions about him and his future in Montreal have never been at a higher level. His playing style and potential could be deterrents for their own sides of the argument that could be a deal with the potential to be important down the road for all sides involved.

Would you like Jarred Tinordi to be traded?

  • 3cats

    Leblanc draft was an absolute mintake due to the pandering to Athens Québécois fans.Tinordi was and is a great draft.Emelin has been down this year and the likelihood that a 2nd D man goes down at the same time is probably more likely than not.Do Not trade him and ignore his typical hockey parent.He has a future in Montreal !

    • jd

      Agreed. Don’t trade him. Montreal had in the past another VERY large sized defenseman named Larry Robinson who also took a while to develop but when he did…Now I am not saying that Tinordi will reach those heights (or even approach them). However, as the writer notes, Tinordi is a good skater and his size and strength (if not his fighting talent, which in today’s NHL is not needed) are assets that the Habs could take advantage of; he just needs a chance and I think the Habs should start integrating him now long before the playoffs hit and long before the trade deadline so that if they move a player like Gilbert, Tinordi will be ready.