Sunday, April 3, 2016

2016 OHL Priority Selection Primer

The 2016 OHL Priority Selection is set for next Saturday, April 9th. As such, I've hooked up with the guys from to help us preview next weekend's selections. Each member of the scouting team at TheScout has given us their favourites for the draft, in addition to potential sleepers. I also included my own picks as part of this. I obviously didn't see nearly as much midget action as the guys from TheScout, but I caught all the quarterfinals, semi-finals, and the finals of the OHL Cup this year. Enough action for a few guys to really stand out.

Brendan Ross (Scouting Director) - @RossyYoungblood


1. Owen Lalonde, Windsor Jr. Spitfires
Right from the start of the season, Owen Lalonde established himself as an unanimous favourite among team of scouts. The Alliance’s Player of the Year and team leading scorer. The smooth skating cerebral defender led all blueliners in the league with 37 points through 33 games, including 13 goals. A potential Top 5 selection in the upcoming OHL Priority Selection, Lalonde is your prototypical two-way , all-situations defenceman that teams look to anchor their blueline. A cerebral player who is tremendously poised on both sides of the puck, letting the game come to him without ever appearing panicked in possession or as a defender. Breaks down the ice at an elite level, being a step ahead of his peers in reading, reacting and anticipating the flow of the game. He’s excelled as a call-up with the Lasalle Vipers of the GOJHL (Jr. B) and looks ready to step right into the OHL game.

2. Eric Guest, London Jr. Knights
One of the most skilled players in the entire OHL draft class, Eric Guest impresses continuously with his elite speed, agility and playmaking ability. Capable of playing down the middle or flanking the wing, Guest has also performed well on the blue line as a defender in the occasional game.  Precise edge control allows him to manoeuvre quickly in any direction and make elusive tight cuts without losing speed. Has an unique ability to handle any pass in motion, including receiving passes in his feet without breaking stride. Always has his head up surveying the play and moves well off the puck, managing his movements and timing his entries smartly. Guest has also seen time at the Jr. B level with the London Nationals and performed well. His production has been somewhat inconsistent but he remained a Top 10 scorer with 18 goals and 43 points in 33 games. Look for Eric Guest to receive first round consideration and in a few years’ time, he could surprise people with his dynamic playing style.

Sleeper - Jake Murray, Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs
A quick and skilled playmaking center, Murray is the catalyst of the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs' attack and one of the top prospects out of the Alliance. He led the league in scoring with a remarkable 51 points in 32 games, even without the offensive support of other productive league members. He makes up for his smaller stature through a combination of shifty skating, skill and a high level of hockey sense. Plays the game intelligently with and without the puck and reads the ice instinctively in all areas. Murray was held out of competitions late in the season due to health issues and because of the lack of exposure, he could be considered a sleeper – and damn good one.

Aside from the abovementioned Alliance standouts in Owen Lalonde, Eric Guest and Jake Murray, Huron Perth’s duo of Owen Gilhula and Brady Hinz are two skilled forwards to watch out of the Alliance loop. Blessed with a strong combination of competitiveness, high skill and natural hockey sense, Gilhula and Hinz will have no issues developing into potential top line players at the next level.

Additionally, Waterloo’s Mitchell Hoelscher, Alex Gritz, Chris Playfair and Spencer Kersten have been consistent top performers and personal faves all season long, playing in front of the very talented Nathan Torchia in net (son of former NHL Mike Torchia).

Forwards Joel Pavey (Lambton Jr. Sting), Kyle Fisher (London Jr. Knights), Joel Mazzilli (London Jr. Knights), Derek Seguin (Hamilton Huskies), Isaac Taylor (Hamilon Huskies), Eric Uba (Kitchener Jr. Rangers), Luke Bignell (Kitchener Jr. Rangers), Grant Spence (Chatham-Kent Cyclones) and Jack Gee (Brantford 99ers) are talented competitors to key in on. On the blueline, Holden Wale (Brantford 99ers), Tristan DeJong (Waterloo Wolves), Tyler McBay (Waterloo Wolves), Garrett Nelson (Huron Perth Lakers), Isaac Walker (London Jr. Knights), Brady MacDonald (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs) and Spencer Lapointe (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs) are the defencemen to dial in on.

Other Area Personal Favourites (in no particular order)

Mattias Samuelsson, Northwood Prep (USHS)
A defensive stalwart who is a lock for USA’s NTDP Under-17 program, Mattias Samuelsson is the top shutdown defenceman in the draft. While Samuelsson displays good talent with the puck, he’s especially impressive with his rangy challenges – poking away pucks and getting in the shooting lanes of almost every opposing attack. Samuelsson is the son of former NHLer Kjell Samuelsson and owns likewise pro potential. Samuelsson is committed to the University of Michigan.

Joel Farabee, Selects Academy (USPHL)
Farabee landed on our radar early after impressing with his all-out skilled attack game. The rest of the scouting world has come around on this extremely competitive and highly talented forward and he may just be one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the USA 2000-age group. His dynamic and aggressive attacking style causes lots of problems on the forecheck and his ability to operate as a speedy shooter and playmaker has him firmly inside our first round. Farabee is expected to join the NTDP U17 program.

Jake Pivonka (LC) and Jack Randl (LW), Chicago Mission U16 (HPHL)
It would be remised to mention one without the other. Pivonka and Randl are two assets on a talented and deep Mission team and both of these strong forwards are true coaches’ players. Pivonka lines up in the middle and could be considered one of the most complete two-way players in the draft blending good skill with a power game and an elite shot. Randl is one of the most improved players and could be considered a top-end supporting winger who competes with great persistence. He is a player who makes the game easier for linemates due to his natural hockey sense, timely reads and smart executions. Pivonka is committed to Notre Dame while Jack Randl is a top recruit of the University of Michigan Wolverines program.

Ty Dellandrea, Central Ontario Wolves (OMHA ETA)
One of the many potential first round selections, Ty Dellandrea enters the draft somewhat underrated considering he wasn’t surrounded with the depth of talent that others may have been. He’s a strong possession forward capable of creating offence on his own and shows a tremendous attention to detail on both sides of the puck. His goal-per-game pace (35 goals) topped all players in the OMHA’s ETA league and his 55 points in 35 games was second best. Dellandrea earned valuable minutes playing as an affiliate with the OJHL’s Whitby Fury and is one of the draft’s most ready pivots.

Tyler Angle, Southern Tier Admirals  (OMHA SCTA)
A staple to the Admirals offence, Tyler Angle doesn’t come with the hype or big-name attraction that others will on this list but he was a standout in almost every viewing this season. His size isn’t ideal but his ability to impact that game with his strong puck handling and distribution makes him one of my personal faves. He may need time at lower levels developing strength and learning how to create against bigger/stronger defenders but Tyler Angle owns the skill and hockey sense to make things happen.

Semen Del-Arguchintsev (RC) and Pavel Gogolev (RW/L), CIH Academy White (HEO Midget)
Playing out of the same academy as Windsor’s Gabe Vilardi, Russian’s Del-Arguchintsev and Gogolev are two dynamic attacking forwards capable of changing the game instantly. Both received eligibility in the recent months and it’s expected that Pavel Gogolev gets drafted inside the opening round. He is a big, powerful forward with high skill level. He projects favourably long-term as a potential star pro due to his elite shooting abilities and north-south attacking success. If Gogolev is the trigger man then Del-Arguchintsev is the setup man and his knack for distributing, buying time with slick puck control and uncanny vision are assets to his style of play. He finished as the leading scorer in Ottawa’s new HEO Midget Under-18 league with 21 goals and 70 points in 46 games, edging out linemate Gogolev by two points.

Merrick Rippon, Ottawa Jr. Senators (HEO Midget)
Rippon immediately jumped out as a talented defender in the HEO Labour Day Showcase and he maintained his high level of play all season long anchoring the Jr. Senators blueline. There isn’t much that Rippon doesn’t do well as he operates equally well as a reliable defensive defender yet is capable of jumping into the rush with authority to create offence too. His game efficiency is high end as he makes passes and executes smart decisions to create an easy-to-play-with style. Rippon finished the season as the top under-16 defensive scorer and landed in the Top 3 in blueliner scoring with 29 points in 43 games. Look for Rippon to draw interest when the second round opens up.

Billy Moskal, Sudbury Jr. Wolves (GNML)
A complete centerman who is trusted in all-situations, Billy Moskal is a top prospect out of Northern Ontario’s loop. A coaches’ player who displays a real hunger for the game, hunting down loose pucks and ramping up his energy with aggressive, confident attacks on the rush. He plays a true North American style of game that will translate to the OHL game very well, mixing skill with physicality and grit. Moskal’s 18 goals and 36 points ranked as the second best under-16 skater in the Greater North Midget League.

Liam Foudy, Markham Majors (GTHL)
Given Liam Foudy ‘s limited offensive support with the Majors, he is one of the most intriguing and impressive GTHL performers this season. His ability to create offensive chances out from nothing has helped Markham stay competitive all season. He is an enthusiastic attacker who exhibits passion and creativity in his offensive attempts, brimming with one-on-one confidence. Energetic skater with a lively and hoppy stride that propels him to top speeds quickly. Uses aggressive crisp edges to mix in lateral attacking routes allowing him to evade and change directions at top speed. Foudy displays a strength for fighting through contact into the heart of the scoring area while maintaining control of the puck. His offensive touch and overall competitive drive makes him one of the more attractive mid-to-late first round options.

Danil Antropov, Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)
The son of former Leafs power winger Nik Antropov, Danil Antropov offers up an eerily similar skill set – composed of a rangy and skilled attack game.  Unheralded to a point, Antropov has established himself as one of the more appealing long-range forwards and that will see him potentially  taken inside the Top 30 (and likely 1st round). He is a deceptive and smart attacker who elevates his linemates’ efficiency with shrewd passes and a strong net drive ability.

Matt Stewart (OMHA/STCA) - @stewbucs

1. Hunter Holmes, Niagara North
Good sized forward that does not have elite speed but is awfully tough to stop once he gets going. Ultra strong board player with above average hands. Can finish from anywhere inside the blue line. Top PP guy who can distribute or score himself. Competiveness wanes from time to time but he’s a real force when he is dialed in. Had a phenomenal OHL Cup finishing 3rd in tournament scoring with 6 goals and 9 points despite only playing 4 games.

2. Jack Wismer, Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
Sneaky type player who has all the skills necessary to excel at the next level. Can do things at top speed that others cannot. Has a quick shot off the wing and can also find team mates with a deft pass. Cerebral player, can out think opponents. Hit a bit of a lull during the year but picked his game up when it mattered in the SCTA qualifier and playoffs. Had a fantastic OHL Cup as well.

Sleeper - Zach Trott, Grey Bruce Highlanders

Tiny pivot who has some of the best skill in the ’00 age group. Flies a bit under the radar because he plays with a potential top 10 pick in Roberts but has all the skill needed at the next level except size. Despite his size, he can engage in the physical part of the game and does not shy away from it. May need a season or 2 in Junior B before making the jump to the OHL. Finished 3rd in SCTA scoring with 26 goals and 50 points in 36 games.

Kyle Johnston (GTHL) 

1. Kirill Nizhnikov, Toronto JR. Canadiens
The Russian born Nizhnikov, stands 6’1, 190lbs and possesses a plethora of skill. His unrivalled combination of size and skill will make him a top pick in this year’s OHL draft, as he has wreaked havoc on defenders all year long. He is an excellent skater with an abundance of offensive tools, making him extremely difficulty to contain in the offensive zone. He has the ability to beat defenders with his one-on-one creativity or simply overpower them to get into high scoring areas. Possesses an elite release and shot and a sniper like mentality but also is an accurate passer that isn’t afraid to distribute the puck for a better scoring chance. He plays with a chip on his shoulder, but at times needs to keep his emotions in check and not take bad penalties. He can become frustrated at times when he does not have his way with defenders which is noticeable in his body language and can affect his level of play at times. He is sound defensively on the back check but at times can get caught cheating out of position in the defensive zone. Nizhnikov is a unique talent and proved at the Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games, playing for the Russian U16 team, that he is one of the best in the age group, scoring 4 goals in 6 games played. He projects to be in a top six role at the OHL level in the near future. 

2. Ryan Merkley, Toronto JR. Canadiens
Merkley impressed scouts last year as an underage player with the Minor Midget AAA Jr. Canadiens and would have been a top pick last year if he was eligible. He hasn’t disappointed this year and still projects to be an early draft selection in this year’s OHL draft. At 5’11, 155lbs, he’s doesn’t have the build of your prototypical defenseman, but he has the hockey IQ and skill to be the best defenseman drafted in this year’s draft class. He simply processes the game quicker than his peers. His style of play is comparable to that of Erik Karlsson from the Ottawa Senators (whether Merkley develops into that type of player at the higher levels is to be determined), he’s a smooth skater that can break out of his zone with ease, and has the offensive tools to provide a significant amount of offense from the back-end. He controls the pace of the play and is the ultimate puck possession player, he does not give the puck away easily. He is excellent at carrying the puck and navigating his way through high pressure situations and his sense of awareness is on another level as he knows where everyone is on the ice at all times, allowing him to make plays that a majority of players simply cannot. A PP specialist that distributes the puck with ease and also has an effective shot. In the offseason he’s going to need to work on his strength to be able to combat the larger and more powerful OHL attackers. He does a good job defensively of keeping attackers to the outside while they are on the attack, but at the next level he will certainly need to be stronger in order to contain them. At times he can over handle the puck and take risks that he won’t be able to get away with at the OHL level. He also needs to be able to control his emotions when frustrated and not take retaliatory penalties. Merkley proved on a world stage at Lillehammer 2016 Youth Olympic Games, that he deserves to be a top pick in this year’s OHL draft as he helped lead the Canadians to a Silver medal, while tallying 5 points in 6 games played. 

Sleeper - Teth Burles, Mississauga Rebels
Burles is a sleeper pick for me because he does not get the hype that some of his peers do, but should as he contributes in all three zones, is one of the hardest working players in the age group and has deceptive skill. Although he’s only 5’8, 145 lbs, he plays a much bigger game and size is becoming less of an important factor when drafting players. He is a fierce competitor that does not take a shift off, and is not afraid to be physical or go into the dirty areas. A strong and agile skater needs to improve his explosiveness in order to separate himself from opponents. Versatile player that fits into any role, he can contribute on the score sheet or in a shutdown role against the other team’s top players. With his undersized frame he will need to improve his strength in order to be as effective at the higher levels. 

Nathan Didone (NOHA/ETA) - @NathanDidone

A Little Background
The 2000 age group is one of the strongest classes to come out of the NOHA in years even after several of the top players left to play down south there was still tons of talent on display. This year also marked the first time the northern kids have gotten to play in a AAA regular season and the difference was noticeable.

1. Damien Giroux, Sudbury Jr. Wolves
Possibly the first player to be drafted out of the north, Damien is an ultra smart and competitive pivot who excels at both ends of the ice. Possesses high end puck control, vison and hockey IQ. Played two games in the NOJHL this year and for an underage undersized center he held his own physically while becoming the most lethal player on the ice due to his ability to read the game at such a high level. A powerful skater with a long stride, low center of gravity and excellent edge control he is able to gain speed in and out of traffic. A capable shooter with a heavy release and deceptive backhand but prefers to pass or drive the net. Biggest hurdle is size but he works just as hard off the ice as he does on and will find a way to make an impact at the next level. Projects as a top 6 playmaking center that excels in possession displaying great patience while using his lower body strength to create space for himself and others.

2. William Moskal, Sudbury Jr. Wolves
Battled with Damien for top player out of the north for the last few years and has all the tools to be a mainstay in the OHL starting next year. A power forward that excels at creating space while fighting through traffic and being hard on the puck. Possesses a long powerful stride and good foot speed that continues to improve. Dangerous with the puck on his stick he can create on his own or find a teammate. A quick release makes him a threat from a distance but also has the puck skills and strength to finish around the goal mouth. Capable in his own zone and brings a physical component all over the ice. Will need to work on passing accuracy and timing in order to adjust the next level. Projects as a top 6 forward at the OHL Level that can be counted on to produce offensively.

Sleeper- Daniel Katic, Timmins Majors
My expectations were pretty high for Katic coming into this year but injures sidelined him for a lot of the season and stunted his development. Skating remains his biggest issue as heavy feet and poor edge control limit his agility as well as explosiveness. What he does have is raw dynamic offensive ability and size. Shows flashes of high end puck skills but is lacking strength and the high end puck control needed to make cuts through traffic. Possesses a heavy shot and has a knack for getting into scoring positions. Play away from the puck has improved but defensive reads are raw and he needs to increase his aggression in puck battles. High end projection is an offensive minded top 6 power forward at the OHL level but it all depends on the work he puts in both on and off the ice.

Jeff Fletcher (OMHA/ETA) - @jefffletcher27

1. Dennis Busby, Barrie Jr Colts
Busby is one of the best defenders available for the upcoming 2016 OHL draft.  He is a smooth skater with great acceleration which makes him extremely dangerous when joining the rush. His offensive instincts and ability to read the opposition makes him a very effective quarterback on the powerplay. Busby, using a combination of slap and wrist shots, had one of the highest accurate shot on goal ratios in the ETA.  That puck placement was an integral part of a very successful Barrie powerplay.
Busby is not overly big so he relies on mobility and anticipatory skills to prevent chances and avoid big hits. His lack of size and lack of bulk at times has been a disadvantage in his own end this year but for the most part his high hockey IQ and strong sense of the game has prevented this from being a weakness that he can’t overcome. Busby participated in the 2016 hockey winter youth Olympics for Team Canada.

2. Aidan Dudas, North Central Predators
Dudas is the type of player that should make an immediate impact in the OHL next season. He possesses a wide array of skills that will make him the first forward drafted from the ETA.  Dudas has an excellent set of hands and elite level passing skills. Dudas is undersized but plays a feisty game and is willing to compete in tight spots and dirty areas of the ice. He is a very shifty skater with exceptional three step quickness.  Dudas is very good on the draws and plays a very efficient game. Dudas’ hockey smarts and vision would be near the top of this year’s OHL prospects group.
Dudas will need to add some muscle mass in the off-season to help him against bigger, stronger players and prepare for the rigours of the OHL. Dudas participated in the 2016 hockey winter youth Olympics for Team Canada.

Sleeper - Connor Corcoran, Barrie Jr Colts 
To say that Corcoran is one of the most intriguing prospects of this year’s OHL draft would be a giant understatement.  He started out the season as a very capable forward who could play center, rightwing or left wing. He was one of the top scorers at the Toronto Titan’s early bird tournament.  As the season progressed I watched him closely and although he wasn’t putting up big offensive numbers I found him to be extremely effective  on the forecheck/backcheck and in general a very hardworking player. Also at this point in time I noticed that Corcoran was getting a lot of Powerplay time on the point. Being a great skater with a good shot and vision he seemed like a natural back there.  Fastforward to the Toronto Marlies tournament and I witnessed him playing defence for the whole game. I was told at the time that was his first game as a defenceman and he was outstanding.  I believe that he stayed on defence for the remainder of the season and was very good.  Although the sample size wasn’t very big Corcoran has done enough in my opinion to catch the eye of many OHL teams.  Although I don’t know him personally I can only speculate on the character this kid must have, playing all 3 forward positions then switching to defence in the middle of your draft year is incredibly impressive.

Chris Cameron (HEO Midget/Ottawa) - @ccam39

1. Pavel Gogolev, CIH Academy White
A late addition to the 2016 draft class, Gogolev a native of Moscow is a rangy winger possessing excellent manipulation tactics and support vision. It is evident he has an advanced understanding of how to manipulate pressure, as he draws defenders out of positioning due to his shooting threat. He then uses quick, elusive movement to spin off checks, opening up dual threat opportunities. A disguised release point makes him an offensive weapon in all areas of the ice. He pushes and pulls pucks into his body before flicking pucks towards open corners. He will need to continue to add power to his skating stride in order to create separation through the neutral zone and added strength will allow him to battle though checks as he enters the prime scoring areas. He has intrigued all season and since becoming eligible has seen a large contingent of scouts watching his development intently. He should hear his name called early on draft day.

2. Serron Noel, Brockville Braves U18

Winner of the 2015/2016 HEO Top Prospect award. Noel is a towering, athletic pivot with offensive upside. He forces defenders to retreat as he uses a combination of lateral movement and deceptive change of pace. He uses quick hand dexterity to move pucks across his midline before using counter movement to create space, as the defender anticipates the inside movement. He has developed an increased awareness of support options over the course of the season. This has allowed him to move the puck to teammates then drive weak side lanes off the puck. He should continue to focus on timing away from the puck in transition, to give him more opportunities to catch passes with space to skate into. Adding strength to his frame will provide him with more balance in high traffic areas. He has been interesting to watch over the past two seasons and it appears as though the talented center is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential.

Sleeper - Jacob Leguerier, Gloucester Rangers
Leguerier has made an impressive jump from playing Minor Bantam AA two seasons ago to quickly becoming one of the most poised and physically punishing defenders in the HEO AAA league.
Displays a high panic threshold as he alleviates pressure from opposing players. Deceptive footwork and elusive puck movement provides his teammates with space as defenders look to cheat into lanes. He has the uncanny ability to control the pace of the game in the offensive zone, enabling him to process support options and find open shooting lanes. He injects himself physically, showcasing a terrific ability to track the opposing team’s possession. A focus on remaining patient in the defensive zone will allow him to recover after initiating contact. Although he possesses a strong skating stride, working on accelerating out of high traffic areas will add elements to his escapability. An injury forced him to miss several games late in the season. However, OHL scouts should not sleep on the young defenders ability to impact the game in all three zones come draft day.

Matt Grainda (USA) - @graindaiv

1. Bode Wilde – Chicago Mission AAA U16
One of the top prospects from the United States, Bode Wilde has all the tools you love to see in a defenseman and will likely end up becoming a high pick in his NHL draft season. Wilde has an awesome skating stride along with a powerful core and lower body to help him maneuver around the ice with great mobility, both with and without the puck. He loves to take possession into his hands and displays great poise by leading the attack on breakouts and along the offensive blue-line. Watch out when he’s got control at the point, his pinpoint accuracy and powerful shot can do some major damage at the next level. As one of the “big names” out there for the 2000-born age group, it will be fun to watch his path to the National Hockey League. With Bode, there truly is tremendous potential to be uncovered.

2. Blade Jenkins – Detroit Compuware AAA U16
Possibly one of the most dominant forwards in the United States, Blade Jenkins tore up the U16 HPHL this season as one of the league’s most prolific point producers. Jenkins is an offensive threat each time he steps on the ice through his outstanding hockey vision, his ability to slow the game down and his dominant possession game. Lethal around the net and in one-on-one situations, he can create something out of nothing with his shake-and-bake moves. Strong puck protection techniques along with a big physical frame help him fend off defensive players but his speed and deceptive stick-skills also help create separation. Deep down, Jenkins is born to score goals and generate chances on the attack. We will likely see him selected at the NHL Draft down the road as a pure-blood offensive catalyst.

Sleeper - Caleb Everett – Detroit Honeybaked AAA U16
Offense is exciting, but “Defense Wins Championships.” Caleb Everett from Detroit Honeybaked AAA is one of those defenseman that team’s just love to trust. As a mobile player with an effortless 4-way skating stride, Everett does a great job attacking the rush through smart positioning, an active stick and big physical traits. Body contact is no issue at all, as he is able to use his strength and power to properly challenge players. Natural athleticism plays into one of Everett’s primary strengths, as he uses his patience and quickness to make the proper, safe play even with heavy pressure. Good situational awareness via his high hockey intelligence helps him accomplish the smart option in all zones. Everett projects as a “do-it-all” defensive defenseman who could fill many roles. National Hockey League teams love that type of player.

Brock Otten (OHL Prospects) - @BrockOtten

1. Tyler Weiss, Don Mills Flyers
Even if Weiss' Flyers were eliminated in the Semi-finals (by the eventual Champion YSE), I was really impressed by the speedy forward in the two games I saw. Weiss is an absolutely tenacious player who excels in attacking the offensive zone, constantly creating with speed and hustle. His play away from the puck was also very noticeable, as he made a consistent effort to be involved on the forecheck and on the backcheck. I have no doubt that Weiss profiles as a high impact top line player at the OHL level. In a lot of ways, I thought he resembled Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads. Only issue is that he has apparently nailed down a spot with the U.S. Development Program, and has a verbal commit to Boston University. What means for his OHL draft status I don't know. Selfishly, I'd love to see him in the OHL.

2. Carter Robertson, York Simcoe Express
Robertson was the most noticeable player for me on the Champion York Simcoe Express. The talented offensive defenseman looks like a definite first round pick come Saturday. Robertson is very aggressive in leading the rush, using terrific speed and puck protection ability to enter the offensive zone with relative ease. Also really liked the way he ran the point on the powerplay, making quick decisions and showcasing a nice point shot. While things in the defensive end weren't perfect, I thought that he showed a lot of potential there and should develop into a quality two-way defender under the right tutelage.

Sleeper - Elliot Tang, Toronto Marlboros
While it was YSE's Andrei Berezinskiy's who took home the OHL Cup MVP, I was actually just as impressed with Tang as an OHL draft prospect. While I'm sure he'd love to have that OT winner back (didn't hug the post enough), I thought he was a calming presence in the pipes who displayed great positioning for a young netminder. Made the majority of the saves that he needed to and looked comfortable doing so. Rebound control and his overall agility might be on the weaker side, but with decent size and a strong performance this year, Tang seems like a solid OHL prospect to me. He wasn't invited to the OHL combine, which is never a good sign for a goaltender (less so for position players), but I think he's worth a shot as a late round pick.


If you enjoyed this article, please make sure to check out They do an absolutely fabulous job of covering the OHL Draft each year. Their annual draft guide would make an outstanding purchase if you're hungry for more information about this year's top priority selection prospects.

No comments: