Prospect Update: Tyson Hinds

Photo: Anaheim Ducks

By Thomas Harrington

Anaheim’s second third round pick from 2021, defenseman Tyson Hinds, completed his fourth year of junior hockey and also played for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships this past season.

Hinds was traded to the Sherbrooke Phoenix in the 2021-2022 season, so this was his first full year with the team. Overall, he played in 56 games, scored 11 goals and 54 points, and served as one of Sherbrooke’s alternate captains. He finished second on the team among defensemen in goals, assists, and points. In the QMJHL, he finished 10th in goals and eighth in points among defensemen. For his efforts, he was named the best defensive defenseman in the QMJHL. In the playoffs, Sherbrooke made it to the semi-finals, where they lost to the Halifax Mooseheads in six games. Hinds scored two goals and seven points in 14 playoff games. One of those goals was an overtime game-winner.

Hinds was a bit of a surprise to be named to Canada’s World Junior team, but he ended up having a great tournament for them. He was one of three Anaheim prospects on that team, joining Olen Zellweger and Nathan Gaucher. Hinds played in seven games, scored two goals, and was the surprise of the tournament for me. At the start, it was expected that Hinds would be the team’s sixth or seventh defenseman. By the tournament’s end, he was playing in Canada’s top four. He also had a spectacular glove save against Slovakia. Overall, it was a great tournament for the young defenseman.

I had two expectations for Hinds last season, and he nailed them both. First, I wanted him to hit the 40 point mark after getting 35 the season before. He did that and more, as he had 54 points and was nearly a point-per-game player. Second, I wanted his overall defensive game to improve, and it certainly did. I think the World Juniors are a perfect example of how far his game came last season. He was a bit of a surprise to make the team and then was expected to not get big minutes. By the end of the tournament he was playing in Canada’s top four and in all situations including overtime.

This coming season, Hinds should be turning pro and joining the Gulls. There’s a chance he could see time with the Ducks, but I think some of Anaheim’s other, more high-end defensive prospects will make their way to the NHL before he does. However, if he can outplay Jackson LaCombe, Olen Zellweger, Pavel Mintyukov, and Drew Helleson, then he has a chance.

Assuming Hinds spends most if not all of the coming season in San Diego, I have a few expectations for him. First, to help stabilize San Diego’s back end. The Gulls’ defense was terrible last season; if Hinds can adjust to the pro game fast enough, he’s exactly the kind of player who can help turn a team’s defense around. Second, I’m not going to expect much offense out of him in first AHL season, but if he can show some of the offensive skill he displayed in his final QMJHL season, it’ll go a long way to showing how close he is to the NHL.

I think Hinds is at least a year away from the NHL, maybe even two. Right now, it looks like the Ducks will have space on their backend for at least one or two of their defensive prospects. Like I mentioned earlier, LaCombe, Zellweger, Mintyukov, and Helleson figure to be the favorites to grab those spots. Instead, Hinds will spend this season adjusting to the pro game and improving in San Diego. Ideally, he’d make his NHL debut in the 2024-2025 season, and then have a shot at a full-time roster spot the following year.

Hinds’ entry-level contract will begin this season and will last for the next three years. Hinds is a very good prospect who came a long way this past season. If he can continue to improve at a similar rate during his entry-level contract, there’s no doubt in my mind that Anaheim will be giving him an extension three years from now. It probably won’t be a long-term one, but there’s a chance that it could be a one-way deal.

The next prospect update will be on goaltender Gage Alexander.

Related Articles:

Prospect Update: William Francis

Prospect Update: Artyom Galimov

Prospect Update: Sam Colangelo

Prospect Update: Ian Moore

Prospect Update: Josh Lopina

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August 19th, 2023


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