Monthly Archives: April 2014

2013/14 OHL Assesments (Part 3) & Semi Final Predictions

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Although Barrie and North Bay delivered an awesome matchup in the Eastern Conference, one could see the second round of this year’s OHL playoffs as a bit of a disappointment.

Okay, you probably could of assumed that the Oshawa and Peterborough series would have been pretty lopsided in the Generals favour, but I doubt anyone would have expected the two Western Conference quarterfinals would be done in rather short order.

While the games in both series were close ones for the most part, the Erie Otters’ offence proved too much for the  Soo Greyhounds too handle in its four game sweep, and the Guelph Storm’s depth was more than likely the key difference to knocking out the London Knights in five games.

I highly doubt that the two conference finals will be short contests, but if they are, this year’s playoffs may end up being a rather disappointing one. Especially with the amount of hype going into it.

Before I get to my predictions for the semis, here are my thoughts on the four teams that were knocked out in the second round.

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Peterborough Petes (32-30-0-6 – 3rd in Eastern Division/6th in Eastern Conference – Eliminated by Oshawa Generals in four games)

What I Predicted: If no big players are dealt, which seems like an annual occurrence with this team, a playoff spot is in the cards for the Petes come March.

What Actually Happened: No one major was traded for once, and thanks to a dramatic come-from-behind series win over Kingston, the Petes advanced to the second round for the first time since they won the OHL title in 2006.

What Lies Ahead: A possible home playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. They will lose overage defenders Nelson Armstrong and Clark Seymour, overage netminder Andrew D’Agostini, but pretty much everyone else will be coming back.

Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Barrie Colts (37-28-1-2 – 2nd in Central Division/4th in Eastern Conference – Eliminated by North Bay Battalion in six games)

What I Predicted: I don’t believe that the Colts will end up returning to the OHL finals this year, but I do think that this will be a side that gets better as the year goes on, and that Barrie will be a tough team for anyone to play against in the Eastern Conference playoffs. 

What Actually Happened: Pretty much that. The Colts had a chance to win the division and made short work of Sudbury in the first round. In fact, you can make a case that they might of had a chance to win the Eastern Conference title given its postseason showing.

What Lies Ahead: A little bit of a regression. With a few graduating from the forward core, it might take a little bit for the younger guys to step up, and that process might also happen on the back end if Aaron Ekblad goes straight to the NHL.

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Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (44-17-2-5 – 1st in West Division/2nd in Western Conference – Eliminated by Erie Otters in four games)

What I Predicted: I think the Greyhounds should hover around the battle for the sixth playoff spot this season, with a chance to earn a home playoff seed if the stars align.

What Actually Happened: A team that I thought would be a major threat come next season arrive a year earlier that I expected. Not only did they earn that home playoff seed, but they won a division title for the first time since 2008.

What Lies Ahead: With this year’s playoff experience in their record books, the Greyhounds might be the team to beat in the Western Conference come next season. Granted they do lose Matt Murray to the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and Darnell Nurse may be headed to Edmonton full-time, but this team will return a lot more than others.

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London Knights (49-14-1-4 – 3rd in Midwest Division/4th in Western Conference – Eliminated by Guelph Storm in five games)

What I Predicted: This Knights team is once again a force to be reckoned with. Even though they are already going to the Memorial Cup as the hosts, anything less will be viewed as a disappointment.

What Actually Happened: The Knights did have a strong year, but their total of 103 points were not enough to even win its division. Perhaps it was their inconsistent form, the loss of Olli Mattaa to the NHL, Anthony Stolarz’s injury and playoff suspension, or a young defensive core. But no matter the reason, this year’s Knights team were unable to match the success of the past two squads.

What Lies Ahead: First there is the Memorial Cup, where the Knights will have to get back into game-shape after having almost a month off. When it comes to next year, the team will be losing Stolarz, three overage defenders, and a number of drafted 94-born forwards. Plus, Max Domi, Bo Horvat, and Nikita Zadorov may all move on to the NHL. The window may finally be closing, for now at least.

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What do you mean North Bay isn’t rocking these uniforms all of the time? Well that’s a major disappointment, especially as we head into my Conference Finals predictions.

Eastern Conference

1) Oshawa Generals vs. 2) North Bay Battalion: Oshawa in six (As a Northern Ontario lad, I’m rooting for North Bay here, especially since the Greyhounds are out. However, I feel like the Generals might be the better side overall here, especially with Scott Laughton and Michael Dal Colle up front. Daniel Altshuller has shut down everyone thus far as well, but the Battalion are a much tougher team to go up against than the Steeleheads and the Petes.)

Western Conference

1) Guelph Storm vs. 3) Erie Otters: Guelph in seven (I tossed and turned over this one, as both sides are pretty much even from top-to-bottom, well other than McJesus versus everyone in an NHL Draft prospect party. In the end, I decided to go with the Storm though, mainly because of the fact that they have home ice. Anything less than a seven-game series between these two talented teams will be a major disappointment.)

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A Look Back At The 2009 OHL Draft

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As I post this to the internet, the 2014 edition of the OHL Draft is just a few hours away from getting into full swing, with the Sarnia Sting having announced yesterday that highly-touted defender Jakob Chychrun would be the first overall selection in this year’s event.

In this instant access world, everyone wants to have a quick opinion on what each of the 20 teams does on draft day, but it’s pretty much impossible. The vast majority of us have yet to see those drafted in person, and our lone glimpse may only come from a YouTube highlight reel.

I have always been of the belief that you have to let at least five years pass before you make any final judgements on a draft, and with the 1993 birth-year players leaving the junior ranks, I figure this time is right to do my annual review of a previous OHL Draft by taking a look back at what happened in 2009.

Barrie Colts

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 8 Toronto Marlboros Ryan Strome C 225 105-190-295 New York Islanders Organization
 3 48 Quinte Red Devils Zach Hall C  221 68-156-224 Barrie Colts
 4 62 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Ryan Wells D  0 N/A London Nationals
 4 68 Hamilton Huskies Clint Windsor G  100 26-49-10 (4.24) Miramichi Timberwolves
 5 68 Toronto Young Nationals James Hennessy LW  0 N/A Unknown (Stayner Siskins in 12/13)
6 101 Peterborough Petes Mitchell Bursey D 32 1-1-2 St. Catharines Falcons
 7 128 Whitby Wildcats Quincy McIvor F  0 N/A Unknown (Whitby Fury in 11/12)
 8 148 Toronto Young Nationals Tye Campbell RW  0 N/A North York Rangers
 9 168 Ajax-Pickering Rangers James Doering D  0 N/A Unknown (Pickering Panthers in 11/12)
 10 188 Mississauga Senators Dylan Smoskowitz F  255 86-55-141 Oshawa Generals
 11 208 Detroit Belle Tire Cory Czarnik C  0 N/A Unknown (Tri-City Storm in 10/11)
 13 248 Toronto Young Nationals Tyson Fawcett C  130 35-40-75 Barrie Colts
 14 268 Hamilton Huskies Mitchell Nardi C  0 N/A Lake Superior State Lakers
 15 288 Upper Canada Cyclones Jarrett Williams D  0 N/A Unknown (Westport Rideaus in 12/13)
 15 293 South Central Coyotes Michael Robinson LW  72 5-10-15 Wellington Dukes

Ryan Strome ended up becoming a star in the league, though that was after he was traded to Niagara in a deal that saw the Colts pick up Alex Pietrangelo at the 2010 trade deadline. The Zach Hall pick ended up being good in the long run though, and Tyson Fawcett was a nice snag in the late stages of the draft.

Belleville Bulls

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
 1 18 Quinte Red Devils Tyson Teichmann  G  130 31-7-7 (4.01) Wellington Dukes
 2 32 Toronto Marlboros Michael Curtis LW  311 80-75-185 Erie Otters
4 63 Toronto Marlboros Steven Strong D  228 12-35-47 Guelph Gryphons
 4 78 Mississauga Senators Alex Basso D  280 38-120-158 London Knights
5 98 Central Ontario Wolves Scott Simmonds LW  245 21-49-70 Belleville Bulls
7 136 St. Catharines Falcons Matt Moes RW  0 N/A Unknown (St. Catharines Falcons in 11/12)
 8 158 Peterborough Petes Cole Murduff D  79 1-9-10 Lindsay Muskies
 9 178 Ottawa Valley Titans Phillip Doucet LW  0 N/A Unknown (Gloucester Rangers in 11/12)
 10 198 Ajax-Pickering Raiders Steven Deeg RW  0 N/A Wellington Dukes
 11 218 Toronto Marlboros Malcolm Subban G  118 64-42-6 (2.52) Boston Bruins Organization
 12 238 Brantford 99ers Dillan Walker D  0 N/A St. Catharines Falcons
 13 258 Ottawa Valley Titans Nikolas Van Essen LW  0 N/A Unknown (Ottawa Valley Titans in 08-09)
 14 278 Ajax-Pickering Raiders Ryan Logan D  0 N/A Cobourg Cougars
 15 298 Central Ontario Wolves Eric Wintjes D  0 N/A Unknown (Ottawa West Golden Knights in 12/13)

The Bulls did get a top-notch goalie in this draft, but it was in the 11th round and not with their first pick. Their next four picks were pretty solid as a whole after Teichmann though.

Brampton Batallion

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
 1 17 York Simcoe Express Barclay Goodrow RW 313 127-102-229 North Bay Battalion
 3 52 Niagara Falls Rivermen Mathew MacLeod RW  291 54-76-130 North Bay Battalion
 4 73 Toronto Junior Canadiens Michael Mastrangelo LW  4 0-0-0 Unknown (Saint John Sea Dogs in 12/13)
 5 89 Villanova Knights Domenic Alberga C  259 35-51-86 Ryerson University
 7 127 London Knights Jacob Riley G  51 11-19-7 (3.75) London Nationals
 7 137 Philadelphia Jr. Flyers Tyler Rehm LW  0 N/A Janesville Jets
 8 157 Rochester Alliance Jeffrey Stengiein C  0 N/A Michigan State Spartans
 9 177 Mississauga Reps Mark Luzar D  0 N/A Harvard Crimson
 10 197 Toronto Red Wings Daniel Leavens C  0 N/A Robert Morris Colonials
11 217 Mississauga Reps Jordan Auld D  127 3-27-30 Unknown (Queen’s Golden Gales in 12/13)
12 237 North York Rangers Adam Shibuya G  0 N/A Unknown (Toronto Jr. Canadiens in 11/12)
 13 257 Mississauga Reps Andreas Tsogkas C  96 3-14-17 Toronto Lakeshore Patriots
 14 277 Nickel City Sons Darcy Haines C  0 N/A Soo Thunderbirds
 15 289 Halton Hurricanes Spencer Abraham D  247 23-72-95 Erie Otters
 15 297 Halton Hurricanes Nicholas Pierog RW  0 N/A Penticton Vees

This might be my favourite draft so far. All of the guys who stuck around in the OHL were solid players, and Spencer Abraham was a heck of a pick in the final round.

Erie Otters

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 10 Toronto Young Nationals David Broll LW  255 47-92-139 Toronto Maple Leafs Organization
 2 28 Burlington Eagles Jeremy Gottzmann C  139 7-21-28 Milton Icehawks
 2 30 Central Ontario Wolves Brady Austin D  322 29-81-110 London Knights
 3 41 Burlington Eagles Jordan Coccimiglio C  121 5-10-15 Queen’s Golden Gales
 3 54 Toronto Young Nationals Michael Neville LW  0 N/A Michigan Tech Huskies
 5 83 Mississauga Senators Mikkel Poldma D  0 N/A Aurora Tigers
 5 90 Oakville Rangers Chris Festarini G  119 47-52-7 (3.52) Truro Bearcats
 7 138 London Knights Matthew Wildman C  0 N/A London Nationals
8 150 OPS Major Midget Adam Wood G  4 6.70 (2-2-0) Wellington Dukes
9 170 Pittsburgh Hornets Kevin Zugec D  0 N/A Rochester Jr. Americans
 10 189 Markham Majors Mark Gazdic D  18 0-1-1 London Nationals
 10 190 Ottawa Senators Keegan Harper D  0 N/A Pembroke Lumber Kings
 11 210 Kingston Jr. Frontenacs Kristian Grant D  108 4-20-24 Queen’s Golden Gales
 12 230 Central Ontario Wolves John McGuire RW  119 4-3-7 Rochester Americans
 13 250 Huron Perth Lakers Mitchell McIntosh C  4 0-0-0 Niagara Falls Canucks
 14 270 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Matt Halloran D  0 N/A Listowel Cyclones

While Erie’s draft isn’t that bad, most everyone that did something after they moved on from the Otters. That would certainly change in a few years time when that McJesus fellow came around.

Guelph Storm

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 11 London Knights Carter Sandlak LW  272 59-63-122 Plymouth Whalers
 3 53 Cushing Academy Julian Ciocco D  0 N/A Unknown (Philadelphia Little Flyers in 09/10)
 4 71 Toronto Marlboros Zack Mitchell RW  322 102-141-243 Guelph Storm
 5 82 Toronto Marlboros Luke Juha D  0 N/A Penn State Nittany Lions
 6 104 Huron Perth Lakers Mac Nichol D  68 1-2-3 Listowel Cyclones
 6 111 Brantford 99ers Ryan Horvat LW  185 32-52-84 Guelph Storm
 6 120 York Simcoe Express Jeff Dinallo C  0 N/A Clarkson Golden Knights
 7 120 Detroit Compuware Jacob MacDonald D  0 N/A Cornell Big Red
 8 151 London Knights Scott Lombardi RW  0 N/A London Nationals
 8 160 Illinois Minor Midget Garrett Sparks G  138 71-48-9 (2.97) Toronto Maple Leafs Organization
 9 180 Toronto Young Nationals Taki Pantziris D  21 2-4-6 West Kelowna Warriors
 10 191 Soo North Stars Patrick Watling C  187 36-66-102 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
 11 211 Lambton Jr. Sting Brett Thompson RW  0 N/A Lambton Shores Predators
 12 231 Markham Majors Shawn Hulshof LW  0 N/A SUNY-Oswego
 13 247 Upper Canada Cyclones Connor McLaren RW  0 N/A Gloucester Rangers
 14 271 North Central Predators Caleb Cameron LW  0 N/A RIT Tigers
 15 291 Burlington Eagles Daniel Poliziani D  116 3-17-20 Truro Bearcats
 15 299 Niagara Falls Rivermen Nik Passero RW  0 N/A London Nationals

The Julian Ciocco pick aside, this draft is a pretty good one. You have a pair of players who are key cogs in this year’s OHL title hunt, and an 8th round pick who was one of the top netminders in the league. Also, take a look at Nik Passero’s wonderful stache.

Kingston Frontenacs

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
 1 2 Toronto Junior Canadiens Alan Quine C 252 90-128-218 New York Islanders Organization
 2 22 Quinte Red Devils Steven Broek LW  82 6-7-13 Unknown (Belleville Bulls in 10/11)
 2 37 Mississauga Rebels Brett Morgan LW  40 4-3-7 Hockey Trainer
 3 42 Upper Canada Cyclones Clark Seymour D  288 14-43-57 Peterborough Petes
 4 69 Mississauga Senators Franky Palazzese G  175 71-69-26 (3.13) Sudbury Wolves
5 97 London Knights Ryan Davidson C  58 6-7-13 Unknown (London Nationals in 11/12)
5 100 Upper Canada Cyclones Ben Hutton D  0 N/A Maine Black Bears
 6 102 Team Comcast Eric Neiley C  0 N/A Dartmouth Big Green
 7 122 Whitby Wildcats Jarett Smith LW  0 N/A Unknown (Uxbridge Bruins in 12/13)
 8 142 Kingston Jr. Frontenacs Nathan Perry G  0 N/A Cobourg Cougars
 9 162 Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves Liam Kirkwood D  0 N/A Deceased (Leukaemia in 2012)
 10 182 Illinois Minor Midget AJ Jarosz LW  0 N/A Soo Eagles
 12 222 Whitby Wildcats Andrew Medico D  0 N/A Unknown (Pickering Panthers in 11/12)
 13 242 Toronto Jr. Canadiens David Freidmann C  0 N/A Robert Morris Colonials
 13 256 Mississauga Reps Matthew Wintjes G  0 N/A Michigan Tech Huskies

Oh Kingston. To be fair on this one, Palazeese thrived after he left town, Quine was dealt to get Ryan Spooner in a run during the 2010-11 season, Broek quit hockey after he was dealt to Belleville, and Morgan had concussion issues.

Kitchener Rangers

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
 1 3 York Simcoe Express Ryan Murphy D 228 53-167-220 Carolina Hurricanes Organization
 2 23 Chicago Steel John Moore D  61 10-37-47 New York Rangers Organization
 3 43 Mississauga Senators Ben Fanelli D  201 10-37-47 Kitchener Rangers
 3 47 Kingston Junior Frontenacs Keli Grant RW  35 5-2-7 Kitchener Dutchmen
 6 103 Culver Academy Barrett Kaib D 0 N/A Northern Michigan Wildcats
 7 123 Eastern Ontario Wild Eric Ming RW  240 57-59-116 Niagara Ice Dogs
 8 143 Mississauga Reps Ben Thomson LW  303 65-85-150 North Bay Battalion
 9 163 Oakville Rangers Braedan Russell F 0 N/A Surrey Eagles
 10 183 St. Catharines Falcons Kyle Woodhouse LW  0 N/A St. Catharines Falcons
 11 203 Pittsburgh Hornets John Gibson G  59 38-19-1 (2.60) Anaheim Ducks Organization
 12 223 Waterloo Wolves Zachary Lorentz LW  253 64-64-128 Plymouth Whalers
 13 243 Upper Canada Cyclones Tanner Benton LW  0 N/A Brockville Tikis
 14 263 South Central Coyotes Jason Lang C  0 N/A Unknown (Villanova Knights in 10/11)

Now this is a draft. Solid OHL players from top to bottom, a top-line defender (though you could argue how much defending he did while he was free-wheeling) with their top pick, and John Freaking Gibson in the 11th round.

London Knights

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
 1 19 Kingston Junior Frontenacs Scott Harrington D  216 13-68-81 Pittsburgh Penguins Organization
 2 35 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Jake Worrad D  184 15-51-66 Belleville Bulls
 3 51 Chatham Cyclones Dane Fox F  243 118-109-227 Erie Otters
 4 65 Chatham Cyclones Seth Griffith RW  207 102-129-231 Boston Bruins Organization
 6 119 Shattuck St. Mary’s Daniel Elser LW  41 1-5-6 Des Moines Buccaneers
 7 139 Lake Forest Academy Darcy Greenaway F  198 86-72-158 Kingston Frontenacs
 9 179 St. Catharines Falcons Tommy Barszcz C 0 N/A Bonnyville Pontiacs
 10 199 Hamilton Huskies Yanni Raillis RW  0 N/A St. Catharines Falcons
 12 239 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Greg Milner C  8 1-1-2 Whitby Fury
 13 259 Cambridge Hawks Nicholas Coone G 0 N/A Unknown (Elmira Sugar Kings in 11/12)
 14 262 Burlington Eagles Alexander Murray G  0 N/A Prince George Spruce Kings
 14 279 Burlington Eagles Jake Lukasic RW  0 N/A Unknown (Burlington Eagles in 08/09)
 14 280 Thunder Bay Kings Daniel Morin D  0 N/A Kirkland Lake Gold Miners
 15 282 Southern Tier Admirals Jordan Bolibruck LW  0 N/A Port Colborne Pirates
 15 286 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Taylor Speed G  0 N/A Windsor Lancers

Perhaps they regret not having Dane Fox’s goals as an overager, but they got Greg McKegg for him so that’s not too bad. Scott Harrington became a leader at the back end, and for a fourth rounder, Seth Griffith was outstanding.

Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 15 Toronto Marlboros Stuart Percy D  218 25-96-121 Toronto Maple Leafs Organization
 2 34 London Knights Dylan DeMelo D  218 25-100-125 San Jose Sharks Organization
 4 75 Toronto Marlboros Justin Rasmussen C  80 8-9-17 Dieppe Commandos
 5 95 Upper Canada Cyclones Doug Harvey LW  59 2-2-4 Kemptville 73’s
 6 115 Sun County Panthers Brendan McCann LW  79 3-5-8 LaSalle Vipers
 7 135 Toronto Junior Canadiens Eric Diodati D  173 10-39-49 Windsor Spitfires
 9 175 South Central Cyclones Daniel Lisi LW  0 N/A Sacred Heart Pioneers
 10 195 Cleveland Barons Kevin Irwin C  0 N/A Green Bay Gamblers
 11 215 Ajax-Pickering Raiders Connor Wilkinson G  0 N/A Dieppe Commandos
 12 235 Niagara Falls Rivermen Brett Foy C  196 33-34-67 Mississauga Steelheads
 13 255 Illinois Minor Midget Jacob Dutter D  0 N/A Unknown (Team Illinois in 08/09)
 14 275 Toronto Marlboros Brandon McMartin D  0 N/A Smiths Falls Bears
15 295 York Simcoe Express Hayden Neuman G  0 N/A Elmira Sugar Kings
 15 300 Oakville Rangers Ori Abramson D  0 N/A New Jersey Hitmen

Yeah there’s a lot of guys who didn’t do much, but when you get two top-line defenders in Percy and DeMelo, I don’t think you can be that upset about how your draft went.

Niagara Ice Dogs

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
 1 7 Toronto Marlboros Lucas Lessio LW  167 80-70-150 Phoenix Coyotes Organization
 2 27 St. Catharines Falcons Douglas Hamilton D  213 40-147-187 Boston Bruins Organization
 3 57 Brantford 99ers Andrew Fritsch RW  274 103-118-221 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
 4 80 Barrie Colts John Chartrand G  61 22-29-2 (4.24) Nipissing Lakers
 5 87 St. Catharines Falcons Joey De Concilys D 0 N/A Brown Bears
6 106 Northfield Mount Hermon Kevin Bremner D  0 N/A Unknown (Brampton Battalion Midget AAA in 10/11)
 6 107 Vaughan Kings Phillip Di Giuseppe LW  0 N/A Michigan Wolverines
 6 112 Mississauga Senators William Lovatsis LW  0 N/A Pickering Panthers
 8 147 Kitchener Rangers Mitchell Theoret LW  293 65-95-160 Barrie Colts
 9 167 Rochester Alliance Riley Bourbonnais C  0 N/A RPI Tigers
 10 187 Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs Michael Casale RW  0 N/A Kingston Voyageurs
 11 207 Mississauga Rebels MacKenzie Braid D 133 6-15-21 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
 12 227 Rochester Alliance Cole Bardreau C  0 N/A Cornell Big Red
 14 267 Brampton 45’s Victor Piszczek D  0 N/A Unknown (Caledon Golden Hawks in 12/13)
 15 287 South Central Coyotes Christian Weidauer D  0 N/A Prince George Spruce Kings

Since Lucas Lessio didn’t play for Niagara at all (he was traded to Oshawa where he would end up playing in the OHL), that sort of takes away from how things went. Though Dougie Hamilton made up for it by playing like a first round selection during his time in the OHL. Di Giuseppe would of been fun to watch in this league, whether it had been for Niagara or Windsor where he rights were dealt later on.

Oshawa Generals

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 4 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Boone Jenner C 227 111-135-246 Columbus Blue Jackets Organization
 2 39 Toronto Junior Canadiens Tyler Biggs RW  60 26-37-53 Toronto Maple Leafs Organization
 3 44 Detroit Compuware Colin Suellentrop D  313 11-74-85 Oshawa Generals
 3 45 Chatham Cyclones Kyle Hope LW  268 44-80-124 Owen Sound Attack
 5 84 Ottawa Senators Brent Norris C  0 N/A UConn Huskies
 5 91 Barrie Colts Brian Hughes C  165 13-13-26 Unknown (Oshawa Generals in 13/14)
 7 124 Welland Junior Canadians Patrick Koudys D  0 N/A Penn State Nittany Lions
 8 144 Burlington Eagles Liam Board RW  0 N/A Georgetown Raiders
 8 154 Halton Hurricanes Sean McGovern C  0 N/A St. Lawrence Saints
 11 202 Toronto Marlboros Eric Chevrier D  0 N/A Brooks Bandits
 11 204 Sun County Panthers Tony Spidalleri LW  0 N/A Leamington Flyers
 12 224 Detroit Little Caesars James McDowell D  304 35-71-107 Sarnia Sting
 13 244 Illinois Minor Midget Lane King RW  0 N/A Marquette Royals
 14 264 Mississauga Reps Santo Provenzano G  0 N/A Unknown (Toronto Red Wings in 10/11)
 15 284 Chicago Young Americans Brett Curran D  0 N/A Unknown (Connecticut College in 12/13)

The first few picks of this draft is pretty awesome. Everything else besides Hughes and McDowell, not so much.

Ottawa 67’s

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 16 Peterborough Petes Cody Ceci D  265 49-121-170 Ottawa Senators Organization
 2 31 St. Catharines Falcons Aaron Taylor LW  22 1-1-2 St. Catharines Falcons
 2 36 York Simcoe Express Steven Janes LW  256 55-61-116 Windsor Spitfires
 3 55 Mississauga Reps Tyler Graovac C  228 58-72-130 Minnesota Wild Organization
 4 76 Toronto Jr. Canadiens Nicholas Foglia C  204 23-28-51 Unknown (Brampton Battalion in 12/13)
 5 96 Mississauga Rebels Cooper Rush D  0 N/A Prince George Spruce Kings
 6 116 South Central Coyotes Michael McKee D  0 N/A Western Michigan Broncos
 8 156 Brantford 99ers Braden Mann G  0 N/A Unknown (Milton Icehawks in 12/13)
 9 164 Upper Canada Cyclones Ryan Van Stralen LW  182 52-63-115 Ottawa 67’s
 9 176 Brantford 99ers Remy Giftopoulos LW  230 61-60-121 Windsor Spitfires
 10 196 Toronto Marlboros Evan Rodrigues C  0 N/A Boston Terriers
 11 216 Ottawa Valley Titans Troy Anderson G  0 N/A Unknown (Perth Blue Wings in 10/11)
 12 236 Brockville Braves Maxime Dumond LW  0 N/A Unknown (Alaska-Fairbanks in 12/13)
 14 276 Toronto Young Nationals Blake Stephenson D  0 N/A Unknown (Stoufville Spirit in 10/11)
 15 296 Kingston Frontenacs Paul Dorsey G  1 0-1-0 (6.62) Royal Military College

This reminds me a lot of the Brampton draft from earlier, with top notch OHL players all over the place, and a pair of players who are in NHL systems. Not sure about that Aaron Taylor pick though.

Owen Sound Attack

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 9 Lambton Jr. Sting Curtis Crombeen D  127 4-21-25 Sarnia Legionnaires
 2 29 Mississauga Rebels Tyler Morgan LW  0 N/A Unknown (North York Rangers in 11/12)
 2 40 Vaughan Kings Jordan Binnington G  157 86-51-14 (2.90) St. Louis Blues Organization
 3 49 York Simcoe Express Jack Kuzmyk D  230 2-26-28 Unknown (Erie Otters in 12/13)
 6 109 Whitby Wildcats Brendan Sims RW  0 N/A Unknown (Whitby Fury in 10/11)
 7 129 Vaughan Kings Brayden Rose D  234 8-61-69 Owen Sound Attack
 8 149 Toronto Junior Canadiens Cameron Brace C  265 106-100-206 Belleville Bulls
 9 169 Lambton Jr. Sting Tanner Ferguson D  0 N/A Chatham Maroons
 10 184 Brantford 99ers Brennon Pearce LW  0 N/A Elmira Sugar Kings
 11 209 Mississauga Senators Nathan Granitto C  0 N/A Cochrane Generals
 11 219 London Knights Greg Staeger D  0 N/A Unknown (London Nationals in 11/12)
 12 229 Grey-Bruce Highlanders Austin Rigney D  0 N/A Aurora Tigers
 13 249 Toronto Red Wings John Paul Cesario G  6 1-3-0 (4.16) Unknown (Pickering Panthers in 12/13)
 13 252 Toronto Titans Tyler Wade LW  0 N/A Unknown (Newmarket Hurricanes in 10/11)
 14 269 Huron Perth Lakers Brad McClure LW  0 N/A Penticton Vees

Well besides that Tyler Morgan pick in the second round, this draft was another solid one. Also, what the heck is the Cochrane Generals team that I get cover out here doing in this draft look-back?

Peterborough Petes

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
 1 6 Sun County Panthers Matthew Puempel LW  195 119-94-213 Ottawa Senators Organization
 2 36 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Luke Hietkamp RW  215 20-20-40 Wilfrid Laurier
 3 46 Markham Majors Andrew D’Agostini G  191 71-85-11 (3.74) Peterborough Petes
 3 59 Ottawa Senators Kyle Rankin C  0 N/A Princeton Tigers
 4 79 Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs Derek Mathers RW  184 20-31-51 Philadelphia Flyers Organization
 5 86 Mississauga Senators Reid Jackman LW  15 0-1-1 Brampton Bombers
 6 105 Ajax-Pickering Raiders Jake Bannister RW  0 N/A Unknown (Cornwall Colts in 12/13)
 6 118 North York Rangers Jason Kelly C  5 0-2-2 Ryerson Rams
 7 126 Ottawa Senators Kurt Gowdy RW  55 3-6-9 Unknown (Kemptville 73’s in 11/12)
 8 146 Ajax-Pickering Raiders Khalid Alli LW  0 N/A Unknown (Cornwall Colts in 12/13)
 9 166 Peterborough Petes Turner Evans C  0 N/A Ohio State Buckeyes Lacrosse
 10 186 Upper Canada Cyclones Dylan McDiarmid D  0 N/A Gloucester Rangers
 11 206 North Jersey Avalanche Justin Selman C  0 N/A Michigan Wolverines
 12 226 Whitby Wildcats Keinan Brown G  0 N/A Unknown (Cobourg Cougars in 11/12)
 14 266 Markham Majors Geoffrey Bezruchko C  64 5-1-6 Unknown (Orangeville Flyers in 11/12)

I’ve waited for a heroic cross-sport athlete to show up, and we got one in a Ohio State lacrosse player. As per usual for the Petes at this point, this wasn’t the best of drafts, especially since their top pick in Puempel would end up being traded to Kitchener.

Plymouth Whalers

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 13 Huron Perth Lakers Garrett Meurs RW  265 78-114-192 Colorado Avalanche Organization
 2 33 Culver Academy Matt Mahalak G  148 77-46-13 (3.11) Kingston Frontenacs
 4 64 Detroit Compuware Stefan Noesen LW  215 100-120-220 Anaheim Ducks Organization
 5 93 Pittsburgh Horners Jonathon Miller F  61 25-37-62 New York Rangers Organization
 5 99 North Jersey Avalanche Nicholas Malysa D  294 3-28-31 Plymouth Whalers
 6 113 York Simcoe Express Calvin Higley LW  0 N/A Aurora Tigers
 7 133 London Knights Dylan MacDonald D  65 0-3-3 Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks
 8 153 Ohio Blue Jackets Conner Burton C  0 N/A Unknown (New Jersey Hitmen in 12/13)
 8 159 Eastern Ontario Wild Kevin Tansey D  0 N/A Clarkson Golden Knights
 9 173 Mississauga Senators Adam Nanji RW  6 1-0-1 Georgetown Raiders
 10 193 Detroit Compuware Peter Hand D  0 N/A Sioux Falls Stampede
 11 213 Thunder Bay Kings Adam Restoule LW  59 3-3-6 Lakehead Thunderwolves
 12 223 Shattuck St. Mary’s Kenneth Gillespie F 0 N/A New Jersey Hitmen
 13 253 Vaughan Kings Christian Elsborg RW  0 N/A Valley Jr. Warriors
 14 273 Toronto Junior Canadiens Chris Albertini D  34 3-1-4 Victoria Grizzlies
 15 282 Ohio Blue Jackets Sean Kuraly C  0 N/A Miami Redhawks

The Plymouth Whalers had a good draft in its first few picks? I’m flabbergasted. On a side-note, I would have loved to see what Kuraly would have done with some of the teams the Whalers had over the last couple of years. Well before this year’s eight place finishers.

Saginaw Spirit

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
 1 14 Mississauga Senators Anthony Camara LW  245 66-56-122 Boston Bruins Organization
 2 24 Detroit Little Caesars Vincent Trocheck C  264 120-179-299 Florida Panthers Organization
 4 66 St. Francis High School Alex Lepkowski D  228 8-23-31 Oshawa Generals
 4 70 TPH Thunder Jay Williams G  0 N/A Miami Redhawks
 4 74 Peterborough Petes Paxton Leroux D  36 1-1-2 Kitchener Rangers
 7 130 Detroit Victory Honda Frank Schumacher D  87 6-12-18 Gatineau Olympiques
 7 134 Kitchener Rangers Mark Scheifele C  158 84-133-217 Winnipeg Jets Organization
 9 174 Quinte Red Devils Billy Ulrick C  0 N/A Cornwall Colts
 10 194 Detroit Compuware Dominik Shine RW  0 N/A Northern Michigan Wildcats
 12 228 Mississauga Reps Keenan Hodgson C  0 N/A Nepean Raiders
 12 234 Mississauga Senators Marc Bessey D  0 N/A Loyola Marymount Lions
 13 254 Kitchener Rangers Carlton Richard C  0 N/A Unknown (Kitchener Jr. Rangers in 10/11)
 14 274 Verona High School Joseph Fiala D  0 N/A Quinnipiac Bobcats
 15 294 Nichols High School Peter Dudek G  0 N/A Buffalo State College Bengals

Loyola Marymount has a hockey team? Colour me impressed. Although Schiefele was dealt to Barrie before the start of the 2010-11 season for Mavric Parks, this draft was pretty good one. Plus, since Trocheck once won me five bucks in a NHL Draft bet, he always has a soft spot in my heart.

Sarnia Sting

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 12 Toronto Marlboros Brett Ritchie RW  220 99-92-191 Dallas Stars Organization
 3 50 Sarnia Legionnaires Craig Hottot RW  195 45-50-85 Bassist in Sunday Sounds Good
 3 55 York Simcoe Express Brandon Francisco LW  186 31-46-77 Newmarket Hurricanes
 4 72 St. Catharines Falcons Jamie Phillips G  0 N/A Michigan Tech Huskies
 5 92 Ohio Blue Jackets Joseph Campagna LW  129 40-37-77 Moncton Wildcats
 5 94 Mississauga Reps Ryan Zupancic D  53 0-3-3 UOIT Ridgebacks
 6 110 Toronto Jr. Canadiens Braden Kavaratzis LW  19 3-3-6 Fort Erie Meteors
 7 132 Soo North Stars Kyle Paat D  0 N/A Wellington Dukes
 8 152 Brantford 99ers Jake Milligan LW  0 N/A Ancaster Avalanche
 9 172 Mississauga Senators Kyle Dutra C  0 N/A Mercyhurst Lakers
 10 192 Peterborough Petes Nelson Armstrong D  91 13-45-58 Peterborough Petes
 11 212 TPH Thunder Jordan Cosby RW  0 N/A ECU Pirates
 12 232 Lambton Jr. Sting Sean Parker G  0 N/A Sarnia Legionnaires
 14 272 Lansing Capitals Reid Boucher LW  135 90-55-145 New Jersey Devils Organization
 15 290 Ohio Blue Jackets Connor Murphy D  68 14-30-44 Phoenix Coyotes Organization

Two quick notes here. Firstly, I need to book Craig Hottot’s band. Secondly, there’s a hockey program at ECU? As for the draft, it’s not really all that hot after the Brett Ritchie pick, until you get to the final two players. This is what having Alex Galchenyuk and Nail Yakupov on your team can do for you.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 1 York Simcoe Express Daniel Catenacci C  266 107-145-252 Buffalo Sabres Organization
 2 21 Quinte Red Devils Nick Cousins C  264 102-189-291 Philadelphia Flyers Organization
 3 60 Illinois Minor Midget Trevor Morbeck RW  220 29-51-80 Muskegon Lumberjacks
 4 61 Toronto Junior Canadiens Justin Thomas LW  33 5-5-10 Amherst Ramblers
 5 81 Burlington Eagles Patrick Volpe D  32 0-0-0 Kingston Voyageurs
 6 108 Vaughan Kings Ryan Sproul D  172 57-96-153 Detroit Red Wings Organization
 7 121 Toronto Young Nationals Chad Thibodeau LW  130 5-12-17 Wellington Dukes
 8 155 Clarington Toros Brian Bunnett C  0 N/A Wellington Dukes
 9 161 Soo North Stars Paul Orlando G  0 N/A Unknown (Exeter Hawks in 12/13)
 10 181 London Knights Matthew Fuller D  44 3-5-8 London Nationals
 11 201 York Simcoe Express Andrew Shutt LW 0 N/A Unknown (York Simcoe Express in 08/09)
 12 221 Thunder Bay Kings Adam Fares RW  0 N/A Unknown (Trail Smoke Eaters in 11/12)
 13 241 Whitby Wildcats Connor Hale RW  0 N/A Whitby Fury
 14 261 Mississauga Rebels Adrian Rizos G  0 N/A Unknown (Villanova Knights in 10/11)
 15 281 Chatham Cyclones Jarrod Oliphant LW  0 N/A Blenheim Blades
 15 292 Florida Jr. Panthers Devin Loe F  0 N/A Miami Redhawks

Good old Patrick Volpe. As for this draft, Cat and Cousins were two really great picks, even if Catenacci was dealt to Owen Sound later on. Plus, here’s a friendly reminder that the draft pick that was used to pick up Ryan Sproul originally came from Barrie for Behn Robertson. Thanks again Colts brass.

Sudbury Wolves

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
 1 5 Notre Dame Hounds Justin Sefton D  327 28-67-95 Saginaw Spirit
 2 25 Vaughan Kings Frankie Corrado D  259 15-95-110 Vancouver Canucks Organization
 2 38 North Central Predators Kristoff Kontos C  337 70-126-196 Saginaw Spirit
 5 85 Sun County Panthers Kyle Shaw F  45 3-0-3 Pembroke Lumber Kings
 6 114 St. Catharines Falcons Gregory Jambrosich C 183 12-17-29 St. Catharines Falcons
 7 125 Toronto Titans Kevin Banaschewski G  0 N/A Unknown (North York Rangers in 10/11)
 8 145 Ajax-Pickering Raiders Brennan Serville D  0 N/A Michigan Wolverines
 9 165 Peterborough Petes Keenan Murray D  0 N/A Napanee Raiders
 10 185 Windsor Jr. Spitfires Brendon Anger LW  0 N/A Wheatley Sharks
 11 205 Barrie Colts Josh Leivo LW  193 74-102-176 Toronto Maple Leafs Organization
 12 225 St. Catharines Falcons Jimmy Sheehan D  11 0-0-0 St. Catharines Falcons
 13 245 Sudbury Midget AA Adam Di Brina LW  0 N/A Aurora Tigers
 14 265 Sudbury Nickel Capitals Andre Comtois RW  0 N/A Unknown (Sudbury Nickel Barons in 12/13)
 15 285 Detroit Compuware Paul Berrafato G  0 N/A Amarillo Bulls

Two solid defenders to get things started, and an excellent late developing scoring threat in the 11th round? That’s a not bad day at the office.

Windsor Spitfires

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
1 20 Windsor Jr. Spitfires Austen Brassard RW  256 70-77-147 Winnipeg Jets Organization
 3 58 Burlington Eagles Steven Trojanovic D  256 26-82-108 Guelph Storm
 4 67 Detroit Compuware Craig Duininck D  309 28-69-97 Sudbury Wolves
 6 117 US NTDP Austin Czarnik C  0 N/A Miami Redhawks
 7 131 Chicago Mission Jordan Schmaltz D  0 N/A North Dakota
 8 141 Ottawa Valley Titans Matthew Peca C  0 N/A Quinnipiac Bobcats
 9 171 Detroit Compuware Blake Pietila LW  0 N/A Michigan Tech Huskies
 10 200 Toronto Jr. Canadiens Michael Nishi G  31 12-9-4 (3.46) University of Toronto Varsity Blues
 11 214 Detroit Compuware Josh Malecki G  8 0-2-0 (4.33) Unknown (Barrie Colts in 10/11)
 11 220 Sun County Panthers Dylan Seguin RW  4 0-1-1 Leamington Flyers
 12 240 Windsor Jr. Spitfires Evan Makaric D  0 N/A Wheatley Sharks
 13 246 Ann Arbor Midget Travis Maezes C  0 N/A Michigan Wolverines Baseball
 13 251 Mississauga Reps Eric Locke C  233 116-135-251 Saginaw Spirit
 13 260 London Knights Michael Whaley  C  218 9-34-43 London Nationals

A college baseball player? I love this draft already. Eric Locke, even though he was dealt, is an awesome 13th round pick, and while many of the other players were traded away, they were used to help the team pick up other players during their run as an elite team in the OHL. On a side note, if they were able to get a couple of those college players, the Spitfires would have been lethal after Ellis and Hall left.

And of course, we can’t wrap up our 2009 retrospective without taking a look at the CHL import draft.

Rnd. No. Team Player Name Pos. OHL Games Played Career Stats Current Status
 1 3 Plymouth Whalers Gabriel Landeskog RW 114 60-52-112 Colorado Avalanche Organization
 1 6 Kitchener Rangers Tomas Tatar LW  0 N/A Detroit Red Wings Organization
 1 9 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Robin Lehner G  47 27-13-3 (2.80) Ottawa Senators Organization
 1 12 Barrie Colts Alexander Burmistrov C  62 22-43-65 AK Bars Kazan
 1 15 Owen Sound Attack Roman Berdnikov RW  63 16-21-37 Avangard Omsk
 1 18 Peterborough Petes Jiri Sekac F  8 0-0-0 HC Lev Praha
 1 21 Niagara Ice Dogs Petteri Simlia G  11 1-4-2 (4.14) Jukurit
 1 24 Windsor Spitfires Tom Kuhnhackl C  97 47-50-97 Pittsburgh Penguins
 1 27 Oshawa Generals Alain Berger F 109 48-37-85 Bern
 1 30 Ottawa 67’s Petr Mrazek G  132 75-37-10 (2.87) Detroit Red Wings Organization
 1 33 Saginaw Spirit Tadeas Galansky G  42 18-15-3 (3.63) Jukurit
 1 36 Erie Otters Ramis Sadikov G  119 51-50-10 (3.53) Kareliya St. Petersburg
 1 39 Sudbury Wolves Stefan Stepanov D  7 0-1-1 Buran Voronezh
 1 42 Saginaw Spirit Ivan Telegin C  156 81-88-169 CSKA Moscow
 1 45 Kitchener Rangers Patrik Andersson D  55 0-19-19 Mora
 1 48 Ottawa 67’s Matias Sointu LW  51 8-21-29 TPS
 1 51 Brampton Battalion Valeri Knizev LW  10 0-0-0 HC Ceske Judejovice
 1 54 Sudbury Wolves Edijs Leitans F  55 9-10-19 ERC Ingolstadt
 1 58 London Knights Anton Klementyev D  0 N/A Sokol Krasnoyarsk
 2 62 London Knights Kalle Ekelund D  163 13-55-68 Karlskrona
 2 68 Oshawa Generals Jakub Strnad LW  18 0-1-1 HC Kladno
 2 70 Barrie Colts Denis Gladkov LW  0 N/A Unknown (Twin Cities Northern Lights in 09/10)
 2 72 Erie Otters Victor Perezhogin F  0 N/A Kristall Elektrostal
 2 73 Guelph Storm Vadim Guskov RW  39 1-0-1 Kristall Elektrostal
 2 76 Sarnia Sting Ted Brithen F  9 1-2-3 HV71

Boy I would have loved to have seen Tatar in the OHL. Also, look at those fun goalies that came to the CHL, heaven forbid we stop that from happening. Thanks a lot again for that stupid import goalie ban David Branch.


2013/14 OHL Assesments (Part 2) & Second Round Predictions

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As ever, the opening round of the OHL playoffs was a tale of two conferences. (What a terrible way to start this blog post off I know).

The proceedings Western Conference was pretty straight forward, minus London Knights goalie Anthony Stolarz channelling his inner Ron Hextall and a bit of a test for the Erie Otters from the Saginaw Spirit.

However, the first round in the Eastern Conference ended up being really interesting. For starters, the Mississauga Steelheads took the top-ranked Oshawa Generals to three overtime games, and the Barrie Colts took the Sudbury Wolves behind the woodshed in a series that I thought would be a lot closer.

Then we had two game seven’s. After trailing by a 3-1 margin, the North Bay Battalion roared back to life and defeated the Niagara Ice Dogs by a score of 2-1, thanks in large part to an impressive third period showing on home ice.

But the biggest story was in Kingston, where Nick Ritchie’s overtime goal gave Peterborough the series victory over the Frontenacs, and made the Petes only the fourth team in league history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit. The collapse by the Frontenacs means that they still haven’t won a playoff series since 1998, and it is far away the most shocking development from the first round of the post-season.

So before we look ahead to the second round of the playoffs, let’s bid a fond farewell to the eight teams who have seen their season come to a conclusion.

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Mississauga Steelheads (24-38-1-5 – 5th in Central Division/8th in Eastern Conference – Eliminated by Oshawa Generals in four games)

What I Predicted: While I’m having a hard time seeing them making the playoffs this year, I will not be surprised if the Steelheads are right in the mix in the Eastern Conference in a couple more seasons.

What Actually Happened: Once again, the Steelheads snuck into the post-season and gave the top team in the conference a run for their money. Sunrise, sunset.

What Lies Ahead: I might actually have the Steelheads as a sure-fire playoff team come next season. The entire defence is pretty much returning, and they actually have a possible high-point producer in Bryson Cianfrone. However, they will probably need a big season from Spencer Martin in goal in order to do that.

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Niagara Ice Dogs (24-35-3-6 – 4th in Central Division/7th in Eastern Conference – Eliminated by North Bay Battalion in seven games)

What I Predicted: At the moment, I have the Ice Dogs missing the playoffs, but they might prove me wrong if the young players and the goaltending do well.

What Actually Happened: Although Chris Festarini left the team around the deadline, Brent Moran was alright in a bigger role, and Brendan Perlini had a break-out campaign to lead the younger scorers into the post-season. They just about pulled off a huge upset over North Bay, but it wasn’t to be.

What Lies Ahead: With a ton of 1996 born players on the roster, the Ice Dogs should be in the mix for a home playoff seed in its first year in their brand new arena (the Meridian Centre) in St. Catharines. It’s a little bit early to know exactly how the offence will be, but with Perlini and Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Carter Verhaeghe leading the way, they might be the best one-two punch in the Eastern Conference if it all plays out right.

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Plymouth Whalers (28-33-0-7 – 4th in West Division/8th in Western Conference – Eliminated by Guelph Storm in five games)

What I Predicted: If the Whalers can answer the questions around it’s new additions, this is a team that will not only be in the hunt for a home seed come playoff time, but they could find themselves once again facing London for a spot in the OHL finals.

What Actually Happened: Well obviously not that. They continued their playoff streak for yet another season, but losing a ton of guys from last season’s Western Conference finalists and bringing in a ton of new faces took a lot longer to mesh than I expected.

What Lies Ahead: It’s the Plymouth Whalers. Do you really think they will have another off year? Both goalies will be back, and the only big name that they will lose to the pro ranks will be Ryan Hartman. Also keep an eye on US NTDP forwards Sonny Milano and Jordan Greenway, who I wouldn’t be surprised to see in the OHL for the 2014/15 campaign.

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Owen Sound Attack (31-29-3-5 – 4th in Midwest Division/7th in Western Conference – Eliminated by Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in five games)

What I Predicted: I see the Attack fighting it out in that third to fifth range as the season winds down, but if the question mark in goal answers itself early, this is a side that might be a sleeper pick in the Western Conference.

What Actually Happened: Brandon Hope and QMJHL waiver pick up Jack Flynn weren’t bad in goal, and the squad was pretty solid, but being in the same division as Erie, Guelph, and London didn’t help matters any.

What Lies Ahead: Since the Attack will only lost their three overage player to graduation (the most notable being Kurtis Gabriel), this team should be contender to earn home ice advantage for the 2015 playoffs. Once again though, it will be interesting to see if Flynn and Hope will be the netminding duo once the season starts.

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Saginaw Spirit (33-30-4-1 – 3rd in West Division/6th in Western Conference – Eliminated by Erie Otters in five games)

What I Predicted: It might take a little bit for the Spirit’s blue line to get up to speed with everyone else. If they are able to do that, the Spirit should not only win their division, but also provide the Knights with a challenge in the postseason.

What Actually Happened: My faith in the Spirit was a bit off. Jake Paterson, while solid yet again, wasn’t the world beater that I though he would be in his final OHL season. They made a big move at the deadline on defence to add Jesse Graham, but they still found themselves up against the high-flying Erie Otters. They pushed the Otters to three overtime games though, and played very well given the fact that it was just days after the passing of Spirit forward Terry Trafford.

What Lies Ahead: It’s kind of hard to say at this point, the Spirit lose quite a bit when it comes to graduates, but they do have some solid pieces up front coming back in Jimmy Lodge, Nick Moutrey, Dylan Sadowy, and Blake Clarke. Whether or not those players will be used as trade bait to fix up the back-end for the future, remains to be seen.

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Sudbury Wolves (33-24-3-8 – 3rd in Central Division/5th in Eastern Conference – Eliminated by Barrie Colts in five games)

What I Predicted:  If everything goes to plan, and the Wolves forwards are as good as they look, Sudbury has their best chance to make some noise in the post-season since their run to the league finals in 2007.

What Actually Happened: A pretty disappointing campaign to say the least. Sudbury looked to have a division title in it’s grasp around the deadline, and even loaded up a little bit by getting Trevor Carrick on defence and forward Radek Faksa. Instead, things went south late, as they lost home ice advantage and ended up being shoved aside by Barrie.

What Lies Ahead: A pretty interesting summer. The defence will be younger next year, and Troy Timpano might take the full starting load in his second year, even though a nice Import goalie draft pick would help a lot with that if it was still allowed (Thanks a lot David Branch). The biggest question mark will be up front, as the team has five forwards who will be overage candidates.

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Windsor Spitfires (37-28-3-0 – 2nd in West Division/5th in Western Conference – Eliminated by London Knights in four games)

What I Predicted: If Jordan 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.

What Actually Happened: DeKort was replaced early in the proceedings by Alex Fotinos of Barrie, and the team had a chance to possibly win the division over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the later part of the season. However, when Slater Koekkoek suffered yet another season-ending shoulder surgery, things went south in a hurry and they were no match for the Knights.

What Lies Ahead: Though they will lose Koekkoek, Ben Johnson, and Brady Vail, the Spitfires won’t fall too far off next season, especially with Joshua Ho-Sang leading the way and if they are able to land Montreal Canadiens draft pick and 2013 import draft pick Jacob De La Rose. As ever, I expect the Spits to take a run at some college guys, namely defender Will Butcher and forward Nick Schmaltz.

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Kingston Frontenacs (39-23-3-3 – 2nd in East Division/3rd in Eastern Conference – Eliminated by Peterborough Petes in seven games)

What I Predicted: For a team that’s only made the conference finals once in their franchise history (in 1993), it’s hard to imagine the Frontenacs actually jumping over that hurdle after years in the wilderness. But if everything goes right for them, a trip to the OHL finals might be in the cards.

What Actually Happened: The Kingston Curse struck again big time, as the Frontenacs will go down as the fourth team in league history to blow a 3-0 series lead, and will also join the 2004/05 Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds as the only clubs to lose the seventh and final game on home ice. They had many chances to wrap up the series, including an early 3-0 lead in Game Six, but they were unable to seal the deal.

What Lies Ahead: On the one hand, most of the top players on the team should be back, with the biggest being leading scorer Sam Bennett. However, overage goalie Matt Mahalak will be leaving town, which means their will again be more questions marks in between the pipes, which could have been solved with bringing an import if they allowed it in the CHL (Again, thanks a lot David Branch.) Plus, given the collapse in the first round, it will be curious to see how the team will try and move on from what happened.

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Before we get to my second round predictions, let’s take a minute to discuss the legend that is David Ling, especially with what happened to the Frontenacs in the first round.

Back in the 1994/95 season, Ling went off big time with 135 points to finish second in league scoring (in a tie with Windsor’s Bill Bowler and four points behind Oshawa’s Marc Savard) and picked up the CHL Player of the Year award.

He continued that scoring pace in the playoffs, with 15 points in just six games, despite playing with a broken thumb. But why only six games? Well, despite having a bye in the first round (only 14 teams made the playoffs back then), the team were knocked off in the quarter-finals by the Belleville Bulls, bringing an end to arguably the best squad the Frontenacs have ever had.

Okay, I’ll be honest, I mainly did this just to delay my playoff picks for Round 2, as I am still debating who is going to win the two massive series in the Western Conference.

Eastern Conference

1) Oshawa Generals vs. 6) Peterborough Petes: Oshawa in five (After stunning Kingston, I expect the Petes to have a ton of momentum heading into the second round. However, the Generals are just too strong in my opinion to be knocked off here.)

2) North Bay Battalion vs. 4) Barrie Colts: Barrie in six (This is a series that can go either way, but with Barrie easily taking care of Sudbury and North Bay having to go through a seven-game battle with Niagara, I think that will be a major advantage for the Colts.)

Western Conference

1) Guelph Storm vs. 4) London Knights: London in seven (Yes, the Knights don’t have Anthony Stolarz for the entire series after his suspension for slashing Joshua Ho-Sang,  defender Zach Bell is out for the entire playoffs, and fellow blueliner Brady Austin is not out of action because of mono. However, this team has won the last two league titles, and I picked them to win the championship yet again back in the fall. I would be silly to bet against them now.)

2) Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds vs. 3) Erie Otters: Sault Ste. Marie in seven (Okay this is my hometown bias pick, but my mind was made up during the Saginaw series. With the Spirit pushing the Otters to overtime on three occasions, they showed the blue-print for what can be done to beat the high-flying squad. With the Greyhounds squad being stronger than Saginaw, I honestly think they have what it takes to what some might see as an upset.)

I’m off to try and prepare myself for the two series I just talked about, so I’ll catch up with you all again for the semi-finals.