The 2020 OHL Priority Selection is set for Saturday, April 4th. In this crazy time, we should be thankful that the draft is continuing as planned, giving us (those who cover hockey) something to cover. As scouting agencies and OHL teams finalize their lists ahead of the draft, OHL fan bases begin to draw curious as to the players that their teams will bring into the fold.
After starting a new tradition last year, we are continuing it (and improving it) this year. That is, of course, a collaborative mock draft.. And since I do not see as much minor midget action as I would like to, I have obviously brought in some great minds who have seen these draft prospects play a ton.
Helping out with this mock draft are:
Steven Ellis – Writer/Digital Content Producer for The Hockey News (@StevenEllisTHN)
Raine Hernandez – OHL coverage for OHLNetwork & social media/scout for the Oakville Blades (OJHL) (@BringerofRaine)
Connor Williams – Independent OHL Draft Scout/GOJHL Scout (@cwilliams_384)
Of course, if you're looking for more information on the upcoming OHL Draft, make sure you check out TheScout, Prospect Pipeline, and Very Barrie Colts, who also have some fantastic OHL Draft (and NHL Draft) content for you to read.
Without further ado, here is our two round mock with many honorable mentions:
1. North Bay Battalion (Prospect Pipeline)
Selection: Adam Fantilli - C - Kimball Union Academy – 6'2, 180lbs
Analysis: Stan Butler was reassigned from his role as Head Coach and Director of Hockey Operations for the North Bay Battalion in early December of 2019 and now stands as a Special Advisor to team owner Scott Abbott. This culture change could prove vital in the Battalion’s ability to draw high-end talent to their franchise, and the team will waste no time in putting their new philosophy to the test by selecting Adam Fantilli first overall in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. Although recently committed to the Chicago Steel of the USHL, Fantilli could very well skate at the OHL-level come the 2021-22 campaign. Selecting Fantilli could be an interesting tactic deployed by the Battalion, as the youngster could opt for the major-junior level following his upcoming season in the USHL should the right fit arise. Now, whether or not North Bay is where Fantilli would like to play remains to be seen, however, if not, it goes without saying that trading Fantilli would net the Battalion a boat-load of assets in return.
2. Niagara IceDogs (Connor Williams)
Selection: Ty Nelson - D - Toronto Jr. Canadiens – 5'8, 175lbs
Analysis: By picking Ty Nelson, the Niagara IceDogs acquire a dynamic top defenceman, who, on a top Toronto Jr. Canadiens team with plenty of offensive firepower up front, was a catalyst at the back-end combining his great defensive abilities with outstanding offensive capabilities This made him a force on defence. He will be a welcome addition to a team that struggled to both put pucks in the net and keep it out of their net, allowing 194 GF and 320 GA. These numbers were magnified after the team traded away star players Akil Thomas and Phil Tomasino. The IceDogs are currently a transitioning team who traded away 3 of their top forwards in Thomas, Tomasino, and Kyen Sopa; stockpiling draft picks providing them with 2 picks in the 2nd round, providing them the opportunity to acquire multiple quality forwards for the future. GM Joey Burke described that they are building around a younger core of 2002-2004 born players. With defenceman Elijah Roberts graduating and highest scoring defenceman Adrien Beraldo with 23 points being a 2000 born in his last year, along with 3 more 00’ and 01’ born defence, the IceDogs will look to fill in the defence with a top defenceman like Nelson.
3. Sarnia Sting (Ryan McArthur)
Selection: Pano Fimis – C - Toronto Jr. Canadiens – 5'9, 160lbs
Analysis: The Sarnia Sting secure a franchise centreman who plays a complete, 200 foot game by selecting Pano Fimis from JRC. Fimis is one of the best overall skaters in the entire draft with tremendous agility, lateral movement, acceleration, explosiveness and speed. He fits into Sarnia’s plan to play an up tempo style and push the pace against the competition. The top rookie scorer for the Sting in the 2019-20 season was right winger Ty Voit, who is also blazing fast. Voit and Fimis would be an extremely dangerous duo that would be tough for opposing defences to contain. Fimis has a firecracker release on his shot, which also has a deceptive release point. There’s plenty of velocity when he unleashes the puck and he can score from any angle, either off the rush or from a standstill. Fimis should be one of the top scorers from the 2020-21 rookie class and there’s a good chance he will push for an OHL scoring title down the road.
4. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (TheScout)
Selection: Kocha Delic - C/W - Toronto Titans - 5’10, 175lbs
Selection: Kocha Delic - C/W - Toronto Titans - 5’10, 175lbs
Analysis: Based on strategic analysis of the ‘Hounds’ performance this season, graduating players and last season’s draft selections– Kocha Delic would be an ideal selection for the Sault. He’s an elite skater with superior hockey IQ and high offensive propensity. He does an excellent job using his speed and vision to draw opponents to him and open up the ice for his teammates. From here, he has the ability to find teammates with accurate setup passes to generate scoring chances. Additionally, when he’s realized opponents aren’t pressuring him as hard in an attempt to close passing lanes, his puck–handling paired with his shooting ability consistently earned his team goals in every game. Playing at the next level will add some maturity to his game and strengthen his already strong offensive output. Expect him to be moved to the wing position as he is weak in the face–off circle.
5. Kingston Frontenacs (Steven Ellis)
Selection: Bryce McConnell-Barker – C - London Jr. Knights – 6'1, 160lbs
Analysis: The top player in the Alliance this year, McConnell-Barker will be an excellent addition to a Kingston team that can use some extra scoring alongside Shane Wright. McConnell-Barker is one of the fastest skaters in the draft class and there are few players that competes as hard as he does every time he touches the ice. McConnell-Barker makes things happen, and Kingston is a good spot for him to make an immediate difference.
6. Hamilton Bulldogs (Brock Otten)
Selection: Donovan McCoy – D - Quinte Red Devils – 6'0, 180lbs
Analysis: Why not make it five years in a row? The Bulldogs first round selection has come from the OMHA (either ETA or SCTA) the previous four years, so McCoy would make it five straight. Recently named as the OMHA-ETA player of the year, McCoy is a new age defender who plays with poise and pace and gives the team a defender to build around over the next few seasons, something the team definitely needs. At 6’0 already, it is likely that he continues to grow and as he fills out, his defensive game should improve to the point where he becomes a dominant two-way defender. With Kade Landry aging out, McCoy should also be able to step right in and play on the powerplay too.
7. Mississauga Steelheads (Raine Hernandez)
Selection: Paul Ludwinski - C - Toronto Marlboros – 5'11, 160lbs
Analysis: The Toronto Marlboros have seen many of their alumni being drafted by the Mississauga Steelheads, in recent memory, the Steelheads have acquired the likes of Mikey and Ryan McLeod, Jack Hughes. In 2019, it was defenceman Ethan Del Mastro, who was very impressive in his rookie campaign. With that being said, the Steelheads continue to use the Marlies pipeline, drafting the engine that kept them running this season, in Paul Ludwinski. Ludwinski is a complete center that can play both ends of the ice at an elite level, in combination with incredible edge work and hockey sense. With the Steelheads bringing back almost their entire core next season, Ludwinski will have the chance to play and learn from veteran experience.
8. Erie Otters (Prospect Pipeline)
Selection: Zakary Lavoie - C - Toronto Young Nationals – 5'9, 175lbs
Analysis: The Erie Otters selected Connor Lockhart with their first round pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection and continue their trend of securing high-end offensive talent through the selection of Zakary Lavoie at eighth-overall. A lethal offensive force in the GTHL with the Toronto Nationals this past season, Lavoie is an explosive skater who can change the outcome of any game in the blink of an eye. Known for his electric release and a capable playmaker as well, Lavoie makes his teammates considerably better and can be relied upon to put forth a tremendous effort in every game he competes within.
9. Barrie Colts (Ryan McArthur)
Selection: Hunter Haight – C - Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs – 5'9, 150lbs
Analysis: The Barrie Colts nab centre Hunter Haight, who has been a human highlight reel this entire season. Haight registered 64 goals in 72 games during his draft year, due to his natural goal scoring touch and blistering speed. Haight has an explosive first few strides and he gains momentum very quickly. His peak cruising speed is lightning fast and he’s a rocket in top gear. Haight utilizes his athleticism/agility through drastic changes of pace, going from top speed down to idle, and back to full throttle in a blink. Haight always seems to have the puck and does a good job keeping his head up to survey the ice for playmaking opportunities. His passes are often delivered with perfect timing, accuracy and precision. Haight is dynamic in the offensive zone and has several different moves in his arsenal that should translate well at the OHL level. The sky’s the limit for this phenomenal young player.
10. Owen Sound Attack (Steven Ellis)
Selection: Isaiah George - D - Toronto Marlboros – 6'1, 170lbs
Analysis: If there's one thing you're getting from George, it's consistency. He's a reliable puck-mover and can handle battles against bigger competition - he didn't look out of place during his few games with the OJHL's Oakville Blades. George isn't afraid to use his hard shot from the point and he uses his quick footwork to play an aggressive defensive game. The biggest knock on his game in bantam was that George gave the puck up too much trying to make a quick play, not the smart play. That doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
11. Sudbury Wolves (TheScout)
Selection: Nicholas De Angelis - D - Mississauga Senators - 6’0, 175 lbs
Analysis: He may be flying under your radar, but if you hone into his advanced hockey IQ, ability to make the difficult plays under pressure, and consistency in his game, you’ll understand why Nicholas De Angelis is an elite defensive prospect heading into this year’s draft. The two–way defender possesses nice size and strength, which help him play an assertive style from the back end all the way up to the offensive zone. He’s a strong skater who quarterbacks the breakout and often times the rush when a lane opens up for him. His passing ability is at an elite level, making tough plays look easy and giving his offense a serious advantage on zone entries and scoring chances. Defensively he has textbook execution on gap control, positioning, and physical play. The thing that makes him especially dangerous is his puck handling/puck protection ability. Using both his physicality and skill, he is able to move with the puck virtually anywhere and draw opponents to him before moving the puck to a wide open teammate. Any team would be lucky to land him in this draft.
12. Guelph Storm (Connor Williams)
Selection: Dalyn Wakely - C - Quinte Red Devils – 5'11, 165lbs
Analysis: Surprisingly Dalyn Wakely falls to pick 12, and the Guelph Storm can’t pass up this opportunity to select the Quinte Red Devils captain and #1 centreman. With Cam Hillis having a bounce back season this past year, leading the Storm in scoring, he is likely to get an opportunity to play pro next year in the Montreal system; whether it be in the AHL or NHL. Number 2 centre Cedric Ralph (#5 in scoring with 35 points in 46 games) is also graduating, so Wakely can slot in down the middle along with last year's first round pick Danny Zhilkin. Along with possibly 2 out of 5 of Guelph’s leading scorers leaving and the 3 others entering their overage year, Wakely will be able to fill in the likely voids in scoring, after leading the Red Devils this season with 72 points in 36 games of ETA play. He brings an outstanding shooting ability with a powerful shot and great release, making him a threat from anywhere in the offensive zone.
13. Oshawa Generals (Raine Hernandez)
Selection: Matthew Jovanovic - D - Toronto Marlboros – 6'0, 180lbs
Analysis: The Oshawa Generals have a luxury pick at 13th overall. With Phil Tomasino expected to return for the Generals next season, it’s clear that they are in a “win-now” mindset. With already a deep team offensively, the Generals take Matthew Jovanovic, arguably one of the most OHL-ready defencemen in this draft. Jovanovic plays a strong two-way game, but sets himself from the rest of the group with his perfect combination of size and speed from the back-end. Jovanovic can slide right into the lineup and play significant minutes for the Generals. It is also worth mentioning that the Marlboros defenceman already has Hockey Canada on their radar, as Jovanovic represented Canada at the Youth Olympic Games, showcasing their belief that he can become an impactful player at the next level.
14. Windsor Spitfires (Steven Ellis)
Selection: Aidan Castle – RW – Toronto Jr. Canadiens – 5'11, 165lbs
Analysis: When Fantilli left the Jr. Canadiens, it allowed Castle to further showcase why scouts were so intrigued with him. His two-way game improved mightily over the past year and he’s got an impressive wrist shot that often fools goalies with dangerous speed. Castle makes his own luck and is prone to looking to make a pass instead of shooting the puck himself, but there's a reason he was a top scorer in various tournaments this year: he always finds a way to get the puck on his stick.
15. Peterborough Petes (TheScout)
Selection: Brady Stonehouse – LW - Elgin–Middlesex Chiefs – 5'9, 170lbs
Analysis: Though he may not be a ‘human highlight reel’ like Hunter Haight, Brady Stonehouse certainly doesn’t lack in skill and possesses a physical element his teammate seems to be missing. A strong and reliable winger, he would fit well into many major junior programs as he is able to consistently score with a hard shot and forechecks aggressively to win pucks for his team. He does a nice job in his own end too, whether it be at even–strength or on the penalty kill he understands his assignments and executes well. Strong play along the boards and hard hitting help his team secure the puck and transition to offense. The thing that stood out to me initially was his crisp passing on the breakout and supporting his linemates through the neutral zone into the zone entry. This ability has further developed through the season as he makes great setup passes in the offensive zone and gets to open ice quickly after to become a scoring threat.
16. Flint Firebirds (Prospect Pipeline)
Selection: David Goyette – C - South Kent Academy – 5'10, 150lbs
Analysis: Goyette headed south of the border this season to compete at the Selects Hockey Academy, so his transition to life in Flint should prove to be seamless. A former standout in the Ottawa region -- recording 43 goals and 94 points in 30 Bantam contests -- Goyette blasted home 45 goals and recorded 138 points in 58 games played this season, trailing closely behind the highly-touted Rutger McGroarty. With incredible speed to burn and an electrifying release, Goyette has all of the tools necessary to become an impact player at the OHL-level for years to come. If he slips outside of the top-15 overall on draft day, one OHL franchise will have stolen a top-flight talent.
17. Kitchener Rangers (Connor Williams)
Selection: Cedrick Guindon - C - Rockland Nationals – 5'9, 155lbs
Analysis: A steal at the 17th pick, the Kitchener Rangers have the opportunity to select a player who is able to use his good skating and edgework to create time, space and opportunities for himself and his teammates. Guindon, who along with starring for the Rockland Nationals, played a role in bringing Canada bronze at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games. After selecting the offensively gifted Francesco Pinelli with their first round selection last year, they are able to have a future 1-2 punch at the centre position. Similar to Pinelli, Guindon is an offensive threat who possesses a great shot that has deception to it, which has caused goaltenders problems all season long. This should carry into his rookie season in the OHL.
18. Saginaw Spirit (Raine Hernandez)
Selection: Frank Nazar – C – Honeybaked – 5'11, 170lbs
Analysis: The Sagniaw Spirit loves to swing for the fences. In 2018, the Spirit took a chance and selected Cole Perfetti in the first, who at the time, was committed to the University of Michigan. The year prior, the Spirit took Alex Turcotte, and will now potentially be an option for him next season. With that being said, since the Spirit find themselves in a luxury position, Frank Nazar would be a perfect fit for what Saginaw is looking for. While Nazar and his elite offensive skill set will be taking his talents with the NTDP for the next two seasons, the Spirit or any OHL team will take a chance on him and try and sway him to come to the OHL in the future, and with the Spirit, their track record with players like Bode WIlde and Blade Jenkins certainly have Nazar fit that similar criteria.
19. London Knights (Brock Otten)
Selection: Andrew Leblanc – C - Southern Tier Admirals – 5'10, 155lbs
Analysis: While teammate Sam Alfano seems to get a little more hype (and was recently named the SCTA player of the year), London opts for Leblanc first, a well rounded, but still creative center. His performance has improved over the course of the year and he ended up leading the SCTA playoffs in scoring by a wide margin. Had the OHL Cup actually occurred, he seems like the type of kid who could have really elevated his draft stock on a strong team. He also helps to fill an organizational need in London, with the majority of their centers, including star Connor McMichael, close to OHL graduation.
20. Ottawa 67’s (Ryan McArthur)
Selection: Matthew Poitras – C - Whitby Wildcats – 5'10, 150lbs
Analysis: The Ottawa 67’s are shocked to see Matthew Poitras still on the board and the barber poles scoop him up at the end of round one. Poitras is the prototypical two-way centre that OHL teams covet. He exhibits a high compete level every shift and has great situational awareness in all three zones. It’s amazing how many one-on-one battles, either along the wall or in the corner, where he emerges with the puck unscathed. Poitras is a puck hound and he overwhelms the opposition with heaps of pressure on the forecheck, constantly forcing turnovers and mistakes. He wins the vast majority of his draws due to excellent hand eye coordination and his puck skills are special. Poitras is an easy pick here and he should have many dominant performances throughout the span of his OHL career.
21. Hamilton Bulldogs (via North Bay Battalion) (Brock Otten)
Selection: Gavin Hayes – RW – Compuware – 6'1, 160lbs
Analysis: Hayes, thought to be a very likely roster contender, was ultimately not selected as a candidate to play with the U17’s and the NTDP. I could also see Hamilton taking a chance on Hayes here (or elsewhere in the draft) considering it would give him an opportunity to play with his brother Avery on the Bulldogs. If selected, and if he were to commit to Hamilton, getting Gavin would be huge as he is a potential impact player. Has size, skill, and plays with power, which would also fit extremely well with what Hamilton is building in the coming years.
22. London Knights (via Niagara IceDogs) (Brock Otten)
Selection: Max Namestnikov – LW – Honeybaked – 5'6, 150lbs
Analysis: Another player thought to be a potential NTDP signing, Namestnikov was left off of the roster. However, he does already have a commitment to Michigan State University. It’s important to note that Max’s older brother Vladislav played two years for London and Dale Hunter; two years that included an OHL Championship and a first round NHL selection. If the Knights could lure the younger Max, it would be great for the organization as he is one of the draft’s top playmakers. While he is massively undersized currently (generally listed around 5’6), his vision and puck skill will still play and the Hunters will be patient with him through a potential growth spurt.
23. Peterborough Petes (via Sarnia Sting) (TheScout)
Selection: Alec Leonard – D - Mississauga Reps - 5’11, 170 lbs
Analysis: Looking for a gritty defenceman who consistently moves the puck up ice and punishes forecheckers coming into his corners? If so, look no further than Reps’ defender Alec Leonard. He plays a strong game in his defensive end challenging puck–carriers with physicality, strategic checking, and moving players out from the slot. He does a nice job of securing the puck in traffic and then creating space for himself to skate the puck out of the zone before making a hard–accurate stretch pass to move his team up ice. A strong skater, he is able to execute his style of play quickly, whether that be joining the rush with the puck or using strong lateral movement to walk the blue line and keep pucks in the zone. Adding Leonard to Peterborough’s quick puck moving style of play would certainly be beneficial for both parties.
24. Flint Firebirds (via Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) (Prospect Pipeline)
Selection: Carson Christy – C - Oshawa Minor Midget Generals – 5'10, 150lbs
Analysis: When you score a combined 50 goals in your 45 regular season and playoff games played ahead of the OHL Priority Selection, odds are that you will generate a considerable amount of interest. And, that is exactly what Carson Christy accomplished for the ETA’s Oshawa Generals in 2019-20 -- bulging the twine at an unparalleled level to establish himself as one of the 2020 OHL Draft’s top goal scorers. However, Christy is far more than simply a shooter, as the youngster features terrific vision and the ability to create lethal plays. Further, as one of the hardest working players on the ice, Christy never takes a night off and can be counted upon by his coaches as a direct result. In short, the Firebirds nab a potential 40-goal scorer in Christy outside of the first round -- a prospect who will compliment the team’s offensive core.
Pick #24 has since been dealt to Guelph.
Pick #24 has since been dealt to Guelph.
25. London Knights (via Kingston Frontenacs) (Brock Otten)
Selection: Jackson Edward – D – York Simcoe Express – 6'2, 190lbs
Analysis: After securing high end forwards with their first two selections, London turns to adding another defender to the stable to help offset the losses of Ryan Merkley, Alec Regula, and Markus Phillips (although they do have Logan Mailloux entering the fray next year too). Edward has good size (6’2), strong mobility, and demonstrates a high IQ on the ice, all things that should help him make the OHL as a 16 year old. He has the potential to develop into an all situations kind of defender for the Knights down the line, with some untapped offensive upside. The last time the Knights took a YSE player in the second round, it turned out pretty good (Robert Thomas in 2015).
26. Ottawa 67’s (via Hamilton Bulldogs) (Ryan McArthur)
Selection: Justin Dezoete – C/W - Hamilton Huskies – 5'11, 160lbs
Analysis: The Ottawa 67’s signed three defenseman from last years’ draft (Ranvir Gill-Shane, Teddy Sawyer and Jack Matier), therefore they can take the liberty of using their first two picks in 2020 on forwards. They complement their first round pick of Matt Poitras by selecting Hamilton Huskies winger Justin Dezoete. Dezoete buried 57 goals in 74 games during his minor midget AAA season. He unleashes his cannon of a shot with deadly accuracy and can score in a variety of ways. Dezoete pushes the pace with powerful speed bursts that back down defenders, keeping them on their heels. He’s got all the required tools to provide a significant contribution as a rookie next season in the O.
27. Niagara IceDogs (via Mississauga Steelheads) (Connor Williams)
Selection: Ryan Abraham - C – Compuware – 5'9, 150lbs
Analysis: After selecting Ty Nelson with the 2nd overall pick, the IceDogs select a centerman who Nelson will be able to hit with some crisp breakout passes up the middle to get the offence going. American born Ryan Abraham, centred a line with Gavin Hayes on his wing, on a Compuware team that handed the powerhouse Honeybaked team its only 2 losses of the season. With Abraham not being selected to the USNTDP and his willingness to go the OHL, Niagara gets a great opportunity to select a highly skilled, high IQ player with great playmaking ability who can bring some much needed offence and scoring abilities to a transitioning team. Something that they are lacking after this past season.
28. Sudbury Wolves (via Erie Otters) (TheScout)
Selection: Tnias Mathurin – D – Ajax Pickering Raiders – 6'2, 190lbs
Analysis: A standout player from the beginning of the season, Tnias Mathurin is a sizable defender who is able to take control of the game from the back end. A long stride and large frame help him cover a lot of ice quickly and take away shooting and passing lanes from opponents. He simply will not let opponents be first on loose pucks in his own end, and uses his size to force players off the puck. A good skater, once he gets up to top speed he is able to dissect the neutral zone before making a quick pass on the zone entry. Offensively, he practices great shot placement and movement across the blue line to open up additional chances for his offense.
29. Mississauga Steelheads (via Barrie Colts) (Raine Hernandez)
Selection: Lane Hutson – D - North Jersey Avalanche – 5'7, 120lbs
Analysis: As mentioned previously, another OHL team that is known for taking American-born players in hopes of one day convincing them to come play in the OHL are the Mississauga Steelheads. In the past, the Steelheads have selected Jack Hughes, Robert Mastrosimmone, and even Trevor Zegras. With the Steelheads expected to be among the top teams in the Ontario Hockey League next season, it’s possible that they will have the option to swing for the fences once again, as they choose Lane Hutson at 29th overall. Hutson’s elite offensive contributions from the back-end is way too hard to pass up, and since the Steelheads have created a positive reputation for developing players to become successful at the next level, having a player like Hutson would be a massive steal for Mississauga if they are able to persuade him following his two seasons with the NTDP.
30. North Bay Battalion (via Owen Sound Attack) (Prospect Pipeline)
Selection: Sam Alfano – RW – Southern Tier Admirals – 6'3, 180lbs
Analysis: Don’t expect the 2019-20 SCTA player of the year to fall to 30th overall, as Sam Alfano stands as an impressive combination of size, speed and skill on the ice. Already a towering presence given his 6-foot-3 frame, Alfano is an intimidating sight who bears down on opponents in his attacking zone and wins pick battles with consistency and ease. Moreover, Alfano is a tremendous two-way player -- he can be relied upon in all three zones regardless of the situation and is a stabilizing presence. In addition to his raw intangibles, Alfano is a deadly offensive player who can bulge the twine as well as play-make. With excellent on-ice vision and the ability to understand the direction of the play before it develops, Alfano is an incredibly talented and well-rounded player -- an easy selection for the Battalion.
31. Saginaw Spirit (via Sudbury Wolves) (Raine Hernandez)
Selection: Lorenzo Bonaiuto – W - Toronto Marlboros – 6'1, 195lbs
Analysis: You can never have enough offence on a team, and with Ryan Suzuki and Cole Perfetti, it’s a good group to have when those two are the ones driving the offence. Since Saginaw already has a roster that could contend for an OHL title, it’s sometimes the best move to draft the best player available, and at this spot, it’s Lorenzo Bonaiuto. Bonaiuto is a talented winger from the Toronto Marlboros, and seems to always find a way to generate quality scoring chances whenever he’s out there. With Suzuki and Perfetti leading the charge for the Spirit, Bonaiuto will be relied upon for secondary scoring, and with a deep roster, will play with talented players no matter where he fits into the lineup.
32. Guelph Storm (Connor Williams)
Selection: Thomas Sirman - D - Toronto Jr. Canadiens – 5'10, 175lbs
Analysis: A key piece of a strong Toronto JRC defence, overcoming adversity this season, Sirman's strong play continued throughout the season. In a league where you are playing against players who are 4 or 5 years older and more mature in their growth, strength and development, Sirman can bring a certain fearlessness and edge to the Storm in his rookie season. Having mixed it up quite well in the GTHL Top Prospects game and constantly unafraid to take that hit to make a play; specifically in the defensive zone, he showed that no matter what type of game, no matter the situation, he is showing up and laying it all on the line for his team. Whether it be helping to keep the puck out of the Storm's net or contributing to exiting the defensive zone and to offence up ice, Sirman will no doubt have an impact in his rookie season.
33. Niagara IceDogs (via Oshawa Generals) (Connor Williams)
Selection: Nicholas Moldenhauer - RW - Toronto Titans – 5'11, 170lbs
Analysis: With the selection of this Toronto Titans right wing sniper with their second of two second round picks, the IceDogs give Ryan Abraham a winger that can score from multiple areas of the ice. Moldenhauer has the chance to be to Abraham what Gavin Hayes was this past season with Compuware. Moldenhauer's strong work ethic, net front presence and finishing ability to finish in and around the net gives the IceDogs a scoring winger that they are in need of. With his great shot and an ability to get a strong shot off quickly and accurately, Moldenhauer makes the IceDogs dangerous in the offensive zone whenever he is on the ice. In the process, Niagara can give themselves a possible duo of Abraham at centre and Moldenhauer on the right. Don’t be surprised to see a whole lot of Moldenhauer goals with Abraham assists if these two end up together.
34. Sarnia Sting (via Windsor Spitfires) (Ryan McArthur)
Selection: Jonathan Melee - LW - Rockland Nationals – 6'0, 170lbs
Analysis: Sarnia strongly considers selecting a defenceman with this pick, but the opportunity to take Jonathan Melee is too good to pass up. He started the season with the Toronto Titans, but he left to play for the Rockland Nationals after a couple months. If Melee stayed with the Titans, they definitely would have made a more fortified push in major tournaments and the GTHL title race. Melee is remarkably dynamic in the offensive zone and he manufactures plenty of scoring chances with his innate hockey sense and playmaking talent. He’s a great skater, who utilizes his jump and edges to create time and space for himself to operate. Melee is dangerous one-on-one with the goaltender, due to his pinpoint shooting accuracy and repertoire of different dangles/finishing moves. This kid is a nasty player who possesses plenty of firepower and flare. OHL fans will enjoy watching him play.
35. Peterborough Petes (TheScout)
Selection: Aaron Brown – D - Quinte Red Devils - 6’1, 170lbs
Analysis: Another player who was quickly identified at the beginning of the season, Aaron Brown is a defender who does all of the little things right. He challenged zone entries early, always managed to keep himself in the play with smart checking, and easily identified the best passing options on the breakout. Offensively me maintains great positioning to make himself a scoring threat and manages excellent shot placement for rebounds and loose pucks for his forwards to jam home. He possesses the ability to dictate the pace of play in the defensive zone and serves as the catalyst for breakouts and neutral zone regroups.
36. Windsor Spitfires (via Flint Firebirds) (Ryan McArthur)
Selection: Ryan McGuire - C - Burlington Eagles – 5'9, 165lbs
Analysis: The Spits grab talented centre Ryan McGuire from the Burlington Eagles program. McGuire is highly skilled and excellent at handling the puck in tight spaces. He is fast, shifty, elusive and slippery when he rushes the puck up ice. McGuire carries it a ton and tends to dominate the action when he’s out there. He’s also an excellent finisher with a precise shot. McGuire’s an elite playmaker with awesome peripheral vision and on-ice awareness. He’s responsible defensively and pays attention to detail when protecting his own zone. McGuire could turn out to be a big time superstar in the OHL, possessing all the tools required to succeed at the next level.
37. Owen Sound Attack (via Kitchener Rangers) (Brock Otten)
Selection: Nathan Poole – C – Oshawa Generals – 6'1, 190lbs
Analysis: No secret about the type of player that the Attack love to target at the draft and it’s the reason why they have remained so competitive over the last decade. Nathan Poole fits their “type” to a tee. He’s a competitive pivot who has good size, is physically aggressive, and tenacious without the puck. However, he’s also a solid playmaker who exhibits good hockey sense and an understanding of how to operate in the offensive zone. And with the majority of the team’s centers aging out or close to it, he also fills an organizational need.
38. Mississauga Steelheads (via Saginaw Spirit) (Raine Hernandez)
Selection: Owen Van Steensel – LW - Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs – 5'9, 160lbs
Analysis: Thomas Harley and Ethan Del Mastro will be the focal points for the Steelheads defensively, which means Mississauga has the opportunity to bolster their already, much-improved offence from the 2019-2020 season, which sees themselves selecting Elgin-Middlesex star Owen Van Steensel. Van Steensel led the Alliance in scoring, with great playmaking abilities to go along with his highly underrated shot. The Steelheads will be in need of secondary scoring next season, and Van Steensel has the potential to offer that for Mississauga.
39. Windsor Spitfires (via London Knights) (Connor Williams)
Selection: Spencer Sova - D – Honeybaked – 6'1, 175lbs
Analysis: With a weaker defence core, and a team that struggled on the penalty kill this past season, the Spitfires look to bolster the back end by adding Windsor born Spencer Sova. On a Honeybaked team that definitely did not have a shortage of talent, Spencer Sova was a key player on the ice, to go along with being named an alternate captain. To go hand and hand with being physically intimidating at 6’1/175 lbs, he plays with an edge, and not many players have their way offensively with him. While also being reliable defensively, Sova can also add to the 5th ranked power play with his ability to move the puck up the ice, and his powerful shot from the point.
40. Erie Otters (via Ottawa 67’s) (Prospect Pipeline)
Selection: Brice Cooke – RW - Toronto Jr. Canadiens – (Height/Weight unconfirmed)
After nabbing Zakary Lavoie in the opening round of the 2020 OHL Draft, the Erie Otters double-down in the offensive category by taking one of the most lethal players still available. Brice Cooke was a staple within an incredibly deep and talented Toronto Jr. Canadiens lineup this past season, complimenting the highly-touted Pano Fimis throughout the campaign owing to his speed, skill, and work-ethic. Fortunately for the Otters, Brice should be able to step into their lineup quite quickly, as the youngster features a well-rounded and disciplined game.
Brock Otten’s Remaining Three
Mikael Kingo – G - Vaughan Kings – 6'1, 160lbs
Part of a dynamic one/two goaltending punch with Dominic DiVincentis on Vaughan, Kingo is one of the top goaltending prospects available this year. Has shown to possess quickness in net to go with solid size (6’1, compared to the slightly undersized DiVincentis). But OHL teams are going to be even more impressed with the character that he has shown off the ice, with his humanitarian efforts. IMO, one of the first goalies off the board.
Noah Van Vliet – D – Toronto Jr. Canadiens – 6'1, 190lbs
Good sized (6’1, 190lbs) two-way defender who does a lot of things well. Really impressed at last year’s OHL Cup, playing a year up with the runner up Toronto Red Wings. This year he transferred to the Jr. Canadiens (along with Fantilli initially) and was a standout as one of the better defenders in the GTHL.
Connor Toms - D - Soo Greyhounds – 5'10, 180lbs
The NOHA player of the year this year, Toms is an intelligent two-way defender who can play in all situations. His first few strides could use some work, but he’s calculated in his rushes and very calm with the puck on his stick. While the North certainly does not have as much to offer this year (compared to last year), the top player in the circuit rarely lasts long on draft day. I’d put my money on Toms being the first Northern player off the board this year and not his teammate Devin Mauro (who is also highly skilled).
Prospect Pipeline’s Remaining Three
Cooper Matthews – RW - Quinte Red Devils – 5'7, 145lbs
Cooper Matthews of the Quinte Red Devils is a quick-thinking offensine machine -- a reality which makes him one of the best players remaining for selection. A crafty puck-handler who can find the back of the net with ease, Matthews is also a decisive playmaker, an ability which allows him to stand as an unpredictable force in the attacking zone. In addition, Matthews is a calm and composed player, as the youngster received a mere four minutes in penalties across what was a highly competitive ETA campaign.
George Fegaras - D - Richmond Hill Coyotes – 6'1, 190lbs
Terrific size, strength, composure and intelligence defines the game of George Fegaras of the Richmond Hill Coyotes. An intimidating defender, Fegaras uses his size incredibly well to separate opposing players from the puck and the poise necessary to fire crisp breakout passes to his fellow teammates. Moreover, on his offensive blue Fegaras is a stabilizing force, as the youngster can pound the puck on goal and create rebounds which his teammates gobble up with impressive consistency. In short, Fegaras is a well-rounded blue-liner whose size, skill and intelligence should allow him to transition to the OHL-level with little issue.
Aaron Andrade – RW - Toronto Titans – 6'0, 190lbs
Whichever team selects Aaron Andrade will have nabbed a power forward with a promising future in the OHL. Already standing well over 6-feet and 180-pounds, Andrade plays a hard-nosed game that is complimented extremely well with high-end skill. While more than capable of steam-rolling opponents or winning puck battles with ease, Andrade can also devise high-end scoring plays and capitalize on those devised by his teammates. With a heavy shot and an unwavering work-ethic, Andrade could prove to be somewhat of a diamond in the rough -- even if selected in the second round.
Ryan McArthur’s Remaining Three
Owen Beck - C - Quinte Red Devils – 5'10, 180lbs
Owen Beck has superior strength and a powerful motor that is unmatched by his peers in this draft class. He’s an absolute beast that throws punishing body checks and plays the game hard. Beck is a multifaceted talent with a nice blend of brute force, speed and skill. His shot is a howitzer that pops off his stick with plenty of velocity. Beck is known to dominate down low and work the cycle to perfection. The physical domination he’s capable of down the road will spark plenty of interest from OHL teams. Look out for him on draft day.
Jake Karabela – C - Guelph Gryphons – 5'10, 150lbs
Karabela was the clear leader of the Guelph Jr. Gryphons and the centrepiece of their attack this past season. His skill level is high end and he maneuvers smoothly with the puck. He is excellent at driving out wide past the defence, cutting to the net and tucking home a nice finish. His hockey sense is impressive and he displays it without the puck through cutting off passes and disrupting passes in the neutral zone or defensive end. Karabela is a puck hound that constantly pressures the opposition and forces turnovers. This prospect is a gamer and he has a high ceiling if he reaches his potential.
Trent Swick – LW - Southern Tier Admirals – 6'5, 185lbs
Swick played left wing on one of the top forward lines in all of Ontario. He’s a big bodied power forward that is difficult to contain when applying sustained pressure in the offensive zone. Listed at 6’4.5” and 178 lbs. by the Southern Tier Admirals, Swick has attractive measurables that OHL teams can’t ignore. His speed and power are his calling card, but he can also pull off extraordinary dangles. One memorable play in particular was a behind the back and through the legs move at full speed that was a true showstopper. Keep tabs on this versatile power forward on April 4th.
Connor Williams’ Remaining Three
Patrick Thomas - C - Hamilton Huskies – 5'10, 150lbs
3rd in Alliance scoring with 56 points in 33 games for the Hamilton Huskies, trailing behind only Hunter Haight and Owen Van Steensel of the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs who each had 62 and 58 points respectively. Thomas, along with Justin Dezoette, was a key piece on a Hamilton team that went all the way to the Alliance Playdown Final. He brings a solid 200 foot game with an especially high work ethic, along with his great vision and passing abilities
Shawn Ramsey - D - Toronto Young Nationals – 5'11, 160lbs
The top defenceman on the Young Nats will make whatever OHL franchise that selects him very happy. A great puck moving defenceman who is also a good skater, was a reliable go to defenceman all season for the Young Nats coaching staff. Showing well in the GTHL Top prospects game and in regular season play, he demonstrated an ability to defend against top players from the GTHL, as well as top guys from teams from other leagues (i.e. ETA, SCTA, Alliance, etc.)
Harrison Ballard - C - York-Simcoe Express – 6'1, 174lbs
Ballard was a big player this past season for the Express, and not just literally. Coming in at 6’1/174 lbs he is definitely one of the bigger players physically in the draft. Racking up 39 points through 36 games in ETA play this season Ballard combines both his size with speed to make him a threat to create offence whenever he is on the ice.
Raine Hernandez’s Remaining Three
Ryan Struthers – C - Oakville Rangers – 6'0, 160lbs
After playing his entire minor hockey career with the Halton Hurricanes, at the beginning of the Minor Midget season, Ryan Struthers elected to play his draft year with the Oakville Rangers. Following a rocky start for the Rangers, Struthers became a go-to-guy for Oakville, and brings a strong two-way game to the table. The younger brother of Owen Sound’s Matthew Struthers, while Ryan may be ‘lanky’ for his age, he has a big body that he will fill into, but also is very elusive with the puck.
Hayden Simpson – C - Toronto Titans – 5'8, 160lbs
Partially in the shadows of his fellow teammates such as Kocha Delic and Nicholas Moldenhauer, Hayden Simpson was tremendous for the Toronto Titans offensively. Simpson was a PPG player for the Titans during the GTHL regular season, and will bring a talented skillset to any OHL team that decides to pull the trigger. Simpson carries high hockey IQ, but also showcases a blend of speed and underrated strength to the table.
Mick Thompson – F - North Jersey Avalanche – 5'4, 130lbs
Much like Struthers, Mick Thompson was always regarded as one of the core guys for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. In hopes for a bigger role, Thompson packed his bags and moved south of the border to play with the likes of Lane Hutson and Devin Kaplan with the North Jersey Avalanche in the AYHL. Thompson was dominant in the US, averaging over a PPG, but the glaring attribute about his game, is his size. Despite being undersized, Thompson plays bigger than he is, with a high motor and willingness to fight for the puck. Not to mention his superb edgework and speed, Thompson is an intriguing prospect.
TheScout’s Remaining Three
Beau Jelsma – C - Brantford 99rs – 5'8, 160lbs
Starting the season off with the Buffalo Jr. Sabres before crossing the border, Jelsma has proven to be an effective centreman by all respects. His team relies on him to win critical face–offs in all three zones of the ice as well as setup his linemates with precision passing. Though he’s a playmaker, he has toughness and determination to drive a high compete level when he is securing pucks or taking guys out on the forecheck.
Caeden Carlisle – D - Mississauga Senators – (Height/Weight Unconfirmed)
A player who truly shown through the second half of the season, Carlisle has the size, strength, and mobility to break the puck out himself and secure successful zone entries. He remains unphased through pressuring opponents due to strong instincts and the ability to protect the puck. He’s a nice shooter for a defenceman and poses as a serious scoring threat from the blue line.
Evan Konyen – RW/C - Pittsburgh Penguins Elite – 5'10, 160lbs
Since the Team USA Select 15 Tournament last summer, Konyen has proven to be an impact winger (and center) with tremendous potential. He has great finishing ability from anywhere below the hashmarks, especially in–tight to the net where he is able to maintain total control of the puck. For that reason alone, expect a team to take a shot on him coming to play in the OHL.
Steven Ellis’ Remaining Three
Liam Eveleigh - D - Waterloo Wolves – 6'0, 185lbs
Eveleigh isn’t going to wow you with flashy offensive moves, but his play at the OHL Cup last year was enough to get people to notice what he can do in his own zone. Everleigh showed a tendency to get aggressive and engage in physical bouts, no matter who it was he had to match up against. Eveleigh didn’t take huge steps in his game as some scouts were hoping for this year, but the raw talent is there.
Kyle Downey – G - Toronto Nationals – 6'0, 175lbs
There won't be many goalies going early at the draft, but Downey will be one of the first. Downey moves well in his net and when he was in the zone, few goalies were as tough to beat. Downey is a confident goaltender that wouldn't let a bad goal bother him and would often be the Young Nats' best player in games they were clearly outmatched in.
There won't be many goalies going early at the draft, but Downey will be one of the first. Downey moves well in his net and when he was in the zone, few goalies were as tough to beat. Downey is a confident goaltender that wouldn't let a bad goal bother him and would often be the Young Nats' best player in games they were clearly outmatched in.
Joe Muldowney – RW - Buffalo Regals – 5'8, 130lbs
Muldowney is a small kid at 5-foot-8, but he's a wonderful skater and wins most of his 1-on-1 puck battles. He's consistent and would often lead his team in shots in a game. If he was to build a bigger frame and play a bit more physical, he'd be a very well-rounded forward that would go higher in the draft. There's still time for him to grow, so it might be worth taking a chance on him.
Other American Players to Consider:
Hulking winger who checks in at 6’4, 200lbs already. He understands how to use his size effectively already, by playing as a net front presence and by battling hard along the boards. Catalano has good hands though and is not the type to just bullzone his way to the net. He shows good vision with the puck for a big man. Skating is a bit lumbering, so his start ups will need work. But he could be a real asset at the OHL level playing below the hash marks.
Nathan Lewis - RW - Oakland Jr. Grizzlies – 6'0, 160lbs
More than just Rutger McGroarty’s winger. Yes, he benefits from playing alongside one of the most talented 04’s on the planet, but he’s a quality player in his own right. Lewis understands how to navigate the ice without the puck and shows excellent hockey sense. He also has a terrific release and profiles as a quality goal scorer. A lot of different layers to his game.
Marshall Beaker - D - Oakland Jr. Grizzlies – 5'9, 140lbs
One part of an extremely strong blueline group on Oakland. Beaker is not as physically gifted as his teammates Hunter Brzustewicz and Landon Fleming, but he makes up for it with an extremely high IQ. A right shot defender, Beaker makes really strong exit passes and makes great decisions with the puck when clearing the zone or manning the point.
Landon Fleming - D - Oakland Jr. Grizzlies – 5'10, 170lbs
A second part of that strong Oakland defensive group, Fleming is one of the most mobile defenders available in the draft this year. Consistently creates plays with his feet by pushing deep into the offensive zone. Creates time and space with his feet in the defensive end, which allows him to start the breakout for Oakland. The offensive potential here is through the roof.
Gavin Brindley – RW - Florida Alliance (U16) – 5'8, 150lbs
Ultra quick winger who may lack elite size, but makes up for it with his ability to push the pace and create with his speed. Similar to JL Foudy in Windsor, Brindley is adept at circling the offensive zone until he finds the teammate that he wants. Recently signed a tender with Tri-City (USHL), however there are some connections to Ontario with his father being from Thunder Bay and family still living there. Might give some OHL teams hope of one day securing his services.
Micah Berger – LW - Florida Alliance (U16) – 5'11, 175lbs
All around winger who shows good hockey sense and a desire to play in all three zones. Works the wall well and is a capable finisher in tight as he crashes the net looking for scoring chances. Not nearly as dynamic as his teammate Brindley, but Berger could definitely be a quality complimentary four or five year player in the OHL.
Chris Able – D - Chicago Mission – 6'0, 170lbs
Right shot defender who is the straw that stirs the drink for the Chicago Mission. Strong at both ends of the ice, but most at home running the point of the powerplay where he looks extremely comfortable and poised. Projects as an all around, all situations defender with a high offensive upside. Has a commitment to Northeastern though.
Carson Walters – LW - Chicago Mission – 5'8, 160lbs
Walters is a quick strike winger who projects as a quality goal scorer moving forward because of his scoring instincts and quality shot. Walters is undersized, but he is not a perimeter player. He navigates traffic well and is able to create the space he needs with his hands. A longer term project, but he has a fair amount of offensive potential.
Matthew DiMarsico – LW - Pittsburgh Penguins Elite – 5'10, 160lbs
A tenacious playmaking winger with very quick feet. Excels along the wall and in transition because of strong agility and good hands. Keeps his head up in the offensive zone and is equally as effective with and without the puck on his stick. He would pair perfectly with a goal scoring power center, like his teammate Konyen on Pittsburgh.
Zach Filak – LW - Compuware U16 – 6'0, 175lbs
One of a handful of players who played up a year with Compuware (along with recent NTDP signees Tyler Duke and Cutter Gauthier), instead of playing with the U15 team (where Gavin Hayes, Ryan Abraham, Tucker Shedd, among others played). He does have a commitment to Michigan State, but still deserves mention here. Not quite as dynamic of a player (in terms of skating and skill) as some of the other Americans available this year, but he is a workhorse who has a very high hockey IQ. Excels in traffic and has the size (6’1) to be a very effective down low where he can be an excellent complimentary piece on a scoring line.
Zion Green – RW - Oakland Jr. Grizzlies, Compuware/Little Caesars – 5'11, 180lbs
One of the draft's biggest mysteries and enigmas this year, as Green suited up for three different teams. Green has all the tools to develop into a top flight offensive talent. He controls the half wall very well and has quick feet and quick hands. Consistency is an issue, but a lot of that could come from playing with so many different players and in so many different systems this year.
Tucher Shedd – D - Compuware U15 – 6'0, 180lbs
Strong and competitive two-way defender who logged a ton of minutes for Compuware this year. Is aggressive and physical down low, but possesses the skills to play in transition too. There are some mixed reviews on his skating ability, however his vision and passing ability are top notch. With good size (6’0) and a refined skill set, Shedd would be considered a top 10 defender in the draft class if he were truly set on the OHL route.
Owen Baker - LW/RW - Honeybaked U15 – 5'8, 160lbs
A highly competitive winger who is at his best in pursuit of the puck, and whose game seems to become more effective through traffic. Shows good finishing skills in tight, but also exhibits strong poise and vision down low. A very well rounded player who showed great chemistry playing alongside NTDP player Cole Spicer most of the year and who can play either wing position.
Grayson Mandl – D - Team Illinois U15 – 5'11, 165lbs
A standout at the Battle of the Border this year (Illinois went 2-1 and he averaged a point per game), Mandl is a potential two-way defender who has few flaws. He is composed with the puck, but confident and assertive in the defensive end too. Brings it physically and has the potential to develop into a very good stay at home defender at the OHL level, at minimum.
Vinny Borgesi – D - South Kent Academy – 5'10, 150lbs
One of the top offensive blueliners available in the draft this year. A teammate of likely first rounder (and a first in our mock) David Goyette. One of the only players who played for the U.S. at the Youth Olympics, but did not join the NTDP and the U17’s. Borgesi is extremely mobile and controls the point of the powerplay very well, using his feet to open up passing and shooting lanes. Plays a bit of a high risk style that can result in some turnovers, however, Borgesi possesses elite offensive potential from the back-end.