Finland, USA Announce Preliminary Rosters for the World Junior Championships

Today, Finland and the United States announced their preliminary rosters that will take part in their respective camps for the 2018 World Junior Championships Under-20. Both countries have a couple of Ontario Hockey League players on their rosters, but the majority will come Wednesday when Hockey Canada announces their preliminary roster.

Team USA

Team USA
From Elite Prospects www.eliteprospects.com

 

Team Finland

Goaltenders

Luukkonen Ukko-Pekka, HPK Hämeenlinna
Lehtinen Lassi, Lukko Rauma
Halonen Niilo, HIFK Helsinki

Defencemen

Heiskanen Miro, HIFK Helsinki
Salo Robin, Sport Vaasa
Räsänen Eemeli, Kingston Frontenacs OHL
Välimäki Juuso, C Tri-City Americans WHL
Juolevi Olli, TPS Turku
Vaakanainen Urho, SaiPa Lappeenranta
Laavainen Roope, HPK Hämeenlinna
Jokiharju Henri, Portland Winterhawks WHL
Kotkansalo Kasper, Boston University NCAA

Forwards

Jääskä Juha, HIFK Helsinki
Kuokkanen Janne, Carolina Hurricanes NHL
Turkulainen Jerry, JYP Jyväskylä
Koivula Otto, Ilves Tampere
Vesalainen Kristian, HPK Hämeenlinna
Koppanen Joona, Ilves Tampere
Moilanen Sami, Seattle Thunderbirds WHL
Tuulola Eetu, HPK Hämeenlinna
Tolvanen Eeli, Jokerit Helsinki
Nurmi Markus, TPS Turku
Räsänen Aapeli, Boston College NCAA
Ikonen Joni, KalPa Kuopio
Luostarinen Eetu, KalPa Kuopio
Heponiemi Aleksi, Swift Current Broncos WHL
Innala Jere, HPK Hämeenlinna
Kupari Rasmus, Kärpät Oulu

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OHL’s Draft Eligible Stat Leaders: End of Season

The Ontario Hockey League’s regular season has come to an end and we look at the statistical leaders in a variety of categories. Listed are players available for the National Hockey League Draft on June, 2016 for the first time – players passed over in previous drafts are not included.

Peterborough Petes forward Logan DeNoble appears on the list in three categories – the only player not ranked by NHL Central Scouting on their midterm rankings in January.  DeNoble ranked sixth in shooting percentage at 16.95%. Will Bitten of the Flint Firebirds led the way with 20.55% followed by Boris Katchouk of the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds at 20.17%. Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters was third at 18.96% followed by Katchouk’s teammate Hayden Verbeek at 17.95%. Another Otter, Kyle Maksimovich placed fifth at 17.65%.

DeNoble also finished third in faceoff win percentage at 53.9%. Jack Kopacka of the Greyhounds tops the list at 60.9% followed by Michael McLeod of the Mississauga Steelheads at 58%. Logan Brown of the Windsor Spitfires followed DeNoble at 53%.

Finally, DeNoble finished eighth in plus-minus with a plus-22. Four London Knights topped the plus-minus, Victor Mete (plus-53), Matthew Tkachuk (plus-45), Olli Juolevi (plus-38) and Max Jones (plus-30). Maksimovich placed fifth (plus-25) Brown sixth (plus-24) and Sarnia Sting defenceman Jakob Chychrun (plus-23) finished ahead of DeNoble.

DeNoble finished just outside the top ten in goals with 22.

Points Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 30 77 107
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 60 51 50 101
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 65 35 46 81
Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 57 28 47 75
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 59 21 53 74
Taylor Raddysh Erie Otters 67 24 49 73
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 68 27 44 71
Will Bitten Flint Firebirds 67 30 35 65
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 57 21 40 61
Nathan Bastian Mississauga Steelheads 64 19 40 59
Goal Scoring Leaders
Player Team GP G GPG
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 60 51 0.85
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 65 35 0.54
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 30 0.53
Will Bitten Flint Firebirds 67 30 0.45
Dmitry Sokolov Sudbury Wolves 68 30 0.44
Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 57 28 0.49
Max Jones London Knights 63 28 0.44
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 68 27 0.40
Taylor Raddysh Erie Otters 67 24 0.36
Boris Katchouk Soo Greyhounds 63 24 0.38
Assist Leaders
Player Team GP A APG
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 77 1.35
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 59 53 0.90
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 60 50 0.83
Taylor Raddysh Erie Otters 67 49 0.73
Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 57 47 0.82
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 65 46 0.71
Cam Dineen North Bay Battalion 68 46 0.68
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 68 44 0.65
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 57 40 0.70
Nathan Bastian Mississauga Steelheads 64 40 0.63
Defencemen Point Leaders
Player Team GP G A Pts
Cam Dineen North Bay Battalion 68 13 46 59
Mikhail Sergachev Windsor Spitfires 67 17 40 57
Jakob Chychrun Sarnia Sting 62 11 38 49
Olli Juolevi London Knights 57 9 33 42
Victor Mete London Knights 68 8 30 38
Benjamin Gleason Hamilton Bulldogs 66 7 26 33
Jordan Sambrook Erie Otters 67 9 18 27
Markus Niemelainen Saginaw Spirit 65 1 26 27
Plus/Minus Leaders
Player Team GP +/-
Victor Mete London Knights 68 +53
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 +45
Olli Juolevi London Knights 57 +38
Max Jones London Knights 63 +30
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 68 +25
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 59 +24
Jakob Chychrun Sarnia Sting 62 +23
Logan DeNoble Peterborough Petes 63 +22
Adam Mascherin Kitchener Rangers 65 +19
Austin Osmanski Mississauga Steelheads 65 +19
Penalty Minutes Leaders
Player Team GP PIM M/G
Givani Smith Guelph Storm 65 146 2.25
Max Jones London Knights 63 106 1.68
Logan Stanley Windsor Spitfires 64 103 1.61
Michael Pezzetta Sudbury Wolves 64 98 1.53
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 80 1.40
Ben Hawerchuk Barrie Colts 60 78 1.30
Faceoff Leaders (Minimum 60 faceoffs)
Player Team GP FOA FOW %
Jack Kopacka Soo Greyhounds 67 69 42 60.9
Michael McLeod Mississauga Steelheads 57 1284 745 58.0
Logan DeNoble Peterborough Petes 63 154 83 53.9
Logan Brown Windsor Spitfires 59 1148 609 53.0
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 60 183 97 53.0
Cliff Pu London Knights 63 851 445 52.3
Brandon Saigeon Hamilton Bulldogs 43 502 259 51.6
Boris Katchouk Soo Greyhounds 63 72 37 51.4
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 74 38 51.4
Connor Bunnaman Kitchener Rangers 68 193 99 51.3
Shooting Percentage Leaders (Min 75 shots)
Player Team GP Shots Goals SH%
Will Bitten Flint Firebirds 67 146 30 20.55
Boris Katchouk Soo Greyhounds 63 119 24 20.17
Alex DeBrincat Erie Otters 60 269 51 18.96
Hayden Verbeek Soo Greyhounds 63 78 14 17.95
Kyle Maksimovich Erie Otters 68 153 27 17.65
Logan DeNoble Peterborough Petes 63 118 20 16.95
Jonathan Ang Peterborough Petes 68 127 21 16.54
Alexander Nylander Mississauga Steelheads 57 178 28 15.73
Matthew Tkachuk London Knights 57 191 30 15.71
Domenic Commisso Oshawa Generals 66 117 18 15.38
Goaltenders Leaders – Goals Against Average
Player Team GP Min GA Avg
Tyler Parsons London Knights 49 2835 110 2.33
Stephen Dhillon Niagara Ice Dogs 27 1317 59 2.69
Evan Cormier Saginaw Spirit 58 3246 201 3.72
Dylan Wells Peterborough Petes 27 1516 116 4.59
Troy Timpano Sudbury Wolves 35 2000 158 4.74
Goaltending Leaders – Save Percentage
Player Team GP SH SVS SV%
Tyler Parsons London Knights 49 1397 1287 0.921
Stephen Dhillon Niagara Ice Dogs 27 639 580 0.908
Evan Cormier Saginaw Spirit 58 1825 1624 0.890
Troy Timpano Sudbury Wolves 35 1296 1138 0.878
Dylan Wells Peterborough Petes 27 896 780 0.871

OHL’s Draft Eligible Player of the Month for March: Alex DeBrincat

Alex DeBrincat returned back to form to help lead his Erie Otters to top spot in the Ontario Hockey League standings on the final day. After returning from the World Junior Championships, DeBrincat went into a mini slump – possibly due to not being fully recovered from an injury he sustained at the tournament.

Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

DeBrincat finished the month of March with 8 goals and 11 assists in 9 games. In his 9 March games, DeBrincat was named the game’s first star 4 times while garnering second star honours once. DeBrincat would finish 7th overall in OHL scoring with 101 points on 51 goals and 50 assists in 60 games. He broke the fifty goal mark for the second consecutive season.

Also considered were: the London Knights’ Matthew Tkachuk who posted 7 goals and 7 assists in 9 games. Pair of Windsor Spitfires were also considered. Defenceman Mikhail Sergachev had 3 goals and 7 assists in 8 games while Logan Brown scored 5 goals and added 7 assists.

Previous winners

February – Tyler Parsons, London Knights

January – Cam Dineen, North Bay Battalion

December – Cam Dineen, North Bay Battalion

November – Matthew Tkachuk, London Knights

October – Alex DeBrincat, Erie Otters

September – Matthew Tkachuk, London Knights

Hurricanes’ Tyler Wong named CHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League today announced that forward Tyler Wong of the Lethbridge Hurricanes is the CHL Player of the Week for the week ending February 28 after recording 10 points in three games including three goals and seven assists.

Wong’s week was highlighted by a career-high six-point performance last Wednesday night scoring twice with four assists earning second star honours despite a 9-8 shootout loss to the Regina Pats.  He also picked up an assist in a 5-2 loss to the Brandon Wheat Kings on Friday, then finished the week with a three-point effort scoring once with two assists as second star of an 8-4 victory over the Edmonton Oil Kings.  The Hurricanes currently lead the WHL’s Central Division with a 41-20-1-1 record clinching a playoff berth for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

A 20-year-old from Cochrane, AB, Wong is playing in his fourth full WHL season and has already established career-highs in all offensive categories with 37 goals and 42 assists for 79 points in 63 games which puts him eighth overall in WHL scoring.

Also considered for the award this week was 2016 NHL Draft prospect Logan Brown of the Windsor Spitfires who scored four goals and three assists for seven points in three games, and Fabrizio Ricci of the Baie-Comeau Drakkar who scored once with five assists for six points in four games.

2015-16 CHL Regular Season Players of the Week:

Feb. 22 – Feb. 28: Tyler Wong (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
Feb. 15 – Feb. 21: Adam Brooks (Regina Pats)
Feb. 8 – Feb. 14: Kevin Labanc (Barrie Colts)
Feb. 1 – Feb. 7: Ivan Provorov (Brandon Wheat Kings)
Jan. 25 – Jan. 31: Frédéric Allard (Chicoutimi Sagueneens)
Jan. 18 – Jan. 24: Giorgio Estephan (Lethbridge Hurricanes)
Jan. 11 – Jan. 17: Reid Gardiner (Prince Albert Raiders)
Jan. 4 – Jan. 10: Maxime Comtois (Victoriaville Tigres)
Dec. 28 – Jan. 3: Kevin Labanc (Barrie Colts)
Dec. 14 – Dec. 20: Brendan Lemieux (Windsor Spitfires)
Dec. 7 – Dec. 13: Christian Dvorak (London Knights)
Nov. 30 – Dec. 6: Mitchell Marner (London Knights)
Nov. 23 – Nov. 29: Conor Garland (Moncton Wildcats)
Nov. 16 – Nov. 22: Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)
Nov. 9 – Nov. 15: Dylan Strome (Erie Otters)
Nov. 2 – Nov. 8: Nikolas Brouillard (Quebec Remparts)
Oct. 26 – Nov. 1: Mathew Barzal (Seattle Thunderbirds)
Oct. 19 – Oct. 25: Kevin Labanc (Barrie Colts)
Oct. 12 – Oct. 18: Zach Bratina (North Bay Battalion)
Oct. 5 – Oct. 11: Dennis Yan (Shawinigan Cataractes)
Sept. 28 – Oct. 4: Conor Garland (Moncton Wildcats)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 27: Alex Forsberg (Victoria Royals)

CHL Leagues

2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters Announced

40 top NHL Draft eligible CHL players will compete January 28, 2016, in Vancouver, BC
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Toronto, ON – The Canadian Hockey League in association with the host Vancouver Giants Hockey Club, and title partner BMO Financial Group, today announced the 40 players that will compete in the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Vancouver, BC, on Thursday January 28, 2016.

The 40 CHL players competing in the game were chosen by all 30 NHL clubs and divided into teams by NHL Central Scouting.  This season’s event marks the 21st annual showcase of the CHL’s top-40 NHL Draft eligible players featuring talent from the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League competing before hundreds of NHL scouts in attendance.

“The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is one of the highlights of the hockey season,” said CHL President David Branch. “Since 1996 the CHL’s top prospects have showcased their skills in this event providing NHL scouts, General Managers, and fans the opportunity to catch the next wave of NHL talent which in recent years has featured first overall picks Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, Nathan MacKinnon, and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. We look forward to January 28 with coaches Don Cherry and Bobby Orr, and 40 of the top CHL players eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft competing before the passionate hockey fans in Vancouver and to CHL fans across Canada watching live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.”

The Giants’ Tyler Benson and Port Moody, BC, native Lucas Johansen of the Kelowna Rockets are among the 20 players to suit up for Team Cherry along with Canadian National Junior Team member Julien Gauthier of the Val-d’Or Foreurs, and OHL top goal scorer Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters who won World Junior bronze with the United States.  Team Orr features World Junior gold medalist Olli Juolevi of the London Knights, fellow Knight and World Junior bronze medalist Matthew Tkachuk, Canadian National Junior Team Selection Camp invite Pierre-Luc Dubois of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, and Alexander Nylander of the Mississauga Steelheads who led Sweden in World Junior scoring.

“We are thrilled for the up-and-coming talent chosen for this year’s BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game,” said Michael Bonner, Senior Vice President, BC and Yukon Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. “As the Official Bank of the CHL, we’re proud to sponsor an event that allows Canadians to watch some of the top young athletes across the country, and we’re excited to bring them to Vancouver later this month.”

25 of the CHL’s 60 member clubs are represented on the rosters.  The 40 competing players include 20 from the OHL, 12 from the WHL, and eight from the QMJHL.  13 CHL Players who competed in the 2015 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in St. Catharines, ON, were selected in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft.  In 20 years, 278 CHL players from this event have been chosen by NHL clubs in the first round of the NHL Draft representing 47% of all players selected.

“The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game provides a unique opportunity for NHL scouts and General Managers to evaluate top CHL talent for the 2016 NHL Draft in a best-on-best competition,” said NHL Central Scouting Director Dan Marr. “The game is also a unique opportunity for the players to take advantage of the spotlight in what is consistently an exciting and highly competitive showcase.”

Since the event was first introduced in 1996 the game has featured 13 players selected with the first overall pick in the NHL Draft including Connor McDavid, Aaron Ekblad, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Taylor Hall, John Tavares, Steven Stamkos, Patrick Kane, Marc-Andre Fleury, Rick Nash, Vincent Lecavalier, Joe Thornton, and Chris Phillips.

2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game Rosters:

Team Cherry:

Goaltenders:

Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke Phoenix)

Zach Sawchenko (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Defencemen:

Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia Sting)

Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings)

Sean Day (Mississauga Steelheads)

Samuel Girard (Shawinigan Cataractes)

Lucas Johansen (Kelowna Rockets)

Markus Niemelainen (Saginaw Spirit)

 Forwards:

Vitalii Abramov (Gatineau Olympiques)

Tyler Benson (Vancouver Giants)

Logan Brown (Windsor Spitfires)

Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)

Dillon Dube (Kelowna Rockets)

Julien Gauthier (Val-d’Or Foreurs)

Tim Gettinger (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Noah Gregor (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Max Jones (London Knights)

Jordan Kyrou (Sarnia Sting)

Michael McLeod (Mississauga Steelheads)

Sam Steel (Regina Pats)


Team Orr:

Goaltenders:

Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)

Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes)

Defencemen:

Jake Bean (Calgary Hitmen)

Luke Green (Saint John Sea Dogs)

Libor Hajek (Saskatoon Blades)

Olli Juolevi (London Knights)

Mikhail Sergachev (Windsor Spitfires)

Logan Stanley (Windsor Spitfires)

Forwards:

Nathan Bastian (Mississauga Steelheads)

Will Bitten (Flint Firebirds)

Pierre-Luc Dubois (Cape Breton Screaming Eagles)

Brett Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors)

Boris Katchouk (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Jack Kopacka (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)

Pascal Laberge (Victoriaville Tigres)

Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads)

Taylor Raddysh (Erie Otters)

Otto Somppi (Halifax Mooseheads)

Simon Stransky (Prince Albert Raiders)

Matthew Tkachuk (London Knights)


The 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by title partner BMO Bank of Montreal, and CHL associate sponsors Cooper Tire, autoTRADER.ca and Sherwin-Williams.  The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.

For more information please visit www.bmotopprospects.ca.

BMO and the Canadian Hockey League:
BMO Financial Group and the Canadian Hockey League announced BMO as the Official Bank of the Canadian Hockey League in 2011. The sponsorship builds on BMO’s partnership with the CHL of more than 10 years and affirms BMO’s exclusivity as a financial services sponsor of the league in the retail banking category. It also engrains a presence with the 48 teams which currently participate in the BMO CHL Affinity MasterCard program, which enables CHL fans to support their favourite teams through a co-branded credit card.

Super series

Mid-season OHL’s Draft Eligible Rankings

The mid way point of the Ontario Hockey League season is upon us and it’s time for my mid-season rankings of players eligible for the 2016 National Hockey League Draft.

Jakob Chychrun of the Sarnia Sting. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
1. Jakob Chychrun – Sarnia Sting

 

Height: 6’2”

Weight: 215 pounds

Date of birth: March 31, 1998. Boca Raton, Florida

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 1st overall, 2014 Priority Selection

 

Matthew Tkachuk of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
2. Matthew Tkachuk – London Knights

Height:  6’1”

Weight: 195 pounds

Date of birth: December 11, 1997. St Louis, MO

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 4, 64th overall, 2013 Priority Selection

Nylander, Alexander (1)
3. Alexander Nylander – Mississauga Steelheads

Height: 6’0”

Weight: 172 pounds

Date of birth: March 2, 1998, Södertälje, Sweden

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 12th overall, CHL Import Draft

 

Max Jones of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
4. Max Jones – London Knights

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 200 pounds

Date of birth: February 17, 1998, Orion, MI

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 18th overall, 2014 Priority Selection

Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
5.Mikhail Sergachev – Windsor Spitfires

Height:  6’2”

Weight: 205 pounds

Date of birth: June 25, 1998. Nizhnekamsk, Russia

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 6th overall, 2015 CHL Import Draft

Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
6. Alex DeBrincat – Erie Otters

Height: 5’7”

Weight: 160 pounds

Date of Birth: December 18, 1997 – Detroit, Michigan

Position: Right Wing

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Undrafted, signed as a free agent.

 

Olli Juolevi of the London Knights. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images
7. Olli Juolevi – London Knights

Height:  6’2”

Weight: 185 pounds

Date of birth: May 5, 1998. Helsinki, Finland

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft:  Round 1, 45th overall, CHL Import Draft.

McLeod, Michael (2)
8. Michael McLeod – Mississauga Steelheads

Height:  6’2”

Weight: 187 pounds

Date of birth: February 3, 1998. Mississauga, Ontario

Position: Center

Shoots: Right

OHL Draft: Round 1, 5th overall, 2014 Priority Selection

Brown, Logan (1).JPG
9. Logan Brown – Windsor Spitfires

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 218 pounds

Date of birth: March 5, 1998, Chesterfield, MO

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 6th overall, 2014 Priority Selection

Bastian, Nathan (2).jpg
10. Nathan Bastian – Mississauga Steelheads

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 208 pounds

Date of birth: December 6, 1997. Kitchener, Ontario

Position: Center

Catches: Right

OHL Draft: Round 7, 127th overall, 2013 Priority Selection

All photos courtesy of Terry Wilson/Aaron Bell – OHL Images

Logan Brown – Player Profile – Windsor Spitfires

Height: 6’6”

Weight: 218 pounds

Date of birth: March 5, 1998, Chesterfield, MO

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

OHL Draft: Round 1, 6th overall, 2014 Priority Selection

Brown played his Midget hockey for the Indiana Jr Ice. During the 2013-2014 season he scored 19 goals and added 12 assists in 19 games. Last season was his rookie season in the Ontario Hockey League and he didn’t disappoint. He played in 56 games for the Spitfires and scored 17 goals while assisting on 26 others. His 43 points were good enough for 5th in rookie scoring but his points per game were second only to Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters.

Logan Brown of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Logan Brown of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

While I’m not one to make comparisons, there are those that find similarities to Joe Thornton and Ryan Getzlaf.

The size. Oh that size. At 6’6” and 218 pounds, that alone has to focus your attention on Brown. The NHL is transitioning to smaller, faster skilled players, but scouts will find it difficult to ignore a player with Brown’s massive size, vision, playmaking abilities and soft hands.

Brown’s skating is very good. He is deceptively quick and agile for a player of his size, especially with the puck on his stick. He is extremely strong on his skates and virtually impossible to knock him off of the puck. Combine his skating and his strength, he can hold onto the puck for what seems like an eternity, allowing teammates to get open and into position.

Brown’s vision and playmaking abilities can now take over. After buying his mates time, he sees the ice so well he knows where everyone is. He can find the seams with relative ease, but he can also make a pass through legs and sticks that few could see.

Brown is not just a playmaker. He possesses a powerful shot with deadly accuracy and velocity. With his size and strength he could be a fixture in front of the opposition net that few defenders could handle. His defensive awareness is also very good.

Rating players on potential and how they eventually pan out requires a crystal ball, and last time I checked, none of the 30 NHL teams have purchased one. That said, most players have their warts and Brown isn’t immune to that.

There are those that point to Brown’s exclusion from Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial as a warning. Not so in my opinion. You cannot put that much stock into a tournament held in August, whether a player makes the squad or not.

I won’t argue with those that believe he needs to play with more consistency or that sometimes he looks “lazy” out there. There are times that he won’t pursue the puck when dumped and use his big body and consider that a knock on him. Personally, I think that he reads the game so well, and sees the plays developing before they actually do, that he knows when it’s safe to attack and when the best option is to think defence first.

Of course, not everyone can be right. The book on Brown is still wide open.

Otters’ Alex DeBrincat named Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week

Toronto, ON – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that 2016 NHL Draft prospect Alex DeBrincat of the Erie Otters is the Pioneer Energy OHL Player of the Week for the week ending October 4 after recording five goals in two games with a plus-minus rating of plus-5.

DeBrincat helped the Otters earn a pair of victories last week to improve their record to 4-0-0-0 as the only remaining undefeated team in the OHL.  The club posted a 3-2 shootout triumph over the Flint Firebirds in Saturday night’s home opener, and also earned a 6-1 road victory over the Niagara IceDogs last Thursday with DeBrincat setting a franchise regular season single game record with a five-goal performance as the game’s first star.  He opened the scoring in that contest with his second goal of the season at the 10 minute mark of the first period, then broke a 1-1 tie with his second of the game early in the second period.  DeBrincat completed his hat-trick 53 seconds later before setting career-highs with goals four and five midway through the second and third periods respectively.  While former teammate Connor McDavid netted five goals in a single playoff game last April, DeBrincat is the first OHL player to record five goals in a regular season game since both Nick Ritchie of the Peterborough Petes, and Andreas Athanasiou of the Barrie Colts in February, 2014.

DeBrincat, a 17-year-old from Detroit, Michigan, earned OHL and CHL Rookie of the Year honours in 2014-15 after scoring 51 goals and 53 assists for 104 points in 68 games.  With six goals and one assist through three games of the 2015-16 campaign, DeBrincat is eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft and was one of seven OHL players listed as first round candidates by NHL Central Scouting in their September ‘Players to Watch’ list.

Watch video highlights of DeBrincat and the Otters against the IceDogs.

Also considered for the award this week was fellow 2016 NHL Draft prospect Logan Brown of the Windsor Spitfires who led the league with six points in two games scoring once with five assists, while forward Dante Salituro recorded four assists in one game played helping the Ottawa 67’s to a 5-1 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs.  In goal, New Jersey Devils prospect Mackenzie Blackwood of the Barrie Colts posted a 2-1-0-0 record with a goals-against-average of 1.33 and save percentage of .960.

Pioneer

2015-16 Pioneer Energy OHL Players of the Week:

Sept. 28 – Oct. 4: Alex DeBrincat (Erie Otters)
Sept. 21 – Sept. 27: Zack Bowman (Flint Firebirds)