OHL Western Conference Final Preview

Wayne Gretzky Trophy

And then there were four.

The Ontario Hockey League Western Conference Final has been set after the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds eliminated the Owen Sound Attack in game 7 last night. If you missed the Eastern Conference Preview, you can find it here.

The Canadian Hockey League’s top ranked Greyhounds got here by eliminating the Saginaw Spirit in four games before dispatching the Attack. The Kitchener Rangers will meet the Greyhounds beginning in Sault Ste Marie by defeating the Guelph Storm and Sarnia Sting by identical 4-2 margins.

Here’s how the two teams stacked up this season:

  Sault Ste. Marie Kitchener
Season Series 4-0-0-0 0-4-0-0
Home record 31-1-2-0 22-11-1-0
Road record 24-6-1-3 21-10-2-1
Goals for 317 246
Goals against 186 218
Powerplay (regular season) 24.8% 20.7%
Powerplay (playoffs) 30.2% 28.6%
Penalty kill (regular season) 82.0% 82.9%
Penalty kill (playoffs) 78.3% 83.3%
PP vs opponent 21.4% 25.0%
PK vs Opponent 75.0% 78.6%
Leading scorer Frost (42-70-112) Mascherin (40-46-86)
Leading after 2nd 39-0-0-0 30-2-1-0
Trailing after 2nd 5-6-1-3 6-14-2-0
Last 10 games 7-3-0 6-3-1

 

The schedule for the series is as follows:

Game 1, Fri., April 20 at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 Game 2, Sat., April 21 at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07 Game 3, Mon., April 23 at Kitchener, 7:00 Game 4, Wed., April 25 at Kitchener, 7:00 Game 5, Fri., April 27 at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07* Game 6, Sun., April 29 at Kitchener, 2:00* Game 7, Mon., April 30 at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:07* *if necessary

Just like their Eastern Conference counterparts, both squads added some major pieces throughout the season. The Rangers added Kole Sherwood (Flint Firebirds), Givani Smith (Guelph Storm), Logan Brown and Austin McEneny (Windsor Spitfires) and Mario Culina (Sudbury Wolves).

The Greyhounds also added some major pieces, acquiring Taylor Raddysh and Jordan Sambrook (Erie Otters).

The rangers have a trio of draft eligible players to keep an eye on: Giovanni Vallati, Riley Damiani and Adam Liska. The Greyhounds have a pair of projected first rounders in Barrett Hayton and Rasmus Sandin.

The season series wasn’t as dominating as the Greyhounds’ sweep suggest with three of the four games ending as one-goal games. The Greyhounds hold a decisive advantage in the goals-for and goals-against department.

The Greyhounds hold the advantage with the extra man, but the Rangers do better then the Greyhounds down a man. But head-to-head, the Rangers hold the advantage in both categories. Both teams are very good at protecting the lead.

There’s a big part of me that wants to pick the Rangers, but I have been on the Hamilton versus The Soo Final, so I can’t change my mind now.

Prediction: Sault Ste Marie in 6 games

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Ontario Hockey League Introduces Performance Development League

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced the launch of the new OHL Performance Development League (PDL).

The OHL PDL is an off-season development initiative targeted at young players incorporating Small Area 3 on 3 Games with weekly skill specific development sessions over an 11 week program.

Performance League

The concept of the OHL PDL has developed with full support from Hockey Canada and the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF). All parties are excited to introduce a progressive and engaging development platform that creates an opportunity for minor hockey players to be exposed to OHL quality teaching methods, technical skill development, and new skill acquisition.

“The Ontario Hockey League is proud to introduce the Performance Development League for Minor Hockey players to enhance their skills through the growing popularity of small area games,” said Joe Birch, OHL Senior Director of Hockey Development and Special Events. “The program has been designed to engage young athletes in a fun, fast paced, skills focused environment, as they grow their love of the game in preparation for the season.”

The OHL’s introduction of the first Small Area 3 on 3 Games league facilitates a practical setting for players to hone the execution of skills that are learned during drill and video work sessions.  Sessions will be led by OHL personnel with special guest coaches creating a premier and unparalleled off-season development experience for Minor Hockey players in Ontario. 

“This is a great opportunity for OHF players and staff to work with the OHL in the most important areas of skill development,” said Tony Foresi, OHF President. “The OHF and its Minor Members are pleased to be part of the evolving approach to player development and I am confident that the experience gained during this program will help our players, coaches, and staff involved.”

The program will be offered at Whitby’s Iroquois Park Sports Centre and Mississauga’s Iceland.  A total of 56 participants will be accepted at each location divided into four teams each comprised of 12 skaters and two goaltenders.  Eligible players must be registered with the OHF, entering Bantam (2004) or Minor Bantam (2005) programs for the 2018-19 season.

The inaugural PDL season will be played from Sunday June 3, 2018, through Sunday August 26, 2018, with a total of 11 weekly Sunday evening sessions excluding long weekends.  Sessions will be an hour long beginning with 25 minutes of skills development, succeeded by 25 minutes of Small Area 3 on 3 Games.

Registration is now open online, click here.

WATCH: Current NHL Assistant Coaches and former OHL Head Coaches, Steve Spott (San Jose Sharks) and DJ Smith (Toronto Maple Leafs), discuss the value in players utilizing small area games.

OHL Eastern Conference Final Preview

Bobby Orr Trophy

The Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference Final is all set: The Kingston Frontenacs will begin their 7-game series in Hamilton against the Bulldogs.

I haven’t fared to well in my predictions this season especially when it comes to the Eastern Conference. Through the opening two rounds, I have only been able to predict four of six teams advancing correctly in the East. And only one of those predictions in the correct number of games. Alas, I will march on.

Predictions

The top seed Bulldogs got here by dispatching the Ottawa 67’s in the opening round in 5 games. They went on to eliminate the Niagara IceDogs in 5 games in a series that was closer then it appears, with three of the games needing extra time.

The third seed Frontenacs took care of business defeating the North Bay Battalion in 5 games. In round two they eliminated the second seed Barrie Colts in 6 games. And as they say, “the stage was set.”

Here is how the two teams stack up:

  Hamilton Kingston
Regular Season Series 4-1-0-1 2-1-2-1
Home record 22-9-0-3 22-6-5-1
Road record 21-9-4-0 14-17-1-2
Goals for 252 243
Goals against 207 202
Powerplay (regular season) 24.6% 25.7%
Powerplay (playoffs) 35.9% 26.7%
Penalty kill (regular season) 77.1% 84.7%
Penalty kill (playoffs) 75.6% 82.1%
PP vs opponent 22.2% 25.0%
PK vs Opponent 75.0% 77.8%
Leading scorer Thomas (24-51-75) Robertson (41-46-87)
Leading after 2nd 33-2-0-2 25-3-2-2
Trailing after 2nd 6-15-2-0 5-17-2-0
Last 10 games 8-1-1 8-1-1

 

The schedule for the series is as follows:

Game 1, Wed., April 18 at Hamilton, 7:00 Game 2, Fri., April 20 at Hamilton, 7:00 Game 3, Sun., April 22 at Kingston, 6:00 Game 4, Tue., April 24 at Kingston, 7:00 Game 5, Thurs., April 26 at Hamilton, 7:00* Game 6, Sat., April 28 at Kingston, 7:00* Game 7, Mon., April 30 at Hamilton, 7:00* *if necessary

These two squads met a season ago in the playoffs in what was an exciting series that went to game 7 in overtime with the Frontenacs prevailing. After losing the first two games at home, Kingston would invade First Ontario Center and even the series up on the road. After exchanging home victories in games 5 and 6, the finale would take place in Kingston.

Both teams came into this season being favorites to come this far. I had the Bulldogs meeting the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds in the OHL Finals. Both teams loaded up during the season for just this opportunity.

The Frontenacs added Mitchell Byrne (Erie Otters), Max Jones and Cliff Pu (London Knights), Sean Day and Gabriel Vilardi (Windsor Spitfires) and Matt Hotchkiss (Guelph Storm) during the season.

The Bulldogs made big moves of their own adding Nicolas Mattinen (Erie Otters), Robert Thomas (London Knights), Riley Stillman (Oshawa Generals), Nicholas Caamano and Ryan Moore (Flint Firebirds) and Kade Landry (Barrie Colts).

Both squads carry a wealth of experience with the only notable draft eligible player being Hamilton backup goaltender Nick Donofrio. There are a couple of players to keep an eye on re-entering the draft however. They include Kingston’s Linus Nyman and Hamilton’s Isaac Nurse and Brandon Saigeon.

Statistically speaking, these two teams are evenly matched. Kingston holds a decisive advantage on the penalty kill in both the regular season and the playoffs while Hamilton holds the powerplay advantage during the playoffs, but not the regular season. And head-to-head the advantage goes to the Frontenacs.

This should come down to home ice advantage. Both teams were extremely strong in their own barn with the Bulldogs a little more susceptive to giving up a game on home ice. The difference however is that Hamilton was as dominating on the road as they were at home.

Prediction: Hamilton in 7 games

Rosters Revealed for 2018 OHL Gold Cup

OHL Gold Cup 2018

Toronto, ON – 130 players selected in Saturday’s OHL Priority Selection have been named to 2018 OHL Gold Cup rosters where they’ll represent their respective minor hockey associations starting Thursday May 3rd in Kitchener, Ont.

The Ottawa 67’s lead the way with 10 prospects competing in the annual showcase while the Peterborough Petes and Sudbury Wolves trail close behind with nine each.


The OHL Gold Cup is an annual showcase event featuring top under-16 talent in Ontario. As part of the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence, select players from the OHL Gold Cup will be invited to attend the National Under-17 Selection Camp, where they will have a chance to compete with other top talent from across Canada, to earn a spot at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.


NEW FORMAT ANNOUNCED FOR 2018 EVENT:


The 160 players named to rosters for the OHL Gold Cup will have greater development opportunities and more training directly from Hockey Canada, thanks to a new format being introduced for the 2018 event. This is being done to create greater symmetry between the OHL Gold Cup and the National Under-17 Selection Camp, which is the next step for these players in the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence.


“After five successful events under the old format, we are pleased to have developed a new structure which better serves the development of the players,” says Phillip McKee, OHL Gold Cup Steering Committee. “Working under the guidance of Hockey Canada staff, we believe this new format will help prepare Ontario players for the rigours of a national selection camp.”


New features of the OHL Gold Cup in 2018 include: three off-ice education sessions, dedicated position-specific practices, and a full-team game-day skate. Additionally, the format of the tournament itself has been updated to feature three pool games and one crossover game on the final day. The OHL Gold Cup champion will be the winner of the A1 versus B1 crossover game.


HIGHLIGHTS OF 2018 OHL GOLD CUP ROSTERS INCLUDE:


• All eligible players from the first round of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection have been named to OHL Gold Cup rosters (19 of the 20).

• 130 of the 160 OHL Gold Cup players were picked in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

• Top minor hockey teams represented on rosters: Thunder Bay Kings (11), Sudbury Wolves (9), Toronto Marlboros (9), North Bay Trappers (8), Oakville Rangers (8), Mississauga Reps (7), Vaughan Kings (7), Rockland Nationals (6).

• From the 2017 event, 22 OHL Gold Cup alumni were selected to play for Hockey Canada at the 2017 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.


OHL Prospects on 2018 OHL Gold Cup Rosters:


Barrie Colts (8):

Ryan Beck (HNO)**
Austin D’Orazio (GTHL Blue)
Tyson Foerster (OMHA Black)
Aidan Hughes (GTHL Red)
Reid Oliver (ALLIANCE)
Riley Piercey (GTHL Red)*
Eric Russell (GTHL Red)
Rocco Testa-Basi (HEO)

Erie Otters (5):
Ryan Alexander (GTHL Red)
Jamie Drysdale (GTHL Red)*
Logan Maunder (OMHA White)
Justin Mauro (NOHA)
Ethan Ritchie (OMHA White)

Flint Firebirds (6):
Michael Bianconi (GTHL Blue)
Evan Boucher (HEO)
Jack Harper (OMHA White)
Ryan Mansfield (OMHA White)
Owen Power (GTHL Blue)
Evan Vierling (OMHA Black)*

Guelph Storm (7):
Owen Bennett (OMHA Black)
Ty Collins (OMHA Black)
Ben McFarlane (ALLIANCE)
Luka Profaca (GTHL Red)
Spencer Smith (OMHA Black)
Zack Terry (OMHA Black)
Cooper Walker (ALLIANCE)

Hamilton Bulldogs (5):
Marco Costantini (GTHL Blue)
George Diaco (ALLIANCE)
Logan Morrison (OMHA White)*
Michael Renwick (GTHL Red)
Davis Young (GTHL Blue)

Kingston Frontenacs (6):
Liam Babcock (GTHL Blue)
Alex Caulfield (HEO)
Thomas Haynes (GTHL Blue)
Jake Murray (OMHA Black)*
Mathias Onuska (ALLIANCE)
Bryce Ryan (ALLIANCE)

Kitchener Rangers (6):
Isaac Langdon (OMHA White)
Dalton McBride (OMHA White)
Donovan Sebrango (HEO)
Joseph Serpa (ALLIANCE)
Reid Valade (GTHL Blue)*
Dylan Winsor (HNO)

London Knights (7):
Dario Beljo (NOHA)
Luke Evangelista (OMHA White)*
Vincent Labelle (HEO)
Brendan Mairs (ALLIANCE)
Sean McGurn (HEO)
Sahil Panwar (HNO)**
Ben Roger (OMHA White)

Mississauga Steelheads (7):
Rylan Bowers (ALLIANCE)
Mason Carter (HEO)
James Hardie (OMHA Black)*
Devlin O’Brien (GTHL Blue)
William Portokalis (GTHL Red)
Joe Ranger (HEO)
Michael Stubbs (HNO)

Niagara IceDogs (7):
A.J. Favot (NOHA)
Stephen Halliday (GTHL Blue)
Lleyton Moore (GTHL Blue)*
Ethan Sims (OMHA White)
Cameron Snow (OMHA White)
Jake Uberti (GTHL Blue)
Jacob Vreugdenhil (OMHA Black)

North Bay Battalion (8):
David Campbell (NOHA)
Kyle Jackson (GTHL Blue)
Jesse Kirkby (NOHA)
Cameron Peters (GTHL Red)
Reece Proulx (NOHA)
Pacey Schlueting (NOHA)*
Jack Stockfish (NOHA)
Joe Vrbetic (GTHL Red)

Oshawa Generals (7):
Hunter Brazier (NOHA)
Ryan Gagnier (ALLIANCE)
David Gucciardi (GTHL Blue)
Dawson McKinney (OMHA White)
Dylan Robinson (GTHL Blue)
Matthew Sbrocca (ALLIANCE)
Tyler Tullio (GTHL Blue)*

Ottawa 67’s (10):
Colby Ambrosio (HNO)**
Alec Belanger (OMHA Black)
Liam Cavan (HEO)
Anthony Costantini (GTHL Red)
Will Cranley (OMHA Black)
Yanic Crete (HEO)
Owen Luik (OMHA Black)
Matthew Maggio (ALLIANCE)
Dylan Peterson (HEO)
Cameron Tolnai (OMHA White)*

Owen Sound Attack (5):
Josh Barnes (HEO)
Marco Latassa (OMHA White)
Nolan Seed (HEO)*
Nathan Small (ALLIANCE)
Brody Waters (OMHA Black)

Peterborough Petes (9):
Tye Austin (HEO)
Jack Bar (OMHA Black)
Cameron Butler (OMHA Black)
Will Cuylle (GTHL Blue)*
Jackson Kirk (OMHA White)
Matthew Perciballi (GTHL Red)
Luc Reeve (OMHA Black)
Sheldon Serraglio (ALLIANCE)
Shawn Spearing (GTHL Red)

Saginaw Spirit (4):
Sebastian Bulovs (GTHL Blue)
Ethan Cardwell (OMHA Black)
Tristan Lennox (GTHL Blue)
Cole Perfetti (GTHL Red)*

Sarnia Sting (4):
Nolan Burke (OMHA White)
Nolan Dillingham-Morelli (GTHL Red)
Theo Hill (ALLIANCE)
Jacob Perreault (HNO)**

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (5):
Matthew Halushak (HNO)
Rory Kerins (GTHL Red)
Ryan O’Rourke (GTHL Red)*
Tyson Tomasini (HEO)
Kalvyn Watson (OMHA White)

Sudbury Wolves (9):
Kyle Aucoin (HNO)**
Giordano Biondi (NOHA)
Blake Butler (ALLIANCE)
Quinton Byfield (OMHA Black)*
Simon Labelle (HEO)
Nathan Ribau (OMHA White)
Ryan Smith (OMHA Black)
Jack Thompson (OMHA White)
Michael Tiveron (OMHA White)

Windsor Spitfires (5):
Jean-Luc Foudy (GTHL Red)*
McKay Hayes (GTHL Red)
Kyle McDonald (HEO)
Dylan Robinson (ALLIANCE)
Owen Shier (OMHA Black)

*first round pick
**played for American minor midget teams in 2017-18

The eight competing teams include ALLIANCEGTHL BlueGTHL RedHEOHNONOHAOMHA Black and OMHA White.

For more information including full rosters and schedule please visit ohlgoldcup.com.

About the OHL Gold Cup
The OHL Gold Cup is an annual showcase event featuring top under-16 talent in Ontario. As part of the Hockey Canada Program of Excellence, select players from the OHL Gold Cup will be invited to attend the National Under-17 Selection Camp, where they will have a chance to compete with other top talent from across Canada, to earn a spot at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

OHL completes second annual Under-18 Priority Selection

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today conducted the second annual OHL Under-18 Priority Selection for Midget AAA hockey players in Ontario.

priority-selection-under-18

Eligibility for the 2018 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection included all Midget players (2000 and 2001 birth years) not currently on an OHL Member Team Protected List who were carded with an Ontario based Midget AAA Hockey Club within the Ontario Hockey Federation, Hockey Eastern Ontario, or Hockey Northwestern Ontario in the current season.

Mitchell Weeks, a goaltender from the North Central Predators, was the first pick of the 2018 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection to the Sudbury Wolves, followed by forward Markus Paterson of the Toronto Nationals chosen second overall to the Flint Firebirds, and forward Dustin Hutton of the Vaughan Kings picked third overall by the Peterborough Petes.

A total of 53 players were selected from 34 different teams and included 27 forwards, 13 defencemen, and 13 goaltenders.  49 of the 53 players selected were born in 2001.

All OHL Member Teams were required to draft a minimum of two players, however to enhance opportunities specifically for goaltenders, clubs selecting a goaltender with one of their selections had the option to select another player (skater only) in an additional round.

“Congratulations to all 53 players selected in the 2018 OHL Under-18 Priority Selection and special acknowledgement to all the families, coaches, and teammates of these players for their support this season and throughout the minor hockey journey,” said Joe Birch, Senior Director of Hockey Development and Special Events. “This draft was introduced to raise the profile of Midget AAA hockey and to provide enhanced development opportunities for players. To be recognized for continued hard work and perseverance is a tremendous accomplishment.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL RESULTS OF THE 2018 OHL UNDER-18 PRIORITY SELECTION

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association led the way with 18 players selected from 14 different teams including 10 players who competed among eight ETA teams, and eight players from six different SCTA teams.  The SCTA’s Guelph Gryphons and Halton Hurricanes along with the ETA’s Kingston Frontenacs and Richmond Hill Coyotes each had two players selected.  The Greater Toronto Hockey League was represented by 13 players from seven different teams led by the Vaughan Kings with four players, and each of the Don Mills Flyers, Mississauga Senators, and Toronto Titans with two players selected.  The ALLIANCE had 10 players selected from six teams led by the Waterloo Wolves with three players, followed by the Huron Perth Lakers and the Windsor Jr. Spitfires each with two.  Hockey Eastern Ontario had a total of nine players chosen from five different teams including the Hawkesbury Hawks, Ottawa Senators, Pembroke Lumber Kings, and Rockland Nationals each with two.  The Northern Ontario Hockey Association had three players picked from two teams led by the North Bay Trappers with a pair of selections.

Picks were submitted online by OHL member clubs and displayed in real-time at ontariohockeyleague.com accompanied by an audio stream. Announced in January, 2017, the concept of the OHL Under-18 Priority Selection was developed with full support from Hockey Canada’s three Ontario Branches including the Ontario Hockey Federation (OHF), Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO), and Hockey Northwestern Ontario (HNO).

OHL completes 2018 Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today conducted the 2018 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore for North American players born in 2002.

A total of 300 players were selected in the 15-round process from 98 different teams across Ontario and parts of the United States.  The selected players included 175 forwards, 92 defencemen, and 33 goaltenders.  While 292 of the players chosen were 2002-born athletes, also eligible for selection were non-overage players not carded with an Ontario based Midget AAA team from protected OHL territories.  Five players born in 2001, and three players born in 2000 were chosen under this criteria.

2018 OHL Draft Logo

“Congratulations to all 300 players chosen in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection and for the hard work that got you to this point,” said Darrell Woodley, Director of OHL Central Scouting.  “Being selected by an OHL team is an accomplishment to celebrate and share with family, friends, coaches, and teammates that helped provide support and encouragement along the way.  It’s also just the beginning of your next challenge where it doesn’t matter what number you were picked it’s what you do on the ice that really counts.  This motivation also applies to players not selected today who can still find opportunities for success in hockey with the right attitude and work ethic.  Best of luck to all players in your hockey and academic goals.”

CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL RESULTS OF THE 2018 OHL PRIORITY SELECTION

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association led the way with 82 players selected from 19 different organizations including 47 picks across 11 ETA teams and 35 picks by eight SCTA teams.  The Oakville Rangers led the OMHA and the entire draft with 14 players selected, followed by the ETA’s Peterborough Petes with 10, the Barrie Jr. Colts with eight, both the SCTA’s Guelph Gryphons and Niagara North Stars with seven, and the league champion York-Simcoe Express with six.  The Greater Toronto Hockey League was represented by 76 players from 12 different teams.  Three clubs developed 13 players in this year’s draft including the league champion Toronto Marlboros, the Mississauga Reps, and the Vaughan Kings.  The OHL Cup champion Toronto Jr. Canadiens had 11 players chosen followed by the Don Mills Flyers with nine.  The ALLIANCE had a total of 37 players selected from 11 different teams led by the Cambridge Hawks with seven and the Sun County Panthers with six.  Hockey Eastern Ontario produced 25 players from 12 different Midget AAA teams led by the champion Rockland Nationals with six.  The Northern Ontario Hockey Association had 10 players chosen from three different teams including five members of the North Bay Trappers, while three players from Hockey Northwestern Ontario were picked including a pair of Thunder Bay Kings.  An additional five players were chosen from various Canadian programs with the remaining 62 players representing 34 different teams from the United States including seven players from Detroit Honeybaked 16U.

This season marked the 18th straight year the Priority Selection was conducted by way of the internet, and eleventh straight year with a live draft show of the first three rounds.

2018 OHL Priority Selection First Round Results:

Reports from OHL Central Scouting (click select names for video profiles).

1. Sudbury Wolves – Quinton Byfield (York Simcoe Express) 6.03.5 202Ib. LC “Quinton is the type of player that doesn’t come around very often. At nearly 6’4” and over 200lbs, he is an intimidating presence on the ice. He has an exceptionally high skill level and can do things with a puck that not many players his age or size can do. He is very creative with the puck on his stick and isn’t afraid to try and beat any defender. He is a very hard to handle in open ice as he is agile on his skates and uses his edges effectively. Quinton has a cannon for a shot and can shoot in mid-stride.”

2. Flint Firebirds – Evan Vierling (York Simcoe Express) 5.11.5 148Ib. LC “Evan is a smooth-skating center that has very good offensive instincts. He is one of the nicest skaters in the draft, plays a good 10-foot game, has a long, powerful stride and is very agile on his skates. He has a great skill set and can make plays at full speed. He is a smart player that understands the situations of a game and makes very few mistakes. He plays a simple but effective game. Evan was a big part of the success his team had in the second half.”

3. Peterborough Petes – Will Cuylle (Toronto Marlboros) 6.02 193Ib. LW “Will is your prototypical power forward that combines size, skill and skating. He is a powerful skater that gets to top speed quickly and has deceiving speed as most defenders don’t expect such a big forward to move as effortlessly as he does. His puck skills are elite and he has turned nothing into something on numerous occasions this season. He shoots the puck better than most junior players already. He has a lightning quick release with a very accurate shot.”

4. Erie Otters – Jamie Drysdale (Toronto Marlboros) 5.10.25 158Ib. RD “Jamie is one of the elite defencemen in this year’s Priority Selection. He is an elite skater that moves effortlessly around the ice and looks like he could skate all day long. He has excellent edge work, an explosive 10-foot game and has game changing speed. He is an offensive minded defender that has great puck skills and can do everything at full speed. Jamie is very dynamic on the offensive blue line and is hard to handle because of his mobility, puck skills and decision making.”

5. Saginaw Spirit – Cole Perfetti (Vaughan Kings) 5.09.25 170Ib. LC “Philip is a hard working, skilled centre that never gives up on a play. He has explosive speed with the ability to change gears in mid-stride and is always moving his feet and putting pressure on the opposition. He has very good one-on-one skills and is dangerous whenever he has the puck. Philip has a good shot with a quick release that catches some goalies by surprise. He plays a complete game and is reliable in every situation.”

6. Ottawa 67’s – Cameron Tolnai (Oakville Rangers) 6.00 167Ib. LC “Cameron is a gifted playmaking center that makes the game look easy. He makes everyone around him better as he is so good at putting pucks in areas where his teammates will get good scoring chances. He has incredible vision and makes both the simple and very creative pass. He is a very good skater and jumps in and out of holes well to receive passes. Cameron is a pass first type of player, but possesses a good shot with a quick release. He is one of the smartest players in this age group.” 7. 

Guelph Storm – Daniil Chayka (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) 6.02.25 173Ib. LD “Daniil is a big stud of a defenceman that does everything very well. He is a powerful skater that reaches top speed quickly. He has good mobility and is hard to beat off the rush because of his excellent feet. He is not afraid to jump into the rush or lead it if the opportunity is there. He is one of the best in the age group on the offensive blueline and has a knack for getting his cannon of a shot through traffic and on net. He is a strong penalty killer that gets his stick in the passing lanes.”

8. Mississauga Steelheads – James Hardie (Barrie Jr. Colts) 5.10.5 158Ib. LW “James is a goal scorer that loves to shoot the puck. He has a junior-level shot already. It has pace, accuracy and he can pull the trigger quickly. He does a good job of finding open ice or those little quiet pockets in the offensive zone. He isn’t afraid to try and beat a defender in open ice when the chance is there. He plays for a well structured team that does all the little things well and he knows his responsibilities in his own end. James was a big reason why his team had success in the playoffs and at the OHL Cup powered by Under Armour.”

9. North Bay Battalion – Pacey Schlueting (North Bay Trappers) 6.00.5 170Ib. LD “Pacey is a smooth skating defenceman that is fun to watch when he is at the top of his game. He has a very nice long stride that makes it look effortless for him when he is skating. He makes good breakout passes and when given the opportunity he is very effective at rushing the puck and creating offense off the rush. He is hard to beat due to his excellent mobility and reach. Pacey plays on the right side of the puck in his own end. He has the potential to be a very good player in the OHL.”

10. Windsor Spitfires – Jean-Luc Foudy (Toronto Titans) 5.10 153Ib. RC “Jean-Luc is a skilled, playmaking type of centre 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.”

11. Oshawa Generals – Tyler Tullio (Vaughan Kings) 5.08.5 150Ib. RC “Tyler is a competitive player that would do almost anything to score a goal or win a hockey game. He is a good skater that can beat defenders wide and win loose puck battles all over the ice. He possesses a junior level shot already. It’s hard, accurate and he gets it on net very quickly. Tyler competes very hard each shift and isn’t shy to battle against the bigger defender and usually come out with the puck. He is a ‘gamer’ and the type of player you win with.”

12. Niagara IceDogs – Lleyton Moore (Toronto Marlboros) 5.07.25 160Ib. LD “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 teams go-to players and plays in every situation.”

13. Kingston Frontenacs – Jake Murray (Oakville Rangers) 6.02.5 190Ib. RD “Jake is a versatile two-way defenceman that you notice every time he is on the ice. He is a big presence and moves extremely well. He has great edge work and is a beautiful skater in open ice. He has the ability to join or lead a rush and then still recover and defend his position. He has good puck skills and is composed when he has the puck on his stick. He has a hard shot from the point and finds the shooting lanes well. Jake uses his mobility and long reach to his advantage.”

14. London Knights – Luke Evangelista (Oakville Rangers) 5.10 146Ib. RW “Luke is a dynamic winger that never stops moving his feet and putting pressure on the opposition. He is a very good skater that is quick to jump to open holes and pounce on loose pucks. He is creative offensively and uses his high skill level to produce with the best in his league. He competes hard each and every shift and you always know what you are getting with this player. He shoots the puck well and is extremely accurate. He is used in every situation and thrives on the power play.

15. Owen Sound Attack – Nolan Seed (Smiths Falls Bears U18) 5.11.5 152Ib. LD “Nolan is an offensive-minded defenceman that is always looking to join the rush and help contribute on offence. He is one of the smoothest skating defencemen in this age group and considering he hasn’t played defence for long he has great mobility which makes him hard to beat off the rush. He loves to have the puck on his stick and makes good distribution decisions as he isn’t always trying to go end-to-end with it. He sees the ice very well and runs the power play very efficiently.”

16. Barrie Colts – Riley Piercey (Toronto Marlboros) 6.02.5 186Ib. RW “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 can. 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 time. 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.”

17. Kitchener Rangers – Reid Valade (Toronto Marlboros) 5.10 160Ib. RW “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.”

18. Hamilton Bulldogs – Logan Morrison (Guelph Gryphons) 5.09.5 142Ib. RC “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 and once he is 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 so in the OHL.”

19. Sarnia Sting – Jacob Perreault (Chicago Mission 16U) 5.10 195Ib. RC “The son of former NHL forward Yanic Perreault, Jacob hails from Hinsdale, Ill. and plays the game with intelligence and poise. A dynamic offensive talent, he led the HPHL’s 16U circuit in scoring this past season with 25 points over 20 games coming against players a year older than him. He is a player that makes a difference when he is on the ice and comes with the pro pedigree to further develop as he continues to grow.”

20. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Ryan O’Rourke (Vaughan Kings) 6.00 175Ib. LD “Ryan is a tough to play against two-way defenceman. He has good mobility and is a powerful skater which allows him to close gaps and take away time and space. He has a good skill set that allows him to move the puck out of his zone. He can rush the puck when the opportunity is there and he is good on the offensive blue line at getting pucks on net or distributing it. Ryan is hard to beat defensively. He takes the body well and he has a good understanding of his position and what he has to do.

2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup Schedule and Game Times

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup Host Committee today announced the schedule and start times for the league’s historic centennial celebration which takes place May 17-27 in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Memorial Cup Logo

The action begins on Friday May 18 when the host Regina Pats take on the Ontario Hockey League champions at 8:00 pm, followed by the Western Hockey League’s best against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s winners on Saturday May 19 at 2:00 pm.  Round-Robin competition continues through Wednesday May 23 with start-times of 5:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 8:00 pm, with a Tie-Breaker Game slated for Thursday May 24 at 6:00 pm if needed.  The Semi-Finals will be played on Friday May 25 at 8:00 pm followed by the Championship Final set for Sunday May 27 at 5:00 pm when the prestigious Memorial Cup will be won for the 100th time.  Start times for all nine games are represented in local Central Standard Time.

2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup Schedule:

Round-Robin Game 1 – OHL vs. Regina on Friday May 18 at 8:00 pm

Round-Robin Game 2 – WHL vs. QMJHL on Saturday May 19 at 2:00 pm

Round-Robin Game 3 – Regina vs. QMJHL on Sunday May 20 at 5:00 pm

Round-Robin Game 4 – WHL vs. OHL on Monday May 21 at 6:00 pm

Round-Robin Game 5 – QMJHL vs. OHL on Tuesday May 22 at 8:00 pm

Round-Robin Game 6 – Regina vs. WHL on Wednesday May 23 at 8:00 pm

Tie-Breaker (if necessary) – Thursday May 24 at 6:00 pm

Semi-Final – Friday May 25 at 8:00 pm

Championship Final – Sunday May 27 at 5:00pm

Tickets for the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup are available with the recent release of four exciting two-game package options providing fans a variety of opportunities to be part of the action.

Since the round-robin format of the event was introduced in 1972, the WHL has won a total of 19 Mastercard Memorial Cup championships beginning with the 1974 Regina Pats and most recently the 2014 Edmonton Oil Kings.  OHL teams have won 17 times under the current model including last season’s Windsor Spitfires, while QMJHL clubs have celebrated 10 titles with their latest victory from the 2013 Halifax Mooseheads.

The Memorial Cup has a rich tradition that has shaped the way junior hockey is played in North America.  The trophy was original known as the OHA Memorial Cup and was donated by the Ontario Hockey Association in March, 1919, in remembrance of the many soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice for Canada in the First Wold War.  In 2010 the Memorial Cup was rededicated to the memory of all fallen Canadian Military Personnel.

The 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup is supported by Mastercard and associate sponsors which include CIBC, Cooper Tires, and Real Canadian Superstore.

For more information please visit mastercardmemorialcup.ca or join the conversation on social media using #MMC100.

Wolves announce Quinton Byfield as First Overall Pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection

2018 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore takes place on Saturday April 7, 2018, at 9:00 am at www.ontariohockeyleague.com

 

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League in association with the Sudbury Wolves Hockey Club today announced that 15-year-old forward Quinton Byfield of the OMHA champion York Simcoe Express will be the first overall pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection presented by Real Canadian Superstore.

The announcement was made at a news conference held today in Sudbury where Byfield was introduced to local media.

2018 OHL Draft Logo

“I am thrilled to be selected first overall and honoured to be the recipient of the Jack Ferguson award,” said Byfield, a native of Newmarket, Ont. “I have to thank my family for all of their support in getting me to this position today. I would also like to thank all my past coaches and my teammates for all the help they have given me. Finally, I would like to thank the Sudbury Wolves for the honour of selecting me with the first pick of this year’s OHL Draft. I’m very excited to join the Wolves and can’t wait to get started.”

The Wolves are pleased to confirm that Byfield has committed to join the Wolves and the OHL to develop in pursuit of his dream of playing in the NHL.  He will join the other 2018 Wolves Priority Selection picks as well as 2017 selections including standout rookies Blake Murray, Anthony Tabak, and Liam Ross at the Wolves Orientation Camp April 14-15 at Sudbury Arena.

“We are very excited to have Quinton join the Sudbury Wolves,” said VP of Hockey Operations and GM, Rob Papineau. “He is an exceptional player with a great future and his potential is amazing and our coaching staff is eager to work with him. Our scouting staff has been unanimous on Quinton as the best player in the draft all season and we know that the fans and the people of Greater Sudbury are going to love the opportunity to watch such a special player in a Wolves uniform.”

Byfield earned OMHA ETA Minor Midget Player of the Year honours with a league-high 92 points in 34 games scoring 48 goals and 44 assists captaining the Express to gold at the OMHA championship.  He also added four goals and three assists for seven points in six games at the OHL Cup powered by Under Armour helping York-Simcoe reach the tournament’s Semi-Finals.  His regular season points-per-game mark in the OMHA ranks third all-time behind current NHL stars Steven Stamkos and Taylor Hall.  A left shot centre that is 6’4” tall and 202 lbs, Byfield was born August 19, 2002, making him eligible for the NHL Draft in 2020.

“As the Owner and Governor of the Wolves, I am so proud to see that the program we are developing has players that want to play and develop here in the north,” said Dario Zulich.  “We put in place a goal to be a Memorial Cup contender with our mission being to develop 15-year-old boys into professional gentlemen of character when they leave our program. This is happening with the continued development and support our players are receiving. I am confident that our community will share the excitement the team is working so hard at achieving. Quinton represents a significant step forward.”

Byfield is the 2018 recipient of the Jack Ferguson Award presented annually to the player selected first overall in the OHL Priority Selection. The “Fergie” recognizes the dedication and contributions made by Jack Ferguson during his 25 year association with the OHL, first as a scout with the Ottawa 67’s and followed by his appointment as head of the OHL’s Central Scouting Bureau in 1981 as its Director of Central Scouting.  Byfield is the fifth member of the Wolves to receive the award following Dave Moylan in 1984, John Uniac in 1987, John McFarland in 2008, and David Levin in 2015.

“Quinton is the type of player that doesn’t come around very often,” said OHL Director of Central Scouting, Darrell Woodley. “At nearly 6’4” and over 200lbs, he is an intimidating presence on the ice with an exceptionally high skill level and can do things with a puck that not many players his age or size can do. He has a cannon for a shot and is very creative with the puck on his stick and isn’t afraid to try and beat any defender. He is very hard to handle in open ice as he is agile on his skates and uses his edges effectively.”

WATCH: #OHLDraft Prospect Profile – Quinton Byfield, York-Simcoe Express

Byfield will be a feature guest on the live 2018 OHL Priority Selection Draft Show presented by Real Canadian Superstore beginning at 9:00 am on Saturday April 7, 2018.  The draft show along with live results feed will be available at www.ontariohockeyleague.com.

For the eleventh straight year, media and fans can watch the first three rounds live online with host Terry Doyle who will be joined on set by Darrell Woodley and Tim Cherry of OHL Central Scouting to provide analysis, interviews, and video footage of the next wave of OHL stars.

Former winners of the Jack Ferguson Award Include:

1981 Dan Quinn, Belleville Bulls

1982 Kirk Muller, Guelph Platers

1983 Trevor Stienburg, Guelph Platers

1984 Dave Moylan, Sudbury Wolves

1985 Bryan Fogarty, Kingston Canadians

1986 Troy Mallette, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

1987 John Uniac, Sudbury Wolves

1988 Drake Berehowsky, Kingston Raiders

1989 Eric Lindros, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

1990 Pat Peake, Detroit Ambassadors

1991 Todd Harvey, Detroit Ambassadors

1992 Jeff O’Neill, Guelph Storm

1993 Alyn McCauley, Ottawa 67’s

1994 Jeff Brown, Sarnia Sting

1995 Daniel Tkaczuk, Barrie Colts

1996 Rico Fata, London Knights

1997 Charlie Stephens, Toronto St. Michael’s Majors

1998 Jay Harrison, Brampton Battalion

1999 Jason Spezza, Mississauga IceDogs

2000 Patrick Jarrett, Mississauga IceDogs

2001 Patrick O’Sullivan,Mississauga IceDogs

2002 Robbie Schremp, Mississauga IceDogs

2003 Patrick McNeill, Saginaw Spirit

2004 John Hughes, Belleville Bulls

2005 John Tavares, Oshawa Generals

2006 Steven Stamkos, Sarnia Sting

2007 Ryan O’Reilly, Erie Otters

2008 John McFarland, Sudbury Wolves

2009 Daniel Catenacci, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

2010 Alex Galchenyuk, Sarnia Sting

2011 Aaron Ekblad, Barrie Colts

2012 Connor McDavid, Erie Otters

2013 Travis Konecny, Ottawa 67’s

2014 Jakob Chychrun, Sarnia Sting

2015 David Levin, Sudbury Wolves

2016 Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm

2017 Ryan Suzuki, Barrie Colts

2018 Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves

 

Halifax Mooseheads to host 2019 Memorial Cup

Brossard, Québec – The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League today announced, on behalf of the 2019 Memorial Cup Site Selection Committee, that the Halifax Mooseheads will host the 2019 Memorial Cup.

The Mooseheads were considered following a formal bid presentation made on March 2nd, 2018, to the Site Selection Committee which was comprised of Scott Smith (President and COO of Hockey Canada), Glenn Stanford (President of Stanford Communications), Nancy K. Orr (Chief Provincial Judge of PEI Provincial Court) and Tom Cullen (President of Purity Dairy LTD).

“The organizing committee did an outstanding job in their bid presentation and proved that they are able to meet the expectations to host this prestigious event,” said QMJHL Commissioner Gilles Courteau. “We are extremely excited to have the Memorial Cup tournament back in the QMJHL. The City of Halifax has proven in the past that they have all the resources to host world-class events and we are looking forward to seeing some of the best CHL teams and players go head-to-head next year.”

The 101st edition of the Memorial Cup will take place from May 16 to 26, 2019, and includes the host Mooseheads along with the champions of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League, and the Western Hockey League.

“We’re very pleased for our hockey team, for our players and for our fans. Everyone is extremely excited. The city is ready, the downtown has become a beautiful place, the province has been behind us the whole way and it is going to be a great Memorial Cup in Halifax”, said the Governor and President of the Mooseheads, Bobby Smith.

The prestigious national championship returns to the City of Halifax for the first time since 2000, which also included the champion Rimouski Océanic (QMJHL), the Barrie Colts (OHL), and the Kootenay Ice (WHL).

“Nineteen years ago has been a long time, but the people still talk about the Memorial Cup. I guarantee it’ll be a Memorial Cup that fans enjoy. The story will be a full arena and a great experience for the players”, added Mr. Smith.

Since the round-robin format was introduced in 1972, QMJHL teams have won a total of 10 Memorial Cup Championships, including the 2013 Halifax Mooseheads. During the event, Mooseheads forward Jonathan Drouin set a Memorial Cup record by collecting five assists in a single game.

The Regina Pats will play host to the 2018 Mastercard Memorial Cup. It will be the 100th edition of the event. From May 17th to 27th, the best teams from throughout the CHL will compete in Regina, SK, for a shot at hockey’s most difficult trophy to win.

Information regarding ticket packages and other local initiatives for the 2019 Memorial Cup will be announced by the Host Committee in the upcoming weeks. The best opportunity to secure priority access event tickets is to become a Halifax Mooseheads season ticket holder. For details, please visit http://halifaxmooseheads.ca.

For more information, visit http://mastercardmemorialcup.ca.

CHL Leagues

Playoff Preview and Predictions: Round Two

OHL Playoffs

Over the years, the one thing I have been most proud of is my record on predictions. Despite getting six of eight correct, and four of those six in the correct number of games, picking London to defeat Owen Sound and Oshawa to defeat Niagara in seven games and having them end the way they did is, well, embarrassing.

Pick whichever cliché fits. I’ll go with “you can’t win ‘em all.” Here is a look back at the first-round predictions and results:

OHL Playoffs

Round two promises to provide some interesting and competitive series which, statistically, look as though they could go in any which way. Below, we look at each series and my pick to come out on top as well as key draft eligible players to watch for.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Hamilton (1) vs Niagara (4)

  Hamilton Niagara
Season Series 1-3-1-1 5-0-1-0
Home record 22-9-0-3 21-10-2-1
Road record 21-9-4-0 13-18-2-1
Goals for 252 240
Goals against 207 235
Powerplay (regular season) 24.6% 19.5%
Powerplay (playoffs) 47.6% 30.4%
Penalty kill (regular season) 77.1% 80.1%
Penalty kill (playoffs) 76.5% 89.3%
PP vs opponent 33.3% 39.1%
PK vs Opponent 60.9% 66.7%
Leading scorer Thomas (24-51-75) Miletic (36-56-92)
Leading after 2nd 33-2-0-2 27-0-1-2
Trailing after 2nd 6-15-2-0 4-18-2-1
Last 10 games 4-1 4-1

Some of you may be surprised to find that Niagara dominated the regular season between these two clubs. But as they say. “it’s a new season.” Hamilton holds an edge in special team’s stats, but Niagara owns the head to head specialty team battles. Both teams are very good at home, but Hamilton holds a decided advantage on the road. In fact, Hamilton’s only victory over Niagara in the regular season came on the road. Three of the six games went into overtime or a shootout, so this series could be very close.

Draft eligible players to watch: Barring injury, backup goaltender Nick Donofrio likely won’t see any starts and is the only first-time draft eligible player to earn a ranking from NHL Central Scouting. Brandon Saigeon however, re-enters the draft and is a player to watch.

For Niagara, Akil Thomas is projected to go in the first round at the draft in June and will be key for Niagara. Justin MacPherson could be a late round pick.

Prediction: Hamilton in 6 games

Barrie (2) vs Kingston (3)

  Barrie Kingston
Season Series 1-3-0-0 3-1-0-0
Home record 22-9-2-1 22-6-5-1
Road record 20-12-2-0 14-17-1-2
Goals for 297 243
Goals against 229 202
Powerplay (regular season) 22.8% 25.7%
Powerplay (playoffs) 31.8% 33.3%
Penalty kill (regular season) 79.3% 84.7%
Penalty kill (playoffs) 84.7% 66.7%
PP vs opponent 23.1% 35.3%
PK vs Opponent 64.7% 76.9%
Leading scorer Luchuk (50-65-115) Robertson (41-46-87)
Leading after 2nd 31-2-2-0 25-3-2-2
Trailing after 2nd 4-17-1-0 5-17-2-0
Last 10 games 4-2 4-1

 Just like the Hamilton/Niagara matchup, this is a series in which the lower seed held the advantage during the regular season. Again, both teams are strong at home, but Barrie held a decided advantage on the road. But both teams won in the other’s barn.

Both teams loaded up for a playoff run and are split in head-to-head matchups since doing so.

Draft eligible players to watch: For Barrie, obviously it’s Andrei Svechnikov, who will be the first player taken from the OHL in June. But also keep an eye on menacing defenceman Tyler Tucker, who is coming off a very good performance in the opening round.

For Kingston, there is Linus Nyman who re-enters the draft and is a possible late round pick.

Prediction: Barrie in 6 games

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Sault Ste. Marie (1) vs Owen Sound (4)

  Sault Ste. Marie Owen Sound
Season Series 1-0-0-1 1-1-0-0
Home record 31-1-2 21-8-0-5
Road record 24-6-1-3 17-14-3-0
Goals for 317 289
Goals against 186 247
Powerplay (regular season) 24.8% 21.8%
Powerplay (playoffs) 52.6% 33.3%
Penalty kill (regular season) 82.0% 80.1%
Penalty kill (playoffs) 91.7% 61.5%
PP vs opponent 66.7% 25.7%
PK vs Opponent 75.0% 33.7%
Leading scorer Frost (42-70-112) Suzuki (42-58-100)
Leading after 2nd 39-0-0-0 33-2-3-1
Trailing after 2nd 5-6-1-3 3-13-0-2
Last 10 games 4-0 4-0

Wow. If only Owen Sound had done something to upgrade their goaltending at trade deadline, this would have been the series to watch. But even so, every advantage goes to the Greyhounds. Luckily for the Attack, the games are played on the ice.

Draft eligible players to watch: The Greyhounds have two potential first rounders in Barrett Hayton and Rasmus Sandin. They also have Mac Hollowell who re-enters the draft.

The Attack have two players who re-enter the draft and should garner a lot of attention. Sean Durzi and Brady Lyle man the blueline. Aidan Dudas is a little fireplug who is eligible for the first time and a must watch.

Prediction: Sault Ste. Marie in 5 games

Kitchener (2) vs Sarnia (3)

  Kitchener Sarnia
Season Series 3-0-0-1 1-3-0-0
Home record 22-11-1-0 21-9-3-1
Road record 21-10-2-1 21-9-3-1
Goals for 246 299
Goals against 218 213
Powerplay (regular season) 20.7% 24.2%
Powerplay (playoffs) 31.6% 0%
Penalty kill (regular season) 82.9% 88.5%
Penalty kill (playoffs) 73.9% 90.9%
PP vs opponent 0% 20.0%
PK vs Opponent 80.0% 100.0%
Leading scorer Mascherin (40-46-86) Kyrou (39-70-109)
Leading after 2nd 30-2-1-0 35-1-2-0
Trailing after 2nd 6-14-2-0 1-13-1-1
Last 10 games 4-2 4-2

Flip a coin. About as even a matchup as you will find, though Sarnia holds the advantage on offence. This will come down to home ice. Two of Kitchener’s victories over Sarnia were decisive, but in Sarnia’s lone win went to a shootout.

Draft eligible players to watch: Sarnia’s lone player to watch re-enters the draft, Hugo Leufvenius. There is a trio of Rangers to keep an eye on in Giovanni Vallati, Riley Damiani and Adam Liska. Also, Rickard Hugg re-enters the draft.

Prediction: Kitchener in 7 games