13 OHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL MEN’S UNDER-18 TEAM

Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League is proud to recognize 13 OHL players named to Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team that will compete in the 2021 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship set to take place from April 26 to May 6 in Frisco and Plano, Texas.

The 13 OHL players are part of a 25-man Canadian roster consisting of three goaltenders, eight defencemen and 14 forwards to be coached by former OHL Coach of the Year Dave Barr (Guelph Storm, 2003-08) along with assistant Mike Stothers (Owen Sound Attack, 2002-07).

The Canadian roster was assembled by Hockey Canada director of player personnel Alan Millar along with manager of national teams Benoit Roy.

OHL PLAYERS NAMED TO CANADA’S NATIONAL UNDER-18 TEAM:

Goaltender: Benjamin Gaudreau (Sarnia Sting)

Defence: Brandt Clarke (Barrie Colts), Ethan Del Mastro (Mississauga Steelheads), Jack Matier (Ottawa 67’s)

Forwards: Brett Harrison (Oshawa Generals), Wyatt Johnston (Windsor Spitfires), Mason McTavish (Peterborough Petes), Brennan Othmann (Flint Firebirds), Francesco Pinelli (Kitchener Rangers), Chase Stillman (Sudbury Wolves), Ryan Winterton (Hamilton Bulldogs), Shane Wright (Kingston Frontenacs), Danny Zhilkin (Guelph Storm)

“We are excited to announce the 25 players that have been selected to wear the Maple Leaf at the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship. Despite a difficult year for our players and staff, we are confident this group will represent our country with pride while giving us a chance to compete for a gold medal in Texas,” said Millar. “We are also pleased to have Dave (Barr), Mike (Stothers) and Gordie (Dwyer) as a part of our coaching staff, and to welcome a number of excellent support staff who bring unique skills to our team. We know the extensive experience of our coaching staff and the dedication of our support staff will greatly benefit our team at the world championship.”

Barr most recently served as an assistant coach with the San Jose Sharks (2017-19). Prior to joining the Sharks, he was an associate coach with the Florida Panthers (2016-17), as well as an assistant coach with the Buffalo Sabres (2015-16), New Jersey Devils (2011-15), Minnesota Wild (2009-11) and Colorado Avalanche (2008-09). Barr spent five seasons (2003-08) as the general manager and head coach of the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), leading the Storm to an OHL championship in 2004. He also held various positions with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League (AHL) and International Hockey League (IHL) from 1997-2003, including assistant coach, head coach, director of hockey operations, vice-president, general manager and president. He has represented Canada once as a head coach, leading Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team to a gold medal at the 2008 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.

Dwyerwas the head coach of the Shawinigan Cataractes of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) last season. Prior to joining the Cataractes, he spent two seasons as head coach of Dinamo Minsk (2017-19) and two seasons as head coach of Medvescak Zagreb (2015-17) of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), as well as part of one season as head coach of HC Ambrì-Piotta (2016-17) of National League A (NLA). Dwyer also served two seasons as head coach of the Charlottetown Islanders (2013-15) and two seasons as head coach of the Prince Edward Island Rocket (2011-13) of the QMJHL, as well as two seasons as head coach and director of player personnel with the Summerside Western Capitals of the Maritime Junior Hockey League (MHL). He won bronze medals as the head coach of Team Canada at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games and as an assistant coach at the 2012 IIHF U18 World Championship and was an assistant coach at two Spengler Cups (2016, 2018).

Stothersmost recently served as head coach of the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League (AHL) for five seasons (2015-20). He has held various coaching positions in the NHL, AHL, OHL and Western Hockey League (WHL), including one season as an assistant coach with the NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers (2010-11) and two seasons as an assistant with the Philadelphia Flyers (2000-02). Stothers was also the head coach of the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs (2014-15), winning a Calder Cup and Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL coach of the year, as well as the Grand Rapids Griffins (2007-08). He also served as an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Phantoms (1996-2000) and Hershey Bears (1991-96). His Canadian Hockey League (CHL) experience includes three seasons as head coach of the WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors (2011-14) and five seasons as head coach of the OHL’s Owen Sound Attack (2002-07). Stothers had a 10-year professional playing career in the NHL and AHL, winning the Calder Cup with the Maine Mariners in 1984.

The support staff that will work with Team Canada at the IIHF U18 World Championship includes:

  • Senior vice-president of national teams Scott Salmond
  • Video coach Travis Crickard
  • Goaltending coach Matt Weninger (Moose Jaw Warriors)
  • Athletic therapists Kevin Elliott (Charlottetown Islanders) and Doug Stacey
  • Equipment manager A.J. Murley
  • Mental performance consultant Ashwin Patel (Guelph Storm)
  • Team physician Dr. Ben Cameron (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
  • Education consultant Dave Tennant (Kitchener Rangers)
  • Coordinator of national teams Kurt Keats

Prior to travelling to Frisco on April 17, players and staff will self-isolate at home starting April 12 and will be tested for COVID-19 three times. Upon arrival in Texas, all team personnel will enter a four-day quarantine at the hotel before starting a pre-tournament camp on April 21. The team will take on Finland in its lone pre-tournament game on April 24 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT.

Canada will open the 2021 IIHF U18 World Championship against Sweden on April 26 at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT, and will also take on Latvia, Switzerland and Belarus in preliminary-round action. TSN and RDS, the official broadcast partners of Hockey Canada, will broadcast select games throughout the tournament and will announce details at a later date.

Since 2002, Canada has won three gold medals at the IIHF U18 World Championship (2003, 2008, 2013), in addition to one silver (2005) and three bronze (2012, 2014, 2015).

For more information on Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Men’s Under-18 Team, please visit HockeyCanada.ca, or follow along via social media on Facebook and Twitter.

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.

Hockey Canada Releases Under-18 Invites

Hockey Canada

The 2020 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, the precursor to the 2021 National Hockey League Draft, was cancelled because of the COVID-19 Pandemic, but that didn’t stop Hockey Canada from naming the 46 players that would have been invited to the selection camp.

Hockey Canada released that list today and it includes 12 Ontario Hockey League players with a possible 13th, depending on whether goaltender Matteo Drobac makes the Hamilton Bulldogs roster when the 2020-2021 season takes place.

Five of the six players on our Players to Watch List  have made the cut with Russian Daniil Chayka the only exception, so of course, he’s not eligible.

Here is the full list of invites by Hockey Canada:

Name Ht. Wt. Club Team NHL Draft
Goaltenders
Tyler Brennan 6’3” 187 Prince George (WHL) 2022
Matteo Drobac 6’1” 170 Hamilton (GOJHL) 2021
Benjamin Gaudreau 6’2″ 165 Sarnia (OHL) 2021
Jacob Goobie 5’10” 178 Charlottetown (QMJHL) 2021
Thomas Milic 5’11” 155 Burnaby Winter Club (CSSHL) 2021
William Rousseau 6’10” 170 Trois-Rivières (LHMAAAQ) 2021
Defence
Nolan Allan 6’2″ 185 Prince Albert (WHL) 2021
Olivier Boutin 5’10” 160 Gatineau (QMJHL) 2021
Corson Ceulemans 6’2″ 190 Brooks (AJHL) 2021
Brandt Clarke 6’1″ 181 Barrie (OHL) 2021
Jacob Holmes 6’1″ 174 Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 2021
Carson Lambos 6’1″ 200 Winnipeg (WHL) 2021
Jérémy Langlois Cape Breton (QMJHL) 2022
Kyle Masters 5’11” 159 Red Deer (WHL) 2021
Evan Nause 6’1″ 172 Sioux Falls (USHL) 2021
Oscar Plandowski 5’11” 175 Charlottetown (QMJHL) 2021
Guillaume Richard 6’0″ 148 Mount St. Charles Academy (USU16) 2021
Graham Sward 6’2″ 170 Spokane (WHL) 2021
Cameron Whynot 6’1″ 168 Halifax (QMJHL) 2021
Olen Zellweger 5’9″ 165 Everett (WHL) 2021
Forwards
Liam Arnsby 5’10” 172 North Bay (OHL) 2022
Zachary Bolduc 6’0″ 172 Rimouski (QMJHL) 2021
Zach Dean 5’9″ 166 Gatineau (QMJHL) 2021
Nathan Gaucher 6’3″ 186 Quebec (QMJHL) 2022
Dylan Guenther 6’1″ 170 Edmonton (WHL) 2021
Brett Harrison 6’1″ 167 Oshawa (OHL) 2021
Cole Huckins 6’4″ 191 Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) 2021
Wyatt Johnston 6’0″ 167 Windsor (OHL) 2021
Riley Kidney 5’11” 160 Acadie-Bathurst (QMJHL) 2021
Zachary L’Heureux 5’10” 196 Moncton (QMJHL) 2021
Connor Lockhart 5’8″ 163 Erie (OHL) 2021
James Malatesta 5’9″ 172 Quebec (QMJHL) 2021
Mason McTavish 6’1″ 198 Peterborough (OHL) 2021
Olivier Nadeau 6’2″ 204 Shawinigan (QMJHL) 2021
Brennan Othmann 5’11” 165 Flint (OHL) 2021
Francesco Pinelli 6’0″ 182 Kitchener (OHL) 2021
Peter Reynolds 5’10” 165 Chilliwack (BCHL) 2021
Justin Robidas 5’7″ 173 Val-d’Or (QMJHL) 2021
Conner Roulette 5’11” 158 Seattle (WHL) 2021
Joshua Roy 6’0″ 191 Saint John (QMJHL) 2021
Cole Sillinger 6’0″ 187 Medicine Hat (WHL) 2021
Logan Stankoven 5’7″ 165 Kamloops (WHL) 2021
Chase Stillman 5’11” 170 Sudbury (OHL) 2021
Zach Stringer 6’1″ 165 Lethbridge (WHL) 2021
Dovar Tinling 5’11” 181 Hawkesbury (CCHL) 2021
Danny Zhilkin 6’0″ 185 Guelph (OHL) 2022

Early Look at the Ontario Hockey League’s 2021 Draft Eligible Players

The Ontario Hockey League draft class for the 2019 National Hockey League Draft was one of the worst ever. On the flip side, 2020 was one of the best classes to come out of the OHL. So, what’s in store for the 2021 Draft? At first glance, it’s a good class with some talented first round potential.

When the 2020-2021 season does begin, and that’s still a question on everyone’s mind because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have produced a list of players that definitely are worth keeping an eye on.

In no particular order:

Brandt Clarke – Defenceman – Barrie Colts

Brandt Clarke of the Barrie Colts. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.With exceptional mobility and speed, Clarke is almost like a fourth forward when transitioning to offence and jumping up into the play. It should come as no surprise since he models his game after Erik Karlsson. He plays a very poised game, patient with the puck, and rarely turns it over. He has excellent hockey senses and is a superb passer. His defensive game showed marked improvement as the season progressed. He gets back quickly because of his skating, has good gat control and is effective with his stick. And he doesn’t shy away from the physicality and began to be the player who initiated contact rather then the receiver as the season went on. Clarke finished the season with 6 goals and 32 assists in 57 games and was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.  

 

Mason McTavish – Center – Peterborough Petes

Mason McTavish of the Peterborough Petes. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.The offensively talented McTavish led all 2003 born players in goals and points despite not always getting the best offensive opportunities with the Petes, moving up and down the lineup. He’s a puck possession beast, seemingly having the puck on a string. He’s not shy about going end-to-end, is patient with the puck and is very adept at creating space. He reads the play extremely well and is able to find soft spots undetected. He is willing to drive the net with or without the puck. McTavish is a pure sniper with a pro caliber shot and release already. He’s already physically strong and yet there is still room for more. He’s also a top player in the faceoff circle. McTavish finished the season with 29 goals and 13 assists in 57 games and was named to the OHL Second All-Rookie Team.

Francesco Pinelli – Left Wing – Kitchener Rangers

Francesco Pinelli of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.At this point, it may not be a reach to say that Pinelli is the best two-way player out of the draft class and that ability coming straight from minor midget earned him the trust of the Rangers coaches. He’s a versatile player who can play both the wing and down the middle. He works hard from shift-to-shift and is not afraid to play a physical game. He has high hockey senses, is positionally sound and creates turnovers almost at will. He’s a strong skater with a unique ability to draw in defenders and make a perfect pass. He has a superb one-timer and can unleash it with accuracy and it is especially dangerous on the pp with space. He finished fourth among rookies with 18 goals and 23 assists in 59 games.

Brennan Othmann – Left Wing – Flint Firebirds

Brennan Othmann of the Flint Firebirds. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.When watching Othmann play, it’s obvious his deadliest asset is his shot. He possesses and excellent one-timer and a snap shot that is deadly accurate with a superb release. Maybe it was a lack of confidence in his abilities, but he just didn’t use that shot enough as he chose to dish off rather then take his shot. That said, he is a very good playmaker as well, so maybe he was reading something else on the ice. One might raise the question if it’s his hockey sense/vision that comes into play. However, I believe it’s just a question of confidence in his ability to beat goaltenders and with a year under his belt, those questions will be answered. Othmann finished the season with 17 goals and 16 assists in 55 games and was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.

Daniil Chayka – Defenceman – Guelph Storm

Danill Chayka of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.With a late 2002 birth date, Chayka will be in his third OHL season come his draft year and the young Russian has already made a name for himself. He is a smooth skater, plays in all situations and eats up huge minutes. Chayka is a pass first defender but is more then willing to jump into the play on offence. He has a good shot from the point but doesn’t try to overpower goaltenders and shoots with a purpose. Defensively his size and skating make him hard to beat one-on-one. Even at a young age, Chayka has shown excellent leadership qualities. Chayka finished the season with 11 goals and 23 assists in 56 games. He was named to the 2018-2019 OHL Second All-Rookie Team.

Brett Harrison – Center – Oshawa Generals

Harrison carries a big body at 6’3” but filling in the frame is a requirement. He’s near impossible to knock off of the puck and uses excellent body and stick position to protect the disc. He is a technically strong skater with good speed and has the ability to change gears and challenge defenders one-on-one. He is dynamite on his edgework which is surprising for a player of his size. Harrison also has an excellent shot that he can release in a split second and he is very deceptive with small positional changes to improve his angle. Harrison finished the year with 21 goals and 16 assists in 58 games.

Chase Stillman – Wing – Sudbury Wolves

Chase Stillman of the Sudbury Wolves. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.While the attention in Sudbury was all on Quinton Byfield, Stillman quietly put up a very good rookie season. The son of former NHL’er Cory Stillman and younger brother of Riley, he comes from a family with hockey blood lines. He is a swift skater he has a high level of hockey smarts. Stillman is a coachable player – not because his father is a coach in Sudbury, he stayed with a billet family, but he took directions well from the older players. Expect Stillman to be one of the go-to guys for offence in Sudbury next season. He finished the year with 13 goals and 21 assists in 58 games. He was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.

Photos courtesy of OHL Images