|Emil Andrae||2002||5’9″||183||L||J18 Elit|
|Leo Lööf||2002||6’0″||168||L||J18 Elit|
|William Wallinder||2002||6’4″||185||L||J18 Elit|
|Samuel Eriksson||2002||5’11”||163||L||J18 Elit|
|Isak Garfvé||2002||6’3″||185||R||J18 Elit|
|Erik Hedlund||2002||5’9″||157||R||J18 Elit|
|Linus Lööf||2002||6’0″||161||L||J18 Elit|
|Daniel Torgersson||2002||6’3″||205||L||J18 Elit|
|Player||Pos||Birthdate||Hometown||NCAA Commitment (League)|
|Carson Bantle||F||01/22/2002||Onalaski, Wis.||Michigan Tech (WCHA)|
|Ryan Beck||F||08/25/2002||Linden, Mich.||University of Denver (NCHC)|
|Blake Biondi||F||04/24/2002||Hermantown, Minn.||University of Minnesota Duluth (NCHC)|
|Evan Bushy||D||03/26/2002||Thief River Falls, Minn.||St. Cloud State University (NCHC)|
|Noah Ellis||D||02/01/2002||Urbandale, Iowa||Uncommitted|
|Mark Estapa||F||01/13/2002||St. Clair, Mich.||Western Michigan University (NCHC)|
|Alex Gaffney||F||06/25/2002||West Orange, N.J.||Harvard University (ECAC Hockey)|
|Alex Gagne||D||08/12/2002||Bedford, N.H.||University of New Hampshire (HEA)|
|Cross Hanas||F||01/05/2002||Highland Village, Texas||–|
|Avery Hayes||F||10/10/2002||Westland, Mich.||Hamilton Bulldogs|
|Louden Hogg||G||10/18/2002||Cheyenne, Wyoming||Uncommitted|
|Wyatt Kaiser||D||07/31/2002||Ham Lake, Minn.||University of Minnesota Duluth (NCHC)|
|Tanner Kelly||F||05/11/2002||San Diego, Calif.||Michigan State University (Big Ten)|
|Donald Kempf||D||04/15/2002||Chicago, Ill.||Cornell University (ECAC Hockey)|
|Ryan Kirwan||F||02/27/2002||DeWitt, N.Y.||Penn State University (Big Ten)|
|David Ma||D||06/22/2002||Yonkers, N.Y.||Princeton University (ECAC Hockey)|
|Colin Purcell||G||06/23/2002||Shaker Heights, Ohio||Uncommitted|
|Jacob Ratzlaff||D||06/23/2002||Rosemount, Minn.||University of Minnesota (Big Ten)|
|Mackie Samoskevich||F||11/15/2002||Newtown, Conn.||University of Michigan (Big Ten)|
|Ben Schoen||F||05/18/2002||Maumee, Ohio||Miami University (NCHC)|
|Artem Shlaine||F||03/07/2002||Boca Raton, Fla.||Boston University (HEA)|
|Jack Williams||F||03/02/2002||Biddeford, Maine||Northeastern University (HEA)|
Hockey season may be over for fans, but for the players, the quest for their dreams continues through the summer months and that goes for 46 Ontario Hockey League players who get the opportunity to strut their stuff at Canada’s National Under-17 Development Camp.
The list of OHL prospects invited include 5 goaltenders, 12 defencemen and 29 forwards. They will participate in the event along with along with 66 other prospects beginning July 19 and ending July 26 at the Markin MacPhail Centre in Calgary Alberta.
Here are the OHL prospects invited to participate:
|Name||S/C||Ht.||Wt.||Hometown||2018-19 Team||OHL Team|
|Matteo Drobac||L||6’0″||179||Oakville, Ont.||Halton (OMHA-SCTA)||Hamilton|
|Carter Garvie||L||6’2″||150||Owen Sound, Ont.||Grey-Bruce (OMHA-SCTA)||Saginaw|
|Benjamin Gaudreau||L||6’1″||160||Corbeil, Ont.||North Bay (GNML)||Sarnia|
|Patrick Leaver||L||5’11”||159||Perth, Ont.||Smiths Falls (HEOMAAA)||Oshawa|
|Josh Rosenzweig||R||6’0″||158||Toronto, Ont.||Toronto Red Wings (GTHL)||Niagara|
|Paul Christopolous||R||5’11”||181||Richmond Hill, Ont.||Don Mills (GTHL)||North Bay|
|Brandt Clarke||R||6’2″||185||Ottawa, Ont.||Don Mills (GTHL)||Barrie|
|Ethan Del Mastro||L||6’3″||180||Freelton, Ont.||Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)||Mississauga|
|Isaac Enright||R||6’0″||170||Cobden, Ont.||Pembroke (HEO)||Niagara|
|Connor Federkow||L||5’9″||148||St. Catharines, Ont.||Niagara North (OMHA-SCTA)||London|
|Braden Hache||L||6’2″||185||Newmarket, Ont.||York-Simcoe (OMHA-ETA)||Kingston|
|Jacob Holmes||L||6’1″||176||Alliston, Ont.||York Simcoe (OMHA-ETA)||Sault Ste Marie|
|Logan Mailloux||R||6’3″||214||Belle River, Ont.||Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)||London|
|Jack Matier||R||6’2″||174||Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.||Soo (NOHA)||Ottawa|
|Connor Punnett||L||6’1″||177||Powassan, Ont.||North Central (OMHA-ETA)||Saginaw|
|Ranvir Gill||R||6’3″||190||Ottawa, Ont.||Ottawa (HEO)||Ottawa|
|Ty Hollett||R||6’2″||196||Orleans, Ont.||Navan (HEO)||North Bay|
|Liam Arnsby||R||5’10”||175||Ajax, Ont.||Don Mills (GTHL)||North Bay|
|Jon-Randall Avon||L||5’10”||172||Selwyn, Ont.||Peterborough (OMHA-ETA)||Peterborough|
|Jack Beck||L||5’11”||152||Richmond Hill, Ont.||Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)||Ottawa|
|Josh Bloom||L||6’1″||165||Oakville, Ont.||Toronto Young Nationals (GTHL)||Saginaw|
|Ethan Burroughs||R||5’10”||165||Georgetown, Ont.||Halton (OMHA-SCTA)||Owen Sound|
|Ryan Del Monte||R||5’11”||161||Mississauga, Ont.||Toronto Young Nationals (GTHL)||Barrie|
|Deni Goure||R||5’10”||159||Grande Pointe, Ont.||Chatham-Kent (MHAO)||Owen Sound|
|Brett Harrison||L||6’1″||157||London, Ont.||London (MHAO)||Oshawa|
|Thomas Johnston||L||5’8″||154||Oshawa, Ont.||Whitby (OMHA-ETA)||Ottawa|
|Wyatt Johnston||R||5’11”||152||Toronto, Ont.||Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)||Windsor|
|Braeden Kressler||R||5’9″||154||Kitchener, Ont.||Mississauga Senators (GTHL)||Flint|
|Ethan Larmand||L||5’11”||160||Midland, Ont.||North Central (OMHA-ETA)||Sudbury|
|Kaleb Lawrence||L||6’5″||205||Orleans, Ont.||Ontario Hockey Academy (HEO)||Owen Sound|
|Connor Lockhart||R||5’9″||162||Kanata, Ont.||Kanata (HEO)||Erie|
|Jacob Maillet||R||6’0″||172||Dundas, Ont.||Hamilton (OMHA-SCTA)||Guelph|
|Landon McCallum||R||5’10”||154||Simcoe, Ont.||Brantford (MHAO)||Sudbury|
|Max McCue||L||6’0″||154||Sudbury, Ont.||Sudbury (NOHA)||London|
|Mason McTavish||L||6’1″||195||Pembroke, Ont.||Pembroke (HEO)||Peterborough|
|Daniel Michaud||L||6’2″||176||Belleville, Que.||Quinte (OMHA-ETA)||Oshawa|
|Justin O’Donnell||R||6’1″||170||Oakville, Ont.||Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)||Sarnia|
|Brennan Othmann||L||6’0″||168||Pickering, Ont.||Don Mills (GTHL)||Flint|
|Francesco Pinelli||L||6’0″||177||Stoney Creek, Ont.||Toronto Red Wings (GTHL)||Kitchener|
|Stuart Rolofs||L||6’2″||187||Carp, Ont.||Kanata (HEO)||London|
|Lawson Sherk||L||6’1″||181||Georgetown, Ont.||Halton (OMHA-SCTA)||Hamilton|
|Brendan Sirizzotti||R||5’11”||170||Whitby, Ont.||Whitby (OMHA-ETA)||Ottawa|
|Chase Stillman||R||5’10”||160||Peterborough, Ont.||Sudbury (NOHA)||Sudbury|
|Ryan Winterton||R||6’0″||161||Whitby, Ont.||Whitby (OMHA-ETA)||Hamilton|
|Shane Wright||R||6’0″||180||Burlington, Ont.||Don Mills (GTHL)||Kingston|
|Danny Zhilkin||L||6’1″||185||Mississauga, Ont.||Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)||Guelph|
The word was out before National Hockey League teams descended on Vancouver for the 2019 Draft that the Ontario Hockey League class was, for a lack of a better term, a weak class.
But, did anyone expect this?
Since the NHL adopted the seven round draft back at the 2005 Draft, no draft has produced as few OHL’ers as has 2019. Just 25 players were selected from the O this year. The 2006 draft was a close (?) second worse class with 29. That 2006 class produced six first rounders as opposed to four this year.
What’s worse is only one draft since 2005, the 2007, Is the only draft that produced fewer first round picks with three. That class still produced 25 players drafted from the OHL.
Twenty-five is just above half of what the best drafts from the OHL have produced – forty-eight in both 2012 and 2016.
The Carolina Hurricanes, Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils went OHL heavy with three selections each from the O.
2020 looks to be a lesser class overall then 2019 was, but there is some quality coming from the OHL, so we at least have that to look for.
Here’s a look at the drafts from 2005 to 2019 and the number of OHL players selected in each round.
Over 100 preseason, regular season and playoff games in arenas, countless others on video, and the 2019 National Hockey League Draft begins this Friday in Vancouver British Columbia.
We’ve compiled the top 40 players and top 6 goaltenders from the Ontario Hockey League and Ontario Junior Hockey League that we believe could hear their names called – although we don’t believe all of them will.
Three players (*) are re-entering the draft and three players (**) are re-entering the draft for the second time. Not included on our list are players that were not signed by their drafting club from the 2017 draft that may have been eligible to re-enter.
Players are ranked in the order that we believe they should be drafted. You will also see where NHL Central Scouting ranked the Ontario players. That ranking doesn’t show overall rankings but among Ontario players only.
|16||Jacob LeGuerrier||Sault Ste Marie||15|
|17||Cole MacKay||Sault Ste Marie||18|
|18||Eric Ciccolini||Toronto JC||22|
|19||Joe Carroll||Sault Ste Marie||19|
|23||Mason Primeau||North Bay||23|
|5||Mack Guzda||Owen Sound||4|
|7||Andrew McLean||Owen Sound||7|
|* Draft re-entry|
|**2nd time re-entry|
Weight: 205 pounds
Date of birth: July 28, 2001
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
OHL Draft: Round 2, 22nd overall, 2017 Priority Selection (Guelph Storm)
NHL Central Scouting Rankings
|C Prospect||C Prospect||142||113|
Mason Primeau certainly comes with some bloodlines. He’s the son of former NHL’er Wayne Primeau and the nephew of Keith Primeau. And his sister, Madison, played in the PWHL this season. His cousins Cayden will be playing in the American Hockey League next season while Chayse just finished his first season playing in the NCAA. To say hockey runs in the family is an understatement.
Primeau played his minor midget AAA hockey with the Toronto Nationals during the 2016-2017 season where he compiled 13 goals and 16 assists in 33 contests. The Guelph Storm selected Primeau with the 22nd overall pick at the 2017 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
Here’s what OHL Central Scouting had to say about Primeau:
Mason comes from a very good hockey family and he looks to be following in his dad’s footsteps. He is a big two-way centre who has a very good understanding for the game. He is a good skater and has good top-end speed. Mason scored some really nice goals and shows flashes of having top-end skills. He is very reliable in all three zones and is very strong on face-offs. He competes each and every shift. Every coach is looking for a big two-way centre that is reliable and will chip in offensively.
Last season, Primeau made the Storm roster out of camp and appeared in 60 games, scoring 7 goals and assisting on 6 others.
There are two stories to tell this season. Primeau began the year with the Storm. In 20 games, he scored 3 goals and added 4 assists and the writing was virtually on the wall: There wasn’t going to be much ice time for Primeau on a club with Championship aspirations, one that the Storm would eventually achieve.
On November 15, 2018, the Battalion sent two second round picks (2020 and 2022) to the Storm for Primeau. Interestingly enough, Battalion Coach Stan Butler coached Wayne Primeau with the Oshawa Generals during the 1995-1996 season.
Once with the Battalion, Primeau’s ice time and opportunities increased, as did his intensity and his competitiveness. He would finish the season with 49 games in a Battalion uniform, scoring 10 goals and 16 assists. He would add a goal and 2 helpers in 5 playoff games.
Primeau comes with tremendous size at 6’5” and despite weighing in at 205 pounds, could stand to use a bit more muscle. Although OHL Central Scouting liked his skating, I think it’s just average. He lacks a good first few strides that prevents him from getting to top speed, which is okay for his size, at the pace that would be required.
I also don’t agree with Central Scouting’s assessment of “showing flashes of top-end skills.” That may have been the case in Minor Midget, but those skills weren’t visible in the OHL. Primeau’s offense is going to have to come from hard work, winning puck battles and getting to the front of the net, something he is capable of and will only get better at when he adds strength.
In the end, I don’t think Primeau’s vision, hockey IQ and skill set, which are all average in my opinion, are going to make him an offensive threat at the next level. Instead, he could carve out a career as a solid defensive center who is good on the draw, provide energy and physicality and eventually kill penalties, if he can improve on his footwork.
The question now is: where do you draft that type of player?
Weight: 175 pounds
Date of birth: March 12, 2001
Hometown: Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
Position: Left Wing
OHL Draft: round 1, 4th overall, 2017 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: C Prospect. Mid-term: 101, NA Skaters
Saginaw Spirits’ winger Nicholas Porco played his Minor Midget AAA with the Vaughan Kings during the 2016-2017 season. The Kings Alternate Captain appeared in 33 games scoring 22 goals and assisting on 19 others. He would also appear in a combined 11 games at the OHL Cup and OHL Gold Cup scoring 5 goals and adding 5 assists.
The Spirit would use the 4th overall pick at the 2017 Ontario Hockey League Priority selection to select Porco. This is what OHL Central Scouting had to say:
Nicholas is a one of the best wingers in this age group. He is explosive off the mark and has top-end speed that many have trouble keeping up with. He uses his edges very well and is hard to contain in the corners. Nicholas has a very good skill set that allows him to create numerous chances each game. He is not an overly physical player, but he won’t shy away from a battle in the corner or in front of the net. Nicholas has all the tools to be an impact player in the OHL.
Porco broke onto the OHL scene a season ago and in his rookie campaign scored 5 goals and 9 assists in 57 games. He would also represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17, scoring once in 6 contests.
Porco had a breakout season this year. He scored 20 goals and 16 assists while playing in all but one of the Spirits regular season games. He would add 3 goals and 4 assists in 16 playoff games as the Spirit suffered a disappointing loss in the Conference Finals in what could have been an excellent run to an OHL Championship battle.
Porco is truly a gifted skater with excellent first strides and top end speed and has a separation gear. And he has some offensive talent. Just how much is the question since he was buried on a Spirit team that had an abundance of top end talent up front.
There are some flaws in his game, but nothing that can’t be rectified. First off, he plays one-dimensional in that he consistently tries to beat defenders using his speed. He’s a straight-line player who, if he would use the ice better i.e. east-west, he could become a dangerous player on offense.
Secondly, he really needs to add some strength. Actually, I’m not sure if it’s for lack of effort or not having the necessary strength, but getting knocked off the puck relatively easily at times is a concern. It would benefit his puck possession game and because he can make plays with the puck on his stick, that too can make him more dangerous in the O-zone. I actually think his playmaking abilities are underrated.
Porco’s speed allows him to get on the forecheck with ease. But he’s not overly physical. As Central Scouting’s report suggests, he doesn’t go out looking for physicality. Does he shy away from it? All too often I see him attacking from the periphery. I would like to see him attack the net more, with and without the puck.
There are definitely some intriguing offensive skills in Porco. He will need to fine tune his game to be effective at the next level. An NHL team with some depth and the ability to wait it out as he develops could have quite the find with Porco.
Weight: 172 pounds
Date of birth: December 31, 2000
Hometown: Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
Position: Right Wing
OHL Draft: Round 6, 102 overall 2016 Priority Selection
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Pre-season, November: C Prospect. Mid-term: 148 NA Skaters.
Guelph Storm winger Keegan Stevenson played his Midget hockey with the Soo Thunderbirds during the 2015-2016 and scored 17 goals while assisting on a dozen others in 21 games. He would add 3 goals in 2 playoff games and appear in both the OHL Cup and OHL Gold Cup.
The Storm would use the 102nd overall pick to select Stevenson at the 2016 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.
The following season, Stevenson would play Junior A hockey with the Soo Thunderbirds of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League. Stevenson would notch 12 goals and 23 assists for the Thunderbirds during a 54-game campaign. He would add a goal and 3 helpers in 4 playoff games.
Last season Stevenson broke onto the Storm roster and would play in 61 games scoring 5 goals and assisting on 5. He would add a goal and two helpers in 6 playoff games.
This season, on a deep and extremely talented Guelph squad that won an OHL Championship and a Memorial Cup run that fell short, Stevenson notched 19 goals and 15 assists in 55 games, while adding 3 goals and 2 assists on the Storms playoff run.
At 6’1”, Stevenson has some good size, but it is a frame that needs to add a lot of bulk. He doesn’t shy away from physicality, going in on the forecheck to battle for pucks, or from going to other dirty areas of the ice. And he wins more then his fair share of battles. Adding that necessary bulk makes him that much more attractive.
Despite playing on that deep Storm roster, Guelph’s coaching staff did not hesitate in sending Stevenson over the boards in any situation, be it to kill a penalty or draw the tough defensive assignments. Stevenson is actually an excellent penalty killer and his defensive awareness in all areas of the ice is at a pretty high level.
There was a noticeable improvement in Stevenson’s skating from a year ago and he will need to continue to work on that aspect of his game. While he’s not slow, if he can continue to work on his speed it will be another asset to his arsenal he can utilize. Adding an east-west component to his skating would also be beneficial.
Stevenson is also a very smart and heads-up player. I happen to think he sees the ice extremely well, makes excellent reads and is a very good playmaker. The question one must ask is: just how much offensive upside is there with Stevenson? The opportunities in Guelph just weren’t there to fully see with all the guys in front of him. But 5 on 5, he out produced some of the players in front of him in this draft class.
I’m not sure what Stevenson will end up being at the next level, but am confident that he can carve himself a career as a third line winger who can kill penalties, provide some energy and chip in some offense while he’s at it.
Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the First, Second, and Third Team All-Star selections for the 2018-19 campaign.
The OHL All-Star Teams were selected by the OHL’s General Managers upon completion of the regular season schedule.
Headlining the First Team is Red Tilson Trophy winner and Goaltender of the Year Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen, a Buffalo Sabres prospect, who was a unanimous choice between-the-pipes after his record season with the Sudbury Wolves. Philadelphia Flyers prospect Morgan Frost of the Soo Greyhounds was voted a First Team centre for the second straight year after eclipsing the century mark for points once again. Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson of the Niagara IceDogs, who led the league in scoring with 117 points, finished first among left wingers, while Justin Brazeau of the North Bay Battalion, who led the league with 61 goals, was the top voted right winger. Edmonton Oilers prospect Evan Bouchard of the London Knights, who also won the Max Kaminsky Trophy for OHL Defenceman of the Year, was named a First Team All-Star for a second straight season. Joining him on the blue line is Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mac Hollowell of the Greyhounds who led all defenders with 77 points. Behind the bench on the First Team is Coach of the Year Andre Tourigny who led the Ottawa 67’s to a franchise record 106 points.
A total of 11 teams were represented among the All-Star selections led by the OHL champion Guelph Storm and the Midwest Division winning London Knights each with four. All four of the Storm selections were on the Third Team including the entire forward trio of Nick Suzuki at centre, Isaac Ratcliffe at left wing, and Nate Schnarr at right wing, along with Dmitri Samorukov on defence. Joining Bouchard from the Knights are Second Team picks Kevin Hancock at centre and Adam Boqvist on defence, with coach Dale Hunter voted to the Third Team. The Greyhounds were the only club with multiple reps on the First Team, while the Wolves, 67’s, and Saginaw Spirit also had two representatives overall.
Voting was conducted in two stages with an initial ballot by Conference, followed by a final ballot that integrated the top selections from both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference results. Players were voted on by position and received five points for a first place vote, three for a second place vote, and one for a third place vote. In the case of defencemen, the top two selections received five points, the third and fourth selections received three points, and the fifth and sixth selections each received a single point.
2018-19 OHL All-Star Teams (voting points listed following team):
First Team All-Stars:
C – Morgan Frost (Soo Greyhounds) 77 – voted 1st team in 2017-18
LW – Jason Robertson (Niagara IceDogs) 84 – voted 3rd team in 2017-18
RW – Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion) 79
D – Evan Bouchard (London Knights) 73 – voted 1st team in 2017-18
D – Mac Hollowell (Soo Greyhounds) 68
G – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (Sudbury Wolves) 95
Coach – Andre Tourigny (Ottawa 67’s) 71
Second Team All-Stars:
C – Kevin Hancock (London Knights) 44 – voted 3rd team LW in 2016-17
LW – Arthur Kaliyev (Hamilton Bulldogs) 40
RW – Tye Felhaber (Ottawa 67’s) 51
D – Bode Wilde (Saginaw Spirit) 59
D – Adam Boqvist (London Knights) 46
G – Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals) 44
Coach – Cory Stillman (Sudbury Wolves) 26
Third Team All-Stars:
C – Nick Suzuki (Guelph Storm) 38
LW – Isaac Ratcliffe (Guelph Storm) 25
RW – Nate Schnarr (Guelph Storm) 18
D – Dmitri Samorukov (Guelph Storm) 32
D – Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads) 25
G – Ivan Prosvetov (Saginaw Spirit) 19
Coach – Dale Hunter (London Knights) 24 – voted 1st team in 2019-10, 2nd team in 2005-06, 1st team in 2004-05, 1st team in 2003-04
Weight: 195 pounds
Date of birth: December 4, 2000
Hometown: Chelyabinsk, Russia
OHL Draft: Round 1, 16th overall, 2017 CHL Import Draft
NHL Central Scouting Rankings: Preseason, November: B Prospect, Mid-term: 55 North American Skaters
During the 2016-2017 season, Ottawa 67’s defenceman Nikita Okhotyuk played his hockey back in his native Russia for his hometown team in Chelyabinsk. He began the year showing promising offensive numbers in Russia’s Under-17 league before moving up the Russia’s equivalent to the OHL, the MHL. Following his season, the 67’s would use the 16th overall pick to select him in the CHL Import Draft.
Okhotyuk brought with him plenty of international experience having represented Russia at the Under-17’s, Under-18’s and the Hlinka-Gretzky Tournament. He also brought with him some excellent leadership qualities, having worn a letter for Russia and was Captain of his Russian squad at the Hlinka-Gretzky Tournament.
Okhotyuk would make the 67’s roster during the 2017-2018 season and he would wear the barber shop pole uniform 53 times during the season and score 5 goals and assist on 6 others.
The 2018-2019 season saw the 67’s being heavy favorites for an OHL Championship and a Memorial Cup run. The 67’s blueline was deep and often saw Okhotyuk playing on the third pair. He dressed in 56 regular season games (there was a 3-game suspension in there) scoring just 2 goals and assisting on 15. What is interesting to note with the 67’s blueline is that for the vast majority of the season they carried 7 defencemen – all left shots so you always had someone skating on their weak side.
Despite not getting top quality minutes, Okhotyuk’s ranking on various public rankings has remained virtually unchanged. NHL Central Scouting ranked him 55th among North American skaters on their mid-term rankings, and he dropped just one spot on their final rankings.
At this point, after two OHL seasons. It’s difficult to determine what type of player Okhotyuk will be at the next level. There is no questioning his determination, drive and work ethic. His body is already almost filled out. He’s a very good skater with excellent edgework. His mobility is excellent in any direction.
Defensively, there isn’t a lot of work to be done by Okhotyuk. He has a very active stick, keeps his gaps tight, rides people out along the wall, battles hard in front of his goal, is one of the better open ice hitters in the league and is a superb shot blocker – OHL coaches recognized that ability in the annual Coaches Poll.
His skating allowed him to retrieve pucks quickly. However, he didn’t always show that he was capable of making the right play. He was caught at times trying to force plays that would result in turnovers. But as the season progressed, there was a marked improvement in his awareness and decision making. His skating is good enough that he can rush the puck out of the zone and his passing is very good. As his confidence grew and his opportunities with more ice time grew, those qualities became more evident.
It’s Okhotyuk’s offensive upside that raises questions. As the season wore on, he began jumping up into the play more often and with greater confidence. He has a howitzer of a shot from the blueline, but to often he passes on the opportunity to put the puck to the net. His vision is good and he is an excellent passer, which should help him offensively.
At the very least, Okhotyuk can be an excellent shut down defender who will kill penalties and play a physical game that won’t put you down a man (suspension aside here). At best, he can be all that and add some timely offence.