OHL Writers 2022 Final Draft Rankings

Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Congratulations to the Saint John Sea Dogs on winning the 2022 Memorial Cup. Our own Hamilton Bulldogs should hold their heads up high on a fantastic season winning the J Ross Robertson Cup and putting up a great effort in Saint John.

The handing out of the Memorial Cup brings us to one item remaining for this season and that is our final ranking on Ontario Hockey League players eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. It was great to get a full season in and to be in the rinks once again – except for a couple of short weeks where the Pandemic caused us to stay out of buildings.

It was a difficult season to assess players because we didn’t have a previous season to base a player’s development on. So instead, we looked at how a player developed throughout the season.

This season, we ranked the top 60 players and the top 9 goaltenders from the OHL. Obviously, they won’t all get drafted but I would expect 35 that will be including four goaltenders. So, why rank 60 players? Because there are bound to be players outside my top 35 that will get picked and there will be development camp invites and you can get an idea of where I would have them.

Lucas Edmonds (Kingston), Matthew Maggio (Windsor), Amadeus Lombardi (Flint), Samuel Mayer (Peterborough), James Hardie (Mississauga), Kyle Jackson (North Bay), Tucker Robertson (Peterborough), Braeden Bowman (Guelph), Gavin White (Hamilton) and Kirill Steklov (London) are draft re-entries that made our list. In net, re-entries include Patrick Leaver (Oshawa), Brett Brochu (London) and Marco Costantini (Hamilton).

Shane Wright (Kingston) and Pavel Mintyukov (Saginaw) have been one-two for almost the entire season. Luca Del Bel Belluz (Mississauga) had a slight dip in the top five for us as did Ty Nelson (North Bay). David Goyette (Sudbury) did plenty to put himself into the top five in our minds and Owen Beck (Mississauga) was a mainstay there all season.

Our biggest climber was the same as virtually everyone else’s: Christian Kyrou (Erie) while our biggest faller was Ruslan Gazizov (London).

Here are our final rankings along with NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking among North American Skaters:

1Shane WrightKingston1
2Pavel MintyukovSaginaw6
3Owen BeckMississauga10
4David GoyetteSudbury13
5Luca Del Bel BelluzMississauga8
6Matyas SapovalivSaginaw23
7Ty NelsonNorth Bay32
8Danny ZhilkinGuelph35
9Paul LudwinskiKingston49
10Hunter HaightBarrie44
11Bryce McConnell-BarkerSoo34
12Isiah GeorgeLondon53
13Matthew PoitrasGuelph45
14Christian KyrouErie48
15Gavin HayesFlint51
16Vinzenz RohrerOttawa42
17Jake KarabelaGuelph62
18Michael BuchingerGuelph30
19Beau JelsmaBarrie88
20Servac PetrovskyOwen Sound58
21Cedrick GuindonOwen Sound59
22Lucas EdmondsKingston104
23Jorian DonovanHamilton81
24Spencer SovaErie80
25Pano FimisNiagara75
26Tnias MathurinNorth Bay126
27Kirill KudryavtsevSoo108
28Matthew MaggioWindsor103
29Jackson EdwardLondon123
30Kocha DelicSudbury122
31Evan KonyenSudbury85
32Amadeus LombardiFlint94
33Liam ArnsbyNorth Bay115
34Samuel MayerPeterborough139
35Tucker RobertsonPeterborough162
36Rodwin DionicioNiagara118
37Ruslan GazizovLondon149
38Brady StonehouseOttawa152
39Gavin WhiteHamiltonNR
40Colton SmithLondonNR
41Zakary LavoieMississauga134
42James HardieMississauga148
43Aidan CastleOwen Sound151
44Kyle JacksonNorth Bay158
45Nolan CollinsSudbury153
46Gavin BryantOwen Sound179
47Bryce CookNiagara183
48Braeden BowmanGuelph194
49Kai SchwindtMississauga196
50Sam AlfanoPeterborough207
51Max NamestnikovSarnia211
52Owen Van SteenselNorth BayNR
53Chas SharpeMississaugaNR
54Kirill SteklovLondon221
55Roberto ManciniSaginaw222
56Landon SimLondon215
57Kasper LarsenMississauga220
58Caeden CarlisleSoo223
59Angus BoothBarrieNR
60Simon SlavicekFlintNR
1Domenic DiVincentiisNorth Bay24
2Patrick LeaverOshawa16
3Andrew OkeSaginaw9
4Nolan LalondeErie14
5Brett BrochuLondon31
6Charlie SchenkelSoo17
7Jacob OsterGuelph18
8Josh RosenzweigNiagara22
9Marco CostantiniHamilton29

Brady Stonehouse – Ottawa 67’s – Player Profile

5’9”1828-6-04RWL26th 2020152 NACANADA
2019-20Under-16Elgin Middlesex Chiefs32223254
2020-21 DID NOT PLAY    
2021-22OHLOttawa 67’s68181735

If there is a player that raises more questions then answers about the type of player, he is it’s Brady Stonehouse of the Ottawa 67’s. It appears the scouting community is divided on the player.

Brady Stonehouse of the Ottawa 67’s. Photo by Robert Lefebvre/OHL Images.

Early in the OHL season it looked as though Stonehouse would project as a bottom six forward at the next level. Despite being 5’9” he is solidly built at 180-plus pounds and he’s not afraid to use that frame physically, especially on the forecheck. His willingness to go to and stand in front of the opposition net is impressive.

Stonehouse’s work ethic stands out. He’s a very good skater – and for the early part of the season he was straight line, dump and chase get on the forecheck and use his body type of player. He is pesky and tenacious and his play away from the puck is very good as his play in all three zones.

What was lacking when watching Stonehouse was any indication of vision, playmaking and skill to go with all the above. That is until he was moved to the 67’s top line. The transition to playing with the top skilled teammates was seamless and flawless.

Instead of going to battle in the attacking zone along the walls and playing the physical game, Stonehouse immediately began to come away with the puck no longer facing the walls and looking for and setting up teammates for scoring opportunities. And instead of heading straight for the net without the puck and planting himself there, he began to find open pockets and lanes to make himself an open target for his teammates. Though he lacks a high calibre shot, he would take it if it was there.

What Stonehouse showed is that he could play with talented players and they wouldn’t have to carry him. He held his own. But the question now is where do you draft him? Did you see enough in such a short window?

As one of the younger players in the draft class, it’s all about continuing to develop for Stonehouse. It won’t be enough to help him in the upcoming draft, but he could develop into more of a middle six role with the right development.

Tnias Mathurin – North Bay Battalion – Player Profile

6’31971/15/04DL41st 2020126 NACANADA
2019-20Under-16Ajax/Pickering Raiders3571219
2020-21OHLNorth Bay Battalion0000
2021-22OHLNorth Bay Battalion4431215
Tnias Mathurin of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Terry Wilson/ OHL Images.

If there is one player the lost season due to the pandemic has hurt the most, I look at Tnias Mathurin of the North Bay Battalion. And that’s because not only did he lose an entire season a year ago, but he missed one-third of this season due to injuries. So, are 44 games enough to get a read on Mathurin?

Here’s what we do know. At 6’3” and pushing 200-pounds he has size. And for his size he moves extremely well. He doesn’t have after burners but his speed is more on the acceptable size. His mobility is very good laterally and in backwards skating.

Defensively, Mathurin continues and will continue to work on his game. He is very good at defending the rush, he holds his blueline and he closes and keeps his gaps close very quickly. He also boxes out the front of his net very well. He’s learning to be a more physical player and his size will certainly help there.

In transition, he collects the puck quickly and when given time and space Mathurin uses that to go on the offense with his skating or a very good first pass. But if you take that time and space away, he chooses to make the safe play and chip it out of his zone. But he can also be prone to a turnover here and there.

What is difficult to get a read on is Mathurin’s offensive game. He hasn’t played a full season of hockey since 2018-2019 – his Under-15 year.

Mathurin showed a lot of promise to start the year and through the first half of the season. But then on February 4, 2022 he suffered an injury that would keep him out of the lineup until March 24.

What Mathurin did display was an ability and confidence to pinch at the opposition blue line to keep plays alive but he also picked his spots carefully. He also displayed good vision and an ability to make good passes. And when there was no pass available, he would move his feet to get himself into position to take the shot himself.

It would be great to have a larger body of work to base an opinion on. One thing I believe is that he can find his place at the NHL level as a shut down defenceman. The offensive aspect of his game won’t be known until next season with the Battalion.

Kocha Delic – Sudbury Wolves – Player Profile

2019-20GTHL U-16Toronto Titans U-1632222042
2019-20U-16Toronto Titans U-1659314576
2020-21SWE J-18Karlskrona0000
2021-22WJC U-18Canada U-184200
2021-22OHLSudbury Wolves65172946
Kocha Delic of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by Robert Lefebvre/OHL Images.

Entering the 2020 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, Kocha Delic was already considered one of the better offensive players of his draft class with an ahead of the curve defensive responsibilities already in his game. The Sudbury Wolves were able to get him in the second round – 28th overall – at the draft.

But I want to begin with his skating. Delic has some impressive first steps and is able to get to top speed quickly. And while his top speed isn’t elite, it is good and I can only imagine it getting better as he adds some needed lower body strength. But his mobility in top flight is impressive. Strong edges and lateral movement enable him to take on defenders in one-on-one situations.

I view Delic as more of a playmaker than a goal scorer although his stats show that scoring goals is not a problem for him. I think Delic has a very high Hockey IQ and he processes the game quickly and has shown some impressive anticipation. He can also slow the game down, buy his teammates some time to get into open lanes and he more often than not finds them.

For a rookie, Delic was fine on faceoffs at 50.4%. On the powerplay, he was more of a setup guy than a shooter and many of nights the puck ran through him. He also got some time on the penalty kill and also shown he could create offense a man down, but I do wonder how much of that PK time was due to Sudbury being such a young team.

I want to go back to the defensive part of his game that was talked about in his draft year. Delic had some early season troubles adjusting to the faster OHL game and the bigger players. But credit to him, he worked hard to get his game in order – his work ethic is off the charts – and he was one of only two Wolves players to finish as a plus player – Plus-6 – on a team that collectively finished a minus-74.

At 5’10 Delic is obviously not the biggest player, but he loves to try and get in on the forecheck. He could stand to add a little more physicality to his game by taking out his man, and that may come as he adds more bulk. So, how does this translate to the NHL? I think the skating and the hockey IQ and a developing defensive game is enough to get him to the NHL and carve out a fine career. I don’t know that the offensive game will totally translate for him. He could be a fine third line pivot who is defensively responsible and can chip in a bit on offensive if his development curve continues to develop.

Rodwin Dionicio – Niagara IceDogs – Player Profile

6’22033-30-04DL18th 2021118 NAUSA
2020-21Under-17 ElitBern U-1710268
2020-21Under-20 ElitBern U-203121012
2021-22OHLNiagara IceDogs5762531
#94 Rodwin Dionicio of the Niagara IceDogs. Brandon Taylor/ OHL Images

Born in Newark New Jersey, Niagara IceDogs defenceman Rodwin Dionicio has both American and Swiss citizenship, but because he has represented Switzerland at numerous IIHF sanctioned tournaments, he will be considered Swiss in future tournaments. And because he was playing in Switzerland at the time of the OHL Draft, he had to be selected in the CHL Import Draft. And the IceDogs did just that using the 18th overall pick at the 2021 Import Draft. The Dionicio parents were both from the Dominican Republic and moved to Switzerland when Dionicio was just 5 months young.

There is a lot to like about Dionicio. He has good size and his frame is solidly built. He uses that size and bulk to play a physical game. And when he hits, he hits to hurt – not in the literal sense, but he hits very hard. And he uses that physical stature in his competitiveness when it comes to the board battles and in front of his goaltender. He just will not give up.

Dionicio can lead the attack from transition, he handles the puck extremely well, he sees the ice well and he can make plays. He is willing to jump up in the attack and can pace himself to be the late man. In short, you have to be intrigued by the offensive potential. He has the skill set, the IQ and the willingness. But something is lacking.

Dionicio lacks speed. He’s not bad once he gets going, but his first steps are in need of some improvement, He has the strength in his legs, so maybe just fine tuning his technique will get him there. It will only help develop all the offensive instincts he already possesses.

But it’s just not the speed he needs to work on. His pivots from forward to backward skating needs improving as does his east-west mobility – or his lateral movement. The improvements will not just help him offensively, but defensively. It would help him to get to puck retrievals quicker and help stay with opponents and keep them wide or to the outside. It is something he is lacking that leads him to take foolish and unnecessary penalties.

I’ve often said that skating doesn’t worry me as much as it once did because of the coaching players receive when they get to the next level. And it’s possible Dionicio didn’t receive that level of coaching in Switzerland.

That said, the skill set would have me taking Dionicio higher than where I will rank him, but I do have some concern about the skating here and that will cause him to drop.

But he could be a surprise find in later rounds if he can put it together.

Domenic DiVincentiis – North Bay Battalion – Player Profile

6’2”1813-4-04GL116th 202024th NACANADA
Domenic DiVincentiis of the North Bay Battalion. Photo by Robert Lefebvre/OHL Images

I will admit that I am baffled at NHL Central Scouting’s ranking of North Bay Battalion Goaltender Domenic DiVincentiis. I am even more baffled that they dropped him eleven spots from their mid term ranking to their final ranking among North American Goaltenders. That change dropped him from fourth among OHL goaltenders to seventh. The fact is, there are plenty of OHL people that believe he is the top OHL goaltender for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

Among draft eligible netminders, DiVincentiis finished with the best goals-against-average (winning the Dinty Moore Trophy as the rookie goaltender with the lowest GAA) and third best save-percentage, surpassed only by two draft re-entry or “overagers”. The Battalion coaching staff had enough confidence in him to start half their playoff games over the older and much more experienced teammate Joe Vrbetic.

At 6’2” DiVincentiis has good size. There are aspects of his game that are further ahead in development. He’s an athletic goaltender who is excellent on his skates and enables him to go post-to-post or dart out to the top of the paint quickly. His technique is also very good. He is square to shooters, stays tall in his net and I like how he gives opponents little to no room when in the reverse-VH. While he is no Mike Smith, he handles the puck pretty well.

Like any goaltender at this level, DiVincentiis doesn’t come without some warts – or more fairly, things to work on. His rebound control needs work as does his ability to fight through traffic to see how the play is developing. In tight with traffic, he also needs some work at staying focused and tracking the puck. These are all fixable through coaching as long as he is willing to put in the work and the effort. There is nothing to suggest he won’t.

DiVincentiis was part of Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence last summer, so they too saw something in the young netminder. I’ve said it before, but I don’t believe this year’s draft class to be a great class among OHL goaltenders. We may not see one selected until late in the third round, maybe early fourth. But DiVincentiis should get some consideration to be the first one selected.

Kirill Kudryavtsev – Soo Greyhounds – Player Profile

6’2002-5-04DL6th 2020 Import108 NARUSSIA
2019-20Russia U-16Yaroslavl U-162772835
2020-21MHLLoko Yaroslavl20257
2021-22OHLSoo Greyhounds6853439
Kirill Kudryavtsev of the Soo Greyhounds. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images

For Soo Greyhounds defenceman Kirill Kudryavtsev, the draft year began by helping Russia capture a gold medal at the 2021 Hlinka-Gretzky Tournament.  

The Greyhounds had just selected Kudryavtsev with the sixth overall pick in June at the CHL Import Draft. Immediately following the Hlinka-Gretzky, he committed to joining the Greyhounds for his draft year.

There were expectations on Kudryavtsev entering the OHL. He was known for having an impact at both ends of the ice. Sometimes it takes a bit of patience with a European player coming to North America and playing on the smaller ice surface. That said, I’ve been impressed with his progression this season.

Kudryavtsev has some decent wheels when he gets going at top speed. However, it takes some time for him to reach it. I think improving his first few steps will go a long way for him. When he reaches top speed, he uses it to his advantage to join the rush. His puck handling is very good and I think he sees the ice well enough that he can make plays.

Kudryavtsev also has a variety of very nice shots. What is best about it is that he can adjust his release point. He can also bring it in close to his blades and get off a shot from there. Too many times however, he is looking to make the play rather than take the shot himself. When he does decide to shoot – only 87 in 68 games – it’s always with a purpose. He’s looking for those tips and rebounds for his teammates.

Defensively, I have also been impressed with his development. Early on there was some tentativeness to take opponents to the wall and engage in front of his own net to help his goaltenders see the shots coming. It has come along. Even his puck retrieval skills have improved and can only get better if he and when he works on those first few steps I mentioned. His decisions when exiting the zone were not always the best, but there has been a marked improvement there as the season has progressed. Maybe it’s confidence. Maybe it’s getting use to the smaller ice because everything was coming at him faster this year then in previous years.

I’ve seen him called “the best Russian Defenceman with a 2004 birthdate.” I don’t know that I would go that far, but the skills and talent level have me intrigued for sure.

Beau Jelsma – Barrie Colts – Player Profile

5’9”1744-28-04CL55th 202088th NACANADA
2019-20U-15Buffalo Jr Sabres53261743
2020-21OHLBarrie Colts0000
2021-22OHLBarrie Colts68272047
Beau Jelsma of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson/OHL Images.

So, Beau Jelsma of the Barrie Colts had a pretty decent season prior to the OHL Priority Selection in 2020 with the Buffalo Jr Sabres Under-15 squad. Putting up 26 goals and 17 helpers in 53 games wasn’t too shabby. To say what came after that was a surprise would be an understatement.

Once his Under-15 season was over, Jelsma moved onto the Brantford 99’ers Under-16 team and scored once in 2 regular season games. But it was the playoffs where he put up 11 goals and 10 assists in 12 games that was both inspiring and surprising.

Of course, like most OHL players, Jelsma would miss the 2020-21 season in its entirety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And like so many others, where to rank Jelsma at the start of the year raised question. If you compare NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term ranking to their final ranking and focus on players that were in the draft range at mid-term, Jelsma was one of the highest risers on their final list.

I’ve learned my lesson not to shy away from smaller players and at 5’9”, Jelsma certainly is on the smaller side. But even at 5’9” Jelsma is incredibly strong, hard to knock off pucks, engages physically along the walls and gets to the dirty area in front of the net and yes, wins most of his board battles.

Jelsma is a speedy and strong skater who generates a lot of speed with his crossovers. He can also maintain possession of the puck at top speed and is not afraid to take on defenders’ one-on-one, take it to the outside and then cut back inside with that upper body strength. He will also get in on the forecheck and as mentioned, is not shy about doing battle. Tenacious in every aspect is a good word to use.

Jelsma also sees the ice extremely well and can see the play developing. While he’s been a scorer more than a playmaker through his career, he can set up teammates. But when a teammate has the puck is when he is most dangerous. He reads the play so well that he can leak into open areas and create passing lanes for his teammates and then he releases his shot quickly and accurately. His shooting percentage was good at 20.5%.

Faceoffs is an area where Jelsma needs to put in some work. He was at 50.6% at the dot this season and that’s not bad for a rookie in the OHL. Defensively, He has made improvements throughout the season and can be trusted in any situation including the penalty kill – but it is still a work in progress.  

Evan Konyen – Sudbury Wolves – Player Profile

5’11”1702-22-04RWR71st 202085 NAUSA
2019-20U-15Pittsburgh Penguins U-1555362763
2020-21OHLSudbury Wolves0000
2021-22OHLSudbury Wolves66163450
Evan Konyen of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by Robert Lefebvre/OHL Images

Born in Newmarket Ontario, Sudbury Wolves winger Evan Konyen grew up in Mars Pennsylvania and is a dual citizen if Canada and the United States. Last summer he was invited to by USA Hockey to attend their Development Camp for the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament.

After a good season with the Pittsburgh Penguins Under-15 squad, the Wolves selected Konyen with their fourth-round pick – 71st overall – at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. Although this was his technically his second season, he was still a rookie, because of the lost season of 2020-2021 due to the pandemic. Konyen was also selected in the 2021 USHL Entry Draft in the 6th round – 92nd overall, by the Sioux Falls Stampede.

Konyen’s 16 goals and 34 assists were good for second on a young and upcoming Sudbury Wolves team (14 players making their first appearance in the OHL). And while he plays with some pace to his game at this level, he is the complimentary piece on a line and not the driver. If he is paired with someone who drives a line and a competent playmaker, Konyen can finish. But he can also make plays himself.

Konyen got off to a very strong start this season but COVID-19 cancellations slowed the process for him and others on the Wolves. Not to mention the unbalanced schedule had a huge effect on them. Over 60 percent of the Wolves 68 game schedule were played against 4 of the top OHL teams. That’s not a recipe for success for individuals or as a team.

Coming out of the 2020 Priority Selection, it was widely believed that the Wolves got a steal of a pick getting Konyen in the fourth round. Tabbed as a speedy goal scoring winger who could also play down the middle, I don’t think he reached the level I expected of him, and that might be due to what I mentioned above.

Konyen has very good speed and has shown an ability to dissect the opposition. However, I don’t believe his hands have fully reached the speed of his feet as he is prone to turnovers more than I would like to see. But he does think the game at high speed, able to make passes when he reaches top speed while also seeing the play develop.

At 5’11” and just 170 pounds, Konyen doesn’t have a lot of size and muscle which tends to get him knocked off the puck at times. How to handle the physicality while becoming more physical himself will come as he bulks up some.

Defensively, Konyen appears to absorb what the coaching staff requires of him. But it is a work in progress. He’s smart and he will eventually get it but that part of his game is also a work in progress.

As a natural goal scorer who has shown more than enough ability, Konyen is worth a serious look by an NHL team in and around the middle of the fourth round.

Andrew Oke – Saginaw Spirit – Player Profile

6’2”2003-26-04GL89th 20209th NAUSA
2019-20U-15Honeybaked U-15381.82.910
2020-21OHLSaginaw Spirit000
2021-22OHLSaginaw Spirit364.63.848
Andrew Oke of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images

I don’t hesitate in saying this isn’t a particularly strong goaltending class for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. If you are a believer in NHL Central Scouting, Andrew Oke of the Saginaw Spirit is at the top of the class from the OHL. The Native of Shelby Township, Michigan has led the OHL netminders from start to finish on their list and dropped one spot from eighth to ninth among North American Goaltenders.

Don’t let the numbers fool you. Saginaw was the League’s second worst team and had the second most porous defence. The Spirit have some good young talent to move forward with and Oke is a part of that group so one must ask themselves if you take the gamble this year or wait a season to see where he is at?

After a great season with Honeybaked Under-15 where he led them to the HPHL U-15 Championship, the Spirit selected Oke with their fifth-round pick – 89th overall – at the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. A year later, the Omaha Lancers selected him in the USHL Phase II draft in the seventh-round – 101st overall.

Self admittedly, Oke models his game after Carey Price. At 6’2” and 200 pounds, Oke’s frame is filled in and is almost on par with Price’s 6’3” and 217 pounds. The most similar trait he has to Price is his ability to remain calm and focused while under siege. Also, his ability to move forward with his “on to the next shot” mentality.

While Oke has some good mobility in his net – post to post movement and an ability to dart to the top of the paint are noticeable, he’s also athletic. He has the ability to make jaw dropping saves. Oke also has a superb glove hand. His reaction and reflexes are lightning quick. He gets down in the butterfly and back on his skates in the blink of an eye. He shows plenty of confidence when coming out of his net to handle the puck.

With any goaltender at this level, there are things to work on. Fighting through traffic to better track the play and the puck in front of him is just one area that needs some work. He can sometimes lose his short side post leaving openings there. He could play bigger when in the Reverse VH position as too many times he leaves an opening up top those elite shooters can exploit. His rebound control is not bad, but could use some work as well. His pads are lightning quick when down in the butterfly, but it’s about where he directs the puck that could use some improvement.

The good news is those “issues” are easily fixable with coaching. The basics are there and it’s all about fine tuning and putting in the hard work. And Oke isn’t shy about putting work in.