Saturday, December 15, 2018

2019 OHL Trade Deadline Preview

The 2019 OHL Trade Deadline is set for January 9th (for overage players), and January 10th (for all other players).

As is the annual tradition, I will look at previewing the action we may see at the deadline and what some teams may, or may not do.

We've already seen three big trade chips move in Jason Robertson, Michael Dipietro, and recently Ryan Merkley. At this point, I think we know which teams are all in. The question remains, which teams are fully set on the rebuild?

In the East, the recent Justin Murray deal would suggest that Barrie is exploring the option of dealing all veterans (considering Murray was their captain). Given that Hamilton is coming off an OHL Championship, I would think that they move veterans too. Kingston and North Bay have to given their place in the standings. That leaves Mississauga. Last year, they let Nic Hague go without getting anything for him. But I understood that decision given the team's propensity for strong second half performances. This year, the team just isn't as strong and the East is extremely competitive. Can you let Tippett and McLeod go without bringing in assets to help the team moving forward beyond this year? I don't think you can.

In the West, Erie, Flint, Sarnia, Kitchener, and Windsor seem likely to move players. Like Mississauga in the East, I wonder what Owen Sound does. They are fighting for 3rd in the Conference. Their offense is terrific when it is firing on all cylinders. But goaltending remains an issue and I think it's far fetched to assume that they could beat London, the Soo, or Guelph and Saginaw after they load up at the deadline (an inevitability IMO). So do they move guys like Suzuki, Durzi, Phillips, Hancock? I think they have to explore the option. Either that, or they have to make deals to strengthen their weaknesses and make one final run. But is there a goaltender available that can be an upgrade over Guzda/MacLean? Standing pat is just not an option for the franchise considering how weak they look heading into next year.

So let's make some predictions:

Matthew Strome - Hamilton Bulldogs
One of the biggest names available at this year's deadline. Strome is someone with Championship experience, size, and who can play in all situations. He can improve your powerplay, your penalty kill, and with his hockey sense and vision, chemistry shouldn't be an issue for wherever he ends up. Take your pick; Ottawa, Peterborough, London, Guelph, Saginaw, The Soo. They could all use a guy like Strome. Ottawa seems like a really good fit for him, given their weakness on the left side and their need for another big body who can play down low. If Sault Ste. Marie decides to go for a big home run, he would look great with either Hayton or Frost too. And obviously London is going to make a deal for a bigger forward who can dominate down low and improve their powerplay unit.
Prediction: Strome goes to London (with Brandon Saigeon) in exchange for Luke Evangelista, Andrew Perrott, Matt Timms, KIT 2 2019, HAM 3 2020, NIA 3 2022, LDN 2 2024

Brandon Saigeon - Hamilton Bulldogs
Always difficult to move a high quality overager like Saigeon, given the lack of trade options (because of limited slots). But Saigeon will be a hot commodity given his dominance in last year's playoffs and how good he is on the powerplay. I look at the London Knights as a potential spot for him even with them at the limit for OA's. They'll want to improve their powerplay and few players in the OHL are as good on the man advantage as Saigeon. Ottawa and Niagara have space for overagers too. Ottawa, in particular, could use Saigeon on the left side and have him be a triggerman. But I think they may end up preferring more of a playmaker there.
Prediction: Saigeon goes to London (with Matt Strome) in exchange for Luke Evangelista, Andrew Perrott, Matt Timms, KIT 2 2019, HAM 3 2020, NIA 3 2022, LDN 2 2024

Isaac Nurse - Hamilton Bulldogs
Has taken a step backward this year as an offensive player, but teams wont forget his performance in last year's playoffs. Nurse is the type who can slide onto a 3rd or 4th line, bring energy and physicality, and who can improve your penalty killing unit. Plus, he'll be a solid overager next year. I would imagine that Hamilton will receive a ton of interest in him because of this. However, will the price be right? If I am Hamilton, I don't deal Nurse unless I am getting a couple high quality picks back for him and at this point, I'm not sure a team will be doing that. Could definitely see a team like Ottawa making a push for him. But I think the hometown kid ends up finishing the year as a Bulldog.
Prediction: Nurse stays with Hamilton

Mackenzie Entwistle - Hamilton Bulldogs
Another player who is going to draw a ton of attention leading up to the deadline. Entwistle can play any role and his versatility is going to be coveted. Size, speed, tenacity, playoff experience. You can play him down the middle. You can play him on the wing. You can ask him to be a front of the net presence on the powerplay, or have him anchor your top PK unit. There are a couple of really good fits IMO. Niagara comes to mind first. He would be a perfect 3rd line center for them and would help improve their penalty kill. Then Guelph, SSM, and Saginaw could all be good fits too. Saginaw is another team that could stand to improve their PK and they would use Entwistle as a 2nd/3rd line winger, improving their scoring depth. Fits well into the personality of their forward group too. Then again, any of the teams competing for an OHL Championship could fit a guy like Entwistle into their lineup.
Prediction: Entwistle goes to Saginaw in exchange for Aidan Prueter, LDN 3 2019, BAR 2 2020

Kade Landry - Hamilton Bulldogs
Solid two-way defender who was picked up from Barrie last year. Could be a solid depth option for a Championship caliber team who feels that their third pairing needs more puck skill. Will likely be a solid top 4 guy as an OA next year too. Could see a few teams in the East really looking at him, like Oshawa, Peterborough, and Sudbury. A possible fit in the Soo or London too. Like Nurse, I think Hamilton keeps him to be one of their OA's next year though, unless they're blown away by an offer.
Prediction: Landry stays in Hamilton

Nicolas Mattinen - Hamilton Bulldogs
Given how much the Bulldogs gave up to get Mattinen last year, I am sure that they are going to try to recoup those assets by moving him. The behemoth defender would be a great add for a playoff team. Can play in any situation and his bomb from the point is a real asset. Has that Championship experience from last year too. Problem is, how many teams have the overage room for him? And of those teams, how many will be using that OA spot on a defender? Ottawa has OA room but I think they'll add at forward in the OA department, not on defense. That leaves Niagara as a possibility, and they could use his size on the back-end. However, as you'll see further along in my predictions, I have them going a different route. Guelph is also a possibility, but things get complicated considering they would have to move out an OA or two first. With Merkley gone, the team could look to address their need for a PP QB and Mattinen's 4 goals are tied for the most among OHL defenders. His size and experience would greatly help right now.
Prediction: Mattinen goes to Guelph in exchange for Domenico Commisso, PBO 2 2019, KIT 2 2020, WSR 3 2021

Brett Neumann - Kingston Frontenacs
One of the hottest players going into the holiday break. Neumann has had a sensational year. Kingston is obviously rebuilding and he's going to draw interest. His faceoff prowess and tenacity will be coveted by playoff bound teams. I could see teams like Oshawa, Niagara, Guelph, London, and Saginaw all looking at him pretty hard. But there's no chance I deal him unless I get a bounty for him considering he profiles as one of the top OA's in the OHL next year. And quite frankly, I could see Kingston improving a bit next year, especially if they finish with the 1st or 2nd overall pick. Neumann could then be dealt next year for an equally solid haul (just as Erie is doing with Maksimovich this year).
Prediction: Neumann stays in Kingston

Ryan Cranford - Kingston Frontenacs
Not going to be a huge market for an OA like Cranford, but he would be the perfect low key add for a competitive team with OA room. Could slide on to a 3rd/4th line and play a role on the PK. That's why I could see Ottawa or Niagara being interested in his services. Ottawa has had some trouble with injuries this year and Cranford would be a great veteran to add to their mix for the stretch drive.
Prediction: Cranford goes to Ottawa in exchange for SSM 3 2021, and OTT 4 2019

Matt Hotchkiss - Kingston Frontenacs
Big, power forward OA who can slide onto a 3rd or 4th line heading into the playoffs. Plays well below the hashmarks and is hard to separate from the puck. Lack of OA spots is the problem though, especially with bigger fish on the market. As mentioned above, I think Cranford is the more likely guy to move. But Ottawa or Niagara could look at Hotchkiss too.
Prediction: Hotchkiss stays in Kingston

Tyler Burnie - Kingston Frontenacs
Only one goal this year, but I think that Burnie is a better player than stats have shown. I think he could be a really valuable OA next year. Guys with his size and raw skill profile usually are the ones who explode in their final year in the league. So if I am an OHL GM, I try to buy low on Burnie for my 3rd or 4th line this year, and then use him in a larger role as an OA. Take your pick, as any playoff bound team could come calling. However, I do think Kingston hangs on to him, just as they end up doing with Neumann.
Prediction: Burnie stays in Kingston.

Jakob Brahaney - Kingston Frontenacs
After a breakout season last year, Brahaney hasn't been quite as effective this year as part of the rebuild. He won't be given away, but he would be a solid add for a playoff team looking for a quality 2nd/3rd pairing defender who would play an even larger role next year as an OA. One team that I see as a fit is the Oshawa Generals. I think they'll look to add another 2nd/3rd pairing guy sometime before the deadline and Brahaney could be a nice fit. Moves the puck well. Skates well. Fits in with the other defenders they have.
Prediction: Brahaney goes to Oshawa in exchange for Ian Blacker, KGN 2 2021, WSR 3 2024

Gabriel Vilardi - Kingston Frontenacs
The biggest question mark surrounding this year's deadline. Will he be back in the OHL after the World Junior Championships are over? Quite honestly, I'd be shocked if he wasn't. The Kings can't send Vilardi to the AHL. And given his back issues, do they really want him stepping into the NHL midseason, adjusting to the pace and strength of the league while also rehabilitating? This is a big part of their future and they need to be careful with him. Send him back to the OHL where he can work himself back into form and push for a roster spot next year. Regardless of whether he comes back, you can bet your ass that Kingston will be moving Vilardi's rights. And that deal will have some serious conditions, perhaps even one of those two part deals that we see "completed" the following summer. So who are the suitors? Who wouldn't want one of the best players in the OHL when healthy? I could talk about almost any team here, but I'll only mention that one that I'm predicting he goes to; Saginaw. This is a team that could really use someone with playoff experience. They could really use another center with size. Vilardi is both of those things. And Saginaw has a ton of draft picks and young players at their disposal.
Prediction: Vilardi (plus WSR 3 2020) goes to Saginaw in exchange for Duncan Penman, and conditional draft picks on him reporting (SAG 2 2020, SBY 2 2020, SAG 3 2021, SAG 2 2023, PBO 2 2024 - of which, some of those picks would then be flipped for Nicholas Porco in the offseason)

Lucas Chiodo - Barrie Colts
Has had an absolutely fantastic season thus far, emerging as one of the league's top overage players. He would be an immediate impact player for any team that adds him, considering he can play on your top powerplay unit, on the PK, and in your top 6. The issue is him being an overager. As I've already mentioned, I just don't know how strong the OA buyers market is. You've got Ottawa, Niagara, in addition to Guelph, London, and Saginaw should they choose to upgrade. And if I'm being honest, I'd rather add guys like Saigeon, Brazeau, and Maksimovich first. That's without mentioning some quality defenders. Seems like Barrie would like to move him, but given that the team also wants to stay competitive this year, would they deal him if the return isn't as great? Ottawa could be a good spot for him on the left side. Could maybe see Saginaw swapping O'Grady for Chiodo as part of a bigger deal with Barrie (Keane?).
Prediction: Chiodo stays in Barrie.

Jaden Peca - Barrie Colts
High energy winger who hasn't had as good of a year offensively as last year. But he can play on your PK and be a great 3rd liner for a playoff push. Problem is, I can't see Barrie giving him away considering he'll return as an OA next year and be a potential top 6 forward. Could see a team like Oshawa or Ottawa looking at Peca for depth this year, and then utilizing him as an OA next year when the teams hope to compete for another OHL Championship.
Prediction: Peca stays in Barrie

Jason Willms - Barrie Colts
Like Peca, Willms hasn't been quite as effective offensively as he was last year, but he's a very competent energy player who can be a 3rd line center for a team with Championship aspirations. And like Peca, he could be a very good OA next year. Again, I just can't see Barrie being willing to give him away and the price will be high. As such, I'm not sure I see him moving. But could be a sneaky add for a team like the Soo, who could use him as a 3rd line center, but then move him up in the lineup next year when they have only DeMeo likely returning as an OA.
Prediction: Willms stays in Barrie

Joey Keane - Barrie Colts
Who couldn't use one of the OHL's best defenders in Joey Keane? One of the best at preventing zone entries in the OHL and he could be a big time factor for a team looking to improve their penalty kill and decision making with the puck. First team that comes to mind? Niagara. He would immediately become the team's top defender and gives them the difference maker that they need on the back-end. The issue is their lack of assets. I see London as a potential landing spot too, so that he can play with his brother in his final OHL season. He could be an amazing partner for Bouchard or Boqvist. And if SSM does decide to go all in again, he is the type of defender that Raftis and Co. really target. Of course, there's a chance Barrie doesn't move Keane in hopes of making a playoff run still. But after dealing their captain, why not move your best asset?
Prediction: Keane goes to Niagara in exchange for Drew Hunter, Andrew Bruder, LDN 2 2020, OSH 2 2021, NIA 3 2023, NIA 3 2024

Kai Edmonds - Barrie Colts
Will Barrie continue to carry on with their three way goaltending carousel (between Zhukov, Greaves, and Edmonds)? It's a good question. Edmonds is likely to end up as a starter somewhere, whether it's in Barrie or not remains to be seen. He certainly deserves a shot to play more. But he's also only a 2000 born and has a few years left in the league. Could a team like Owen Sound make a push for Edmonds? They need a starter this year, but what would that do to Guzda's (or MacLean's) confidence as the goalie of the future (only a year younger than Edmonds). More likely, I think, Barrie just continues the carousel knowing that Zhukov moves on next year and Edmonds can have his crack at the starter's role then.
Prediction: Edmonds stays in Barrie

Jacob McGrath - Sudbury Wolves
Lost his starting job to UPL this year, which I'm sure he's not happy about. He has also not played well at all this year. Could it be time for a fresh start? The Wolves just recently signed Mitchell Weeks who has been one of the top goalies in the OJHL this year. Whether that is just to cover for the WJC's, or to push McGrath out the door, remains to be seen. McGrath will be a candidate to start as an OA next year, pending he can turn his game around. So I'd look for a team like Erie, or Kingston to be possible suitors. Or even Peterborough who is likely looking for an established goalie to give Hunter Jones some time off. But he could be more likely moved in the offseason if Sudbury brings in another starter to replace UPL (perhaps another Import, cough Nick Malik, cough).
Prediction: McGrath stays in Sudbury

Justin Brazeau - North Bay Battalion
Again, moving overagers can be difficult. Brazeau has been one of the best players in the entire OHL this year. He has flat out dominated since the puck dropped in September. Teams looking to make a deep playoff run will want to add his size to their forward group, as his game is tailored to the way the game is played in the postseason. The question is, who has the room and will the Battalion even look to move him aggressively? One team that I really like as a fit for Brazeau is Guelph. They could follow in the footsteps of the Generals of 2015 by out-muscling opponents. Can you imagine Brazeau and Ratcliffe on the same line or powerplay? They could easily flip Poirier for a mid-late round pick to a team looking for a veteran presence to close out the season. If Brazeau was a left shot, I think Ottawa could have been have been very interested. And I see Niagara looking to the back-end or center for their OA open spaces. Obviously London could be a good fit if they flip a guy like Timms. Just as they did when they moved McKenzie last year, Butler needs to move Brazeau to keep this team competitive moving forward.
Prediction: Brazeau moves to Guelph in exchange for Tag Bertuzzi (then Guelph moves Poirier to another team for a later pick)

Luke Burghardt - North Bay Battalion
Great to see Burghardt back in action after stepping away from the game last year due to a back condition. Remains to be seen how long it takes him to get back to being an impact player, but it's obvious that his skating stride hasn't lost a step. We're still a little ways out from the deadline, so he has time to prove to potential suitors that he can be an impact OA for them down the stretch. That said, I'm just not sure North Bay moves him considering what he's gone through. The OA market is saturated and it could be best for Burghardt to just provide some stability to the Battalion's younger players as they push to earn one of the final playoff spots in the East.
Prediction: Burghardt stays in North Bay

Owen Tippett - Mississauga Steelheads
What do the Steelheads do with Tippett? His goal scoring ability, size, and skating ability are major assets. He is easily one of the best pure goal scorers in the OHL. But will there be a team out there who is willing to give up what Mississauga will be looking in return? Especially given Tippett's volatility. And if there isn't, would the Steelheads be willing to take a little bit less? So many questions. SSM would be an amazing fit, but I don't see them forking over the assets. London could be interested, but I think other players have their eye. Could Saginaw jump into the ring? I could definitely see them as a possible landing spot. And they have the assets. Again though, I think they go in a different route. Peterborough is a possibility, but I don't see them mortgaging the future too much as next year will be a bigger one for them. That said, they do have a chance to be a top 4 team in the Conference this year and with a few additions, could push if Jones stays hot. Problem is, they don't have a 2002 to move currently and I don't think there's a chance they move Robertson here.
Prediction: Tippett stays in Mississauga.

Ryan McLeod - Mississauga Steelheads
The Steelheads have to look to explore deals on McLeod too, given the team's status in the middle ground of the league. McLeod's size and speed down the middle make him an attractive target to teams who want to improve the pace at which they play. He's performed well in the playoffs too, especially during Mississauga's 2017 run. Oshawa is the team that comes to mind immediately. I think that they try to upgrade on the center position behind Jack Studnicka (shifting McShane to the wing) and they could really use an injection of more speed into their lineup to help with zone entries. This is where McLeod fits in. I could see Guelph and Saginaw being big players here too. McLeod would increase Guelph's pace of play too.
Prediction: McLeod goes to Oshawa in exchange for Nick Wong, OSH 2 2023, OSH 2 2024

Cole Carter - Mississauga Steelheads
Another top quality overager on the market and he may have less of a price tag than some of the other forwards available. It's not Tippett, or McLeod who lead Mississauga in scoring, it's Carter. He's also a guy who can play in any situation and who plays bigger than his 5'9 size. Like many of the OA's on this list, Ottawa and Niagara have to be considered the top targets. But I'm just not sure how large the market will be here.
Prediction: Carter stays in Mississauga

Alan Lyszczarczyk - Mississauga Steelheads
Recently acquired by the Steelheads, it would be odd if they then flipped him elsewhere for likely much less than they acquired him for. Again, the OA market is extremely saturated. Lyszczarczyk is a solid offensive player but isn't as complete a player as other OA's available. And with teams looking to add OA's for their playoff run, I think they probably look elsewhere to guys who can make a larger impact in all areas. Although Lyszczarczyk did have a solid playoffs last year for Owen Sound.
Prediction: Lyszczarczyk stays in Mississauga

Greg Meireles - Kitchener Rangers
Meireles is having an excellent bounce back season after last year's disappointing drop in production. He's going to draw a ton of interest because of his two-way game and the fact that he profiles as an impact overager next year too. I could see a team like Niagara having a ton of interest in Meireles to be their 3rd line center. Could see Oshawa looking at him heavily too, so that they can use him next year for another playoff push. Could a team like Sault Ste. Marie be a possible destination too? He fits the profile of the type of player that they usually inquire about. At the end of the day though, it would take a lot to pry him from Kitchener and I don't see them completely rebuilding. So there's probably more of a chance that he stays.
Prediction: Meireles stays in Kitchener

Rickard Hugg - Kitchener Rangers
Tough to move an Import, even if Hugg has had a terrific season for the Rangers (currently 2nd in scoring for Kitchener). The one team that I truly think adds an Import is Guelph. But would they be willing to move Hugg to such a rival? I could see the Soo being interested too, but I'm not sure that they would be willing to pay a ton. Outside of Yantsis, I think Hugg has the best chance of moving but even then I'm just not convinced that Kitchener truly commits to a rebuild.
Prediction: Hugg stays in Kitchener

Jonathan Yantsis - Kitchener Rangers
One of the most improved players in the OHL this year, Yantsis' 24 goals puts him tied for 6th in OHL goal scoring this year. The big bodied winger has excelled especially on the powerplay as a net presence. His 10 powerplay goals are tied for 2nd in the OHL. On the right side, Sudbury could be a fit. Could see London looking at him too for their powerplay. But I think Peterborough is a terrific landing spot. Not only could adding more size to their forward unit be good for them, but their powerplay needs improvement too (why not add another piece to go with Merkley). Would be a nice low key add for a team I expect to make a few smaller scale additions to give them a fighting chance in the playoffs. This is especially true given that the team moved Gogolev in the Merkley deal.
Prediction: Yantsis goes to Peterborough in exchange for SAR 2 2020, PBO 2 2022, and a conditional PBO 3 2024 (on Yantsis returning as an OA next year)

Joseph Gareffa - Kitchener Rangers
Gareffa would probably be considered the heart and soul of the Rangers. Does everything the organization asks of him, shifting back and forth between defense and forward. Recently it has been stated that he wants to stay on the back-end and wants to have some stability, which is understandable. Given how good he was last year in the playoffs and the fact that he would be an elite OA next year, there is no doubt going to be a ton of interest. I could see Oshawa being a possible destination. I think that they add a '99 who can help them this year and who will return as an OA next year for another championship run. His mobility and offensive ability would fit in really well with the Generals. And with Merkley gone in Guelph, would the Storm dare trade Gareffa to, essentially, a cross town rival? But like a few other 99's in Kitchener, I'm just not sure he ends up moving.
Prediction: Gareffa stays in Kitchener

Kyle Maksimovich - Erie Otters
Like Saigeon, finding a home for Maksimovich is going to be more difficult than some others because of his overage status. Only a few teams have a spot open. That said, Maksimovich is one of the top OA's in the league this year and some teams may even be open to swapping OA's to get the upgrade (like Guelph with Zach Poirier). Niagara is a candidate, but I think they're more likely to use their OA spot on a center or defender. Guelph could swap Maksimovich with Poirier. He'd actually be a great fit there to help get the puck to big guys like Ratcliffe, Schnarr, Hawel, etc. But I truly believe Ottawa is the best fit here for him. His tenacity and playmaking ability would fit perfectly into that lineup on the left side. And they have the picks that Erie is going to want for Maksimovich.
Prediction: Maksimovich goes to Ottawa in exchange for MISS 2 2019, PBO 3 2019, OTT 2 2020, OS 3 2020, KGN 2 2024

Hugo Leufvenius - Sarnia Sting
One of this year's breakout candidates, the big Swedish winger has been sensational for Sarnia. Leufvenius is the top scoring Import in the OHL this year and his playmaking ability and size would look good on a lot of teams. The problem (sorry if I sound like a broken record) is his Import status. Guelph, as I've stated, is definitely an option. He could be a great add to their top 6. The Soo is another option, but I'm just not as sure that he suits the Sault's style of play. Given how well he's played, I think Ruzicka is the more likely import to move.
Prediction: Leufvenius stays in Sarnia

Ryan McGregor - Sarnia Sting
Very versatile forward who can play anywhere in your line up. Brings speed, can play the PK. He crashes the net and has enough puck skill to be a complimentary piece on a scoring line. Also a chance he returns as an OA next year. Could be a great depth pick up for someone like Ottawa, Oshawa, Niagara, Saginaw, etc. But I think the Soo is a great fit. Plays the game the way the Hounds like and would fit in seamlessly with that lineup. I don't expect SSM to make any massive moves, but I do expect them to make a couple more minor ones like this. Wouldn't cost a ton but would really bolster depth as they prepare to try to capture their division.
Prediction: McGregor goes to SSM in exchange for Tye Kartye, SSM 3 2022, SSM 4 2020

Adam Ruzicka - Sarnia Sting
Ruzicka has never really developed into the player that many expected he would, but he's still a top 6 OHL forward who has the potential to elevate his game if brought into a different environment. Not too many teams have room for an Import, or would have the desire to swap Imports so the market will be limited. That said, I look at the Guelph Storm as a team that could have a ton of interest here, swapping out Toropchenko for Ruzicka, whose size would be coveted down low and who could slide into that 2nd or 3rd line center spot.
Prediction: Ruzicka goes to Guelph in exchange for Alexey Toropchenko, and NB 2 2020

Franco Spoviero - Sarnia Sting
For my money, Spoviero is easily one of the most underrated players in the OHL. This kid would go through a wall for his team and is a tremendous forechecker and penalty killer. Perfect little depth add for a playoff team. I look at Niagara and Ottawa as two great landing spots for him. Both could use a little help on the PK and both have overage spots open. Niagara has the greater need down the middle, a position that Spoviero is most effective at IMO. He would fit great with guys like Castleman and Sopa to form a quick and gritty 3rd line.
Prediction: Spoviero goes to Niagara in exchange for NIA 3 2020, MISS 2 2022, NIA 3 2024

Mitch Eliot - Sarnia Sting
Easily one of the most underrated players in the OHL right now. Came to the league with little hype last year and played a rather conservative role on a strong Sarnia team. But with more responsibility this year, he's flourished. He currently sits just outside the top 5 in defenseman scoring and is a big time minute eater. His OA tag is going to be an issue though. Again, the market is so saturated with talented players and as I said with Nic Mattinen, I think teams with space (Ottawa, Niagara, etc) may opt to go with a forward and not a defender. That said, Eliot could be a nice low key acquisition for Guelph to help them on the back-end. Would cause them to do some shuffling in the OA department, but he would look good there.
Prediction: Eliot stays in Sarnia
Alexandre Hogue - Sarnia Sting
Not too often you see a younger player appear on a list like this given I'm only really profiling the sellers (aka rebuilding teams). But the former 2nd round pick hasn't blossomed in Sarnia and there have been rumblings of his frustration with his place in the team's system. He seems like a trade candidate at some point in the near future, be it this deadline or this offseason. He still has lots of potential to develop into an elite offensive defender in the OHL and I am sure there are a few teams who have already inquired about his services. The Sting and Battalion hooked up on a deal last year and could see them doing so again as Hogue would fit in well as a powerplay QB for the future in North Bay. Erie could be another potential landing spot. Owen Sound is too. But this is probably a deal that happens in the offseason.
Prediction: Hogue stays in Sarnia

Luke Kutkevicius - Windsor Spitfires
Insert saturated OA market quip. Kutkevicius is a solid player. Versatile forward who plays down the middle naturally, can kill penalties and would look good on the 3rd line of a playoff competitor. But there are just so many options out there and not many potential landing spots. That said, Niagara is one team I really think could be interested if they look to pick up someone at a lesser cost (given their lack of assets). I see them upgrading their 3rd line center spot and he would be a good candidate.
Prediction: Kutkevicius stays in Windsor.

Sean Allen - Windsor Spitfires
Insert saturated OA market quip, again. Allen is a solid stay at home defender who brings physicality and would look great on the 3rd pairing of a playoff bound team. But if a team is going to go get an OA defender, it probably ends up being a guy like Mattinen, Durzi, or Eliot. No offense meant to Allen either. But he probably finishes his OHL career in Windsor.
Prediction: Allen stays in Windsor

Luke Boka - Windsor Spitfires
Even though I think Windsor will listen to offers on Boka given the position they're in, it's always a tough sell for a team to move its captain. And Windsor isn't going full rebuild. This is a team that expects to compete for the West next year, when they'll need Boka as an OA. But a team like Niagara or Oshawa could come calling and make an offer that's too good to pass up. Seems unlikely though.
Prediction: Boka stays in Windsor.

Cole Purboo - Windsor Spitfires
I don't anticipate the Windsor Spitfires to make a ton of moves following the Dipietro deal. But I do think that they'll look to move Purboo because his value would never be higher. Big body who can play on a 2nd or 3rd line. Play in all situations. Those types are valuable to playoff teams. I look at a team like Sudbury jumping into play here. They could use some help on the right side and Purboo would be a nice low key add for them. Like Peterborough, I see them making a couple moves to get themselves past round one.
Prediction: Purboo goes to Sudbury in exchange for OSH 3 2021, OS 3 2022, SBY 3 2024

Kevin Hancock - Owen Sound Attack
So.....many....OA's on the market. Obviously Hancock is one of the best though. Has been an extremely consistent player the last three seasons (averaging over a point per game). He just seems to keep getting better. And he's a proven playoff performer too. The usual suspects will be mentioned here. Ottawa, who could use him on the left wing. Niagara, who could slide him into the 2nd line center role (bumping Jones). Or even London, as part of a blockbuster trade with Nick Suzuki. But Owen Sound is going to want a big return on Hancock given the fact that they still have a chance to earn home ice in the first round. I'm still not convinced or certain that they rebuild. They could move a few pieces and then keep a few to make sure that the team still makes the playoffs.
Prediction: Hancock stays in Owen Sound

Maksim Sushko - Owen Sound Attack
Another one of those versatile forward types who could be a great, low key add for a playoff contender. Sushko is an excellent penalty killer and has the skill to line up on the 2nd line, especially if flanked by a talented playmaking center. Pushes the pace well too. Not too many teams with Import room, but one is the SSM Greyhounds and I think he would be a great fit there. Could be a perfect linemate for Frost or Hayton and wouldn't cost as much for the Hounds as some other candidates.
Prediction: Sushko goes to SSM in exchange for SSM 3 2020, SSM 3 2024

Nick Suzuki - Owen Sound Attack
It's going to take quite the package for the Attack to move Suzuki. There is no question that it would have to include a recent first round 2002 born player coming back the other way, in addition to picks. Suzuki is obviously one of the best in the OHL, but who has the assets to get the deal done? Saginaw? But would they move Perfetti and would he waive his no trade? London and Evangelista? Ottawa has gone on record to say that they aren't interested in dealing current players because they intend to contend for several years. But here's the thing, Suzuki is a difference maker in a Championship run. They've already gone out and brought in Dipietro. They're all in this year too. And Cameron Tolnai is a big trade chip for them considering some of their other 2002's have been better and they have the depth to make the move. Adding Suzuki would give them one hell of a top 6. Circling back to London, they could have a ton of interest because it would bring Suzuki home. Tough to peg how this goes down.
Prediction: Suzuki goes to Ottawa in exchange for Cameron Tolnai, PBO 2 2019, OTT 2 2024, SSM 3 2021, OTT 3 2023

Sean Durzi - Owen Sound Attack
Kind of a tough year for Durzi so far. Returned late from NHL/AHL camp. Has had trouble with injuries. Has only gotten into 11 games (as I write this). But he's one of the best defenders in the OHL when he's playing. The issue is his OA tag. And as I mentioned with Mattinen, Eliot, and other OA defenders, I think I see teams with OA room going the forward route. That said, Durzi is an upgrade for any team because of his abilities. Would London swap Matt Timms for Durzi? What about Guelph bringing in Durzi now that Merkley is gone? Again though, I'm just not convinced Owen Sound goes full rebuild.
Prediction: Durzi stays in Owen Sound

Markus Phillips - Owen Sound Attack
An interesting case here. Phillips is a quality two-way defender who can use his mobility to his advantage at both ends. He also had 33 games of playoff experience. But I think it's fair to say that his offensive game hasn't quite developed as well as many expected. His production has regressed over his OHL career, settling more into more of a defensive first role. But he'd be a solid #3-4 for a team that hopes to contend for an OHL title, with a chance of returning as an OA next year (if LA does not sign him) and being an impact player. If he is dealt, I would expect any deal to carry future considerations. I would also expect that if he's dealt, it could be in a combo deal with a guy like Hancock or Suzuki. I could see a team like Oshawa having a lot of interest here. His mobility fits their blueline MO and he could be a potential impact player next year in their quest for a Memorial Cup. Could see Niagara having interest in him too. Ditto for London. He would be a nice upgrade to their second pairing. But they have limited cards left. Guelph is an option too, but they probably look for someone with more offensive ability. I actually think Phillips could have a greater chance of being dealt than Durzi. As much as I want to suggest a deal to London (for say Golden, Duhart, and picks), I think he stays.
Prediction: Phillips stays in Owen Sound

Trenton Bourque - Owen Sound Attack
Could be a solid pick-up for a team looking to add a physical stay at home defender to its third pairing. Has a lot of playoff experience too. And as an OA, his price tag wouldn't be incredibly high. But as an OA, his list of suitors is limited. And there are so many other big fish out there. Just depends on whether teams go bargain hunting. Niagara looks at him if they can't line up a deal for a higher impact OA.
Prediction: Bourque stays in Owen Sound

Fedor Gordeev - Flint Firebirds
Gordeev has quietly had a decent season in Flint despite how much the team has struggled. He could be a real underrated pick-up for a competitive team down the stretch (think the Riley Stillman pick up for Hamilton last year). He can eat minutes, bring physicality and play on your secondary powerplay and PK unit. And of course, his size is going to be coveted for that long playoff run. Niagara likely goes after another defender to replace Liam Ham (who asked to be moved closer to home) and they could still use more size on the back-end. Oshawa, I think, goes after another defender. They already have a huge blueline, so why not make it bigger? Sudbury, Guelph, and Peterborough make sense too. In fact the Wolves could be a great fit because they could use his mobility and size in their top 3, taking the pressure off of some younger defenders like Liam Ross.
Prediction: Gordeev goes to Sudbury in exchange for Kirill Nizhnikov, BAR 2 2019, ER 3 2020, MISS 3 2021

Ty Dellandrea - Flint Firebirds
Will he, or won't he? What the Firebirds do with Dellandrea seems to be one of the bigger questions surrounding this year's trade deadline. The Firebirds are floundering in the basement, but injuries have played a pretty large part in that. This roster has talent. Just look at how many goals they've been scoring lately. If they keep this roster intact, I think they have a chance to be a pretty decent team next year. Last year, the Knights made the right choice in dealing Robert Thomas, anticipating that he would be in the NHL for his 19 year old season. I don't think Dellandrea ends up making Dallas next year, but do the Firebirds move him now, just in case? I think any team in the league would be interested in adding him. And the cost would be insanely high. Another issue is can the Firebirds get a premium young player to waive their no trade clause to come to Flint in return? They'll entertain offers (from teams like Oshawa, Niagara, Ottawa, London, etc), but I just don't see Dellandrea moving. I think they stay the course.
Prediction: Dellandrea stays in Flint

Emanuel Vella - Flint Firebirds
Has done his best to hang in there this year in Flint, despite the defense in front of him suffering massive injuries. There won't be much interest in him, except I do believe that Peterborough could look to add a veteran to spell Hunter Jones a bit as we get closer to the playoffs. But they'd have to move someone like Osmanski first. Oshawa could have been an option before acquiring Hughes. Or Flint just keeps Vella to help mentor Cavallin. I would imagine that they give Vella the option.
Prediction: Vella stays in Flint.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Sunday Top 10 - Under the Radar Draft Eligibles for 2019

We're over a third of the way into the current OHL season. While this is unquestionably a down year from the OHL, we've still seen some strong performances from draft eligible players thus far, and we're likely to see many more as we approach the second half. The Preliminary Media/Scout Poll was recently released and that should give everyone a good idea of the top players that the OHL has to offer for 2019. But what about those who are flying under the radar thus far? The amount of depth that the OHL has to offer for this year remains to be seen, even if the top end talent appears to be weaker. This list aims to highlight a few of the guys who are bound to see their stock rise should they continue their high level of play and could end up being Top 100 picks come June.

Here are 10 guys (plus some HM's) that you should be keeping your eye on through the 2nd half (in alphabetical order):

Mitchell Brewer - Oshawa Generals
Mobile defender with good size (6'1, 200lbs) who projects well as a pro defender. Brewer is a top three defender for the Generals, switching between Nico Gross and Matt Brassard as his partner. He is also one of the main reasons why Oshawa has a top 3 penalty killing unit in the OHL. Brewer is the type of defender who can do it all (plays physical, blocks shots, makes smart plays with the puck). And I think he's been really gaining confidence in his offensive abilities too, looking to use his skating ability to jump up in the play more and has been more aggressive in looking for his own scoring chances. With Oshawa poised to be a top 3 team in the Eastern Conference, he's going to get a ton of looks down the stretch.

Petr Cajka - Erie Otters
Cajka entered the year as a potential top 50 prospect on some lists and had a decent amount of hype attached to his arrival in Erie. But he struggled out of the gate, which isn't uncommon for rookie Imports. But Cajka has been considerably better of late with four multi goal games in his last ten. While he doesn't possess elite size at 5'11, he's actually terrific at protecting the puck, using his strong skating ability and balance to keep plays alive in the offensive end. Works the wall very well and plays a relatively fearless game. Consistency is going to be an issue with Erie's struggles (especially of late), but this is a guy teams should be looking at in the later rounds come June, if not earlier depending on how he responds after Erie makes some inevitable trades in January.

Daniel D'Amico - Windsor Spitfires
Snake bitten to start the season and given his lack of size at 5'9, the lack of production was bound to correlate with a drop in draft rankings. But he's really found his stride; 10 goals in his last 12 games. D'Amico has a real nose for the net and has one of the best releases of any OHL player eligible this year. Seems like whatever line he's placed on, is consistently Windsor's best on any given night. Originally thought he could be a long shot to be drafted, but scouts won't be able to ignore his production if it keeps up. Just needs to continue to prove that he can play at a higher tempo given his lack of size.

Jacob LeGuerrier - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Was happy to see LeGuerrier get his first OHL goal the other night after going 100+ without one. That said, my stance so far this year has been that LeGuerrier is a better offensive player than the numbers might suggest. With his size, reach, and skating ability, he is good for about one impressive rush deep into the offensive zone per game. It's just not something that he looks to do very often. Will that confidence get there one day? Will he explode next year when Sambrook and Hollowell move on? In the mean time, he at least profiles as a modern day stay at home defender. 6'3, mobile, can make plays with the puck, and is a willing combatant in the defensive end.

Kari Piiroinen - Windsor Spitfires
All eyes on Piiroinen now that he has fully taken over the crease in Windsor after the Dipietro trade. He's been pretty good this year as a rookie, but he'll now be given a chance to get into a groove with consistent starts. Without a doubt, the most impressive part of Piiroinen's game is his athleticism. He's very quick post to post and I think scouts will like how aggressive he is in challenging shooters given his lack of elite size. That glove hand is great too. Where he has struggled (from my viewpoint) is in refining his movements. Pucks have a tendency to squeak through him when he's moving and he can have trouble holding his post. That could stem from a lack of strength though. But he's going to have the spotlight down the stretch and it will be interesting to see how he responds.

Mason Primeau - North Bay Battalion
Sometimes a change of scenery is all you need. Since being dealt to North Bay, Primeau is averaging a point per game and has given North Bay a quality 2nd line behind the Brazeau/Struthers unit. At 6'5 and with NHL bloodlines, there is absolutely no doubting that the big power forward is going to draw a ton of interest from NHL scouts if he keeps producing for the Battalion. He can be an absolute force below the hashmarks and while he's not Serron Noel, I think that there is a lot of potential for his skating to improve as he matures. Stan Butler (who has recently returned to GM duties and perhaps will return to coaching duties soon) has proven to be great working with guys like Primeau over his career.

Jamieson Rees - Sarnia Sting
It is going to take some time for Rees to get back into a groove after missing two months with a kidney laceration. Came into the year as a possible top 60 pick (especially after a strong Hlinka performance), but now has some ground to make up. Saw him play recently and thought he looked great, using his speed to play in all three zones. Was forcing turnovers and made a couple terrific passes to set up prime scoring chances. Jacob Perreault and he are the future in Sarnia and as the trade deadline approaches, they may have to elevate their play even further if the Sting continue their rebuild and move more veterans.

Cole Schwindt - Mississauga Steelheads
Offensive production has really declined (has not scored in 12 games), and the Steelheads are mired in a slump (even with beating Oshawa recently). But Schwindt's versatility is going to be attractive to NHL scouts. In a way, Schwindt is similar to Hamilton's Mackenzie Entwistle. 6'3 forward who plays any forward position and who can be relied upon in any situation. Even though the Steelheads PK hasn't been terrific this year, I've really liked Schwindt in that situation where he can use his length and skating ability to disrupt passing lanes and track down loose pucks. The offensive potential at the next level may not be extremely high, but given his size and coachability, he will draw a lot of interest.

Kyen Sopa - Niagara IceDogs
Sopa, a late 2000 born Import like Cajka (on this list earlier), has found himself in a nearly opposite situation. As part of a Championship contender in Niagara, Sopa has seen his ice time cut in recent weeks with the addition of Jason Robertson and the emergence of Philip Tomasino. Playing on the 3rd and 4th line is not a kiss of death for your draft value, but it does mean that he will have to find a way to stand out consistently with the time he does get. I continue to admire the energy that Sopa brings to the ice. Undersized, but he attacks the net and seems to revel in that pest role. Has very quick hands in tight. But playing with less talented players, he will need to create more of his own scoring chances and show more of a dynamic ability with the puck in transition.

Keean Washkurak - Mississauga Steelheads
Another Steelhead who is struggling big time lately; one point in his last 10 games. Unlike Schwindt, Washkurak doesn't possess elite size at 5'10, so a lack of production will have a big time negative influence on his draft stock. It's no co-incidence that the Steelheads are mired in a slump as their secondary scoring has disappeared. The Steelheads need Washkurak to pick it back up. But I do really like him as a prospect. Washkurak is one of the best skaters among OHL draft eligibles this year. He plays at such a quick pace, and is at his best when he's a big factor without the puck (backcheck/forecheck). I think he's got great potential to be a consistent impact player in this league and a top three round pick come June. Let's see how he responds to a drought.

Honorable Mentions:

Nathan Allensen - Barrie Colts
If the move of Justin Murray is just the beginning, and Joey Keane is next out the door, then Allensen could see his ice time increase substantially in the second half. Thought he was great as a rookie last year, but with a sheltered role this year, he hasn't been able to show a ton of progression. More ice time may be his chance to show his offensive skill set, which is needed given his average size.

Brayden Guy - Sarnia Sting
Hard nosed Guy (pun intended) who has proven to be a terrific complimentary offensive piece in Sarnia. Don't have a great grasp of what his offensive ceiling is at this point, but he keeps producing and could take on an even larger role once Sarnia moves more veteran forwards out.

Mason Millman - Saginaw Spirit
Has pushed himself into Saginaw's top three, even earning some time with Bode Wilde recently. Also quarterbacks the powerplay for the Spirit. Good size (6'1). Good mobility. Just a solid all around defender who should have a lot of eyes on him as Saginaw battles for a top 3 spot in the Conference down the stretch. With the addition of Justin Murray, one has to wonder if that affects his ice time.

Lucas Peric - Ottawa 67's
An anchor of the 67's 3rd pairing, which wouldn't be as impressive if the 67's weren't the top rated team in the OHL and he wasn't +15. His mobility is extremely impressive on the back-end and like Mitchell Brewer, he's going to have a ton of eyes on him down the stretch.

Liam Ross - Sudbury Wolves
One of my favourites in the age group dating back to MM. Solid two-way defender who leads Sudbury in defensive scoring and has been critical to their turnaround this year as a top defender for them. A lack of dynamic skating ability will hurt him in draft rankings, but look at the improvements that Tyler Tucker has made this year in Barrie.

Eric Uba - Flint Firebirds
While Ethan Keppen will be the draft eligible forward who will receive the most attention in Flint this year (and rightfully so), Uba has been impressive as of late. Yes, he's a late 2000 born player, but he's also an OHL rookie thrust into a tough situation. His speed and pace are noticeable every time I see Flint play. This kid will be a big scorer in this league by the time his OHL career is finished. 14 points in his last 14 games.

Bonus - Five Re-Entry Candidates to Watch (in alphabetical order):

Cole Coskey - Saginaw Spirit
Recently named to the U.S. training camp roster for this year's WJC's. Coskey is a competitive winger who is a very versatile player. Does it all. Is at his best working the wall, tiring out opposing defenders. Very difficult to separate from the puck and has good vision along the half wall. Can be a bit turnover prone though, so he just needs to keep things simple. With his size and continued improvement in production each year, it's only a matter of time before the NHL comes calling.

Nando Eggenberger - Oshawa Generals
Big Swiss Import who has come as advertised this year. He was one of the highest ranked players to go undrafted in 2018, and given his strong performance in the OHL this year, it seems unlikely that, that will happen again. Eggenberger's skating has been much better than I had anticipated after reading reports prior to him coming over. I've also been impressed by his commitment level at both ends. Has been one of the more efficient players in the OHL at 5 on 5 this year.

Hugo Leufvenius - Sarnia Sting
Another big bodied Import, Leufvenius has been a difference maker in his 2nd year in the OHL. Has already surpassed his goal total from last year (19) in less than half the games. Currently leads Sarnia in scoring and is riding a 16 game point streak. He won't be winning any skating competitions, but he's an extremely intelligent player who is also hard to separate from the puck. That gives him time to operate in the offensive zone.

Matthew Struthers - North Bay Battalion
Has cooled off after a terrific start (2 goals in his last 12 games), but has still been a much improved player over a year ago. Using his size more to his advantage down low and when paired with Justin Brazeau, the two have been terrorizing opposing defenses. His size and playmaking ability down the middle are going to be very attractive to NHL scouts this year, pending he can get his production back on track.

Jacob Tortora - Barrie Colts
The former first round priority selection finally came to the OHL recently and has paid immediate dividends. 7 goals in 7 games, proving that he is an impact player in this league. At 5'8, he's going to have to continue to put up big numbers like that to interest NHL scouts, but he appears more than capable. I don't believe that this is just a hot start. Tortora has proven to have a real nose for the net and he excels as the pace picks up. What a terrific pick up for the Colts.

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order):

Rickard Hugg
Austen Keating
Billy Moskal
Brett Neumann
Merrick Rippon
Cole Tymkin
Jonathan Yantsis

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Preliminary Media/Scout Top 10 for the 2019 NHL Draft

It's time for the first media/scout poll for the 2019 NHL Draft.

Much has been made of the talent available (or lack there of) from the OHL this year. Many scouts are calling it the worst group from the league that they have seen. One scout when asked to contribute said, "I'm not sure there are 10 guys from the OHL that I would draft." And while he was obviously joking, the point remains that this is not a strong crop. That is perfectly visible in this poll too. Only Ryan Suzuki, Arthur Kaliyev, and Thomas Harley received votes from every contributor. That's pretty remarkable. Scouts are still so divided on who the top 5 from the league are, let alone the top 10. As of right now, only Suzuki and Kaliyev look like sure bets to be first round picks. And even then, Suzuki is not a sure bet to be a lottery selection and Kaliyev still has his detractors (for instance, HockeyProspect just left him outside their top 31 for November). It will be interesting to see how this all plays out before June.

For those unfamiliar with how this works, I poll many of the OHL's brightest minds; those who cover the league incredibly well and know the OHL inside, and out. These contributors supply me with their top 10 available players from the OHL, in addition to some comments. I then put it all together and provide you with a cumulative list. Call it "the consensus."

As always, this list involves contributions from a rather colourful cast of characters. Contributing their rankings and thoughts to this preliminary list for 2018 were:

Corey Pronman - NHL Prospects Writer for TheAthletic (@coreypronman)
Dominic Tiano - Writer for The OHL Writers (@dominictiano)
Dylan Galloway - OHL Scout for Future Considerations (@dylangalloway_)
Mike Morreale - Staff writer for (@mikemorrealeNHL)
Ryan Kennedy - Associate Senior Writer for 
The Hockey News(@THNRyanKennedy)
Scott Wheeler - NHL Prospects Writer for TheAthletic (@scottcwheeler)
Mark Scheig - OHL writer for 
The Hockey Writers (@THWMark)
Mark Seidel - Scouting Director for NACS Hockey (@MarkSeidel
Cam Robinson - Managing Editor for Dobber Prospects (@Hockey_Robinson)
Peter Kneulman - Provides OHL coverage at OHL Writer (@PeterKneulman)
Steve Kournianos - Founder of The Draft Analyst(@TheDraftAnalyst)  
Steve Clark - Play by play voice of the Niagara IceDogs (@ClarkPlaybyPlay)  
Dan Stewart - Director of the Newly Formed Drafts Prospects Hockey (@DStewartDP
Levi Hill - Independent Hockey Scout (@HillHockeyScout
Jason Maslakow - Head Scout of the Aurora Tigers and Scout for NACS Hockey (@LeafsMaz20)
Shaiyena Cote - OHL Scout for McKeens Hockey *(just comments, not rankings)*

One Anonymous Scout 

and of course...myself (@BrockOtten)

Here's the List:

1. Ryan Suzuki - Forward - Barrie Colts
Total Votes: 17
Highest Ranking: 1st (14x)
Lowest Ranking: 2nd (3x)
"A player with a high end skill level and deft passing abilities. Uses a one touch pass for give-and-go type plays to create quick puck movement.  Great vision. An underrated scorer who finds open pockets in the offensive zone. Not a speedster but uses his edges well. Can play the point or half-wall on the PP and can kill penalties. Should be the first OHL player off the board." - Levi Hill

"A tremendous playmaker, and the former first overall pick in the OHL Draft, Suzuki can saucer cross-ice backhanders better than most on their forehand. After a strong first year with Barrie in 2017-18, he’s making a significant impact this year as the main weapon on the Colts. He owns more speed than brother, Nick, but trails him in the goal-scoring department. Suzuki has electric stuff and can bring you out of your seat. However, he's still prone to the odd poor decision and could stand to improve his defensive positioning to help round out his game. He's right on the cusp of being a top-10 talent in this crop." - Cam Robinson

"Incredibly smart player who really drives the offence through creative passing plays. He's always thinking ahead of the play, working his positioning to create space for himself and teammates and utilizes that elite hockey IQ to make it all look effortless. Suzuki isn't going to wow anyone with his flashiness, but that doesn't mean he can't be dynamic when the time calls for it." - Dylan Galloway

"His smarts and playmaking ability make him the most dangerous prospect in the OHL pool this season and there is still a ton of upside left to unlock, though it's good to see him shooting and scoring more." - Ryan Kennedy

"Love this kid.  An intelligent playmaking center who plays with his head up. Has quick hands, quick feet, sublime vision, creativity and a soft touch. Better skater than his older brother Ryan and makes strong decisions with and without the puck. Great production this season, I like him inside my top ten for the 2019 NHL Draft." - Dan Stewart

"Suzuki has been the straw that stirs the drink for Barrie, which is something I always look for in a top draft prospect. He’s quick, has exceptional vision and is a shark in the neutral zone. I wish he shot the puck more because he owns a wrister with pinpoint accuracy and rarely flubs his one-time attempts." - Steve Kournianos 

"Top of the OHL class for good reason. His plus vision & creativity combined with his elusiveness & mobility make him a nightmare for defenders. Hockey IQ is on full display on a nightly basis with his sound positioning, defensive awareness and ability to create open ice. Quick soft hands and elite passing skills have me envisioning a high end playmaker at the next level." - Jason Maslakow

2. Arthur Kaliyev - Forward - Hamilton Bulldogs
Total Votes: 17
Highest Ranking: 1st (3x)
Lowest Ranking: 4th (1x)
"His play away from the puck does still leave some to be desired IMO. It has improved, but I can see where the notions of laziness come from. He sure seems to move a lot quicker with the puck than he does when he needs to put pressure on an attacker or attempt to track down a loose puck. He's got that good size and he's a big kid, I think we'd all like to see him engage a little more physically without the puck, in terms of holding his position near the crease, or winning battles to create turnovers in all three zones. Will this ever be a strong suit to his game? Not sure. But not every player is going to be Patrice Bergeron or Blake Wheeler. Kaliyev has great value because of his physical gifts, his hockey sense/vision, and his goal scoring ability. And I think more credit needs to be given for him improving his playmaking ability this year." - Brock Otten

"Kaliyev is one of the better pure shooters in the class (and certainly atop his OHL peers in that regard), though I do worry he’s going to need the right kind of playmaking centre to thrive as an offensive weapon in the NHL. He’s not going to drive a line, even if he can finish." - Anonymous

"I really hummed and hawed about having him this high on my list after coming away from each viewing disappointed. Sure he is scoring some nice goals and making some impressive offensive plays, almost nightly, but he also just coasts for the majority of his ice time. At his best he is a power winger who utilizes his size with a heavy yet quick shot and creative hands. The rest of the time he is disinterested forward who just looks heavy." - Dan Stewart

"Already has an NHL caliber shot and release and is a prolific scorer.  As he was very inconsistent during the playoff run of the Bulldogs last year, I'll be keeping an eye on whether he can rise to an elite level in the post season, even if it is not a deep run for Hamilton.   Defensive game needs some work, but that is a very correctable feature of his game." - Stephen Clark

"One of the draft’s better shooters has proven to do a bit more than just fire puck on net, but Kaliyev’s ups and downs without the puck is the only thing that concerns me. He’s too big and strong to not be physical, but then again, it’s not 2008. You can tell goalies are nervous when he’s teeing one up from the circle." - Steve Kournianos

3. Thomas Harley - Defense - Mississauga Steelheads
Total Votes: 17
Highest Ranking: 2nd (1x)
Lowest Ranking: 8th (1x)
"A solid two-way, left-handed defenseman with good vision, poise and skating. He also has good hockey sense; knows where to go with the puck. He just needs to improve his shot to become an even greater threat from the blue line." - Mike Morreale

"I want to say he caught everyone by surprise, but that is probably not the case. Despite a good rookie season, I wasn’t expecting this from Harley this early. To get an invite to participate for Team OHL in the Canada/Russia series speaks volumes. I like his size at 6’3. Skates extremely well with that frame and covers a lot territory with it and his reach. His defensive awareness has always impressed me. I guess I am more surprised at how much confidence and ability he has shown offensively, especially with the man advantage. Consistency will be key for him going forward, but for now absolutely deserving of this spot." - Dominic Tiano

"Harley has risen up my board more than any other player in this OHL class. He doesn’t have the big point shot typical of a top defencemen (especially one who is 6-foot-3) in the draft these days but he’s a confident, calculated defender who can slow the pace down to create careful zone entries or speed it up to find his forwards in transition with an outlet pass." - Anonymous 

"A big surprise for me this season, Harley has the total package on the back end. With his size, skating and ability to contribute in all situations, he has the opportunity to be a great pro." - Ryan Kennedy

"Offensively, Harley is one of the cleanest defenders in the entire draft. His skating is fluid; his passes are crisp and on the tape, and his poise and decision making make older, more-heralded prospects on his team defer puck distributing responsibilities to him more than you’d think. Still, he’s not physical and plays too nonchalant in his own end. I’d like to see him stand up at the line, own the ice and make life miserable for opponents." - Steve Kournianos

4. Billy Constantinou - Defense - Kingston Frontenacs
Total Votes: 16
Highest Ranking: 3rd (1x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (1x)
"Average sized defender with great mobility. Uses spin moves and good edge work to elude defenders and create space to execute outlet passes.  Excellent at exiting the defensive zone while carrying the puck. Straight line skating is good but could improve. Plays with confidence from the back end. Risky plays at times, but that's his game. Rising up the rankings." - Levi Hill

"Constantinou emerged as the backbone of the IceDogs this season (which says a lot about a kid who doesn’t turn 18 until the end of March) before he was dealt in a blockbuster move to Kingston for Jason Robertson. He’s comfortable in his game (not always the case for talented defencemen who can fall prey to forcing offence during their draft year) and effective in its execution." - Anonymous

"I was glad to see he was traded because he clearly was not being used enough in Niagara. No way a kid with his skating and ability to confidently jump start an attack should be on a bottom pairing and not see power-play time. Sure, he coughs the puck up more than you’d like, but he and Suzuki are the only OHL draft eligibles I’d pay to see play." - Steve Kournianos

"As he's a D man, he's going to be more valuable.  As a puck rushing, scoring D man his value increases.   He has a good shot, but needs a lot of work defensively as he tends to go on these flights of fancy but cannot track back in time.  I think , like Ryan Merkley,  an NHL team will knock those edge off." - Stephen Clark

A highly skilled defenceman who is capable of playing in many different situations. Having watched him play at least five games this season he is a player that just keeps getting better and better. His confidence is high and that combined with a great set of hands, playmaking ability and his smooth stride make him a complete package on the blueline. William has excellent speed and decent size coupled with a good ability to read the play which allows him to skate the puck and advance his scoring opportunities. I look forward to seeing him fine tune his skills as he prepares for the challenges that await at the higher levels.” - Shaiyena Cote
5. Connor McMichael - Forward - London Knights
Total Votes: 13
Highest Ranking: 2nd (1x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (4x)
"Super-smart player that you can use on the powerplay and trust on the penalty kill. Extremely good skater and not afraid to use it with or without the puck. Needs some much added strength but that won’t stop him from battling along the walls. It’s early, but no hesitation from me, right now, to say he’s the best two-way player from this class." - Dominic Tiano

"I love his offensive game and his sense around the net. It will be interesting to see how he fares numbers-wise now that the Knights have Alex Formenton back and Paul Cotter coming in from Western Michigan." - Ryan Kennedy

"Plays a solid all around game utilizing his speed to get up and down the ice on both the forecheck and back check. He's also able to play the role of playmaker and scorer, possessing good vision to find passing lanes as well as being able to rip a rocket of a shot." - Dylan Galloway

"A smart, two-way center who looked solid for the Knights last season after a mid-season trade from Hamilton but this year the fleet footed forward has developed into one of the team’s leaders both on and off the ice. The hard working goal scorer’s ability to create offensive chances is equaled only to his desire to break up opponents chances. Could rise even further on draft lists by seasons end." - Dan Stewart

"Like Kaliyev, McMichael is a shot-first offensive threat who will need complementary linemates to be as effective as he possibly can be in the program game. There’s no denying his knack for finishing off plays though and McMichael has taken on a leading role on a Knights team that is built around its defencemen, and not its forwards. He plays a clean, efficient game too." - Anonymous

6. Nick Robertson - Forward - Peterborough Petes
Total Votes: 14
Highest Ranking: 2nd (1x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (3x)
"He's got a ton of skill. He can create, and you saw against Canada at the Hlinka he's got a truly elite shot. I wish he was quicker for a guy his size but he's got tons of potential. Also very young relative to his peers." - Anonymous

"A quick-footed, goal scorer who gets to open ice before firing a dangerous one-timer or wrist shot. His offensive abilities stood out much more this summer at the Hlinka and again at the All-American Prospects Game than they have with the Petes this season. Dealing with a lingering injury to his wrist has slowed him down but at his size scouts need to see him produce offense consistently to keep him in the talk for a top round selection." - Dan Stewart

"He had a phenomenal Hlinka/Gretzky that made him a potential 1st round pick but injuries have hampered him. He moves much better than his brother and he has that same nose for the net but he has to remain healthy & show that his smallish frame can hold up to the rigors of the pro game & he can become an offensive threat every night." - Mark Seidel

"I probably shouldn’t have him on my list just yet because injuries have slowed him down. I’m not worried about his diminutive size. Has excellent feet, and a superb shot and release. Uncanny knack to get open and go unnoticed in the offensive zone and popping into areas to create lanes for his teammates." - Dominic Tiano 
7. Matvey Guskov - Forward - London Knights
Total Votes: 11
Highest Ranking: 3rd (2x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (6x)
"There's a lot to like about the 6-foot-1, 177-pound left-handed center. His strongest asset is his hockey sense, but he skates really well, has good scoring touch, plays an honest 200-foot game and, occasionally, likes to get physical." - Mike Morreale

"Guskov is one of the most complete players in this OHL class. He skates well, plays both ends of the ice equally effective and is one of the hardest working players you'll see." - Mark Scheig

"Guskov is still adjusting to life in the OHL but there’s no questioning that there’s offensive upside below the surface and he already plays a strong two-way, North American-style game that’s built upon a solid foundation." - Anonymous 

"Good skater, intelligent player, uses the combination to find open areas and making himself an option. Does not shy away from the hard areas. Good playmaker with solid vision. Shot is okay but most of his goals will come from in close." - Dominic Tiano

8. Vladislav Kolyachonok - Defense - Flint Firebirds
Total Votes: 9
Highest Ranking: 2nd (1x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (8x)
"The unknown coming import Kolyachonok made London take a long look during training camp before eventually being traded to Flint where he sat idle until visa issues got resolved. Now that he's back playing look for this slick skating competitive defenceman to make a massive push up the draft lists. He skates very well and plays a new-age style. Don't be surprised to see Kolyachonok work his way into Top 15 conversation.  He's confident, skilled and fleet of foot. His best asset may be that he plays with swagger and wants to be a difference maker. He is just getting his feet wet." - Anonymous

"The 6-foot-1, 180 pound left-handed defenseman from Belarus has really impressed as an OHL rookie. He's a solid skater, stabilizes play in his own end and has a relentless motor. He'll get physical when needed and is considered a two-way D-man. He just needs to improve his offensive-zone play, shot accuracy and strength." - Mike Morreale

"He is put in some very tough situations with Flint but he has been good by using his reach, fast feet & ability to move the puck. It will be a baptism by fire this year but he keeps getting better and he has a very high ceiling." - Mark Seidel

"Slowly gaining an appreciation for him after taking a while to get to see him play. Tough given how unpredictable (or do I say volatile) Flint has been. But I am starting to see what people love about him. Great mobility on the back-end. Good compete level. Makes good decisions with the puck. Like many of my contemporaries, I want to see more of him before I move him up my list. There are guys that I am just more familiar with right now." - Brock Otten

9. Blake Murray - Forward - Sudbury Wolves
Total Votes: 9
Highest Ranking: 3rd (1x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (8x)
"Has gone from a potential first round pick to an afterthought on a lot of scouts lists after a cool start to the season. But I've still got him ranked pretty highly. Willing to bet that bad shoulder was really hampering him. With a weak crop from the OHL this year, I just don't see how you can leave a 6'3, power center with goal scoring potential off your top 10 from the league. Consistency is definitely a major issue. He needs to be more engaged shift to shift, game to game. But his 9 goals are still among the best of any draft eligible OHL player this year, and he's one of the highest scoring players on the Wolves. His blend of power and skill is still too tantalizing." - Brock Otten

"I had high hopes for Murray coming into this season and he has shown well but he hasn’t progressed like you’d hope a 6-foot-3 centre with his skillset would progress. He needs to hang onto the puck a little more in order to begin to work towards becoming less of a chip-and-chase, cycle-dependent player than he is today." - Anonymous

"Size? Check. Skating? Check. Offensive Skills? Check. Sense? Check. Intensity? Well…not consistently. And there you have the catch. Murray was to be one of my favorites in the OHL this year after what I saw from him last season but after watching him play a few games this year I always come away with the same feeling; the urge to yell, “Com’on kid, get engaged in the game already!” He will need to ramp up the intensity or continue to drop like a rock even if he is producing some points." - Dan Stewart

"I've been disappointed so far this year as he seems to have stalled. In the next half it will be important for him to take that next step. Not only increase his production but start putting it all together and make those around him better. He has the size and speed but now it is up to him to use that efficiently and effectively which should come with more experience." - Peter Kneulman

10. Philip Tomasino - Forward - Niagara IceDogs
Total Votes: 7
Highest Ranking: 3rd (3x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (10x)
"A strong puck handler who loves to wheel, he hasn't shone as brightly as some other OHLers this season. This is mostly the result of him being deployed as a shutdown centre on a Niagara squad with aspirations of a lengthy playoffs run. However, each time I've watched him, he's done something that shouts NHL-talent. He owns a high skill level and can process the game quickly and effectively. Tomasino would really benefit from a move to the wing amongst the team's top six forwards and some power play action." - Cam Robinson

"Possessing explosive speed with excellent edges, Tomasino is excellent at moving the puck up the ice through the zones. Tomasino utilizes a really active stick in all areas of the ice, closing lanes and getting pucks loose on the defensive side, as well as being creative and dynamic with the puck on his stick in the offensive zone." - Dylan Galloway

"He's going to get hurt by lack of opportunity on a deep team who will likely get deeper post-deadline but he's got all the tools. Speed, skill, vision and not a small guy too. I can see him having a Christian Dvorak/Chris Tierney kind of career trajectory." - Anonymous

"It has been tough to get quality ice-time in Niagara because they are so deep but in the absence of Akil Thomas, Tomasino has shown that he has all the necessary tools to become a NHL player. He has very good feet and his willingness to drive the net has been impressive." - Mark Seidel

"I really thought about putting him higher to tell you the truth.  When Akil Thomas went out with injury he stepped in seamlessly and elevated his game.  Now he's playing on a line with Jason Robertson and Akil Thomas and the points will pile up.  Jaw dropping foot speed and agility have put him on the fast track." - Stephen Clark

Honorable Mentions

Graeme Clarke - Forward - Ottawa 67's
Total Votes: 5 
Highest Ranking: 6th (1x)
"Not the best skater in the class, but I really like the work Clarke has put in to improve from a year ago. Possesses an excellent shot and release, willing to drive the net, very good on the forecheck and battles hard along the walls even though he needs to add some strength." - Dominic Tiano

"Just outside my Top 10 list right now, and currently out with a shoulder injury, I have to say that I've been very impressed with the improvements that Clarke has made to his game this year. He's still not a dynamic skater, but he's greatly improved his play away from the puck and added some pest like qualities to make himself more than just a trigger man. The shot is still a major asset, and his hands are elite, but it's great that he recognized that in order to have a chance to be drafted in the first three rounds, he would have to evolve. Shows dedication." - Brock Otten 
Nick Porco - Forward - Saginaw Spirit
Total Votes: 5
Highest Ranking: 5th (1x)
"Porco has a lot of untapped potential in his game but has shown flashes of just how brilliant he can be. It starts with his speed. He is one of the fastest skaters in the OHL and can blow defenders away on the rush. He's also demonstrating an ability to finish when given the opportunity. As this season goes along, I expect Porco will be one of the fastest risers in the OHL when he continues realizing just how good he is." - Mark Scheig

"After a very disappointing rookie season in Saginaw, Porco has demonstrated the skill that made him the 4th overall pick in the OHL Draft and that is the ability to score. Last year he was a tick slow to make decisions and it hurt him but he is playing with confidence has become a very effective player for the Spirit." - Mark Seidel

Mike Vukojevic - Defense - Kitchener Rangers
Total Votes: 5
Highest Ranking: 4th (1x)
"Not too many players on this list see the kind of key minutes that Vukojevic does for his team in Kitchener. He's out there in nearly every situation, in key moments. The only action he doesn't really see is on the powerplay, which will hinder his offensive production. The hockey sense offensively is good, IMO. I just don't think he possesses the confidence yet. And while I don't think he'll ever be a big point producer at the NHL level, he brings so many other things to the table. Not a first round talent IMO, but a guy who should be considered in the 50-70 range come June because of how well he projects as a modern day shutdown defender. Similar players like Martin Fehervary, Adam Ginning, and Mattias Samuelsson went in the second round last year." - Brock Otten

"A good sized,minute munching D that can play in all situations. While his scoring stats aren't quite up to par with other D prospects his strong shot from the point should see an increase there over time. Very poised and calm with the puck and makes smart decisions while under pressure. Apt at keeping attackers to the outside with his good positioning, strong stick work and defensive awareness." - Jason Maslakow 

Hunter Jones - Goaltender - Peterborough Petes
Total Votes: 5
Highest Ranking: 5th (1x)
"One must begin by asking themselves where the Petes would be without Jones. No goaltender has played more minutes, faced more rubber, stopped more shots and is top 5 in goals against average and save percentage. His won-lost record would be better if not for some key injuries to the Petes. He’s got that coveted size for a goaltender at 6’4” with some excellent athleticism. He stands tall in the butterfly taking away the top of his goal, reads and reacts quickly with great anticipation, and he just steals games he has no business stealing." - Dominic Tiano

"Where do you put a goalie in this ranking?  I think Jones surprised a lot of people with pretty significant leap this year, but I've seen lots of goalies peak and then struggle to fine their footing the rest of their jr career and in the pro's going forward.   He's a big goalie at 6'4 but you tend to forget that as he's so agile.  I like him, but how do you really project a 2nd year OHL goalie and be able to see how he does as a pro?  It's not easy, but Jones could be one of the safer bets to be a solid guy for any NHL team." - Stephen Clark 

"Maintaining a .922 SV % while leading the league in minutes played & shots faced, Hunter Jones has done the most to raise his draft stock out of any goalie in the OHL thus far. At 6'4" he is an imposing presence between the pipes that uses his size well to take up the net. He worked hard in the off season to improve his conditioning and his progress from a tough rookie year last season has been noticeable. Improved puck tracking and rebound control combined with his quick reflexes and athleticism should have him climbing draft rankings as the season progresses." - Jason Maslakow

Jamieson Rees - Forward - Sarnia Sting
Total Votes: 5
Highest Ranking: 6th (1x)
"If we are talking talent alone Rees is much higher on this list, same as Kaliyev and Murray would be. But the reality is the energetic center has struggled to stay on the ice due to health issues, his most recent injury a lacerated kidney. Has the speed, quickness, creativity and vision to produce offensively but he has to be on the ice to do so." - Dan Stewart

"Rees is forgotten a player after only appearing in 3 games thus far this season but do not sleep on this kid. It will be interesting to watch him upon his return but a pro shot and a high offensive potential make him intriguing." - Mark Seidel

Cole Mackay - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Total Votes: 3
Highest Ranking: 3rd (1x)
"Mackay is an intelligent, hardworking player who makes strong reads and can spread out the ice with a fluid north-south game. He lacks dynamic acceleration and top speed but uses his hockey sense to quickly assess and make simple yet effective decisions. Not an overly big winger but doesn't shy away from battles. His elevated role in The Soo has been rewarded with strong production early on. He seems to always be on the right side of the puck - a coaches dream." - Cam Robinson

"On a Greyhounds team that needed players to step up in the absence of departing forwards like Boris Katchouk, Mackay has risen to the challenge as my early front runner for the best non-Suzuki/Kaliyev forward in this OHL class. He probably tops out with middle-six upside but he plays with enough versatility and pace to be intriguing." - Anonymous

Joe Carroll - Forward - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Total Votes: 3
Highest Ranking: 3rd (1x)
"Carroll (6-2, 197) reminds me a lot of Vegas Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch. He's a power-forward, with good size and skill. I think there's good upside here, but he'll need to work on his defensive-zone coverage." - Mike Morreale

"Has the tools to get into the 1st round. Starting to heat up for the Greyhounds now that he is getting healthy. Great size and skill combo. Fantastic shot. Very cognizant of what is going on around him defensively. Thrives in a puck possession system where he can use his size and puck control to prolong plays." - Peter Kneulman

"I became a big fan of his in the playoffs last year for the Greyhounds.  Good size, ability to play physical and a more than decent finishing touch are all part of his game." - Stephen Clark

Nikita Okhotyuk - Defense - Ottawa 67's
Total Votes: 2
Highest Ranking: 5th (1x)
"Throwback defender with good mobility who projects as a shutdown defender, similar to Vukojevic. Has become one of the league's better open ice hitters. I think he has shown more skill with the puck than Vukojevic has and profiles as a better puck mover, but his offensive hockey sense and vision aren't as good. Not quite as big as Vukojevic either. But, at this point, these guys deserve to be close in the rankings. However, he's not in my top 10 currently" - Brock Otten

"The physical Russian gets overshadowed a bit on the deep Ottawa blueline but his toughness and ability to make plays is an appealing combination. A vicious open ice hitter that has a lot of the tools remind me of a young Alexei Semenov, the former Oiler 2nd rounder." - Mark Seidel

Kyen Sopa - Forward - Niagara IceDogs 
Total Votes: 2
Highest Ranking: 8th (1x)
"Sopa is on the older side of this draft class but he has fit in seamlessly with the IceDogs as a rookie and he’s a lot stronger on his skates than you’d expect out of a 5-foot-9 winger who plays as fast as he does. There may be sleeper value in him as an option come June and I expect his offensive gifts and finishing ability will only continue to show themselves between now and then." - Anonymous

"I love kids who work as hard at the end of a shift in a 6-0 game as they do when it’s 1-1 late in the 3rd. Sopa is a gritty two-way import who’s tenacity on the puck is starting to pay off on the stat line." - Steve Kournianos 

Matthew Struthers - Forward - North Bay Battalion
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 8th (1x)
"He's seemed to really take off early on this season. He's skilled, he makes plays, and seems to be quicker too." - Anonymous

Tag Bertuzzi - Forward - Guelph Storm
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 9th (1x)
"Tag Bertuzzi shows a tremendous amount of compete on nearly every shift I've seen from him. Bertuzzi shows a strong ability to get and maintain possession of the puck through awesome strength on his skates and incredible body positioning. He really shines below the goal line where he has an innate ability to hold defenders at bay with sharp turns and excellent balance, as well as smartly finding space for him to skate into. Once Bertuzzi has created space for himself he becomes a highly intelligent passer, distributing the puck all over the offensive zone like a QB from the pocket. His shot definitely needs some work but I like his toolset as a playmaking power forward." - Dylan Galloway

Petr Cajka - Forward - Erie Otters
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 10th (1x)
"Cajka is one of the main reasons the Otters have managed to stay competitive in the early going. After taking some time to adjust to North America, he's starting to show why some have him on their draft radar. He's an above average skater who can play both ends of the ice and is starting to show a knack of scoring both as a finisher and distributor. I expect he'll rise up some draft boards by the time the season is over." - Mark Scheig

Jacob LeGuerrier - Defense - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 9th (1x)
"Has 0 goals in 123 OHL games, so you know his game is predicated on being a stay at home D man, though he did score two goals in the playoffs last year.   To me, the fact that he dressed all 20 games for the Soo in the playoffs and played a fairly regular D shift is telling about the trust factor the coaching staff had in him.  Another big body , but he can translate well into a stay at home shut down type D man at the next level." - Stephen Clark

Danil Antropov - Forward - Oshawa Generals
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 10th (1x)
"To be honest, I really was not impressed with Antropov last year in the playoffs versus Niagara, so I will be very interested in seeing how he does with what is expected to be a longer post season run for Oshawa. He's still 17 years old and close to 6'3 and we know his dad developed into a very solid big body NHL player, and I'm always a believer in having NHL bloodlines helping your game and draft stock. Just because I have not seen it, does not mean that his game is not one that will thrive the rest of his career going forward." - Stephen Clark 

Nando Eggenberger - Forward - Oshawa Generals
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 4th (1x)
A player with good size and a good shot, Nando is a strong force who can set up plays just as well as he can score. Eggenberger is a Swiss import player playing his first full season in North America and adjusting well to the change in ice size. I had the chance to watch him play several games at last year’s World Junior Championship where he captained Team Switzerland and even then he was a clear standout for size and dominance on the ice. He makes his presence known with his physicality and ability to get to the net. A player like Eggenberger will (and has) thrived playing the North American game and it will be exciting to see where he falls come the 2019 draft.” - Shaiyena Cote