2021-22 Team: Erie Otters (#15)
Date of Birth: September 16, 2003
Place of Birth: Komoka, ON, Canada
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 183 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
Most players who enter their draft year experience their breakout. After going through their rookie season of growing pains and learning a new league, they come into their second season ready to blaze their own trail. In the case of defenseman Christian Kyrou, he had to wait an entire year before he could build off his rookie season.
Kyrou split his rookie season between his GOJHL team and the Otters. In 21 games for the Otters that season, he didn’t record a single point. Then came the pandemic and a lost season. Thanks to his late birthday (by just one day), Kyrou entered his draft season in his third OHL eligible season. He took the word breakout and redefined it.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Kyrou started the season off of most draft boards after recording a zero and then losing a season. Even by the midterm rankings, he still wasn’t getting the recognition he likely deserved. He came in at 179th on those rankings after a slow start with the Otters in 2021-22. But once the second half of the season got going, so did Kyrou.
Kyrou exploded for 18 goals and 60 points from the blue line on the season while playing all 68 games. In terms of usage, Kyrou became the Otters’ number-one defenseman given everything he brought to the table. His 18 goals was third in the OHL for goals by a defenseman. His 60 points was fourth in the OHL for points by a defenseman. He led the entire OHL in shorthanded points with five. He also scored four game-winning goals, which was tied for third in the league for defenseman.
Right away, we have to talk about Kyrou’s offense. It is high end for someone who doesn’t turn 19 until September. His skating ability allows him to start the rush or jump into the attack and create chaos. Then he uses his smarts to make the right play whether it’s pass or shoot. He ultimately became the quarterback of the Otters’ power play as the season went on.
Where Kyrou stands out is being able to get his shot to the target on a regular basis. While he’s not the hardest shooter, he’s one of the more accurate ones. His ability to get the puck on net allows for second and third chances on rebounds. He’s also really good at skating to the spot where his shot would be open. His overall ability to create offense makes him one of the best offensive defensemen available.
While there is a lot to be excited about, Kyrou certainly has room for improvement. He is undersized at 5-foot-11. Opponents were able to push him around at times especially in wall battles. He was able to make up for some of that by using his skating and stick to break up plays. In addition, because Kyrou is always thinking offense, he would get caught allowing odd-man chances the other way by being too aggressive. Once he figures out the overall defensive consistency, watch out.
Overall, whoever drafts Kyrou will get an offensive defenseman who can create offense from anywhere on the ice and can quarterback the power play. If he’s anything like his brother Jordan, Christian will make a big impact on the team that drafts him.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Christian Kyrou — NHL Draft Projection
The range in the industry for Kyrou is anywhere from early second round to the middle rounds after starting the season off of some draft boards. Given his breakout season and his bloodlines, don’t expect Kyrou to be available for too long on the second day. He could even surprise and go at the end of the first if a team values what he brings as an offensive defenseman.
“He creates offense all the time. He’s one of those players where I think if you sleep on him, you’re gonna miss something good because he has the ability to use his skill but also use his IQ to create even more to become more dangerous. His attention to detail is probably the best. The other thing he can do is control pace. He’s going to increase the speed of the game until you’re uncomfortable or be able to roll it down to the point where you might not be able to think at the same level he is.” -Erie Otters GM Dave Brown
“Kyrou’s strengths are in his offensive game. He has a tremendous shot from the point. His hockey IQ in the offensive zone is off the charts. He reads the plays quickly and always makes the right decision. He is an extremely dangerous powerplay quarterback. To put it simply, his offensive game is NHL caliber for a blueliner.” –Dominic Tiano, OHL Writers
“Kyrou tended to be a more offensive zone player who seemed to play low-key with bursts of skill. He is very good at reading plays and shows to be a playmaker when in the offensive zone. In the opponent’s end is where he looks like he’s not trying very hard but actually has so much skill and anticipation and strong potential plays when creating.” –Future Considerations
- Plus skater
- High hockey IQ
- Puck distribution
- Shot accuracy
- Ability to jump into rush
Under Construction — Improvements to Make
- Size and strength
- Defensive consistency
- Play away from the puck
Kyrou’s potential will depend on his development and improvement defensively. His upside is that of a top-four defenseman who bring a lot of offense to the blue line and on special teams.
Risk — 3/5, Reward — 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense — 9/10, Defense — 7/10
Kyrou was named to the CHL Team of the Week for Feb 7-13, 2022 when he scored three goals and added two assists in three games played. He also jumped 131 spots from 179 to 48 on the Central Scouting draft rankings.
Christian Kyrou Statistics
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2021-22 season will mark eight seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.