Sunday, September 15, 2013
Sunday Top 10 - Performers of the 2013 Preseason
The 2013 Preseason wrapped up today and the OHL season is right around the corner (kicks off Thursday).
Here are the Preseason standings for this year:
1. Barrie Colts - 5-0 - 1.00%
2. Kingston Frontenacs - 5-0 - 1.00%
3. Sudbury Wolves 3-0 - 1.00%
4. Ottawa 67's - 3-1 - .750%
5. Peterborough Petes - 4-2 - .666%
6. Oshawa Generals - 2-3-1 - .417%
7. North Bay Battalion - 2-3 - .400%
8. Mississauga Steelheads 1-3 - .250%
9. Niagara IceDogs - 1-4-1 - .250%
10. Belleville Bulls - 1-4 - .200%
1. Sarnia Sting - 4-2 - .666%
2. Plymouth Whalers - 2-1-1 - .625%
3. Kitchener Rangers - 3-2 - .600%
4. Windsor Spitfires - 2-2-1 - .500%
5. Guelph Storm - 2-2 - .500%
6. London Knights - 2-2 - .500%
7. Erie Otters - 3-3 - .500%
8. Saginaw Spirit - 1-2-1 - .375%
9. Owen Sound Attack - 1-4 - .200%
10. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds - 0-3-1 - .125%
It's always pretty tough (some might say foolish) to make assumptions based on preseason play. So many factors go into the records of these teams. Some teams elect to sparingly play their star players, where others play them every game. Some teams have lost their star players to NHL camps. Goaltenders move in and out of the line up. It's tough to gauge. One thing is for certain though, no team who finished at the bottom of the preseason standings is happy going into the season. That isn't to say that Sault Ste. Marie, Owen Sound, Belleville, and Niagara are going around pushing the panic button. I'm sure they remain confident in their ability to perform this year. But, I'm also sure that the coaching staff isn't happy with the performance of their players. To put it in perspective, Peterborough, Windsor, and Erie had among the worst records of last year's preseason and ended up either just making or missing the playoffs. Although Ottawa went perfect and ended up finishing last in the league. It's a crap shoot.
Just the same, individual player results can sometimes be deceiving. Who are these players racking up points against? A team full of first year OHL players? Against a goalie who was just drafted and has never faced OHL competition? It's a mix bag. Accumulating correct stats is also mind numbing and excruciating. Some teams post full box scores. Others don't even mention who scored all the goals in a game. So consider the below accumulation of stats to be extremely unofficial.
That being said, the preseason does often give us some great indications of players who'll have big years in the OHL...who aren't already attached to NHL teams. This generally means overagers (who aren't at a camp on a tryout), draft eligible players looking to break out, and rookies looking to establish themselves. Last year, some of the league's top preseason performers were Vincent Trocheck, Charles Sarault, Reid Boucher, and Bo Horvat. So it does give us some idea of who's going to "explode" if you will.
OK, enough of the set-up. Let's look at the ten best performers of this year's preseason.
10. Nikita Korostelev - Sarnia Sting
Many rookies had terrific preseasons, but Korostelev was likely the best of the bunch and is the only 2013 Priority selection to crack this list. He lead the Sarnia Sting to a 4-2 record in the preseason with clutch scoring, showcasing the dynamic offensive abilities he had in midget. His 5 goals and 1 assist lead Sarnia in scoring this exhibition season. Sarnia will need some of it's younger players (like Korostelev and Hargrave) to step up and replace the losses of Sarault and Boucher. This preseason seemed to indicate that they're capable.
9. Zack Lorentz - Plymouth Whalers
After bouncing around three different teams last year, Lorentz looks primed to have a big overage season in Plymouth this year. He had 5 goals and 2 assists this preseason and was by far the team's most consistent player. With a lot of roster turnover, Plymouth will need Lorentz to be a strong contributor, in addition to a strong leader.
8. Tyson Fawcett - Barrie Colts
The little engine that could. Fawcett may not be large, but he was an important role player for Barrie last year, his first year in the league. This season he's going to get an opportunity to play more of an offensive role and it looks like the overager is up to the challenge. Fawcett had 5 goals and 2 assists in the preseason for the Colts, who went perfect.
7. Brandon Devlin - Peterborough Petes
The only blueliner to crack this list, Devlin had a terrific preseason for the Petes, posting 1 goal and 5 assists in 6 games. Devlin has always possessed great potential at both ends of the ice, but had yet to really put it all together in his stops with Barrie and Windsor. As an experienced player, he's going to be counted upon to lead a Peterborough blueline on a team with high expectations.
6. Brendan Lemieux - Barrie Colts
The Colts went a perfect 5-0 this preseason, and there wasn't a more consistent contributor to that than Lemieux. His tenacious in your face style is always effective at creating energy, but it was his offensive game that showed great improvement this preseason. He had 4 goals and 3 assists to tie for the preseason scoring lead on the Colts. He looks poised to have a great draft year.
5. Joshua Ho-Sang - Windsor Spitfires
Perhaps no draft eligible player in the OHL will be under the microscope as much as Ho-Sang. Incredibly talented, but there have been questions surrounding his attitude and ability to play a more complete game. This preseason was the first step in his quest to prove doubters wrong, after he posted 4 goals and 4 assists this preseason.
4. Sam Bennett - Kingston Frontenacs
The Fronts had a terrific preseason and look poised to have a terrific regular season too. At the center of that will be their trio of top 96's (Bennett, Watson, and McKeown). All three had solid preseasons, but Bennett was tops with 3 goals and 5 assists. He should have a breakout season and establish himself as a top 10 selection in 2014.
3. Darcy Greenaway - Kingston Frontenacs
As already mentioned, many of the Fronts had strong preseasons. One of the things that they'll need in order to take that next step as a team, is increased scoring consistency from their 2nd and 3rd lines. They got that this preseason. The leader of that group was unquestionably the overager Greenaway, who's 5 goals and 4 assists put him 2nd in total preseason scoring behind Connor McDavid.
2. Nick Ritchie - Peterborough Petes
If not for injuries, it's likely that Ritchie would have already established himself as a superstar in this league. He has all the tools to be a dominant performer, but just hasn't been able to stay in the line-up for long enough stretches to establish himself. In his ever important draft year, he's going to need to be a big time contributor. He was just that this preseason with a preseason leading 6 goals.
1. Connor McDavid - Erie Otters
McDavid was a beast this preseason, there is no other way to put it. His 2 goals and 9 assists lead the league in preseason scoring and he elevated the play of any forward who was placed on his line. At this point, he looks poised to be the league's leading scorer this season.
Honorable Mentions (Organized by Team)
Matthew Kreis - 4 goals, 3 assists
Kevin Labanc - 3 goals, 3 assists
Andrew Mangiapane - 3 goals, 2 assists
Josh Carrick - 1 goal, 4 assists
Niki Petti - 3 goals, 2 assists
Michael Cramarossa - 3 goals, 2 assists
Michael Curtis - 5 goals
Andre Burakovsky - 2 goals, 1 assist
Connor Brown - 3 goals, 3 assists
Justin Auger - 2 goals
Pius Suter - 2 goals
Spencer Watson - 4 goals, 3 assists
Ryan Kujawinski - 4 goals, 2 assists
Matt Watson - 1 goal, 3 assists
Nick Magyar - 4 goals, 1 assist
Doug Blaisdell - 2 goals, 2 assists
Mitch Marner - 2 goals, 4 assists
Remi Elie - 2 goals
Spencer Cobbold - 2 goals
Brendan Perlini - 3 goals, 1 assist
Mitchell Fitzmorris - 3 goals, 1 assist
Matt Gillard - 3 goals, 1 assist
North Bay Battalion
Calvin Gomes - 3 goals, 1 assist
Bradley Latour - 4 goals, 2 assists
Joe Manchurek - 2 goals, 3 assists
Andrew Abou Asaly - 2 goals, 1 assist
Clint Windsor - 2 wins, 2 goals against
Owen Sound Attack
Jaden Lindo - 3 goals, 2 assists
Matej Paulovic - 5 goals
Steven Lorentz - 2 goals, 5 assists
Francesco Vilardi - 3 goals, 3 assists
Zach Bratina - 1 goal, 2 assists
Terry Trafford - 2 goals, 1 assist
Daniel Nikandrov - 2 goals, 3 assists
Brett Hargrave - 2 goals, 4 assists
Nikolai Goldobin - 5 assists
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Justin Nichols - 1 tie, 2 no decisions, 2 GA's
Jeff Corbett - 3 goals
Ryan Moore - 3 goals, 3 assists
Steven Janes - 4 goals
Nikita Yazkov - 1 goal, 5 assists
Slater Koekkoek - 2 goals, 3 assists
Stay tuned for my 2013/2014 Season Preview this week!