OHL Writers Draft Eligible Player of the Month for November

Quentin Musty of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images

The month of November saw some surprising yet great performances both individually and by teams. Unfortunately, there were some less than stellar performances as we are left waiting for some of the 2023 National Hockey League Entry Draft eligible players to break out, for lack of a better term.

The good outweigh the disappointing so we’ve got that covered as we name our draft eligible goaltender, defenceman and forward for the 2023 draft.

Our monthly choices:

Draft Eligible Forward of the Month – Quentin Musty – Sudbury Wolves

Normally, I would not put a player on the list that received a suspension, but what are you going to do? Musty’s suspension occurred during his last game of the month so, I couldn’t ignore the rest of the month. What exactly did he do? Well, he put up points in all 9 games he appeared in and totaled 3 goals and 12 assists for 15 points in those 9 games. Musty is now 4th in scoring among draft eligible players and leads them all in assists.

Also considered were Luca Pinelli of the Ottawa 67’s with 6 goals and 9 assists in 12 games and Dalyn Wakely of the North Bay Battalion with 11 goals and 6 assists in 13 games.

Draft Eligible Defenceman of the Month – Brody Crane – London Knights

London Knights defenceman Brody Crane appeared in 12 games in the month of November and scored 4 goals while assisting on 10 others. Crane had back-to-back two goal games in mid-November. He was held pointless just three times and never in back-to-back games. His 6 goals and 14 assists on the season have him second in scoring among draft eligible defencemen.

Also considered was Crane’s teammate Oliver Bonk who posted 3 goals and 11 helpers in 12 games and was named the OHL Rookie of the Month for November.

Draft Eligible Goaltender of the Month – Charlie Schenkel – Soo Greyhounds

With an August 16, 2004, birthdate, Charlie Schenkel was eligible for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft but went unselected and is eligible to re-enter the draft for 2023. He made five starts in November and came away with a 2-1-1-1 record with a 2.16 goals-against-average and a .921 save-percentage. His best performance of the month was a 35-save shutout against the Mississauga Steelheads on November 25.

Schenkel sits sixth in the OHL with a goals-against-average of 3.00 and fifth with a save-percentage of .912.

Also considered was Andrew Oke of the Saginaw Spirit – also a draft re-entry – who went 4-0-0-0 with a .926 save-percentage.

Forwards

Quentin Musty – Sudbury Wolves – November

Ryan Abraham – Windsor Spitfires – October

Defencemen

Brody Crane – London Knights – November

Hunter Brzustewicz – Kitchener Rangers – October

Goaltenders

Andrew Oke – Saginaw Spirit – November

Collin MacKenzie – Ottawa 67’s – October

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Andrew Oke – Saginaw Spirit – Player Profile

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6’2”2003-26-04GL89th 20209th NAUSA
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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.

HARDIE AND RANGER NAMED OHL TOP PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced Top Performers of the Week for the week of regular season games ending Sunday, January 2, 2022

Steelheads’ James Hardie Named OHL Player of the Week

Mississauga Steelheads forward James Hardie is the OHL Player of the Week, recording three goals and three assists for six points in a pair of victories.

Hardie helped Mississauga stay on top of the OHL standings with consecutive wins, recording a season-high four points with two goals and two assists in Wednesday’s 5-4 win over visiting North Bay. He followed-up that first star performance with a goal and an assist on New Year’s Eve in Sudbury as Mississauga won 8-2, claiming their fourth consecutive win.

A 19-year-old product of Innisfil, Ont., Hardie sits tied for second in OHL goal-scoring with 21 this season. He leads the Steelheads with 38 points (21-17–38) through 28 contests while posting a plus/minus rating of plus-26. A former first round (8th overall) selection by Mississauga in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, Hardie has posted 70 goals, 53 assists and 123 points in 149 career regular season games with the Steelheads. He attended rookie camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs this past September.

Hardie is the first Steelheads player to earn OHL Player of the Week honours since former goaltender Jacob Ingham last did so in February 2019.

Also considered for the award this week, Calgary Flames prospect Rory Kerins of the Soo Greyhounds recorded seven points (4-3–7) as the Greyhounds won two of their three games last week. Chicago Blackhawks prospect and Hardie’s Mississauga Steelheads teammate Ethan Del Mastro also had a strong showing, recording six assists in two games.

2021-22 OHL Players of the Week – Regular Season:
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: James Hardie (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Ty Tullio (Oshawa Generals)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Lucas Edmonds (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Brandon Coe (North Bay Battalion)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Antonio Stranges (London Knights)
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Tucker Robertson (Peterborough Petes)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Rory Kerins (Soo Greyhounds)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Calum Ritchie (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Jack Thompson (Sudbury Wolves)

Steelheads’ Joe Ranger Named OHL Goaltender of the Week

Joe Ranger of the Mississauga Steelheads is the OHL Goaltender of the Week, helping the Steelheads remain on top of the standings by posting a 3.00 goals-against average, .909 save percentage and turning aside 60 shots in a pair of victories.

Ranger made 35 saves on Wednesday as the Steelheads won a Central Division showdown, defeating the visiting North Bay Battalion 5-4 despite being outshot 39-22. He was solid in a New Year’s Eve road win over the Sudbury Wolves on Friday, making 25 saves as the Trout took it 8-2 for their fourth straight win.

A 19-year-old native of Carp, Ont., Ranger currently leads the League in goals-against average (1.93) and save percentage (.929) while posting a 9-2-1-0 record with two shutouts over 13 games. He’s played to an overall record of 15-12-5-0 with a 3.40 goals-against average and .885 save percentage in 39 career OHL regular season games with Mississauga. Ranger was originally the Steelheads’ fourth round (63rd overall) pick in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection and joins Roman Basran as the second Mississauga netminder to earn the award this season.

Also considered for recognition this week, Saginaw Spirit rookie Andrew Oke went 2-1-0-0 with a 2.62 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. Flint Firebirds netminder Luke Cavallin was 1-0-0-1 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.

2021-22 OHL Goaltenders of the Week – Regular Season:
Dec. 27 – Jan. 2: Joe Ranger (Mississauga Steelheads)
Dec. 13 – Dec. 19: Owen Bennett (Guelph Storm)
Dec. 6 – Dec. 12: Mack Guzda (Barrie Colts)
Nov. 29 – Dec. 5: Leevi Merilainen (Kingston Frontenacs)
Nov. 22 – Nov. 28: Tye Austin (Peterborough Petes)
Nov. 15 – Nov. 21: Ben Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)
Nov. 8 – Nov. 14: Joe Vrbetic (North Bay Battalion
Nov. 1 – Nov. 7: Roman Basran (Mississauga Steelheads)
Oct. 25 – Oct. 31: Patrick Leaver (Oshawa Generals)
Oct. 18 – Oct. 24: Jacob Oster (Guelph Storm)
Oct. 11 – Oct. 17: Brett Brochu (London Knights)
Oct. 4 – Oct. 10: Tucker Tynan (Niagara IceDogs)


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.