With the Kingston Frontenacs’ announcement Friday that the crew’s future will probably be led by Shane Wright – as if there was any doubt the participant granted distinctive standing after a dominant season would go first general – the OHL draft acquired to an early begin.
Wright had an unimaginable 72 factors in 33 GTHL video games and 150 factors in 72 video games previous to the OHL Cup, solely to safe probably the most invaluable participant award due to an 18-point effort. The 2004-born Wright fell simply eight factors shy of John Tavares’ offensive output when he turned the primary participant to earn distinctive standing in OHL historical past, however 59 factors wanting Connor McDavid’s unimaginable pre-OHL draft marketing campaign. That stated, McDavid performed 16 further video games and solely had 5 extra factors in GTHL competitors.
That’s fairly the corporate, nevertheless it’s extra than simply spectacular stats that makes Wright so fascinating. Wright is sort of a Mercedes Formulation One automotive, blasting away from the competitors with nice straight-line velocity and fast acceleration. He sees the sport otherwise than different high-end prospects, permitting him to make the fitting go as a substitute of the straightforward one. Not like different high prospects, Wright will stick round for 3 years earlier than changing into an NHL star, so Kingston has time to construct round him, to not point out a star down the center that may assist entice future property.
Wright’s Don Mills linemate, Brennan Othmann, is anticipated to affix the Flint Firebirds with the second decide after a 66-goal, 146-point season in 72 video games. Othmann spends sufficient time in entrance of the web and will assist Flint 2018 draft decide Evan Vierling (second general) discover his groove in his sophomore marketing campaign. Othmann is a high-end winger with a scoring contact, exhausting shot and spectacular top-end velocity, so the Firebirds are in good fingers going ahead.
The Don Millers Flyers had a season to recollect, posting a 77-Zero-6-1 document with their lone additional time loss coming to Detroit Compuware on the Whitby Worldwide Silver Stick event in November. Wright and Othmann have been two of the very best all season and true game-changers in a yr the place no one got here near stopping the Flyers reign as the very best crew within the nation.
However who else is price watching when the OHL draft kicks off Saturday morning? American gamers anticipated to be on the ultimate United States Nationwide Workforce Improvement Program under-17 roster weren’t included, as gamers like Colby Saganiuk, Luke Hughes, Dylan Duke and Sasha Pastujov are high prospects who’re believed to be key members of the crew after collaborating within the USNTDP analysis camp. With that in thoughts, let’s have a look at 10 gamers that will probably be off the draft board in a rush:
Brandt Clarke, D (Don Mills Flyers)On many events this season, Clarke was probably the most spectacular participant within the GTHL, and maybe in all of Ontario minor midget. A wise child who not often places his teammates in a harmful place when doling out the puck, Clarke likes to affix the forecheck and is fast to get again to defend in his personal zone. Enjoying on a dominant Flyers crew allowed Clarke to get extra inventive than he’ll have the ability to be in main junior, however he has all of the instruments to problem for the rookie of the yr title subsequent season. Clarke is inventive, fast and powerful and was an offensive catalyst on Ontario’s Canada Winter Video games crew that received silver. Clarke has the flexibility to have probably the most impression out of any draft prospect.
Mason McTavish, C (Pembroke Lumber Kings)McTavish was excellent with the Pembroke Lumber Kings midget AAA crew within the Ottawa space this yr, main the league with 47 targets and 79 factors in 41 video games. He isn’t afraid to get tough alongside the boards and outmuscles most of his opponents together with his strong 6-foot-1 body. Essentially the most invaluable participant in HEOAAA motion this season, McTavish’s work ethic is among the many finest within the draft and he has a knack for locating himself in high-danger scoring conditions. It’s price mentioning that Mason’s dad, Dale, performed 4 seasons with the Peterborough Petes, who choose fifth, proper round the place McTavish might land.
Connor Lockhart, C (Kanata Lasers)One of the dominant midget gamers within the nation, Lockhart had an unimaginable 79 factors in 41 video games with the Kanata Lasers AAA crew, tying McTavish for the league lead. Extra of a playmaker than McTavish, Lockhart is very expert and was just too quick for different gamers his age to maintain up. A middle who may excel on the wing, Lockhart sees the sport effectively and created a lot of the scoring alternatives for his crew. Lockhart will make an instantaneous impression within the OHL subsequent season and won’t have to attend lengthy to listen to his title referred to as.
Francesco Pinelli, C (Toronto Pink Wings)Pinelli had the posh of taking part in with future star and high 2020 OHL draft prospect Adam Fantilli, however Pinelli was a person on a mission with the Pink Wings. In truth, Pinelli could also be the very best two-way heart apart from Wright within the draft. Pinelli’s work ethic is unimaginable, all the time buzzing across the ice and creating scoring possibilities as a substitute of ready round for a go. Pinelli likes to shoot, and didn’t miss many alternatives when given the possibility this yr. Pinelli was named one of many OHL Cup’s high forwards after ending second in scoring with 14 factors, and it’s solely a matter of time till he’s a top-line captain within the OHL.
Danil Zhilkin, C (Toronto Marlboros)The highest prospect from the storied Toronto Marlboros group, Zhilkin is a talented ahead who’s already primed to be a excessive decide within the 2022 NHL draft. Pinelli is a slick puck-handler with razzle-dazzle to his recreation. He additionally possesses a wrist shot that has a great mixture of energy and velocity. Zhilkin is sweet within the faceoff circle and likes to interact in bodily play when it is smart. He carried out at his finest on the Toronto Titans Early Chook Event in September, main the occasion with 9 targets and ending with 12 factors. Zhilkin is dedicated to the NCAA’s Boston College, nevertheless it’s believed he’ll play within the OHL sooner or later.
Logan Mailloux, D (Toronto Marlboros)Mailloux joined the Marlboros from the Solar County Panthers and made an instantaneous impression on Toronto’s again finish. Mailloux’s 6-foot-Four, 209-pound body made him robust to beat in one-on-one conditions and his shot has sufficient energy to hold with the very best blueliners in main junior. Mailloux’s bread and butter is his bodily recreation, however he’s a great skater, too. Mailloux had a terrific OHL Cup, with one purpose and 9 factors earlier than occurring to play an vital function with the Marlboros within the GTHL championships.
Ben Gaudreau, G (North Bay Trappers)Thought of by many to be the highest goalie within the draft, the 6-foot-2 netminder led his main midget crew (made up of gamers a yr older than him) to an ideal 36-Zero common season document. Gaudreau then stood on his head with Workforce NOHA on the OHL Cup, making them a severe contender all the way in which till the elimination spherical. Gaudreau makes use of his dimension to his benefit, giving gamers little or no to shoot at, and he strikes from post-to-post exceptionally effectively. Groups don’t sometimes draft goaltenders early, however a membership in search of the subsequent high goalie might make an early transfer to snag Gaudreau.
Brenden Sirizzotti, RW (Whitby Wildcats)The ETA doesn’t get as a lot consideration because the GTHL does main as much as the draft, however after Quinton Byfield emerged as the highest prospect final yr, and later, probably the greatest rookies within the OHL, it’s additional proof that the league produces some unimaginable expertise. Oh, talking of Byfield, he had 92 factors in 34 common season video games with York-Simcoe final yr, whereas Sirizzotti had 93 in 36 video games this season. Sirizzotti is pushed to win each puck battle and the 5-foot-11 winger is usually the quickest participant on the ice. He can maintain his in bodily bouts, too. Consistency is the secret for Sirizzotti, who watched his inventory rise all through the season.
Liam Arnsby, RW (Don Mills Flyers)Yet one more Don Mills Flyers product. Arnsby was probably the greatest gamers on the Whitby Worldwide Silver Stick event in November, recording 4 targets and 11 factors in a event the place the Flyers suffered their solely lack of the season (an additional time defeat by the hands of Detroit Compuware.) Arnsby is an influence ahead with a giant shot and a bent to play tenacious. He isn’t an excellent skater, however if you happen to want dimension and power, you want Arnsby.
Josh Bloom, LW (Toronto Nationals)One of the spectacular prospects on the latest OHL Mix was Bloom, a winger with the Toronto Nationals with a recreation of Junior A expertise with the OJHL’s Oakville Blades. Bloom was listed as the highest on-ice participant and the fourth-best off-ice performer on the mix. His Younger Nats crew fell flat on the OHL Cup, however that shouldn’t harm Bloom, who had a pleasant Canada Winter Video games event in February. Bloom is a two-way playmaker with a fast launch, and his capability to make passes whereas below assault will get groups excited.
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