Ruben Rafkin – Windsor Spitfires – Player Profile

Height: 6’

Weight: 190 Pounds

Date of birth: January 8, 2002

Hometown: Turku, Finland

Position: Defence

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 14th overall, 2019 CHL Import Draft

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season November Mid-term Final
C Prospect C Prospect 72 N.A.

We may as well get this tweet by Ruben Rafkin this morning out of the way first:

 

Rafkin signed a two-year deal to play professional hockey with his hometown team TPS in the Finnish Elite League (Liiga as it is known in Finland). The move follows teammate and goaltender Kari Piiroinen’s decision to leave the Spitfires and play for Tappara in their native Finland.

How does this affect Rafkin for the 2020 National Hockey League Draft? Well, there are two trains of thought here. One, you have to like the fact that he will be playing against men in a very good league for the next two years as opposed to Major Junior. Two, there is always some concern that players who sign European contracts at this stage may not always be willing to jump over to the NHL.

Ruben Rafkin of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Ruben Rafkin of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images

Also coming into question is whether Rafkin will be considered drafted from the CHL or from a European League. The importance of that is this: Players drafted out of the CHL are not eligible to play in the AHL unless they are 20 years of age. Hence, it’s the CHL or NHL for them, whereas players drafted out of Europe are eligible for the AHL at any age after the draft. This is important should Rafkin have an out-clause to come back to North America at any time under this contract.

Think back to 2012 when Spitfires’ Alexander Khokhlachev returned home to Russia to play in the KHL. Half way through the season, he wanted to return to North America, but there were only two options available to him because he was drafted out of the OHL: return to the Spitfires or play in the NHL with the Boston Bruins. The latter had virtually no chance of happening, so his only option was the OHL.

Jim Parker of the Windsor Star has this quote from Rafkin:

“I just finished four years of high school in the States and I am ready for (the) men’s game,” the 18-year-old Rafkin said. “Also, (it’s) to be closer to see my little brother (eight-year-old Rafael) grow up and it has always been a dream to play pro in my hometown. I have nothing bad to say about Windsor.”

Rafkin played his Midget hockey in the United States. He put on the blades for the Selects Hockey Academy Under-16 squad during the 2017-2018 season and in 47 games scored 10 goals and assisted on 34. During the season, Rafkin received a tender to play for the Tri-City Storm of the United States Hockey League for the 2018-2019 season, which he signed. Rafkin had previously committed to play for the University of Denver for 2019-2020.

Rafkin would play in 38 games for the Storm and score 2 goals and 8 helpers while racking up 90 minutes in penalties.

This season, Rafkin decided to forego his NCAA career and opted to sign with the Spitfires after they selected him 14th overall at the 2019 CHL Import Draft. He appeared in 59 games with the Spitfires scoring 4 goals and assisting on 27.

Rafkin is not a typical Finn that is about skating, passing and scoring goals. He’s a physical defender who, while at 6 feet tall, plays even bigger. In fact, he relishes that type of game and the more physical the game, the better he is. And he’ll be the first player to come to the aid of a teammate.

But he’s not just a physical player as he possesses some intriguing skills. Rafkin is a very smooth skater with excellent agility. He’s not a burner but he’s not slow. He uses his edges very well and he’s quick enough to step up on opponents and deliver a check. He’s strong along the walls, but needs to work on his net front coverage both in terms of positioning and strength.

Rafkin also has some very good vision, and when combined with the superb passing abilities he has, he is a threat at creating offense. He has the ability to quarterback the powerplay with those skills, but we didn’t always see those opportunities granted to him in Windsor.

Rafkin’s defensive abilities suggest he will be an NHL player. And playing against men for two years will further develop those skills. The only real question is whether his offence can improve and how much it translates to the NHL. That’s the million-dollar question for NHL Scouts. And how high do you draft a defensive defenceman.

I’m not suggesting Rafkin is just a defensive defenceman, that’s his strength right now. I’m just not sure how much offence he has for the NHL.

But the risk/reward may just be worth an extra thought.

Jack Thompson – Sudbury Wolves – Player Profile

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 180 Pounds

Date of birth: March 19, 2002

Hometown: Courtice, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 2, 30th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season November Mid-term Final
B Prospect B Prospect 67 N.A.

When it comes to the 2020 National Hockey League Draft, the general consensus is that Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters) will be the first blueliner selected when we finally have a draft. Ryan O’Rourke (Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds) is considered a very early second rounder with a chance to move into the first round.

Then there’s the next group that includes Donovan Sebrango and Ville Ottavainen (Kitchener Rangers), Ruben Rafkin (Windsor Spitfires), Kirill Steklov (London Knights), Isaak Phillips (Sudbury Wolves) and today’s profile, Phillips teammate Jack Thompson.

Pull a name out of a hat, stick them in a blender – you can choose your own synonyms – this can literally go in multiple ways.

Jack Thompson of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jack Thompson of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Thompson played his Minor Midget AAA with the Toronto Toros during the 2017-2018 season where he scored 17 goals and added 21 assists in 36 games. He followed that up with 5 goals and 4 assists in 10 playoff games.

The 2018-2019 season saw Thompson appear in 52 games for the Wolves. In 52 games, Thompson scored 6 goals and assisted on 10. But it was the 2018 playoffs where it became evident that Thompson’s offence can and will translate to the OHL. In 8 games, he scored once and assisted on 4 others.

During this shortened season, Thompson played in 63 games while scoring 13 goals and adding 19 helpers, finishing first among draft eligible defencemen in goals and third in points.

If there is one concerning stat with Thompson – I know many of you don’t put emphasis on it – it’s Thompson’s plus/minus. Of all the regulars on the Wolves, Thompson was the only player to finish with a negative with a minus-7.

Thompson is still a young, raw defender with a boatload of potential that is going to require patience and a strong development system at the next level. Thompson is a very good skater with excellent mobility with the tools to be able to skate out of trouble in his own zone and run the powerplay from the point. However, he doesn’t always make the right decisions in those situations. Not a big deal though. Experience and development can most importantly, gaining confidence can play a huge role in limiting those errors.

Thompson’s talents show that he can be an effective powerplay quarterback. As mentioned, he can control the powerplay from the blueline. He walks the line with his excellent mobility and he sees the ice so well that he can thread the needle, but again, sometimes he makes the wrong decisions and turns it over. He has a superb shot from the point. Its hard, heavy and accurate and he puts pucks into places that can produce second chance opportunities.

Defensively, Thompson holds his ice well and is usually in position. His skating allows him to recover quickly. He possesses an active stick in the d-zone. He has the ability to skate the puck out of the zone or to make that first good pass, Again, it’s about patience and developing and gaining experience so that he limits the turnovers he is prone too.

There’s been a lot of eyes on the Sudbury Wolves this season because Quinton Byfield is widely considered the number two prospect for the 2020 draft so there’s been a lot of eyes on Thompson. The decision Scouts have to make is whether they believe in the rawness and the potential they see or is he always going to be the offensive defender that is going to cost you on any given night?

We’re betting on the potential.

Zayde Wisdom – Kingston Frontenacs – Player Profile

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 195 Pounds

Date of birth: July 7, 2002

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 4, 73rd overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. 90 N.A.

Perhaps no other player has caught the attention of the scouting world and moved up the rankings as much as Kingston Frontenacs’ Zayde Wisdom has. Wisdom was an after thought on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch Lists in the preseason and November and jumped all the way to 90th among North American Skaters on their mid-term report.

In fairness to Central Scouting, they weren’t the only ones to “miss the boat”. We here at OHLW didn’t include him on our preseason list, but moved him up to a C prospect on our list (4th, 5th or 6th round prospect) in November. The 90th ranking by Central Scouting sets Wisdom as a late 4th or early 5th round pick when you take into consideration Goaltenders and Europeans.

Zayde Wisdom of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Zayde Wisdom of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Wisdom played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2017-2018 season with the Toronto Junior Canadiens where he appeared in 57 games, scoring 15 goals and adding 38 assists. Wisdom had a superb OHL Cup Tournament with 3 goals and 5 helpers in 7 games and helping the Junior Canadiens capture the OHL Cup.

Wisdom played his first Ontario Hockey League game a season ago and played in a total of 60 contests for the Frontenacs. He scored just 3 goals and assisted on 10 others on a team that finished last overall, scored the fewest goals (68 fewer than the next closest) and the second most goals surrendered.

Wisdom wrote a different story this season as a young Frontenacs team improved. He finished the year with 29 goals and 30 assists in 62 games. His 59 points were second only to junior phenom to be Shane Wright on the team. But that is the question many pundits are asking themselves: Just how much was Wisdom the beneficiary of playing with Wright?

That’s not an easy question to answer. To play with a player of Wright’s calibre, you need to be able to think the game at a high level to do so. And you need to put yourself in position when defences are keying in on your best player. Consider this: through the first 10 games while Wright, who was granted exceptional status by Hockey Canada, was getting acclimated to the OHL and going against older players, it was Wisdom who was carrying the offence for the Fronts.

Wisdom is a good skater with good speed and is markedly improved from a year ago. He is able to get on the forecheck quickly and create havoc. He darts into lanes quickly and without hesitation. He’s a small guy at 5’9” but built like a tank. Quite simply he is the little engine that can with a motor and work ethic that never hits pause.

Wisdom is not afraid to go to the dirty areas, in fact, he has a superb net front presence. You’ll find he parks himself in front of the blue paint and yes, he is hard to move. But he’ll also score the majority if his goals from the top of or in the paint. But he also has an excellent shot and release that can beat a goaltender from the high slot or coming down his wing. Frankly, with his ability to find open ice combined with his shot, we are a little bit surprised he doesn’t score more of those goals.

Wisdom has also improved on his puck possession and has learned the importance of maintaining possession in today’s game. He is strong on his feet and hard to separate from the puck. His body is always in a good position to protect the puck. We would like to see his playmaking skills improve. To put it in hockey terms, would like to see his hands catch up to his feet and his head.

We see Wisdom topping out at the NHL level as a third line winger who will provide energy and some offense. He will be able to move up and down the lineup in a pinch.

What we all know for sure is that there have been a lot of eyes on Wright this season. And that bodes well for Wisdom because the more you see him, the more you realize what assets he can bring to the NHL. And all the rankings available are showing just that.

Hayden Fowler – Erie Otters – Player Profile

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 181 Pounds

Date of birth: September 24, 2001

Hometown: Kingston, Ontario

Position: Center/Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 19th overall 2017 Priority Selection (Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds)

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
C Prospect B Prospect 66 N.A.

Hayden Fowler played his Minor Midget AAA hockey during the 2016-2017 season with the Greater Kingston Frontenacs AAA squad. In 35 games, Fowler scored 22 goals and added 18 helpers. In 10 playoff contests he would contribute 6-4-10 totals. He would also play 3 games with the Kingston Voyageurs of the Ontario Junior Hockey League to end the season and notching one assist.

Here’s what OHL Central Scouting had to say at the time:

Hayden is one of the top prospects in the ETA this year. He is one of the most dynamic skaters and uses his edges better than anyone. He is explosive off the mark and can change gears in mid stride. His one-on-one skills are impressive and help him make many a defender look silly. Hayden is a team-player with great vision and playmaking abilities. He is always looking to set up teammates when the opportunity arises. He has a very high hockey I.Q. and is always in the right spot at the right time.

The Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds selected Fowler with the 19th overall pick at the 2017 Priority Selection.

Fowler would skate for the Greyhounds out of camp during the 2017-2018 season and in 33 games scored twice while assisting on two others. Not quite the start he was hoping for. But on January 6, 2018, the Greyhounds sent Fowler to the Erie Otters along with 9 draft picks for Jordan Sambrook and Taylor Raddysh, and the rest is history.

Hayden Fowler of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Hayden Fowler of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images

Fowler had a breakout of sorts following the trade, getting more ice time and playing higher on the depth chart that wasn’t going to happen with a Greyhounds squad with championship aspirations. Fowler would go on to skate in 28 games that season for the Otters, scoring 10 goals and 12 assists.

Last season was a down year for Fowler. The major reason was a clavicle injury that cost him 3 months on the shelf. With a September 24, 2001 birthdate, Fowler missed being eligible for the 2019 draft by just 9 days. That may have been a blessing in disguise since missing that much time would have caused him to drop at the draft, and despite scoring 8 goals and 10 assists in 25 games, no one knows just how far he would have dropped.

Fowler took on a larger role this season, including a leadership role as he was named an Alternate Captain in Erie. He appeared in 52 games reaching the 20-goal plateau while also assisting on 22.

There is not much to add to OHL Central Scouting’s scouting report from 3 years ago. Finding consistency has got to be the top priority. When Fowler is on his game skating, taking on defenders one-on-one, setting up teammates for scoring opportunities or unleashing an underrated shot, then it shows he can be a player at the NHL level. But sometimes that consistency is lacking, not just game-to-game, but at times shift-to-shift.

There is no questioning Fowler is an extremely talented hockey player that possesses the tools along with the toolbox. Finding that consistency will be key in how far he can go at the next level.

OHL Writers’ Draft Eligible Player of the Year

First off, I want to begin by saying I hope you are all safe and healthy in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. We all have to do our part to keep our families, our friends, our neighbours and ourselves from catching and spreading this terrible virus.

We don’t know when hockey will return, and for this piece here, we don’t know when the National Hockey League Draft will take place and how exactly the NHL will conduct the draft or how the draft order will be set. But here at OHLW, we will continue to bring you the usual content regarding the draft as we will get through this and it will eventually take place.

Our draft eligible player of the year isn’t always a reflection of the player we believe should be the first Ontario Hockey League player selected at the draft, but rather the player that performed the best from the first drop of the puck to the final horn of the season.

This year, for us, that player is Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s.

Rossi, Marco
Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s. Photo by OHL Images

Rossi led the entire OHL in assists (81) and points (120) and finished tenth in goals (39) en route to capturing the Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy for most points on the season. He also led the entire league in plus/minus with a plus-69, and finished second in powerplay assists (31).

Rossi was named in the recent Coaches Poll as the Eastern Conference’s smartest player, best playmaker and best shootout shooter. He finished second in the voting as best on face-offs and defensive forward. He was voted as the third best penalty killer by the coaches.

On three occasions, November, December and February, Rossi was selected our draft eligible player of the month. The quest for perfection was interrupted twice by a player we gave consideration here to: Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit.

Perfetti finished second only to Rossi in the OHL scoring race with 111 points and assists (74). It’s the first time since the 2014-2015 season when teammates Dylan Strome and Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters that draft eligible players finished one-two in the OHL scoring race. Prior to those two accomplishing the feat, you’d have to go back to 2009-2010 when Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin both finished with 106 points and went one-two respectively at the NHL Draft.

We also gave some quick consideration to London Knights’ netminder Brett Brochu. In a season where there were more questions then answers coming into the season, Brochu took to the crease and ran with it. He set an OHL record with 32 wins for a first year netminder on lost just 6 games on the year. Not bad for a goaltender not ranked on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch Lists or mid-term rankings!

Jacob Perreault – Sarnia Sting – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 198 Pounds

Date of birth: April 15,2002

Hometown: Hinsdale, Illinois

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 19th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
A Prospect A Prospect 17 N.A.

Jacob Perreault was selected as the second to last pick of the first round of the 2018 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. The son of former NHL’er Yanic Perreault, he was born on April 15, 2002 in Montreal Quebec while dad was a member of the Montreal Canadiens.

Perreault has two brothers and a sister also involved in hockey. Youngest brother Gabriel (14) just finished this season with the Chicago Mission. Older sister Liliane (20) just completed her second season in the NCAA at Mercyhurst University. The eldest, Jeremy (21) last played for the Chicago Cougars of the USPHL. Dad is still in the game as a Development Coach with the Chicago Blackhawks.

During the 2017-2018 season, Perreault played for the Chicago Mission Under-16 squad and in 20 games scored 14 goals and added 11 helpers leading the HPHL in goals and points.

Perreault burst onto the scene with the Sting a season ago and finished second among rookies in goals with 30 and fourth in points with 55 while playing in 63 games. He was named to the OHL First All-Rookie squad.

Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images

This season, Perreault has done nothing short of solidifying his draft position. He finished the shortened year with 39 goals and 31 assists in 57 games.

While Perreault is predominantly a winger, he has at times shown the ability of playing down the middle. His father was a force in the faceoff circle, the best ever since the NHL started keeping faceoff statistics winning 61.1% of his draws. It’s something the younger Perreault has learned from his father. While he only took 104 draws, he won 60 of them, good for 57.7%.

Perreault has an elite level shot, one of the best in the entire OHL let alone the draft class. He gets it off with such a deceptive release, it’s hard and it is deadly accurate. But most importantly, he can beat goaltenders from anywhere inside the offensive zone with it. With an 18.8 shooting percentage, you can see how deadly his shot can be. But he also possesses a superb back hand, and a half-slap one-timer that fools just about everyone.

While there have been some questions raised about Perreault’s skating, any issues should have been put to rest at the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on-ice testing. While Perreault finished second in overall testing to Jean-Luc Foudy, widely considered the best skater in the draft class, it was Perreault that finished atop the rankings in on-ice testing, leading the way in 30-meter forward skating, 30-meter forward skating with the puck, reaction, weave agility with the puck, second in weave agility and third in transition agility with the puck. (See full results here).

At 5’11”, Perreault isn’t exactly big. But he has a lot of muscle in his frame weighing in at 198 pounds. While he doesn’t shy away from physicality, he is at his best when he escapes defenders and gets himself into open situations where he can unleash his shot. How dangerous he can be in space is evidenced when there is open ice on the powerplay. Perreault finished second among draft eligible players in powerplay goals.

That said, his goals to assist ratio suggest Perreault plays with a shoot first mentality. And while he possesses an elite shot and can score in multiple ways, we sometimes feel that Perreault passes up opportunities to shoot or take the puck to the net or carry it with possession, something he’s capable of, he is dishing off to teammates instead.

One of three things can explain that: 1) he lacks confidence, 2) he doesn’t think the game at a high enough level, or 3) Perreault is a raw talented player that just needs to gain more experience. We lean heavily towards number three.

As pointed out earlier, Perreault is a very good skater who is very strong on his edges. But often times he skates off balance and can be prone to being knocked off the puck. Finding consistency is also key for Perrault. At times he has shown he can dominate and take over a game but at times you wonder if he even played.

The tools are there, the hockey sense is there. It’s just a matter of finding some consistency and confidence and putting it all together.

I wouldn’t bet against him!

You can find Perreault among the leaders in a variety of draft eligible statistical leaders.

OHL’s Draft Eligible End of Season Statistical Leaders

Brett Brochu of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Brett Brochu of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda / OHL Images

By now everyone is aware that the Ontario Hockey League and Canadian Hockey League have cancelled the remaining portion of the regular season, playoffs and the Memorial Cup due to the coronavirus.

Whether we like it or not, it had to be done and the Province of Ontario did the right thing by shutting everything but essential services down for the next two weeks.

When the OHL paused its regular season, it was just a few games away of completing the 2019-2020 season, so this by no means is a small sample size. In some cases, teams only had 4 games remaining in the 68-game regular season while others had 6.

Rather then break it all down for you, we’ll just leave the season ending stats here for you. Remember, this only includes first time draft eligible players (does not include draft re-entry players) and always refer to the OHL website for official stats.

Points Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
*Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 56 39 81 120
*Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 61 37 74 111
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s 62 52 37 89
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 45 32 50 82
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 62 36 44 80
Jacob Perreault Sarnia Sting 57 39 31 70
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 62 27 39 66
James Hardie Mississauga Steelheads 59 34 29 63
Luke Evangelista London Knights 62 23 38 61
Rory Kerins Soo Greyhounds 64 30 29 59
Goal Scoring Leaders
Player Team GP G GPG
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s 62 52 0.84
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 56 39 0.70
Jacob Perreault Sarnia Sting 57 39 0.68
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 61 37 0.61
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 62 36 0.58
James Hardie Mississauga Steelheads 59 34 0.58
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 45 32 0.71
Rory Kerins Soo Greyhounds 64 30 0.47
Zayde Wisdom Kingston Frontenacs 64 30 0.47
Assist Leaders
Player Team GP A APG
*Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 56 81 1.45
*Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 61 74 1.21
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 45 50 1.11
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 62 44 0.71
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 62 39 0.63
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 49 38 0.78
Luke Evangelista London Knights 62 38 0.61
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s 62 37 0.60
Brandon Coe North Bay Battalion 60 32 0.53
Jacob Perreault Sarnia Sting 57 31 0.54
Defencemen Point Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 49 9 38 47
Ryan O’Rourke Soo Greyhounds 54 7 30 37
Jack Thompson Sudbury Wolves 63 13 19 32
Ruben Rafkin Windsor Spitfires 59 4 27 31
Donovan Sebrango Kitchener Rangers 56 6 24 30
Isaak Phillips Sudbury Wolves 63 9 17 26
Cameron Supryka Hamilton Bulldogs 53 3 18 21
Ole Bjorgvik-Holm Mississauga Steelheads 57 2 17 19
Plus/Minus Leaders
Player Team GP +/-
*Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 56 +69
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 61 +49
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s 62 +48
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 45 +26
Anthony Costantini Ottawa 67’s 59 +21
Powerplay Goals
Player Team GP PPG
*Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 62 18
Jacob Perreault Sarnia Sting 57 15
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s 62 15
James Hardie Mississauga Steelheads 59 11
Logan Morrison Hamilton Bulldogs 59 9
Powerplay Assists
Player Team GP PPA
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 56 31
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 61 24
Jamie Drysdale Erie Otters 49 19
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 45 16
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 62 16
Shorthanded Goals
Player Team GP SHG
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s 62 3
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 45 2
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 61 2
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 62 2
Anthony Tabak Barrie Colts 67 2
Penalty Minutes Leaders
Player Team GP PIM M/G
Ryan O’Rourke Soo Greyhounds 54 79 1.46
Hayden Fowler Erie Otters 52 78 1.50
Gerard Keane London Knights 55 68 1.24
Ruben Rafkin Windsor Spitfires 59 61 1.03
Reid Valade Kitchener Rangers 62 57 0.92
Faceoff Leaders (minimum 300 faceoffs)
Player Team GP FOA FOW %
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 56 1175 687 58.5
Isaac Langdon Kitchener Rangers 53 501 274 54.7
Rory Kerins Soo Greyhounds 64 1175 632 53.8
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 45 586 304 51.9
Hayden Fowler Erie Otters 52 479 246 51.4
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 61 322 165 51.2
Longest Goal Scoring Streak
Player Team From To Gms Goals
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s Dec 6 Jan 2 8 12
Longest Assist Streak
Player Team From To Gms Assts
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s Nov 16 Dec 28 11 17
Longest Point Streak
Player Team From To Gms Pts
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s Nov 10 Jan 10 18 48
Shots On Goal Leaders
Player Team GP SOG
James Hardie Mississauga Steelheads 59 252
Cole Perfetti Saginaw Spirit 61 244
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s 62 240
Tyson Foerster Barrie Colts 62 225
Ty Tullio Oshawa Generals 62 213
Shooting Percentage
Player Team GP Shots Goals %
Rory Kerins Soo Greyhounds 64 132 30 22.72
Jack Quinn Ottawa 67’s 62 240 52 21.67
Quinton Byfield Sudbury Wolves 45 148 32 21.62
Theo Hill Sarnia Sting 53 53 11 20.75
Marco Rossi Ottawa 67’s 56 193 39 20.21
Goaltenders Leaders – Goals Against Average
Player Team GP Min GA Avg
*Brett Brochu London Knights 42 2271 91 2.40
Will Cranley Ottawa 67’s 21 1218 57 2.81
Nick Chenard Owen Sound Attack 13 687 33 2.88
Zachary Paputsakis Oshawa Generals 32 1520 82 3.24
Xavier Medina Windsor Spitfires 37 2044 118 3.46
Aidan Campbell Erie Otters 26 1365 83 3.65
Nick Malik Soo Greyhounds 16 891 56 3.77
Tucker Tynan Niagara IceDogs 23 1296 82 3.80
Owen Bennett Guelph Storm 27 1532 100 3.92
Goaltending Leaders – Save Percentage
Player Team GP SH SVS SV%
Brett Brochu London Knights 42 1124 1033 0.919
Tucker Tynan Niagara IceDogs 23 916 834 0.910
Nick Chenard Owen Sound Attack 13 363 330 0.909
Zachary Paputsakis Oshawa Generals 32 814 732 0.899
Will Cranley Ottawa 67’s 21 538 481 0.894
Xavier Medina Windsor Spitfires 37 1031 913 0.886
Nick Malik Soo Greyhounds 16 490 434 0.886
Owen Bennett Guelph Storm 27 841 741 0.881
Goaltending Leaders – Wins
Player Team GP W L OL
**Brett Brochu London Knights 42 32 6 0
Will Cranley Ottawa 67’s 21 17 9 4
Xavier Medina Windsor Spitfires 37 17 11 4
Tucker Tynan Niagara IceDogs 23 11 8 4
Zachary Paputsakis Oshawa Generals 32 11 8 5
Goaltending Leaders – Shutouts
Player Team GP SO
Will Cranley Ottawa 67’s 21 4
Brett Brochu London Knights 42 2
Nick Chenard Owen Sound Attack 13 1
Zachary Paputsakis Oshawa Generals 32 1
*Leads entire OHL
**OHL record for a rookie

Jean-Luc Foudy – Windsor Spitfires – Player Profile

Height: ‘6

Weight: 176 Pounds

Date of birth: May 13, 2002

Hometown: Scarborough, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 10th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
A Prospect A Prospect 20 N.A.

Jean-Luc Foudy of the Windsor Spitfires and younger Brother of Liam Foudy (18th overall pick by the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2018) is a graduate of the Toronto Titans Minor Midget AAA system. During the 2017-2018 season, Foudy registered 25 goals and 35 assists in 52 contests for the Titans.

Foudy also appeared in both the OHL Cup (and the OHL Gold Cup, scoring 2 goals and 5 assists in 10 combined games. He would represent Canada on two occasions; first during the 2018-2019 season at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 (1 goal and 3 assists in 5 contests) and second, at last summer’s Hlinka-Gretzky Cup (2 goals, 2 assists in 5 games).

OHL Central Scouting had this to say in his OHL draft year:

Jean-Luc is a skilled, playmaking type of center that makes everyone around him better. He has elusive speed that catches defenders off guard at times He is quick to jump into holes for loose pucks and wins the majority of races to pucks. He is crafty with the puck and can stickhandle in very tight areas. Jean-Luc is one of the smarter players in the age group He is always in the right spot at the right time and the puck seems to follow him around the ice.

The 2018-2019 season was Foudy’s rookie year in the OHL and things were looking bright. He appeared in 63 games, scoring 8 goals and assisting on 41 others. His 41 assists led all rookies a season ago.

Jean-Luc Foudy of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Jean-Luc Foudy of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Luke Durda / OHL Images.

Foudy comes from a sports family. As mentioned, he is the younger brother of Liam who was a star with the London Knights and got a taste of the National Hockey League this season with the Blue Jackets. His father Sean was a defensive back in the Canadian Football League for 6 seasons. His mother, France Gareau was an Olympic Athlete at the 1984 Los Angeles games. She competed in the 100-meter race and won a silver medal in the 4 X 100-meter relay. She also competed at the 1990 Commonwealth Games.

As Foudy came up through the ranks, the general consensus was that he had all the tools his older brother exhibited and, in some cases, then some. But his numbers for the 2019-2020 season are a bit disappointing. He appeared in 59 games during the cancelled regular season and, while he virtually doubled his goal production to 15 from a year ago, his helpers took a nose dive down to 28.

Foudy is an elite skater with elite speed, maybe the best in the draft class. He is a puck possession beast at top speed. He is capable of exiting his zone with possession and speed and going on the attack. He gains the zone with alarming speed and it puts defenders on their heels. However, we think he plays on the outside more then we’d like to see. He has the vision and playmaking abilities to make plays from there and we think that at times, his linemates can’t keep up to his abilities. At the same time, he has shown the ability to take pucks into high danger zones, although the willingness doesn’t appear to always be there.

Foudy is dangerous on the powerplay, especially with the extra space on the ice. The tools are all there to run the powerplay from anywhere in the offensive zone. He’s a huge minute eating pivot who could log the full two minutes on the powerplay if need be. He also takes advantage of the extra ice on the penalty kill. He finds those open areas and gets to them as quick as anyone and he can fly up the ice making him a threat on the PK.

Certainly, all the tools are there for a first-round pick at the NHL Draft. And I think the general consensus was that Foudy was a legitimate first round candidate. The cancellation of the regular season and the uncertainty of the playoffs may have hurt his chances of proving he is worthy of that. All things considered, we here at OHLW think that it’s more likely Foudy is an early second round option.

Brett Brochu– London Knights – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 156 Pounds

Date of birth: September 9, 2002

Hometown: Tilbury, Ontario

Catches: Left

OHL Draft: Round 6, 114th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

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

The first thing some of you may be asking yourselves is why we are discussing a goaltender here that National Hockey League Central Scouting has not had ranked all season? Well, we can answer that with three words: He should be.

While we initially missed the boat here at OHLW in the preseason, it didn’t take long for us to have him as a player to watch. But first, a little Bio.

During the 2018-2019 season, Brochu manned the crease for the Dresden Jr Kings of the Provincial Junior Hockey League where he comfortably led the league in games played (38) and wins (27). He posted a 2.46 goals-against-average and a .915 save-percentage. Brochu was even better through 11 playoff contests posting a 2.10 goals-against-average and .931 save-percentage.

Brett Brochu of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Brett Brochu of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda / OHL Images

Brochu was listed in the Ontario Hockey League’s Draft Guide as 5’ 7.5” and at just 131 pounds for the 2018 Priority Selection, but the Knights saw something there and the rest as they say, is history.

With a September 9, 2002 birthdate, Brochu is one of the youngest players in the 2020 NHL draft class, having made the cut off date by just 6 days. So, just what has Brochu accomplished in a season to garner interest?

The OHL rookie appeared in 42 games for the Knights when the season was cancelled due to the coronavirus and that ranked 7th among netminders and tied for first among rookie netminders with North Bay’s Joe Vrbetic. Brochu led all netminders with a 2.40 goals-against-average and second behind the top ranked Guelph netminder Nico Daws with a .924 save-percentage. He also finished second with wins – 32 in 42 appearances, finishing the season with a 32-6-0-0 record. The 32 victories is an OHL record for rookies that has stood for 39 years.

So, what exactly is the knock on Brochu? The only conclusion we have is that Central Scouting continues to have a bias towards bigger goaltenders. Whether that’s right or wrong is up for NHL scouts to decide come draft day. The Nashville Predators appear to have done okay with the 5’11” Juuse Saros for example.

Sure, one could make the argument that the Knights are a sound defensive team with a lot of offense. But consider this: Brochu was 16-1-0-0 when facing 29 or more shots, and the Knights were outshot in 9 of those contests. Take the Sudbury Wolves as an example. Their offense was just as dynamic as the Knights. Yet Brochu was 2-0-0-0 versus the Wolves stopping 57 of 58 shots and in the game the Knights were outshot, he shut them out. All those numbers mean is that Brochu was just as important to the Knights as any other aspect of their team. For a team that had more questions then answers in the crease when the season began, I’m sure Brochu gave the Knights even more then they expected

Brochu is a netminder that possesses superb agility and movement in the crease. He gets out to the top of the blue paint in a flash to challenge shooters. He also gets into position quickly to make second and even third chance stops. He tracks the puck extremely well and never gives up on a play. In that sense, there are a lot of similarities to former Windsor Spitfires netminder Michael DiPietro. Watch the video below of his first career shutout versus the high-flying Ottawa 67’s to get a sense of his puck tracking abilities and how he recovers for second and third chances.

Brochu is as technically sound as any netminder available in the draft class. He plays the butterfly style to perfection and is able to get on his knees quickly and recovers just as quick. He rarely overplays a situation and lets trusts his positioning and allows the puck to hit him. His quickness and athleticism allow him to pounce on loose pucks in front of the paint. And we think his puck handling abilities are also superb.

All we can add is that we don’t believe NHL teams should pass on this kid because of his size.

OHL Goaltender of the Month for February

OHL Goaltender and Rookie of the Month for January

 

Donovan Sebrango – Kitchener Rangers – Player Profile

Height: 6’

Weight: 184 Pounds

Date of birth: January 12, 2002

Hometown: Kingston, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 2, 40th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
C Prospect B Prospect 59 N.A.

Kitchener Rangers defender and native of Kingston Ontario Donovan Sebrango, is a graduate of the CIHA White Midget AAA (Canadian International Hockey Academy) squad of 2017-2018. There, Sebrango would appear in 30 games, scoring 5 goals and assisting on 20. He would add 3 goals and 2 assists in 6 playoff contests.

For those unfamiliar with the CIHA, watch this feature on Gabriel Vilardi, the Los Angeles’ Kings 11th overall pick at the 2017 National Hockey League Draft.

Once his CIHA season was over, Sebrango would appear in 4 games for the Ottawa Jr Senators of the CCHL (Junior A). He went pointless in those 4 contests. The Rangers would select Sebrango in the 2nd round, 40th overall at the 2018 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection. Here is what OHL Central Scouting had to say at that time:

Donovan is one of the best skaters in this year’s Priority Selection. He has the ability to skate by anyone in the neutral zone. He can beat forecheckers by using his speed and edge work and he is a threat whenever he is in the offensive zone. He has good puck skills and can handle pucks at high speed and he is a very high risk high reward type of player. He competes hard all over the ice and won’t back down from anyone. Donovan has the skating ability and skill to be a very good player at the next level.

Back in October 2017, Sebrango would commit to Boston University and the NCAA for the 2020-2021 season. But almost 8 months later to the day, Sebrango sign a standard players agreement with the Rangers and thus nullifying his NCAA eligibility. (*Note: Every year I get dragged into the debate of players backing out of commitments, and I don’t want to get dragged into it again).

Donovan Sebrango of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Donovan Sebrango of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Sebrango would join the Rangers for the 2018-2019 season. He would appear in 62 games, scoring 7 goals and assisting on 19 others. His 26 points were 3rd best among OHL rookie defenders. He would also represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 and assisted on 2 goals in 5 games.

Sebrango began this season representing Canada at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup where he and his teammates captured a silver medal. As you know by now, the coronavirus has shortened this OHL season and at the time the OHL closed its doors on the regular season, Sebrango had appeared in 56 games scoring 6 goals and adding 24 helpers.

Sebrango is known as a two-way blue liner. At 6 feet, 184 pounds, he has decent size, but he sometimes plays even bigger. He’s a workhorse in front of his net, below the goal line and in the corners and along the wall. It’s hard to imagine how much more difficult it’ll be to go into battle in those areas with him once he adds more strength.

Sebrango’s skating is also a huge benefit while defending. He is able to maintain his gap control and keep players to the outside because of his agility on his blades. But it is also a benefit to him in transitioning. While he’s shown the ability to transition with his feet, he is sometimes caught forcing a play instead of making the safe play. The hockey IQ is there along with the vision. I think it comes down to gaining experience and learning to utilize his teammates more effectively. At this stage, we can say that about a lot of defenders and ultimately, it comes down to whether one thinks they’ll grow from the experience. We think Sebrango will.

Sebrango has also shown he can quarterback the powerplay effectively. He can control the blueline, keeping pucks in the attacking zone. He walks the line extremely well, allowing lanes to open up and with his vision, set up teammates for opportunities.

Sebrango won’t be a top pairing defenceman at the NHL level. We see him as a quality number 4 defender who can play a shut down role as has been evidenced in two year at the OHL level, and one who can maybe quarterback the second powerplay unit.