Monday, 11 December 2017

OHL Week 12 Power Rankings

The World Junior invites are out and the players will be off to St Catharines on Monday. Could be a long week for some teams with their star players out of the line up.

Division Quick hits

Bulldogs 2017 1st round pick Connor McMichael scored his first two career OHL goals this weekend. Are the flood gates about to open? He ranks 2nd among '01 born skaters in shots.... The Gens are still struggling on their special teams. Currently a -7 on the special teams. This will be a point of emphasis next year when they are expected to make some noise.... With a -30 goal differential on the year the 67's are worst in the division.... More arena talk in Peterborough as the project will come in around 80 million

The Steelheads have now lost 9 in a row and lose McLeod to the world juniors.... The Colts made a head scratcher of a trade dealing Nizhnikov to Sudbury for a 3rd a 5th and 2 2nds down the road with little present value... The Wolves on the other hand are loving Nizhnikov who has 6 points in his first 3 games with his new team.... Watched the Battalion in the Soo on Friday. Every time Dineen was on the ice you knew they had a chance to score. He should be more talked about at the deadline...

The Midwest only has 1 team in that has more wins than losses this year and a positive goal differential. That would be the Kitchener Rangers.... Isaac Ratcliffe left Sundays game in Guelph and was seen postgame on crutches. That would be a huge lose for the Storm.... Owen Sound now loses Suzuki and Gadjovich to the WJC camp. It could be another rough week for the team.... Adam Mascherin picked up his 100th career OHL goal this past week. Joining Korostelev and Raddysh as the 3rd OHL to hit that feat this season.... Victor Mete has been loaned to team Canada for the World Juniors. Is London next?

The Greyhounds have now pushed up their winnings streak to 17 games.... Sarnia picked up a commitent from 2017 draft pick Ashton Reesor.... Justin Fazio also set a Sting record for most career games by a goalie and Jordon Kyrou also set a franchise record for career assists.... The city of SSM announced they will open up bidding on the naming rights to the Essar Center in January. I still feel Northern Ontario Credit Union makes the most sense....

This week will have a bit of a trade deadline feel as I will look into what draft assets teams have and what they might do come deadline time. You can find a list of all teams draft assets here (it has yet to include the Nizhnikov trade) Dont forget about Brock Otten. He should be release his trade deadline preview in the coming weeks.

(1) Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 26-3-2 Power Rank Percentage (PR%) .8690
5 2nds betwen '18-'22 4 3rds between '18-'22
The Hounds are in on just about every player. Look for them to pick up an elite '98. Other non conventional options include unsigned draft picks Corson Green and Randy Hernendez currently playing in the USHL. Dreams of Rasmus Kupari being loaned after the WJC seem a little far fetched. Could they kick the tires on Soo native Nic Sicoly coming home to help boost their 4th line? Lets not forget the Hounds have been playing this season with only 2 OA spots filled although they wont fill it for the sake of filling it
Games This Week: Dec 13 vs Fli; Dec 15 @ Kit; Dec 16 @ Gue

(2) Sarnia Sting 24-6-2 PR% .7546
5 2nds between '18-'22 2 3rds between '18-'22
With Kyrou gone after this season now is the time for Sarnia. Surprisingly they have enough picks to add a few players even after their moves with Ottawa the last 2 deadlines. They will need some speed up front if they are to compete with the Greyhounds as well as some extra depth on the blueline. Would they be able to pry away Stillman from the Generals?
Games This Week: Dec 13 vs Sag; Dec 15 @ Ldn; Dec 16 vs Fli

(3) Hamilton Bulldogs 18-7-6 PR% .7260
4 2nds between '18 and '22 5 3rds between '18 and '22
They made an early move picking up Moore and Caamano from Flint. I could see them making another move. Luchuk, Brown or Day would look great on this team. They may not have the picks but 2016 draft picks King and Pivonka are very valuable trade pieces. One would have to go to get one of those names listed above.
Games This Week: Dec 14 @ NB; Dec 15 @ Sby; Dec 17 vs Ptb

(4) Niagara Icedogs 16-9-5 PR% .6840
5 2nds between '18-'22 4 3rds between '18-'22
Part of me would like to see them move Langdon. Why? Because he is the last living branch on the Lucas Lessio trade tree. Which reminds me I should really put the finishing touches on that article that has been on the back burner for the last 18 months. The Icedogs like the Fronts are likely stronger next year so any addition would have the '18-'19 season in mind.
Games this week: Dec 15 vs NB; Dec 16 vs Bar

(5) Saginaw Spirit 15-11-3 PR% .6717
Jake Jeffery from Around the OHL had a good piece on the Spirit Here. The only thing I would disagree with is I dont believe Cormier is an elite OHL goalie. He is definitely above average but definitely below Villalta, DiPietro, Fazio and Raaymakers and that is just the Western Conference. With 3 2nds next year look for them to get aggressive looking for '98 and '99 talent. The '98 talent would have to posses OA potential for next year as they only have 1 on the roster (Middleton) who is NHL drafted but may not earn an NHL contract.
Games This Week: Dec 13 @ Sar; Dec 15 vs Fli; Dec 16 @ Wsr

(6) Kingston Frontanacs 16-8-6 PR% .6610
3 2nds between '18-'22 4 3rds between '18-'22
This team is hurting in the asset department and is better set up to compete next year outside of the fact that this is Helvig's last year. Could they get creative and move a guy like Cranford to the Soo or Owen Sound to help offset the cost of getting a guy like Maksimovich? Any moves they make expect the to have next year in mind as well.
Games This Week: Dec 15  Gue; Dec 16 @OS; Dec 17 @ Kit

(7) London Knights15-13-2 PR% .6486
5 2nds between '18 and '22 6 3rds between '18 and '22
Getting Mete back after the world juniors would be bigger than any trade the Knights could make. Still expect the Knights to be buyers as they have plenty of high end talent and a top 4 western conference goalie between the pipes.
Games Thiss Week: Dec 12 @ Eri; Dec 15 vs Sar; Dec 16 vs Miss; Dec 17 @ OS

(8) Kitchener Rangers 20-10-2 PR% .6315
5 2nds between '18-'22 7 3rds between '18-'22
With 3 2nds and 2 3rds in the 2018 draft the Rangers are in a uniquely strong position of strength when dealing with asset starved rebuilding teams like Erie and Windsor. This team needs to get faster as they were exposed by the Greyhounds in November.
Games This week: Dec 15 vs SSM; Dec 17 vs Kgn

(9) Guelph Storm 16-11-3 PR% .6315
5 2nds between '18-'22 6 3rds between '18-'22
This team is not ready for primetime. They should be real good next year however. I could see them moving Smith in an effort to pick up some 2nds in 2020 and 2021 two years they have none. I could also see them move some of their 2nds from '18 and '19 (they have 2 in each season) to pick up Maksimovich from Erie who would be a stud OA for them next year.
Games This Week: Dec 15 vs Kgn; Dec 16 vs SSM; Dec 17 @ Osh

(10) Barrie Colts 17-10-3 PR% .6033
4 2nds between '18-'22; 3 3rds between '18-'22
They have an open OA spot. Luchuk would be a perfect fit for them but I'm not sure they have the pieces to get into a bidding war for him. He will be coveted by every contending team. Mackenzie from North Bay could be a more affordable option and will allow the team to target other lineup upgrades as well.
Games this Week: Dec 14 vs OS; Dec 15 @ Eri; Dec 16 @ Nia

(11) Windsor Spitfires 17-11-2 PR% .6011
No 2nds or 3rds over the next 5 drafts
The cupboard is empty. But they have plenty of tradeable assets. Aaron Luchuk should fetch the highest total for an OA in recent memory. 2 years ago Stephen Harper picked up a pair of 2nds a 3rd a 5th and a prospect. Luchuk's starting point will be that. Brown or Day could bring in some high end '00 talent if not a '01 not to mention draft picks. DiPietro should also bring in quite the ransom. Im not sold on Vilardi moving. What team would pay a premium for a player out all year with a back injury. Windsor will likely hang on to him and move him next year when he is healthy.
Games This Week: Dec 14 vs Miss; Dec 16 @ Sag

(12) North Bay Battalion 11-16-4 PR% .5388
5 2nds between '18-'22 6 3rds between '18-'22
The Battalion have some interesting OA pieces in Bruce, Saban and MacKenzie. They also have 1 elite impact defender in Cam Dineen. Without Dineen im not sure this team makes the playoffs. He makes everyone on the team around him better. If they can pick up an quality '99 or '00 for him it makes it a no brainer but it would have to be more than picks. They can get those for their OAs
Games This Week: Dec 14 vs Ham; Dec 15 @ Nia; Dec 16 @ Eri

(13) Owen Sound Attack 14-11-4 PR% .5281
5 2nds between '18-'22 1 3rd between '18-'22
This team needs a goalie and if they have waited this long I would expect them to make a move for DiPietro. An '01, an '00 on their roster, the rights to one of their US based '16 draft picks would likely be discussed as well as a few 2nds. If you feel it is your time to win you go out and get the best.
Games This Week: Dec 14 @ Bar; Dec 16 vs Kgn; Dec 17 vs Ldn

(14) Sudbury Wolves 10-17-5 PR% .4879
5 2nds between '18-'22 7 3rds between '18-'22
Sudbury is in an interesting position. Papiniau, Stillman and Smith are still putting their touches on this roster and repairing what Barclay Branch did while he was in charge. They dont really have much elite talent although Sokolov would be an intriguing piece for a team with an open import spot. They already picked up Kirill Nizhnikov from Barrie and I wouldnt be surprised if they try to make similar moves to that. If there was a '98 that would be moved Reagan O'Grady is the player I would pay a premium for.
Games This Week: Dec 15 vs Ham; Dec 17 @ Miss

(15) Peterborough Petes 15-14-2 PR% .4743
4 2nds between '18-'22 4 3rds between '18-'22
This team has a lot of issues and they have had them for 2 years. This is a team that has never really been strong at shot suppression and most of that was covered up by the strong play of Dylan Wells. This year however Wells has struggled and the Petes havnt been able to make up for that. Even if they pick up an elite D there are systemic issues with this team that will not be fixed. I dont think a tear down is necessary but maybe a retooling for next year around Hunter Jones who could be an elite goalie under a better system.
Games This Week: Dec 14 vs Ott; Dec 15 @ Osh; Dec 17 @ Ham

(16) Oshawa Generals 13-17-2 PR% .4711
5 2nds between '18-'22 3 3rds between '18-'22
The Generals have 6 non import '98s on their team. I would expect some of them to be moved for picks. It would also allow for some ice-time for their younger players especially on their crowded blueline. This team has the pieces to be strong next year, it will be interesting to see what Hunt has up his sleeve.
Games This Week: Dec 15 @ Osh; Dec 17 vs Gue

(17) Ottawa 67s 14-15-3 PR% .4427
10 2nds between '18-'22 8 3rds between '18-'22
Ottawa has the pieces to go after a high end '99 like Lodnia, DiPietro or Vilardi. With 2 2nds, 2 3rds and 2 4ths in 2018 I would expect at least 3 of those picks moved between now and the draft. With the amount of young talent already on this roster and in Jr A it is a surplus that is best used elsewhere.
Games This Week: Dec 14 @ Ptb; Dec 17 vs Gat

(18) Erie Otters 10-16-5 PR% .4355
They have 0 2nds between now and 2024 and only 2 3rd round picks over that time. They will get an '01 for Raddysh but expect up to 10 teams to be in on Maksimovich. His OA potential for next year makes him desirable to teams like Ottawa, Kingston, Oshawa and Guelph to name a few not to mention the contenders this season.
Games This Week: Dec 12 vs Ldn; Dec 15 vs Bar; Dec 16 vs NB

(19) Flint Firebirds 9-18-3 PR% .3693
This team has too many draft picks. 8 2nd over the next 5 years and 10 3rds over that same period. They still have a few tradeable pieces in Coella and Smereck. I could see this team using some of their surplus picks to target a '98 forward who could be back next year as an OA.
Games This Week: Dec 13 @ SSM; Dec 15 vs Sag; Dec 16 @ Sar

(20) Mississauga Steelheads 11-19-1 PR% .3508
2 2nds between '18-'22 3 3rds between '18-'22
Losers of 9 straight and bereft of trade assets I would not be surprised to see the Steelheads sell. Not only would they recoup assets by dealing McLeod and Haugue but further tanking would put them in a position to win the Quinton Byfield sweepstakes. A player who could be an ELITE 17 year old during Jacob Ingham's 19 year old season
Games This Week: Dec 14 @ Wsr; Dec 16 @ Ldn; Dec 17 vs Sby

Thursday, 7 December 2017

A look at the Greyhounds 15 game winning streak

The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds are currently in the midst a franchise record 15 game win streak. Their previous high of 13 was broke on Sunday in Ottawa and extended Wednesday night at home in a CHL top 10 showdown against Sarnia. The 15 game streak ranks 5th in OHL history behind a 25 game streak for the Rangers, 24 game streak for the Knights, 22 game streak for the Colts and a 16 game streak for the Spitfires.

The Hounds had topped 13 straight wins twice in their history. The first was in 80-81 when the Ron Francis led Hounds accomplished the feat. That team would make it all the way to the OHL finals before falling to the Kitchener Rangers. The 2nd time the team achieved 13 in a row was in 84-85 on the Wayne Groulx, Derek King and Bob Probert led Hounds who would go on to claim the cities first OHL title.

I decided to take a look into some of the numbers and factors around the Greyhounds streak. It has been a stretch of dominant hockey for the Greyhounds. For starters over their 15 game winnings streak they have outscored their opponents 78-32. 7 wins have come on home ice, 8 on the road. They have scored the opening goal 13 times. 4 of their wins have come vs West Division opponents, 1 vs the Midwest, 4 vs the East and 6 vs the Central and 4 wins have come in overtime. There are a few numbers posted during this streak that I want to look into more closely.

Rasmus Sandin

The Hounds Swedish import came over to the team in mid October. His first game happend to be their last loss which was in Sarnia. What Sandin has done is really solidify the Hounds top 4 D. You will be hard pressed to find a better group in the league than Timmins, Carrol, Sandin and Hollowell. While leaving them with a very solid bottom pair of DeMeo and LeGuerrier.
Offensively Sandin has picked up 13 points in 16 games this year and has teamed iwth Hollowell to give the Hounds a 2nd PP unit that is just as deadly as their 1st unit.

Penalty Kill

Early in the season the penalty kill was one of the main weaknesses of the Greyhounds. They were able to continue with least years trend of creating plenty of offense for themselves but struggled in preventing other teams from scoring. Before the streak started the hounds PK had given up 17 PP goals in 70 chances. Their PK % was floundering at 75.7% which had them sitting around 15th in the league. Since the streak started they have only given up 5 goals while being short handed 49 times. That has been enough to pull the Hounds PK up to 6th in the leauge and now sits at 81.5%. The most impressive stat however is that in the last 15 games the Hounds have scored 8 short handed goals. That means during the streak they have score more times shorthanded then power play goals they have given up.

Shot Suppresion

Of the 45 periods (OT not included) they have played during their 15 game winning streak the Greyhounds have held their opponents to a single digit shot total 29 times. That is 64% of the periods they have played during their streak they have held their opponents under 10 shots. In fact in only 1 of their games during this stretch have they been outshot in a game and that was their 8-0 win over Flint that kicked it off.

Looking into the shot suppression a bit more the team has held their opponents under 5 shots 9 times. They Greyhounds have a very methodical offense. They will turn around and work the puck back to their D if they don't like their set up breaking into a zone. They will circle around and keep passing it till they find a lane they like and a scoring opportunity worth risking a chance of possession. All of this has really started to click since the end of October and the results speak for themselves

Balanced Scoring

What has helped set the Hounds apart during their current streak is their depth. When you score 78 goals in 15 games you are going to be deep in your lineup from top to bottom but the Greyhounds have had 10 different players pick up multi goal games during their streak. Boris Katchouk (3), Morgan Frost (2), Ryan Roth (2), Barret Hayton, Cole MacKay, Mac Hollowell, Joe Carroll, Jack Kopacka, Conor Timmins and finally on Wednesday vs Sarnia captain Tim Gettinger picked up a pair.

They have had 3 players really stand out over the stretch. The first is 3rd year center Morgan Frost who is developing into one of the best playmakers in the league. In 14 games over the streak (missed 1 game due to a team suspension) Frost had scored 9 goals and added 20 assists. Team Canada invite Boris Katchouk has added 11 goals and 13 assists in 14 games over the streak while Defenceman Conor Timmins has 5 goals and 17 assists over the 15 games.

As mentioned earlier they have scored 8 shorthanded goals. On the power play they have added another 20 goals. They have scored 21 times in the 1st period, 29 times in the 2nd period and 24 in the 3rd plus 4 in overtime. There doesnt seem to be a point where this team isnt scoring goals

Just the Numbers

13 – Number of times the Greyhounds have scored 1st
4 – Number of times the Hounds have needed OT to extend their streak
1 – number of times the Hounds have trailed going into the 3rd period
10 – number of different multi goal scorers during the streak
+18 – The difference in power plays to penalty kills during the streak. A stat the Hounds have finsihed 1st or 2nd in the OHL in each of the last 3 years.
+3 – Differential in goals their PK has scored vs given up to the opposition while down a man
3 – number of times the Hounds have shutout their opponents during the streak. 2 of which were picked up by Tyler Johnson
599 – The amount of shots the Hounds have fired at the net during their streak. An average of 39.93 per game
391 – The amount of shots the Hounds have given up during their streak. An average of 26.06 per game.
13 – The Hounds on average are out shooting their opponents by 13 shots per game. Even if there is a regression in the teams shooting or save percentage they are still well positioned to succeed.
20 – Number of power play goals scored during the streak
1 – Rank in the OHL for the Greyhounds power play after a surge during the streak

6 – Rank in the OHL for the Hounds penalty kill which was as low as 15th before the streak started.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

OHL Week 11 Power Rankings

With Hockey Canada naming the WJC invites on Wednesdsay and camp opening in St Catharines on Monday some key OHLers may be with their teams for the final time this weekend. Taylor Raddysh could be looking at his last games with Erie and possibly Michael DiPietro with Windsor. If we are to believe recent speculation there could be a few big names from the East who are close to playing their final games with their teams. It should be an interesting week as we are a little over a month away from the Trade Deadline. Teams should have a good idea now of where they stand.

Games of the Week

Sarnia (2) @ SSM (1)
Game 3 of the season series. Sarnia is 1-0-1 while the Greyhounds are 1-1. Hounds have outshot the Sting in each game and are currently in the midst of a 14 game winning streak. Sarnia didnt have the greatest weekend last week but always play the Hounds tough especially at the Essar

Saginaw (4) @ Hamilton (3)
After last weeks game which Hamilton stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 I have high hopes for this game. A reminder for anyone who has Rogers or Cogeco but does not have the action pak. You can stream this game for free with just use your Cogeco or Rogers log in since they co-own cable 14.

Honourable mention
London (7) @ Niagara (8)
Two teams that are playing some great hockey right now. There may not be a saltier team in the east that has more hate for London than Niagara. Icedogs fans always pack The Vault and should make it a hostile environment for the big bad Knights.

Helvig contineus to shine in net for Kingston, currently sitting 4th in GAA and 2nd in SV%. This past weekend he stopped 113 of 119 shots helping head Kingston to 5 of 6 points.... Oshawa picked up 2 of 6 points but in a brutal stretch of games where they looked very good, of concern though is the health of Serron Noel who left the Windsor game early with an UBI and did not play vs Sarnia. His draft stock is soaring and they cant afford to miss him for long...

Good news coming for Barrie as Forwards Andrei Svechnikov is slated to return this upcoming weekend. He wont be around long with the WJC coming up but will be a nice boost for the Colts.... Dont look now but the Wolves are a different team with Mario Culina. A .917 SV% in 3 games and 2 straight wins over Kit and Miss.... Think the Steelheads regret moving Brendan Harrogate? Via @GeneralsUpdates With him in the lineup they were 9-1-0-1 without him they are 2-15-0-0.

Dale Hunter picked up his 700th career win behind the bench this weekend becoming the fastest coach to reach that honour... Evan Bouchard was named OHL Defenceman of the month for November... The Kitchener Rangers have decided to spit in the face of Michael DiPietro, the Windsor Spitefires and the city of Windsor by scheduling their teddy bear toss against the Spits. After shutouts last year in 3 straight shutouts last year in teddy bear toss games you would think this dying city would get some respect. I guess not.

How about those Greyhounds? Franchise record 14 game winning streak which includes 2 wins vs CHL top 10 teams and a couple of long road trips..... The Saginaw Spirit picked up a big commitment in USNTDP player Jake Goldowski. Their '00 and '01 core is looking scary.... Connor Roberts with 3 points in 3 games since coming over from Hamilton. In games he has scored the Firebirds have picked up wins over Hamilton and Windsor..... 3 of the 4 player of the month catagories went to the West Division. Jordan Kyrou with his 2nd player of the month nod, Blade Jenkins with rookie of the month and the unbeaten Mathew Vilallta with goalie of the month....

(1) Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 23-3-2 Power Rank Percentage (PR%) .8652
The Hounds made their yearly Eastern roadtrip this past weekend and walked away with 3 wins. Katchouk, Frost and Carrol were suspended for the middle match vs Kingston for breaking team rules but the Hounds played arguably their best game of the year and picked up the OT win. Tyler Johnson picked up his 2nd shutout since being acquired from London vs Ottawa and as mentioned in the intro the Hounds set a franchise record with 14 straight wins.
Games This week: Dec 6 vs Sar; Dec 8 vs NB; Dec 10 vs Wsr

(2) Sarnia Sting 22-5-2 PR% .7592
Well that was an ugly loss to the Spirit. After holding a 6-0 lead they gave up 7 straight goals to lose in OT. They had a strong bounce back game with a win over Oshawa but they were still outplayed and can thank Fazio for the win. Is the shine starting to wear off on these Sting? Could some reinforcements be coming?
Games This Week: Dec 6 @ SSM; Dec 8 vs Eri; Dec 9 vs Pbo

(3) Hamilton Bulldogs 16-6-6 PR% .7157
Games This Week: The Bulldogs picked up a big come from behind win over the Saginaw Spirit after spoting them a 3-0 lead. They then spotted the Firebirds a 3-0 lead in their next game and lost in OT. Both signs of concern but they rebounded to beat the Steelheads at home Sunday.
Games this Week: Dec 9 vs Sag; Dec 10 @ Miss

(4) Saginaw Spirit 14-10-3 PR% .6975
First the bad, they blew a 3-0 lead at home to Hamilton and lost, they also spotted the Sting a 6-0 lead. But I harp on the Spirit enough. What a great comeback win vs the Sting. They may not have an offensive super star but they have quality players who can chip in up and down the lineup. I dont know if they are as good as their current streak but they are better than how they started the season. Closer to the former than the latter and if they keep it up whats to stop them from flirting with a 4 or 5 seed?
Games This Week: Dec 9 @ Ham; Dec 10 @ Osh

(5) Kitchener Rangers 18-9-2 PR%.6688
How about those Rangers? Two weeks ago they were 4-0, 1 week ago they were 0-3 and this week? They were 3-0 this week with a pair of wins over Owen Sound and a road win against Erie.
Games This week: Dec 5 vs Wsr; Dec 8 vs Fli; Dec 10 vs Gue

(6) Kingston Frontanacs 15-7-6 PR% .6648
5 out of 6 points for the Fronts, Helvig was fantastic especially against the shorthanded Greyhounds in a game where Kingston was dominated. Funny thing about it for beind dominated the Fronts did not look particularly that bad. They just happened to run into a better team that was playing their best game of the year. How about Matt Hotchkiss though? 5 goals since coming over from the Storm has been a nice boost to this offence.
Games This Week: Dec 8 vs Nia; Dec 9 vs Sby

(7) London Knights 13-12-2 PR% .6437
Not the greatest week for the Knights. They dropped a game to the Generals who are still missing their starting goalie and then needed OT to beat the Battalion. 3 winnable games this week though so the Knights should continue with their upward trajectory in the standings
Games this week: Dec 7 @ Nia, Dec 8 vs Ptb; Dec 10 vs Eri

(8) Niagara Icedogs 13-9-5 PR% .6279
Almost a perfect week as the Icedogs saw their 4 game win streak snapped on Sunday to the streaking Spirit. One play who really stepped up was Bradley Johnson. Johnson scored his first career goal on Rememberence day. Last Sunday he had his first career 2 goal game and then followed that up with 2 more 2 goal games vs Erie and Flint. Not a bad stretch for the 2nd year forward.
Games this week: Dec 7 vs Ldn; Dec 8 @ Kgn; Dec 9 @ Ott

(9) Guelph Storm 14-10-3 PR% .6232
Lots of free hockey for Storm fans this past week as they picked up an OT victor against Erie and then prevailed in a shootout against Owen Sound. Popovich was particularly key in the Owen Sound game as he faced 53 shots before turning away all 3 shooters in the shootout. Unlikely the standings would hold this way but imagine what the OHL Fan Boys Podcast would be like if the Storm and Spitfires met in the 1st round?
Games this week: Dec 6 @ Ham; Dec 8 vs OS; Dec 10 vs Kit

(10) Barrie Colts 15-9-3 PR% .5636
After a win against the floundering Steelheads the Colts lost both road games in Ottawa and Kingston. On the plus side their main central division rivals end their weekend with the same roadtrip.
Games this week: Dec 8 @ Miss; Dec 9 vs Osh; Dec 10 @ NB

(11) Windsor Spitfires 15-10-2 PR% .5596
5 out of 6 points but with a disappointing OT loss to Flint. Could December 7th be Michael DiPietro's final game with the Windsor Spitfires?
Games this week: Nov 5 @ Kit; Nov 7 vs Eri; Nov 10 @ SSM

(12) Owen Sound 13-10-4 PR% .5293
It has been over 2 weeks since their last regulation win. In the meantime 3 regulation losses and 2 OT/SO losses. A trade for a goalie cant come soon enough. With Niagara, Saginaw and Kingston thriving is the only option left Dipietro? If you have waited this long you may as well get the best.
Games this week: Dec 8 @ Gue; Dec 9 vs Fli

(13) Ottawa 67s 14-13-2 PR% .5140
Got shutout by the Greyhounds (nobody is beating the right now) couldnt score against Helvig (not many are these days) but picked up a big win against Barrie. 3 conference games on the docket this week. Want to make sure they keep those below them in the standings where they are.
Games this week: Dec 8 @ Osh; Dec 9 vs Nia; Dec 10 vs Sby

(14) Oshawa Generals 12-15-2 PR% .4743
A win vs London to open the week and then 2 tough matchups against great goalies in Windsor and Sarnia. This Gens team can be dangerous when everyone is rolling but just areant there yet. Still seems like they have too many bodies especially on the blueline.
Games this week: Dec 8 vs Ott; Dec 9 @ Bar; Dec 10 vs Sag

(15) Peterborough Petes 14-13-1 PR% .4677


Games this week: Dec 7 vs Sby; Dec 8 @ Ldn; Dec 9 @ Sar

(16) North Bay Battalion 9-15-4 PR% ..4664
As a Battalion fan you really couldn't have asked for more at the start of the week. A win in Sarnia and taking the Knights into OT. Can they carry that over to this week where they get the limping Steelheads, lurk as a trap game for the Hounds and then send the Colts to the glue factory to end the week?
Games this week: Dec 7 vs Miss; Dec 8 @ SSM; Dec 10 vs Bar

(17) Erie Otters 10-13-5 PR% .4494
They took 2 division rivals ahead of htem in the standings to OT. Blowing the loss to Kitchener stings. With a 3 game roadtrip coming up it looks like Taylor Raddysh has played his last home game with the Otters.
Games this week: Dec 7 @ Wsr; Dec 8 @ Sar; Dec 10 @ Ldn

(18) Sudbury Wolves 9-16-4 PR% .4455
Only 1 game this past week but like a trout stugging after spawning season these Wolves picked up a hearty 2 points. Culina seems to have put their D at ease and Carson is starting to find his groove which is imperative with Levin out.
Games this week: Dec 7 @ Ptb; Dec 9 @ Kgn; Dec 10 @ Ott

(19) Mississauga Steelheads 11-16-1 PR% .4427


Games this week: Dec 7 @ NB; Dec 8 vs Bar; Dec 10 vs Miss

(20) Flint Firebirds 9-17-2 PR% .3902
OT wins over Hamilton and Windsor equals a fantastic weekend for the Firebirds. Clearly the white flag was raised with the trade of Moore and Caamano but this young roster still has some talent. It is just a question of putting it together, getting some bounces and some timely goaltending
Games this week: Dec 8 @ Kit; Dec 9 @OS

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

OHL Power Rankings Week 10

We are slowly creeping towards the Half way mark of the season and the Christmas trade freeze. There are a couple of big games this week that will be must watch TV.

Hamilton (2) @ Saginaw (4)
Two of the hottest teams in the league as both will be entering this game with 8-1-1 records in their previous 10. Hamilton has the edge on paper but Saginaw wont make it easy for them. Even when the Spirit were struggling they made the Dow Event Center a difficult place to play for Eastern Conference teams.

Sault Ste. Marie(1) @ Kingston (5)
This is the 2nd match between these two teams as the Hounds too the first game 6-5. If not for a 2 minute stretch of odd bounces and blown tires the Hounds would have run away with it. Kingston though should feel confident that they were able to cash on their chances. This game should have a different feel than the first as I would expect each teams Starters to get the Nod in this one which didnt happen in their only other meeting this season.

Honourable Mention

Hamilton @ Mississauga
After going 0-3 this past weekend the Steelheads took a little bit of the luster off of this match. Still this could be a preview of this seasons Eastern Conference finals and will be a good barometer of who close the Steelheads are to being a threat. Was this past weekend just a minor blip or a harbinger of things to come?

What is Peterborough doing with Hunter Jones? One of the top goalie prospects in the OHL they rarely play him even though Wells has struggled and seemed over worked this year. Then this weekend the dont start him till their last game of the week against the Greyhounds and he gets blitzed for 8 goals.... The Bulldogs officially moved all in picking up Moore and Caamano, The cost was 2016 3rd overall pick Connor Roberts and a trio of draft picks. Not bad when you factor in the lack of development Roberts has shown so far... In keeping with the Bulldogs they get another boost this week as Mackenzie Entwistle returns to action.... The Generals announced that Bob Jones is slated to return to the bench at some point in January. This is huge news for the Generals and should provide a boost to their young team.

In the Central Barrie head coach Dale Hawerchuk coached his 500th career game. He became the 4th current coach to reach that number..... Sudbury and North Bay each picked up wins against a Nationally ranked team.... Niagara playing with out 2 OAs due to suspension picked up 5 out of a possible 6 points this past week

The top 4 teams in the Midwest are seperated by only 6 points. A tight spread that reprasents the 2nd and 8th seeds in the conference.... The Attack were without Suzuki and Hancock for the game in Guelph this past weekend which is a concern.... The Rangers looked slow vs the Greyhounds after a brutal Northern showing.... The Knights continue to streak and depending on how the puck bounces could be in 1st by Christmas.... Speaking of the Knights it looks like former player Brandon Prust has joined the team in some sort of coaching role.

Soo Greyhounds bench boss Drew Bannister picked up his 100th career win as a head coach... The Sting continue to win and keep up with the Greyhounds... The Firebirds started their sell off but dont have much left in terms of tradable assets.... Once looking like sellers the Spirit now look like a team who are building for something great over the next 2 seasons....

(1) Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 20-3-2 Power Rank Percentage (PR%) .8569
The Hounds have won 11 straight games and have outscored opponents 58-23 in that stretch. Rookie Joe Carrol picked up his first 3 OHL goals this weekend while Morgan Frost finished with a goal and 7 assists.
Games this week: Nov 30 @ Pbo; Dec 1 @ Kgn; Dec 3 @ Ott

(2) Hamilton Bulldogs 14-6-5 PR% .7309
The Bulldogs picked up 5 out of a possible 6 points this weekend and move into 2nd place in the Power Rankings which is their highest spot on the year. Rookie Narvin Mutter picked up his first 2 OHL goals this weekend while the newly acquired Nicolas Caamano returned home and picked up a goal and an assist in his first game. Against Oshawa Benjamin Gleason became the first Dman to pick up a hat trick for the franchise since Jordan Subban did so with the Belleville Bulls.
Games this week: Nov 30 @ Sag; Dec 1 @ Fli; Dec 3 vs Miss

(3) Sarnia Sting 21-4-1 PR% .7300
How good have the Sarnia special teams been this year? Well not only do they have the top Power Play and the top Penalty kill but their special teams right now are a +20. Their special teams are more or less giving them a 1 goal advantage in every game they play. One of the reasons why this team has been so good.
Games this week: Dec 1 vs NB; Dec 2 @ Sag; Dec 3 vs Osh

(4) Saginaw Spirit 12-9-3 PR% .6935
The Spirit are 8-1-1 since picking up Mason Kohn from the Oshawa Generals. In those 10 games the OA forward has 12 points. He has also had quite the impact on Cole Coskey who has 15 points over those 10 games.
Games this week: Nov 30 vs Ham; Dec 2 vs Sar; Dec 3 vs Nia

(5) Kingston Frontenacs 13-7-5 PR% .6782
Take out the 5 game stretch where Dunkley was suspended and this team is 13-4-3. They have great goaltending. A top 5 defenceman in Rasanen. A top 10 forward in Robertson and a continually developing supporting cast that has this team well positioned for next year. There has been talk on if they will trade Helvig but will any team be willing to offer assets for the OA goalie that will equal the value he brings to this young and exciting team?
Games this week: Nov 29 vs Ott; Dec 1 vs SSM; Dec 3 vs Bar

(6) London Knights 12-11-2 PR% .6640
The Knights opened the week with a tough loss at the hands of the Sarnia Sting but rebounded nicely with a pair of divisional wins over Owen Sound and Guelph. After there horrid start to the season the Knights now sit
Games this week: Dec 1 vs Osh; Dec 2 vs NB

(7) Kitchener Rangers 15-9-2 PR% .6376
Well that was a rough 3 game Northern swing for the Rangers. The losses to North Bay and Sudbury were shockers. No way around it. The loss to the Greyhounds wasn't shocking but how bad and slow the Hounds made the Rangers look was. They looked slow against the Greyhounds and powerless against their Possession and puck movement game.
Games this week: Nov 29 @ OS; Dec1 vs OS; Dec 3 @ Eri

(8) Barrie Colts 14-7-3 PR% .6322
The Colts have the 5th best penalty kill in the league. Unfortunately they have been shorthanded the 2nd most amount of times in the league but if you look at it on a per game basis they are tops. They have given up the 7th most amount of short handed goals and average giving up 1 a game. This is one area they may look to tighten up. You dont want to drift to far from what has gotten you where you are but if they can cut out some unnecessary penalties along the way it could have a big impact.
Games this week: Nov 30 vs Miss; Dec 2 @ Ott; Dec 3 @ Kgn

(9) Mississauga Steelheads 11-13-1 PR% .5804
Well that was an unexpected week for the Steelheads. Similar to the Rangers they came into the week with 17 points in their last 20 games only to drop all 3 games. No shame in the home loss to Sarnia as they kept it close and the game could have gone any way. But to lose on Saturday and Sunday to Niagara and Oshawa, two teams that are struggling should definitly set off some alarm bells. Luckily it is only late November so there is still plenty of time for the Steelheads. The big test to see where they fit in the East will come in each of their next 2 sundays as they play Hamilton on both of those days.
Games this week: Nov 30 @ Bar; Dec 1 @ Sby; Dec 3 @ Ham

(10) Owen Sound Attack 13-9-1 PR% .5793
Just counting down the days till the '01 trade window opens up and they can acquire Michael DiPietro. 1st in the conference is likely out of reach. 1 if SSM or Sarnia could be catchable but hoping 2 stumble enough to catch them may be a little too far fetched. luckily for the Attack the Midwest has been enough of a disappointment that they can afford to be patient in addressing their goaltending needs.
Games this week: Nov 29 vs Kit; Dec 1 @ Kit; Dec 2 vs Gue

(11) Guelph Storm 12-10-3 PR% .5742
The Storm just finished a brual 6 game stretch where they faced London twice, Kitchener, Barrie, Owen Sound and Sarnia. They were able to pick up 2 wins over those 6 games which for this young team is quite the accomplishment. Giviai Smith finally picked up his first points of the season with a goal and an assist vs Owen Sound. Getting him going will be a huge boost for the Storm. At the very least Smith will be a nice trade piece at the deadline as more than a few teams would be willing to pay up to acquire him.
Games this week: Dec 1 vs Eri; Dec 2 @ OS

(12) Windsor Spitfires 13-10-1 PR% .5666
Nobody has been shorthanded few times this year than the Spitfires who have only been on the PK 87 times in 24 games which equates to less than 4 times a game. Conversely the Spits have only been on the PP 74 times which is just a fraction above 3 times  game. If you are a fan and only come to the games to watch the zebra's I suggest not watching Windsor play.
Games this week: Nov 30th vs NB; Dec 2nd vs Osh; Dec 2nd vs Fli

(13) Niagara Icedogs 11-8-5 PR% ..5644
A great week for the Icedogs as they picked up 5 out of a possible 6 points all against teams ahead of them in the standings. With this surge and the Steelheads floundering the Icedogs were able to build a 4 point cushion for 2nd place in the division.
Games this week: Nov 30th vs Eri; Dec 2nd @ Fli; Dec 3 @ Sag

(14) Ottawa 67s 13-11-2 PR% .5229
A disappointing week to say the least for the 67s as they only picked up 1 point in 3 games mind you it was a tough 3 in 3 road trip to Erie and the Golden Horseshoe. It doesnt get any easier this week with a road game in Kingston and a pair of home games against Barrie and Sault Ste. Marie.
Games this week: Nov 29 @ Kgn; Dec 2 vs Bar; Dec 3 vs SSM

(15) Peterborough Petes 14-12-1 PR% .5146
The Petes dont have much to complain about this weekend. They picked up a big home win vs Hamilton to start the week off then went to Sudbury and shutout the wolves. They wrapped up their 3 in 3 weekend on Saturday by being blitzed by the Greyhounds 8-3. It showed a rather large gulf between the Petes and the Elite of the West. They get a rematch vs the Hounds right away on Thursday. Their only game of the week so I would expect the Petes to leave it all on the ice.
Games this week: Dec 30th vs SSM

(16) Erie Otters 10-2-3 PR% . 4732
Otters star forward Taylor Raddysh became the 2nd OHLer this year to hit the 100 goal mark with his 2nd goal of the game vs Sarnia this weekend. Kyle Maksimovich is now up to 190 career points so he is next in the milestone watch. Unfortunately for the Otters they have dropped down to 9th in the West. With their inability to create a playoff cushion it looks like they will be picking in the top for next year with their inevitable sell off.
Games this week: Nov 30 @ Eri; Dec 1 @ Gue; Dec 3 vs Kit

(17) North Bay Battalion 8-14-3 PR% .4466
The Battalion only had a pair of games this past weekend. It included a big 5-4 home win over the nationally ranked Kitchener Rangers and then they followed it up with a tough 3-2 loss to Barrie where they were outscored in the 3rd period again. Time to start seeing what this team can do to speed up the rebuild.
Games this week: Nov 30 @Wsr; Dec 1 @ Sar; Dec 2 @ Ldn

(18) Oshawa Generals 11-13-2 PR% .4392
2 big wins this past weekend for the Generals and a tough loss to Hamilton in a game they outplayed the Bulldogs but ran into some questionable calls that ultimately cost them the game. Serron Noel continues to improve his draft stock with a player of the week performance. Definitely a name to keep an eye on if you are an NHL Draft watcher.
Games this week: Dec 1 @ Ldn; Dec 2 @ Wsr; Dec 3 @ Sar

(19) Sudbury Wolves 8-16-4 PR% .3970
An interesting week for the Wolves. They acquired former Spits backup Mario Culina. He did not start in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie on Wednesday instead McGrath did and he looked very sharp keeping the Wolves in it late. After being shutout by the Petes on Friday they stunned the Rangers on Sunday with Culina playing fantastic in net. With 6 games till Christmas the Wolves will be looking to make a move in the standings before it is too late.
Games this week: Dec 1 vs Miss

(20) Flint Firebirds 7-16-2 PR% .3162
The Sell off has begun. The one thing the Firebirds can hope for however is that the lack of development in Roberts is an issue with the Bulldogs being unable to develop talent more so than Roberts not being able to tap into his potential. There isn't much left on this team to trade but given the amount of future draft picks they have to play with getting a body back with the potential that Roberts has was priority number 1.
Games this week: Dec 1 vs Ham; Dec 2 vs Nia; Dec 3 @ Wsr

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

OHL Power Rankings Week 9

The East has clearly improved over last year but there is still quite a gap between the 2 conferences. After a hot start in the interconference matches early in the season. However things have slowly started to creep into the wests favour. As a whole the teams in the West are averaging 12.3 points over their last 10 games and this is with Flint dragging them down with only 3 points in that time. Conversely the East over that same period is averaging 9.7 points over their last 10. While 2.6 points may not seem big when it is 10 teams playing that much better than 10 others it creates quite a gap.

Over the last 2 weeks the Western Conference is 7-3 vs the East while the East is 3-6-1 vs the west. All 3 East teams have come from the Mississauga Steelheads who are starting to pick up steam as they race up the standings.

Speaking of the Steelheads there are two big matchups this week on Friday. The Sarnia Sting who are 3rd in the power rankings this week travel to Mississauga to face the 4th ranked team in the Steelheads. Also on tap is a showdown vs 1 and 2 as the Greyhounds host the Kitchener Rangers in watch should be a great matchup.

Be sure to check out the Media/Scout top 10 poll for OHL Prospects ahead of this years NHL draft. A lot of great work was put in by Brock Otten and I was luck enough to be 1 of the 22 contributors. Be sure to check it out here

On to some divisional notes as there are a few news items to hit on

Hamilton has unveiled their 3rd jersey and I must admit it looks quite nice, they did however set the bar low with the jerseys they have now especially the road darks... The Generals have announced that GM Roger Hunt will be joining the team behind the bench till Bob Jones returns, on a leave of absence while he deals with some health issues Jones is slated to be back maybe as soon as January

Mikey McLeod has been returned to the Steelheads and will have a few weeks to get ready for the World Juniors where he should be inline to sport a letter on his jersey. Fridays showdown against Jordan Kyrou and the Sting will be must watch TV... The Colts added some experience in picking up TJ Fergus from the Bulldogs.... The Wolves look to have added some short term stability in net by picking up Mario Culina

A busy week for the Rangers last week was no problem as they won all 4 games and are now 8-1-1 in their last 10. Fridays game against the Hounds will be a big test.... Bowman has left the Attack who have called up Riley Daniels to help out in net Can they convince the Spits to deal DiPietro before the '01 rookie window?.... The Otters are sliding back down the standings after a nice spurt of wins in late October time to start putting in your bids for their stars...

Conor Timmins was player of the game in Sudbury last Monday as team OHL beat team Russia.... Saginaw is starting to pick up some wins and are looking like a team who may not have to sneak into the playoffs... Sarnia has a big test vs Mississauga as they look to prove that the last 2 weeks have been a fluke

(1) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 17-3-2 Power Rank Percentage (PR%) .8045
The Greyhounds do 2 things very well under Drew Bannister and that is win on the road  (9-2-1 this year and 26-7-1 last year) and score shorthanded goals. Their 10 short handed goals lead the league. Their PK ranks 15th in the OHL but with their 10 short handed goals they are only a -11 which would be the 3rd best mark in the league. Last season they led the OHL with 22 short handed goals and are looking to smash that total already.
Games this week: Nov 22 vs Sby; Nov 24 vs Kit; Nov 25 vs Ptb

(2) Kitchener Rangers 15-6-2 PR% .7465
Last week I mentioned how the Rangers seemed to be consistent in winning a few then losing one and never going on a big run. Well they played 4 games last week and picked up a win in each game. They are 8-1-1 in their last 10 as they embark on their Northern Ontario road trip
Games this week: Nov 23 @ NB; Nov 24 @ SSM; Nov 26 @ Sby

(3) Sarnia Sting 18-4-1 PR% .7263
The Sting have looked human in recent weeks but nobody would have thought they would drop their mid week school day game in Flint. Fridays game in Mississauga will be a big test as the reigning Eastern Conference champs will want to send a message to the west.
Games this week: Nov 22 vs Ldn; Nov 24 @ Miss; Nov 25 @ Eri

(4) Mississauga Steelheads 11-10-1 PR% .7057
The Steelheads continue to shoot up the East standings with 17 points in their last 20 games. Their first real big test of the year will come Friday when they hose the Sarnia Sting. McLeod and Tippet are back and Ingham is starting to play like he did last year.
Games this week: Nov 24 vs Sar; Nov 25 @ Nia; Nov 26 @ Osh

(5) Kingston Frontenacs 12-7-3 PR% .6930
A couple of Fronts are having really big years that has really helped this team which had depth questions at the beginning of the year. The first is Ryan Cranford who has already surpassed last years point total. He has been a Bulldogs killer this year as well with 5 goals in 3 games against Hamilton. The 2nd breakout player is Tyler Burnie. The big 6'4" forward from Midhurst had 7 points in 54 career games coming into this season and already has 16 points in 22 games. Nyman, Robertson and Dunkley are still the bread and butter of this team but it is these supplemental pieces that have the Fronts where they are and not just fighting for a playoff spot.
Games this week: Nov 24 @ Wsr; Nov 25 @ Sag; Nov 26 @ Fli

(6) Barrie Colts 13-6-2 PR% .6657
Just after I put out last weeks power rankings the Colts made a move and picked up OA Dman TJ Fergus from the Hamilton Bulldogs. Fergus was moved to Hamilton after expressing a desire to play his last season closer to home in Oakville. This made the move to Barrie surprising but Hamilton has a glut of OA Dmen. Kade Landry is an intriguing option on the back end for the Colts but the championship experience Fergus brings will be a boost to this young team.
Games this week: Nov 24 @ Gue; Nov 25 vs Osh; Nov 26 @ NB

(7) London Knights 10-10-2 PR% .6561
The Knights continue to role as Cliff Pu took home player of the week honours. Pu picked up his 150th career point of his OHL career and should hit the 200 mark by seasons end if he continues his hot play.
Games this week: Nov 22 @ Sar; Nov 24 vs OS; Nov 26 @ Gue

(8) Hamilton Bulldogs 12-6-4 PR% .6427
Kaden Fulcher picked up his 3rd shutout of the season but the player I want to talk about is Arthur Kaliyev. The 2nd round draft pick his the highest scoring '01 in the OHL. What is most impressive and tells me that he hasn't benefited from unsustainable luck is that he has taken 72 shots in 22 games which leads all rookies and is 30 more than the next '01 born player. He is a highly skilled player who puts himself into a position to have great results. Hamilton has had questionable results in developing talent the last few years but Kaliyev is a player who I hope will buck that trend.
Games this week: Nov 23 @ Ptb; Nov 24 @ Osh; Nov 25 vs Ott

(9) Owen Sound Attack 12-7-2 PR% .6287
They won 2 out of 3 this weekend dropping their middle match to the suddenly streaking Spirit. In bigger news Zack Bowman has left the team for personal reasons and they have called up Riley Daniels who has been playing in the GOJHL. Still feel that DiPietro is their best choice between the pipes going forward and see no reason for the team to rush and make a deal.
Games this week: Nov 22 vs Nia; Nov 24 @ Ldn; Nov 25 vs Gue

(10) Saginaw Spirit 9-9-3 PR% .6004
Another great weekend for the Spirit who continue to pick up points. After an OT loss to the Knights they picked up a pair fo big home wins against Owen Sound and Erie. with a home and home against Flint coming up it will be a perfect chance for Saginaw to pad their lead over their Michigan cousins.
Games this week: Nov 22 @ Fli; Nov 24 vs Fli; Nov 25 vs Kgn

(11) Guelph Storm 10-9-3 PR% .5907
The Storm offence packed on 12 goals this weekend but they only skated away with 1 point as it was a rough weekend for their backend. 3 more tough games coming up this weekend so they will be looking for a bounce back from Popovich. Giviani Smith is finally healthy and got into 3 games last weekend. Surprisingly he only took 1 minor penalty but he was held off the scoresheet as he still has some rust. If he can find some offensive consistency while playing more disciplened he could become a very coveted piece at the deadline.
Games this week: Nov 24 vs Bar; Nov 25 @ OS; Nov 26 vs Ldn

(12) Windsor Spitfires 12-10-1 PR% .5605
The Spits had Gabe Villardi returned to them by the LA Kings. He is still about 2 to 4 weeks away from being healthy enough to play. Will he be ready in time to head to the World Junior Camp? Will he even play in Windsor or get traded? What kind of value will he have on the trade market coming off of an injury and questions around if he will be in the NHL next year?
Games this week: Nov 24 vs Kgn

(13) Ottawa 67s 13-9-1 PR% 13-9-1 PR% .5554
I still feel that that Owen Sound is the lead contender for DiPietro but @Generalsupdates brought up Ottawa as a logical landing spot. They have goalie issues and fixing that would help the ease the pressure on their young blueline. Also they are primed to be contenders next season and having a 19 year old DiPietro next year would be a boon. The question is to they pay a premium to get him this year or wait till the offseason?
Games this week: Nov 23 @ Eri; Nov 24 @ Nia; Nov 25 @ Ham

(14) Erie Otters 9-11-3 PR% .5104
Taylor Raddysh is 3 goals away from 100 in his OHL career, Kyle Maksimovich is 11 points away from 200 in his OHL career. He would be the 5th Otter in the last 4 years to hit that mark which has been quite the impressive run for the franchise.
Games this week: Nov 23 vs Ott; Nov 25 vs Sar

(15) Niagara Icedogs 9-8-4 PR% .4735
Looking to add some veteran sandpaper to the lineup the Icedogs gave up a 4th round pick for Adrian Carbonara from the London Knights. He promptly went out and got him self suspended for 8 games as first reported by @icedogsthisweek. This is a young team and this stretch may be good for them in the long run after their hot start. A reminder that success wont come easy. How they break out of this slump with be the first real test for the Niagara Burkes.
Games this week: Nov 22 @ OS; Nov 24 vs Ott; Nov 25 vs Miss

(16)Peterborough Petes 12-11-1 PR% .4721
What the hell has happened to the Petes? This team reminds me of the Greyhounds under Mike Stapleton. Underachieving and needing a change of direction and voice but is there a Sheldon Keefe out there to right the ship? Could Jason Fortier save their season?
Games this week: Nov 23 vs Ham; Nov 24 @ Sby; Nov 25 @ SSM

(17) Oshawa Generals 9-12-2 PR% .4229
Struggling without Keyser who is still out with an injury the Generals picked up Mario Peccia from Kingston for 2 mid round picks. Peccia did not look that great in the 1 game I saw him play this year in Sault Ste. Marie but the Hounds tend to have that affect on goalies. In all other games Peccia has been very good and should be an immediate boost to the Generals between the pipes.
Games this week: Nov 24 vs Ham; Nov 25 @ Bar; Nov 26 vs Miss

(18) Sudbury Wolves 7-14-4 PR% .4193
The wolves picked up the rights to Mario Culina who won a dudley hewitt cup with the Soo Thunderbirds of the NOJHL with Wolves assist Jordan Smith as his head coach. Plucked from the Thunderbirds as a free agent Culina was a very good backup for the Spits the last 2 seasons and started this year with the Ryerson Rams in whatever they call Canadian university sports now.
Games this week: Nov 22 @ SSM; Nov 24 vs Pbo; Nov 26 vs Kit

(19) North Bay Battalion 7-13-3 PR% .4054
The Battalion should have beaten the Greyhounds last week. Another tough loss that has become all too often the end result for North Bay. They were however able to rebound and beat the Sudbury Wolves. Back to back years with these struggles isnt something we are used to seeing with a Stan Butler team. Could it be time to give up one of his duties in his dual role?
Games this week: Nov 23 vs Kit; Nov 26 vs Bar

(20) Flint Firebirds 7-13-2 PR% .3344
Good news for the Firebirds. Jalen Smereck has been returned to the team by the Arizona Coyotes. Played in 2 AHL games and 2 ECHL games. Will get top line minutes for the Firebirds but will also be one of the most coveted OA's at the deadline. I would put him just behind Aaron Luchuck in that regard.
Games this week: Nov 22 vs Sag; Nov 24 @ Sag; Nov 26 vs Kgn

Monday, 13 November 2017

OHL Power Rankings Week 8

Once again there are some in the OHL media who are bemoaning the existence of the 3 stars. Feeling that because some teams dont pick them fairly it is a major black mark on the league. For about the past 2 seasons there have been a few who have been complaining about this and I never planned on chiming in but enough is enough.

The 3 stars are around for 1 thing. The home town fans. London seems to be the largest cause of their ire because the 3 stars tend to always be Knights. London has a promotion around their 3 stars where fans get their picture selected with the Stars. I dont know if they do it any more but I remember Mississauga (They may have been the Majors at the time) having the stars sign a hockey stick then tossing it to a kid in the stands. I saw this at a game where they got handly beaten by the Greyhounds but does it really matter that no Hounds were named one of the stars?

At the end of the day the Stars are for the hometown fans. If you are in Sault Ste. Marie, Windsor, Niagara or Barrie to name a few do you really want to see someone from the Knights or Rangers. There are a lot bigger things to worry about and removing the 3 stars in its entirety because certain home teams have promotions tied around it and the fact that most home teams dont care if a player from a road team gets a 3rd star is a bit extreme.

The world under 17 hockey challenge is now in the books. 2 Canadian teams made it to the semifinals but only team Canada Red was able to skate away with a medal. One player from the OHL made the all-star team and that was Flint netminder Luke Cavallin who was stellar leading up to the gold medal game but even though he let in 5 goals he helped keep Canada in it. 1st overall pick Ryan Suzuki was the highest scoring OHL player with 7 points while Nick Wong continues to show that he was a gem of a 2nd round pick by picking up 6 points in the tournament. Mississauga 1st round pick and USNTDP star Jack Hughes led the tournament in scoring with 15 points and was an unstoppable force.

Is it just be or do these West Division matchups between Sault Ste. Marie and Sarnia make you want to listen to some Ennio Morrione. Another very good western clash with the Hounds getting the win this time in OT.... The Firebirds need to do something to get out of this slump. They need better goaltending to keep them in games to protect the development of their younger players.

I'm just going to assume he was the first but Taylor Raddysh picked up a penalty shot goal Thursday vs Team Russia. Something he did in his last OHL/Russia game in Hamilton last year... I havnt seen a Storm this hot since Harvey was charging up in the Gulf of Mexico but Guelph has won 3 straight and have 15 points in their lst 10. Their upcoming 6 game stretch is brutal though and will be a real test. The Raaymakers trade has really sparked the Knights as their Goals per game has increased and their PP and PK have improved exponentially.

The Central is better then last year but it is a continual mix of hot teams and struggling teams. The Colts and Steelheads are flying high each with 15 points in their last 10 games. While Niagara, North Bay and Sudbury have 8, 6 and 8 respectively over that same stretch.... The Colts are the only team in the division with a positive goal differential, the Steelheads may change that this week but goal differential again is a problem in the East.

The East Division has been a murderers row this season especially the Peterborough, Kingston, Ottawa road trip for teams.... Injuries and suspensions are starting to bury the Generals who have lost 5 in a row and are now 5 points behind Kingston who have a game in hand.... The 4th place Fronts have the highest goal differential in the division at +14 and outside of a poor 5 game stretch where Dunkley was suspended have been the divisions best.... Ottawa continues to show burgeoning depth up front and can score with anyone... Is it time to worry about the Petes and their goaltending issues?

(1) Sarnia Sting 16-3-1 Power Rank Percentage (PR%) .776
The Sting fought back to get a point against the Greyhounds on Friday before thumping the Attack 7-0 on Sunday which was enough to keep their spot atop the Power Rankings.
Games this week: Nov 15 @ Fli, Nov 17 vs WSR: Nov 19 @ Gue

(2) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 15-3-2 PR% .7598
The hounds have been on a role since losing their first game in Sarnia by reeling off 6 straight wins including the rematch against the Sting. 2 more road games this week as Curling is taking over the Essar centre. Road trips are no problem as the Hounds continue to be the leagues top road team.After going 26-7-1 last year on the road they are 7-2-1 this year. That said their Achilles heel on the road continues to be Northern Rivals Sudbury who they gave on Friday.
Games this week: Nov 16 @ NB; Nov 17 @ Sby

(3) Barrie Colts 12-4-2 PR% .7303
Former 3rd round pick Jason Willms is really starting to come into his own this year. He is up to a point per game this year after averaging only .35 last year in his rookie season. He picked up his first career hat trick on Saturday and had 4 goals this past weekend and has 6 in his last 6 games. The Colts needed players to step up onces Svechnikov broke his wrist and Willms is one of the players who answered the call.
Games this week: Nov 16 vs Sby; Nov 18 vs Kit; Nov 19 @ Osh

(4) Guelph Storm 10-7-2 PR% .6685
One of 4 teams to have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10. Only the Greyhounds are better. Winners of 3 in a row the Storm continue to get fantastic goaltending from Popovich. Ratcliffe had a big weekend with 5 points in 2 games, Hillis had 4 points while Merkley chipped in with 6. One worry is import pick Alexey Toropchenko who has not scored since September 30th. A stretch of 15 games that has only included 7 assists.
Games this week: Nov 16 @ Ldn; Nov 17 @ Kit; Nov 19 vs Sar

(5) Kitchener Rangers 11-6-2 PR% .6468
For some reason my formula does not like the Rangers. One thing that has stuck out to me about the Rangers is that they have been incredible consistent this year. They are never too hot and never too cold. They seem to win 2 and lose 1 or at just about that rate. The stalled development of Greg Meireles is a bit of a worry. Import pick Rickard Hugg is still looking for his first OHL goal but has been able to contriute with 11 helpers so far.
Games this week: Nov 14 vs Ldn; Nov 17 vs Gue; Nov 18 @ Bar; Nov 19 vs Pbo

(6) Mississauga Steelheads 8-10-1 PR%.6450
2nd round pick Keean Washkurak will be returning to the lineup after a silver medal performance at the U17. Before Sundays loss Ingham had turned in 6 straight games with either a save percentage greater than .911 or giving up less than 3 goals. His improved play is a big reason for their jump in the standings. Ryan Mcleod had his 14 game point streak snapped in their loss to Hamilton. Only 4 of those games were of the multi point variety with only 1 of those being more than 2. A very steady streak for a player who is starting to find his offensive grove in his 3rd season.
Games this week: Nov 15 vs Eri; Nov 17 vs Osh; Nov 19 vs Nia

(7) Windsor Spitfires 12-7-1 PR% .6352
18 year old Like Boka has broken out this year for the Spits. With more icetime the forward has doubled his point production on a per game basis over last season and is halfway to a career high in points. This team has enough intriguing pieces where it doenst look like there will be a complete bottoming out for this franchise. That said they will need an answer in net if and when they move on from DiPietro.
Games this week: Nov 16 vs OS; Nov 17 @ Sar; Nov 19 vs LDN

(8) London Knights 7-9-2 PR% .6160
The Knights are 6-1-1 in games started by Joseph Raamakers. Outside of a 2 game stretch where he allowed 10 goals he hasnt give up more then 2 in any other start. He also seems to have a trickle down affect on the rest of the team. In the games he has started London has outscored their opponents 39 to 18. Their power play is running at a clip of 29.6% while their PK is at 87.9%
Games this week: Nov 14 @ Kit; Nov 16 vs Gue; Nov 17 vs Sag; Nov 19 @ Wsr

(9) Kingston Frontenacs 10-6-3 PR% .6312
The Fronts picked up Brendan Bonello at the end of October with everyone thinking it meant an imminent trade with Owen Sound. Only problem is with Helvig in their lineup they are playing like an East contender with the 2nd highest goal differential in the conference. The value he adds to the Fronts right now may be greater than teams who are looking to acquire him.
Games this week: Nov 16 @ Nia; Nov 17 vs Ham; Nov 19 vs Ott

(10) Ottawa 67s 12-8-1 PR% .5998
The 67's keep winning but their goal differential still is a bit of a worry. The goaltending has been improving however and as long as their young blueline continues to develop this will be a dangerous team come playoff time. Kevin Bahl will have an opportunity to make an impression on hockey Canada Monday in Sudbury. He wont be in the discussion this year but is an intriguing WJC option next year.
Games this week: Nov 18 vs Ham; Nov 19 @ Kgn

(11) Hamilton Bulldogs 10-5-4 PR% .5901
Fulcher's break out season is looking like it will be sustainable. As a Bulldogs season ticket holder the last 2 years I am not surprised. Some Bulldogs fans may be surprised. Espcially the one from the Season Ticket Holder town hall meeting last year who asked Steve Staios how the team was going to compete this year with no goaltender and then scoffed at the notion that Fulcher was someone the team could trust. Gotta love season ticket holders. The Bulldogs have a school day game this week against Peterborough. 1 of 2 they will have this year. Last year their only game against Owen Sound was a school day game. Something that pissed me off enough that I vowed not to renew my season tickets. I ended up moving to SSM so it was a moot point by why the fuck would you have a teams only visit a school day game. When I brought it up at the town hall meeting they said it was a league decision. Seems like I have gone off on a bit of a tangent.
Games this week: Nov 15 vs Pbo; Nov 17 @ Kgn; Nov 18 @ Ott

(12) Owen Sound Attack 10-6-2 PR% .5838
Defenceman Sean Durzi has been added to the OHL roster for the Russia game in Sudbury. The Attack continue to be a Jekyl and Hyde team as they cant seem to string together multiple wins recently. A roadtrip to Michigan should help with that this week. They start off in Windsor where they will get a first hand look at the answer to all their problems in net.
Games this week: Nov 16 @ Wsr; Nov 18 @ Fli; Nov 19 @ Sag

(13) Erie Otters 8-9-3 PR% .5740
Winless in their last 3 the Otters hot streak has somewhat stalled. 2 games against the wests worst are just what the doctor ordered. While the Otters will be sellers at the deadline to help recoup some of the assets they lost through their 4 year run they have been strong up front this year. Raddysh is the known asset that will bring a big haul but an underrated option is Kyle Maksimovich approaching 200 career OHL points as he is having another stellar season in what is lining up as his 3rd straight averaging a point per game. Undrafted Maksimovich is plausible OA option for next year and could be seen as a valuable piece to teams like Oshawa and Guelph who are a year away from entering their peak.
Games this week: Nov 15 @ Miss; Nov 18 @ Fli; Nov 19 @ Sag

(14) Peterborough Petes 12-8-1 PR% .5376
So does Dylan Wells even get an invite to the World Junior camp? He stuck out for the wrong reasons in the OHL/Russia game in Owen Sound on Thursday and has been very mediocre the last few weeks. With Carter Hart having 1 spot on the team locked down you have to wonder how many other goalies will get invites. DiPietro should be a lock based on his play and with Samuel Harvey shinning in the Q do you take Wells over him? And we havnt even started talking about Even Kitzpatrick the Blues 2nd round pick from 2016.
Games this week: Nov 15 @ Ham; Nov 16 @ Osh; Nov 19 @ Kit

(15) Saginaw Spirit 7-9-2 PR% .5252
The Spirit keep winning and inching up closer to a playoff spot. They have been doing it by getting production from different young players every game. Former prized OHL draft prospect Hayden Davis picked up his first career multi goal game on the weekend.
Games this week: Nov 17 @ Ldn; Nov 18 vs OS; Nov 19 vs Eri

(16) Niagara Icedogs 8-6-4 PR% .5134
The Icedogs are mired in their worst stretch of the year. This has allowed Barrie to pull away from them and has given Mississauga a chance to reel them in. They have a good cusion on a playoff spot as we are past the quarter point in the season but they are in the discussion for home ice in the first round and will want to right the ship quickly before it is too late.
Games this week: Nov 16 vs Kgn; Nov 17 vs NB; Nov 19 @ Miss 

(17) Oshawa Generals 8-10-2 PR% .4640
The Generals have been beset by injuries and suspensions are playing their worst hockey of the year because of it. With no Keyser it is hard for this team to stay afloat. Allan McShane had his best weekend of hte year however with 5 goals. Getting Brewer and Wong back from the U17 will help but Keyser once again is the key to this teams success. A roster shakeup may be in order to help define roles and clear up some of the log jam that exists when this team is healthy
Games this week: Nov 16 @ Pbo; Nov 17 @ Miss; Nov 19 vs Bar

(18) Sudbury Wolves 6-12-4 PR% .4521
The Wolves are slumping again with 1 point in their last 4. The Levin injury has been a killer but on the good news front is that Macauley Carson is back from injury and scored his first goal of the season on Sunday.
Games this week: Nov 16 @ Bar; Nov 17; vs SSM; Nov 19 vs NB

(19) North Bay Battalion 6-12-2 PR% .4166
One silver lining for the Battalion this year is that 1st round pick Brandon Coe picked up a silver medal at the U17. One intriguing trade piece that has flown under the radar is Cam Dineen. If the Battalion move him they should be able to fetch quite a ransom.
Games this week: Nov 16 vs SSM; Nov 17 @ Nia; Nov 19 @ Sby

(20) Flint Firebrids 6-11-2 PR% .3318
The Firebirds have allowed 5 goals or more in 9 of their last 11 games. Included in that stretch is 17 goals given up to London in 2 games and 15 goals given up to the Greyhounds in 2 games. They have scored more than 3 goals just once in that stretch and have been held to 2 or less in their last 5. This is a team in need of a shakeup and I hope it isnt behind the bench because that would be a grave mistake for this franchise.
Games this week: Nov 15 vs Sar; Nov 18 vs Eri; Nov 19 vs OS

Monday, 6 November 2017

OHL Power Rankings Week 7

7 weeks are now in the books. The Under 17 has kicked off in Dawsons Creek BC. The CIBC-Russia series kicks off this week with 2 games in the WHL as well as the first OHL game in Owen Sound. I thought I would do something a little different this week. Instead of giving a blurb on each team I would look at a prospect or two that each team drafted in the 2017 priority selection currently not playing in the OHL. First however a quick hit from a team in each division.

West: For the 2nd time this season the #1 and #2 teams in the power ranking face of against each other and for the 2nd time it is Sault Ste. Marie traveling to Sarnia. Sting were horribly outplayed all weekend and need a bounce back. The Hounds play their first game on a 17 day road trip as the Boost National Curling Championship takes hold of the Essar Centre Ice.

Central: For the first time in Franchise history the Hamilton Bulldogs will be hosting the Erie Otters before the World Jr Championships. May seem trivial but im sure fans in a new market would have liked to have seen Dylan Strome play seeing as he was one of the premier stars in the OHL especially considering they have his brother staring on their team. It seems the league knew the Wolves would have nobody worthy of playing in the CHL-Russia series this week as they are the only OHL team that plays Friday-Saturday-Sunday;

Midwest: Speaking of the CHL-Russia series there is only 1 OHL team that only plays 1 game this weekend and that is the London Knights who have plenty of talent on the roster for the games in Owen Sound and Sudbury.

East: What a rough weekend for the Generals. Stillman suspended indefinitly for a head check. Maclean out with a broken finger and Keyser got run over Sunday and left the game in a lot of pain. What is up with the Petes? They gave up 20 goals in 3 games this weekend but more concerning is the fact they gave up vs Mississauga and allowed 60+ shots on their rookie goalie. Like a Katy Perry song the Fronts are either hot or their cold. Started the season 6-1 then a rough winless streak and now they are back with 5 game point streak.

(1) Sarnia Sting 15-3-0  Power Rank Percentage (PR%) .7952
Ethan Langevin should have the inside track to back up Aiden Hughes next season as the 6th round selection is showing some great progress while playing for the Pickering Panthers this seaosn in the OJHL.
Ashton Reesor taken in the 5th round has 9 assists so far this season while playing for Stouffville. He seems to be getting better every week and should be primed to compete for a spot next season on the Sting.
Games this week: Nov 10 vs SSM; Nov 12 vs OS

(2) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 13-3-2  (PR%) .7200
Alex Johnston become property of the Soo Greyhounds via their 6th round selection this year. After a high scoring season last year in the CCHL midget league Johnston has made the jump this year to JR A and has picked up 7 points in 23 games for the Kanata Lasers. Look for more production from the young forward as the season progresses as this is a player Hounds fans should get excited about
John Beecher The 5th round selection and top 5 2017 OHL priority selection prospect has committed to the University of Michigan. He is putting up good offensive numbers for the USNTDP U17 squad this year and is currently in Dawsons Creek playing for the heavily favoured Americans at the U17 Hockey Challenge.
Games this week: Nov 10 @ Sar; Nov 11 @ Fli

(3) Barrie Colts 10-4-1-1 PR% .6769
Jet Greaves Played 2 games with Cambridge last year in the GOJHL as an affiliated player. This season he is suiting up for the Guelph Hurricanes. Taken in the 3rd round by the colts his strong play allowed them to move Propp. In 14 games he has a .905 save percentage while playing for a team that isn't the greatest to say the least.
Connor LePage was a 5th round selection of the Colts and like Greaves is playing his 16 year old season with the Guelph Hurricanes. With 8 points in 14 games he is doing a great job filling a supplemental offensive role. There will be plenty of openings on the Colts up front next year and LePage should be primed to claim one of those spots if he keeps developing the way he has been.
Games This Week: Nov 10 @ Sby; Nov 11 vs Bar

(4) Windsor Spitfires 11-6-1 PR% .6446
Jordan Frasca taken in the 7th round from the Mississauga Senators he has been a point per game player with 6 goals and 11 assists in 17 games for the Chatham Maroons of the GOJHL. With the rebuild on the fly going on in Windsor there should be ample opportunity for him next season. Also of note is that he is sporting an "A" on his jersey as a 16 year old. I thought Eliteprospects was drunk with that but they have photo evidence.
Games this week: Nov 10 @ Kit; Nov 11 vs Kit

(5) Owen Sound Attack 9-5-2 PR%  .6334
Carson Eden is currently playing on a very deep St. Catharines Falcons squad in the GOJHL. Still he has been able to find away to produce offensively as he has 5 goals and 3 assists in his first 15 games of the season.
Games this week: Nov 11 vs Sby; Nov 12 @ Sar

(6) Erie Otters 8-7-2-1 PR% .6305
Josh Shimizu the diminutive 5'5" forward who the Otters took in teh 8th round last year has only suited up in 2 games in the CCHL this year but has been fantastic at the midget level where he has seen his offensive production explode with 18 points so far in 14 games.
Games this week: Nov 10 @ Ham; Nov 11 vs Sag

(7) Kitchener Rangers 10-6-1 PR% .6224
Simon Mack the Rangers 7th round pick is playing for the Brockville Braves of the CCHL. This seaosn while playing 23 games for Brockville Mack has picked up 2 assists. I wouldnt worry too much about the offense as the fact that he has gotten into 23 games is the important thing and gets better each week before trying to crack the Rangers lineup next season.
Games this week: Nov 10 vs Wsr; Nov 11 @ Wsr

(8) Kingston Frontenacs 9-5-3 PR% .6169
Curtis Fabbro taken in the 8th round he has quitly put together a very nice 16 year old season suiting up for Naven in the CCHL where he has 4 goals in his first 22 games.
Ryan Dugas may have a crowded crease next year with Bonello and Peccia but he is putting together a stellar season in Ancaster sporting a .922 save percentage and a 6-2 record which includes a 36 save victory over the highly offensive St Catharines Falcons.
Games this week: Nov 10 vs Pbo; Nov 12 @ Pbo

(9) Mississauga Steelheads 7-9-1 PR% .6036
Jordan Power Committed to St Lawrence University but the Steelheads 14th round selection leads all '01 born skaters with 13 points so far in the CCHL season. With 1 goal and 12 assists he has shown a real penchant for offence. If he decides to flip from his NCAA commitment he could be a nice get for the fish.
Games this week: Nov 10 vs Sag; Nov 12 vs Ham

(10) Peterborough Petes 11-7-1 PR% .5816
Jagger O'Toole was picked up in the 5th round by the Petes. He is playing for the Listowel Cyclones in the GOJHL. He has 2 assists in 16 games but has show an ability to play with a chip on his shoulder with 41 PIMs this year. He is gaining some great expierience playing on a very good Listowel team.
Jacob Partridge is playing his 16 year old season in the NOJHL with the Rayside-Balfour Canadians. The 11th round selection is showing some very good production early on this season with 11 points in 18 games.
Games this week: Nov 10 @ Kgn; Nov 12 vs Kgn

(11) Hamilton Bulldogs 8-5-4 PR% .5706
Liam Van Loon selected in the 3rd round by the Bulldogs has been tearing up the GOJHL this year while playing for the Ancaster Avalance. with 11 goals and 11 assists in 14 games he is a virtual lock to make the GOJHL prospects game which is also to be played in Ancaster in late December. Don't be surprised if you see Van Loon get a few games with the Bulldogs over the christmas break.
Jayden Jensen is a big 6'4" defender that the Bulldogs took in the 8th round out of the Belle Tire program. He is playing in the tier 1 league again this season and has seen is offensive production jump up with 10 points already in 9 games.
Games this week: Nov 10 vs Ham; Nov 12 @ Miss

(12) Niagara Icedogs 7-5-4 PR% .5686
Mason Howard a 10th round pick of the Icedogs is plying his trade in their back yard for the Thorold Blackhawks in the GOJHL. In 20 games this year playing in the Jr B loop the young defender has 4 goals and 10 assists this season. Hounds star defender Connor Timmins started his 16 year old season playing for the Blackhawks where he too put up big numbers.
Jarod Hurley a 15th round draft pick plucked from the back yard of Director of Player Evaluation Mark Seidel. The young defender is one of 10 full time '01 born players in the NOJHL this year. Playing for the Espnaola Express Hurley has gotten into 19 games and has picked up 3 assists.
Games this week: Nov 11 @ Bar; Nov 12 @ NB

(13) Guelph Storm 8-7-2 PR% .5648
There are 4 '01 birth year forwards playing in the OJHL this year that have accumulated 14 points already this season. All 4 are draft picks of the Guelph Storm. 2 of them (the Jackson twins with St. Mikes) are commited to Northeastern University so I will look at the other 2 who both happen to play in the West Division.
Dennis Golovatchev a 3rd round pick of the storm has been producing nicely for the Burlington Cougars picking up 6 goals and 8 assists in 20 games. He is thriving offensivly under the tutaledge of head coach Mark Jooris and is seeing real growth in his game.
Eric Ciccolini is a 7th round pick of the Storm is the leading scorer on the Milton Icehawks. Not the greatest team but the fact that he is leading them in scoring with minimal talent around him at nearly a point per game is impressive.
Games this week: Nov 10 vs NB; Nov 12 vs Sby

(14) London Knights 6-9-2 PR% .5557
Emmett Pierce was selected in the 4th round by the Knights out of the Quinte program. He has been assigned to the Strathroy Rockets where he has added 8 points in 19 games this year. A big forward measuring in a 6'6" should be a handful as his body develops and he can better use his size against older players.
Games this week: Nov 10 vs Fli

(15) Ottawa 67s 10-8-1 PR% .5430
Luke Pearson is one of 3 '01 born goalies in the OJHL this year. As of Saturday Morning he was sporting a .917 Save percentage. He was winless in his 6 starts but has been doing a very good job on an overmatched Whitby squad.
Jack Quinn taken in the 2nd round has been tearing up the CCHL in limited action with 9 goals and 3 assists in 13 games for Kanata.
Games this week: Nov 10 vs Osh; Nov 12 @ Osh

(16) Oshawa Generals 8-8-2 PR% .5350
Ty Gilberds a 5th round selection of the Generals, Gilberds decided to ply his trade during his 16 year old season outside of North Bay playing for the Powassan Voodoos of the NOJHL. in 19 games this year he has racked up 4 goals and 6 assists.
Games this week: Nov 10 @ Ott; Nov 12 vs Ott

(17) Saginaw Spirit 6-8-2 PR% .5250
Nicholas Zabaneh is the 2nd player I have profiled here who has committed to the University of Michigan. Currently playing for the St. Michaels Buzzers the 5th round selection of the Spirit currently has 9 points in 22 games. He will be a nice boost to a great crop of '00 and '01 born talent currently playing/signed by Saginaw.
Alex Turcotte arguably one of the most talented players in last years draft the Spirit picked him up in the 2nd round as they have shown recently they are not afraid to pick up hard to sign players. Currently playing for the USNTDP look for Turcotte to help lead team USA to a gold at the U17
Games this week: Nov 10 @ Miss; Nov 11 @ Eri

(18) Sudbury Wolves 6-10-3 PR% .4868
Kosta Manikis is another 2017 priority selection drafted player currently suiting up for the Stouffville Spirit in the OJHL. with 7 points in 15 games he has one of the better points per game rates in the league for 16 year olds. With 12th round selection Levi Siau recently signed the continued development of Manikis could help turn this into a great draft for the Wolves.
Games this week: Nov 10 vs Bar; Nov 11 @ OS; Nov 12 @ Gue

(19) North Bay Battalion 6-10-2 PR% ,4271
Nathan Porter was selected in the 6th round by Stan Butler's crew and is playing his 16 year old season in Pickering. The youngster currently has 2 assists in 17 games while getting some meaningful ice time against players much older than he is.
Games this week: Nov 10 @ Gue; Nov 12 vs Nia

(20) Flint Firebirds 6-9-2 PR% .3951
Tanner McEachern is currently playing for the Wellend Jr Canadians in the GOJHL. where he has shown great offensive production with 16 points in 21 games. Not bad for the 2017 4th round selection. He should be primed for a spot in the GOJHL prospects game in December so that will be something for Firebirds fans to look out for.
Games this week: Nov 10 @ Ldn; Nov 11 vs SSM