Sunday, February 17, 2019

Midseason Media/Scout Poll for 2019

It's time for an update to our media/scout list. There's still lots of meaningful hockey to be played (rest of the CHL regular season, CHL playoffs, U18's), but it's always great to see how opinions change over the course of a season.

This list definitely looks different than our preliminary one from the end of November (found here). Philip Tomasino and Jamieson Rees are the two big movers up the list. They play a similar game, built on speed, tenacity and skill and look like potential Top 40 selections come June. Meanwhile, Billy Constantinou is a faller as the trade to Kingston has not been great for his draft stock. Matvey Guskov is another faller as he has dropped out of the top 10 altogether. But, things are far from set in stone. The OHL playoffs and the Under 18's (for some) will help scouts fine tune their lists before June.

Another interesting development is the race for the top OHL prospect available. In November, it was nearly unanimously Ryan Suzuki. That is no longer the case. Several players received a first place vote this time around and Suzuki's stock seems to be falling. While he hangs on to the top spot for now, it seems like things are trending towards him not being the top OHL player available by the time June comes around, unless he really picks up his play down the stretch.

As always, it's important to note the contributors, as without them and their terrific insight, this article does not exist. For the midseason list, the following helped out:

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)
Scott Wheeler - NHL Prospects Writer for TheAthletic (@scottcwheeler)
Chris Peters - NHL Prospects Writer for ESPN (@chrismpeters)
Cam Robinson - Managing Editor for Dobber Prospects (@Hockey_Robinson)
Dan Stewart - Director of the Newly Formed Drafts Prospects Hockey (@DStewartDP
Levi Hill - Independent Hockey Scout (@HillHockeyScout
Hannah Stuart – NHL Prospects Writer for TheScore (@HockeywthHannah)
Mitch Brown – CHL Tracker and Freelancer for TheAthletic (@MitchLBrown)
Steve Kournianos - Founder of The Draft Analyst (@TheDraftAnalyst)  
Marshall Mackinder – OHL Scout for Red Line Report (@Mackinder1861)
Victor Findlay – Writer for Around the OHL (@Finder_24)
Ryan Kennedy - Associate Senior Writer for The Hockey News (@THNRyanKennedy)
Peter Kneulman - Provides OHL coverage at OHL Writer (@PeterKneulman)
and of course...myself (@BrockOtten

Here's the list:

1. Ryan Suzuki – Forward – Barrie Colts
Total Votes: 17
Highest Ranking: 1st (8x)
Lowest Ranking: 3rd (3x)
To me, Suzuki remains the best playmaker from the OHL this season. The thing is he can get away with not trying as hard and still be the best player on the ice by scoring goals and setting up plays; he's that talented and that smart.” (Mike Morreale)

Suzuki’s back half has been disappointing for a player with as much upside as he has but that doesn’t mean he won’t figure it out. The talent is there. Suzuki is gifted with the puck, evasive as a handler, and dynamic as a playmaker. Once he gets a little stronger and learns to shoot more, the ceiling many imagined for him when he went first overall in the OHL draft may still be within reach.” (Anonymous)

Incredibly intelligent and gifted playmaker with an underrated shot. He's not a physical player at all but I find he has such smart positioning that he doesn't need to play physically. One thing I like about his game is that he adjusts to his surroundings really well. If certain passing lanes or passing plays aren't working he will adapt to the other weaknesses he sees in the opponents games and capitalize on that weakness. Undoubtedly the top prospect from the OHL this season.” (Dylan Galloway)

Like his brother, Nick, he possesses excellent playmaking ability and has a higher then average hockey IQ. Another similar attribute he shares with his brother is an underrated, and under used, shot. Great ability to play the point/half wall on the PP and find seems across the ice. Looks off defenders. Was looking for an offensive explosion this year but he's been hovering around a point per game.” (Levi Hill)

High-end puck skills and vision put him a cut above among the OHLers for me. I think he's got a chance to really grow into a nice player. The big question I have is the same that other scouts have mentioned -- does he hang on the perimeter too much? I think the skill is special enough to allow me to overlook that in the hopes that with maturity comes some more bite.” (Anonymous)

The numbers are likely going to fall off a little in the 2nd half without Lucas Chiodo to create space and finish plays, but there's still nobody in the OHL at Suzuki's age that sees the ice or anticipates plays as well as he does. Suzuki's not only shown he can create plays from nothing for his teammates, but if you give him space, he can take matters into his own hands and burn you just the same.” (Victor Findlay)

2. Arthur Kaliyev – Forward – Hamilton Bulldogs
Total Votes: 17
Highest Ranking: 1st (5x)
Lowest Ranking: 6th (1x)
I’ll be honest: I doubted Kaliyev’s ability to be more than a straight-line shooter for much of his young career. But as the season has progressed, his game has developed nicely and he has added some creativity and a little playmaking flair. More and more, he has convinced me that he may be able drive a line at the next level, rather than require the right complement of linemates to be as effective as possible.” (Anonymous)

He's got that big shot, he's very smart with the puck and scores a ton. I wonder if the way he plays will translate to the NHL at the same level as in the OHL. He doesn't play fast and his compete level is a major flag.” (Anonymous)

Kaliyev's flaws are just as easy to spot as his strengths--he's too stationary, plays with little pace, and heaviness comes and goes. But few players in the OHL can scores goals like Kaliyev. On the goal line, top of the circle, off balance or in stride, Kaliyev has that sniper's ability to convert in just about any situation. He's already more than tripled his shot assists total from last season--a testament to his improving playmaking.” (Mitch Brown)

Goal scorer. Plain and simple. Does a lot of his damage in the 'Homeplate area' and doesn't have the puck on his stick for long. Shooting technique is a little different from most one-timer goal scorers. Instead of going down on one knee and powering through the puck, he uses a sweeping motion and 'swats' at the puck. Also tends to shoot from the side of his body, hips facing the net.” (Levi Hill)

I know there are a lot of concerns about his consistency of effort and I have those same concerns, but you simply can't deny that he scores goals at an elite level for his age, he understands how to score and he has excellent offensive sense. He's big and strong, too, and I think as he matures he'll start to get a better understanding of the grind of the next level. His shot is one of the best in the draft and while he's not fast, he's good on his edges and covers ground efficiently while always putting himself in good scoring positions.” (Anonymous)

My opinion of Kaliyev has changed from earlier in the year, but not completely as I still feel he spends too much ice time blending into the background. However his goal scoring ability and offensive skills are unquestionable. His NHL upside is really dependent on what he does next. Work on his skating and a boost to his shift-by-shift intensity is a must going forward for this Thomas Vanek like prospect but the potential to be a real NHL game changer is there and it lies in his hands.” (Dan Stewart)

3. Thomas Harley – Defense – Mississauga Steelheads
Total Votes: 17
Highest Ranking: 1st (1x)
Lowest Ranking: 6th (2x)
Ok. I'm a believer. He's surpassed my expectations. A two-way left-handed defenseman who is smart and is always playing with his head up and showing a lot of composure. He's been consistent each time I've seen him; he just needs to refine and improve his shot.” (Mike Morreale)

At nearly a point per game, Harley is proving to be the top offensive defenceman from the OHL for the upcoming draft. His ability to utilize his speed and size to break the puck out of his zone and enter the offensive zone with control is high end. In addition, Harley is good at getting pucks on net and creating a lot of opportunities in the slot for tips and garbage goals. Where Harley is lacking is in the defensive zone. He gives up too much of a gap and it can result in more opportunity for opponents to get a better shot or make a play. Though this is still the biggest flaw I see in his game, he has shown improvements in my last viewings of him and seems to be working on becoming more aggressive at the blue line. Love his upside, and fee like the defensive responsibility will come along eventually.” (Dylan Galloway)

An efficient and play-driving defender with good size and speed. Harley has not only accepted a larger role with Mississauga this year, he’s thrived. Improved lateral quickness and overall speed from last season makes him more of a threat off the rush. Oozes potential.” (Cam Robinson)

This extremely smooth skating, smart, puck-mover looks like a high end first rounder on many nights patrolling the blue line for Missy, but there are those nights he also looks overvalued. Like he doesn’t make enough of an impact on the game to be considered that high. This two-way rearguard’s success is all depending on his involvement in the offense, as when he is not skating with the puck or moving it with a heady pass and following up the rush he looks somewhat ordinary. When he is contributing at both ends of the rink his top four NHL upside looks almost automatic.” (Dan Stewart)

A very impressive player to see live because of how he controls the game offensively and how effortlessly he glides through the neutral zone on multiple occasions a night. For a guy who does play a higher risk offensive game, I give him credit because he rarely turns the puck over and rarely seems to get caught pinching deep. His progression from a year ago is just astounding. There is definitely a lot of Thomas Chabot in his game as an offensive player. But as everyone already knows, his play in his own zone does leave a lot to be desired. I think my biggest issue is his unwillingness to use his size and his overall lack of physical intensity. Along the wall, forwards are given free reign to do as they wish. Defending off the rush, it's much of the same as he sits back and allows the opposition to dictate the play. Harley is unquestionably a first rounder if you feel like he will eventually become tougher to play against in his own end. But if that's something you don't see happening, you probably wait until the 2nd...similar to how teams waited on Nic Hague.” (Brock Otten)

I like the raw tools Harley has, particularly his skating and puck skills. He's not dynamic per se, but he's skilled and confident with the puck. Defensively, he needs work, but I like what he brings to the table with that size and skill. He sees the ice really well. Another underrated element of Harley's overall package is his understanding of himself as a player and the way he needs to play to keep improving.” (Anonymous)

4. Philip Tomasino – Forward – Niagara Icedogs
Total Votes: 17
Highest Ranking: 1st (2x)
Lowest Ranking: 7th (1x)
Surrounded by talented forward group in Niagara has allowed Tomasino to learn more from veterans Jack Studnicka, Jason Robertson and others. Explosive first step and agility to manoeuvre the puck around fore checkers and defenseman in his zone entry. Will skate puck deep into zone and skate with it, protecting it well while looking for best option. So quick on his edges and can skate out of danger anywhere on the ice.” (Marshall Mackinder)

Tomasino could become one of the bigger sleepers in this draft. He’s equal parts passer and shooter and athletic and patient. All of that bodes well for his game translating effectively at the pro level. He works hard, he’s a right-handed forward, he’s responsible off the puck, and it feels like he’s only just beginning to scratch the surface of his potential. That room for growth is exciting in an OHL class that lacks a ton of upside.” (Anonymous)

High energy player who can move the puck up the ice with excellent speed. The way he weaves through skating lanes with ease makes him an exciting player to watch, and he's highly effective at entering the zone with control and with speed. Can score goals in an electric manner. Biggest knock I would put on his game is he can sometimes over stick handle or stickhandle his way into dead ends.” (Dylan Galloway)

Tomasino's game is built around separation peed, but he's not a straight line player like many other speedsters. He makes controlled, timed rushes, using crossovers and stickhandling to slice through defenders laterally just often as he burns past on the outside. He also leads all OHL forwards in steals on the forecheck in the CHL Tracking Project, showing that he keeps the pace up without the puck, too.” (Mitch Brown)

Continues to skyrocket up the rankings, and rightfully so. He's playing with a confidence now that's allowed him to take more risks and let his skill really shine. It was going to be tough for him to get ice-time on a loaded Niagara team, but he's playing so well that the IceDogs have no choice but to put him out there. Few players his age on contending hockey teams affect the outcome as much Tomasino does.” (Victor Findlay)

After really thinking about it the last month or so, I've decided to move Tomasino to the top of my OHL draft list. His game has so many different layers to it. You've got an elite skater who plays with an infectious energy and has no fear on the ice. Impacts the game as a forechecker. Impacts the game as a puck carrier. Opens up space for his linemates when he doesn't have the puck. And I haven't even mentioned his hands and how skilled he is with the puck. He's playing with some pretty damn good OHL players and NHL prospects right now and on a lot of nights, he looks like the best of a kid who won't turn 18 until after the draft. Yes, turnovers can be an issue. Yes, he needs to get stronger. Yes, his play in his own zone is inconsistent. But in a year where the OHL may not have a lottery selection, I think Tomasino possesses the most potential to be an impact NHL player and that's why I've continued to move him up my list.” (Brock Otten)

5. Connor McMichael – Forward – London Knights
Total Votes: 17
Highest Ranking: 1st (1x)
Lowest Ranking: 7th (4x)
Even with all of the talented forward depth in London, McMichael has been the driving force on a consistent basis all year for London. Hockey smarts, zone entry and his determination around the net has him in the drivers seat in London. Potential 50 goal scorer. Improving defensively makes him a more than capable 200 foot player at the next level.” (Marshall Mackinder)

McMichael is shoot-first centre and one of the best players in the draft class at getting to the net. From the CHL Tracking Project, McMichael gets more shots from the top of the crease than 99 percent of 400 CHL forwards. The variety is what makes McMichael so dangerous--one-timers, deflections, pouncing on rebounds--you name it, he'll finish it. While McMichael isn't much of a puck carrier through the neutral zone, he's a crafty playmaker around the goal.” (Mitch Brown)

McMichael is a really smart player, and he's taken advantage of the absence of Alex Formenton. With Formenton now returning, it'll be interesting to see how McMichael handles what will likely be a decrease in ice time. Smarts and speed make him skilled and easy to trust at both ends of the ice, but it's clear he's got a real knack for goal-scoring.” (Hannah Stuart)

He's really rising up the boards for me and I think he's deservedly getting first round attention now. He's not there for me yet, but just on the fringe as I need to get some more looks at him before making that decision. Watching his improvement year over year and even throughout this season, he's shown better offensive sense than I thought he had. The speed element is also awfully enticing.” (Anonymous)

A two-way guy whom I really wonder if his offensive game will translate well to the NHL as his numbers really are driven from working harder and reading the play better than his junior aged opponents do. His intelligence is high-end as is his work ethic, and ability to find open ice to get his shot off. He is a natural leader so even if he does not end up a top six NHL scorer I would not bet against a long pro career as a do-it-all type third line contributor.” (Dan Stewart)

Arguably the most consistent first-year eligible in the OHL among in terms of playmaking, McMichael has done more than enough to be mentioned with Suzuki and Kaliyev as the league’s top draft prospect, and on a stacked London squad no less. McMichael, who can play center or wing, is as good a finisher as he is a playmaker. He’s strong on his skates, can assume a top-line role and absolutely wire the puck.” (Steve Kournianos)

6. Nick Robertson – Forward – Peterborough Petes
Total Votes: 17
Highest Ranking: 2nd (2x)
Lowest Ranking: 10th (1x)
Robertson can fly, handles the puck well at full speed (which is a top speed that already stands close to the top of this draft class), works as hard as anyone off the puck to win races and battles, and has a nose for the net that enables him to finish off plays. While he could learn to use his linemates a little better, if he doesn’t it may mean that his ceiling is closer to third-line forward than second-line forward.” (Anonymous)

Skill level is really high. One of the most skilled players in the draft with a great shot. Small and not a speedster but few people make as much happen with the puck as he does. He's also one of the youngest players in the draft.” (Anonymous)

Really like the puck skills and smarts of Robertson. He combines elite passing and vision with nice edge work and skating speed. Though he's obviously lacking the height and weight, I find he does a pretty good job of utilizing his speed and body positioning to get to the net. Robertson also possesses a good shot, however his backhand is lacking strength and when he drives the net on his off-hand wing he seems to struggle to get anything dangerous into the slot or on net. I love a lot of what Robertson brings to the table.” (Dylan Galloway)

The young brother of Jason lacks the same size but makes up for it with dynamic puck skills, a strong skating stride and impressive balance. This is facilitated by his wide base and strong core. He’s elusive in traffic and creative with his lines. Can finish or distribute with equal precision.” (Cam Robinson)

The wrist injury really threw his season for a loop, but he's starting to get his feel back now. Talented player who showed well at the CHL Top Prospects game, but his attitude towards the game is what separates him from most. He's a positive thinker with well above average work ethic and determination. Part of me thinks looking up to his brother Jason fuels his competitive drive. He genuinely wants to be as good as him, if not better, and is willing to do whatever it takes to get to that level.” (Victor Findlay)

Robertson had some injury issues that keep him out or ineffective early in the season but he has since become healthy and been one of the top dual-threat offensive forces in the League. A quick-footed, offensive winger with special vision, soft hands and a wicked shot. He finds open ice like a pro when he does not have the puck and draws in defenders when he does before dishing a well-timed, accurate pass to an open teammate. He could be the best NHLer to come out of this OHL draft class when all is said and done.” (Dan Stewart)

7. Jamieson Rees – Forward – Sarnia Sting
Total Votes: 15
Highest Ranking: 5th (6x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (2x)
A reliable spark plug who does not take a shift off. Wins foot races to the puck, protects it well along the wall and uses strong lower body to drive to the net where he wont stop until whistle blows. Gets under the skin of opponents and plays in all situations. Dynamic two-way player who shows grit and determination every shift he takes.” (Marshall Mackinder)

Rees creates space and lanes like few draft eligibles can, using his rare combination of explosive cutbacks and hands that match. He's also one of the most well-rounded and versatile of the OHL class, scoring near the top in scoring chances/60, passes leading to scoring chances/60, controlled entries/60, and controlled exits/60. While Rees can finish, playmaking is his best skill: His 0.59 primary assists per game leads the OHL draft class by a large margin. (Thanks to” (Mitch Brown)

Rees has been impressive since his return from a small kidney laceration he received earlier this season and he has brought his high energy, competitive, skilled game each and every night as the team’s second line centre in Sarnia. His quick and creative hands, shifty skating and impressive vision and smarts are typically on display as is the odd unexpected physical element for a guy with his size. Still needs to stay out of the infirmary and make an impact for a long stretch to shake the injury prone tag but he definitely has the potential to be a really strong NHL point producer.” (Dan Stewart)

Even when he's not hitting the score sheet, Rees makes himself noticeable from shift to shift. I love that about his game. He's everywhere out there. He's tenacious on and off the puck. When it's on his stick, he possesses the elite skating ability and puck skill to make something out of nothing. But when it's with an opponent, he does anything he can to get it back. In a few months, the U18's (barring a miracle run by Sarnia) will be a huge event for him to showcase his skill on a bigger stage. But, I think durability is going to be something scouts have concerns about. A guy like Robby Fabbri was built the same way and played the game the same way. And look at all the trouble that he's had staying healthy. Rees had the nagging ankle injury last year as a rookie, then the lacerated kidney this year. As much as I love him as a player and a prospect, if you're thinking with the mind set of an NHL scout, this will likely be a real concern.” (Brock Otten)

IMO Rees makes Sarnia must watch hockey. He can make so many things happen on the ice with his speed and he becomes electric with the puck on his stick. I like that he does most of his damage 5 on 5. He is only 5'10 but when I watch him it doesnt seem to be a deterrent as he knows how to get under his opponents to gain leverage when battling for the puck.” (Peter Kneulman)

8. Vladislav Kolyachonok – Defense – Flint Firebirds
Total Votes: 15
Highest Ranking: 4th (1x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (2x)
I think he's just starting to scratch the surface of what he's going to be capable of. His skating and footwork are excellent, he has some good offensive instincts. I think it's just a matter of growing into his frame a bit more and gaining confidence with the puck. He can force plays and get caught in the wrong spot, but I think his physical tools are really intriguing. He's going to require some patience, but he has a chance to be a really good defenseman down the line.” (Anonymous)

The Belarusian blue liner is a strong skater who plays a two-way game with intelligence, composure and poise. He is a skilled puck mover who can make a strong pass or start the rush, however, he is not a real offensive chance taker and only takes what is available. Because of this not pushing the pace of play his point production at the next level is likely limited. His willingness to play physical can be inconsistent from game to game and he is still developing his game both offensively and in his own zone but the raw tools are intriguing.” (Dan Stewart)

The Belarusian can skate and think the game so well. He's an encouraging and interesting prospect who could go late in the first round or early second. He's been a bright spot for a Flint team that has struggled this season.” (Mike Morreale)

Solid skating defenseman who has picked up his game offensively from the blue line lately. Good hard low shot that gets through to the net often. Sees a ton of ice time in Flint and shows good mobility and makes smart decisions with the puck. Good size and likes to use it along the wall. Active stick in passing lanes and quick to get puck out of zone with crisp breakout pass.” (Marshall Mackinder)

9. Billy Constantinou – Defense – Kingston Frontenacs
Total Votes: 10
Highest Ranking: 7th (6x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (7x)
He was a model of consistency, going pointless back-to-back just twice in his time with the IceDogs, but has not had the same impact in Kingston. The obvious question now becomes: Is the real Bill Constantinou the one we saw in Niagara or the one currently in Kingston? Or is he somewhere in between? Constantinou’s skating is excellent, except that maybe he could add a step in his first couple strides. If his edgework, lateral movement, backwards skating and overall agility isn’t the best in the draft class, it’s definitely top-2. When carrying the puck, it allows him to slice through opponents almost at will. His ability to move laterally and control the offensive blue line makes him an excellent powerplay quarterback. Defensively, I don’t want to say the move to Kingston has exposed a flaw in his game. The horses aren’t there in Kingston and what it has done is forced him to play more on the defensive side of the puck. His gap control is very good. He recognizes the need and has the ability to keep players to the outside. Once he adds more muscle, he will become more adept at winning battles along the wall and in front of the paint. His strength has been and always will be the transition game with an excellent ability to clear his zone with an excellent first pass or to take care of business himself and skate out of danger.” (Dominic Tiano)

An efficient and explosive right-shot blueliner who has the ability to act as a one-man breakout. Dictates the pace through the neutral zone with his acceleration and expert edgework. Finds seams to distribute to his mates. Adjusting to life on the bottom-feeding Frontenacs’ squad after being accustomed to the high-flying offence in Niagara. Having the play in his own end so often is aiding in his developing two-way ability.” (Cam Robinson)

He can be a somewhat frustrating player to watch due to some of his decisions with the puck, but I don't think there are a ton of defensemen who move the way that he does and I see a lot of potential in his game. I worry about the hockey sense sometimes just due to the risks he takes, but I like aggressive players and guys who make mistakes because they're trying to make plays. I think maturity is going to help him take the next step.” (Anonymous)

The flash and flair is obvious the second the puck on his stick. Constantinou is an offense-first playmaker who doesn’t need to be asked or told to activate himself inside the opposing zone. Yes, his defensive play is suspect and at times he tries to fix everything by himself. But playing for a bottom feeder like Kingston isn’t easy, and Constantinou’s elusiveness and playmaking reveal a player with point-producing potential at higher levels.” (Steve Kournianos)

10. Hunter Jones – Goaltender – Peterborough Petes
Total Votes: 8
Highest Ranking: 8th (1x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (9x)
He likes to play big in all situations and is quick getting into butterfly. Jones (6-4, 197) has a good (left) glove hand and rebound control and can locate pucks through traffic. He'll just need to improve playing the puck on his backhand and his skating; could go as early as late in the second round.” (Mike Morreale)

He's got that prototypical size, doesn't get too scrambly in the nets and has solid lateral quickness. I think his poise in the net is particularly encouraging. I know he's really gotten a lot of love especially lately and I think he deserves it. I don't think there are too many goalies that will end up going ahead of him, but I'm just more comfortable with a number of skaters ahead of him at this point.” (Anonymous)

Jones hit a real rough patch of hockey around the trade deadline, and had a forgettable month of January. But he's still showing the athleticism he improved in the offseason, and he's got the size necessary to get NHL looks. The mental game will be the biggest obstacle for Jones in his progression. When he doesn't get into his own head and focuses on the right areas, he's still a great goaltender.” (Victor Findlay)

A six-foot-four, blocking style goaltender with solid lateral mobility who plays with confidence and has progressed well in his draft year are all elements that grab your attention as well as the attention of NHL scouts. As one of the top minute playing OHL goaltenders Jones has looked strong and played big in the Petes net this season. After seeing spot duty last year, just fifteen contests as a rookie, he has been a model of consistency under a heavy workload which NHL teams also like. He has solid NHL upside.” (Dan Stewart)

Honorable Mentions

Blake Murray – Forward – Sudbury Wolves
Total Votes: 5
Highest Ranking: 7th (1x)
Murray did get off to slow start this season but has picked up the pace and has been on tear the last month. Playing with confidence and showing the potential to be a play making power centreman. He does not have to carry the team offensively this season like he did last year as an underager and has a supporting cast around him that allows him to play his game. Trustworthy and honest player who keeps it simple. not flashy at all but needs to focus on being consistent every game and not take any shifts off.” (Marshall Mackinder) 
Murray has great hands, even when he's at his top speed, and he forechecks hard. I'd like to see him add some more strength in his upper body, though, and I would've liked to see him produce more offensively this season, though he's looking better recently. But there's potential there.” (Hannah Stuart)

Consistency issues have been a bit of an issue with Murray, but when he's playing well it's impossible to ignore how good he can be. He's got the talent to be in the conversation with Kaliyev, Tomasino, etc. and his size makes him an attractive asset. But can he answer the call when the Wolves need him the most this year? How bad does he want to win? The playoffs might reveal a lot of those answers.” (Victor Findlay)

I said this on twitter lately, but with 12 goals in his last 14 games, Blake Murray is now tied for third behind Kaliyev and McMichael for draft eligible goal scoring in the OHL with 26. That's good for top 10 in the entire CHL too (behind Cozens, Legare, Lafreniere, Beaucage, Mercer, and Pelletier). Those guys are all considered possible top 50 selections (or higher). So why is Murray consistently being underrated? This is a 6'3 forward who can play on the wing or down the middle. He can skate. He can shoot the puck. Yes, there are consistency issues. He needs to battle harder away from the puck. He will need to show more as a playmaker. Rounding out his game is a must. But, in a year where we're talking about the lack of high end talent that the OHL has to offer as a scouting community, how is this guy not considered a Top 10 prospect from the league given how high his ceiling is?” (Brock Otten)

Graeme Clarke – Forward – Ottawa 67's
Total Votes: 4
Highest Ranking: 9th (2x)
I think Clarke’s skating sometimes gets an unfair shake in the scouting community. It’s the same debate I had about Jason Robertson during his draft year. It is in some cases described as having a laziness to his effort. But my opinion is that he is such an intelligent player that he is able to slip into seams and high scoring areas without expending a lot of energy. And once he gets there, he is able to fire off a lethal shot. To these eyes, those are two big reasons why he is scoring at a 20.9% rate. I am often asked who has the better shot/release: Clarke or Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs. I think you could flip a coin. Clarke has superb puck handling ability. In tight, he can dangle with the best of them. On the rush, he handles it with ease. What he lacks is a separation gear, but skating is an area he has worked on hard and will continue to work on and improve. He also has an ability to slow the play down with the puck on his stick. While he is a goal scorer first, he has excellent vision and can slow the play down with possession to give his teammates time to find space and deliver a good pass on the forehand and backhand.” (Dominic Tiano)

Clarke's point totals won't blow you away, but he's creating plenty of offence in a secondary scoring role. Clarke's 12 5v5 goals ranked second to only Tomasino among draft eligible OHLers, ahead of Kaliyev and McMichael, once adjusting to per 60 minutes. He's a creative player, owning the ability to beat defenders in a number of ways before firing off his dangerous wrist shot. However, Clarke can disappear for stretches and lacks separation speed.” (Mitch Brown)

"I feel like I've said this a few times in my write-ups, but with the OHL facing a bit of a down year I think you need to put a premium on potential. And Clarke has some of the highest offensive potential of any player in the age group. His shot and release among the best of any young player in the OHL and he electrifying one on one skill. He can create a lot of space for himself with his hands. I think he's already made big strides in his skating, play away from the puck, and playmaking vision, but those are all areas that will be crucial in determining whether he becomes a top 6 forward at the NHL level. I don't think there's any doubt that he eventually becomes an elite OHL player and Eddie Powers contender. It's just whether he continues to work hard to make the adjustments necessary to progress beyond that. But as I've said, the improvements have been noticeable so far and you have to tip your hat to Clarke (and the 67's organization) for that." (Brock Otten)

Matvey Guskov – Forward – London Knights
Total Votes: 4
Highest Ranking: 8th (1x)
If you look past the misleading point totals, you can see a lot to like about Guskov. The fluidity of his skating, and his speed, are attractive parts of his game, along with his puck skills and hockey IQ. I'm definitely interested to see if he can make the switch to center eventually, but he's doing pretty well on the wing as-is.” (Hannah Stuart)

Good combination of skill, size and skating ability. Raw but a great toolbox. Works hard and is a great complimentary player on a skilled line. Would like to see him play center, where his skill set could shine through more. Will be a solid pro.” (Levi Hill)

He's really growing on me as a prospect. The last couple of times that I've seen London play, he's had a couple near end to end rushes that resulted in goals or great scoring chances. He really seems to be gaining confidence in his power to use his skating ability and length to dominate the transition game. There's definitely a rawness to his game. I don't think I really have a grasp of the type of player he will or could become. Is he a center or a wing in the future? How much potential does he have as a goal scorer? Can he be the driving force on a line as a playmaker? All great questions. But the size and skill package is alluring enough to move him up my list. There's a lot to like about his game.” (Brock Otten)

Mike Vukojevic – Defense – Kitchener Rangers
Total Votes: 2
Highest Ranking: 8th (1x)
Reliable at both ends of the ice, and doesn't try to make the game complicated. He's contributing more offensively this year and I don't know if that's confidence or just that he's playing with a D partner where he's more comfortable jumping into the rush, but I like it.” (Hannah Stuart)

There's a lot to like about Vukojevic, even if he's not an offensive machine on the back end. He's playing for a young undermanned Rangers 'D' corps and putting up decent points, even though his game is more about defense than offense. You need solid, athletic guys like him at the next level.” (Ryan Kennedy)

Joe Carroll – Forward – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Total Votes: 2
Highest Ranking: 8th (1x)
Carroll has a knack for anticipating plays with good vision and skills and reminds me of Vegas Golden Knights forward Alex Tuch. He'll need to work on his defensive-zone coverage but he's a future NHL power forward.” (Mike Morreale)

I absolutely love what Carroll brings to the table. I think he will be a steal for someone late in round 2/3. He has been stuck on the 3rd line for the Hounds this year but what are you going to do with Frost and Hayton above you? Statistically speaking he has been snake bitten with a 7% shooting percentage which is more surprising given the great shot that he has. Has the size and the defensive game to play at the next level. He just needs to bring things together offensively to push up that ceiling which I feel he has the ability to do.” (Peter Kneulman)

Cole Mackay – Forward – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 9th (1x)
McKay is the type of player you wish could play on all four lines. Shows determination, work ethic and relentless pursuit of the puck while putting up points long the way. Leaves it all on the ice and gives 100% every shift. Has benefited by playing with Morgan Frost at times but shows can be play in any situation with anybody. Coachable and takes his assignments and makes most of them. Smart player and anxious to see his production and stock continue to rise.” (Marshall Mackinder)

Nick Porco – Forward – Saginaw Spirit
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 10th (1x)
Possesses some good straight away speed, though he needs to get better at generating speed East/West and through his crossovers. I've liked his puck skills and he's got some nifty stick work in the offensive zone. Porco might be a bit of a project for the team that drafts him, but I like his raw skills and think with the right development you can mold him into a good productive player at the next level.” (Dylan Galloway)

Jacob LeGuerrier – Defense – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 10th (1x)
I feel he is the most important piece on the Greyhounds blueline and the most under appreciated piece on the team. Frost, Hayton and the OAs rightfully get a lot of the publicity but Jacob has been a rock on a blue line that really didn't have much depth going into the season. Coach Dean has trusted him with the toughest assignments night in and night out. Has him play in all situations and the offensive game has really come along since December.” (Peter Kneulman)