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Fantasy Summary

Well-rounded and intelligent forward who makes those around him better. Needs to improve his skating but processes the game at a high rate and projects as a top-six NHL forward.


Observations

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June 2023 – Pinelli was selected 114th overall by the Blue Jackets. Pat Quinn

 

April 2023 – Pinelli is a player I’ve personally watched well over 40 times now, as I’ve gone to most Ottawa 67’s home games in the past two seasons, and every time I watch him I increasingly appreciate the finer details of his game. Despite playing on the OHL’s best regular season team, the situation isn’t the greatest for Pinelli, as he’s lacked consistent linemates for much of the season and hasn’t gotten PP1 minutes since January, and that despite leading his team in playoff points. His game is built on a foundation of intelligence and plus-level tools. His shot has come a long way in the past year-and-a-half, to the point where he is a designated triggerman on the power play now, but his playmaking has been neglected as a result. The flashes of manipulative boards-to-middle playmaking remain very bright, however; he uses his plus-level handling and agility to quickly change angles on his passes, to great effect. While he is quite undersized, Pinelli plays with intensity and ferocity, rarely getting knocked off his feet; he is also a strong defensive player. While his lack of truly elite tools is (rightfully) a concern for quite a few public scouts, we’re confident enough in his ability to leverage his intelligence to make it work as an impactful middle-six NHLer to rank him inside our top 32. Sebastian High

 

October 2022 – Luca Pinelli may not be on the whole scouting world’s radar just yet, but he very soon will be. He does just about everything you could hope for an undersized centreman with limited skating ability to do, and he is a clear first-round talent, something I’m even more sure of now than I was when I campaigned to have him feature on DobberProspects’ preliminary rankings, on which he ended up an honorable mention, just missing out on the top-32. Pinelli is second on his team in points, with 10 – including five goals – through six games, behind draft+2 player Jack Beck, who has 11.

Pinelli is the smartest player on his ragtag but dominant team, and it’s not particularly close. He has played on Vinzenz Rohrer’s wing all season so far, along with Tyler Boucher. However, his habits, awareness, and off-puck movement still make him an easily projectable center at the next level. He pre-scans better than most first-year draft-eligible players in junior hockey, which he often flashes when getting the puck off the boards and onto the tape of a teammate’s stick in space while under heavy pressure. He diffuses pressure impressively well, and once his teammates learn to use that ability of his on the powerplay, he will be far more than the triggerman he is currently being deployed as. His shot is very good, but it is his combination of vision, calculated decision-making, and high-end processing speed that make him such an enticing prospect. Despite being undersized, Pinelli isn’t afraid of getting physically involved and has demonstrated an increasing amount of grit as his OHL experience has grown. His defensive play is also a strength. He is consistently positionally sound, and he knows when to pressure the puck carrier to really make life difficult for his opponent. After forcing turnovers and under heavy pressure, Pinelli consistently makes the quick smart play to help start the breakout, whether it be a pass to a defenseman, a breakout pass, or a quick shoulder fake to weave around the forechecker. Pinelli is a coach’s dream, and I believe he has genuine top-six potential down the middle in the NHL. His skating needs refining, but I believe it can grow to NHL-average with targeted development. Sebastian High

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 6.0
Country CAN
Position LW
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth April 5, 2005
Height 5‘9”
Weight 165 lbs
Drafted 2023 Round 4; Overall: 114

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2014-2015 Toronto BulldogsBrick Invitational6 4 48 2|Playoffs3 0 11
 2019-2020 Toronto Jr. Canadiens U15 AAAGTHL U1531 10 1121 63|        
 2020-2021 Toronto Jr. Canadiens U16 AAAGTHL U160 0 00 0|        
 2021-2022 Ottawa 67'sOHL59 14 2236 42|Playoffs4 2 24
 2022-2023 Ottawa 67'sOHL67 29 3463 60|Playoffs11 7 1118
 2023-2024 Ottawa 67'sOHL55 40 2767 34|        

Highlights