2010-11: Chris Tierney struggled in his rookie OHL season with the London Knights where he scored only three goals along with eight assists and a poor minus ten rating in just 47 games. The Knights lost 4-2 in their first round series against the Owen Sound Attack and the rookie only contributed an assist in four games.
2011-12: Tierney had an good second year in the OHL with the London Knights where he played more games and improved his previous season’s offensive numbers by 23 points in his draft year. The two-way centerman scored 11 goals (two shorthanded) along with 23 assists and an excellent plus 25 rating while playing the shutdown against the opposition’s best in 65 games. Tierney and his Knights lost in over-time of the 2012 Memorial Cup finals against Shawinigan after beating the talented Niagara Ice Dogs 4-1 in the OHL finals for the Roger Championship to get to the Memorial Cup tournament. The young Knights team put together a good playoff run of 16 wins with only three losses on their way to winning the OHL championship. The big centerman also contributed five goals (one shorthanded) along with two assists and had a plus one rating in 19 playoff games.
2012-13: Tierney returned to London for his third OHL season and was the team’s fifth-leading scorer as the Knights reached the Memorial Cup after capturing the league championship. One of three players to skate in all 68 regular season games he scored 18 goals with 39 assists and was +6 with 12 penalty minutes. London finished with the OHL’s best record and defeated Barrie in the playoff finals. Tierney scored 6 goals with 15 assists in 21 playoff games and was +10 with 6 penalty minutes. In five games at the Memorial Cup he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes. Tierney signed a three-year entry-level contract with San Jose in April, 2013.
2013-14: Tierney attended training camp with the Sharks before returning to London for his fourth OHL season. A team captain for the Memorial Cup host Knights, he scored 40 goals with 49 assists and was +44 with 12 penalty minutes in 67 regular season games. The Knights finished third in the Midwest Division and were eliminated from the OHL playoffs in the second round. Tierney scored 6 goals with 11 assists and was -1 with no penalties in nine OHL playoff games. He had 1 assist and was -3 with 4 penalty minutes in three games at the Memorial Cup. Tierney played in one game for the OHL All-Stars in the Subway Series against Russia. He had no points nor penalties in that game.
2014-15: Tierney made the San Jose roster out of training camp, skating in 11 games with the Sharks before being assigned to AHL affiliate Worcester in November. Shuffling between the two teams in his first pro season, he scored 6 goals with 15 assists in 43 games with San Jose — recording points in nine of his last 12 games. Tierney was +3 and had 6 points, averaging 12 minutes of ice time with the Sharks. He scored 8 goals with 21 assists and was +8 with 10 penalty minutes in 29 AHL regular season games with Worcester. The Sharks finished third in the Atlantic Division, falling to Hershey in a first-round playoff series. Tierney scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -3 with no penalties in four playoff games.
Tierney is an intelligent hockey player with a high-end playmaker skill set. He is strong defensively with an active stick and strong skating that allows him to change directions quickly. He is a sound two-way center man with puck skills, competitiveness, and hockey sense. HIs combination of hockey IQ and defensive awareness make him valuable on the penalty kill. He has vision and a knack for scoring big goals. Tierney's team-first style of play is reminiscent of a young Ryan Callahan — though he is not as vocal. Tierney continues to work on his technical skills, including improving his shot, but the potential is there for an NHL caliber difference maker.
Tierney will look to earn a full-time role with the Sharks in 2015-16 after appearing in 43 NHL games with the Sharks last season as a 20-year-old. His combination of playmaking ability and the versatility to play a variety of roles should give Tierney an advantage over some of the other young forwards prospects in the San Jose pipeline. Long-term his skill set suggests he can be a valuable second or third line center with the ability to contribute to the Sharks' attack for years to come.