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Tullio drafted by Oilers

Generals forward Tyler Tullio has been drafted by the Edmonton Oilers. he was taken in the fifth round, 126th overall. (Photo by Ian Goodall)

By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express

Oshawa Generals forward Ty Tullio has been drafted by the Edmonton Oilers.

Picked in the fifth round, 126th overall by the Oilers, Tullio has spent his entire junior career with the Gens.

In the shortened 2019-2020 season, Tullio amassed 66 points, comprised of 27 goals and 39 assists in 62 games.

In a video statement, he says the draft was one of the best experiences he’s ever had.

“I’m going to hold this forever and ever,” he says. “It was a little bit of a long wait, but at the same time, I can’t wait to get started with the club.”

Gens General Manager Roger Hunt tells The Oshawa Express he and the organization are very proud of Tullio.

“I think the fact that he got drafted by Edmonton will be a really good opportunity for him,” says Hunt. “I think he’s in an organization that will give him time to grow as a player, and give him every opportunity.”

Tullio is going to a storied franchise, says Hunt. He notes hockey greats such as Wayne Gretzky and Connor McDavid have made their way through the organization.

“That won’t be intimidating with him. Ty saw all that stuff in junior with [the Gens],” he says. “It’s almost the greatest spot he could have gone to.”

For Hunt, it’s exciting to see a young player rewarded after their hard work.

“It’s exciting any time you see a player that puts in the hard word, and they get rewarded by being drafted,” he says. “It’s exciting for not only the player, but family, extended family, friends, everyone.”

Hunt thinks Tullio should have gone higher in the draft, but says the young forward is just happy it’s over.

“I really think he could have snuck into the second round, and probably should have been in the top three rounds,” he says.

But Hunt notes it’s easy for him to say that, as he sees the work Tullio and his teammates put in every day.

“I’m going to be biased, but in the eyes of the Oilers, he was their third pick,” he says. “He should have been higher, but it’s an incredible honour, a feather in his cap.”

Boone Jenner, another former General, didn’t get drafted in the first round as he’d hoped, and Hunt recalls the advice he gave to him.

“No one’s going to care where you get drafted,” he says, adding Jenner hasn’t played a game in the minors since the 2012-2013 season.

Hunt says he was surprised to only see one of the team’s draft eligible players taken in the NHL draft, as the team had a few players available.

“We had four players ranked by NHL central scouting, and…astonishing was the word I can think of when we didn’t have any other players drafted this year,” he says.

Generals who were draft eligible were Tullio, forwards Oliver Suni and Hayden Fowler, defensemen Leighton Moore and David Jesus, and goalie Zach Paputsakis.

However, he hopes this makes the undrafted players motivated to work hard and prove everyone wrong.

“I truly believe that the people we’ve got, I see them day in, day out, I know their characters, I know their families, and I know they’re going to be proving people wrong,” says Hunt.