Friday, August 21, 2020

Top 25 OHL Prospects - Summer of 2020

As has become regular practice now, following the conclusion of my NHL team write ups ('31 Teams in 31 Days'), I give you a list of the top prospects who played in the OHL during the previous season. In this case, it was the 2019/20 season. The list is capped at 25, with some honorable mentions. I'm also going to keep the write ups slightly short. If you want to read more about these guys, simply click on their NHL team in brackets and you'll be taken to the team's '31 in 31" from this summer and you'll get a detailed write up on their skill set and progression.

Given the late date of the NHL draft and the pandemic situation, undrafted players are appearing on this list for the first time; only 2020 eligibles, however. After the draft, I'll go back and complete write ups for these players on their NHL teams '31 in 31' write ups. For now, I've linked their draft ranking write ups.

Thanks to the great people at InStat Hockey (@InStatHockey), I've also included some advanced stats in each players write up. These are their rankings among the other players on this list at their position. For the goalies, I won't be including advanced stats. Back again this year, I'm also doing NHL comparisons. They aren't my favourite exercise, however I do understand their value to people who don't get to see these players a lot.

1. Quinton Byfield - Center - Sudbury Wolves (2020 Draft Eligible/Los Angeles Kings)
The second overall selection of the 2020 NHL Draft, Byfield is potentially the complete package as a new age NHL center. He has the size, power, and skill to dominate the game in every facet. Of course, he's still young and his game is certainly not flawless. I don't believe that he is NHL ready at this current time. However, if we're looking at potential impact at the NHL level, Byfield has to be number one, just as he was number one in my NHL draft rankings for the OHL in 2020.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.36 - 22/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 80.9% - 8/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 54.5% - 3/27
Takeaways (per/game): 5.69 - 2/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 8.38 - 7/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 8.4/27
NHL Comparison: Evgeni Malkin

2. Jamie Drysdale - Defense - Erie Otters (2020 Draft Eligible/Anaheim Ducks)
My second ranked prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft, Drysdale was the second defender off the board, 6th overall to Anaheim. He still has a lot of physical maturation to do, which should help him become more difficult to match up against defensively. However, his elite skating ability and high end vision/decision making make him the perfect modern age defender.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 0.76 - 9/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 86.8% - 1/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 55.9% - 11/13
Takeaways (per/game): 8 - 11/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 5.9 - 4/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 7.2/13
NHL Comparison: Dan Boyle

3. Cole Perfetti - Center/Left Wing - Saginaw Spirit (2020 Draft Eligible/Winnipeg Jets)
An incredibly intelligent, creative, and well rounded offensive player, Perfetti went a little lower than I anticipated in 2020. At 10th overall, he was an excellent selection by Winnipeg. Much is made of his lack of explosiveness as a skater, however, he dismantles defensive coverage with his vision, skill, and high end agility. He has a real chance to be among the leading scorers in the NHL for many years to come.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3.87 - 4/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 83.7% - 2/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 48% - 16/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.72 - 10/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 7.84 - 9/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 8.2/27
NHL Comparison: Daniel Alfredsson

4. Marco Rossi - Center - Ottawa 67's (2020 Draft Eligible/Minnesota Wild)
The reigning Red Tilson Trophy winner as the OHL's most outstanding player, Rossi was drafted 9th by Minnesota in 2020. The competitive, playmaking pivot has such a strong internal drive to be the best that it is pretty hard to see him not succeeding in becoming an NHL player. His work ethic on the ice is matched off the ice. The only question is, just how effective can he be offensively at the NHL level. Is he a top line center or more of a middle six guy? Obviously, with this ranking, I see him becoming one of the stronger two-way centers in the NHL.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3.09 - 10/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 82.6% - 5/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 48.4% - 13/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.86 - 8/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 6.76 - 16/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 10.4/27
NHL Comparison: Henrik Zetterberg

5. Nick Robertson - Left Wing - Peterborough Petes (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Few prospects in the world of hockey were able to elevate their status the way that Robertson did this year. A second round selection a year ago, Robertson exploded as the top goal scorer in the OHL, improving his strength and skating ability in order to make a more consistent impact. Of course, he also made waves by suiting up for the Maple Leafs in the playoffs this year. Armed with one of the better shots to come through the OHL the last few seasons, Robertson looks poised to have a long career as a top six NHL forward.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 4.02 - 2/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 83.2% - 4/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 50.2% - 7/27
Takeaways (per/game): 5.15 - 5/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 9.47 - 4/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 4.4/27
NHL Comparison: Milan Hejduk


6. Jack Quinn - Left Wing - Ottawa 67's (2020 Draft Eligible/Buffalo Sabres)
With 5 of the top 6 players being 2020 NHL Draft selections, Quinn is certainly a polarizing prospect to some degree. Those who love him, like myself, feel that he deserved to be drafted inside the Top 10 this year. Those who don't, will probably balk at my ranking of him here, as they felt Buffalo reached on him at 8th. IMO, Quinn's projection as a high end goal scorer who can play in any situation and not need his minutes sheltered, is extremely valuable. A late bloomer, Quinn is only just starting to scratch the surface of his overall potential as he matures physically and improves his overall skill set.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3.95 - 3/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 75.4% - 21/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 49.3% - 9/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.52 - 16/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 7 - 14/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 12.6/27
NHL Comparison: Patrick Sharp


7. Thomas Harley - Defense - Mississauga Steelheads (Dallas Stars)
A very strong season for Harley who kept up a high level of offensive production, while improving his defensive intensity and overall defensive play. Blessed with both great size and elite mobility, Harley gains the offensive zone effortlessly at times and has a significant amount of offensive potential at the NHL level. While he did get into a game in the NHL playoffs with Dallas, it remains to be seen whether he is truly ready to crack the Stars' roster full time next season.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 1.27 - 3/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 79.5% - 10/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 63.7% - 2/13
Takeaways (per/game): 11.7 - 1/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 7.33 - 1/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 3.4/13
NHL Comparison: Thomas Chabot


8. Philip Tomasino - Center - Oshawa Generals (Nashville Predators)
An electric mover, Tomasino has become one of the most dangerous OHL players in transition. Armed with explosiveness, quick hands, and finishing ability, Tomasino carves up opposing defenses by driving the middle and pushing the pace. His play away from the puck really improved this season, as he worked to round out his game to become more NHL ready. At this point, it seems 50/50 as to whether he returns to the OHL for another year (even if I think it would do him well in the long term).
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3.75 - 6/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 79.3% - 11/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 49.8% - 8/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.78 - 9/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 8.26 - 8/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 8.4/27
NHL Comparison: Andy McDonald


9. Connor McMichael - Center - London Knights (Washington Capitals)
Emerging as one of the top offensive players in the OHL this year, McMichael had a terrific draft +1 season that also saw him perform very well for Canada at the WJC's and earn an invitation into the playoff bubble with Washington. McMichael is an incredibly intelligent, opportunistic scorer who has a lethal one timer and who reads and reacts to the play extremely well. He projects as someone who can provide a lot of versatility to a future coaching staff, although further gains are still required from him in terms of physical engagement away from the puck.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 4.33 - 1/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 77.2% - 17/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 40% - 27/27
Takeaways (per/game): 2.8 - 26/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 4.9 - 24/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 19/27
NHL Comparison: Bryan Smolinski


10. Ryan Merkley - Defense - London Knights (San Jose Sharks)
Who knew that the marriage between Merkley, London, and the Hunters would bring out the absolute best in him? Learning to control his emotions and working hard to improve his defensive play, Merkley progressed very well in his final OHL season. One of the top playmaking defenders in the CHL, let alone the OHL, Merkley uses his strong edgework and quick hands to create both in transition and while manning the powerplay. His development at the pro level will be very interesting to watch, to see if he has indeed turned the corner.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 1.32 - 2/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 79.2% - 11/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 57.7% - 8/13
Takeaways (per/game): 8.94 - 6/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 6.82 - 2/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 5.8/13
NHL Comparison: Steve Duchesne


11. Jan Jenik - Center - Hamilton Bulldogs (Arizona Coyotes)
In the middle of a breakout season with the Bulldogs, Jenik hurt his knee at the World Junior Championships, ruining a potential bid for the Red Tilson Trophy. A dynamic player cutting through the neutral zone, Jenik is tenacious on and off the puck and this makes him an extremely dangerous playmaker. Fully healthy next year, he has a chance to crack the Coyotes roster fairly quickly so long as he can continue to get stronger and quicker.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3.04 - 12/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 77% - 19/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 56.8% - 1/27
Takeaways (per/game): 8.67 - 1/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 12.5 - 1/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 6.8/27
NHL Comparison: Claude Giroux


12. Ty Dellandrea - Center - Flint Firebirds (Dallas Stars)
A strong two-way center, Dellandrea was able to take his offensive game to new heights this year as a leader for the Firebirds. However, he also showed well at the World Junior Championsips, playing more of a shutdown role for Team Canada. An intelligent pivot, Dellandrea has great instincts at both ends of the ice. From an individual skill perspective, Dellandrea is probably best suited as a middle six center who can keep things simple. He just needs to get stronger to be able to be more consistent down low, especially at the pro level.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.83 - 17/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 73.8% - 24/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 40.5% - 26/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.13 - 20/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 9.13 - 5/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 18.4/27
NHL Comparison: Jeff Halpern


13. Liam Foudy - Left Wing/Right Wing/Center - London Knights (Columbus Blue Jackets)
Like Nick Robertson, it has been a pretty eventful year for Foudy. NHL debuts (regular season and playoff). A strong year for London. Gold at the WJC's. He was well traveled. Perhaps one of the fastest skaters to ever suit up in the OHL, Foudy was able to fine tune his game this year to make it more "pro ready." He attacked the middle with greater consistency and improved his defensive game and physical intensity. As an offensive player, his game may have some limitations, but there is no doubt that he will be a long time NHL player.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3.16 - 9/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 83.4% - 3/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 48.1% - 15/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.22 - 19/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 10.4 - 3/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 9.8/27
NHL Comparison: Andrew Cogliano


14. Arthur Kaliyev - Right Wing - Hamilton Bulldogs (Los Angeles Kings)
One of the most talented offensive players in the CHL, Kaliyev had another outstanding season in the OHL with the Bulldogs. Armed with an absolutely lethal shot, Kaliyev is a always a threat to score when on the ice. However, his playmaking ability and overall vision with the puck is greatly undervalued. Just how much of an impact he makes at the NHL level will depend on how much he can improve his play away from the puck; specifically his engagement level in the offensive zone.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3.85 - 5/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 77.7% - 16/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 43.4% - 21/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4 - 21/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 6.21 - 18/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 16.2/27
NHL Comparison: Thomas Vanek

15. Kevin Bahl - Defense - Ottawa 67's (New Jersey Devils)
A behemoth defender, Bahl is one of the most effective players in the defensive end, in the OHL. A fierce physical competitor, Bahl consistently looks to neutralize attacking forwards by hammering them before they reach the blueline. His overall mobility continues to improve, which bodes well for this defensive dominance translating to the NHL level. Offensively, he can make a clean exit and will even make the occasional play offensively up ice. But his mark will definitely be made in the defensive end.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 0.71 - 10/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 84% - 3/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 62.1% - 5/13
Takeaways (per/game): 8.42 - 7/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 3.21 - 12/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 7.4/13
NHL Comparison: Bryan Allen


16. Alec Regula - Defense - London Knights (Chicago Blackhawks)
A defender with a very unique skill set, Regula has blossomed under the tutelage of Dale Hunter in London. Blessed with size and mobility, Regula is utilized in a lot of different ways and is an extremely versatile player. He can play a shutdown role. He plays the bumper position on the powerplay. He can lead the rush and is a solid contributor offensively at even strength too. His decision making with and without the puck has improved a lot in the last year and this bodes very well for his NHL future.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.04 - 1/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 80.1% - 8/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 57.5% - 9/13
Takeaways (per/game): 10.6 - 3/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 3.67 - 11/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 6.4/13
NHL Comparison: Tyler Myers


17. Ryan O'Rourke - Defense - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (2020 Draft Eligible/Minnesota Wild)
A second rounder to Minnesota, O'Rourke brings a lot of things to the table as a stable, two-way defender. For one, he's a future NHL captain (already serving as an OHL captain at 17). He is strong in his own end and is capable of playing a shutdown role. However, he is also a smart puck mover who can jump up in the play and has a strong point shot. While his role in the NHL is likely to be more defensively oriented, there is room for him to blossom into more of a two-way threat down the line.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 0.58 - 12/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 84.6% - 2/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 56.6% - 10/13
Takeaways (per/game): 8.19 - 9/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 4.74 - 7/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 8/13
NHL Comparison: Ryan McDonagh


18. Jan Mysak - Center/Left Wing - Hamilton Bulldogs (2020 Draft Eligible/Montreal Canadiens)
My 7th ranked OHL player for the 2020 NHL draft, Mysak is an interesting prospect. Coming over from the Czech Republic at mid season, he was terrific for the Bulldogs in limited action. He showed versatility by playing both center and the wing and excels at driving the net and playing near the crease. His hands and finishing ability in tight are impressive. Just how well his offensive skill set translates to the NHL remains to be seen, but there's a reason why many were surprised he fell to the second round to Montreal.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.64 - 20/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 77.8% - 15/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 42.9% - 22/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.67 - 11/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 6 - 19/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 17.4/27
NHL Comparison: Erik Haula

19. Bode Wilde - Defense - Saginaw Spirit (New York Islanders)
Played only 11 games in the OHL this year after starting the season in the AHL Wilde is the very definition of a "toolsy" prospect. His combination of size, skating ability, and overall skill level allows him to really leave his mark on the game offensively. He is very aggressive jumping up or leading the rush and has the potential to be a big time point producer. The question is, does he think the game well enough in order to get the best out of his physical tools? His decision making will need to improve and he may be a long term project because of it. However, if he can put it all together, he could be an impact player.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 0.91 - 7/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 78.4% - 12/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 63% - 3/13
Takeaways (per/game): 7 - 13/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 6.36 - 3/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 7.6/13
NHL Comparison: Tom Poti


20. Ryan Suzuki - Center - Saginaw Spirit (Carolina Hurricanes)
A crafty playmaking center, Suzuki finished the shortened season strong as part of the Saginaw Spirit organization. Playing alongside Cole Perfetti, Suzuki was able to improve his play away from the puck and he seemed to excel at times with less pressure on him to be the lead facilitator. A different player than his brother Nick, Ryan will need to continue to get stronger, on and off the puck, in order to improve his consistency and reach his potential as a scoring line center.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.86 - 16/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 76.2% - 20/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 43.8% - 20/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.37 - 17/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 5.59 - 20/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 17.4/27
NHL Comparison: David Krejci

21. Jacob Perreault - Right Wing/Left Wing/Center - Sarnia Sting (2020 Draft Eligible/Anaheim Ducks)
Without a doubt, Perreault has the potential to move up this list this quickest if he is able to put everything together next season in Sarnia. A first round selection in 2020, Perreault is an enigmatic goal scorer. His shot is NHL quality, however he's still learning how to best utilize his puck skill and quickness to be a consistent contributor. Scouts also want to see a more consistent effort away from the puck. But the potential is very high for Perreault.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.98 - 14/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 77.2% - 18/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 47.9% - 17/27
Takeaways (per/game): 3.82 - 22/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 6.45 - 17/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 17.6/27
NHL Comparison: Mike Hoffman


22. Tyson Foerster - Right Wing - Barrie Colts (2020 Draft Eligible/Philadelphia Flyers)
Foerster has to be considered one of the best goal scoring prospects on this list. While currently more of a triggerman, armed with a top notch one timer, Foerster does have room for his game to develop further. The key to unlocking that potential will be improvements made to his skating ability. As he gets stronger and more confident, there is also room for him to assert himself physically more consistently.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3.67 - 7/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 81% - 7/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 47% - 19/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.60 - 12/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 7.28 - 12/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 11.4/27
NHL Comparison: Michael Ryder

23. Jamieson Rees - Center - Sarnia Sting (Carolina Hurricanes)
Rees didn't see the ice a ton this year because of suspensions and injury, however when he did play, his offensive production was impressive (with one of the highest ppg averages in the OHL). However, he will need to refine his approach in some areas (towing the line physically, making better decisions with the puck) to become a more effective overall player.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.79 - 19/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 71.6% - 26/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 48.4% - 14/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.58 - 14/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 6.83 - 15/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 17.8/27
NHL Comparison: T.J. Oshie

24. Akil Thomas - Center - Peterborough Petes (Los Angeles Kings)
It was a good final season in the OHL for the talented playmaker. He was able to elevate his play through traffic and become a better all around player who could be counted on in any situation. He scored a remarkable game winning goal at the World Junior Championships to help Canada capture Gold. Additionally, his podcast (Soul On Ice) was picked up by the NHL to be featured as part of their official rotation. Thomas is just a hard working kid who should be an NHL player in some capacity. It may take a few years for him to build up the strength and get up to speed, but long term he projects as a middle six playmaking forward.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3.08 - 11/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 85.7% - 1/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 52.5% - 4/27
Takeaways (per/game): 5.32 - 4/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 7.61 - 11/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 6.2/27
NHL Comparison: Mikael Granlund


25. Martin Chromiak - Left Wing - Kingston Frontenacs (2020 Draft Eligible/Los Angeles Kings)
A favourite of mine for the 2020 NHL Draft, Chromiak certainly fell hard at the 2020 Draft. However, I believe that he has a lot more to show us as a prospect and that his game will improve drastically as his confidence improves. A very well rounded player, Chromiak proved to be the perfect compliment to the exceptional Shane Wright this season in Kingston. His awareness and anticipation in the offensive end is excellent. His shot is also much better than the stats would indicate. I believe that Chromiak is a great bet to become a terrific complimentary top six player down the line as he gains strength (his advanced stats certainly aren't flattering currently).
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.32 - 24/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 73.9% - 23/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 41.4% - 24/27
Takeaways (per/game): 3 - 25/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 4.46 - 26/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 24.4/27
NHL Comparison: Alex Steen


Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order): 

Egor Afanasyev - Left Wing - Windsor Spitfires (Nashville Predators)
Another elite level triggerman, Afanasyev had a solid first season in the OHL with the Windsor Spitfires. Like Foerster, he possesses an elite one timer and is deadly on the powerplay because of it. Afanasyev also shows flashes of being able to create his own chances by driving the middle and has some creativity to his game. He has great size, at 6'4, 200lbs, for a goal scorer too. Moving forward, it's just about how Afanasyev can elevate his play away from the puck and become a more well rounded player.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.83 - 18/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 71.3% - 27/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 48.6% - 12/27
Takeaways (per/game): 3.11 - 24/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 5 - 23/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 20.8/27
NHL Comparison: Stephane Richer

Declan Chisholm - Defense - Peterborough Petes (Winnipeg Jets)
Chisholm's game is built around his effectiveness as a mover. He impacts the game in transition because of how well he starts the breakout. His defensive game has improved significantly since he was drafted and he definitely earned his ELC this year.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 0.69 - 11/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 82.9% - 5/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 62.6% - 4/13
Takeaways (per/game): 9.64 - 4/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 5.06 - 5/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 5.8/13
NHL Comparison: Josh Morrissey


Connor Corcoran - Defense - Windsor Spitfires (Vegas Golden Knights)
Another strong two-way defender, Corcoran was able to elevate his play at both ends of the ice in order to earn a contract from Vegas this year. Blessed with good size, mobility, scoring instincts, and defensive awareness, Corcoran projects as a reliable #4-6 defender at the NHL level.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 1.14 - 4/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 81.6% - 6/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 59.2% - 7/13
Takeaways (per/game): 9 - 5/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 4.33 - 9/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 6.2/13
NHL Comparison: Justin Braun


Will Cuylle - Left Wing - Windsor Spitfires (2020 Draft Eligible/New York Rangers)
A big power forward, Cuylle was a second round selection at the 2020 NHL Draft. With great size, scoring instincts, and penchant for the big hit, Cuylle resembles the big scoring wingers who dominated the league in the mid 90's and early 2000's. Consistency is the number one issue and he will need to further improve his explosiveness to be an NHL regular.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.98 - 15/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 78.2% - 13/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 41.9% - 23/27
Takeaways (per/game): 2.21 - 27/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 3.58 - 27/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 21/27
NHL Comparison: Dustin Brown


Riley Damiani - Center - Kitchener Rangers (Dallas Stars)
Although slightly undersized, Damiani is a very versatile forward who projects as the type of player who can be employed many different ways by a coaching staff. He's talented enough offensively to play a scoring line role. He's smart and tenacious enough to play a checking line role. Ultimately, the key to Damiani's success at the pro level will be how much he can improve his skating ability.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3.57 - 8/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 81.2% - 6/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 40.7% - 25/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.56 - 15/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 5.22 - 22/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 15.2/27
NHL Comparison: Valterri Filppula


Nico Daws - Goaltender - Guelph Storm (2020 Draft Eligible/New Jersey Devils)
In his final year of draft eligibility, Daws took a massive leap forward to win the Jim Rutherford Trophy (Top Goaltender). Using the offseason to get in better shape, he was a new man and has emerged as a legitimate potential NHL netminder. For that reason, he was a relatively high selection of New Jersey this year.
NHL Comparison: Mike Smith


Luke Evangelista - Left Wing/Right Wing - London Knights (2020 Draft Eligible/Nashville Predators)
Evangelista was a very intriguing prospect eligible for this year's NHL Draft. While he ended up as a second round selection, I don't believe that we have a true sense of what his high end potential is yet. That is because his usage was somewhat sheltered on a deep London team this year, as Evangelista was used more as a complimentary piece. We know that he excels as a playmaker down low and along the wall. However, he may have better finishing ability and puck skill than we give him credit for.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.33 - 23/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 79.2% - 12/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 54.9% - 2/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.59 - 13/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 5.47 - 21/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 14.2/27
NHL Comparison: Justin Williams


Jean Luc Foudy - Center - Windsor Spitfires (2020 Draft Eligible/Colorado Avalanche)
The brother of London's Liam, Jean Luc may possess the same dynamic skating ability as his brother, but otherwise is a different player. Windsor's Foudy is a talented and creative playmaker who uses his speed to gain the zone and prolong possession. However, his finishing ability, consistency, and effectiveness/engagement through traffic are question marks. He's far from a polished product and does have significant room to grow as a player and NHL prospect.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 1.68 - 27/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 80.8% - 9/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 39.3% - 10/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.35 - 18/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 10.5 - 2/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 13.2/27
NHL Comparison: Scott Gomez

Cam Hillis - Center - Guelph Storm (Montreal Canadiens)
One of the OHL's elite playmakers due to his high end vision and passing touch, Hillis progressed well this year to earn an NHL contract from Montreal. His skating improved. He remained healthy. And he helped to lead Guelph to a surprisingly solid season in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Long term, his competitiveness and vision gives him a good chance to become a middle six center in the future.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 1.95 - 26/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 80.4% - 10/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 47.2% - 18/27
Takeaways (per/game): 5.61 - 3/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 7.11 - 13/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 14/27
NHL Comparison: Eric Belanger


Jacob Ingham - Goaltender - Kitchener Rangers (Los Angeles Kings)
The year didn't quite start the way that he would have liked, suffering an injury and with the Rangers struggling to earn victories. But he turned things around in a big way in the second half. A big kid, Ingham has that classic combination of size and athleticism that NHL teams look for and he's worked really hard to improve his mental focus and consistency.
NHL Comparison: Cam Talbot


Hunter Jones - Goaltender - Peterborough Petes (Minnesota Wild)
Heading into the season, the expectations for Jones were sky high and he did not disappoint. He worked hard to put together more consistent stretches in Peterborough and was the rock that they needed to help them to a solid season. At 6'4 and 200lbs, Jones obviously has the size scouts want and has worked hard to become more agile so that he can be more comfortable challenging shooters aggressively. He certainly has the chance to become a quality NHL netminder down the road.
NHL Comparison: Mackenzie Blackwood

Vladislav Kolyachonok - Defense - Flint Firebirds (Florida Panthers)
A great defensive stopper, Kolyachonok projects as a great stay at home defender because of his high end mobility and defensive instincts. His offensive game made nice strides this year as part of a good Flint team. It's hard to see him not becoming an NHL defender in some capacity.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 0.83 - 8/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 79.6% - 9/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 61.2% - 6/13
Takeaways (per/game): 10.9 - 2/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 4.64 - 8/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 6.6/13
NHL Comparison: Brett Pesce


Mason Millman - Defense - Saginaw Spirit (Philadelphia Flyers)
From the start of the season, to the end, few players in the OHL improved as much as Millman did. Through the second half, he was a point per game defender on one of the OHL's best teams. Additionally, his confidence as a defensive player continues to grow as he learns to use his high end skating ability to his advantage in his own end. A player to watch next year.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 0.97 - 5/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 83.2% - 4/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 55.8% - 12/13
Takeaways (per/game): 8.10 - 10/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 3.86 - 10/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 8.2/13
NHL Comparison: Nick Leddy


Serron Noel - Right Wing - Kitchener Rangers (Florida Panthers)
Whether it was because of the back injury, the switch of teams, the let down of not being invited to the Team Canada WJC camp, Noel just did not look as good this year as the season prior. His lack of progression was one of the greater individual disappointments of the season. That said, he still has that size and skill combination that makes him an intriguing NHL prospect and worthy of an HM on this list.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2 - 25/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 71.8% - 25/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 50.9% - 6/27
Takeaways (per/game): 3.81 - 23/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 7.63 - 10/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 17.8/27
NHL Comparison: Pat Maroon


Nikita Okhotyuk - Defense - Ottawa 67's (New Jersey Devils
A hard nosed, physical defender, Okhotyuk is extremely effective in the defensive end and projects as a PK anchor for the Devils. With good size and good mobility, Okhotyuk can suffocate opposing forwards after they cross the blueline. His offensive game has limitations, but it does show flashes of a greater effectiveness.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 0.47 - 13/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 75.3% - 13/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 64% - 1/13
Takeaways (per/game): 8.21 - 8/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 2.36 - 13/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 9.6/13
NHL Comparison: Radko Gudas


Cole Schwindt - Center - Mississauga Steelheads (Florida Panthers)
A strong two-way pivot with size, Schwindt had a great season from a development standpoint, emerging as the offensive leader for the Steelheads. He's so good at disrupting with his length and is a very effective penalty killer and backchecker. His offensive game continues to improve, along with his skating and it is certainly helping his projection as a shutdown third line center.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 2.48 - 21/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 75.3% - 22/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 49% - 11/27
Takeaways (per/game): 4.95 - 7/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 8.53 - 6/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 13.4/27
NHL Comparison: Jay McClement


Tyler Tucker - Defense - Flint Firebirds (St. Louis Blues)
Splitting the year between Barrie and Flint, Tucker was one of the best defenders in the OHL this year, taking his offensive confidence and production to new heights, while continuing to play his physical brand of defense in his own end. While Tucker's mobility and decision making with the puck will need to continue to improve, he's put himself on the map as a potential #4-6 defender for the Blues in the future.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 0.92 - 6/13
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 81.4% - 7/13
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 55.6% - 13/13
Takeaways (per/game): 7.36 - 12/13
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 4.79 - 6/13
Average Cumulative Ranking: 8.8/13
NHL Comparison: Steve Staios


Evan Vierling - Center - Barrie Colts (2020 Draft Eligible/New York Rangers)
Following a trade from Flint, Vierling took off as a Barrie Colt, finding great chemistry with fellow 2020 draft selection Tyson Foerster. A talented playmaking pivot, Vierling is at his best when he's driving the net or working the half wall on the powerplay. He'll need to continue to improve his foot speed and his strength on/off the puck, but he has a chance to outproduce his draft selection and has the potential to develop into a middle six NHL center.
Advanced Stats
Scoring Chances (per/game): 3 - 13/27
Passes Completed Percentage (per/game): 78.1% - 14/27
Challenges Won Percentage (per/game): 51.3% - 5/27
Takeaways (per/game): 5.05 - 6/27
Total Zone Entries (per/game): 4.8 - 25/27
Average Cumulative Ranking: 12.6/27
NHL Comparison: Chris Tierney


Cumulative Advanced Stats Rankings (for Reference):

  1. Nick Robertson - 4.4
  2. Akil Thomas - 6.2
  3. Jan Jenik - 6.8
  4. Cole Perfetti - 8.2
  5. Quinton Byfield - 8.4
  6. Philip Tomasino - 8.4
  7. Liam Foudy - 9.8
  8. Marco Rossi - 10.4
  9. Tyson Foerster - 11.4
  10. Jack Quinn - 12.6
  11. Evan Vierling - 12.6
  12. JL Foudy - 13.2
  13. Cole Schwindt - 13.4
  14. Cam Hillis - 14
  15. Luke Evangelista - 14.2
  16. Riley Damiani - 15.2
  17. Arthur Kaliyev - 16.2
  18. Jan Mysak - 17.4
  19. Ryan Suzuki - 17.4
  20. Jacob Perreault - 17.6
  21. Jamieson Rees - 17.8
  22. Serron Noel - 17.8
  23. Ty Dellandrea - 18.4
  24. Connor McMichael - 19
  25. Egor Afanasyev - 20.8
  26. Will Cuylle - 21
  27. Martin Chromiak - 24.4
  1. Thomas Harley - 3.4
  2. Ryan Merkley - 5.8
  3. Declan Chisholm - 5.8
  4. Connor Corcoran - 6.2
  5. Alec Regula - 6.4
  6. Vladislav Kolyachonok - 6.6
  7. Jamie Drysdale - 7.2
  8. Kevin Bahl - 7.4
  9. Bode Wilde - 7.6
  10. Ryan O’Rourke - 8
  11. Mason Millman - 8.2
  12. Tyler Tucker - 8.8
  13. Nikita Okhotyuk - 9.6