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Madden, son of Selke Trophy winner, surprises Canucks with offense

Center prospect showing he is not just strong defensive player

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

VANCOUVER -- Tyler Madden aims to continue to step out of his father's shadow this season and change projections about what type of player the Vancouver Canucks center prospect could be in the NHL.

Perhaps because his dad, John Madden, won the Selke Trophy voted as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2001 and finished second in the voting three times, Tyler Madden was viewed primarily as a strong defensive player when the Vancouver Canucks selected him in the third round (No. 68) of the 2018 NHL Draft. That was before he displayed his offensive upside with 28 points (12 goals, 16 assists) in 36 games as a freshman at Northeastern University last season.

"I was more seen as a defensive player, which I am, but I have offensive ability too," the 19-year-old said during Canucks development camp in June. "It carries over [from my dad], he was a great two-way forward, so it's hard not to see the defensive side of the game I play. I take everything from him, and he's said it himself too, that I am very good defensively, but I just have a little more offensive side to my game."


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Madden (5-foot-11, 152 pounds) proved it by taking advantage of the opportunity to play on the top line at Northeastern, which won the Hockey East championship for the third time. Madden was the only unanimous selection to the Hockey East all-rookie team.

He also earned a spot with the United States at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, when he had four points (three goals, one assist) in seven games and averaged 17:40 of ice time on the way to finishing second to Finland.

Madden will return to Northeastern for his sophomore season with a focus on building on his slight frame and developing his offense. Neither the Canucks nor Madden seem worried about his size, mentioning forwards Johnny Gaudreau (5-9, 165) of the Calgary Flames and Patrick Kane (5-10, 177) of the Chicago Blackhawks. Madden, who hopes to play professionally at 165 pounds, also cited another high-scoring forward, Artemi Panarin (5-11, 168) of the New York Rangers.

"If you're strong on your edges, the game has changed so being a light guy isn't a disadvantage nowadays," Madden said. "I think skating has a lot to do with different things I'm able to do on the ice. When I have that speed, people can't handle it, and the hands just come with it."

That the Canucks mention Gaudreau and Kane in relation to Madden says a lot, considering they overlooked his offensive potential when they drafted him.

"How people talked about him, especially in our amateur meetings, I definitely think our group didn't feel like that was the high end," Vancouver senior director of player development Ryan Johnson said. "His draft year [defensive forward] was branded on him immediately, even before he stepped on the ice with us in [2018] development camp, but I can tell you we all came out of that week not with that idea of what his player type was."

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