Anthony Cirelli

Tampa Bay Lightning
Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland

Fantasy Summary

Cirelli’s strongest traits are his excellent hockey IQ and strong skating. His ceiling is moderate-high, but is capable of becoming an excellent second-line centre in the NHL while earning large amounts of ice-time from his coaches in all situations.


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 9.0
Country CAN
Position C
Roster Type NHL
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth July 15, 1997
Height 6‘0”
Weight 183 lbs
Drafted 2015 Round 3; Overall: 72

Observations

February 2018 – In their quest for the 2018 Stanley Cup, the Lightning made a major transaction to acquire Ryan McDonagh and JT Miller from the New York Rangers. In the deal, the Lightning dealt 2016 first-round draft selection, Brett Howden, along with second-round selection, Libor Hajek. While Howden will finish the season in the WHL with the Moose Jaw Warriors, his departure from the Lightning system will relieve some of the rising pressure in Tampa’s center-ice depth chart. Cirelli’s trajectory is not impacted from above as Miller will essentially replace Namestnikov as an NHL winger, however, he’ll now be the odds-on favorite to earn the next available depth center-ice position with the Lightning, free of competition. Brayden Olafson

December 2017 – It took some time for Cirelli to get adjusted to playing full time at the pro-level, but the ex-General/Otter has gradually honed his game into the same highly competitive level that it was at during his years of junior. Entering the season, it was a foregone conclusion that Cirelli would be assigned to the Crunch, as the Lightning’s lineup would simply not permit for the youngster to earn sufficient ice time. With his consistent offensive development throughout the first half of the year, and his engrained two-way style of play, Cirelli has moved himself very close to Adam Erne in the list of likely recall prospects. Erne may get the edge for now simply because his development timeline is further along, but Cirelli won’t be far behind for now. Cirelli currently sits first among Crunch rookies in scoring and sixth among AHL rookies in scoring. Brayden Olafson

August 2017 – After graduating from Junior, Cirelli will join the Lightning farm system this fall, with several graduating prospects, and an already tight Crunch roster. The only question is, how and where the Lightning would like to utilize him. As a top prospect, Cirelli will almost certainly find his way into the Crunch core to begin his professional career. With any level of success at the AHL level, Cirelli will climb the pecking order to be recalled by the Lightning in the case of an emergency. Brayden Olafson

May 2017 – The seasoned OHLer was a force for the Erie Otters in a losing cause to the Windsor Spitfires in the Memorail Cup Final. Cirelli is looking like the Lightning’s best kept secret who isn’t far from getting out, if he hasn’t already. His combination of defensive responsibility and offensive awareness make him a coach’s tool for any job, and one who will likely earn ice time steadily next year with the Crunch. If he is able to retain all aspects of his game from junior, and develop them to a level that is on par at a professional level, he could see a similar progression to Ondrej Palat, and become a versatile forward in the NHL sooner than some may have expected. Brayden Olafson

May 2017 – In the small sample size that is the first three rounds of the OHL playoffs, Cirelli has seen a decline in his faceoff success rate of around 10%. The decline could very well be due to the growing strength of his competition at the centre position as the Otters advance, as well as the fact that the Otters seem to be becoming more heavily dependent on the reliable two-way pivot. On a more positive note, Cirelli has seen a spike in his offensive production throughout these playoffs. His path to the pros is seemingly becoming more certain by the day, so long as the 19 year old is able to add the necessary strength to compete in a grown men’s game. Brayden Olafson

March 2017 – Since his move to Erie, Cirelli has continued his scoring trend of better than a point-a-game, en route to a first-round match up with Sarnia. Anthony was voted top defensive forward in the OHL in the 2016-17 coaches poll, earning 31 points on a weighted scale (1st place vote – 5 points, 2nd place vote – 3 points, 3rd place vote – 1 point). The responsible pivot, who became a more well-known for his prowess in the defensive zone as well as the faceoff dot prospect during the World Junior Championships will look to do the same with the Otters on their way to challenging for a Memorial Cup. Brayden Olafson

January 2017 – Anthony Cirelli was a hot commodity around OHL Trade Deadline this year. Fresh off a silver medal win at the 2017 World Junior Championship with Team Canada, Cirelli was traded to the Erie Otters and will add some experience, leadership and depth to an already high-powered OHL squad. Cirelli, a walk on in the OHL, was a late bloomer and really excelled in his draft season helping lead his team to an OHL championship and the Memorial Cup. As the championship team dwindled down last season, Cirelli continued to prove that season was not a fluke. His ice-time was increased and he stepped into a leadership role. Cirelli’s strengths have been his fluid skating and two-way game. His ability to play in multiple roles and play well under pressure helped land him a spot with Team Canada. While Cirelli could stand to gain more core strength, his work ethic, energy and commitment with the puck has turned him into a very valuable player. Cirelli tallied three goals and seven points in seven games while mainly playing in a third line checking role. He added 12 shots on goal for a shooting percentage of 25%. While Cirelli is likely destined to be a third line centre in the NHL, his vision, hands and playmaking ability give the Tampa Bay Lightning more options. Kathryn Jean

April 2016 – The 2015 Mastercard Memorial Cup hero capped off the best year of his OHL career by signing an ATO with the Syracuse Crunch (AHL). Anthony Cirelli led the Oshawa Generals to the OHL Playoffs in a year where the team struggled mightily. Cirelli finished first among Generals in points (59), assists (38), and power play goals (10). He also served as the captain when Michael Dal Colle (NYI) was traded to the Kingston Frontenacs. Cirelli became a stronger player this year and worked very hard on improving in coming out of his own end. Partly due to the increased time spent in on the backcheck compared to last year. The positives already found in Cirelli’s game are his offensive creativity and his skating. Max Marko


Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2012-2013 Mississauga Reps Min Midget AAA GTMMHL 33 9 7 16 6 |          
 2013-2014 Mississauga Reps Midget AAA GTHL 31 10 18 28 6 |          
  Mississauga Chargers OJHL 1 0 0 0 0 | Playoffs 1 0 0 0
 2014-2015 Oshawa Generals OHL 68 13 23 36 22 | Playoffs 21 2 8 10
  Oshawa Generals M-Cup 4 2 1 3 0 |          
 2015-2016 Oshawa Generals OHL 62 21 38 59 27 | Playoffs 5 2 3 5
  Syracuse Crunch AHL 3 0 0 0 0 |          
 2016-2017 Oshawa Generals OHL 26 13 21 34 8 |          
  Erie Otters OHL 25 12 18 30 4 | Playoffs 22 15 16 31
  Erie Otters M-Cup 5 1 7 8 0 |          
  Syracuse Crunch AHL 0 0 0 0 0 | Playoffs 6 0 0 0
  OHL All-Stars Jr Super Series 1 1 0 1 0 |          
  Canada U20 WJC-20 7 3 4 7 2 |          
 2017-2018 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 18 5 6 11 6 | Playoffs 17 2 1 3
  Syracuse Crunch AHL 51 14 23 37 14 |          
 2018-2019 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 47 9 9 18 15 |          

Highlights