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.
Chris Tierney is an intelligent hockey player; and a born winner. With an active stick and good skating, his defensive play predominately stands out; especially on the penalty kill. He plays this role for a very deep London team. Anywhere else, he might be known as a high-end playmaker given his skill set.
The excellent two-way centerman features solid puck skills, competitiveness, and hockey sense that when combined with his defensive reliability make him incredibly valuable. He has very good vision, and a knack for scoring big goals for his team. The way he integrates his team first style of play and is so heavily relied upon by his coach is reminiscent of a young Ryan Callahan without the vocal leadership qualities. Those are huge skates to fill, and Tierney has much to work on including improving his shot, but the potential is there for an NHL caliber difference maker.
Tierney will rejoin the Memorial Cup hosting London Knights for his third season in the OHL. Depending on what happens to some of the teams veterans who look to be NHL bound, Tierney could find himself in a bigger offensive role.