Tuesday, 11 April 2017

OHL Head Coaching Candidates

With Jarrod Skalde out as the head coach we will have some movement on the coaching front in the OHL this season. Will there be more? It is hard to speculate, you would have to think this is the year an NHL team takes Knoblach away from Erie whether it be as an AHL HC or an NHL AC. 

Now this is by no means a list of who I think will be tasked with taking over these programs but a list of coaches who I feel are worthy of a look from OHL coaches. My list last year (which was more Hamilton Bulldogs centric) contained the names of James Richmond and Ryan Oulahan who were both able to nab head coaching jobs. 

Jr A and Jr B coaches

Hires in recent year from this group include former coach of the year Sheldon Keefe who joined the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds from the CCHL. Todd Gill is another coach who made the jump from Jr A to the OHL and not to be forgotten a name you will see later on in this list but the Barrie Colts plucked an upstart coach from the OJHL named Marty Williamson who has had a taste of success as a coach in the OHL. Here are a couple of names in the Jr A ranks that are deserving of an OHL look.

Jason Clarke Carleton Place Canadians CCHL

After 4 straight regular season titles and 3 straight CCHL championships you would have to think it is only a matter of time before Jason Clarke gets hired by an OHL team. On top of the 3 consecutive CCHL titles is 3 Fred Page Cup chamiponships which has lead to 3 straight births in the RBC cup which is Canadas national Jr A championship.

Clarke was also head coach of Team Canada East at this years World Jr A challenge leading the team to a Silver medal in an event which was Canada East's best finish since 2012.

Clarke was awarded the Coach of the year in the CCHL in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Recent CCHL coach of the year winners to have advanced to the OHL include Sheldon Keefe, Todd Gill and Chris Byrne.

Mark Jooris Burlington Cougers OJHL

After a playing career that saw him play play 4 years with RPI in the NCAA and a pro career in Finland, Germany and Switzerland Mark settled back in his home town of Burlington to Coach the Cougars in 2009-10. In that season he led the Cougars to one of their best seasons and took home the Western Conference coach of the year honours. The next season he was in Oakville and the following season in Markham. After which he was out of coaching before returning to the Burlington Cougars. In 2015-16 he led the Cougars to a 47 point improvement and took home the leagues coach of the year honours. This season he finished 2nd in the voting for OJHL coach of the year after leading the Cougars to a franchise record in wins. Now a HC position may be a bit of a stretch at this point but I would not be surprised if he ends up as an OHL assistant specifically with Hamilton.

Jordan Smith Soo Thunderbirds NOJHL

A Sault Ste Marie native and former Soo Greyhound who was drafted by the Anahiem Ducks in the 2nd round in 2004. Smith finished 3rd in the voting for the Max Kaminsky Trophey his final year in the OHL. Smith would have his playing career cut short due to a freak eye injury as a 20 year old. A situation that cut short the playing career of another Saulite Paul Maurice who also went into coaching.

After his eye injury however Smith played for 5 seasons at Lakehead University. Affer which he took on a coaching role with the Thunder Bay North Starts in the SIJHL. The following season Soo Thunderbirds GM Kevin Cain came calling to bring Smith home to the Soo. From 2013-16 Smith would accumulate a record of 143-18-2-9. The Thunderbirds would also make 2 appearences in the Dudley Hewitt Cup and 1 RBC cup appearence.

After an ownership change before the 2016 season Smith took on the GM duties along with his role as head coach.

Under his watch the Thunderbirds helped develop the likes of Boris Katchouk and Nic Sicoly in their 16yo seasons before advancing the OHL. Mario Culina earned an OHL contract as a Free Agent and Owen Headrick would jump to the NCAA as an 18 year old and star with Lake Superior State (before signing with Erie this past January).

OHL Assistant Coaches

Surprise coach of the year candidate Dave Bell and shockingly ommitted coach of the year candidate Ryan Oulahan and Steelheads HC James Richmond are all former OHL assistants who became head coaches last season.

Jason Fortier Kitchener Rangers

2 time OJHL coach of the year with the the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots. Spent last season as an assosiote coach with the QMJHL champion Ryoun-Noranda Huskies. Spent this year in the same position on the upstart Kitchener Rangers coaching staff.

Dylan Hunter London Knights

Former captain and star of the London Knights with 2 100 point seasons under his belt. After 239 AHL and 67 ECHL games he retired and joined his dad behind the bench with the Knights. He is currently completing his 6th season as an assistant learning under Dale. Fans will point to his name and say he is only where he is because of his last name but that takes away from his accomplisments. He taken advantage of his oppertunities and should be ready for a new challange.

Joe Cirella Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds

14 years of OHL coaching expierience including the last 4 years as the assosiote coach on the Greyhounds staff that has seen 3 West Division titles. At 53 Cirella is the oldest on this list without any OHL head coaching expierience. He has done a pheonomial job at all his stops in the OHL. There is no doubt that he is worthy of a Head Coaching oppertunity but you have to wonder if it is what he wants at this point in his career.

Former Coaches

There is something to be said about experience and this is something that these coaches bring to the table that other candidates do not. Bringing in a former HC isn't always about recycling a former option. There are times when a former HC is the perfect candidate and can help build on what has been started. Last year the Hamilton Bulldogs brought in John Gruden after he was disposed as HC in Flint.

Marty Williamson

Former Barrie Colts and Niagara IceDogs head coach. Before taking last season off after being disposed as the Niagara HC he had been the head man behind and OHL bench for the last 12 seasons. In those 12 seasons his teams won a total of 16 playoff series and accumulated a regular season record of 457-296-63. Williamson however doesn't come without question marks. Health issues arose during his final few seasons with the Icedogs. On top of that he held a dual HC/GM role with Niagara. Is that something he would need at his next stop? Is that a position he can continue to thrive in as he gets older? He has a career playoff record of 1-12 vs the Western Conference. Is he someone who mearly took advantage of a weak Eastern Conference and couldn't compete with the big boys?

George Burnett

Speculation he may end up in Guelph where he coached in the '97-'98 season. Burnett has 20 years of OHL head coaching expierience dating back to the 89-90 season. Spent the past season in Flint as the GM where they seem to be building something special with current HC Ryan Oulahan. Since the 09-10 season his teams have only won 2 playoff rounds, missed the playoffs 3 times and have been ousted in the 1st round 3 times. Is coaching the best thing for him at this point in his career or is he more suited to concentrate on the GM duites where he has thrived in Flint. It is possible just having the HC hat will allow him to thrive in that role if he so desires.

CIS Head Coaches

Chris Dennis

Head coach of the York University Lions. Dennis was an assistant coach with Team Canada Black at the recent U17 in Sault Ste. Marie where he picked up a silver medal. He has been the head coach at York University for the past 2 seasons. Before that he spent 2 seasons as an assistant coach with the Toronto Maple Leafs after a number of years as their video coach. He brings with him an interesting resume that could pique the interest of an OHL owner. At the very least he would be a home run of a hire as an associate coach if a team could convince him to make that move.

Former Players

This is a tricky catagory to project success. These players have the expierience and knowledge of what to do to get to the next level but that doesnt always translate into on ice success. Some recent examples of former players to make the jump into the HC role include Darien Hatcher in Sarnia, Bob Boughner in Windsor, Scott Walker in Guelph (he did have half a season as an AC under his belt) and Dale Hunter in London.

Todd Bertuzzi

I don't feel he is as viable of an OHL head coaching candidate as the others on the list. However his name may make him stick out to an Owner and right now that is all that sticks out on his resume is his name. He has spent the past 2 seasons as the head coach of the U16 Oakland Jr Grizzlies but that hardly sticks out when comparing expiereince to the other candidates. A former player like Todd Harvey makes more sense due to his 4 years of OHL coaching expierience.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Eastern Conference Round 2 Preview: Peterborough Petes (1) vs Kingston Frontenacs (4)

Other Previews

Players to Watch


Nikita Korostelev: Maples Leafs 7th round draft pick and the Petes big deadline acquisition this year. He picked up 29 points in 24 games with the Petes and averaged a point per game over Niagara. Should continue to be a factor for the rest of the playoffs as a focal point in the Petes Attack so look for him to build upon his opening round stats in a big way vs Kingston. 

Jason Robertson - Has there been a more underappreciated 80 point/300 shot season by a 17 year old? Robertson was an absolute force vs the Bulldogs in round 1 and will be someone the Petes will need to shutdown if they want to avoid an upset.

How they got here


The Petes advanced rather easily with a 4 game sweep of the Niagara Icedogs. Niagara was a borderline playoff team who really had no business in the post season and it showed.

Playoff  Power Play: 4 for 15 26.7%
Playoff  Penalty Kill: 13 for 17 76.5%


The Fronts had a tough 7 game series with their division rivals from Hamilton. After falling behind 2-0 with both losses on home ice Kingston showed their resiliency by fighting back and winning the next 3 before taking it in OT in game 7. 

Playoff  Power Play: 3 for 27 11.1%
Playoff Penalty Kill: 9 for 14 64.3%

Key's to the Series


The Petes do a great job at generating offensive chances but they also give up their fair share as well. While they should be able to get past the Fronts if this continues they will still want to work towards limiting the amount of chances they give up as it will give them trouble vs Mississauga or Oshawa


Limit Peterboroughs chances and capitalize on their own. Give Jeremy Helvig an opportunity to steal a few games and fill the Petes with doubt

Season Series

PTB 6-2-0
KGN 2-3-3

The season series between these two divisonal rivals was closer than what Peterboroughs record dictates. Peterborough held the edge in reguation finishes 3-2 and took all 3 OT games. This should give Kingston fans a but of hope as a few bounces their way could go a long way in this series.

Key Numbers


42.5: That is the average shots per game the Petes had in the opening round. Granted it was against Niagara a team that had questionable at best playoff credentials. Should they continue to generate shots at a high rate going forward they will be a tough out in the East


1987 That was the last time the Fronts had won a 1st round match up for the 2nd straight year. This was supposed to be a bit of a transitional year for the Fronts and with their young talent there is lots to be excited about. Arguably one of the deepest teams in terms of '99 and '00 and whatever happens this series will be great for their future growth


Peterborough in 5. I feel the Petes have too much depth to allow Robertson and Helvig a chance to steal more than 1 game in this series. 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Western Conference Round 2 preview: Erie Otters (1) vs London Knights (4)

Other Previews

Players to Watch

Alex DeBrincat: I wanted to stay away from listing DeBrincat here because everyone who follows the OHL knows he is a player to watch. That said he was fantastic against the Sting even if wasnt filling the net himself. His 11 assists in 4 games gave him a 2.75 per game average. He will start putting the puck in the net at a higher frequency the Knights just hope it isnt this series.

Cliff Pu: The Knights leading scorer in the regular season with 86 points. He was held to a rather pedestrian 4 points in 7 games vs the Spits. Getting him active and producing will be a key for the Knights in this series and Pu isn't a player you would want to bet on to have 2 mediocre series in a row.

How they got here


Erie steamrolled the Sarnia Sting in the 1st round winning in 4 straight. The Sarnia power play had more success against the Otters than they would have liked and that is something that will need to be fixed against London. With the long break some will say the Otters will be rusty, others will say they will be well rested. All I know is they will be ready to face the Knights

Playoff  Power Play: 8 for 23 34.8%
Playoff  Penalty Kill: 9 for 14 64.3%


London came back from 3-1 down to knock of the Memorial Cup hosts in 7 games. My prediction was wrong as the Spits did not hire a hypnotist to convince DiPietro that the Knights were having a teddy bear toss game on Tuesday and because of that London was able to score 3 goals and win.

Playoff  Power Play: 7 for 27 25.9%
Playoff Penalty Kill: 23 for 29 79.3%

Key's to the Series


These teams are fairly evenly matched but Erie had the upper hand in the regular season. The Otters will want to keep the pressure on London and put them in a position where they are playing catch up all series. This will help mitigate the chances that Tyler Parsons can steal the series for London.


Steal a game in Erie early. The Knights were able to come back vs Windsor but that will be a whole lot harder vs the Otters. They must also maintain their discipline and not give DeBrincat and Strome a chance to pick them apart on the power play.

Season Series

Erie 4-2-0
LDN 2-4-0

This season series was dominated by the Otters. The 2 wins London picked up were the virtual Jr B game at the start of the season and a must win game for the Knights near the end of the year to keep their slim chances of a finish higher than 4th alive. Erie out scored London 21-6 in their 4 wins and controlled the games from start to finish. Maybe London can build on that last game in this playoff series but based on the season sample the Otters have a serious edge

Sept 23
Oct 15
Jan 27
Feb 15
Mar 10
Mar 14

Key Numbers

.881% That was Troy Timpano's save percentage in the 1st round. Now I will must issua a small sample size (SSS) alert with this as he only played 4 games but at the same time if it is a similiar number vs London then this series will be a whole lot closer than Erie would want it.


815: That is the number of penalty minutes the Knights accumulated over the coarse of the regular season. Most among any Western Conference playoff team. As stated earlier they have to stay out of the box if they plan on having any chance vs Erie.


After the tradedeadline I was adimant that the Knights on paper were the best team in the OHL. I still feel that on paper they are better than the Otters but the game is played on ice not paper and what I have seen on the ice post deadline has me leaning heavily towards the Otters who I am picking in 5 games

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Eastern Conference Round 2 Preview Mississauga Steelheads (2) vs Oshawa Generals (3)

Other Previews

Players to Watch

MISS: Michael McLeod The NJ Devils 1st round pick and unquestioned star of the Steelheads had a fantastic opening series vs the 67s His 11 points (including 2 GWGs) played a huge part in allowing the Steelheads to advance vs the pesky 7th seeds. The Generals have done a great job in shutting him down this year holding him to 1 assist in 4 games. He must get going in order to avoid an upset.

OSH Renars Krastenbergs You can count me as a big fan of the Latvian import selection. It seems everytime I watch a Generals game live he does something to stand out. He had a great series vs the Wolves picking up 5 points in 6 games. Continued production from him in round 2 is imperative as the Gens cant match the Steelheads in high end talent so they will have to get contributions from all over and depth them to death.

How they got here


Dispatched a pesky 67's team in 6 games. It was a series that certainly had its share of chippyness and suspensions. While Ottawa was able to win 2 games Mississauga had control for most of the series and a victory was never really in much doubt.

Playoff  Power Play: 4 for 16 25%
Playoff  Penalty Kill: 18 for 23 78.3%


After falling behind 2 games to 1 the young and resilient Gens fought back to win the series in 6 games. Lots of penalties as the series averaged more than 10 power plays game. Strong goaltending and significantly more depth is what led the Generals to prevail and will have to be their recipe vs the Steelheads.

Playoff  Power Play: 3 for 35 8.6%
Playoff Penalty Kill: 22 for 26 84.6%

Key's to the Series

MISS: Mississauga must play their own game. If Oshawa dictates the pace they can limit the effectiveness of the Mississauga stars. If that happens then Oshawa has a fighting chance. The Steelhead stars must assert themselves early.

OSH: They need to get their power play going. Beating Sudbury with an awol power play is one thing but it will be hard to win if the same thing happens vs Mississauga. It is imperative that they make life difficult for young Jacob Ingham. I know it is cliche to say they need to get guys in front of him and make him uncomfortable but that is exactly what Oshawa will need to do.

Season Series

Mississauga 0-2-2
Oshawa 4-0-0

2 games went to extra time while another finished 5-4. The final game of the series was a 5-2 Generals win. This has been a close season series although only 1 game came after the Steelheads had turned their season around. That game happened to be the 5-2 Gens win. Hard to deduce much from the season series since the Steelheads really were a tale of 2 halfs. You have to wonder though if the Generals really do have their number. They will definitely have the belief going in which is something you dont want an underdog to have if you are Mississauga.

Key Numbers


2: That is the number of games that Mississauga defender Nicholas Hague got for this vicious play against Ottawa. Originally labeled as indefinite he is now available for game 1 of the 2nd round.

OSH: 18.8% that was the Generals power play percentage during the regular season. The infallible law of averages tells us that their power play this series should be closer to this number than the paltry 8% in the opening round.


I think Oshawa can win and I feel the 2-3-2 format of this series favours the Generals. Mississauga has more talent and can put up more goals but my guy tells me that the Generals can limit that and grind the Steelheads down. Because of that I am going with my guy and picking the Generals in 6 games

Western Conference Round 2 Preview Sault Ste. Marie (2) vs Owen Sound (3)

Other Previews

Players to Watch

Sault Ste. Marie Boris Katchouk: Regular season leader in both Shorthanded Goals and Shorthanded assists. Is an elite finisher and offensive creator. What may go unnoticed by OHL fans outside of Sault Ste. Marie is the relentless determination he shows on the forecheck and his spectacular ability to steal the puck from his opponent.

Owen Sound Petrus Palmu: Currently owns the goal of the playoffs with his lacross style stuff from behind the net. The veteran forward just keeps putting up points on a deep and scary Owen Sound Offence

How they got here

SSM: Hounds dispatched divisional rivals Flint in 5 games. Hounds had one game they would like to get back where for the most part they were the better team but Flint tended to get most of the bounces which led to a dejected performance late in the 2nd period. Outside of that stretch there was never any doubt which team was going to advance.

Playoff  Power Play: 4 for 29 13.8%
Playoff  Penalty Kill: 21 for 25 84%

OS: Similiar to Sault Ste. Marie there was never much doubt who would win the series. Rangers goalie Luke Opilka did his best to keep it respectable but the Attack offence kept coming in waves and completly wore down the vastly over matched Rangers.

Playoff  Power Play: 8 for 24 33%
Playoff Penalty Kill: 21 for 24 87.5%

Key's to the Series

SSM: Hounds do a fantastic job of playing patient and trusting their abilities even when trailing. They must continue to play like this but also make sure they don't play too much catch up. The Attack beat the Hounds with ease in the regular season and are difficult team to come back against. Still the Hounds have to trust the process they have played with all year and take advantage of their opportunities.

OS: They need to overwhelm the Hounds. Raaymakers has regained the starters job and played brilliantly vs Flint. The Attack must get to him early and kill his confidence.

Season Series

SSM 0-2-0
O.S. 2-0-0

Owen Sound won both matchups this year 6-1. Greyhounds captain Blake Speers was unavailible for both match ups versus the Attack. Don't know if he is a 5 goal difference in any of those games but over a 7 game series he certainly adds a different element. The Attack have the depth and attacking pace to get the Greyhounds out of their comfort zone. The Hounds are at their best when they control the pace and possession and wear down their opponents. They were unable to do that in either matchup this year.

Key Numbers


53: They Greyhounds had 53 more power plays than penalty kills in the regular season. The Attack have the best power play in the league so it is imparative that the Hounds stay out of the box and have the power play numbers in their favour

39: The Attack were a +39 on special teams this season as they scored 39 more times on the PP or SH than they gave up. With the skill they posses 5on5 this allows them to play a freer and more relaxed style that allows them to control the tempo.


As a betting man I don't know if I can take the Greyhounds. They have been fantastic all year and are the 3rd best team against the Wests elite this season. I don't want to read to much into the regular season match ups as there are plenty of variables that affect those matchups that are immaterial come playoff time. That said I just feel this is a bad match up and Owen Sound will be able to whittle away at the Hounds. Because of this I am picking Owen Sound in 6 games.

'00 Born OHL 1st and 2nd team All Stars

Final installent of my age group all star teams. Let me know what you think. As always these lists are open for discusion and wouldn't expect anybody elses list to be exactly the same as mine so let me know who would be on your list.

1st Team

G Jacob Ingram Mississauga Steelheads

How on earth is Ingram not a finalist for OHL rookie of the year? This IMO is the most mind boggling omission from an OHL ballot in years. (a close 2nd is David Bell being a finalist for coach of the year over Ryan Oulahan). He was named OHL goalie of the month for January and is solidification of the net for the Steelheads coincided with the teams turn around.

D Ryan Merkley

1st overall selection and became only the 3rd defenceman to lead the OHL in rookie scoring. There were times this season when his defensive commitment and sense were questioned but there is no denying his skill, confidence and creativity. There is no doubt that he is a net positive player when it comes to his impact. The other areas will grow as he gains more experience but even now you can tell Merkley is a special player.

D Denis Busby

Had a big impact this season for the Flint Firebirds. Was somewhat sheltered with their 3 veteran D but Busby was able to make himself noticed this year with his play for good reasons. Will be interesting to see what happens next year with their blueline graduations. He isn't ready to be "The Guy" yet but is definitely ready to take a jump in responsibility for the Firebirds.

F Akil Thomas Niagara Icedogs

The Icedogs 1st round pick was a major reason why they were able to hang on to a playoff spot this season. He finished 1st in goals among '00 born skaters and 2nd in points behind Merkley. He was a constant offensive threat and a player opposing teams couldn't discount because of his age.

F Alan McShane Oshawa Generals

One of the highest scoring players post deadline to have been traded. McShane quickly asserted himself and a burgeoning prospect and a key depth contributor to the Erie Otters early in the season. Upon arrival in Oshawa following the Cirelli trade McShane quickly announced himself as a key offensive cog with the Generals. The sky is the limit with McShane who is capable of doing great things with the Generals.

F Nathan Dunkley Kingston Frontenacs

The first year forward what a key contributor to the Fronts this year while finishing 4th among '00 born skaters. Was called upon late in the season to play a bigger role with the team and has certainly carried that over into the playoffs. 

2nd Team

G Jordon Kooy London Knights

There weren't many '00 born goalies in the league this year but that doesn't mean you should discount the work of Kooy. Sure it was a small sample size of only 515 minutes this season but he had a stellar .927 save percentage in that time. It looks like the Knights have their goalie of the future.

D Giovanni Vallati Kitchener Rangers

The young defenceman gained valuable experience this year manning the blueline for the Rangers. He was able to add offence while also playing impressively in his own zone both in preventing chances and kick starting the offence with a quick outlet pass.

D Connor Corcoran Windsor Spitfires

What a fantastic pick for the Spits. The versatile Corcoran has been a godsend for the injury plagued Spits this season. He has been particularly useful in soaking up valuable minutes once Logan Stanley went down with an injury.

F Semon Der-Arguchintsev Peterborough Petes

Part of me didn't want to name him because that is an incredibly hard name to spell and type without looking. Unfortunately his play this season gave me no valid justification to omit him. He was fantastic this year for an '00 on the Pete's and his play on the Power Play in particular did not go unnoticed.

F Barrett Hayton Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

The first thing I notice about Hayton is he has a fantastic ability to control the puck even when getting checked. Now there are times when i feel he has too much confidence in his ability and may not look to a pass back to the D to maintain possession and regroup before going on an attack. That said he has a fantastic shot and his confidence grew as the season went on. He started attacking the net more often and getting in position where his shot became more of a weapon.

F Ty Dellandrea Flint Firebirds

Most of the talk at the draft was that the Firebirds would not be able to get anyone to commit. When they drafted Dellandrea and he committed fans went on to say they settled for a lesser talent who would commit. He is the 2nd Firebird draft pick to make this list as he finished 3rd among '00 born players in goals this season. He is an intriging talent who still has plenty of untapped offensive potential in him. Should see a nice jump in production come his sophomore year.

Difficult Ommissions

Kirill Nizhnikov Barrie Colts

A valid argument can be made for him to be on the above list. Limited to only 43 games on a very bad Barrie Colts team. Will still be an elite scorer in this league.

Riley Damiani Kitchener Rangers

Another young Ranger who impressed this season. Was able to take advantage of his offensive oppertunities. Expect greater production with an expanded role next season

Liam Foudy London Knights

Hard to make an impact on a team as deep as the Knights. Foudy is a highly skilled forward who produced in extremely limited ice time that saw him average less than a shot a game. The fact that he put up the numbers he did in his limited ice time is impressive.

Monday, 3 April 2017

'99 Born OHL All-Stars

1st Team

G Michael DiPietro Windsor Spitfires

As far as NHL draft years go it can't get much better than what DiPietro showed this season. On two seperate occasions he was named CHL goalie of the week including one historic weekend where he picked up 3 shutouts in a row all on the road on Teddy Bear toss night leaving thousands of Northern Ontario Childeren without toys this past Christmas. On the season DiPietro finsihed 2nd in the league in GAA, 3rd in Save Percentage and 5th in wins. Not to shabby for a player 2 years removed fron Minor Midget. On top of this he set Spitfire franchise records for shutouts in a season (6) and career (8).

D Evan Bouchard London Knights

The 2018 NHL draft eligible defender is sometimes the forgotten man on a blueline that includes Mitchell Vande Sompel, Victor Mete and Olli Juolevi. Bouchard though is a burgeoning star in his own right. A fantastic skating and puck moving defenceman who fits right in with the previously mentioned 3. A lock for Team Canada at the U18 should Windsor win game 7. Bouchard was fantastic offensivlely this season for London especially when considering offensive minutes were not always handed to him first. Should be a treat to watch in his draft year next season.

D Eemeli Rasanen Kingston Frontenacs

Kingston had 2 import picks and the early returns seem to point towards 2 home runs. Rasanen was dynamite on the power play with 30 points on the man advantage this year. In fact his 26 power play assists had him tied for 6th in the whole OHL.

F Nick Suzuki Owen Sound Attack

When you are 17 and you finish 5th in the elague in points you are doing something right. Suzuki also finished 2nd in the league with 5 short handed goals. He can create offense on his own or make those around him better. Owen Sound has the potential to be just as deadly offensivly next year as they are this year and Suzuki is a major reason why. Already a top 10 forward in the OHL.

F Owen Tippett Mississauga Steelheads

Outside of DeBrincat an argument could be made that Tippett is the leagues deadliest sniper. If your team is holding on to a 1 goal lead Tippett is one of the last guys who you want the puck to be on his stick.  He has an elite shot mixed with great vision and anticipation. He finished 5th in the league in goals and was a constant scoring threat for the Steelheads all year even when they were struggling early on.

F Gabriel Vilardi  Windsor Spitfires

Slowed down by injury this season Vilardi still managed to have a major impact for the Mem Cup host Spitfires this season. He averaged a robust 1.24 points per game while managing to do most of his damage at even strength. He averaged more than 3 shots per game and was a constant scoring threat inspite of the fact that he was rarely 100%.

2nd Team

G Mathew Vilalta Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Have you ever heard of the Westport Rideaus? Unless you are from the NCR you likely havn't heard of them. They are the CCHL2 team that Villalta had signed with in July in the event his trek to Sault Ste. Marie for their main camp as a Free Agent invite didnt produce a contract. He suited up on opening night with Joseph Raaymakers at the New York Rangers camp and promptly lost. He then rattled off 17 straight wins between the pipes for the Hounds and eventually took over the starers job near the end of the year. His season culminated with OHL Rookie and Goalie of the month honours for March. Not too bad for a free agent signing. Villalta was also twice named CHL goalie of the week and is a finalist for OHL rookie of the year.

Check out Dominic Tiano's player profile of Villalta from earlier in the season

D Marcus Philips Owen Sound Attack

One of two Attack 1st round picks from 2015 (thank you Victor Mete). Philips is an exciting and developing talent who plays a solid 2 way game. With OA scoring star Santino Centorame playing the big offensive minutes Philips wasnt relied on to put up the points. He contributed though when called upon and was a vital cog in the deep and underrated Owen Sound Defence corps.

D Noel Hoefenmayer Ottawa 67's

Hoefenmayer was an offensive blessing this season on what was an extremly young and green backend for the 67's. His production placed him 5th on the team (one of 3 '99s in the top 5) and had him as the highest scoring Dman on the team. His 10 goals and 18 assists at even strength is extra incouraging as it shows he doesnt have to rely on the power play to put up his points. Should be looking at another jump in production next year especially if his shot totals take a jump forward.

F Morgan Frost Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Greyhounds 2015 4th round draft pick has worked his way up the Hounds deep veteran lineup to earn valuable and leveraged ice time with the team. He is an underrated 2 way player who can be trusted in all situations. He has the offensive versatility to thrive with a multitude of offensive weapons on the Greyhounds.  

F Jason Robertson Kingston Frontenacs

I Dont know if there is a more underappreciated 80 point 300 shot NHL draft year then the one that Robertson put together this year. What makes it more impressive is that Robertson is the guy to shut down in Kingston and they dont have the pieces to insulate him. He seems to thrive when the pressure is on and has shown he is more than capable of carrying an offence.

Isaac Ratcliff Guelph Storm

One of the few bright spots on an otherwise dreary season for the Storm. Ratcliff who was a minor midget teammate of Owen Sound star '99 Nick Suzuki saw his production jump in his sophmore season. On a team that only scored 202 goals Ratcliffe was able to get a point on over 25% of them.

Difficult Ommisons

F Matthew Strome Hamilton Bulldogs

After the torrid finish to his rookie season Strome's production this year was somewhat of a disappointment. He seemed lost during the time when Luff and Petti were out with injury. Will still be a star in this league but it seems he is starting to get passed by some in his draft class.

F Mackenzie Entwhistle Hamilton Bulldogs

Gritty forward who plays a strong 2 way game. Doesn't have the offensive game as others on the list but can affect it in a multitude of ways. Great penalty killer already at a young age who should continue to blossom offensivly

D Tom Hedberg Barrie Colts

Hard to put up good numbers on such a bad team but Hedberg was able to do that this year in his first year in North America. Another great find by the Colts through the Import Draft.

F Adam Ruzicka Sarnia Sting

Up for rookie of the year this year inspite of a season that saw him put up only 46 points in 61 games. After a slow transition to North America he started to get better in the 2nd half.