Jordan Kooy – London Knights – Player Profile

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 190 Pounds

Date of birth: April 30, 2000

Hometown: Bradford, Ontario

Position: Goaltender

Catches: Left

OHL Draft: Round 8, 160th overall, 2016 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: Not listed

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 13th North American Goaltenders

NHL Central Scouting final rank: 15th North American Goaltenders

The National Hockey League Draft is often referred to as an “inexact science.” Looking for a more challenging task? Try ranking goaltenders.

London Knights Goaltender Jordan Kooy entered this season not listed on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List. By the time January rolled around and Central’s Mid-Term Rankings were released, he had climbed all the way to thirteenth among thirty-one ranked goaltenders. He ended the season ranked fifteenth among thirty-one North American Goaltenders.

By comparison, fellow Ontario Hockey League draft eligible goaltender Jacob Ingham entered the season as a B Prospect and moved all the way up to third on the mid-term list. By the time the final list was revealed, he dropped to thirteenth. Christian Propp, who is re-entering the draft, was missing from both Central’s Players to Watch list and their mid-term rankings yet he finished as the top ranked OHL goaltender, 11th on the North American list.

In the end, you may have better luck throwing darts blindfolded at a board this season.

Kooy.Jordan
Jordan Kooy of the London Knights. Photo courtesy of the Ontario Hockey League

Kooy played his Minor Midget AAA with the Central Ontario Wolves during the 2015-2016 season where he posted 3.33 goals against average in 18 games. The Knights would use the 180th overall pick to select Kooy.

The following season was somewhat of a whirlwind for Kooy, playing with three teams in three different leagues, including the Knights.

Kooy appeared in 16 games with the London Jr Knights Midget AAA squad and posted an excellent 2.22 goals against average. He also appeared in 5 games for the St Marys Lincolns of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League posting a 3.63 goals against average and .896 save percentage. He also played in 11 OHL games for the Knights and finished off with an excellent 2.45 goals against average and .927 save percentage. He retained his rookie status for this season.

Kooy appeared in 24 games this season for the Knights. His numbers dropped from last season to a 3.11 goals against average and .904 save percentage. However, he won the Dinty Moore Trophy with the lowest goals against average among rookie goaltenders and was named to the second all-rookie team.

Kooy showed a lot of promise during his 11-game stint with London his first go around in the OHL. The Knights were prepared to run with Kooy as the number-one to start the season, but a slow start by Kooy and his teammates forced management to acquire Joseph Raaymakers and move Kooy to the backup role.

Kooy is an extremely athletic goaltender but he makes his bread and butter with his sound technique, which is a step or two ahead of where it should be at his age. He possesses excellent edges and once he gets stronger, he’ll be able to push off even better then he can, and it’s already at a very good level.

There’s been enough improvement this season for Kooy from start to finish. He worked on and improved his rebound control. He was tracking pucks better then at the start. He was seeing pucks through bodies, and when he wasn’t, he was making the “positional save.” At 6’2”, he has decent size and was making himself big in the crease.

I’d say the biggest difference from a year ago to the start of this season is confidence. A season ago, he played with plenty of confidence, almost a cockiness. That was lacking at the start of this season. And I don’t think he was ready to be a starter this season.

Bringing in Raaymakers may have been the best thing for Kooy’s development.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

 

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Maxim Golod – Erie Otters – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 160 pounds

Date of birth: August 18, 2000

Hometown: Concord, Ontario

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 13, 216 overall, 2016 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: C Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term:  118th overall, North American Skaters

NHL Central Scouting final rank: 97th overall, North American Skaters

What is it with the Erie Otters and their love for smaller players? They seem to find them repeatedly and that’s where winger Maxim Golod comes in. There’s teammate Kyle Maksimovich who previously went undrafted and re-enters the draft for 2018. And of course, there is Alex DeBrincat who had an excellent Ontario Hockey League career and is coming off a very good National Hockey League rookie season.

That’s not to suggest Golod is in the same class as DeBrincat, he’s not. But the Otters certainly do not shy away from the undersized player with skill and they nurture them along and allow them to develop into the best players they can be.

Standing at 5’11”, Golod is not the smallest player to lace up the skates. But at a measly 160 pounds, he has some serious meat to add to his frame.

Golod.Maxim
Maxim Golod of the Erie Otters. Photo courtesy of the Ontario Hockey League

Golod played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2015-2016 season with the Mississauga Senators of the GTMMHL. In 33 games, Golod scored 5 goals and assisted on 11 others. The Otters wouldn’t select Golod until the 13th round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection, making him the 216th overall pick.

The following season, Golod would go on to play Midget AAA hockey with the Markham Majors of the GTHL. He would have an excellent offensive season notching 25 goals and 57 helpers in 48 games with the Majors.

This season, his rookie OHL season, Golod would appear in 61 games for the Otters, scoring 12 goals and 21 assists. Those aren’t bad numbers for a Rookie in the OHL, finishing tied for eighth. Up until trade deadline, he wasn’t always put in the best offensive situations, yet he still managed to score 6 goals and 13 assists in 36 games. Once the Otters dealt away Taylor Raddysh, among others, Golod received more opportunities, yet his points-per-game remained relatively unchanged on 6 goals and 8 assists in 25 games.

So, who is Maxim Golod?

Off the ice, he is a mature, intelligent young man. He speaks three languages fluently. His parents are natives of Russia, so it is only a given that Russian was his first language. Of course, growing up in Canada, more specifically Ontario, English is at the top of the list. And finally, French, after spending almost all his education years in French Immersion Schools. This is a fine piece by Hali Hetz of the Hockey Writers.

On the ice, Golod displays that same intelligence often showing excellent reads, anticipation and vision. Despite the small stature, he is extremely hard on the puck, does not shy away from battles along the walls – often winning those battles, and a strong tendency to head to the dirty areas, especially in front of the opposition net. Adding the much-needed muscle can not only add to his confidence, and to the already good success rate in those areas.

Golod is an excellent skater with good acceleration and top end speed. He is very good on his edges and can move well in any direction. He handles the puck extremely well at top speed and is a magician with the puck in tight quarters.

The defensive game continues to be a work in progress for Golod. While he showed improvement as the season progressed, it is an area he will need to continue to work at. He has the smarts, the skating and the work ethic to put in the necessary work but will have to show he can put it all together.

While the NHL is changing, size still plays a role. And that may cause Golod to fall lower then his skill set says he should be taken. That said, there will be several teams interested in him. He will need a lot of development time. You don’t find his skill set that often in the later rounds. A team that has the time to develop and an already strong prospect pool may just jump earlier.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

Tyler Tucker – Barrie Colts – Player Profile

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 203 pounds

Date of birth: March 1, 2000

Hometown: Longlac, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 14th overall, 2016 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: C Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 104 North American Skaters

NHL Central Scouting final rank: 171 North American Skaters (pdf)

When it comes to the 2018 National Hockey League Draft, Barrie Colts’ defenseman Tyler Tucker may just be one of the biggest enigmas there is. Coming into the season he was on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch list as a C prospect – typically a fourth, fifth or sixth round pick.

When Central Scouting released its mid-term rankings, Tucker was just outside the top 100 among North American Skaters at 104. When their final rankings were released, we were somewhat surprised to see him ranked 171st. That ranking, if that is where NHL Teams view him, would leave him outside the draft looking in when you consider Europeans and Goaltenders.

So, the questions that come to mind are: did Tucker do enough in the second half to maintain the close to top 100 pick among North Americans? Was his second half worthy of dropping out of the draft? Did 67 players show that much improvement in the second half and thus surpassing Tucker?

We will try and shed some light on the topic. But first, some history.

Tyler Tucker of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Tyler Tucker of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Tucker played his Minor Midget AAA hockey with the Toronto Titans during the 2015-2016 season where he posted 6 goals and 12 assists in 39 games. There was a lot to like about the big, physical, in your face defenseman. Even OHL Central Scouting had some love for him prior to the OHL Draft:

Tyler is a big, physical stay-at-home defender that loves to look for the big hit. He is a good skater with good mobility and stride, which allows him to take away time and space. Tyler makes a solid outlet pass and keeps his game simple for the most part. Tyler will be a player that coaches love to have on their team because of his high compete level and solid defensive play. 

Last season was Tucker’s rookie year in the OHL and he appeared in 62 games for the Colts scoring once and adding 13 assists with 51 penalty minutes. His minus-12 raised some eyebrows, but after all, he was a rookie.

Tucker showed the improvement needed this season. In 59 games, he scored 3 goals and 20 assists while piling up 87 minutes in penalties and a very good plus-27. Among draft eligible players, he finished tied for eighth among defensemen in points, third in plus/minus and first in penalty minutes. He raised his offence in the playoffs to .5 points-per-game on 3 goals and 3 assists in 12 games.

Tucker will never be accused of being an offensive defenseman that will rack up a lot of points. What he is, is a stay-at-home-defender who can take care of business in his own zone against top players. He is a bruising blueliner who relishes the physical part of the game. He is not the world’s fastest skater, but he possesses a powerful stride that allows him to keep his gaps closed or close them sufficiently. He is hard to beat one-on-one and rarely gets overpowered in the physical department.

Tucker will also never be known for making end-to-end rushes or skating the puck out of danger and up ice. What he does do because of his never-ending work ethic is do what ever it takes and outwork his opponent to get the puck back onto his stick and then make a smart heads up pass to clear the zone.

Tucker is very good on the penalty kill. He knows how to use his stick effectively, box out opponents and is a force in front of his own goal. He makes it difficult for opponents to take away his goaltender’s vision. He uses his long reach to take away options.

Skating is an area Tucker can improve on. While he possesses good mobility and that strong stride, adding some speed could be advantageous to him. It could add to his confidence in skating with the puck more and could help him in the offensive zone.

Tucker is not the “new breed” of defensemen that act as a fourth forward, which may be the reason he has dropped on Central Scouting’s list. But where exactly do you select a defensive defenseman of his calibre? That question will be answered in June. Or maybe not.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

Giovanni Vallati – Kitchener Rangers – Player Profile

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 178 pounds

Date of birth: February 21, 2000

Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 16th overall, 2016 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting pre-season:  B Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 38th North American Skaters

NHL Central Scouting final rank: 57th North American Skaters

When it comes to the 2018 National Hockey League Draft and defencemen available from the Ontario Hockey League, this season is no different then any other. There are three distinct groups: those projected to go in the first round, the next group, and those that will get drafted but have a tough road to the NHL. Kitchener Rangers’ blueliner Giovanni Vallati is in that second group.

Depending on who you ask, Evan Bouchard, Rasmus Sandin, Kevin Bahl and Ryan Merkley are in that first group. The next wave is made up of Vallati, Declan Chisholm, Nico Gross and Sean Durzi. Vallati has the benefit of a deep playoff run although that is not reflected in NHL Central Scouting’s rankings as their list was finalized long before the playoffs ended. Yet they still managed to drop him 19 spots from their mid-term rankings to their final rankings.

Giovanni Vallati of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Giovanni Vallati of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Vallati played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2015-2016 season with the Vaughan Kings. He played in 64 games and scored 9 goals while adding 27 assists. The Rangers selected Vallati with the 16th overall pick at the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. A year earlier, he was the 17th overall pick by the Gloucester Rangers at the CCHL Bantam Protected Draft.

OHL Central Scouting’s report at the time of the OHL Draft read as follows:

Giovanni is a smooth skating defender that isn’t shy to join the rush when given the opportunity to do so. He is a very strong skater with excellent mobility which allows him to beat a forechecker by himself. His defensive game has really improved since the beginning of the season and he has really simplified his game. He has very good skills and a hard, accurate shot from the point. Giovanni was relied on heavily by his team to help get them into a playoff position and to play in the OHL Cup. 

Last season, Vallati joined the Rangers out of camp and had a pretty good season for a rookie defenceman. He played in 59 games for the Rangers and scored 5 goals and 16 assists. He would add two more helpers in 5 playoff games. He also won a silver medal with Canada Black at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 where he had two assists in 6 games. He would be named to the OHL’s Second All-Rookie Team.

The question coming into this season was whether Vallati could take the next step offensively while continuing to improve other aspects of his game. He played in 65 games and scored just 3 goals but added 23 helpers, with 4 more in 19 playoff contests. Still, he managed to finish fourth among first time draft eligible defencemen in scoring behind Bouchard, Merkley and Sandin.

There isn’t much of anything in Central Scouting’s report you could argue with. Vallati is in fact an excellent skater with terrific mobility and very good speed. As mentioned, he can beat the forecheck with his skating alone. But he’s also very good at reading the play and is very capable of making a crisp, clean pass to exit the zone.

In the d-zone, Vallati has shown improvement from year-to-year. He has decent size and uses it well, although he is going to need to add some muscle. Despite that, he wins more then his fair share of battles and will only improve with the added mass. He anticipates extremely well and possesses an active stick – he will close lanes with his positioning or his twig.

Although Vallati plays a very safe game, he uses that same skating ability and decision making in the offensive zone. He is not averse to taking risks, however, he picks his spots. He can pinch to keep the puck in the o-zone. He can move any-which-way to find lanes and set up teammates. He walks the line extremely well and he has a rocket of a shot from the blueline that he takes with a purpose. He gets it through regularly but isn’t always trying to score but put pucks in places where there is going to be a rebound for his teammates. He has shown he can quarterback a powerplay at the OHL level, but the NHL is a different animal.

For Vallati, the draft in June will be interesting to say the least. He has size, the skating and the skill set. For him it’s just a matter of putting it all together. To be more specific, it will come down to whether an NHL team believes they can help him put it all together.

Few have seen Vallati as much as Kitchener Rangers analyst then Mike Farwell of 570 News. I asked Mike if he could share a sentence or two to describe Vallati. This is what he had to say:

I’d describe him as a smooth skater with an excellent first pass and a defenceman who thinks the game well. He picks his spots to pinch and does so very effectively.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

 

Nathan Dunkley – London Knights – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 188 pounds

Date of birth: March 5, 2000

Hometown: Campbellford, Ontario

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 17th overall, 2016 Priority Selection (Kingston Frontenacs)

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: C Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 132nd overall, North American Skaters

NHL Central Scouting final rank: 109th overall, North American Skaters

Where London Knights’ winger Nathan Dunkley gets selected at the 2018 National Hockey League Draft is one of the more interesting things to watch in June when NHL Teams assemble in Dallas to make their selections.

While Dunkley has climbed 23 spots from NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings to their final rankings, ending up 109th among North American Skaters, there are some big discrepancies from their ranking and where some of the public rankings have him ranked. Including yours truly.

Look no further than TSN Bob McKenzie and his list, which is based on surveying 10 NHL Scouts. “Bobby Mac’s” list has Dunkley 71st on his mid-term rankings which include all skaters and not just North Americans. Breaking it down further, Central has Dunkley ranked 34th among OHL players while McKenzie has him ranked 17th. It may be a case of Central Scouting’s continuing bias towards bigger players. Then again, maybe not.

Dunkley played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2015-2016 season with the Quinte Red Devils. In 34 games with the Devils, he amassed 24 goals and 23 assists. He would add another goal and 4 assists in 5 games at the OHL Cup.

OHL Central Scouting’s report on Dunkley read as follows:

Nathan has a very strong and low center of gravity which makes it very difficult to knock him off the puck. He is a powerful skater with a very strong 10-foot game which allows him to gain a step on players in every zone. Nathan is a skilled center that is good offensively in every aspect. He sees the ice well and can beat players one-on-one. He shoots the puck well and has scored a lot of nice goals this season. He is like a bulldog on the ice and will fight through anything to score a goal. 

Dunkley broke onto the OHL scene a season ago with the Frontenacs and had a good rookie season. He appeared in 58 games for the Fronts and scored 6 goals while adding 25 assists. He was very effective in the playoffs scoring 4 goals and 3 assists in 11 games.

He got off to an excellent start this season posting 13 goals and 20 assists in 31 games. The Frontenacs began to load up for a postseason run and on January 4 Dunkley was dealt to the London Knights along with a pair of draft picks for Cliff Pu.

Nathan Dunkley of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Nathan Dunkley was acquired by the London Knights from Kingston Frontenacs on January 4, 2018. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

Dunkley would finish the season appearing in 29 games for the Knights posting 8 goals and 16 assists making his season totals 21 goals and 36 assists in 60 games. He finished 9th among draft-eligible players in assists, 8th in plus/minus, 3rd in faceoff percentage and 3rd in shooting percentage. Those are some pretty good finishes.

Dunkley’s skating ability doesn’t get the credit it deserves. He is a strong skater with excellent mobility and excellent speed. He also has very good hands and stick handling abilities when in top flight. He gets in on pucks in the offensive zone and is very good on the forecheck. He also doesn’t shy away from the physical game and is willing to make contact despite the size difference he encounters.

Dunkley is an accomplished two-way player who uses his excellent speed to regularly be the first player on the backcheck. He has an excellent work ethic and uses that as much in the d-zone and the neutral zone as he does in the O-zone.

Dunkley has good vision and hockey sense. He can slow the game down while maintaining possession and can wait for options to develop. He is especially effective with the man advantage where he has more time and space to make plays. He also has a decent shot but could stand to improve on it and is willing to crash the net and pounce on loose pucks – which shows in his high shooting percentage.

Stat page from Elite Prospects

Colts’ Andrei Svechnikov named OHL Rookie of the Year

OHL Announces First and Second All-Rookie Teams

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts is the 2017-18 recipient of the Emms Family Award presented to the OHL’s Rookie of the Year. 

Svechnikov led all OHL rookies with 40 goals and 32 assists in just 44 games for a point total of 72 that ranked 25th overall in league scoring and a points-per-game mark of 1.64 that was fifth best. 

Andrei Svechnikovof the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Andrei Svechnikov of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

“I am extremely happy to accept this award as the OHL’s Rookie of the Year,” Svechnikov said. “I’d like to thank my coaches and teammates for all of the help they have given me this year to achieve this goal. I am very excited.” 

The 18-year-old from Barnaul, Russia, is the top ranked prospect for the 2018 NHL Draft among North American skaters as listed by NHL Central Scouting.  He joined the Colts as the first overall pick in the 2017 CHL Import Draft and becomes the club’s fourth player to receive Rookie of the Year honours following Aaron Ekblad (2011-12), Bryan Little (2003-04), and Sheldon Keefe (1998-99). 

“We are really proud of Andrei for the season he had with our club,” said Colts General Manager Jason Ford. “He came into the lineup and made an immediate impact. We feel that the composure he showed on and off the ice, really excelled his game to this level, which ultimately earned himself this award. We could not be more proud of him for what he did this past year and we wish him the best of luck at the NHL Draft this June in Dallas.” 

Svechnikov was an OHL star from start to finish in 2017-18 beginning with a two-goal performance in his debut against the Ottawa 67’s on September 21, right through to season’s end where he carried the league’s longest point-streak at 23 games from January 18 through the final game of the regular season on March 17.  He recorded 24 multi-point games including a stretch of nine-straight in January and was named OHL Rookie of the Month four of the six times the award was announced.  The Russian National Junior Team member was also recognized in the annual Coaches Poll where he was voted Best Skater and second Best Shot in the Eastern Conference.  His 72 points are the most by a Colts rookie since Mark Scheifele produced 75 in 66 games back in 2010-11, while his 1.64 points-per-game mark is the best among OHL rookies since London Knights Patrick Kane and Sam Gagner posted 2.50 and 2.23 figures respectively in 2006-07. 

First presented in 1973, Emms Family Award recipients include Wayne Gretzky (Sault Ste. Marie 1977-78), Joe Thornton (Sault Ste. Marie 1995-96), Rick Nash (London 2000-01), John Tavares (Oshawa 2005-06), Taylor Hall (Windsor 2007-08), Connor McDavid (Erie 2012-13), Travis Konecny (Ottawa 2013-14), Alex DeBrincat (Erie 2014-15), Alexander Nylander (Mississauga 2015-16), and Ryan Merkley (Guelph 2016-17). 

The Emms Family Award was donated by Leighton “Hap” Emms, former owner of the Barrie, Niagara Falls, and St. Catharines OHL franchises.  The award is selected by all 20 member club General Managers.  Teams were asked to submit only one nominee from their own club for consideration on the ballot and were not permitted to vote for the player from their own hockey club.  Voting was conducted in two stages beginning with a Conference only vote followed by a Final ballot that included the top three candidates from the initial Conference phase.  Players received five points for a first vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote. 

Svechnikov earned 86 of a possible 95 voting points ahead of forward Cam Hillis of the Guelph Storm who finished second with 37 voting points and forward Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs who finished in third place with 31 voting points. 

The Emms Family Award will be formally presented to Svechnikov at the OHL’s annual Awards Ceremony at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Wednesday June 6.  He will be the OHL’s nominee for CHL Rookie of the Year to be announced at the Mastercard Memorial Cup on Saturday May 26 

Svechnikov was also announced to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team at right wing along with Hillis at centre and fellow NHL Draft eligible forward Blade Jenkins of the Saginaw Spirit at left wing.  Rasmus Sandin of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and Alec Regula of the London Knights comprise the First Team defence corps, with Mack Guzda of the Owen Sound Attack between-the-pipes.  Kaliyev was among the Second Team honourees voted behind Svechnikov at right wing and joined up front by first overall Priority Selection pick Ryan Suzuki of the Colts at centre, and Maxim Golod of the Erie Otters at left wing.  Oshawa Generals Mitchell Brewer and Nico Gross were both voted Second Team defenders, with the Knights’ Jordan Kooy in goal. 

The OHL All-Rookie Teams were also selected by the OHL’s General Managers.  Players were voted on initially by position within their conference receiving five points for a first place vote, three for a second place vote, and one for a third.  Top vote getters in each position made up the final ballot that was then circulated to all 20 teams. 

2017-18 OHL All-Rookie Teams (voting points in brackets): 

First Team:

Centre – Cam Hillis, Guelph Storm (68)

Left Wing – Blade Jenkins, Saginaw Spirit (84)

Right Wing – Andrei Svechnikov, Barrie Colts (95)

Defence – Rasmus Sandin, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (87)

Defence – Alec Regula, London Knights (57)

Goaltender – Mack Guzda, Owen Sound Attack (55) 

Second Team:

Centre – Ryan Suzuki, Barrie Colts (53)

Left Wing – Maxim Golod, Erie Otters (36)

Right Wing – Arthur Kaliyev, Hamilton Bulldogs (59)

Defence – Mitchell Brewer, Oshawa Generals (34)

Defence – Nico Gross, Oshawa Generals (32)

Goaltender – Jordan Kooy, London Knights (50)

 

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

 

Connor Corcoran – Windsor Spitfires – Player Profile

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 185 pounds

Date of birth: August 7, 2000

Hometown: Beeton, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 2, 21st overall, 2016 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting pre-season: C Prospect

NHL Central Scouting mid-term: 96th overall, North American Skaters

NHL Central Scouting final rank: Not available at present

Windsor Spitfires’ blueliner Connor Corcoran played his minor midget hockey during the 2015-2016 season with the Barrie Colts. In 32 games, Corcoran scored twice and added eight assists. But it was at the OHL Cup where he showed excellent offensive abilities when he scored two goals, along with three assists in four games.

The Spitfires used the first pick of the second round to select Corcoran and the 2016 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, making him the twenty-first overall pick.

OHL Central Scouting filed this report on Corcoran prior to the draft:

Connor has played both defense and forward for his team this season. He is a good skater with good mobility and puck skills which allow him to carry the puck from the back end and beat forecheckers. Connor is strong along the boards at both ends of the rink and uses his physical size to his advantage. Connor’s versatility will be a big asset for him moving forward in his hockey career. 

Corcoran made his OHL debut last season with the Spitfires. Appearing in 59 games, he scored 5 goals and added 5 assists. He also represented Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17, winning a silver medal with Canada Black.

Connor Cororan of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Connor Corcoran of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Corcoran began the season playing on the bottom pair, but as the Spitfires moved out some veteran defenders, his ice time climbed, and he played a key role on the blueline. He finished the season with 3 goals and 21 assists in 63 games and added another goal and 2 assists in 6 playoff games.  He finished seventh among draft eligible defencemen in scoring.

Corcoran is a two-way defender who is a very good skater with excellent straight-line speed and very good mobility. Defensively, he closes his gaps extremely well. His speed and mobility allow him to keep players wide. He has good size and doesn’t shy away from the physical game and plays the body well to separate the opposition from the puck.

Corcoran plays calm in his zone and does not buckle under pressure. He can beat the forecheck with his skating or make a good first pass out of the zone. He makes quick, decisive decisions and shows to have a high hockey IQ.

Offensively, Corcoran uses those same smarts. Having played forward previously, he knows how a forward thinks the game. He is very good at keeping possession and with a high ability to see the ice, uses strong passing abilities to set up teammates. He can get his shot through from the point and can shoot with a purpose.

Stat page of Connor Corcoran from Elite Prospects