J.J. Piccinich
Image: NHL

J.J. Piccinich

Hometown:

Paramus New Jersey

Currently Playing In:

CHL

Birthday:

1996-06-12

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2014

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2014

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

4th round (103rd overall), 2014

Weight:

190 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream
History

2010-11: J.J. Piccinich scored 22 goals with 23 assists as a freshman at Paramus High School in New Jersey.

2011-12: Piccinich skated for the North Jersey Avalanche junior team in the Atlantic Youth Hockey league and was the leading scorer for Paramus as a sophomore. He scored 23 goals with 19 assists and had 16 penalty minutes in 22 games for the Avalanche. Piccinich scored 37 goals with 28 assists as Paramus captured the Big North Silver regular season and playoff championships. He was invited to the USA Hockey National Team Development Camp and was selected by London in the sixth round (118th overall) in the 2012 OHL Priority Draft. In June he participated in the Liberty Bell Games tournament for top prospects in the USA Hockey Atlantic District.

2012-13: Piccinich skated in the USHL with the Youngstown Phantoms and in September committed to playing college hockey at Boston University in 2014-15. He scored 3 goals with 12 assists and was -14 with 4 penalty minutes in 63 regular season games. Youngstown finished third in the Eastern Conference and reached the second round in the playoffs. Piccinich scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was +2 in nine playoff games.

 2013-14: Piccinich was the second-leading scorer for Youngstown skating on the team’s top line with 2015 draft-eligible Kyle Connor and Maxim Letunov (STL) in what was an otherwise disappointing season for the Phantoms. Piccinich scored 27 goals with 31 assists and was minus-12 with 31 penalty minutes in 60 games; scoring 13 of his goals with 11 assists on the Youngstown power play. The Phantoms missed the playoffs after finishing last in the Eastern Conference. Piccinich was ranked 135th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Toronto in the fourth round (103rd overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

2014-15: Piccinich skated in 25 games for Boston University in his freshman season. He scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was -6 with 2 penalty minutes. Led by Hobey Baker award-winning freshman Jack Eichel (BUF), BU was the top team in the country for much of the year, finishing first in Hockey East and rolling through the conference tournament, defeating Massachusetts-Lowell, 5-3, in the championship game. The Terriers defeated Yale (3-2 in overtime) and Minnesota-Duluth (3-2)  to win the Northeast Regional and defeated North Dakota, 5-3, in the Frozen Four semifinals before  falling to Hockey East rival Providence in the NCAA championship game. Piccinich signed with the OHL’s London Knights in August 2015, foregoing his final three seasons of college hockey. 

2015-16: Piccinich attended his first training camp with the Maple Leafs before being assigned to London for his first OHL season. Overshadowed by the exploits of the Knights’ dominant first line, he scored 30 goals with 36 assists and was +23 with 19 penalty minutes in 66 regular season games. London finished second to Erie in the Midwest Division before rolling through the playoffs, sweeping Niagara in the finals to reach the Memorial Cup. Piccinich scored 2 goals with 10 assists and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes in 18 playoff games. The Knights rolled through the round-robin portion of the Memorial Cup and defeated QMJHL champion Rouyn-Noranda, 3-2 in overtime in the championship game. Piccinich scored 2 goals with 1 assist and and an even plus/minus with 6 penalty minutes in four Memorial Cup games. 

Talent Analysis

Piccinich is highly competitive with a strong desire to win. His skill set is that of a power forward willing to drive to the net or compete along the walls. His chief offensive weapon is a hard wrist that he uses to good effect. Piccinich plays a responsible game in all three zones.

Future

Piccinich skated for the OHL's London Knights in 2015-16 after leaving Boston University following his freshman season. London's top line of fellow Leafs' prospect Mitch Marner, Christian Dvorak (ARI) and likely 2017 first-round pick Matthew Tkachuk received much of the media attention but Piccinich was a point-per-game scorer for the Knights and played strong in all three zones. He has yet to sign an entry-level contract with the Leafs but will look to start his pro career as a 20-year-old in 2016-17. Long-range he projects as the steady kind of forward that will chip in offensively and can play in myriad roles.

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