2013/14 OHL Preview: Windsor Spitfires

6538329

Last Season: 26-33-3-6 (5th in West Division/9th in Western Conference)

Departing: Alex Aleardi (F – 92 – 27-44-71 – Springfield), Emerson Clark (F – 92 – 7-11-18), Alexander Khokhlachev (F – 93 – 22-26-48 – Boston), Jaroslav Pavelka (G – 93 – 3.65 – 23-22-2-4 – Hradec Kralove), Zack Percy (D – 93 – 0-3-3 – LaSalle), Sam Studnicka (F – 95 – 2-6-8 – Ottawa)

Arriving: Chris Cobham (F – 96 – 10th in ’12 – The Gunnery), Ryan Foss (F – 96 – 39-63-103 – Blyth Academy), Cameron Hughes (F – 96 – 8th in ’12 – Winchester), Steven Janes (F – 93 – 20-16-36 – Owen Sound), Brendan Johnston (G – 97 – 5th in ’13), Dalen Kuchmey (G – 94 – 3.85 – 15-19-0-1 – Strathroy), Aaron Luchuk (F – 97 – 4th in ’13), Ryan Moore (F – 97 – 2nd in ’13), Liam Murray (D – 97 – 3rd in ’13), Nikita Yazkov (F – 96 – ’13 Import Draft)

NHL Prospects: Nick Ebert (D – 94 – 11-27-38 – Los Angeles), Ben Johnson (F – 94 – 20-17-37 – New Jersey), Slater Koekoek (D – 94 – 6-23-29 – Tampa Bay), Kerby Rychel (F – 94 – 40-47-87 – Columbus), Patrick Sieloff (D – 94 – 3-8-11 – Calgary), Brady Vail (F – 94 – 20-35-55 – Montreal)

Rights Held: Evan Allen (F – 95 – 15th in ’11 – Michigan), Riley Barber (F – 94 – 5th in ’10 – Miami – Washington), Louie Belpedio (D – 96 – 9th in ’12 – Miami), Will Butcher (D – 95 – 10th in ’11 – Colorado), Tony Calderone (F – 94 – 13th in ’10 – Princeton), Brett D’Andrea (F – 94 – Soo’s 9th in 10 – Bowling Green), Jacob De La Rose (F – 95 – ’13 Import Draft – Montreal), Chris Dodero (F – 96 – 14th in ’12 – Colorado College), Christian Fischer (F – 97 – 11th in ’13 – Notre Dame), Mark Friedman (D – 95 – 13th in ’11 – Bowling Green), Nick Schmaltz (F – 96 – 4th in ’12 – North Dakota), Brendan Warren (F – 97 – 5th in ’13 – Michigan)

To put it mildly, the 2012/13 season was a bit of a mess for the Windsor Spitfires.

After being sanctioned by the OHL in the lead up to the campaign for the new season and losing their first round pick in the 2013 draft in the process (they also lost a first in 2016, and seconds in 2015 and 2017, but regained their 2014 first round pick in an appeal process), the team hovered around .500 for most of the season prior to a go-for-broke approach at the trade deadline.

After that, however, injuries struck Chris Marchese, Slater Koekkoek and Patrick Seeloff didn’t help matters any as the team missed the playoffs. Plus, the year ended with legal troubles when  forward Ben Johnson was charged with two counts of sexual assault right after the season ended.

However, this is a brand new season, and while this team isn’t anywhere near the glory days when Taylor Hall and Ryan Ellis dominated the league, the Spitfires should return to the post-season.

A lot of that comes from what they have on the roster. Kerby Rychel is set to enter what will more than likely be his final OHL season, and Joshua Ho Sang will be looking to build off his 44-point rookie campaign. 2013 top draft pick Ryan Moore and free agent signee Ryan Foss look intriguing, plus the team is still trying to lure Montreal prospect and Import draft pick Jacob De La Rose over to Canada.

The back-end looks stellar as well, with Nick Ebert, Sieloff, and Koekkoek leading the way. Part of me does wonder though if Adam Bateman will ever live up to his first round billing though, especially since Windsor traded for him after he didn’t report to Niagara.

The one question mark I have is with the goaltending. Since Jaroslav Pavelka is back over in Europe (thanks a lot David Branch), Jordan DeKort will finally get his chance to get the starting job in Windsor. However, he doesn’t have a ton of starting experience so their might be some growing pains early, unless the team decides to add a veteran goalie.

If DeKort does well, the Spitfires could be in the mix for a home seed come March. But if things go South, this team could be scratching and clawing just to get into the dance.

About these ads

One response to “2013/14 OHL Preview: Windsor Spitfires

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: