This season will be unlike any other for the players eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft that are playing in the Ontario Hockey League.
As you know, the pandemic wiped out the entire 2020-2021 OHL season and NHL scouts didn’t have an opportunity to scout the talent in the OHL with the exception of those that played in Europe or the Under-18 or the showcase tournament in Erie. We are basically combining two drafts into one and there are over 200 players eligible for the draft for the first time or re-entering the draft.
In a normal season here at OHL Writers, we look only at the players eligible for the NHL Entry Draft for the first time, but because of the number of players eligible for 2022 we have decided to include first time eligible players and players entering the draft for the second time which is why you will see some players born after September 15, 2002 throughout the season talked about here.
Also, a little different this season will be our Draft Eligible Player of the Month. Normally, we pick the player who had the best month but again, because of the volume of players available for the draft for this season we are breaking it down by position.
Our draft eligible player of the month for October up front is Tucker Robertson of the Peterborough Petes. To say Robertson had a fantastic month would be an understatement. In 9 games he notched 6 goals and 10 assists to lead all draft eligible players in scoring with 16 points. He was also 140 for 238 on the faceoff dot for a 58.8 winning percentage.
Robertson was kept off the scoresheet just twice in October while also compiling 4 multi point games and two games with 3 assists.
Also considered was North Bay Battalion’s Kyle Jackson who scored 3 goals to go along with 10 helpers in 11 games.
On defence, our choice is Ty Nelson of the North Bay Battalion. Nelson had 2 goals and 8 assists in 11 games and leads all draft eligible defensemen in scoring with 10 points and is fourth among all OHL defensemen in scoring. Nelson was held off the scoresheet just 4 times and had 4 multi-point games. He also finished with a very impressive plus-7.
Also considered was Hamilton Bulldogs defenseman Gavin White. He notched 7 helpers through 10 games and was a steadying influence at both ends of the ice. It took some time for White to find his stride, but he finished the month off with 6 helpers in Hamilton’s final 6 games of the month.
In the net Brett Brochu of the London Knights gets the nod. He’s played in every game and has a perfect 8-0-0 record. He also boasts the leagues best save-percentage if .935 and best goals-against-average of 2.07 (goalies with more than two starts).
Also considered was Oshawa Generals netminder Patrick Leaver, If it wasn’t for Brochu’s outstanding numbers, Leaver would have been the obvious choice with his .925 save-percentage and 2.49 goals-against-average.