31 OHL PLAYERS SELECTED IN 2020 NHL DRAFT

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 31 OHL players were selected in the seven rounds of the 2020 NHL Draft held virtually on Oct. 6-7 representing approximately 14% of all 217 players picked by the NHL’s 31 teams.

The 31 OHL players includes seven selected in the first round headed by Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves, chosen second overall by the Los Angeles Kings. The OHL featured five players selected in the top 10, the most by the League since 2010. Four OHL players were picked in the second round of the draft, bringing the League’s opening two-round total to 11.

A total of 78 Canadian Hockey League players were chosen including 31 from the Ontario Hockey League, 28 from the Western Hockey League and 19 from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

By position, a total of 22 OHL forwards were selected, as well as seven defencemen and two goaltenders. Among the OHL’s drafted players, 22 are selections born in 2002 and six are late 2001-born picks. Three 2000-born players were selected in Guelph’s Nico Daws (3rd round, New Jersey), Erie’s Chad Yetman (6th round, Chicago Blackhawks) and Saginaw’s Ilya Solovyov (7th round, Calgary Flames).

17 of the OHL’s 20 member clubs developed NHL Draft talent in 2020 led by the Soo Greyhounds who produced four picks. The Ottawa 67’s and Sudbury Wolves both produced three selections, while the Barrie Colts, Erie Otters, Kingston Frontenacs, Kitchener Rangers, London Knights, Saginaw Spirit and Windsor Spitfires all had a pair of players selected. The Knights maintained their record streak of players chosen annually since 1969.

20 of the NHL’s 31 teams selected at least one OHL player. The Anaheim Ducks, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning picked up two each.

A total of 17 OHL players selected were invited to compete in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Hamilton, Ont.

Following the 2020 NHL Draft, a total of 2,410 OHL players have been selected since 1969, representing approximately 20% of all players chosen.

OHL Players Selected in the 2020 NHL Draft:

Click on player name below to watch pick announcement and media availability. More player interviews with be uploaded to ontariohockeyleague.com as they become available.

First Round (7 OHL Players):
2. Quinton Byfield (Sudbury Wolves) – Los Angeles Kings*
6. 
Jamie Drysdale (Erie Otters) – Anaheim Ducks*
8. 
Jack Quinn (Ottawa 67’s) – Buffalo Sabres*
9. 
Marco Rossi (Ottawa 67’s) – Minnesota Wild*
10. 
Cole Perfetti (Saginaw Spirit) – Winnipeg Jets*
23. 
Tyson Foerster (Barrie Colts) – Philadelphia Flyers*
27. 
Jacob Perreault (Sarnia Sting) – Anaheim Ducks*

Second Round (4 OHL Players):
39. Ryan O’Rourke (Soo Greyhounds) – Minnesota Wild*
42. 
Luke Evangelista (London Knights) – Nashville Predators*
48. 
Jan Mysak (Hamilton Bulldogs) – Montreal Canadiens
60. Will Cuylle (Windsor Spitfires) – New York Rangers*

Third Round (4 OHL Players):
63. Donovan Sebrango (Kitchener Rangers) – Detroit Red Wings*
75. 
Jean-Luc Foudy (Windsor Spitfires) – Colorado Avalanche*
76. 
Danil Gushchin (Niagara IceDogs) – San Jose Sharks**
84. 
Nico Daws (Guelph Storm) – New Jersey Devils*
93. 
Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves) – Tampa Bay Lightning*

**Gushchin is committed to Niagara for 2020-21 and not included in overall totals

Fourth Round (5 OHL Players):
94. Zayde Wisdom (Kingston Frontenacs) – Philadelphia Flyers
98. 
Brandon Coe (North Bay Battalion) – San Jose Sharks*
99. 
Jaromir Pytlik (Soo Greyhounds) – New Jersey Devils*
119. 
Tanner Dickinson (Soo Greyhounds) – St. Louis Blues
123. Antonio Stranges (London Knights) – Dallas Stars*

Fifth Round (5 OHL Players):
126. Ty Tullio (Oshawa Generals) – Edmonton Oilers
127. Evan Vierling (Barrie Colts) – New York Rangers
128. Martin Chromiak (Kingston Frontenacs) – Los Angeles Kings
141. Isaak Phillips (Sudbury Wolves) – Chicago Blackhawks
145. Ole Bjorgvik-Holm (Mississauga Steelheads) – Columbus Blue Jackets

Sixth Round (4 OHL Players):
162. Evgeniy Oksentyuk (Flint Firebirds) – Dallas Stars
163. 
Will Cranley (Ottawa 67’s) – St. Louis Bues
172. Chad Yetman (Erie Otters) – Chicago Blackhawks
174. Rory Kerins (Soo Greyhounds) – Calgary Flames

Seventh Round (2 OHL Players):
205. Ilya Solovyov (Saginaw Spirit) – Calgary Flames
217. Declan McDonnell (Kitchener Rangers) – Tampa Bay Lightning

*Invited to 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game

For more information on the 2020 NHL Draft including full results visit nhl.com.


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

OHL Writers Final Draft Rankings

Byfield, Quinton (1)
Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by OHL Images

The National Hockey League is set to hit the ice under their return to play plan with a new collective bargaining agreement in place. We won’t bother going over those details here. The NHL held their first draft lottery a few weeks ago but there is still one more lottery to take place. One lucky (or unlucky) team eliminated from the play-in round will win the first overall pick. That pick will be Alexis Lafreniere.

So, the draft really begins at the number two spot where it could be Quinton Byfield or Tim Stutzle. Or there could be a surprise.

After many live viewings and countless hours of re-watching video – what else was there to do when we were stuck at home because of the coronavirus – we’ve put together our rankings of Ontario Hockey League Players.

Our list includes 12 goaltenders and 57 skaters. We believe you’ll see 3 OHL goaltenders and 41 skaters selected at the draft. Also listed with each player is their final ranking by NHL Central Scouting.

Under normal circumstances, the draft is a crap shoot. But it’s a draft like we’ve never seen before.

Let the guessing begin!

RK PLAYER POS TEAM NHL
FINAL
1 Quinton Byfield C Sudbury 2
2 Jamie Drysdale D Erie 3
3 Marco Rossi C Ottawa 6
4 Cole Perfetti LW Saginaw 5
5 Jack Quinn  RW Ottawa 7
6 Jacob Perreault C Sarnia 17
7 Jan Mysak C Hamilton 28
8 Ryan O’Rourke D Sault Ste Marie 27
9 Tyson Foerster C Barrie 21
10 Martin Chromiak RW Kingston 30
11 Jean-Luc Foudy C Windsor 33
12 Will Cuylle LW Windsor 34
13 Luke Evangelista RW London 39
14 Zayde Wisdom RW Kingston 54
15 Jaromir Pytlik RW Sault Ste Marie 46
16 Antonio Stranges LW London 56
17 Tyler Tullio C Oshawa 52
18 Brandon Coe C North Bay 35
19 Donovan Sebrango D Kitchener 59
20 Evan Vierling C Barrie 66
21 Oliver Suni RW Oshawa 53
22 Jack Thompson D Sudbury 60
23 Kirill Steklov D London 106
24 **Pavel Gogolev LW Guelph 107
25 Ruben Rafkin D Windsor 84
26 *Evginiy Oksentyuk LW Flint 109
27 Mitchell Smith D Saginaw N.R.
28 Rory Kerins C Sault Ste Marie 72
29 Ethan Cardwell  C Barrie 70
30 Tanner Dickinson C Sault Ste Marie 67
31 James Hardie  LW Mississauga 163
32 Isaak Phillips D Sudbury 114
33 Hayden Fowler C Erie 87
34 *Robert Calisti D Sault Ste Marie 78
35 Logan Morrison C Hamilton 190
36 Declan McDonnell RW Kitchener 155
37 Oli Bjorgvik-Holm D Mississauga 116
38 Reid Valade RW Kitchener 148
39 Riley Piercey RW Flint 129
40 Cameron Butler RW Niagara 138
41 *Maxim Golod LW Erie 213
42 Ville Ottavainen D Kitchener 137
43 Jake Uberti C Niagara 147
44 Lleyton Moore D Oshawa 194
45 Dylan Robinson D Windsor N.R.
46 Alec Belanger D Ottawa N.R.
47 Igor Chibrikov D Owen Sound 188
48 *Billy Constaninou D Sault Ste Marie NR
49 *Louka Henault D Windsor 171
50 *Tye Kartye LW Sault Ste Marie 192
51 *Austen Swankler C Erie 200
52 *Ilya Solovyov D Saginaw N.R.
53 Jakob Murray D Kingston 193
54 Andrei Bakanov RW Guelph N.R.
55 Cameron Tolnai C Ottawa N.R.
56 Vitali Pinchuk LW Kingston N.R.
57 Mark Woolley D Owen Sound N.R.
Goalies
1 *Nico Daws G Guelph 1
2 Nick Malik G Sault Ste Marie 10
3 Tucker Tynan G Niagara NR
4 Will Cranley G Ottawa 4
5 Brett Brochu G London 29
6 Owen Bennett G Guelph 24
7 Aidan Campbell G Erie 28
8 Ty Austin G Peterborough 14
9 *Mack Guzda G Owen Sound 31
10 Zachary Papoutsakis G Oshawa NR
11 Marco Costantini G Hamilton NR
12 Xavier Medina G Windsor NR
*Draft re-entry
**2nd time draft re-entry

Mitchell Smith – Saginaw Spirit – Player Profile

Height: 5’ 10”

Weight: 180 Pounds

Date of birth: September 15, 2002

Hometown: Saginaw, MI

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

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

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We would take that gamble.

Declan McDonnell – Kitchener Rangers – Player Profile

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 171 Pounds

Date of birth: February 25, 2002

Hometown: Lake View, New York

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

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

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Riley Piercey – Flint Firebirds – Player Profile

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 200 Pounds

Date of birth: March 20, 2002

Hometown: Mississauga, Ontario

Position: Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 16th overall, 2018 Priority Selection by the Barrie Colts

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

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

129 N.A.

Riley Piercey played his Minor Midget AAA hockey with the Toronto Marlboros during the 2017-2018 season. He scored 26 goals and 30 assists while skating in 59 games. Piercey went on to add 4 goals and an assist in 6 games with the Marlboros at the OHL Cup. He also scored one for Team GTHL Red at the OHL Gold Cup as they went on to capture silver.

The Barrie Colts would select Piercey with the 16th overall pick at the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. Here’s what OHL Central Scouting had to say prior to the draft:

Riley is a big power forward that is very hard to play against as he is constantly moving and takes the body every chance that he has. He is a powerful skater that when at full speed is very quick. He is a player that makes the simple, effective play the majority of the times. He has a good shot which he gets off quickly. Riley plays hard in all three zones and rarely takes any short cuts. He is the type of player that coaches like to have on the bench because he can play up and down a lineup.

During his OHL rookie season, Piercey appeared in 60 games for the Colts scoring 3 goals and 11 assists. He also represented Canada with Team White at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 going pointless in 5 games.

 

Piercey, Riley
Riley Piercey of the Flint Firebirds. Photo by OHL Images.

Piercey began this season with the Colts and in 35 games had 9 goals and 4 assists which was kind of disappointing. But on January 7, 2020 the Colts sent Piercey along with Tyler Tucker to the Firebirds for Evan Vierling and draft picks.

The trade was kind of a breakout for Piercey as he went on to score 8 goals and 13 assists in 27 games prior to the season being cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more then doubling his points-per-game from .37 to .78 points-per-game.

The trade started to draw some attention to Piercey. While we here at OHL Writers had him as a potential 7th round pick coming into the season, NHL Central Scouting left him off their pre-season watch list, their November list and their mid-term list. It wasn’t until their final list that they had Piercey ranked – 129th among North American Skaters.

Piercey is a big bodied forward who can play both sides. He’s not afraid to use his size to play the physical game. He also uses that frame extremely well to win battles down low and along the walls. Technically, he skates extremely well, has some excellent edgework and is difficult to knock off of the puck and once he gains possession, he is willing to drive directly to the net. He doesn’t possess top end speed, but for a player his size navigates the ice well. We would like to see some improvement in his speed.

Once Piercey arrived in Flint, we saw that he had some vision and playmaking skills. However, using those assets consistently has been an issue. When he produces offensively, they come in bunches and he can go multiple games without producing.

When you’re not producing, you have to bring other elements to the game and we believe Piercey is capable of that. The physicality, energy, the willingness to stand in front of the net to provide a screen and a solid defensive game is there. We believe he has a good shot with a good release however, at under 2 shots per game, he doesn’t utilize it enough.

Piercey is still raw and has some potential. He will be worth a late round pick in hopes that he can find some consistency and continue to develop.

Jake Uberti – Niagara IceDogs – Player Profile

Height: 6’1”

Weight: 185 Pounds

Date of birth: March 7, 2002

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 4, 72 overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. 202 NA

147 NA

Jake Uberti played his Minor Midget AAA during the 2017-2018 season with the Mississauga Reps of the GTHL. In 33 games, Uberti scored 11 goals and assisted on 20. He scores 1 goal in 5 games for the Reps at the OHL Cup, but he had a superb OHL Gold Cup while representing Team GTHL Blue, scoring 4 goals to go along with 5 helpers in 4 games.

The IceDogs selected Uberti with the 72nd overall pick at the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

During his rookie OHL season, Uberti played in 59 games scoring twice and assisting on 7 goals. He went pointless in 8 playoff contests.

During this shortened season, Uberti scored 17 goals and 16 assists in 57 games.

Uberti, Jake
Jake Uberti of the Niagara IceDogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Much like I wrote about Logan Morrison of the Hamilton Bulldogs, the lack of upper class draft eligible players in Niagara didn’t bring a lot of NHL Scouts into the building so Uberti could suffer from not having a lot of eyes on him. Not to mention that the IceDogs were the second worst team in the OHL getting blown out on many occasions. So, who could really blame scouts looking elsewhere?

Things began to fall apart when netminder Tucker Tynan was lost for the season due to injury. And then the trading of Akil Thomas and Phil Tomasino was the straw that broke the camels back. But after the January 9, 2020 trades that sent Thomas to Peterborough and Tomasino to Oshawa, the door became open for Uberti to step up in a more offensive role and he did just that scoring 7 goals and 8 assists in 21 games pushing his points per game up from .50 to .71 points per game.

Still, it’s difficult to get a true read on the 6’1”, 185-pound native of Toronto, Ontario. Uberti has good size and has a willingness to drive to the net. He can be difficult to knock off of his feet, is solid enough at maintaining possession and wins most of his battles. He’s got a decent amount of speed with an ability to gain the zone with possession.

Uberti also plays a solid 200-foot game, although that could be hard to notice on a team that was, for a lack of a better term, a mess defensively. It’s also difficult to get a read on his vision and playmaking skills. Uberti is capable of driving the play for himself, but I don’t think he utilized his teammates at a level that one could judge those abilities. And that may be because the talent around him wasn’t that high.

There are definitely parts of his game that scouts will like. The question is, how much upside is there?

Lleyton Moore – Oshawa Generals – Player Profile

Height: 5’9”

Weight: 175 Pounds

Date of birth: February 27, 2002

Hometown: Woodbridge, Ontario

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 12th overall, 2018 Priority Selection by Niagara IceDogs

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

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

194 N.A.

Oshawa Generals diminutive defenceman Lleyton Moore played his Minor Midget AAA with the Toronto Marlboros during the 2017-2018 season. In 54 games, Moore scored 16 goals and piled up 34 helpers. He was even better for the Marlboros at the OHL Cup setting up 8 tallies. Moore would represent Team GTHL Blue at the OHL Cup as well where he scored once and assisted on 4 others in 4 contests.

The Niagara IceDogs selected Moore with the 12th overall pick at the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. Here’s what OHL Central Scouting had to say at the time:

Lleyton is a mobile defenceman that loves to have the puck on his stick and isn’t afraid to lead a rush. He is a strong skater in every direction, is explosive and has a very high top speed. His puck skills are elite as it seems like the puck is on a string at times. He sees the ice well and is very creative. Lleyton’s biggest attribute is his skating ability. It helps him defend, recover when he is up in the rush and create offence from the back end. He is one of his team’s go to players and plays in every situation.

Moore made his OHL debut with the IceDogs during the 2018-2019 season where he scored twice and added 8 helpers and an impressive plus-19 in 28 games. On January 8, 2019, Moore was traded to the Oshawa Generals along with 6 draft picks for Jack Studnicka and Matt Brassard. Moore would play in just 6 games for the Genies and put up 3 assists, but got into 15 playoff games and assisted on 5 goals. Moore would also represent Team Canada White at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 but went pointless in 5 contests.

Lleyton Moore of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Lleyton Moore of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Prior to the 2019-2020 season being cancelled due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Moore would appear in 57 games and scored 6 goals while assisting on 22. The Generals are looking to Moore to pay dividends for next season as Oshawa is one of two teams with a bid to host the 2021 Memorial Cup.

At 5’9” tall, defence is always a question mark. What Moore has learned to do is use his skating ability and positioning to defend. But he is always going to be in tough trying to defend against bigger players at any level. Battling along the walls and defending the front of his net will not come easy to him.

So, Moore is going to have to be at the top of his game offensively to be able to make up any shortcomings on defence.

Moore is an elite level skater with an explosive first step and reaches a superb top speed quickly. His edgework is elite, his lateral movement is where you’d want it to be and he pivots from forward skating to backwards effortlessly. He has shown an ability to weave through traffic and gain the offensive zone, but he can also get separated from the puck easily if you can keep gaps tight on him. His transition to offence is very good as he can skate the puck up ice or he can make a good first pass.

Moore has shown an ability to quarterback the powerplay as he sees the ice well enough and he has some very good playmaking abilities. He usually makes the right decision when the puck is on his stick. His shot however needs to improve on many levels. Moore won’t overpower goaltenders with his shot. He doesn’t always get his shot through and when he does, it’s not usually in an area that creates second-chance opportunities.

I don’t know that Moore has done enough to draw the attention of scouts this season – as I said earlier, next season may be the year we want to see from him. But maybe there is one out there that has seen enough to take a chance on him early this year rather then waiting on his draft re-entry year.

I would certainly give him some serious consideration late in the draft.

67’s’ MARCO ROSSI VOTED OHL’S MOST OUTSTANDING PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Rossi, Marco 2

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 2020 NHL Draft prospect Marco Rossi of the Ottawa 67’s is the 2019-20 recipient of the Red Tilson Trophy awarded to the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player of the Year as voted by the writers and broadcasters that cover the League.

Rossi becomes the eighth different 67’s player to win the award and first since Corey Locke’s second of back-to-back honours in 2003-04. He follows reigning Red Tilson Trophy recipient Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves as the second European import player to ever be recognized.

“Thank you to all of the accredited OHL media writers for awarding me the prestigious Red Tilson Trophy,” said Rossi of the honour. “I would like to acknowledge the great Mr. Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II, a true hero. In these COVID-19 unprecedented times, I honor the men and women, doctors and nurses and all of those putting their lives on the line for all of us across the globe, true heroes that follow in Mr. Tilson’s footsteps.”

Rossi finished atop the CHL scoring charts with 120 points including 39 goals, 81 assists and an impressive plus/minus rating of plus-69 over just 53 games. His 2.14 point-per-game pace led the OHL and is the highest such figure by a Red Tilson Trophy recipient since Erie’s Connor McDavid (2.55) in 2014-15. He was recently recognized as the first Eddie Powers Memorial Trophy recipient of European descent since Stan Mikita of the St. Catharines Teepees claimed the honour in 1958-59.

“I am extremely grateful to receive this recognition,” Rossi continued. “This is truly a team award, and I want to thank the entire first-class 67’s organization for their support over the 2019-20 season. From the ownership group, to the management staff, to the coaching staff, to the training staff, to my teammates, to my billeting family, to my immediate family, to the fans and to everyone who provided a helping hand during this last season and the time leading up to it: thank you! I am honored and forever grateful to receive this prestigious award.”

The 18-year-old from Feldkirch, Austria helped power the first place 67’s with the League’s top power play, rounding out the campaign with a total of 34 multi-point performances, 23 of which included three points or more. He earned three star of the game recognition a total of 23 different times, a figure that includes eight first star selections. The 5-foot-9, 187Ib. centreman finished the schedule with an impressive 58.5% success rate in the faceoff circle and was held off the scoresheet just four times.

Rossi’s 120 points are the most by a 67’s player in a single season since Locke (151) in 2002-03. His plus-69 rating is the fifth-highest by any player since the League began tracking plus/minus in 1996-97, trailing fellow 67’s Nick Boynton (plus 81, 1996-97) and Sean Blanchard (plus-74, 1996-97) as well as London’s Danny Syvret (plus-70, 2004-05) and Sault Ste. Marie’s Morgan Frost (plus-70, 2017-18).

“Marco brought fans out of their seats on numerous occasions this season, consistently showcasing his skill and smarts,” said 67’s general manager James Boyd. “Marco played with a commitment to the team concept and attention to detail defensively and on many nights dominated the game with his play at both ends of the ice. Marco is an outstanding player and it is fitting that he be awarded the Red Tilson Trophy for his contributions to our team this season.”

The sixth-ranked North American skater on NHL Central Scouting’s Final Draft Rankings competed in the 2020 Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game this past January in Hamilton. Rossi, who was named to the OHL’s second all-rookie team in 2018-19, has accumulated 185 points (68-117–185) over just 109 regular season games since being selected by the 67’s with the 18th overall pick of the 2018 CHL Import Draft. He was widely recognized in the 2019-20 OHL Coaches Poll, appearing in six different categories as he earned recognition as the Eastern Conference’s smartest player, best playmaker and best shootout shooter.

The Red Tilson Trophy is the most prestigious individual award presented by the Ontario Hockey League.  First presented in 1945, the trophy is named in honour of Albert “Red” Tilson, who was killed in action in Europe during World War II. Tilson was the OHA scoring champion for the 1942-43 season after scoring 19 goals and 38 assists for 57 points in 22 games with the Oshawa Generals.

Accredited media were asked to select their top choice from the 20 nominees submitted by all 20 member clubs. Rossi led the way, receiving 62% of the overall vote followed by the League’s second-highest point producer in Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit with 13% of the vote and OHL goal-scoring leader Nick Robertson of the Peterborough Petes with his share of 12%.

This marks the 10th time a 67’s player has earned the award as Rossi follows the aforementioned Corey Locke (2002-03, 2003-04), defenceman Brian Campbell (1998-99), two-time winner Alyn McCauley (1995-96, 1996-97), Andrew Cassels (1987-88), Jim Fox (1979-80), Bobby Smith (1977-78) and Peter Lee (1975-76) in having his name engraved on the trophy. In addition to Luukkonen, other recent winners include Sarnia’s Jordan Kyrou (2018), Erie’s Alex DeBrincat (2017) and London’s Mitch Marner (2016). Rossi joins Connor McDavid (Erie 2015), Tyler Seguin (Plymouth 2010), John Tavares (Oshawa 2007), David Legwand (Plymouth 1998), Eric Lindros (Oshawa 1991) and Jack Valiquette (Sault Ste. Marie 1974) as the seventh player to claim the honour prior to his NHL Draft selection.

The Red Tilson Trophy winner is the OHL’s nominee for Canadian Hockey League Player of the Year to be announced in the coming weeks.

2020 OHL Awards announcements continue on Friday when the OHL recognizes the 2019-20 recipient of the Ken Bodendistel Character Award for Officials.

For full coverage of the 2020 OHL Awards, be sure to visit ontariohockeyleague.com or follow along on TwitterInstagram and Facebook.

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

Reid Valade – Kitchener Rangers – Player Profile

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 162 Pounds

Date of birth: March 14, 2002

Hometown: Caledon, Ontario

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 17th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
N.R. N.R. 123 N.A.

148 N.A.

Reid is a speedy winger that is constantly moving and putting pressure on the other team. He has electric speed and is always challenging defencemen wide or jumping quickly in and out of holes for scoring chances. He has a good skill set which allows him to beat players one-on-one as well as finish off scoring chances when they arrive. He shoots the puck well and has a quick release. Reid is a smart player that can play any type of game or role on his team.

That was OHL Central Scouting’s scouting report on Kitchener Rangers Right winger Reid Valade following his Minor Midget AAA season with the Toronto Marlboros during the 2017-2018 season. Valade scored 31 goals and assisted on 38 in 55 games for the Marlboros. He added 3 goals and 6 helpers for the Marlboros in 6 games at the OHL Cup and represented Team GTHL Blue at the OHL Gold Cup, scoring 3 goals and 4 points in 4 games.

Valade made his OHL debut on September 21, 2018 and registered his first point, an assist, on October 5, 2018. His first OHL goal didn’t come until his 31st game on January 4, 2019 against the Owen Sound Attack. Valade would finish the year with 5 goals and 15 assists in 62 games. He would also represent Canada at the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 and record 2 assists in 5 games.

Valade, Reid
Reid Valade of the Kitchener Rangers.

By the time the 2019-2020 season was cancelled, Valade had appeared in 52 games, scoring 18 goals and assisting on 21.

Valade is an exceptional skater with tremendous speed and very quick acceleration from zero. Even when in motion, he has a surprisingly quick separation gear. He gets in on the forecheck quickly and despite his 5’10” frame, he’s not shy about going into battle when he gets there. He’s also willing to drive to the blue paint with or without the puck.

Valade plays at a high pace and does so at every turn. He provides the Rangers with a lot of energy the way he plays the game and he can get under the oppositions skin. Valade possesses a very good shot, with a quick release and an ability to beat goaltenders with. He’s been used on the powerplay and has shown he can be effective with limited opportunity.

Valade by all accounts is a very coachable player. He can be seen absorbing what coaches are telling him on the bench and taking direction from teammates. He can also be trusted defensively. His skating allows him to come back on the forecheck, he understands the need to get into and take away lanes. He uses his stick effectively; he can kill penalties and be trusted to go up against the opposition’s top players.

Most believe that the knock on Valade is that his head and his hands need to catch up to his feet. There is some truth to that. He plays at such a high pace with a lot of energy, that he doesn’t always make the right decisions. But there is certainly a lot to like.

NHL Central Scouting didn’t list Valade on their players to watch list in the preseason or November lists. However, when their mid term rankings came out, they had Valade at 123 among North American Skaters and dropped him 25 spots on their final rankings. That puts him in the 7th round for the 2020 NHL Draft.

Valade can be a solid 4th liner at the next level that can kill penalties, can be trusted defensively provide energy and pop in the odd goal. If he can put it all together, he can bring the same attributes on the third line with a little more scoring ability.

Logan Morrison – Hamilton Bulldogs – Player Profile

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 175 Pounds

Date of birth: July 9, 2002

Hometown: Guelph, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 18th overall, 2018 Priority Selection

NHL Central Scouting Rankings

Pre-season

November Mid-term Final
C Prospect C Prospect 184 N.A.

190 N.A.

With stars Arthur Kaliyev and Jan Jenik already drafted by NHL squads, there weren’t a lot of reasons for the scouting community to converge on First Ontario Center in Hamilton and catch a glimpse of the Bulldogs young pivot Logan Morrison. That is, until Jan Mysak joined the team following the World Junior Championships. But was it enough?

With the cancellation of the season due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, it’s provided the opportunity to go back to re-read notes and dissect video.

Morrison was a first-round selection, 18th overall at the Ontario Hockey League’s Priority Selection following an impressive year of Minor Midget AAA hockey with the Guelph Jr. Gryphons during the 2017-2018 season. In 33 games, Morrison scored 32 goals and assisted on 42 others.

Logan Morrison of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Logan Morrison of the Hamilton Bulldogs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Morrison also did well with the Gryphons at the OHL Cup scoring 4 goals and 2 assists in 4 games. He would also represent Team OMHA White at the OHL Gold Cup and scored 5 goals in 4 contests.

From OHL Central Scouting:

Logan is one of the smartest offensive players in this year’s Priority Selection. He has a great understanding of the game and each situation. He is creative offensively but also makes the simple safe play which is usually the right one. He is a good skater that once in full stride he is deceivingly quick. He has great vision with the puck and scored numerous big goals for his team this season. Logan is one of those players that makes players around him better and he should continue to do this in the OHL.

The 2018-2019 season was Morrison’s rookie campaign in the OHL and had an impressive season with 14 goals and 20 assists in just 47 games. His 34 points were good for 9th among rookies but his .72 points-per-game were good enough for 6th.

A case could be made that Morrison didn’t make the expected jump offensively this season, based on his 23 goals and 22 assists in 59 games, and his .77 points-per-game rose only slightly. But when your lineup boasts Kaliyev, Jenik (until his injury) and Mysak (after his arrival), the top offensive situations are going there first – and there is no second guessing that although he did play with Jenik and Kaliyev at times.

The biggest improvement in Morrison from his rookie season was in his skating. I think he’s improved on his first step, his acceleration and his top speed. While it’s not explosive, he’s not slow and if he continues to put in the work and maybe adding a separation gear, it can only help him offensively.

Morrison is an extremely intelligent player. One of the more underrated aspects of his game is his puck possession abilities. He can hold onto the disk, sees plays developing quickly and dishes off perfect passes. But what is impressive is his play without the puck. He is able to move into space or drive the net knowing full well he is going to draw attention and create space for his teammates.

Despite his size, Morrison is not afraid to do battle behind the goal line on the forecheck and works his tail off to try and gain possession. He’s going to need to add some bulk to continue battling against bigger opponents.

Morrison is not just an offensive player. His defensive game has come a long way. His positioning is very good, he uses his stick effectively and he is good at transitioning to offence. In the neutral zone, he’s very good at anticipating and has shown improvements in breaking up plays before the opposition enters his zone. Again, adding some strength will help him win battles defensively.

Morrison has also shown marked improvement in his faceoff abilities. He’s still just at 48% on the season but that’s a big jump from the 40% a season ago.

NHL Central Scouting has Morrison at 190th among North American Skaters. That would put him outside the draft and looking at next season as a second opportunity. I think an NHL team should take him this season because if there is one thing we know for certain, it’s that Morrison will put in the work necessary.