Mitchell Smith – Saginaw Spirit – Player Profile

Height: 5’ 10”

Weight: 180 Pounds

Date of birth: September 15, 2002

Hometown: Saginaw, MI

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 5, 84th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. N.R. N.R.

Saginaw Spirit blueliner Mitchell Smith hasn’t gotten a mention from National Hockey League Central Scouting all season, and it’s not because he met draft eligibility for the 2020 draft on the very last possible day. We do however believe he should be on the list.

Smith played his Midget Hockey with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies Under-16 squad during the 2017-2018 season where he scored 8 goals and 39 assists in 58 games. Smith had verbally committed to attend the University of Michigan, yet his hometown Saginaw Spirit still drafted him in the 5th round of the 2018 Priority Selection, 84th overall. He was also selected in the 5th round of the 2018 USHL Futures Draft, 72nd overall by the Dubuque Fighting Saints.

Mitchell Smith of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Mitchell Smith of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

During the 2018-2019 season, Smith returned to the Grizzlies and scored 13 goals while assisting on 30 in 52 games. He decided to forego his NCAA career with Michigan and sign with Saginaw for the 2019-2020 season. In 56 games with the Spirit Smith scored 7 goals and assisted on 9 and was named to the OHL Second All-Rookie squad.

In many ways, Smith fits the description of the new, modern, smaller defenceman. He possesses high end mobility and hockey sense. He retrieves pucks quickly and transitions to offence with a very well-timed pass but he also has the ability to skate with the puck and go end-to-end.

Smith is very good at keeping possession and buying time before dishing off an excellent pass, however, there are times he holds onto the puck too long and an earlier pass may have been the better decision. At 5’10” there are always questions raised about defensive abilities. Smith almost always plays stick-on-stick defensive hockey. His skating ability allows him to keep his gaps close and he can force opponents to the outside and then use his stick effectively to break up the rush. Where he can find himself in trouble is in front of his net where boxing out can be an issue. But he’s still young and transitioning from Midget to Junior isn’t always easy.

Smith’s offensive numbers won’t jump out at you. In fairness, he received almost no powerplay time and didn’t get into many offensive situations. Early in the season, Smith was averaging 10 minutes a night on the ice. As the season progressed and his defensive game wasn’t causing the team many issues, the coaches began trusting him with more ice time, but still no specialty teams play. And for most of the season, he was paired with an offensive defenceman so providing offence wasn’t necessary.

We believe there is some intriguing upside and potential in Smith. He could turn out to be a good find for an NHL team in the middle rounds.

We would take that gamble.

OHL CLUBS SELECT 23 PLAYERS IN 2020 CHL IMPORT DRAFT

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Toronto, Ont. – Ontario Hockey League member teams selected 23 players from across 10 different countries in the 29th annual CHL Import Draft held Tuesday online at CHL.ca.

Seventeen OHL clubs made selections, with the Kingston Frontenacs, Soo Greyhounds and Guelph Storm each passing on both of their picks. The Erie Otters, Barrie Colts, Sudbury Wolves, Peterborough Petes, Saginaw Spirit and Ottawa 67’s each made two selections.

The two-round draft took place online with the order of selection rotating through each of the CHL’s three leagues using an inverse order of final regular season standings from each league from the 2019-20 season.

CLICK HERE TO SEE COMPLETE 2020 CHL IMPORT DRAFT RESULTS

The North Bay Battalion selected Russian-born 17-year-old winger Matvei Petrov with the first overall pick. He’s added to an up-and-coming Battalion depth chart after putting up nine points (5-4–9) over 21 games with MHK Krylia Sovetov of Russia’s top junior circuit. Petrov follows Andrei Svechnikov as the first Russian player to be selected first overall in the CHL Import Draft. Chosen first by the Barrie Colts in 2017, Svechnikov went on to earn OHL Rookie of the Year honours and was selected second overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2018 NHL Draft.

The Niagara IceDogs added another highly touted Russian forward with the fourth overall selection of Daniil Gushchin. The draft eligible 18-year-old spent the 2019-20 season with the USHL’s Muskegon Lumberjacks, recording 47 points (22-25–47) over 42 games after leading Russia to gold at last summer’s Hlinka Gretzky Cup.

The Sarnia Sting rounded out the OHL’s top ten selections with the addition of Slovakian centreman Alex Geci at seventh overall who split the 2019-20 season between the junior ranks in Slovakia and Finland. The 16-year-old registered 14 points (6-8–14) over 13 games with Finland’s Lukko U18 program before finishing things out with 17 points (8-9–17) over 27 contests with Slovakia’s HC Slovan Bratislava U20.

Other picks of intrigue include the Mississauga Steelheads’ addition of 6-foot-6, 231Ib. Danish defenceman Kasper Larsen at 19th overall. The Owen Sound Attack added a defenceman with prior CHL experience in draft eligible Swiss rearguard Noah Delemont who spent 2019-20 with the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan, registering 13 points (3-10–13) over 64 games. Chosen with the 28th pick, Delemont was the third overall pick of last summer’s 2019 CHL Import Draft. The Saginaw Spirit selected the OHL’s lone late 2003-born addition in 2022 NHL Draft eligible Russian defender Pavel Mintyukov at 52nd overall. The Spirit also nabbed a prospect of the nearby Detroit Red Wings in 2019 third round NHL Draft pick Albin Grewe of Sweden who they chose 112th overall. The London Knights selected a top 2020 NHL Draft prospect in German talent John Jason Peterka who they chose 55th overall. Peterka spent 2019-20 in the German Elite League and was the seventh-ranked European skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Final NHL Draft Rankings.

The Erie Otters picked up the first of two goaltenders selected by OHL clubs with the addition of Belarusian netminder Alexei Kolosov at 22nd overall. The Kitchener Rangers followed suit, adding Czech talent Pavel Cajan with the 49th overall pick.

OHL member teams selected a total of six players in their first year of eligibility for the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft in addition to 13 eligible for next year’s 2021 NHL Draft.

Each CHL team is permitted to dress a maximum of two import players each season who are selected annually through the CHL Import Draft.

OHL at the 2020 CHL Import Draft Summary:

Draft Picks by Position:
Forwards – 12
Defencemen – 9
Goaltenders – 2

Draft Picks by Country:
Russia – 7 (ER, HAM, NIAG, NB, OTT, SAG, WSR)
Belarus – 3 (BAR, ER, FLNT)
Slovakia – 3 (OSH, SAR, SBY)
Czech Republic – 2 (BAR, KIT)
Finland – 2 (OTT, SBY)
Switzerland – 2 (PBO, OS)
Denmark – 1 (MISS)
Germany – 1 (LDN)
Latvia – 1 (PBO)
Sweden – 1 (SAG)

Draft picks by Birthdate and NHL Status:
2003-born late and 2022 NHL Draft eligible – 1
2003-born early and 2021 NHL Draft eligible – 9
2002-born late and 2021 NHL Draft eligible – 4
2002-born early and 2020 NHL Draft eligible – 6
2001-born late and 2020 NHL Draft eligible – 0
2001-born early and 2019 NHL Drafted – 1
2001-born early and NHL Undrafted – 2

NHL Draft picks by OHL teams in the CHL Import Draft:
112. Albin Grewe (LW) (Saginaw – 3rd round to Detroit in 2019)

Last summer OHL teams selected a total of 28 players from 12 different countries led by five players from both the Czech Republic and Finland consisting of 13 forwards, 12 defencemen and three goaltenders.

For full coverage of the 2020 CHL Import Draft, visit chl.ca.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

STATEMENT FROM THE CANADIAN HOCKEY LEAGUE

Press Release

Toronto, Ont. – Every year the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), which includes the Western Hockey League (WHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), are charged with the care and safety of the 1,400 young men who play in our league. The CHL is committed to ensuring them an environment that is Players First and free of hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying, and that provides zero tolerance for any of these behaviours.

We are deeply troubled by the allegations in the recently announced class action, many of which are historic in nature and we believe are not indicative of the leading experience our players receive in the CHL today. Regardless of the timing, we are taking the claims very seriously as the protection of our players has been and will always be our primary concern.

The CHL and its member leagues have made a number of advancements to enhance our player experience programs over the past 20 years. We have been working with organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Red Cross and Respect in Sport, to develop extensive policies and practices to educate players and team staff on the importance of respect and prevention of hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying. Throughout the leagues we have worked to ensure there is a zero tolerance for violations of our rules and policies for both the team and players. We believe these programs protect our players and ensure that everyone associated with our teams understand that the type of misconduct alleged is not tolerated.

We want to ensure that we provide the safest environment to protect our players. Yesterday, the CHL Board of Directors unanimously agreed to the appointment of an Independent Review Panel to thoroughly review the current policies and practices in our leagues that relate to hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying and the allegation that players do not feel comfortable reporting behaviours that contravene these policies. A chair of this panel will be announced in the coming weeks and our goal is to have the review process completed in time for the start of the 2020-21 season. We welcome the findings of the Independent Review Panel to ensure we are providing the safest player experience in hockey and amateur sport.

We want to remind players of the training provided on player conduct and safety and encourage them to access established complaint procedures related to hazing, abuse, harassment and bullying. The existing procedures to raise a complaint without fear of reprisal include advising your Coach, General Manager, Police Liaison, Player Liaison or Governor/Member or league officials.

To the extent that the allegations relate to criminal conduct we encourage those involved to contact the police.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

2020 CHL IMPORT DRAFT SET FOR TUESDAY JUNE 30

Import Draft

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced details for the 29th annual CHL Import Draft which will take place next Tuesday June 30, 2020, beginning at 11:00 am Eastern.

The two-round draft will take place online with the order of selection rotating through each of the CHL’s three leagues using an inverse order of final regular season standings within each league from the 2019-20 season.  The Ontario Hockey League’s North Bay Battalion hold the number one pick, followed by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan at number two, and the Western Hockey League’s Swift Current Broncos who will select third overall.

Each team in the CHL is permitted to dress and play a maximum of two import players each season who are selected annually through the CHL Import Draft process.  The deadline for teams to submit their Import player protected list for the 2020-21 season is Thursday June 25 at 1:00 pm ET which will then determine how many of the maximum 120 selections will be made in the 2020 CHL Import Draft.

2020 CHL IMPORT DRAFT ORDER AND RESULTS

This past season Marco Rossi, an 18-year-old from Feldkirch, Austria, led the entire CHL in scoring with 120 points including 39 goals and 81 assists in 56 games during his second OHL season as a member of the Ottawa 67’s.  The 18th overall pick in the 2018 CHL Import Draft is now a top ranked prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft listed sixth among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting.  Other past Import Draft picks that were among CHL league leaders in 2019-20 include Minnesota Wild prospect Alexander Khovanov, a 20-year-old from Kazan, Russia, who finished second in QMJHL scoring with 99 points in 51 games during his third season since being chosen second overall by the Moncton Wildcats in 2017, and Egor Sokolov, a 20-year-old from Yekatarinburg, Russia, who was third in QMJHL scoring with 92 points in 52 games, also in his third season, after being taken 35th by the Cape Breton Eagles in 2017.  In the WHL, Washington Capitals prospect Aliaksei Protas, a 19-year-old from Vitebsk, Belarus, chosen 26th by the Prince Albert Raiders in 2018 finished ninth in league scoring during his second season with 80 points in 58 games.

Last season a total of 81 players were selected from 14 different countries led by 17 players from the Czech Republic and consisting of 48 forwards, 27 defencemen, and six goaltenders.  The Broncos used the first overall pick to select Finnish defenceman Kasper Puutio who now competes for the Everett Silvertips and is a prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft.  Rounding out the top three picks were Slovakian forward Martin Chromiak chosen by the Kingston Frontenacs followed by Swiss defenceman Noah Delemont of the Titan.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

49 OHL PROSPECTS INVITED TO CANADA’S VIRTUAL NATIONAL UNDER-17 DEVELOPMENT CAMP

 

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Toronto, Ont. – Hockey Canada has announced a roster of 113 players invited to its virtual national under-17 development camp, set for July 19-25, as well as the coaching staffs that will lead Canada’s national men’s under-17 teams at the 2020 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, presented by TELUS.

12 goaltenders, 37 defencemen and 64 forwards will be split into six teams for the week-long virtual camp, participating in a variety of sessions with a focus on player development through online education.

The list of players invited includes 49 OHL prospects consisting of 30 forwards, 16 defencemen and three goaltenders. All 17 eligible first round 2020 OHL Priority Selection choices received invitations while a total of 35 prospects on the list have committed to OHL member teams for the 2020-21 season.

Nineteen of the OHL’s 20 member teams have prospects attending the virtual camp led by the London Knights with six 2020 OHL Priority Selection choices. The Guelph Storm, Kitchener Rangers, North Bay Battalion and Peterborough Petes trail with four each.

Additionally, a number of OHL coaches and hockey operations support staff have been assigned roles with Teams Black, Red and White ahead of the annual showcase. Most prominently, Saginaw Spirit head coach Chris Lazary will lead Team Red behind the bench as head coach. Guelph Storm associate coach Chad Wiseman will serve as an assistant coach with Team White and Flint Firebirds associate coach Ryan Kuwabara will be an assistant with Team Black. 

“The national under-17 development camp is the first stage in introducing these athletes to the Program of Excellence, and it is a great opportunity for them to develop as players and learn what it takes to wear the Maple Leaf,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams with Hockey Canada. “Our three under-17 teams are very fortunate to have these nine experienced coaches, and we know our coaching and support staffs will embrace the opportunity to guide the development of the top young players in Canada.” 

Lazary was promoted to head coach of the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in November 2018 after more than two seasons (2016-18) as an associate coach with Saginaw and two seasons (2014-16) as an assistant coach with the Sarnia Sting (OHL). Prior to his Canadian Hockey League (CHL) coaching career, he spent two seasons (2010-12) as an assistant coach with the St. Michael’s Buzzers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) and one season (2012-13) as an assistant with York University.

Wiseman is entering his third season with the Guelph Storm (OHL), second as associate coach, having helped the team to the OHL championship in 2019. He began his coaching career as head coach of the New York Riveters of the National Women’s Hockey League in 2015, winning the Isobel Cup with the team (renamed the Metropolitan Riveters) in 2018. 

Kuwabara recently completed his first season as an associate coach with the Flint Firebirds (OHL) after two seasons (2017-19) as an assistant with the Saginaw Spirit (OHL). He served as a video coach with Team Canada White at the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, and was a guest coach at U17 camp in 2019. As a player, Kuwabara competed in the 1998 Olympic Winter Games and five IIHF World Championships with Japan.

49 OHL Prospects Invited to Canada’s Virtual National Under-17 Development Camp

^ – indicates first round 2020 OHL Priority Selection choice
* – indicates player committed to OHL member team for 2020-21 season

Goaltenders (3):
Domenic DiVincentiis (North Bay Battalion)
Nolan Lalonde (Erie Otters)*
Jackson Parsons (Kitchener Rangers)*

Defencemen (16):
Aaron Brown (Flint Firebirds)
Michael Buchinger (Guelph Storm)*
Jorian Donovan (Hamilton Bulldogs)^*
Jackson Edward (London Knights)*
George Fegaras (Kitchener Rangers)
Isaiah George (London Knights)
Matthew Jovanovic (Saginaw Spirit)
Jacob LeBlanc (Kitchener Rangers)*
Alec Leonard (Niagara IceDogs)*
Tnias Mathurin (North Bay Battalion)*
Donovan McCoy (Peterborough Petes)^*
Matthew Morden (Sarnia Sting)
Ty Nelson (North Bay Battalion)^*
Shawn Ramsey (Peterborough Petes)
Spencer Sova (Erie Otters)^*
Madden Steen (Owen Sound Attack)

Forwards (30):
Sam Alfano (Peterborough Petes)*
Owen Beck (Mississauga Steelheads)*
Gavin Bryant (Owen Sound Attack)*
Ben Bujold (London Knights)^*
Aidan Castle (Oshawa Generals)^
Carson Christy (Mississauga Steelheads)*
Brody Crane (London Knights)*
Kocha Delic (Sudbury Wolves)*
Justin DeZoete (Peterborough Petes)*
Adam Fantilli (Saginaw Spirit)^
Pano Fimis (Niagara IceDogs)^*
David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)^*
Cedrick Guindon (Owen Sound Attack)^*
Hunter Haight (Barrie Colts)^*
Beau Jelsma (Barrie Colts)
Jake Karabela (Guelph Storm)*
Zakary Lavoie (Mississauga Steelheads)^*
Andrew LeBlanc (Kitchener Rangers)^*
Paul Ludwinski (Kingston Frontenacs)^*
Cooper Matthews (Barrie Colts)
Bryce McConnell-Barker (Soo Greyhounds)^*
Ryan McGuire (Guelph Storm)*
Ryder McIntyre (Sarnia Sting)*
Nicholas Moldenhauer (Ottawa 67’s)^
Matthew Poitras (Guelph Storm)^*
Lucas Ross (Erie Otters)*
Landon Sim (London Knights)*
Colton Smith (London Knights)*
Brady Stonehouse (Ottawa 67’s)
Dalyn Wakely (North Bay Battalion)*

Hockey Operations Staff:
Management Group – James Boyd (Ottawa 67’s)
Scout (Ontario) – Rob Simpson (London Knights)
Scout (Ontario) – Darrell Woodley (OHL Central Scouting)
Team Black Assistant Coach – Ryan Kuwabara (Flint Firebirds)
Team Black Equipment Manager – Clayton Johns (Barrie Colts)
Team Red Head Coach – Chris Lazary (Saginaw Spirit)
Team Red Goaltending Consultant – Charlie McTavish (Ottawa 67’s)
Team Red Athletic Therapist – Chris Trivieri (Niagara IceDogs)
Team Red Physician – Dr. Wanda Millard (London Knights)
Team White Assistant Coach – Chad Wiseman (Guelph Storm)
Team White Mental Performance Consultant – Ashwin Patel (Guelph Storm)
Team White Athletic Therapist – Andrew Sachkiw (North Bay Battalion)

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

OHL SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM INVESTMENT TOPS $3 MILLION IN 2019-20


Scholarship ProgramToronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League announced today that a total of 334 graduates utilized their OHL Scholarship at post-secondary institutions across North America during the 2019-20 academic year, with a total contribution by teams of over $3 million. Of these, 200 players competed on U SPORTS Men’s Hockey rosters.

Centrally administered through the OHL Office, OHL Scholarships are solely funded by OHL member teams. Every player who plays in the OHL is eligible to receive an OHL Scholarship. The OHL graduate can access their scholarship worldwide at any post-secondary institution or in any career-enhancing program of his choice, including trade schools or professional career training programs.

In addition to alumni accessing their OHL Scholarship following graduation from the League, all current OHL players are encouraged to enroll in post-secondary courses with costs fully covered by OHL member teams. This season, 134 players were enrolled in traditional post-secondary courses while playing in the OHL.

“The investment in the OHL Scholarship Program is an important piece of the player experience and one in which the OHL and its member teams are very proud,” said Commissioner David Branch. “The OHL continues to be a leading supplier of talent to both the National Hockey League as well as U SPORTS Men’s Hockey Programs.”

This year, 279 of the 334 OHL Scholarship recipients are furthering their education at Canadian Universities. A total of 219 graduates are attending Ontario-based Universities with Western University leading all post-secondary institutions with 29 OHL graduates enrolled in full-time studies, while 24 former OHL players enrolled at Ryerson University and 23 are studying at Queen’s University. A total of 58 graduates are attending Universities in Eastern Canada with the University of Prince Edward Island leading the way with 12 former players enrolled. Two graduates have accessed their OHL Scholarship at Universities in Western Canada.

A total of 28 OHL Scholarship recipients are attending Ontario-based Colleges with Conestoga College and Georgian College leading the way with four graduates respectively and 12 alumni are attending various trade schools pursuing knowledge in the fields of Real Estate, Fire Services and other apprenticeships.

A total of 16 OHL graduates are accessing their OHL Scholarship while studying at American-based post-secondary institutions.

OHL member teams have invested in excess of $25 million into the OHL Scholarship Program over the past 10 seasons.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.

16 OHL Players Recognized as Invitees to Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp

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Calgary, Atla. – The Ontario Hockey League is pleased to announce that 16 OHL players have been invited to attend Hockey Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp.

The camp roster features two OHL goaltenders, three defencemen and 26 forwards as part of the 41-player roster that will attend the five-day virtual camp taking place July 27-31. The camp will feature various online education sessions with a focus on player development. Hockey Canada announced last month that various programming and training sessions will be held virtually this summer due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“We are excited to begin preparations for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship with this group of 41 players and our full staff at our online camp, as we believe we have a good mix of veteran leadership and young talent that are eager to represent Canada during the holiday season,” said Scott Salmond, senior vice-president of national teams for Hockey Canada. “We are also pleased to have Michael and Mitch round out the coaching staff, as their Canadian Hockey League and international experience will compliment André’s leadership while we work towards defending our gold medal on home ice.”

The roster for Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp includes three OHL skaters who helped Canada win gold at the 2020 World Juniors (Byfield, Drysdale, McMichael), six OHL players who were selected at the 2019 NHL Draft (Harley, Clarke, McMichael, Rees, Suzuki, Tomasino), eight OHL players who are eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft (Brochu, Drysdale, O’Rourke, Byfield, Foerster, Perfetti, Perreault, Quinn), one who is eligible in 2021 (Lennox) and one who is eligible in 2022 (Wright).

As announced earlier this year, Ottawa 67’s head coach André Tourigny will return to Canada’s National Junior Team and serve as head coach after helping Canada to a gold medal as an assistant coach at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship. He was named head coach of the OHL’s 67’s in 2017 and has helped them claim the Hamilton Spectator Trophy twice as back-to-back regular season champions. Tourigny was recently awarded the Matt Leyden Trophy as the OHL’s Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season and was named the CHL Brian Kilrea Coach of the Year presented by Janes.

The 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship is set to take place in Edmonton and Red Deer this December.

OHL Players Invited to Canada’s National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp

Goaltenders:
Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Tristan Lennox (Saginaw Spirit)

Defencemen:
Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters)
Thomas Harley (Mississauga Steelheads)
Ryan O’Rourke (Soo Greyhounds)

Forwards:
Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves)
Graeme Clarke (Ottawa 67’s)
Tyson Foerster (Barrie Colts)
Connor McMichael (London Knights)
Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit)
Jacob Perreault (Sarnia Sting)
Jack Quinn (Ottawa 67’s)
Jamieson Rees (Sarnia Sting)
Ryan Suzuki (Saginaw Spirit)
Philip Tomasino (Oshawa Generals)
Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)

Coaches:
Head Coach – André Tourigny (Ottawa 67’s)

For more information on Hockey Canada and the Program of Excellence, visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on FacebookTwitter and Twitter.com/HC_Men.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. Last season, more than nine million fans attended CHL games in the regular season, playoffs and at the Memorial Cup Presented by Kia. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U Sports than any other league.  For more information visit www.ontariohockeyleague.com.

Declan McDonnell – Kitchener Rangers – Player Profile

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 171 Pounds

Date of birth: February 25, 2002

Hometown: Lake View, New York

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 3, 57th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. N.R. 155 NA

Kitchener Rangers right wing Declan McDonnell played his Midget hockey with the Buffalo Jr Sabres Under-15 squad during the 2017-2018 season, scoring 64 goals and assisting on 44 in 73 games. The Rangers selected him with the 57th overall pick at the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. He was also selected by the Lincoln Stars at the 2018 USHL Futures Draft in the third round, 43rd overall.

The following season, McDonnell played in 54 games with the Junior Sabres of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, scoring 18 goals and 31 assists, He would add 4 goals and 7 helpers in 12 playoff games and was named to the OJHL Second Team All Prospect. McDonnell would also play in 7 USHL games with the Stars, scoring 1 goal.

In this shortened OHL season, McDonnell appeared in 63 games with the Rangers, scoring 21 goals and 21 assists. His 21 goals ranked third among OHL Rookies while his 21 assists ranked him 7th. His 42 points were good enough for second among OHL rookies.

Declan McDonnell of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Declan McDonnell of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

One of McDonnell’s most interesting traits is his tenacity. He is seemingly almost always after the puck whether on the forecheck, attacking the opposition, or coming back on the backcheck. His ability to steal pucks and create turnovers is uncanny.

McDonnell also possesses some excellent speed and whether he’s just stolen the puck or is attacking he shows that speed off well and combined with some very good puck skills he can create scoring opportunities. He also uses that speed to come back and defend his zone.

McDonnell has an excellent wrister that he gets velocity behind and with some deadly accuracy. He has a lot of confidence in his shot and he has the ability to beat goaltenders with it. He’s not shy about using it either and he likes to use it coming down the wing. Adding a one-timer to his shooting could bode well for him.

McDonnell has shown some playmaking skills and appears to have the vision. He is strong in puck possession but could work on slowing down the play to give his teammates the time to get into scoring position.

McDonnell has been a climber in draft rankings after he wasn’t listed on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch lists or even their mid-term rankings. But he really took off in the second half of the season scoring at almost a point per game pace.

I expect a big season from McDonnell next season as he’ll get more opportunities with players graduating from the Rangers and more powerplay time. Getting some penalty killing time could be beneficial to him as well.

McDonnell projects as a third liner at the NHL level that could provide some energy and a bit of offence.

Hockey Canada Releases Under-18 Invites

Hockey Canada

The 2020 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, the precursor to the 2021 National Hockey League Draft, was cancelled because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but that didn’t stop Hockey Canada from naming the 46 players that would have been invited to the selection camp.

Hockey Canada released that list today and it includes 12 Ontario Hockey League players with a possible 13th, depending on whether goaltender Matteo Drobac makes the Hamilton Bulldogs roster when the 2020-2021 season takes place.

Five of the six players on our Players to Watch List  have made the cut with Russian Daniil Chayka the only exception, so of course, he’s not eligible.

Here is the full list of invites by Hockey Canada:

Name Ht. Wt. Club Team NHL Draft
Goaltenders
Tyler Brennan 6’3” 187 Prince George (WHL) 2022
Matteo Drobac 6’1” 170 Hamilton (GOJHL) 2021
Benjamin Gaudreau 6’2″ 165 Sarnia (OHL) 2021
Jacob Goobie 5’10” 178 Charlottetown (QMJHL) 2021
Thomas Milic 5’11” 155 Burnaby Winter Club (CSSHL) 2021
William Rousseau 6’10” 170 Trois-Rivières (LHMAAAQ) 2021
Defence
Nolan Allan 6’2″ 185 Prince Albert (WHL) 2021
Olivier Boutin 5’10” 160 Gatineau (QMJHL) 2021
Corson Ceulemans 6’2″ 190 Brooks (AJHL) 2021
Brandt Clarke 6’1″ 181 Barrie (OHL) 2021
Jacob Holmes 6’1″ 174 Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 2021
Carson Lambos 6’1″ 200 Winnipeg (WHL) 2021
Jérémy Langlois Cape Breton (QMJHL) 2022
Kyle Masters 5’11” 159 Red Deer (WHL) 2021
Evan Nause 6’1″ 172 Sioux Falls (USHL) 2021
Oscar Plandowski 5’11” 175 Charlottetown (QMJHL) 2021
Guillaume Richard 6’0″ 148 Mount St. Charles Academy (USU16) 2021
Graham Sward 6’2″ 170 Spokane (WHL) 2021
Cameron Whynot 6’1″ 168 Halifax (QMJHL) 2021
Olen Zellweger 5’9″ 165 Everett (WHL) 2021
Forwards
Liam Arnsby 5’10” 172 North Bay (OHL) 2022
Zachary Bolduc 6’0″ 172 Rimouski (QMJHL) 2021
Zach Dean 5’9″ 166 Gatineau (QMJHL) 2021
Nathan Gaucher 6’3″ 186 Quebec (QMJHL) 2022
Dylan Guenther 6’1″ 170 Edmonton (WHL) 2021
Brett Harrison 6’1″ 167 Oshawa (OHL) 2021
Cole Huckins 6’4″ 191 Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) 2021
Wyatt Johnston 6’0″ 167 Windsor (OHL) 2021
Riley Kidney 5’11” 160 Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) 2021
Zachary L’Heureux 5’10” 196 Moncton (QMJHL) 2021
Connor Lockhart 5’8″ 163 Erie (OHL) 2021
James Malatesta 5’9″ 172 Quebec (QMJHL) 2021
Mason McTavish 6’1″ 198 Peterborough (OHL) 2021
Olivier Nadeau 6’2″ 204 Shawinigan (QMJHL) 2021
Brennan Othmann 5’11” 165 Flint (OHL) 2021
Francesco Pinelli 6’0″ 182 Kitchener (OHL) 2021
Peter Reynolds 5’10” 165 Chilliwack (BCHL) 2021
Justin Robidas 5’7″ 173 Val-d’Or (QMJHL) 2021
Conner Roulette 5’11” 158 Seattle (WHL) 2021
Joshua Roy 6’0″ 191 Saint John (QMJHL) 2021
Cole Sillinger 6’0″ 187 Medicine Hat (WHL) 2021
Logan Stankoven 5’7″ 165 Kamloops (WHL) 2021
Chase Stillman 5’11” 170 Sudbury (OHL) 2021
Zach Stringer 6’1″ 165 Lethbridge (WHL) 2021
Dovar Tinling 5’11” 181 Hawkesbury (CCHL) 2021
Danny Zhilkin 6’0″ 185 Guelph (OHL) 2022

67’s’ NOEL HOEFENMAYER WINS CHL DEFENCEMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD PRESENTED BY REAL CANADIAN SUPERSTORE

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Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League is proud to announce that Noel Hoefenmayer of the Ontario Hockey League’s Ottawa 67’s is the 2019-20 recipient of the CHL Defenceman of the Year Award presented by Real Canadian Superstore.

Hoefenmayer led all CHL defencemen with 26 goals and 82 points over 58 games while his 56 assists and plus-52 rating each ranked second at the position.

“I want to thank the CHL for honouring me with the CHL Defenceman of the Year Award,” Hoefenmayer said. “I want to thank my family, friends, teammates, and coaches for supporting me and allowing me to be the player I am today. I also want to thank the Ottawa 67’s organization for being a first class organization as well as having the best fans in the league. Stay safe everyone!”

The 21-year-old from North York, Ontario, appeared on the scoresheet in 46 of his 58 games this season, produced 24 multi-point performances, and helped his 67’s earn a second straight OHL regular season crown tying a franchise record with 50 wins.  His 82 points are the highest by a 67’s defenceman since Brian Campbell had 87 back in 1998-99, and his 26 goals are the most by a Barber Poles blueliner since Bruce Cassidy had 27 back in 1983-84.  This award brings an end to an accomplished five-year career for Hoefenmayer who joined the 67’s as a second round pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection.  Over 298 career games he amassed 65 goals which trails greats like Denis Potvin and Doug Wilson, while his 222 points rank sixth on the club’s all-time list.  A former fourth round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in the 2017 NHL Draft, Hoefenmayer signed an AHL contract with the Toronto Marlies upon season’s end.

Hoefenmayer is the third member of the 67’s to win the national award since it was first presented in 1987-88.  The club’s past winners include Sean Blanchard (1996-97) and Brendan Bell (2002-03), while both Chris Snell (1990-91) and Brian Campbell (1998-99) each received final consideration.  He’s also just the third player in history to win the award during his overage season following Steve Gosselin of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens (1993-94) and Marc-Andre Bergeron of the Shawinigan Cataractes (2000-01).

Finalists for the award were Los Angeles Kings prospect Jordan Spence of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Moncton Wildcats, and last year’s award recipient in New Jersey Devils prospect Ty Smith of the Western Hockey League’s Spokane Chiefs.

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league. For more information visit http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com/.