Nation Network Prospect Profiles #16: Timo Meier

Swiss-born Halifax Mooseheads power forward Timo Meier had a nondescript age-16 season, and wasn’t generating much of any buzz as a prospect nine months ago. What a change a 90 point season can make.

The thick winger exploded onto the scene this season, scoring 44 goals and adding 90 points in 61 games. He continued to pummel opponents in the postseason, adding 21 points in 14 games on the Mooseheads run in the QMJHL playoffs. Meier’s production and his heavy physical game have captured the attention of the hockey world, and it’s a near certainty that he’ll become the third Swiss-born forward to be drafted in the top-half of the first round since 2010 (joining Nino Niederreiter and Kevin Fiala).

Bio

  • Age: 17.98 at the start of the season. Born October 8, 1997.
  • Birthplace: Heriseau, Switzerland
  • Frame: 6’1, 209 lbs
  • Position: RW/C
  • Draft Year Team: Halifax Mooseheads
  • Accomplishments:Fluent in a tonne of languages, named QMJHL’s best professional prospect, competed for Switzerland at the 2015 World Junior Championships, got to witness the greatness that is Nikolaj Ehlers on a day-to-day basis.

Stats

GP ES G ES A1 ES A2 ES Pts ES Pts/GP ES GF% ES GF% Rel TmG% TmPts% AA Pts/GP EA Pts/GP Adj Pts/GP
61 19 14 19 52 0.85 N/A N/A 21.46% 43.9% 1.18  1.58 1.27
  • TmG% = Percentage of team goals a player scored in that player’s games played
  • TmPts% = Percentage of team goals a player registered points on in that player’s games played
  • AA Pts/GP = Age adjusted points per game
  • EA Pts/GP = Era and league adjusted points per game
  • Adj Pts/GP = Age, era, and league adjusted points per game
PCS% 2014 PCS Pts/82 2014 PCS% 2015 PCS Pts/82 2015
9.8% 38.7 39.5% 45.3
PCS Most NHL GP PCS Highest Pts/GP
Dave Andreychuk John Tavares
Shane Doan Eric Staal
John MacLean Dave Andreychuk

Scouts

Draft rank:

NHL CSS ISS FutureConsiderations HockeyProspect Pronman McKeen’s McKenzie Button
10 (NA) 14 14 13 26  13 12 8

From McKeen’s:

Meier is one of the stockiest players in the draft, and he uses that girth to run through people with or without the puck.

From Craig Button of TSN.ca

Timo is about power, skill and undeniable determination. He can beat you multiple ways either with finesse or power. He has astute awareness of how to play off his lineNmates and take advantage of opportunities. Relentless in his approach and potential to be an elite power player.

From Eliteprospect’s Curtis Joe:

A physically dominant winger with the ability to play in a skill or character role. In the offensive end, Meier is very aware and gets himself into spaces where he can easily make seeing eye passes or snap hard, accurate shots. Can impact the game in a number of different ways, and is very consistent in his efforts. All-in-all, the kind of versatile player that you can put on a skill line, and trust to create dangerous chances, or on a shutdown line, and trust to help stop pucks from going into your net.

Our Take

Meier is one of the fastest risers in the draft class of 2015. Though he was probably a prospect just because of his size and physical tools, his offensive production in his age-16 season wasn’t at all suggestive of a player that would be drafted on the first day of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, especially considering he’s not too much younger than a handful of players drafted in 2014. 

As a 17-year-old though, Meier was one of the most dynamic first-time draft eligible players in the QMJHL. He led all 17-year-old in the Q in points (on a per game basis), led all Q 17-year-olds in goals scored, was was third among 17-year-olds in the Q in even-strength points per game. Graft that elite level of production onto a big, six-foot-2, 210 pound frame with Meier’s mean streak, and you have a surefire top-15 pick.

If there are two concerns about Meier’s production, it’s that he scored an awful lot on the power play, and also that his massive surge in production may have resulted in part from playing with a pretty decent line-mate in fellow Mooseheads forward Nikolaj Ehlers. 

Of Meier’s 90 points only 58 percent of them came at even-strength and he scored only 19 of his 44 goals at 5-on-5. When analyzing prospects statistically, and I’m by no means an expert, I’ve always valued even-strength production very highly. It’s a major reason why I was so high on Sean Monahan. I generally tend to believe that 5-on-5 production is influenced somewhat less at the major junior level by the skills of an elite teammate (or teammates) than power-play production can be.

And it certainly does appear that Meier benefitted more from playing with Ehlers than Ehlers did from playing with Meier. Based on data collected by McKeens’ minor league reporting tool, Ehlers recorded an assist on 26 of Meier’s 44 goals. Meier assisted on only 14 of Ehlers’ 37 tallies. 

Having watched the two dynamic European forwards play together on occasion, I did have the impression that Meier did very well to create space for his line-mate. Though he’ll likely never be described as a playmaker, my impression is that he’s a decent passer in his own right. 

Also Mooseheads opponents knew that if they caught Ehlers with a big hit that this would happen:

Overall, Meier is an impressive forward with a projectable NHL toolkit and has the versatile ability to threaten opponents in a variety of ways – with his skill, with his size, and with his mean streak. Even if his offensive ability is overstated in part due to playing with Ehlers, Meier’s other tools make him a good bet to be an NHL contributor one day down the road.

  • Fortitude00

    it’s a near certainty that he’ll become the third Swiss-born forward to be drafted in the top-half of the first round since 2010 (joining Nino Niederreiter and Kevin Fiala).

    … and Sven Baertschi.