Monday, February 17, 2020

Midseason Media/Scout Poll for 2020

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.

Interesting to compare our preliminary one from the end of November (
found here) with this new one. Antonio Stranges and Jaromir Pytlik are the two big fallers. Stranges goes from 5th to out of the top 10, while Pytlik goes from 8th to receiving only a couple of votes for the top 10. Jack Quinn is the big riser going from outside of the top 10 to 5th (essentially swapping with Stranges). We also have new OHL'ers Jan Mysak and Martin Chromiak (although not in the top 10) making their debuts on the list. It's certainly been exciting to track their progress so far.

At the top, Quinton Byfield is the near unanimous first choice, but the battle for second is even more confusing. Jamie Drysdale Marco Rossi, and Cole Perfetti pretty much shared the votes for the spot behind Byfield and it seems that nearly everyone has a different order/preference of how to rank those three.

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)
Ryan Kennedy - Associate Senior Writer for 
The Hockey News (@THNRyanKennedy)
Scott Wheeler - NHL Prospects Writer for TheAthletic (@scottcwheeler)
Cam Robinson - Managing Editor for Dobber Prospects and Scout for EPRinkside (@Hockey_Robinson)
Steve Kournianos - Founder of The Draft Analyst (@TheDraftAnalyst)  
Steve Clark - Play by play voice of the Niagara IceDogs (@ClarkPlaybyPlay)  
Dan Stewart - Director of DraftsProspects Hockey (@DStewartDP
Will Scouch – Founder of Scouching Draft Analytics (@Scouching)
Victor Findlay – Writer for Around the OHL and Mississauga Steelheads broadcaster (@Finder_24)
Tony Ferrari – OHL Scout for Future Considerations and NHL Draft Writer for Dobber Prospects (@theTonyFerrari)
Mark Seidel - Scouting Director for NACS Hockey (@MarkSeidel)
Chris Peters - NHL Prospects Writer for ESPN (@chrismpeters)
Matt Young - OHL broadcaster (@mattyoung71
Peter Harling - Editor for Dobber Prospects and host of the Dobber Prospect Radio Podcast (@pharling)
Levi Hill – CCHL Scout & Former OHL Video Tracker (@HillHockeyScout)
Kenny Walls – Voice of the Ottawa 67's on TSN 1200 (@LongBallsWalls)
Peter Kneulman - Provides OHL coverage at OHL Writer (@PeterKneulman)

and of course...myself (@BrockOtten)

Here's the List:

1. Quinton Byfield – Center/Left Wing – Sudbury Wolves
Total Votes: 21
Highest Ranking: 1st (20x)
Lowest Ranking: 2nd (1x)
This was a no-brainer the last time I put my list together, and even with an “underwhelming” World Junior, Byfield is solidly the #2 pick to me in this year’s draft. He’s big with tremendous skill, a great shot, and excellent passing vision on the ice. He moves pucks efficiently up the ice, and to me, his potential is limitless.” - Will Scouch

It's all about the tools and the upside. No, he didn't do anything at the world juniors and his Top Prospects Game was just fine, but Byfield has everything you want and he's still growing his game.” - Ryan Kennedy

For me Byfield is a lock at number two overall for this draft. Earlier in the season he was making a significant bid to supplant Lafreniere for number one but Lafreniere has really cemented his hold on the top spot. Byfield brings a total package of skill, smarts and size. Typically big players at this age need to improve their skating, but for Byfield that is his best asset in my opinion. He is a very graceful skater, has a quick first step that lends to separation. He has tremendous balance and agility allowing him to fend off forecheckers, lean into players and stand his ground in front of the goal.” - Peter Harling

What is there about Byfield that you can't like about him? He's gigantic, can skate and is super creative. While he did not make an impact for Team Canada, his absence certainly illustrated to the Sudbury Wolves and the OHL how important he is to that team. I feel like we are getting into a territory where people are trying to pick apart his game to find flaws rather than recognize everything that he is.” - Matt Young

Sudbury were tanking hard when Byfield left for the World Juniors, but his return has since stabilized their season. I like the way he’s played beyond the scoring and he’s clearly a candidate for OHL Most Valuable Player. He’s been strong on faceoffs and consistent in covering danger spots near the goal. Byfield needs more credit for his hockey sense and ability to sniff things out or attack a weakness before the opposition knows a weakness exists. And it continue to surprise me how often he catches defensemen flat footed or they misjudge his speed. There are only a handful of defensemen in the entire league who can at least attempt to slow him down. That says a lot considering Byfield’s 17 for another six months.” - Steve Kournianos

This highly talented, big, powerful and fast pivot is lighting up the OHL offensively in his draft year while still is developing his two-way game. The one area that I would like to see him work on over the last couple of months this season is his willingness and efficiency in using his physical ability to really lean on guys and take over games that way consistently. His limited ice WJC showing plays little into most who evaluate him. Projects as a top line center. Top talent available from the OHL this year hands down.” - Dan Stewart

Everyone talks about the tantalizing package of power and skill, as they should. But he's far from a finished product and I suppose that is what is most scary. The three areas that I think really need to tighten up if Byfield wants to play in the NHL next year (which I think he can) are: a) improving his confidence in his shot, b) improving his consistency as a physical player, and c) making quicker decisions with the puck in transition. B) and C) are especially important. I don't think anyone is asking Byfield to play like Ryan Reaves, but if he could find a way to increase his physical intensity level just a little bit more, it would make him that much more dangerous. With his strength and speed, he could be such a factor on the forecheck and in forcing turnovers, but he coasts into the zone too often. Additionally, he seems to get in his own head when the pace picks up, over analyzing his options and that can result in turnovers because defenders are closing in on him and taking away his space before he makes a play. This has been especially apparent in the neutral zone of late. That said, my contemporaries have done a terrific job of highlighting his many, many strengths as a player.” - Brock Otten

2. Jamie Drysdale – Defense – Erie Otters
Total Votes: 21
Highest Ranking: 2nd (12x)
Lowest Ranking: 4th (4x)
Best defenseman in the draft by a fairly significant margin for me. His skating is near elite and his ability to get pucks up the ice are critical skills that put him ahead of the pack.” - Chris Peters

He gets the puck and he moves. There's no hesitation. He can drive the play and push the pace up ice from the back end. Drysdale is real intelligent; kind of uses angles to keep guys to the outside and he's a stick-on-puck guy.” - Mike Morreale

Head and shoulders above the class for defense in his draft year. He commands the play when on the ice, is an excellent skater but what excites me about Drysdale is his projection. He is so good at the nuances of the game at his age and has elite hockey IQ for his peer group that he projects very well moving forward and in the very near future could be contributing in the OHL in a similar fashion to what we are seeing in the NHL Calder race right now with Cale Makar and Quinn Hughes.” - Peter Harling

He continues to keep getting better & he showed at the WJC's that he can play with & against high end players that are 2 years older. So smooth & dynamic with high hockey IQ.” - Mark Seidel

I'm a huge fan of Drysdale's game and he should easily be the top defender taken in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. At 17 he is logging top minutes on a veteran Erie Otters defensive group and played for Team Canada at the World Junior tournament. As much as I love his offence the thing that impresses me the most about Drysdale is the fact he seems to play with ice in his veins. I have not seen him get rattled in any situation and the poise he has shown at 17 is incredible. While the dinosaur in me wants to scream out "but he's not big enough to be a defenceman in the NHL" that myth has been all but shattered at this point. He's going to need to get stronger but the talent is worth the wait in the long run.” - Matt Young

Combining this much IQ, skill and skating ability just isn't fair to Drysdale's competition. His play reads and decision making are elite and make him not only far and away the best draft-eligible defender in the OHL, but the best one period. Whether deciding to skate the puck up ice himself, or make precise deliberate passing plays through the neutral zone, Drysdale shows his intelligence with each and every shift.” - Dylan Galloway

He can run your PP, make the 1st pass out of the zone effortlessly and cover the back end effectively. What impresses me the most is that it seems almost all of his shots make it through to the goalie. That's an underrated talent. He also comes across very, very well in interviews.” - Steve Clark

3. Marco Rossi – Center – Ottawa 67's
Total Votes: 21
Highest Ranking: 1st (1x)
Lowest Ranking: 4th (5x)
The size doesn't bother me at all because I think he works and he battles for pucks and he can win some of those battles with a strong lower half. And that's just the subtitle to his incredible offensive skill and feel for creating goals.” - Chris Peters

I don’t care what anyone says about his size, he plays bigger, stronger and harder than many 6’3 guys. The vision and playmaking ability are serious. The stride is quick and powerful. He’s tight away from the puck and plays all over the ice. I could see him in the NHL next fall.” - Cam Robinson

I’m still higher on Rossi than most. I personally have him in a 2-5 group with Lucas Raymond and Tim Stutzle. He’s a dangerous player who can play both around the perimeter and in tight, he can score and set up a play, and he’s a two-way force. When he’s on the ice at even strength, the 67s are scoring over 5 goals per 60 minutes, nearly a full goal higher than both Byfield and Lafreniere. He also has the lowest goals against rates of the three. The only knock on him is his discipline at times and size, but I’m not the type to be afraid of size. Rossi is a tremendous player and could be a steal should he slip, but I see that as more and more unlikely over time.” - Will Scouch

Of course, the Ottawa broadcaster will have the Ottawa 67 ranked 1st, but I don’t think this is just a ‘homer’ rank. Rossi leads the OHL in scoring, his plus minus, while a flawed stat, could be record setting this year but beyond the numbers, he is just a phenomenal hockey player. You name it and Marco Rossi has it; straight line speed is above average, he is extremely shifty in the corners, his strength is severely underrated, it is very difficult to knock him off the puck and he has a chippy side to his game. Defense is just as good as good as his offense; you won’t see him cheating in the defensive zone to try and create offense. 67’s GM James Boyd compared his game to Patrice Bergeron, I see a lot of Pavel Datsyuk in his game as well. Aside from his size there is zero downside to Rossi.” - Kenny Walls

Marco is a force right now. He’s dominant shift-to-shift in all three zones and probably the best two-way player in junior hockey. He’s not just going to stay at centre at the NHL level, he’s going to excel there. I can’t say enough about the kid — I’m not worried about his size at all.” - Anonymous

Elite offense generator who leads the OHL in scoring due to his creativity, quickness and persistent work ethic. He controls the play when possessing the puck and when he doesn’t have it, he works his butt off to get it back. Stalky build allows him to hold off checkers while looking for the right play. Shows the drive and grit to go to high traffic areas. A competitor who works just as hard in his own zone as he does in the offensive zone. Some NHL teams will have him very high on their draft board come June.” - Dan Stewart

4. Cole Perfetti – Left Wing/Center – Saginaw Spirit
Total Votes: 21
Highest Ranking: 2nd (3x)
Lowest Ranking: 4th (12x)
Tagged as Goal Perfetti after busting on the scene with 37 goals as a rookie last year and then scoring another eight at the Hlinka-Gretzky this fall. Perfetti then started the year off showing off his playmaking skills showing that he is not a one trick pony. Goal scoring is a pretty neat trick though. At the time this was penned Perfetti has 37 goals and 84 points in 47 games. He can dominate games offensively and has arguably the most offensive upside of any player not named Lafreniere in his draft class.” - Peter Harling

His vision and playmaking are so high-end. Had some bad puck-luck to start the year, so it's even more edifying to see him battle Rossi for the scoring crown now.” - Ryan Kennedy

Much like Byfield, the talk about Perfetti focuses too much on the goals and assists. He’s such a smart player on or off the puck, and he’s one of the most versatile goal scorers you’ll find. Perfetti’s used in all situations and is leaned on for all the tough assignments. His processing time in conjunction with his hands make him reliable to handle pressure or physical play no matter the circumstances. His skating from a straight-line speed is a slight drawback but Perfetti’s very elusive and well balanced protecting the puck down low or along the boards.” - Steve Kournianos

I think that everyone expected him to score 60 this year after last years debut, but he has actually become more well rounded as his assists have gone from 37 to 57 and the goals are on pace with last year. He also suffered by not being picked to Team Canada like Byfield and Drysdale were. He's a guy I want to see in the playoffs this year with a strong Saginaw team. He had a very good playoff last year (16-8-6-14), so I want to see him go next level this year with Ryan Suzuki.” - Steve Clark

Intelligence, quick hands and ability to create offensive chances have NHL teams hoping he falls outside of the top five picks in the 2020 NHL Draft. Not big but sturdy and balanced. Has a good shot that he stealthily chances angles on and is a top-level playmaker drawing defenders in before setting up teammates for more than a few tap-in opportunities. He has been on an offensive tear since being cut from Team Canada’s WJC camp roster in December and now sits third in league scoring. Improving his skating and rounding out his overall game are needed.” - Dan Stewart

Uses his smarts all over the ice to evade pressure and checks. He has this ability to suck guys in and, when he does, he gets opposing players kind of puck-staring and then has an ability to find a teammate sneaking in back-door.” - Mike Morreale

5. Jack Quinn – Right Wing – Ottawa 67's
Total Votes: 21
Highest Ranking: 5th (14x)
Lowest Ranking: 9th (1x)
Tough to argue with the numbers and I think he doesn't just have a good shot, but a feel for how to score -- what he needs to do, where to be, how to get there, that translates.” - Chris Peters

Quinn is an interesting player for the 2020 NHL Draft. Only 4 days removed from being eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, he is one of the oldest players available for this draft, which does provide him with a bit of an advantage, in addition to being on a deep 67’s team. That being said, Quinn plays a smart well-rounded game. Quinn’s intelligence shines through in his ability to read and track the play and effectively possess the puck and create space for his teammates. In addition, the way Quinn keeps his feet moving and utilizes his vision to find skating lanes allows him to be very mobile and hard to pin down in the offensive zone. Overall, I like his tools and think he can be an effective player at the next level, I’m just a bit worried that he might be overachieving a bit based on his current level of competition. I see him as a middle 6 two-way forward at the next level.” - Dylan Galloway

Still has not made a believer out of everyone in the scouting community, even some of my contemporaries in the OHL. And I just don't understand why at this point. I don't care if he's a late birth date. He has been one of the most improved players in the entire CHL this year and his work ethic, on and off the ice, will really make him a consummate professional. Some point to how his production should be de-valued because of the strength of the team he plays on. But the 67's are only this strong BECAUSE of Quinn's huge step forward. With the injuries they've had this year, Quinn has been a saving grace on a team that thought they were in trouble after losing Graeme Clarke to a shoulder injury. I think Quinn plays a game tailored to success at the NHL level. His shot is elite, but he scores in so many different ways and is just as effective with the puck as he is without it. And his skating continues to improve. It is so easy to see his game translating well.” - Brock Otten

In his first year and a half Quinn showed flashes of brilliance while playing mostly 4th line minutes. His highlight reel goals earned him the nickname ‘Showtime’, but he has evolved over the course of this season to become so much more consistent, not only in his goal scoring but his overall game. The talent has always been there, he’s been given the opportunity and run with it. From where he has come, not playing AAA hockey until his minor midget season to CCHL rookie of the year and now a top prospect is a testament to the development curve that he is on. Physically he has the tools, his compete level is off the charts and he’s willing to go to the dirty areas to score goals.” - Kenny Walls

A puck hungry winger who forchecks hard, hounds the puck carrier and causes turnovers due to his work ethic and physical play. He is a goal scorer who has improved his skating, strength and has become more aggressive this season. Deciding that going to high traffic areas, flashing his puck skills and driving the net, instead of staying to the outside, will allow him to utilize his strong wrist shot more effectively. And it shows as he is on fire scoring at close to a goal a game pace. His play this season has him skyrocketing from an afterthought on my preliminary OHL draft list to a sure first rounder. Don’t be surprised if an NHL team likes him in their top ten come June.” - Dan Stewart

6. Tyson Foerster – Right Wing – Barrie Colts
Total Votes: 18
Highest Ranking: 6th (5x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (3x)
My 8-10 on this list are honestly interchangeable. Foerster is an offensively talented player with a great sense of positioning in the offensive zone. His shot is great, but his ability to make a play isn’t far behind. I question his even strength potential, as his scoring rates are a bit low relative to other top-level players. Similar to Quinn, in the 2nd round, I’d start pushing to pick him up, but there are many players I feel could be more dynamic and flexible around your lineup, but if you want a smart offensive trigger man, Foerster is a good bet. This is a strong group of 10 to me, and Foerster is no slouch.” - Will Scouch

The CHL Top Prospects Game was a great stage for Foerster, who can score like nobody's business. Scouts love him and don't seem to buy the skating knock.” - Ryan Kennedy

Everyone says that he can't skate well enough but he gets there. Everyone said he'd drop off after Suzuki left but he keeps scoring. Everyone said he was a borderline selection for the Top Prospects game so he went and got the MVP. Kid is a player.” - Mark Seidel

Foerster has been rising my personal OHL rankings with each viewing. While the skating is still fairly raw, it's not really that bad and can be worked on. I've seen some flashes of good transition speed from Foerster, though he struggles at beating defenders one on one in pure foot races. Foerster's shot is the skill that stands out the most for me and behind Perfetti, he has one of the better shots in the OHL for this draft class. While you can never truly predict a player's growth potential, Foerster seems to me to be one of those cases where, with the proper developmental system, he could outperform his drafted position.” - Dylan Galloway

In the first poll I had Foerster at #10, noting that his explosive start was enough to catch my attention, but needed to see how sustainable it was. About 50 games now into the season, we can confidently conclude that Foerster's production is no fluke. His shot is the real deal, and the fact he's recorded a point in every game for Barrie since the trade deadline (18PTS in 11GP at the time of writing) shows how much of an offensive driver he really is. Despite overhauling the roster at the deadline, if the goaltending stays hot, the Colts might still have a serious team that's very much in the mix for the division title. Now being the #1 offensive option on his team, Foerster has a great opportunity to show everything he's capable of, and how much of a factor he can make the Colts come March.” - Victor Findlay

7. Jacob Perreault – Right Wing – Sarnia Sting
Total Votes: 17
Highest Ranking: 5th (2x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (4x)
I'm going to need to see more consistency and effort from Perreault, but I think this class doesn't have a ton of players that have as good of skill. I think decisionmaking is only OK, but he can make plays happen with his skill level.” - Chris Peters

Offers a tremendous shot and is a better skater than most think. He finished second in the on-ice testing at the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, and plays a smart heads-up game as wing. Of course, he can take the occasional face-off if needed; an area of the game he learned from his father and former NHL center Yanic Perreault.” - Mike Morreale

His performance during the on ice testing of the Top Prospect's Game caught me by surprise. I knew his skating ability was good, but I didn't think it was THAT good. Would have never imagined him beating JL Foudy. I think part of that is Perreault has not yet realized how to utilize that speed consistently in the OHL. He really needs to clean up his play in the neutral zone, as he can stop moving his feet and makes too many telegraphed passes that result in turnovers. Would love to see him use that speed more to gain entry into the offensive zone and push through the NZ, rather than look to dish off. Is that a hockey sense thing or a confidence/conditioning thing? But he can really fire the puck and I think he anticipates the play well without the puck, getting himself in position to score. His game is very raw, but the offensive potential is alluring.” - Brock Otten

For starters, what I really like about Perreault is that he didn't come into this season as a secret. Last year's impressive 30 goal output might've caught some teams off guard, but this year everybody knew he was going to be a player to watch, but he hasn't taken any steps backwards offensively. That's a plus, just like his shot which already rivals Arthur Kaliyev's as the best in the league. However, I've seen a handful of games where Perreault hasn't seemed to play much of a factor. Games where he looked like more of a passenger than a driver. But on the other hand, I've also seen games that he's completely taken control of. If that inconsistency irons itself out over time, Perreault could come out of this draft class as one of the best goal-scorers. But I think he needs to be a dynamic player that doesn't just rely on his shot every night to realize his full potential.” - Victor Findlay

I’ve seen too many successful one-on-one executions by Perreault to label him a product of Jamieson Rees. The duo work so well together, but a critical part of their chemistry is Perreault’s ability to break away from a battle and get into shooting position. His shot is elite and puts him in the running for the best in the entire draft, which says something considering all the snipers ranked ahead of him.” - Steve Kournianos

8. Jan Mysak – Center/Left Wing – Hamilton Bulldogs
Total Votes: 14
Highest Ranking: 5th (4x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (7x)
A polarizing prospect. He isn’t your traditional ‘athlete’, but he gets things done. An elite brain. He’s been stirring the drink early with Hamilton. Would love to see the stride cleaned up.” - Cam Robinson

The new kid on the block has put himself right into the conversation of being among the best draft eligibles in the OHL. He’s been over a point-per-game in the OHL and has been a goal-scoring terror for opposing teams. He has scored in a variety of ways and has been doing it often. The fact that so many scouts were sleeping on Mysak is a shame because the kid has massive talent.” - Tony Ferrari

A new face in the OHL, Mysak has been making his presence known league-wide. Though I've only got 1 live view of Mysak at this point I feel confident in placing him at 5 in the OHL already due to his smarts and speed. His above-average speed allows him to explode across the blueline and burn defenders wide to get to the slot and get some high danger scoring chances. While the consistency isn't there on the defensive side of the puck, he's certainly got the ability to play a smart defensive game, closing up gaps, stick checking and helping regain possession.” - Dylan Galloway

Have been extremely impressed by Mysak so far with Hamilton. Plays with a lot of power and his skating is better than I thought it was going to be. A few things really stick out. First is how good he is working the top of the PK, getting his stick in passing lanes, blocking shots/passes, and using his size to disrupt defenders trying to keep pucks in. Second is how he uses his size in the offensive end. Drives the net, has the skill to turn defenders inside out, is physical on the forecheck and does not allow others to push him around. Third is the obvious love he has for the game, with his enthusiasm being contagious on a younger Hamilton team. Seems like every time he scores a goal, it's like it is his first. Just love seeing how intense he is. There is a lot of Rickard Rakell to his game, as I think back to how the Ducks forward looked in his days with Plymouth.” - Brock Otten

Joined the Bulldogs as a top line offensive point producer just last month and has looked like a premier draft prospect from his first shift. Only seen one game of his to date in Hamilton but he looks like an impressive skater with high end speed and agility, quick and creative hands, and a howitzer of a shot make him dangerous each time he is on the ice. Plays with an endless motor and is seeing time on both special teams showing his versatility. As he continues to build his resume in North America, he could see a significant boost in his draft stock come June.” - Dan Stewart

9. Ryan O'Rourke – Defense – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Total Votes: 12
Highest Ranking: 6th (1x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (9x)
Plays an old-school type approach when it comes to his shutdown defensive style. He rarely allows opponents- by him in the defense zone but can still put up points. He plays with an edge.” - Mike Morreale

Quietly goes about his business & keeps getting better. I thought he was outstanding at the CHL Top Prospects game with his awareness, ability to exit the zone & overall efficiency. Not a sexy pick but will have a long productive NHL career.” - Mark Seidel

If you look up flashy or spectacular in the dictionary there is a good chance that O'Rourke's photo won't show up. Having said that, O'Rourke has been tremendous in a down year for the Greyhounds. If you still buy into the old school plus/minus mentality you will definitely appreciate O'Rourke given his outstanding numbers this year. If you are into the intangibles it says a lot that he was named Captain of the team in his draft year as a defenceman given the challenges defenceman face in the OHL in their first two years. I'm a big fan of the kid and the offence will come as he gets older.” - Matt Young

Offensively nothing stands out as elite but what you have is alot of above average qualities. He isn't an elite PP QB but he can get the job done. Has a very good shot, very good mobility and sees the ice well. Defensively is where he stands out to me. He loves to play physical and won't back down. Has great gap control and has stepped up to anchor the teams defence at a young age. Shows very well when playing internationally against his age group.” - Peter Kneulman

A two-way workhorse on the back end who blends highly physical territorial play in his own zone with an improving offensive game where he is seen jumping up into the play more than ever. He was trusted with the team captaincy earlier this year and has the respect of his teammates and coaches. Defensively he is smart, reads the play, is in strong position 100% of the time and makes a strong breakout pass under pressure. Also has a strong point shot. But I am not totally convinced of his offensive upside at the NHL level, but at worse case he should make a safe and steady defender when paired with a puck mover.” - Dan Stewart

10. Jean Luc Foudy – Right Wing/Center – Windsor Spitfires
Total Votes: 12
Highest Ranking: 7th (4x)
Lowest Ranking: Outside of the Top 10 (9x)
He's a more skilled version of his brother for me. He has the skating but can make plays. He's been inconsistent and frustrating too, not unlike his brother during his OHL years.” - Anonymous

Elite speed matters and I think he's smarter and a little more skilled than he often gets credit for. The way he can back defenders down and also be a weapon on the PK is hard to come by. That's a good foundation to start with.” - Chris Peters

I was cool on Foudy until I started tracking him. He is a zone exit/entry beast, and he’s constantly trying to move pucks to dangerous areas. He might not have the point production of other top-level players, but I cannot help but thing that should he be able to remain healthy, he has tremendous potential as a quarterback-style centre. His skating is excellent, and with some linemates with a bit more speed and finesse down the line, he could be a real player.” - Will Scouch

He has shown a tendency to stay on the perimater at times but he skates incredibly well. His brother had the same criticism & Columbus is awfully happy in their investment this far. Jean-Luc generates a lot off the rush & can find quiet areas in the offensive end.” - Mark Seidel

Before the season, I would have said Foudy had a chance to break into the top-5 of this group of OHL draft eligibles but his game just hasn’t taken the step I was hoping to see. He still plays on the perimeter too much but looks very good when he does attack the middle of the offensive zone. His vision and playmaking are still very high-end tools and his skating and speed are among the top of the class. There is a boatload of potential in Foudy but it remains to be seen how much of it he will realize.” - Tony Ferrari

Windsor has been on the outs lately, but I like the fact that Foudy is a minute eater who is even double shifted at times. I love the way he can enter the zone with speed or delay with awareness — both examples of his hockey sense and anticipation. Foudy was in a pretty deep slump when he hurt his shoulder earlier in the month, but his overall effort and decision making was sound in the face of some bad puck luck.” - Steve Kournianos

Honorable Mentions

Will Cuylle – Left Wing – Windsor Spitfires
Total Votes: 8
Highest Ranking: 7th (2x)
So much to love on this file, he is smart, responsible defensively, owns a lethal shot and plays with an edge. Not likely going to be a first round pick, but could be a hit with fans wherever he ends up. Look for a real breakout offensively to follow in his D+1 season as he plays a bigger role.” - Peter Harling

I really liked him as a 16-year-old in the league and am moderately concerned that his offence has not taken off like the majority of the group. Having said that he is also the biggest guy in the group and big guys can sometimes take longer to develop. You can't teach size and anyone watching Cuylle is very likely looking at him in part because of his size. Cuylle also has a pro-shot but I'd love to see him use it a bit more than he has this year. Overall though I can't help but watch Cuylle when he is on the ice and I think the offence will develop to a greater degree as he gets older.” - Matt Young

Cuylle’s game isn’t flashy, it’s booming. Booming shot, booming hits. He plays the power forward role quite well, embracing his sturdy frame and strong body. He still has a big shot but he hasn’t been using it as often this season as in the past. Cuylle doesn’t have the first-line upside others have but he does have a solid two-way game and should translate to the NHL fairly quickly. Projects as a second-line winger who plays on the powerplay and possibly the penalty kill. He has a very underrated defensive game, especially through the neutral zone.” - Tony Ferrari

Has pushed his way back up my draft rankings in the last few months. I think he's finally learned how to use his size consistently to be a factor each and every game. We use to see flashes of that power forward game, but it's on display nearly every shift now as he's throwing his body around and a lot more engaged without the puck. And that's allowing him to be more involved offensively. While smaller, skilled players are taking over the game, there will always be a place for guys like Cuylle who can create space, put pressure on opposing defenses, and score. Really curious to see how he finishes out the year and would selfishly love to see him at the U18's (at the expense of Windsor's playoff push).” - Brock Otten

Antonio Stranges – Left Wing – London Knights
Total Votes: 6
Highest Ranking: 5th (1x)
Everyone raves but Stranges skating and it's what catches your eye immediately. He's immensely talented but also plays on a deep London team so he's not necessarily getting the prime ice that others on this list receive from their teams. You could be concerned that he is not averaging a point per game but his skating ability really helps elevate him on this list because the game is only going to get faster it seems. I'd love to see more offence like the others on this list but that will come in time.” - Matt Young

Stranges is a difficult player to evaluate. He has a ton of tools but hasn’t been able to consistently put them together. His 10-2 (mohawk) skating is fun and I think that he does it better than anyone that’s recently used it regularly but it’s still mostly just fun. He has a good shot and solid vision as a playmaker but his best skill might be his stick handling. He can dangle with the best of them but how far will that get him at the next level? Big time boom-or-bust potential here.” - Tony Ferrari

I have been dropping Stranges down my board slightly as the season goes on. The skating talent is unquestionable at this level, has some of, if not the best edges in the 2020 draft class. The offensive is often there as well, though a touch less consistently. The one thing missing is the defensive side of his game. Many players figure this out later in their careers, but in such a deep draft class this is the one thing that has been causing Stranges to slightly fall down my board as other players prove to be more consistent and capable in all 200ft of the ice.” - Dylan Galloway

Stranges can frustrate and he plays on the perimeter a little too much (though there are players who can make the outside of the ice they’re own and he’s got the tools to be one of them) but the puck skill and edge work are natural gifts. He’s not a first rounder anymore but I like his ability to make plays and create havoc. He can draw defenders in and make them look silly.” - Anonymous

Martin Chromiak – Left Wing – Kingston Frontenacs
Total Votes: 6
Highest Ranking: 7th (3x)
Similar to Mysak, he’s in the OHL with Kingston, and he’s off to a roaring start. 12 points in 10 games, 38%INV, doubling goal differential relative to Kingston while on the ice before he showed up, and just getting more opportunity than he did with Trenčín. He’s got great hands, a great mind for making a play, and he’s making a name for himself when he probably should’ve done so at the World Juniors for Slovakia.” - Will Scouch

Much like Mysak, Chromiak was destined to be a 2nd round NHL pick but his decision to jump to the OHL has really helped his cause. He makes plays in tight & his chemistry with Shane Wright has been unbelievable.” - Mark Seidel

I have been high on this kid since last years U18’s and not sure why the industry is projecting him in the middle rounds of the draft. Now a top twenty talent might be a bit of a stretch, but I think somewhere at the end of round one or the beginning of round two makes sense, but I do love many of his skills and intangibles. His speed, his willingness to play physical and use his frame to his advantage, his firecracker shot, his ability to control the puck though traffic, his outstanding vision and playmaking ability, and his overall versatility all make me think he has a bright NHL future.” - Dan Stewart

Brandon Coe – Right Wing – North Bay Battalion
Total Votes: 2
Highest Ranking: 7th (1x)
He has an elite toolkit. Really good skater and hands for his size. Production is a concern and I'd like him to show up more consistently but when you talk about tools that can translate he has all of them.” - Anonymous

He's another guy who is the best player on a really, really bad team and to me that shows character. He's another big guy who skates awfully well and is working hard on a team going nowhere. He's in his 3rd year in the league and is coming into his own.” - Steve Clark

Jaromir Pytlik – Right Wing/Center – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Total Votes: 2
Highest Ranking: 8th (1x)
Fantastic release. Pytlik is very powerful and has the ability to take over a shift with his strength on the puck. I worry about his production as he is a late birthday and isn't the top scorer on a young Greyhounds team. Part of that could be a continued adjustment to North America. I don't think he is a 1st round talent, but he has an intriguing mix that if it comes together. He could be an above average 2nd liner at the next level.” - Peter Kneulman

Pytlik is a very intelligent player and one of the most complete players in his draft class. His attention to detail on defence is as important to him as offence. The coaching staff can trust him with big defensive responsibilities and is usually the first player over the boards in the last minute whether down a goal or up a goal. He can kill penalties and is a threat offensively on the PK. Pytlik can play both center and wing, which is something NHL scouts covet, but he'll need to put some work in on the dot. On the wing I would like him to add another gear to his speed. It's also an area he has shown some improvement on over a year ago and there is nothing to suggest he won't continue to put in the necessary work. Fans either like him because of his physical, power game or don’t because he isn’t a flashy bring them out of their seats kind of player. But scouts do because of his all-around complete game. The tool box is full but some of the tools need some sharpening. My money is on him eventually putting it all together.” - Dominic Tiano

Ty Tullio – Right Wing – Oshawa Generals
Total Votes: 2
Highest Ranking: 10th (2x)
Quickly becoming one of my favourite prospects from the O this year. Slight, slippery, and willing to fight for every inch of ice. His game should age well with added strength.” - Cam Robinson

Tullio has been one of my favourite players in the draft class for a while and his play this season has done nothing to change that. He is always in on the forecheck, hunts down pucks and creates chances off of plays that seem dead. Tullio has the chance to be a very gifted offensive player because he pairs an elite work ethic with high-end puck skills. His shot is good and his passing is precise. He should only continue to grow offensively now that he’s playing with Tomasino regularly. “ - Tony Ferrari

Nico Daws – Goaltender – Guelph Storm
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 8th (1x)
Daws' last 2 months or so (WJC included) have not been his best body of work by any stretch. But with a North American draft eligible goalie class lacking a phenom, he's still got a case to be the first goalie taken after Yaroslav Askarov in the draft. In an OHL season where offence is up and there are only 8 starting goalies with a SV% above .900 (there were 13 last year), Daws leads the pack as the centrepiece of a Guelph team that has swung above their weight class all season. Daws was hampered by an minor injury recently that held him out of the CHL top prospects game. World juniors included, Guelph has gone 5-8-1 without Daws since Dec. 10th, which honestly isn't that bad. But on their recent 10 game losing skid, it was clear they could've benefited from a healthy Daws stealing them a game or two. Every year somebody steps up to take a goalie early in the 2nd round of the draft, then the dominoes really begin to fall. I imagine Daws will be one of the first dominoes to drop.” - Victor Findlay

Zayde Wisdom – Right Wing – Kingston Frontenacs
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 9th (1x)
I don’t think Wisdom will make too many of these rankings because he may not be the most talented, I do believe that I have left off more skilled players but they don’t own the compete and complete package that Wisdom is able to bring. While not the most skilled guy, Zayde has the ability to play with talented players and raise the level of their game by doing a lot of the dirty work. You won’t see Wisdom back down from anyone as was shown in his rookie year fighting Kevin Bahl. I think he is the type of guy that every NHL team dreams of drafting, as he can play up and down a line up, contribute on any line by bringing physicality and enough skill to allow more skilled players to elevate their game.” - Kenny Walls

Oliver Suni – Right Wing – Oshawa Generals
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 10th (1x)
Lowest Ranking:
I think Suni is one of the more underrated wingers in this draft. He’s already checked multiple blocks in both league and international play, plus his skill set is incredibly diverse. He’s big with a nice reach;  strong on the puck along the boards; quick and agile in open ice; owns a very hard wrist shot, plus he has sharp vision and playmaking ability. Suni’s been a little rusty since coming back from an upper-body injury that forced him to miss a month, but he’s still standing out on a loaded roster.” - Steve Kournianos

Nick Malik – Goaltender – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 10th (1x)
Have only seen Malik live in person once and it was a 5-2 loss to the 67’s but he was so impressive in the performance that I had to have him on this list. He made some incredible saves throughout that game but more importantly to me, it was his anticipation that stood out. He knew where the puck was going before the players did and made what should have or could have been easy goals into routine saves. Hockey IQ is often referred to for skaters but not often for goalies and from what I’ve seen Malik is one of the smartest goalies in the OHL right now. The numbers aren’t kind to Malik at this point but I think you need to look past the pure numbers to how he plays in net and he passes the eye test for me.” - Kenny Walls

Luke Evangelista – Right Wing – London Knights
Total Votes: 1
Highest Ranking: 10th (1x)
Luke is a player that is just scratching the surface. A player who can play in any situation and excel. His strong penalty kill play is attributed to his work ethic and his high hockey IQ where he reads the play well before it happens and is strong positionally. He plays the half wall on the power play where his passing skills are often on display. Goes to the net and can score in tight. He does need to get stronger to fend off bigger defenders. Look for him, along with Knights teammate Antonio Stranges, to really take off next year in his D+1 season as others graduate to the next level.” - Levi Hill


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