OHL’s Draft Eligible Statistical Leaders – September 2018

We are two weeks into the Ontario Hockey League season and so begins our watch of the league’s players eligible for the 2019 National Hockey League Draft that comes your way on June 21 and 22, 2019 from Vancouver British Columbia.

Stats

Our draft watch begins with the league’s statistical leaders as of September 30, 2018 and has always been the case at OHL Writers, we list players eligible for the NHL Draft for the first time – those passed over in previous years are not included.

Despite being a handful of games into the season, Ryan Suzuki of the Barrie Colts and Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs are beginning to show why they are considered the top two prospects from the OHL in most circles.

Nothing is decided in September of course. But it all starts here and we’ll strive to keep tabs on the prospects for your pleasure throughout the season.

Here are the OHL leaders in a variety of statistical categories:

Points Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Ryan Suzuki Barrie Colts 4 4 7 11
Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton Bulldogs 4 6 4 10
Keean Washkurak Mississauga Steelheads 4 2 5 7
Connor McMichael London Knights 3 4 1 5
Tyler Angle Windsor Spitfires 4 2 3 5
Danil Antropov Oshawa Generals 4 2 3 5
Nicholas Porco Saginaw Spirit 4 3 1 4
Matvey Guskov London Knights 3 1 3 4
Thomas Harley Mississauga Steelheads 4 0 4 4
Philip Tomasino Niagara Ice Dogs 4 0 4 4
Goal Scoring Leaders
Player Team GP G GPG
Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton Bulldogs 4 6 1.50
Ryan Suzuki Barrie Colts 4 4 1.00
Connor McMichael London Knights 3 4 1.33
Nicholas Porco Saginaw Spirit 4 3 0.75
Keean Washkurak Mississauga Steelheads 4 2 0.50
Tyler Angle Windsor Spitfires 4 2 0.50
Danil Antropov Oshawa Generals 4 2 0.50
Emmett Sproule Erie Otters 3 2 0.67
Cole MacKay Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 4 2 0.50
Graeme Clarke Ottawa 67’s 5 2 0.40
Assist Leaders
Player Team GP A APG
Ryan Suzuki Barrie Colts 4 7 1.75
Keean Washkurak Mississauga Steelheads 4 5 1.25
Thomas Harley Mississauga Steelheads 4 4 1.00
Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton Bulldogs 4 4 1.00
Philip Tomasino Niagara Ice Dogs 4 4 1.00
Matvey Guskov London Knights 3 3 1.00
Tyler Angle Windsor Spitfires 4 3 0.75
Danil Antropov Oshawa Generals 4 3 0.75
Simon Rose North Bay Battalion 5 3 0.60
Jordan Frasca Windsor Spitfires 2 2 1.00
Defencemen Point Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Thomas Harley Mississauga Steelheads 4 0 4 4
Billy Constantinou Niagara Ice Dogs 4 1 2 3
Nathan Staios Windsor Spitfires 4 1 2 3
Lucas Peric Ottawa 67’s 5 1 2 3
Simon Rose North Bay Battalion 5 0 3 3
Mason Millman Saginaw Spirit 4 1 1 2
Liam Ross Sudbury Wolves 5 1 1 2
Jack York Kitchener Rangers 3 0 2 2
Plus/Minus Leaders
Player Team GP +/-
Ryan Suzuki Barrie Colts 4 +8
Philip Tomasino Niagara Ice Dogs 4 +6
Jack York Kitchener Rangers 3 +5
Nathan Staios Windsor Spitfires 4 +5
Matvey Guskov London Knights 3 +4
Jamieson Rees Sarnia Sting 3 +4
Michael Vukojevic Kitchener Rangers 3 +4
Tyler Angle Windsor Spitfires 4 +4
Connor McMichael London Knights 3 +3
Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton Bulldogs 4 +3
Penalty Minutes Leaders
Player Team GP PIM M/G
Evan Brand Kingston Frontenacs 5 9 1.80
Mathew Hill Barrie Colts 4 6 1.50
Nathan Staios Windsor Spitfires 4 6 1.50
Kurtis Evans North Bay Battalion 3 5 1.67
Tag Bertuzzi Guelph Storm 4 4 1.00
Robert Calisti Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 4 4 1.00
Cole MacKay Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds 4 4 1.00
Faceoff Leaders  
Player Team GP FOA FOW %
Erik Cermak Peterborough Petes 4 20 14 70.0
Peter Fleming Barrie Colts 3 19 12 63.2
Tim Fleischer Hamilton Bulldogs 4 13 8 61.5
Connor McMichael London Knights 3 22 13 59.1
Blake Murray Sudbury Wolves 5 82 47 57.3
Griffin Wilson Owen Sound Attack 4 20 10 50.0
Longest Goal Scoring Streak
Player Team From To Gms Goals
Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton Bulldogs 9/21 4 6
Connor McMichael London Knights 9/21 3 4
Nicholas Porco Saginaw Spirit 9/21 3 3
Ryan Suzuki Barrie Colts 9/23 2 3
Tyler Angle Windsor Spitfires 9/21 9/27 2 2
Longest Assist Streak
Player Team From To Gms Assts
Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton Bulldogs 9/21 9/29 3 4
Ryan Suzuki Barrie Colts 9/20 9/27 3 7
Keean Washkurak Mississauga Steelheads 9/23 9/30 3 5
Danil Antropov Oshawa Generals 9/27 9/30 3 3
Thomas Harley Mississauga Steelheads 9/21 9/23 2 4
Longest Point Streak
Player Team From To Gms Pts
Ryan Suzuki Barrie Colts 9/19 4 11
Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton Bulldogs 9/21 4 10
Nicholas Porco Saginaw Spirit 9/22 4 5
Keean Washkurak Mississauga Steelheads 9/23 3 7
Connor McMichael London Knights 9/21 3 5
Shots On Goal Leaders
Player Team GP SOG
Arthur Kaliyev Hamilton Bulldogs 4 18
Connor McMichael London Knights 3 14
Billy Constantinou Niagara Ice Dogs 4 12
Jamieson Rees Sarnia Sting 3 11
Tyler Angle Windsor Spitfires 4 11
Goaltenders Leaders – Goals Against Average
Player Team GP Min GA Avg
Ryan Dugas Kingston Frontenacs 1 60 0 0.00
Ethan Langevin Sarnia Sting 2 81 1 0.74
Kari Piiroinen Windsor Spitfires 3 142 6 2.54
Hunter Jones Peterborough Petes 4 220 11 3.00
Mack Guzda Owen Sound Attack 5 293 20 4.10
Goaltending Leaders – Save Percentage
Player Team GP SH  SVS SV%
Ryan Dugas Kingston Frontenacs 1 27 27 1.000
Ethan Langevin Sarnia Sting 2 35 34 0.971
Kari Piiroinen Windsor Spitfires 3 78 72 0.923
Hunter Jones Peterborough Petes 4 126 115 0.913
Mack Guzda Owen Sound Attack 5 147 127 0.864
Goaltending Leaders – Wins
Player Team GP W L SOL
Hunter Jones Peterborough Petes 5 3 1 1
Kari Piiroinen Windsor Spitfires 3 2 1 0
Mack Guzda Owen Sound Attack 5 2 3 1
Ryan Dugas Kingston Frontenacs 1 1 0 1
Nico Daws Guelph Storm 1 1 0 0
Goaltending Leaders – Shutouts
Player Team GP SO
Ryan Dugas Kingston Frontenacs 1 1
Hunter Jones Peterborough Petes 3 1
Mack Guzda Owen Sound Attack 5 1
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Kaliyev, Robertson Selected to Participate at The All America Prospects Game

Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs and Nick Robertson of the Peterborough Petes, both of whom represented Team USA at the recently completed Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, will take part at the All American Prospects Game as a precursor to the 2019 National Hockey League Draft.

Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
Arthur Kaliyev of the Hamilton Bulldogs Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

For those unfamiliar with the event, it is America’s version of the CHL Top Prospects Game, held each season and involves only players eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft. This years AAPG takes place on September 19, 2018 at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota. The CHL Top Prospects Game will take place on January 23, 2019 in Red Deer Alberta. Kaliyev and Robertson will also be eligible for the CHL Game.

Here are the players that will be competing at the American event:

Name HT (CM) WT (KG) Birthdate S/C Hometown 2018-19 Team College Commitment
Spencer Knight 6-3 (191) 194 (88) 4/19/2001 L Darien, Conn. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Boston College (HEA)
Cameron Rowe 6-1 (185) 185 (84) 6/1/2001 L Wilmette, Ill. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) University of Nebraska-Omaha (NCHC)
Isaiah Saville 6-1 (185) 181 (82) 9/21/2000 R Anchorage, Alaska Minnesota Magicians (NAHL) University of Nebraska-Omaha (NCHC)
Dustin Wolf 6-0 (183) 150 (68) 4/16/2001 L Tustin, Calif. Everett Silvertips (WHL)

Defensemen (14)

Name HT (CM) WT (KG) Birthdate S/C Hometown 2018-19 Team College Commitment
Ben Brinkman 6-1 (185) 181 (82) 10/4/2000 L Edina, Minn. University of Minnesota (Big Ten)
Braden Doyle 5-10 (178) 165 (75) 8/24/2001 L Lynnfield, Mass. Lawrence Academy (USHS) Boston University (HEA)
Ethan Frisch 5-11 (180) 174 (79) 10/29/2000 R Moorhead, Minn. Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) University of North Dakota (NCHC)
Drew Helleson 6-2 (188) 168 (76) 3/26/2001 R Farmington, Minn. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Boston College (HEA)
Michael Koster 5-10 (178) 170 (77) 4/13/2001 L Chaska, Minn. Tri-City Storm (USHL)/Chaska High (USHS) University of Minnesota (Big Ten)
Zac Jones 5-9 (175) 161 (73) 10/18/2000 L Glen Allen, Va. Tri-City Storm (USHL) University of Massachusetts Amherst (HEA)
Case McCarthy 6-1 (185) 194 (88) 1/9/2001 R Clarence, N.Y. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Boston University (HEA)
John Prokop 6-1 (185) 165 (75) 5/13/2001 L Wausau, Wis. Omaha Lancers (USHL) Uncommitted
Jayden Struble 5-11 (180) 170 (77) 8/9/2001 L Cumberland, R.I. St. Sebastian’s School (USHS) Northeastern University (HEA)
Henry Thrun 6-1 (185) 183 (83) 3/12/2001 L Southborough, Mass. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Harvard University (ECAC Hockey)
Alex Vlasic 6-5 (196) 190 (86) 6/5/2001 L Wilmette, Ill. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Boston University (HEA)
Marshall Warren 5-11 (180) 161 (73) 4/20/2001 L Laurel Hollow, N.Y. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Harvard University (ECAC Hockey)
Cade Webber 6-5 (195) 194 (88) 1/5/2001 L Meadville, Pa. The Rivers School (USHS) Boston University (HEA)
Cam York 5-11 (180) 165 (75) 1/5/2001 L Anaheim Hills, Calif. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Boston College (HEA)

Forwards (24)

Name HT (CM) WT (KG) Birthdate S/C Hometown 2018-19 Team College Commitment
John Beecher 6-2 (188) 201 (91) 04/05/2001 L Elmira, N.Y. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) University of Michigan (Big Ten)
Kaden Bohlsen 6-1 (185) 165 (75) 01/10/2001 R Willmar, Minn. Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) University of Minnesota (Big Ten)
Matt Boldy 6-0 (183) 174 (79) 04/05/2001 L Millis, Mass. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Boston College (HEA)
Cole Caufield 5-6 (168) 154 (70) 01/02/2001 R Stevens Point, Wis. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) University of Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Judd Caulfield 6-2 (188) 198 (90) 3/19/2001 R Grand Forks, N.D. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) University of North Dakota (NCHC)
Ryder Donovan 6-4 (193) 185 (84) 10/04/2000 R Duluth, Minn. Duluth East High (USHS) University of North Dakota (NCHC)
Ryan Drkulec 6-4 (193) 172 (78) 9/22/2000 L Frisco, Texas Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) Uncommitted
John Farinacci 6-0 (183) 181 (82) 2/14/2001 R Chatham, N.J. Dexter School (USHS)/Muskegon (USHL) Harvard University (ECAC Hockey)
Michael Gildon 6-0 (183) 183 (83) 6/21/2001 L Plano, Texas U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Ohio State University (Big Ten)
Jack Hughes 5-10 (178) 166 (75) 5/14/2001 L Orlando, Fla. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Uncommitted
Aaron Huglen 5-11 (180) 163 (74) 3/6/2001 R Roseau, Minn. Roseau High (USHS) University of Minnesota (Big Ten)
Trevor Janicke 5-10 (178) 185 (84) 12/25/2000 R Maple Grove, Minn. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) University of Notre Dame (Big Ten)
Arthur Kaliyev 6-2 (188) 190 (86) 6/26/2001 L Delray Beach, Fla. Hamiton Bulldogs (OHL)
Owen Lindmark 6-0 (183) 170 (77) 5/17/2001 R Naperville, Ill. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) University of Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Robert Mastrosimone 5-10 (178) 170 (77) 1/24/2001 L East Islip, N.Y. Chicago Steel (USHL) Boston University (HEA)
Garrett Pinoniemi 5-10 (178) 141 (64) 06/15/2001 L Mound, Minn. Holy Family Catholic (USHS) St. Cloud State University (NCHC)
Shane Pinto 6-2 (188) 185 (84) 11/12/2000 R Franklin Square, N.Y. Lincoln Stars (USHL) University of North Dakota (NCHC)
Nick Robertson 5-9 (175) 161 (73) 9/11/2001 L Northville, Mich. Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Grant Silianoff 5-11 (180) 170 (77) 1/4/2001 L Edina, Minn. Cedar Rapids RoughRiders (USHL) University of Notre Dame (Big Ten)
Austen Swankler 5-11 (180) 157 (71) 8/21/2001 L Irwin, Pa. Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) University of Michigan (Big Ten)
Luke Toporowski 5-10 (178) 174 (79) 4/12/2001 L Bettendorf, Iowa Spokane Chiefs (WHL)
Alex Turcotte 5-11 (180) 194 (88) 2/26/2001 L Island Lake, Ill. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) University of Wisconsin (Big Ten)
Danny Weight 5-11 (180) 187 (85) 5/1/2001 L Lattingtown, N.Y. U.S. National Under-18 Team (USHL) Boston College (HEA)
Trevor Zegras 5-11 (180) 159 (72) 3/20/2001 L Bedford, N.Y. U.S. National Undre-18 Team (USHL) Boston University (HEA)

Switzerland Names Roster for Hlinka-Gretzky Cup

Swiss FlagIntriguing roster for the Swiss Team at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup with a mix of smaller players and those with decent size. The Swiss defence is the most balanced of any team in the tournament – when it comes to left and right shooting blueliners. But it’s a different story when it comes to the forwards. Of the twelve forwards on the roster, only one shoots from the right hip and that is Aron Welter.

There are no Ontario Hockey League players on the club. Dean Schwenninger of the Western Hockey League is the only Canadian Hockey League player to make the squad.  Cédric Fiedler has both Swiss and American citizenship.

Player POS HT WT DOB S/C League
Thibault Fatton G 5’11 143 11/17/01 L Elite Jr A
Sascha Ruppelt G 5’10 146 1/27/01 L Elite Novizen
Inaki Baragano D 5’10 163 9/4/01 R Elite Jr A
Noah Delémont D 5’9 161 2/7/02 L Elite Jr A
Cédric Fiedler D 6’2 187 4/20/01 L Elite Jr A
Finn Fuchs D 6’2 165 11/26/01 L Elite Jr A
Sascha Huber D 6’1 181 11/30/01 L Elite Jr B
Silvan Landolt D 6’1 170 7/18/01 R Elite Jr B
Maxime Schweizer D 6’2 174 10/29/01 R Elite Jr A
Alessandro Villa D 6’1 172 1/23/01 R Elite Jr A
Johan Andersson F 6’1 187 4/12/01 L Elite Jr A
Sebastian Bardh F 5’11 185 5/11/01 L Elite Jr A
Karim Bouchareb F 5’10 181 10/23/01 L Elite Jr B
Ronny Dähler F 5’10 165 2/28/01 L Elite Jr A
Nicolas Hasler F 5’9 165 5/25/01 L Elite Jr A
Simon Knak F 6’ 181 1/27/02 L Elite Jr A
Lionel Marchand F 6’2 194 9/23/01 L Elite Jr A
Lionel Marchand F 5’10 150 2/20/02 L Elite Jr A
Elvis Schläpfer F 5’11 176 3/13/01 L Elite Jr A
Dean Schwenninger F 5’8 148 3/5/01 L WHL
Yves Stoffel F 6’ 172 3/5/01 L Elite Jr A
Aron Welter F 5’10 172 4/16/01 R Elite Jr A

Canada Names Roster for Hlinka-Gretzky Cup

Canada FlagTeam Canada announced its roster for the 2018 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, which begins august 6, 2018 in Edmonton and Red Deer, and of the 22 players named to the roster, just four hail from the Ontario Hockey League.

Michael Vukojevic (Kitchener Rangers), Graeme Clarke (Ottawa 67’s), Jamieson Rees (Sarnia Sting) and Ryan Suzuki (Barrie Colts) are your OHL’ers on Team Canada.

PLAYER POS HT WT DOB S/C LEAGUE
Taylor Gauthier G 6’1 188 2/15/01 R WHL
Nolan Maier G 6’ 168 1/10/01 L QMJHL
Justin Barron D 6’2 186 11/15/01 R QMJHL
Matthew Robertson D 6’3 195 3/9/01 L WHL
Bowen Byram D 6’1 176 6/13/01 L WHL
Michael Vukojevic D 6’3 212 6/8/01 L OHL
Kaedan Korczak D 6’3 170 1/29/01 R WHL
Braden Schneider D 6’2 197 9/20/01 R WHL
Maxence Guenette D 6’1 171 4/28/01 R QMJHL
Graeme Clarke F 6’ 175 4/24/01 R OHL
Jamieson Rees F 5’10 161 2/26/01 L OHL
Alexis Lafreniere F 6’1 184 10/11/01 L QMJHL
Jakob Pelletier F 5’9 158 3/3/01 L QMJHL
Sasha Mutala F 6’1 187 5/6/01 R WHL
Josh Williams F 6’1 185 3/8/01 R WHL
Ryan Suzuki F 6’ 171 5/28/01 L OHL
Kirby Dach F 6’3 181 1/21/01 R WHL
Peyton Krebs F 5’11 162 1/26/01 L WHL
Samuel Poulin F 6’1 208 2/25/01 L QMJHL
Dylan Holloway F 6’ 190 9/23/01 L AJHL
Dylan Cozens F 6’3 177 2/9/01 R WHL
Xavier Parent F 5’8 165 3/23/01 L QMJHL

Finland Announces Roster for Hlinka-Gretzky Cup

Finland FlagFinland has released its roster for the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup set to begin August 6, 2018 in Edmonton and Red Deer and we find Windsor Spitfires prospect and goaltender Kari Piiroinen as the sole Ontario Hockey League player to make the Finnish roster.

The Finnish team is one of the smaller teams, but they are skilled and they are quick. For draft junkies, if you are planning and watching the tournament, keep an eye on Anton Lundell and Mikko Kokkonen. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

NAME POS HT WT DOB S/C LEAGUE
Roope Taponen G 5’10 152 3/14/01 L Jr SM Liiga
Kari Piiroinen G 6’ 161 7/1/01 L OHL
Mikko Kokkonen D 5’11 190 1/18/01 L Liiga
Kalle Loponen D 5’11 185 3/13/01 R Jr SM Liiga
Iivari Räsänen D 6’ 196 5/23/01 L Jr SM Liiga
Aapo Holtinkoski D 6’ 165 2/8/01 L Jr SM Liiga
Samu Koskenkorva D 5’9 172 5/11/01 L Jr SM Liiga
Ville Heinola D 5’11 174 3/2/01 L Liiga
Christoffer Sedoff D 5’11 159 2/20/02 L Jr SM Liiga
Leevi Aaltonen F 5’9 154 1/24/01 L Liiga
Henri Nikkanen F 6’2 185 4/28/01 L Liiga
Antti Saarela F 5’10 176 6/27/01 L Liiga
Mikko Petman F 6’ 198 5/13/01 R Jr SM Liiga
Veeti Miettinen F 5’8 152 9/20/01 L Jr SM Liiga
Anton Lundell F 6’ 165 10/3/01 L Liiga
Aku Raty F 6’ 165 7/5/01 R Jr SM Liiga
Kasper Simontaival F 5’8 179 1/11/02 R Jr SM Liiga
Arttu Tuomaala F 5’10 168 11/10/01 L Jr SM Liiga
Rasmus Lahnaviik F 5’11 179 8/17/01 R Jr SM Liiga
Aarne Intonen F 6’2 190   L USHL
Patrik Puistola F 6’3 198   L USHL
Juuso Parssinen F 5’6 159   L Jr SM Liiga

Russia Announces Roster for Hlinka-Gretzky Cup

Russia Flag

Just like the Swedes, the Russian squad named for the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, which begins August 6, 2018 in Edmonton and Red Deer, is lacking in Ontario Hockey League players.

However, the Canadian Hockey League is represented by Nikita Sedov of the Western Hockey League and Yaroslav Likhachyov of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

PLAYER POS HT WT DOB S/C LEAGUE
Yaroslav Askarov G 6’2 157 6/16/02 R MHL
Vladimir Sartakov G 5’11 165 9/2/01 L MHL
Nikolai Burenov D 5’10 159 5/13/01 L MHL
Roman Bychkov D 5’11 161 2/10/01 L MHL
Roman Bychkov D 5’10 163 8/7/01 L MHL
Roman Bychkov D 5’11 176 1/4/01 L MHL
Ilya Mironov D 6’3 198 3/15/01 L MHL
Nikita Sedov D 6’1 192 5/5/01 L WHL
Dmitri Tyuvilin D 5’11 170 1/19/01 L MHL
Nikita Vashchenko D 6’1 190 3/11/01 L MHL
Mikhail Abramov F 5’10 152 3/26/01 L MHL
Sergei Alkhimov F 6’1 194 7/3/01 L MHL
Rodion Amirov F 5’11 161 10/2/01 L MHL
Yegor Chinakhov F     2/1/01   MHL
Arseni Gritsyuk F     3/15/01   MHL
Daniil Gushchin F 5’8 154 2/6/02 L MHL
Daniil Gutik F 6’3 179 8/31/01 R MHL
Yaroslav Likhachyov F 5’11 168 9/2/01 R QMJHL
Ilya Nikolayev F 6’ 190 6/26/01 L MHL
Vasili Podkolzin F 5’11 165 6/24/01 L MHL
Yegor Spiridonov F 6’2 192 1/22/01 R MHL
Oleg Zaitsev F 6’1 185 1/7/01 L MHL

Sweden Announces Roster for Hlinka-Gretzky Cup

Sweden FlagThere are no Ontario Hockey League players on the Swedish entry at the 2018 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup – after all this is an OHL blog and our primary objective is those players.

But if you are a draft junkie then the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup is when it all begins for players hoping to be selected at the 2019 National Hockey League Draft. TSN will carry every game beginning August 6, 2018 and streaming all games live as well in Canada while the NHL Network will televise the games in the United States.

Sweden has an interesting team, bring along three players that won’t be eligible for the NHL Draft until 2020, including goaltender Jesper Wallstedt. Sweden does have four goaltenders listed on their roster, so one of them might just be staying home.

They also have a couple of behemoth forwards in Jacob Grönhagen and Elmer Söderblom who both stand at 6’6” and 209 and 214 pounds respectively. Their defence is intriguing to say the least and we’re curious to see twin brothers Joel and Max Wahlgren.

Name POS HT WT DOB S/C LEAGUE
Hugo Alnefet G 6’3 194 6/4/01 L SuperElit
Marcus Nygren G 5’11 165 1/12/01 L SuperElit
Jesper Wallstedt G 6’3 205 11/24/02 L SuperElit
Matteus Ward G 6’1 168 7/3/01 L SuperElit
Tobias Björnfot D 6’ 187 4/6/01 L SuperElit
Philip Broberg D 6’3 198 6/25/01 L SuperElit
Isak Forsman D 6’ 196 1/2/01 R SuperElit
Ludvig Hedström D 5’11 163 4/14/01 L Jr 18 Elit
Albert Johansson D 5’9 152 1/4/01 L Jr 18 Elit
Alexander Lundqvist D 6’2 183 2/11/01 L Jr 18 Elit
Victor Söderström D 5’11 176 2/26/01 R SuperElit
Isac Andersson F 5’11 190 6/21/01 L SuperElit
Oscar Bjerselius F 5’11 175 2/18/01 L SuperElit
Arvid Costmar F 5’11 181 6/7/01 R
Albin Grewe F 6’ 176 3/22/01 L SuperElit
Jacob Grönhagen F 6’6 209 1/18/01 L SuperElit
Karl Henriksson F 5’9 165 2/5/01 L SuperElit
Alexander Holtz F 6’ 183 1/23/02 R Jr 18 Elit
Lucas Raymond F 5’10 165 3/28/02 R Jr 18 Elit
Carl Sjöberg F 6’1 183 6/2/01 L
Elmer Söderblom F 6’6 214 7/5/01 L SuperElit
Joel Wahlgren F 6’ 161 5/9/01 L
Max Wahlgren F 6’ 163 5/9/01 L
Filiph Åström F 5’11 176 4/8/01 L SuperElit

Here is the Swedish roster:

Czech’s Announce Roster for Hlinka-Gretzky Cup

Czech FlagToday, the Czech Republic announced its squad that will take part at the 2018 Hlinka Memorial Cup set to begin August 6th, 2018. The roster includes Peterborough Petes’ Erik Cermak of the Ontario Hockey League.

The Hlinka-Gretzky Cup is the premier tournament, and the only under-18 gathering, that features the best-on-best. Scouts flock to the tournament to get the first look at National Hockey League draft eligible players as they enter the 2018-2019 season.

Here is a look at the Czech roster:

Name POS HT WT DOB S/C League
Nick Malik G 6’ 161 4/26/02 L Czech2
Jan Skorpik G 6’1 154 2/24/01 L Czech U-20
Martin Hugo-Has D 6’4 187 2/2/01 R Jr SM-Liiga
David Homola D 5’11 180 10/4/01 L Czech U-20
Simon Kubicek D 6’2 179 12/19/01 R Czech U-20
Jan Mlcak D 5’11 176 8/22/01 L Czech 2
Daniel Poizl D 5’10 165 3/24/01 L Czech 2
Jiri Suhrada D 6’1 179 4/27/01 L Czech U-18
David Turecek D 6’4 194 4/13/01 R Czech U-18
Jakub Zurek F 6’2 188 9/12/01 L Czech U-20
Marcel Barinka F 5’11 154 3/21/01 R Czech U-18
Martin Beranek F 6’ 165 4/14/01 L Czech 2
Erik Cermak F 5’10 143 3/2/01 L OHL
Filip Koffer F 5’9 169 4/3/21 L Czech U-20
Martin Lang F 5’10 165 9/15/01 R WHL
Radek Muzik F 6’ 170 3/25/01 L SuperElit
Adam Najman F 5’10 165 1/7/01 L Czech U-20
Pavel Novak F 5’10 168 4/16/02 R Czech U-20
Jonas Peterek F 6’2 177 2/19/01 R Czech U-20
Filip Prikryl F 6’1 163 4/2/01 L Czech
Jaromir Pytlik F 6’2 192 9/25/01 R Czech
Adam Raska F 5’10 163 9/25/01 L Czech 2
Michal Teply F 6’3 176 5/25/01 R Czech
Matej Toman F 5’10 168 1/15/01 L Czech 2

 

Team USA Makes A Change To Hlinka – Gretzky Cup Roster

USA Hockey has made a change to it’s roster for the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup set to take place August 6, 2018.

In a statement today, USA Hockey has made the following change:

Defenseman Max Gildon (Plano, Texas/University of New Hampshire), who helped the U.S. claim the gold medal at the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Under-18 Men’s World Championship in Poprad and Spisska Nova Ves, Slovakia, will join the U.S. roster at the 2018 World Junior Summer Showcase. A participant a year ago at the 2017 World Junior Summer Showcase, Gildon will skate on the USA Blue roster in place of defenseman K’Andre Miller (Minnetonka, Minn./U.S. National Under-18 Team), who is unable to attend camp due to illness.

Should the NHL Raise Its Draft Age?

The year was 1972. The World Hockey Association emerged to challenge the National Hockey League for hockey supremacy. The WHA immediately began pillaging players from the NHL – 67 in that first summer.

At one point in the 1970’s, the two rival leagues combined for 32 teams, one more then the NHL has today. The WHA looked overseas and began signing players from Europe. Still, there was a shortage of players, or for lack of a better term, quality players.

Fast forward to 1977. It was a young Ken Linesman of the Kingston Canadians who was prepared to challenge the NHL and WHA Draft age (twenty at the time) in court.

The Birmingham Bulls had selected Linesman at that 1977 WHA Draft. The WHA immediately deemed Linesman ineligible because he was 19 years of age. Linesman filed and was granted an injunction against the WHA.

The Birmingham Bulls signed him to a contract and the rest is history. Linesman recorded 76 points during his rookie season and the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers bought his rights from the Bulls and selected him in the first round of the 1978 NHL Draft.

While the NHL’s draft age remained at twenty, the WHA began signing young players such as Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Mike Gartner, Michel Goulet and others.

The NHL and WHA were in merger negotiations for some time, and in 1979 it came to fruition as the NHL absorbed the Winnipeg Jets, New England Whalers, Edmonton Oilers and Quebec Nordiques. It was at that time the NHL lowered its draft age to eighteen.

That 1979 is widely considered the best draft class of all time. It was the lowering of that draft age that basically combined three drafts into one: 20-year-old players, and for the first time nineteen and eighteen-year-old players. If not for that drop in age, players such as Ray Bourque, Glenn Anderson along with Messier, Gartner and Goulet would not have been eligible. Oh, and Gretzky, who the Oilers were allowed to keep in the merger agreement, would not have been eligible for league play.

So, onto the question at hand.

Many believe that, with a few exceptions each year, predicting what an 18-year-old will become at the NHL level is near an impossible task and that raising the draft age to 19 or 20 will give teams a better perspective on the players they draft.

At the 1978 draft, the last draft featuring only 20-year-old players, all but three of the eighteen players selected in the first round went on to play 519 or more NHL games. Compare that to 1980 where just 10 of 21 picks played in 519 games or more. From the 1981 draft, 14 of 21 first round picks played beyond the 519-game mark.

The 2003 draft was widely considered an excellent draft. There, 23 of 30 went on to play 519 or more games. In 2004, 11 of the 30 first-round picks reached the 519-game mark.

This chart breaks down the percentage of first-round picks from these specific drafts to play in 519 or more games:

Year 1978 1979 1980 2003 2004 2008
Percentage 83.3% 85.7% 47.6% 76.7% 36.7% 46.7%

 

Is there something else besides age effecting the success rate?

Country/Year 1978 1979 1980 2003 2004 2008
Canada 170 (72.6%) 111 (88.1%) 164 (78.1%) 126 (43.2%) 127(43.6%) 142 (62%)
United States 47 (20.1%) 9 (0.1%) 33 (15.7%) 62 (21.2%) 65 (22.3%) 42 (18.3%)
Europe 17 (0.1%) 6 (0.1%) 13 (0.1%) 104 (35.6%) 99 (34%) 45 (19.7%)
Total 234 126 210 292 291 229

 

What we’re seeing is a greater number of Europeans while the Canadian numbers have dropped. And we’re seeing a rise in the number of Americans as well and they will continue to rise as the game continues to gain popularity. Bare with me here because I am not suggesting it has anything to do with the drop in Canadians – far from it.

It’s a bigger world out there for scouts. While teams have increased their scouting staffs over the years, can one say definitively that they are getting enough looks at the players? Is a tournament here and a few games there enough? How much is enough?

Allow me to use Sean Durzi as an example. During the 2016-2017 season, I saw him play at least 20 times as well as prior to his draft year. I felt he should have been, and ranked him, 32nd among OHL players for the 2017 NHL Draft, which would have put him in the 180 range overall. But Durzi wasn’t selected at the 2017 Draft. One year later in Dallas, the Toronto Maples Leafs would have to use a second-round pick, 52nd overall to select him.

Is it that the Leafs hadn’t seen enough of him during the 2016-2017 season to make a fair assessment, or is it that Durzi hadn’t developed enough as an 18-year-old to make an adequate assessment? We’ll never know the answer to that, but it’s reasonable to assume that, with all the “misses” happening in drafts, that an extra year of observation should eliminate some of them.

But with the change, a legal battle is almost surely to happen as there is bound to be another Linesman out there somewhere, someday, that will bring the matter before the courts.

But the NHL’s biggest battle will be with the NHLPA not the courts. In 2004 Maurice Clarett challenged the NFL’s draft rules in court and won, but that decision was later overturned in Appeals Court. That’s because when there is a negotiated deal between the owners and the unions the non-statutory labor exemption deems that labor law trumps all else. This comes down to the NHL needing the NHLPA to agree.

However, the NHLPA has made it clear that it is opposed to raising the draft age to 19. Some argue the NHLPA doesn’t have the right to negotiate terms for players that are not yet part of the Union. They do. The NHLPA has for years negotiated on behalf of players not yet in the Union in the form of earning limits on Entry Level Contracts.

The legal battle and NHLPA battle aside, where do you stand on the draft age?