OHL Western Conference Final Preview

Wayne Gretzky Trophy

And then there were four.

The Ontario Hockey League Western Conference Final has been set after the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds eliminated the Owen Sound Attack in game 7 last night. If you missed the Eastern Conference Preview, you can find it here.

The Canadian Hockey League’s top ranked Greyhounds got here by eliminating the Saginaw Spirit in four games before dispatching the Attack. The Kitchener Rangers will meet the Greyhounds beginning in Sault Ste Marie by defeating the Guelph Storm and Sarnia Sting by identical 4-2 margins.

Here’s how the two teams stacked up this season:

  Sault Ste. Marie Kitchener
Season Series 4-0-0-0 0-4-0-0
Home record 31-1-2-0 22-11-1-0
Road record 24-6-1-3 21-10-2-1
Goals for 317 246
Goals against 186 218
Powerplay (regular season) 24.8% 20.7%
Powerplay (playoffs) 30.2% 28.6%
Penalty kill (regular season) 82.0% 82.9%
Penalty kill (playoffs) 78.3% 83.3%
PP vs opponent 21.4% 25.0%
PK vs Opponent 75.0% 78.6%
Leading scorer Frost (42-70-112) Mascherin (40-46-86)
Leading after 2nd 39-0-0-0 30-2-1-0
Trailing after 2nd 5-6-1-3 6-14-2-0
Last 10 games 7-3-0 6-3-1

 

The schedule for the series is as follows:

Game 1, Fri., April 20 at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 Game 2, Sat., April 21 at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 Game 3, Mon., April 23 at Kitchener, 7:00 Game 4, Wed., April 25 at Kitchener, 7:00 Game 5, Fri., April 27 at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07* Game 6, Sun., April 29 at Kitchener, 2:00* Game 7, Mon., April 30 at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07* *if necessary

Just like their Eastern Conference counterparts, both squads added some major pieces throughout the season. The Rangers added Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds), Givani Smith (Guelph Storm), Logan Brown and Austin McEneny (Windsor Spitfires) and Mario Culina (Sudbury Wolves).

The Greyhounds also added some major pieces, acquiring Taylor Raddysh and Jordan Sambrook (Erie Otters).

The rangers have a trio of draft eligible players to keep an eye on: Giovanni Vallati, Riley Damiani and Adam Liska. The Greyhounds have a pair of projected first rounders in Barrett Hayton and Rasmus Sandin.

The season series wasn’t as dominating as the Greyhounds’ sweep suggest with three of the four games ending as one-goal games. The Greyhounds hold a decisive advantage in the goals-for and goals-against department.

The Greyhounds hold the advantage with the extra man, but the Rangers do better then the Greyhounds down a man. But head-to-head, the Rangers hold the advantage in both categories. Both teams are very good at protecting the lead.

There’s a big part of me that wants to pick the Rangers, but I have been on the Hamilton versus The Soo Final, so I can’t change my mind now.

Prediction: Sault Ste Marie in 6 games

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Ontario Hockey League Introduces Performance Development League

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the launch of the new OHL Performance Development League (PDL).

The OHL PDL is an off-season development initiative targeted at young players incorporating Small Area 3 on 3 Games with weekly skill specific development sessions over an 11 week program.

Performance League

The concept of the OHL PDL has developed with full support from Hockey Canada and the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF). All parties are excited to introduce a progressive and engaging development platform that creates an opportunity for minor hockey players to be exposed to OHL quality teaching methods, technical skill development, and new skill acquisition.

“The Ontario Hockey League is proud to introduce the Performance Development League for Minor Hockey players to enhance their skills through the growing popularity of small area games,” said Joe Birch, OHL Senior Director of Hockey Development and Special Events. “The program has been designed to engage young athletes in a fun, fast paced, skills focused environment, as they grow their love of the game in preparation for the season.”

The OHL’s introduction of the first Small Area 3 on 3 Games league facilitates a practical setting for players to hone the execution of skills that are learned during drill and video work sessions.  Sessions will be led by OHL personnel with special guest coaches creating a premier and unparalleled off-season development experience for Minor Hockey players in Ontario. 

“This is a great opportunity for OHF players and staff to work with the OHL in the most important areas of skill development,” said Tony Foresi, OHF President. “The OHF and its Minor Members are pleased to be part of the evolving approach to player development and I am confident that the experience gained during this program will help our players, coaches, and staff involved.”

The program will be offered at Whitby’s Iroquois Park Sports Centre and Mississauga’s Iceland.  A total of 56 participants will be accepted at each location divided into four teams each comprised of 12 skaters and two goaltenders.  Eligible players must be registered with the OHF, entering Bantam (2004) or Minor Bantam (2005) programs for the 2018-19 season.

The inaugural PDL season will be played from Sunday June 3, 2018, through Sunday August 26, 2018, with a total of 11 weekly Sunday evening sessions excluding long weekends.  Sessions will be an hour long beginning with 25 minutes of skills development, succeeded by 25 minutes of Small Area 3 on 3 Games.

Registration is now open online, click here.

WATCH: Current NHL Assistant Coaches and former OHL Head Coaches, Steve Spott (San Jose Sharks) and DJ Smith (Toronto Maple Leafs), discuss the value in players utilizing small area games.

OHL Eastern Conference Final Preview

Bobby Orr Trophy

The Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference Final is all set: The Kingston Frontenacs will begin their 7-game series in Hamilton against the Bulldogs.

I haven’t fared to well in my predictions this season especially when it comes to the Eastern Conference. Through the opening two rounds, I have only been able to predict four of six teams advancing correctly in the East. And only one of those predictions in the correct number of games. Alas, I will march on.

Predictions

The top seed Bulldogs got here by dispatching the Ottawa 67’s in the opening round in 5 games. They went on to eliminate the Niagara IceDogs in 5 games in a series that was closer then it appears, with three of the games needing extra time.

The third seed Frontenacs took care of business defeating the North Bay Battalion in 5 games. In round two they eliminated the second seed Barrie Colts in 6 games. And as they say, “the stage was set.”

Here is how the two teams stack up:

  Hamilton Kingston
Regular Season Series 4-1-0-1 2-1-2-1
Home record 22-9-0-3 22-6-5-1
Road record 21-9-4-0 14-17-1-2
Goals for 252 243
Goals against 207 202
Powerplay (regular season) 24.6% 25.7%
Powerplay (playoffs) 35.9% 26.7%
Penalty kill (regular season) 77.1% 84.7%
Penalty kill (playoffs) 75.6% 82.1%
PP vs opponent 22.2% 25.0%
PK vs Opponent 75.0% 77.8%
Leading scorer Thomas (24-51-75) Robertson (41-46-87)
Leading after 2nd 33-2-0-2 25-3-2-2
Trailing after 2nd 6-15-2-0 5-17-2-0
Last 10 games 8-1-1 8-1-1

 

The schedule for the series is as follows:

Game 1, Wed., April 18 at Hamilton, 7:00 Game 2, Fri., April 20 at Hamilton, 7:00 Game 3, Sun., April 22 at Kingston, 6:00 Game 4, Tue., April 24 at Kingston, 7:00 Game 5, Thurs., April 26 at Hamilton, 7:00* Game 6, Sat., April 28 at Kingston, 7:00* Game 7, Mon., April 30 at Hamilton, 7:00* *if necessary

These two squads met a season ago in the playoffs in what was an exciting series that went to game 7 in overtime with the Frontenacs prevailing. After losing the first two games at home, Kingston would invade First Ontario Center and even the series up on the road. After exchanging home victories in games 5 and 6, the finale would take place in Kingston.

Both teams came into this season being favorites to come this far. I had the Bulldogs meeting the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds in the OHL Finals. Both teams loaded up during the season for just this opportunity.

The Frontenacs added Mitchell Byrne (Erie Otters), Max Jones and Cliff Pu (London Knights), Sean Day and Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires) and Matt Hotchkiss (Guelph Storm) during the season.

The Bulldogs made big moves of their own adding Nicolas Mattinen (Erie Otters), Robert Thomas (London Knights), Riley Stillman (Oshawa Generals), Nicholas Caamano and Ryan Moore (Flint Firebirds) and Kade Landry (Barrie Colts).

Both squads carry a wealth of experience with the only notable draft eligible player being Hamilton backup goaltender Nick Donofrio. There are a couple of players to keep an eye on re-entering the draft however. They include Kingston’s Linus Nyman and Hamilton’s Isaac Nurse and Brandon Saigeon.

Statistically speaking, these two teams are evenly matched. Kingston holds a decisive advantage on the penalty kill in both the regular season and the playoffs while Hamilton holds the powerplay advantage during the playoffs, but not the regular season. And head-to-head the advantage goes to the Frontenacs.

This should come down to home ice advantage. Both teams were extremely strong in their own barn with the Bulldogs a little more susceptive to giving up a game on home ice. The difference however is that Hamilton was as dominating on the road as they were at home.

Prediction: Hamilton in 7 games

CHL Announces Weekly Award Winners

Americans’ Jake Bean named CHL Player of the Week 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jake Bean of the Tri-City Americans is the CHL Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 15 after recording eight assists in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-eight. 

Bean helped the Americans stay perfect through two rounds of the WHL Playoffs with a pair of multi-assist efforts to complete the four-game series win over the Victoria Royals.  In Game 3 on Tuesday the defenceman produced a career-best five assists in a 6-5 win, then delivered three assists in Game 4 on Wednesday earning first star honours in the 5-3 series clinching victory.  The Americans have advanced to the WHL’s Western Conference Championship Series for the first time since 2012 and will face the Everett Silvertips beginning Friday. 

A 19-year-old from Calgary, Alta., Bean joined the Americans in January and played 32 regular season games collecting 21 points, and has since accumulated 14 points in just eight playoff games.  His WHL career included 219 games primarily with the his hometown Hitmen producing 196 points including 49 goals and 147 assists.  The first round pick of the Hurricanes in the 2016 NHL Draft was also a member of Canada’s gold medal winning National Junior Team this season. 

Also considered for the award this week were a pair of Ottawa Senators prospects including Drake Batherson of the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada with three goals and five assists for eight points in their final three games of a five-game series win against the Moncton Wildcats, and Logan Brown of the Kitchener Rangers with one goal and five assists for six points in the final four games of a six-game series win over the Sarnia Sting. 

2017-18 CHL Players of the Week – Playoffs:
Apr. 9 – Apr. 15: Jake Bean (Tri-City Americans)
Apr. 2 – Apr. 8: Pascal Aquin (Charlottetown Islanders)
Mar. 26 – Apr. 1: Gabriel Vilardi (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mar. 19 – Mar. 25: Brad Morrison (Lethbridge Hurricanes)

2017-18 CHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Mar. 12 – Mar. 18: Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets)
Mar. 5 – Mar. 11: Jayden Halbgewachs (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Feb. 26 – Mar. 4: Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres)
Feb. 19 – Feb. 25: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Aaron Luchuk (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Ty Ronning (Vancouver Giants)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Peter Abbandonato (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Taylor Raddysh (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: Ivan Kosorenkov (Victoriaville Tigres)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Stelio Mattheos (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Alex Barr
é-Boulet (Blainville-Boisbriand Armada)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Cody Glass (Portland Winterhawks)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Aleksi Heponiemi (Swift Current Broncos)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Drake Batherson (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Tyler Soy (Victoria Royals)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Tyler Steenbergen (Swift Current Broncos)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Kole Lind (Kelowna Rockets)
 

Titan’s Evan Fitzpatrick named Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week 

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that St. Louis Blues prospect Evan Fitzpatrick of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan is the Vaughn CHL Goaltender of the Week for the playoff week ending April 15 after posting a 2-0 record including one shutout with a goals-against-average of 0.96 and save percentage of .962. 

Fitzpatrick turned aside 51 shots last week in a pair of victories against the Sherbrooke Phoenix to wrap up Quarter-Final action in the QMJHL Playoffs with a four-game series sweep.  In Game 3 on Tuesday night Fitzpatrick recorded a shutout against his former team with a 23-save performance as third star of the 5-0 triumph, then made 28 saves in Game 4 on Wednesday closing the door in a 3-2 overtime decision.  The Titan have advanced to their first QMJHL Semi-Final Series since 2006 and will face the Victoriaville Tigres beginning Friday night. 

A 20-year-old from St. John’s, Nfld., Fitzpatrick joined the Titan in January where he won 17 games in 21 appearances with a goals-against-average of 2.24 and save percentage of .915 for the Maritimes Division champions.  So far this post-season he carries an 8-2 record with a league-best goals-against-average of 1.79 and save percentage of .930 which is among the league’s leaders.  He played more than three years with the Phoenix who chose him fourth overall in the 2014 QMJHL Entry Draft, and later became a second round pick by the Blues in the 2016 NHL Draft. 

Also considered for the award this week was Philadelphia Flyers prospect Carter Hart of the Everett Silvertips who posted a 3-0 record making 112 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.41 and save percentage of .966 against the Portland Winterhawks, and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jeremy Helvig who also posted a 3-0 record with 91 saves for a goals-against-average of 1.33 and save percentage of .958 against the Barrie Colts. 

2017-18 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Playoffs:
Apr. 9 – Apr. 15: Evan Fitzpatrick (Acadie-Bathurst Titan)
Apr. 2 – Apr. 8: Patrick Dea (Tri-City Americans)
Mar. 26 – Apr. 1: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Mar. 19 – Mar. 25: Stuart Skinner (Swift Current Broncos)

2017-18 Vaughn CHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:

Mar. 12 – Mar. 18: Patrick Dea (Tri-City Americans)
Mar. 5 – Mar. 11: Etienne Montpetit (Victoriaville Tigres)
Feb. 26 – Mar. 4: Shane Farkas (Portland Winterhawks)
Feb. 19 – Feb. 25: Emanuel Vella (Mississauga Steelheads)
Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Riley Lamb (Red Deer Rebels)
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Brody Willms (Moose Jaw Warriors)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Zachary Bouthillier (Chicoutimi Sagueneens)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Mario Culina (Kitchener Rangers)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Stuart Skinner (Swift Current Broncos)
Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranda Huskies)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: James Porter (Kelowna Rockets)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Tristan
Bérubé (Gatineau Olympiques)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Anthony Morrone (Victoriaville Tigres)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Justin Fazio (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Dustin Wolf (Everett Silvertips)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Samuel Harvey (Rouyn-Noranada Huskies)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Logan Flodell (Swift Current Broncos)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Cole Kehler (Portland Winterhawks)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Dereck Baribeau (Quebec Remparts)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Frontenacs’ Jeremy Helvig named OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Carolina Hurricanes prospect Jeremy Helvig of the Kingston Frontenacs is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week for the playoff week ending April 15 after posting a 3-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.33 and save percentage of .958. 

Helvig turned aside 91 shots in a trio of victories over the Barrie Colts last week backstopping the Frontenacs to a 4-2 series triumph and a berth in the Eastern Conference Final.  His week included 30 saves in Tuesday’s 4-2 win in Game 4, followed by 32 saves in Thursday’s 7-1 road decision in Game 5 where he earned third star honours.  On Friday night back on home ice for Game 6 Helvig made 29 saves including 15 in the third period alone to earn first star honours in the 2-1 series clinching victory.  This marks the first time the Frontenacs have advanced to the third round of an OHL post-season since 1993 where they’ll face the Hamilton Bulldogs for the Bobby Orr Trophy beginning Wednesday night. 

A 20-year-old from Markham, Ont., Helvig is playing in his fourth OHL season with the Frontenacs since chosen by the club in the third round of the 2013 Priority Selection.  Through two rounds of playoffs he holds an 8-2-1 record with a goals-against-average of 2.61 and save percentage of .921 which better his regular season marks of 2.68 and .916 recorded across 56 appearances in 2017-18.  Helvig’s tenure with the Frontenacs includes a pair of all-time franchise marks including 81 regular season wins and 10 shutouts.  On March 27 the fifth round pick of the Hurricanes in the 2016 NHL Draft signed his entry-level contract with the club.  This is Helvig’s second league honour having been recognized for his play during the final week of January. 

Watch video highlights of Helvig and the Frontenacs against the Colts in Game 4, Game 5, and Game 6. 

Also considered for the award this week was Ottawa Senators prospect Logan Brown of the Kitchener Rangers who scored one goal with five assists for six points in the final four games of their second round series victory over the Sarnia Sting, Frontenacs forward Linus Nyman with one goal and five assists for six points in three games against the Colts, and defenceman Sean Durzi of the Owen Sound Attack with six assists in four games against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 

2017-18 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Playoffs:

Apr. 9 – Apr. 15: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Apr. 2 – Apr. 8: Andrei Svechnikov (Barrie Colts)
Mar. 26 – Apr. 1: Gabriel Vilardi (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mar. 19 – Mar. 25: Noel Hoefenmayer (Ottawa 67’s)

2017-18 OHL ‘On the Run’ Players of the Week – Regular Season:

Mar. 12 – Mar. 18: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Mar. 5 – Mar. 11: Dmitry Sokolov (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 26 – Mar. 4: Robert Thomas (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Feb. 19 – Feb. 25: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Feb. 12 – Feb. 18: Aaron Luchuk (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 5 – Feb. 11: Liam Foudy (London Knights)
Jan. 29 – Feb. 4: Kenny Huether (Oshawa Generals)
Jan. 22 – Jan. 28: Jeremy Helvig (Kingston Frontenacs)
Jan. 15 – Jan. 21: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Jan. 8 – Jan. 14: Taylor Raddysh (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Jan. 1 – Jan. 7: Owen Tippett (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 25 – Dec. 31: Ben Jones (Niagara IceDogs)
Dec. 11 – Dec. 17: Morgan Frost (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Dec. 4 – Dec. 10: Justin Brazeau (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 27 – Dec. 3: Joseph Garreffa (Kitchener Rangers)
Nov. 20 – Nov. 26: Serron Noel (Oshawa Generals)
Nov. 13 – Nov. 19: Cliff Pu (London Knights)
Nov. 6 – Nov. 12: Ryan Merkley (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 30 – Nov. 5: Albert Michnac (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 23 – Oct. 29: Aaron Luchuk (Windsor Spitfires)
Oct. 16 – Oct. 22: Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 9 – Oct. 15: Brady Hinz (Sarnia Sting)
Oct. 2 – Oct. 8: Nick Suzuki (Owen Sound Attack)
Sept. 25 – Oct. 1: Jonathan Ang (Peterborough Petes)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 24: Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires)

Jacob Ingham – Mississauga Steelheads – Player Profile

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 185 Pounds

Date of birth: June 10, 2000

Hometown: Barrie, Ontario

Position: Goaltender

Catches: Left

OHL Draft: Round 2, 26th overall, 2016 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: B Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 3rd overall, North American Goaltenders

NHL Central Scouting final rank: Not available at present

Coming into the 2017-2018 season, Mississauga Steelheads’ goaltender Jacob Ingham was considered by many to be near the top of the draft class and rightfully so. But the Ontario Hockey League class isn’t as strong as a season ago that saw Michael DiPietro (Windsor Spitfires) and Matthew Villalta (Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds) get drafted into the National Hockey League while Kaden Fulcher (Hamilton Bulldogs) and Kyle Keyser (Oshawa Generals) showing enough to get free agent deals with the Detroit Red Wings and Boston Bruins respectively.

Ingham’s competition this season comes from Jordon Kooy of the London Knights and Nick Donofrio of the Hamilton Bulldogs.

Ingham would play his minor midget hockey with the Barrie Colts during the 2015-2016 season posting a 1.73 goals-against average in 15 games. He would get a taste of Junior A hockey with the Orangeville Flyers of the Ontario Junior Hockey League.

Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

The scouting report from OHL Central Scouting at the time read as follows:

Jacob is a very good technical goaltender. He gets out to the top of his crease and challenges shooters, is very athletic, moves very well in his crease and has the ability to make the big desperation save when he has to. Jacob is mentally strong as he doesn’t let goals against get to him. He battles and competes to see pucks and finds them in scrambles. He always seems to make the big save when his team needs it. Jacob will be a goalie to watch moving forward in the OHL. 

Last season Ingham appeared in 31 games for the Steelheads and posted a respectable 2.69 goals-against average and .907 save percentage. He would be named to the OHL First All-Rookie squad at the end of the regular season. He would man the net in 6 playoff games for the Steelheads and post a 2.68 goals-against average but a very disappointing .876 save percentage.

Ingham would also represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17, helping Canada Black capture a silver medal. In 5 appearances he posted a 2.15 goals-against average and .927 save percentage.

It appeared the book on him from Central Scouting was correct and then this season happened.

Something happened to the technique we saw a season ago. The opposition was able to exploit differences in his game. Where he had previously played big in his crease, he was being beaten up high. While he is very athletic, his post-to-post movement seemed to have changed and he would get caught “cheating” off the short side post.

Ingham’s ability to fight through traffic also appeared to take a step back. He had trouble finding the puck in battles out front and that would leave the bottom of the cage exposed as he tried to fight for sight of the puck.

The Steelheads liked to play a run-and-gun game, and who could argue with the offensive firepower they possessed. But it would often lead to odd-man rushes and long breakaway attempts and when they needed a big save, they just weren’t getting it.

As previously mentioned, Ingham is very athletic. He gets out to the top of the paint quickly. His post to post movement is also very quick. He has shown an ability to control his rebounds. His glove hand could use some improvement.

With Ingham, it will all come down to coaching. He has an excellent work ethic and there is no doubt he will put in all the work required. It will come down to working on and tweaking his technique.

I can’t help but feel his season has hurt his draft stock.

Stat page of Jacob Ingham from Elite Prospects

Liam Foudy – London Knights – Player Profile

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 182 pounds

Date of birth: February 4, 2000

Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 18th overall, 2016 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: B Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 91st overall, 2016 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting final rank: Not available at present

London Knights’ center Liam Foudy comes from a sports family. His father Sean played professional football for six seasons in the Canadian Football League. His mother France Gareau is an Olympian who competed at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles in the 100-meter sprint as well as the 4 X 100-meter relay where she captured a silver medal. And younger brother Jean-Luc was the tenth overall pick at the recently completed Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection by the hated Windsor Spitfires.

Foudy played his minor midget hockey with the Markham Majors during the 2015-2016 season. He appeared in 32 games scoring 19 goals and 19 assists. The Knights selected Foudy with the 18th overall pick at the 2016 Priority Selection. The scouting report from OHL Central Scouting read as follows:

Liam is the engine that makes his team go. He does a very good job of anticipating the play and jumping into holes at the right time, which is one of the reasons why he gets so many breakaways. He has deceiving quickness and changes gears well off the rush to beat defenders. He has a very high skill set and is dangerous one-on-one. Liam has good hands around the net and capitalizes on the majority of his chances. He has developed into a top GTHL prospect. 

Liam Foudy of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Liam Foudy of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

During the 2016-2017 season, Foudy would appear in 58 games for the Knights, scoring 9 goals and adding 6 assists. He would also represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 and post three assists in six games.

Foudy would take on a bigger role with the Knights this season and he didn’t disappoint, at least as the season progressed. He played in 65 games scoring 24 goals and adding 16 assists. He would contribute a goal and an assist in 4 playoff games.

Foudy will represent Canada at the upcoming World Junior Championship Under-18.

It’s been somewhat of a night and day season for Foudy. Depending on who you talk to, much more was expected from him. He had 3 goals and no assists in his first 22 games but finished the year strong with 17 goals and 11 assists in his final 21 games. The Knights had sold off some veteran players and Foudy seemed to relish, and succeed, in the expanded role he was given.

Foudy was added to the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects game as an injury replacement where he drew attention to his on ice and off ice testing. He finished in the top five players in each group of tests.

Foudy is an excellent skater with excellent acceleration and top end speed. It’s a well camouflaged separation gear that makes him so dangerous one-on-one. Early in the season, it appears he wasn’t always making the right decisions. It’s as though someone flipped a switch and his brain caught up to his speed. 

Also, earlier in the season, Foudy wasn’t using his speed to get in on the forecheck and create turnovers. It’s an area that has seen a massive change in the second half of the season. He’s also become a superb penalty killer and a threat on the PK as seen by his 5 goals and 3 assists while the Knights were a man down.

Foudy also has a decent shot, but he won’t overpower goaltenders. His 24 goals on the season came on just 136 shots, good for a 17.6 shooting percentage. If he is going to continue to grow as a centreman, he will need to improve on his faceoffs. He was just 121 for 257 on the dot, or 47.1%.


Stat Page of Liam Foudy from Elite Prospects

 

Curtis Douglas – Windsor Spitfires – Player Profile

Height: 6’8”

Weight: 232 pounds

Date of birth: March 6, 2000

Hometown: Oakville, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 4, 76th overall, 2016 Priority Selection (Barrie Colts)

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: C Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 70th overall, North American Skaters

NHL Central Scouting final rank: Not available at present

Windsor Spitfires’ giant Curtis Douglas played minor midget hockey with the Mississauga Senators during the 2015-2016 season where he posted 8 goals and 4 assists in 32 games. The Barrie Colts would select Douglas with their fourth-round pick, 76th overall at the 2016 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection.

Last season Douglas appeared in 53 games for the Colts posting 4 goals and 5 assists in those contests.

He got off to a good start this season with 7 goals and 11 assists in his first 28 games with Barrie. On December 14, 2017, he was biggest piece (no pun intended) the Spitfires received in return for sending Aaron Luchuk to the Colts.

Curtis Douglas of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Curtis Douglas of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Following the trade, Douglas played in 38 games for the Spits scoring 15 goals and 13 assists and adding another goal and 3 assists in 6 playoff games.

First and foremost, you must be impressed with the 6’8” frame Douglas has. By NHL standards, he would be the second tallest player in the league behind 6’9 defenceman Zdeno Chara and the tallest forward ahead of 6’6” Brian Boyle. He is more then willing to use that size advantage. He can be a physically dominating force battling for pucks along the wall. Once he plants himself in front of the opposition net, defenders are unable to move him. And he uses that enormous reach he possesses in all zones to break up plays.

Despite the tall frame, Douglas is a deceptively quick skater. However, continuing to work on his overall skating is a necessity. Agility, first step speed and a breakaway gear could stand improving. His size could hinder that, but even a small improvement will help him succeed at the next level.

Douglas is a smart player who almost always makes the right decisions whether in the offensive zone or defensive zone. He has extremely soft hands and can make plays. He has excellent vision and can sometimes make plays out of nothing. He could at times though slow the pace down allowing his linemates to get into lanes or danger areas. He has the ability to find them and if he did so, he could become even more dangerous offensively.

He has an excellent work ethic and on many nights is the hardest worker on the ice. He can score the dirty goals but can also beat you with a shot. When he is totally engaged, he can dominate the offensive zone.

The 2018 National Hockey League Draft isn’t a particularly strong nor deep draft for centremen. Teams will look long and hard at Douglas. He could even go before most of us have him ranked.


Stat page of Curtis Douglas from Elite Prospects

 

Rosters Revealed for 2018 OHL Gold Cup

OHL Gold Cup 2018

Toronto, ON – 130 players selected in Saturday’s OHL Priority Selection have been named to 2018 OHL Gold Cup rosters where they’ll represent their respective minor hockey associations starting Thursday May 3rd in Kitchener, Ont.

The Ottawa 67’s lead the way with 10 prospects competing in the annual showcase while the Peterborough Petes and Sudbury Wolves trail close behind with nine each.


The OHL Gold Cup is an annual showcase event featuring top under-16 talent in Ontario. As part of the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence, select players from the OHL Gold Cup will be invited to attend the National Under-17 Selection Camp, where they will have a chance to compete with other top talent from across Canada, to earn a spot at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.


NEW FORMAT ANNOUNCED FOR 2018 EVENT:


The 160 players named to rosters for the OHL Gold Cup will have greater development opportunities and more training directly from Hockey Canada, thanks to a new format being introduced for the 2018 event. This is being done to create greater symmetry between the OHL Gold Cup and the National Under-17 Selection Camp, which is the next step for these players in the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence.


“After five successful events under the old format, we are pleased to have developed a new structure which better serves the development of the players,” says Phillip McKee, OHL Gold Cup Steering Committee. “Working under the guidance of Hockey Canada staff, we believe this new format will help prepare Ontario players for the rigours of a national selection camp.”


New features of the OHL Gold Cup in 2018 include: three off-ice education sessions, dedicated position-specific practices, and a full-team game-day skate. Additionally, the format of the tournament itself has been updated to feature three pool games and one crossover game on the final day. The OHL Gold Cup champion will be the winner of the A1 versus B1 crossover game.


HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018 OHL GOLD CUP ROSTERS INCLUDE:


• All eligible players from the first round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection have been named to OHL Gold Cup rosters (19 of the 20).

• 130 of the 160 OHL Gold Cup players were picked in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

• Top minor hockey teams represented on rosters: Thunder Bay Kings (11), Sudbury Wolves (9), Toronto Marlboros (9), North Bay Trappers (8), Oakville Rangers (8), Mississauga Reps (7), Vaughan Kings (7), Rockland Nationals (6).

• From the 2017 event, 22 OHL Gold Cup alumni were selected to play for Hockey Canada at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.


OHL Prospects on 2018 OHL Gold Cup Rosters:


Barrie Colts (8):

Ryan Beck (HNO)**
Austin D’Orazio (GTHL Blue)
Tyson Foerster (OMHA Black)
Aidan Hughes (GTHL Red)
Reid Oliver (ALLIANCE)
Riley Piercey (GTHL Red)*
Eric Russell (GTHL Red)
Rocco Testa-Basi (HEO)

Erie Otters (5):
Ryan Alexander (GTHL Red)
Jamie Drysdale (GTHL Red)*
Logan Maunder (OMHA White)
Justin Mauro (NOHA)
Ethan Ritchie (OMHA White)

Flint Firebirds (6):
Michael Bianconi (GTHL Blue)
Evan Boucher (HEO)
Jack Harper (OMHA White)
Ryan Mansfield (OMHA White)
Owen Power (GTHL Blue)
Evan Vierling (OMHA Black)*

Guelph Storm (7):
Owen Bennett (OMHA Black)
Ty Collins (OMHA Black)
Ben McFarlane (ALLIANCE)
Luka Profaca (GTHL Red)
Spencer Smith (OMHA Black)
Zack Terry (OMHA Black)
Cooper Walker (ALLIANCE)

Hamilton Bulldogs (5):
Marco Costantini (GTHL Blue)
George Diaco (ALLIANCE)
Logan Morrison (OMHA White)*
Michael Renwick (GTHL Red)
Davis Young (GTHL Blue)

Kingston Frontenacs (6):
Liam Babcock (GTHL Blue)
Alex Caulfield (HEO)
Thomas Haynes (GTHL Blue)
Jake Murray (OMHA Black)*
Mathias Onuska (ALLIANCE)
Bryce Ryan (ALLIANCE)

Kitchener Rangers (6):
Isaac Langdon (OMHA White)
Dalton McBride (OMHA White)
Donovan Sebrango (HEO)
Joseph Serpa (ALLIANCE)
Reid Valade (GTHL Blue)*
Dylan Winsor (HNO)

London Knights (7):
Dario Beljo (NOHA)
Luke Evangelista (OMHA White)*
Vincent Labelle (HEO)
Brendan Mairs (ALLIANCE)
Sean McGurn (HEO)
Sahil Panwar (HNO)**
Ben Roger (OMHA White)

Mississauga Steelheads (7):
Rylan Bowers (ALLIANCE)
Mason Carter (HEO)
James Hardie (OMHA Black)*
Devlin O’Brien (GTHL Blue)
William Portokalis (GTHL Red)
Joe Ranger (HEO)
Michael Stubbs (HNO)

Niagara IceDogs (7):
A.J. Favot (NOHA)
Stephen Halliday (GTHL Blue)
Lleyton Moore (GTHL Blue)*
Ethan Sims (OMHA White)
Cameron Snow (OMHA White)
Jake Uberti (GTHL Blue)
Jacob Vreugdenhil (OMHA Black)

North Bay Battalion (8):
David Campbell (NOHA)
Kyle Jackson (GTHL Blue)
Jesse Kirkby (NOHA)
Cameron Peters (GTHL Red)
Reece Proulx (NOHA)
Pacey Schlueting (NOHA)*
Jack Stockfish (NOHA)
Joe Vrbetic (GTHL Red)

Oshawa Generals (7):
Hunter Brazier (NOHA)
Ryan Gagnier (ALLIANCE)
David Gucciardi (GTHL Blue)
Dawson McKinney (OMHA White)
Dylan Robinson (GTHL Blue)
Matthew Sbrocca (ALLIANCE)
Tyler Tullio (GTHL Blue)*

Ottawa 67’s (10):
Colby Ambrosio (HNO)**
Alec Belanger (OMHA Black)
Liam Cavan (HEO)
Anthony Costantini (GTHL Red)
Will Cranley (OMHA Black)
Yanic Crete (HEO)
Owen Luik (OMHA Black)
Matthew Maggio (ALLIANCE)
Dylan Peterson (HEO)
Cameron Tolnai (OMHA White)*

Owen Sound Attack (5):
Josh Barnes (HEO)
Marco Latassa (OMHA White)
Nolan Seed (HEO)*
Nathan Small (ALLIANCE)
Brody Waters (OMHA Black)

Peterborough Petes (9):
Tye Austin (HEO)
Jack Bar (OMHA Black)
Cameron Butler (OMHA Black)
Will Cuylle (GTHL Blue)*
Jackson Kirk (OMHA White)
Matthew Perciballi (GTHL Red)
Luc Reeve (OMHA Black)
Sheldon Serraglio (ALLIANCE)
Shawn Spearing (GTHL Red)

Saginaw Spirit (4):
Sebastian Bulovs (GTHL Blue)
Ethan Cardwell (OMHA Black)
Tristan Lennox (GTHL Blue)
Cole Perfetti (GTHL Red)*

Sarnia Sting (4):
Nolan Burke (OMHA White)
Nolan Dillingham-Morelli (GTHL Red)
Theo Hill (ALLIANCE)
Jacob Perreault (HNO)**

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (5):
Matthew Halushak (HNO)
Rory Kerins (GTHL Red)
Ryan O’Rourke (GTHL Red)*
Tyson Tomasini (HEO)
Kalvyn Watson (OMHA White)

Sudbury Wolves (9):
Kyle Aucoin (HNO)**
Giordano Biondi (NOHA)
Blake Butler (ALLIANCE)
Quinton Byfield (OMHA Black)*
Simon Labelle (HEO)
Nathan Ribau (OMHA White)
Ryan Smith (OMHA Black)
Jack Thompson (OMHA White)
Michael Tiveron (OMHA White)

Windsor Spitfires (5):
Jean-Luc Foudy (GTHL Red)*
McKay Hayes (GTHL Red)
Kyle McDonald (HEO)
Dylan Robinson (ALLIANCE)
Owen Shier (OMHA Black)

*first round pick
**played for American minor midget teams in 2017-18

The eight competing teams include ALLIANCEGTHL BlueGTHL RedHEOHNONOHAOMHA Black and OMHA White.

For more information including full rosters and schedule please visit ohlgoldcup.com.

About the OHL Gold Cup
The OHL Gold Cup is an annual showcase event featuring top under-16 talent in Ontario. As part of the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence, select players from the OHL Gold Cup will be invited to attend the National Under-17 Selection Camp, where they will have a chance to compete with other top talent from across Canada, to earn a spot at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

OHL completes second annual Under-18 Priority Selection

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today conducted the second annual OHL Under-18 Priority Selection for Midget AAA hockey players in Ontario.

priority-selection-under-18

Eligibility for the 2018 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection included all Midget players (2000 and 2001 birth years) not currently on an OHL Member Team Protected List who were carded with an Ontario based Midget AAA Hockey Club within the Ontario Hockey Federation, Hockey Eastern Ontario, or Hockey Northwestern Ontario in the current season.

Mitchell Weeks, a goaltender from the North Central Predators, was the first pick of the 2018 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection to the Sudbury Wolves, followed by forward Markus Paterson of the Toronto Nationals chosen second overall to the Flint Firebirds, and forward Dustin Hutton of the Vaughan Kings picked third overall by the Peterborough Petes.

A total of 53 players were selected from 34 different teams and included 27 forwards, 13 defencemen, and 13 goaltenders.  49 of the 53 players selected were born in 2001.

All OHL Member Teams were required to draft a minimum of two players, however to enhance opportunities specifically for goaltenders, clubs selecting a goaltender with one of their selections had the option to select another player (skater only) in an additional round.

“Congratulations to all 53 players selected in the 2018 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection and special acknowledgement to all the families, coaches, and teammates of these players for their support this season and throughout the minor hockey journey,” said Joe Birch, Senior Director of Hockey Development and Special Events. “This draft was introduced to raise the profile of Midget AAA hockey and to provide enhanced development opportunities for players. To be recognized for continued hard work and perseverance is a tremendous accomplishment.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL RESULTS OF THE 2018 OHL UNDER-18 PRIORITY SELECTION

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association led the way with 18 players selected from 14 different teams including 10 players who competed among eight ETA teams, and eight players from six different SCTA teams.  The SCTA’s Guelph Gryphons and Halton Hurricanes along with the ETA’s Kingston Frontenacs and Richmond Hill Coyotes each had two players selected.  The Greater Toronto Hockey League was represented by 13 players from seven different teams led by the Vaughan Kings with four players, and each of the Don Mills Flyers, Mississauga Senators, and Toronto Titans with two players selected.  The ALLIANCE had 10 players selected from six teams led by the Waterloo Wolves with three players, followed by the Huron Perth Lakers and the Windsor Jr. Spitfires each with two.  Hockey Eastern Ontario had a total of nine players chosen from five different teams including the Hawkesbury Hawks, Ottawa Senators, Pembroke Lumber Kings, and Rockland Nationals each with two.  The Northern Ontario Hockey Association had three players picked from two teams led by the North Bay Trappers with a pair of selections.

Picks were submitted online by OHL member clubs and displayed in real-time at ontariohockeyleague.com accompanied by an audio stream. Announced in January, 2017, the concept of the OHL Under-18 Priority Selection was developed with full support from Hockey Canada’s three Ontario Branches including the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF), Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO), and Hockey Northwestern Ontario (HNO).