Toronto, Ont. – The Canadian Hockey League announced today the preseason edition of the Kia CHL Top-10 Rankings for the 2021-22 season.
The rankings were selected with input from NHL Central Scouting and come prior to the 2021-22 season opening Thursday as the defending President Cup champion Victoriaville Tigres host the Shawinigan Cataractes. The WHL opens its season Friday while the OHL begins play October 7. Rankings of the CHL’s Top-10 teams will resume on a weekly basis.
The Kingston Frontenacs lead OHL clubs at number four on the first instalment of 2021-22, boasting top 2022 NHL Draft prospect and former CHL Rookie of the Year Shane Wright down the middle. Kingston features added offensive firepower in overage veteran Jordan Frasca, 20-year-old newcomer Lucas Edmonds, Dallas Stars prospect Francesco Arcuri and Philadelphia Flyers draftee Zayde Wisdom who is currently sidelined following offseason surgery. In the crease, the Fronts boast one of the League’s most intriguing netminders in Ottawa Senators third round pick Leevi Merilainen coming out of Finland. Kingston played to a perfect 4-0 pre-season record under first-year head coach Luca Caputi.
The Barrie Colts follow close behind at number five, headlined by Los Angeles Kings first round pick Brandt Clarke, a creative puck-moving defenceman who will be heavily utilized by Colts head coach Marty Williamson. Barrie brings a range of weapons up front in Colorado Avalanche first round selection Oskar Olausson, San Jose Sharks prospect Ethan Cardwell, New York Rangers draftee Evan Vierling and the potential return of Philadelphia Flyers hopeful Tyson Foerster who enjoyed a strong showing in the American Hockey League last season.
The Windsor Spitfires lead OHL Western Conference clubs at eighth on the list as newly named head coach Marc Savard will have plenty to work with in his first OHL assignment. Big 6-foot-4, 210Ib. power winger Will Cuylle leads an offensive cast that also includes newly-signed Dallas Stars first round pick Wyatt Johnston alongside overage shooter Daniel D’Amico and 6-foot-5 winger Kyle McDonald. Colorado Avalanche prospect Jean-Luc Foudy made a good impression with the AHL’s Colorado Eagles last season and would give the Spits one of the League’s fastest skaters should he return.
The ever-competitive London Knights earned an honourable mention on the pre-season edition. The traditionally high-scoring Knights will look to Nashville Predators prospect Luke Evangelista and Dallas Stars selection Antonio Stranges to carry-on that legacy while San Jose Sharks picks Max McCue, Liam Gilmartin and 6-foot-2, 204Ib. Stuart Rolofs provide some muscle up front. The Knights are anchored by Brett Brochu in the crease, who enjoyed an outstanding rookie season with London in 2019-20. Expect Ottawa Senators second round choice Ben Roger to see lots of ice on a defence corps that currently features five bodies at 6-foot-2 or taller.
For further analysis on the pre-season edition of the Kia CHL Top 10 Rankings, visit CHL.ca.