Weight: 210 lbs.
10-11 team: US NTDP U18
10-11 stats: 55 games, 19 goals, 12 assists, 31 points
Tyler Biggs comes from good hockey bloodlines. His father Don Biggs had a long professional career, including a game with the Minnesota North Stars, and 11 games with the Philadelphia Flyers. Though both his parents are Canadian, Tyler has dual-citizenship because he was born in the US while his dad was playing with the Binghamton Rangers of the AHL. Biggs grew up in the Cincinnati area, where his father was a legendary IHL hockey player, but moved to Toronto to play with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens AAA program. His impressive play in Toronto made him a second round OHL draft pick, but Biggs opted to play for the US Development Program for two years, and then play NCAA hockey for Miami University.
Biggs was one of the top forwards in his age group at the NTDP. He was one of two forwards, along with teammate Rocco Grimaldi, to get called up to the U18 team in the second half of his first year with the NTDP. In his second year, he was the U18 team's captain, and led them to a U18 championship, where he scored a dramatic overtime goal to beat Canada in the semifinals.
Biggs is a prototypical power forward that likes to use his size. He plays a very physical game both offensively and defensively and isn't afraid to drop the gloves and fight if need be.
Links of Interest:
Biggs a Physical Force for US-NHL.com-May 2011
HW 2011 Prospects: Tyler Biggs- Hockey Wilderness-June 2011
Draft Prospect Profile: Tyler Biggs- Jackets Cannon- June 2011
September 21, 2009: "Tyler Biggs: I really like the way he plays. A big guy that works pretty hard."
December 15, 2010: "I've got Tyler Biggs second among this group. He's a big, hard-working guy, and captain of the team. Throws his weight around nicely, and has some offensive skill. I don't know that he's quite a first round talent, but it's a weaker year, so he might slide in there, but definitely a very nice player to start looking at in the second round."
January 10, 2011: "Tyler Biggs at 5th in North America, and the top American ranked is a huge surprise. I like Biggs. There's a lot to like about the way he plays. But as a potential top 10 draft pick? That's stretching things a little too far for me. It reminds me a bit of the 2002 Draft, which was a little thin on talent(I don't remember much about it at the time, but looking back, it was really weak), where another big forward with great leadership abilities from the NTDP, Eric Nystrom went 10th overall. Again, Nystrom is a solid NHL player, but he never really had that explosive talent you'd expect out of a top 10 pick."
Compared to some of the more boom-or-bust type draft picks available in this draft, Biggs is a relatively safe pick. It's up for debate if Biggs will ever develop into a consistent goal-scorer at the next level, but at worst, he'll be a player that could contribute on a third or fourth line at the NHL level as a strong, physical force and the type of player that can create space for more skilled teammates. Though it's unlikely he'll be the type of star player that would be named a captain some day, his leadership and character also make him valuable because he's unlikely to cause problems with team chemistry.
Overall, I see Biggs going in the late first round, or possibly in the early second round. I think it would be a mistake for a team to use their first overall pick on him, if only because the extra attention and expectation of offensive production is probably unfair to a player that isn't going to be a huge scorer, but he would be a nice complement to a team that drafted a flashy offensive star in the first round. A situation like the Toronto Maple Leafs, which make their second pick at 30th overall, would seem like an excellent fit.