With the 213th overall selection in the 2020 NHL Draft, the Toronto Maple Leafs have selected 5’11, 174-pound Canadian centerman Ryan Tverberg of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens (OJHL).

The Leafs left their only pick out of Ontario for their 12th and final selection in the draft, which they acquired from the Boston Bruins in exchange for their own seventh-round selection in 2021.

The Richmond Hill native has skill and speed to go on, but like any seventh-round pick, he is a major project. His numbers were solid but unspectacular in the OJHL; 1.09 points per game ranked sixth among U18 players and 42nd in the league overall. The Leafs will have a long runway with the 18-year-old as he has committed to Harvard University for 2021-22.

One NHL scout told the 2020 Blackbook, “Tverberg is my top guy from that league (OJHL) and it is not close,” while another remarked that former Etobicoke Bulldog is small and weak but has skill of note. The Leafs could’ve sat back and hoped he went undrafted before monitoring how his NCAA career progresses, but they must have seen enough upside to motivate them to jump in before the draft was over and secure Tverberg’s rights for the next four years.

Director of Amateur Scouting John Lilley on Ryan Tverberg

A local kid we have had a ton of looks on. He is committed to Harvard — not this year, as he is coming back to the Canadiens and will make his way to Harvard next season. A lot of guys really went to bat for him, especially late. We acquired a pick for him. We like his development path. He’s got time on his side.

We did a lot of homework on him and talked to him. We loved his character and his game. We we have had debates in seven months of meetings, and we had some guys who were really passionate about him that really wanted him late — Reid Mitchell, in particular, really fought hard for him. When it was all said and done, we had one guy left on our list that we thought would be a fit with the Leafs‘ character and culture that we are trying to build here. It was an opportunity to add one more piece to what we think is a good draft.

Ryan Tverberg Scouting Report

courtesy of the 2020 Blackbook (buy now)

Tverberg showed skill this season but also showed how physically immature he is. Ryan is weak on some pucks and gets bounced around quite often. He has some natural goal-scoring instincts and is great at reading the play. His skating is good, but added strength will really help out his cause down the road.

While Ryan is slight in size, he does show a willingness to enter the dirty areas and he was not afraid to be first on pucks. Overall, Ryan is a talented player, but he will need time. He is very weak and will probably have a long road to develop into a pro.

The good news is he’s buying some time by going the college route.

Ryan Tverberg Video

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