Each month, OHL Writers has a Draft Eligible Player of the Month. This season, due to the number of players eligible for the draft mostly because of the lost season a year ago thanks to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we changed it up a little and give you our choice for draft eligible player of the month for a forward, a defenceman and a goaltender.
For the second month (also in January) Matthew Maggio is our choice here after a blazing month of March. Maggio, a draft re-entry in 2022 had an astounding 13 goals and 12 assists in just 15 games in March. The next best? Shane Wright of the Kingston Frontenacs had 7 goals and 13 assists in 13 games.
Maggio now has 37 goals and 40 assists for 77 points in 59 games. Is it enough for the 6-foot 181 pound right wing to hear his name called at the NHL Entry Draft?
At this point, it’s probably safe to say that Saginaw Spirit Defenceman Pavel Mintyukov will be the second player from the OHL to hear his name called at the NHL Entry Draft behind Wright, at least to these eyes. It’s hard to imagine where the Saginaw Spirit, who sit in last place in the entire league, would be without him in their lineup.
Mintyukov played in 13 games in the month of March and tallied 5 goals and 10 assists. He has 15 goals and 38 assists through 60 games and is second on his squad in scoring, just 4 points off the leader Josh Bloom.
Not too many defenders can dissect and control the offensive zone like the native of Moscow Russia does for the Spirit. And today, he was also recognized by the league as the top defender for the month of March.
Also considered was Danish defenceman from the Mississauga Steelheads Kasper Larsen, who had 2 goals and 11 helpers in 12 games. He has 7 goals and 32 assists in 52 games on the season. The 6’5” 229 pound left shot defenceman is re-entering the draft and is not currently ranked by NHL Central Scouting.
It wasn’t a banner month for draft eligible goaltenders in March. But we had to pick one and the nod goes to Dom DiVincentiis of the North Bay Battalion. He appeared in just 5 games in March and winning all 5 games while posting a 2.00 goals-against-average and .925 save-percentage. The fourteenth ranked goalie on NHL Central Scouting’s mid term rankings (North America) has a 12-8-0 record along with a 2.68 goals-against-average and .903 save-percentage.
Strong consideration was being given to Michael Simpson of the Peterborough Petes who was having a fantastic month of his own until two games against the high-flying Hamilton Bulldogs and Kingston Frontenacs sent his numbers for a dive. The blame doesn’t fall on him in those games and shouldn’t take away from an otherwise good month.
March – Matthew Maggio – Windsor Spitfires
February – Shane Wright – Kingston Frontenacs
January – Matthew Maggio – Windsor Spitfires
December – Luca DelBelBelluz – Mississauga Steelheads
November – Kyle Jackson – North Bay Battalion
October – Tucker Robertson – Peterborough Petes
March – Pavel Mintyukov – Saginaw Spirit
February – Michael Buchinger – Guelph Storm
January – Christian Kyrou – Erie Otters
December – Kirill Kudryavtsev – Soo Greyhounds
November – Gavin While – Hamilton Bulldogs
October – Ty Nelson – North Bay Battalion
March – Dom DiVincentiis – North Bay Battalion
February – Patrick Leaver – Oshawa Generals
January – Patrick Leaver – Oshawa Generals
December – Pavel Cajan – Kitchener Rangers
November – Patrick Leaver – Oshawa Generals
October – Brett Brochu – London Knights