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Meet the OHL’s Top Prospects

Thursday January 28, 2016

20 of the OHL’s top draft eligible prospects will compete in the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game tonight in Vancouver. Get the scoop on key facts about each player and learn about what the scouts are saying heading into tonight’s action. NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings for each player are listed in brackets.

 

TEAM CHERRY

– WATCH: Team Cherry forward Jordan Kyrou interviews teammates Kale Clague (Brandon Wheat Kings) and Evan Fitzpatrick (Sherbrooke Phoenix)

(D) JAKOB CHYCHRUN – Sarnia Sting (OHL) [2]

Former first overall pick of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection leads Sarnia blueliners in goals, assists and points and is second on the Sting behind Travis Konecny in shots on goal with 138. Has a pair of three-point performances this season including Oct. 23 at Sault Ste. Marie (2-1—3) and Dec. 5 at Flint (0-3—3). Enters the event with points in five of his last six games. Is the son of former NHL defenceman Jeff Chychrun.

NHL Central Scouting says: “A complete defenceman.  Excellent skater who plays with confidence and poise. Possesses high-end hockey sense and passing ability. Very good offensive instincts with a powerful shot. Plays a sound defensive game and is rarely found out of position. Highly reliable and consistent while displaying strong leadership qualities.”

(D) SEAN DAY – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) [43]

Former prospect who received exceptional status to play in the OHL as a 15 year-old, Day is second in scoring among Mississauga blueliners behind teammate Stefan LeBlanc. Recorded points in six straight games from Oct. 17-29 and finished October with eight points (3-5—8) in 13 games. Favourite NHL defenceman is Drew Doughty.

NHL Central Scouting says: “An NHL skater with a smooth and powerful stride; deceptive speed & quickness makes him one of the best skaters in this Draft class. Has speed that allows him to make a difference in all zones and possesses a capable game carrying the puck out of the zone and up the ice quickly. A good puck handler who makes a hard quick first pass. Is very strong physically and is effective in one on one plays and when he takes the body.”

(D) MARKUS NIEMELAINEN – Saginaw Spirit (OHL) [46]

Is tied for the Spirit lead in scoring among defencemen with Marcus Crawford. Recorded 11 assists in his first full month in the OHL. Scored his first OHL goal as part of a three-point performance (1-2—3) on Nov. 28 vs. Windsor. Favourite NHL player is a WHL graduate in Chicago Blackhawks defenceman Duncan Keith.

NHL Central Scouting says: “A good sized defenseman who is a very mobile skater and is quick and agile in own zone. Defends one on one’s well with good body position and use of his long stick. Shows an offensive upside to his game skating and carrying the puck and handles the puck well at offensive blue line. Makes good choices joining the rush and pinching into zone. Boasts a very good work ethic and frequently makes an extra effort on the play.”

(C) LOGAN BROWN – Windsor Spitfires (OHL) [14]

Leads Windsor in assists (35) and is second in points behind teammate Christian Fischer with 43. Is 53.3% (379/710) in the faceoff circle this season. Had points in his first six games of the season enroute to collecting 13 points (2-11—13) in nine October contests. Was named to the Team OHL roster for the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series but was unable to compete due to injury. Recorded a career-high four points (1-3—4) on Jan. 21 vs. Flint. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on a three-game point streak.

NHL Central Scouting says: “A playmaking centreman with excellent size who brings a big presence up the middle. Has very good puck handling skills and sees the ice well, making tape to tape set up passes. Confident and poised game with the puck. Skates well with a long, fluid stride and has deceptive speed for his size. Works the power play well and is very effective in the faceoff circle.”

(RW) ALEX DEBRINCAT – Erie Otters (OHL) [20]

2015 CHL and OHL Rookie of the Year currently leads the Otters in goals (35). Has recorded a total of four hat-tricks this season and has collected five points in three different games. Set a new Otters regular season franchise record, scoring five goals in a 6-1 win in Niagara on October 10th. Named the OHL’s Player of the Month for October after scoring 16 goals and adding seven assists for 23 points in 12 games. Followed up October performance with 27 points (14-13—27) in 12 November contests, going on a 16-game point streak from Oct. 28 to Dec. 2. Represented the United States at the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Elite hockey sense and finishing ability which can’t be taught. Excellent movement away from the puck and an awareness of where to go to score goals. Tenacious on pucks and isn’t afraid to play in traffic despite his size.”

(LW) TIM GETTINGER – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) [28]

After being named to OHL First All-Rookie Team last season, is seventh in Greyhounds scoring and fifth on the team in shots on goal with 113. Has recorded a pair of three-point games this season, coming Oct. 2 at Guelph (0-3—3) and Jan. 20 vs. Sudbury (1-2—3). Favourite NHL player is Alexander Ovechkin.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Big winger who skates well and possesses nice hands. Protects the puck with a purpose and is able to use his size and strength to create offensive opportunities for himself and his teammates. Good hockey sense while playing an effective 200 foot game.”           

(LW) MAX JONES – London Knights (OHL) [11]

Third in scoring among OHL rookies with 37 points. Leads the league with three overtime winners. Scored his first OHL hat-trick on Oct. 24 vs. North Bay, following up with his second on Oct. 31 at Saginaw. Had a strong month of December, recording 15 points (6-9—15) in 11 games including a pair of overtime goals. Went on a 12-game point streak from Dec. 5 to Jan. 8. Favourite NHL player is Rick Nash.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Power forward who is an excellent skater and displays separation speed. Hard hitting player who plays the game with an edge. Very good shot with a quick release. Loves to take the puck to the net and has good hands in tight.”

(RW) JORDAN KYROU – Sarnia Sting (OHL) [45]

Fourth in Sting scoring behind Travis Konecny, Pavel Zacha and Matt Mistele. Represented the OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series, scoring a goal. Matched a career-high three points (1-2—3) on Dec. 13 vs. Flint. Finished December with 12 points (3-9—12) in nine games. Has had six multi-point performances this season.

NHL Central Scouting says: “High end skater who possesses break-away speed. Is able to make plays at full speed. Has a dynamic element to his game making him very dangerous in one on one situations. He can be a creative playmaker and has a quick release shot.”

(C) MICHAEL McLEOD – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) [6]

Second in Steelheads scoring behind Alexander Nylander. Leads the team in shorthanded goals (3) and shots on goal (139). Is 58.9% (600/1018) in the faceoff circle this season. Had a strong month of November, recording 16 points (6-10—16) in 13 games. Represented the OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series. Registered a career-high four points (2-2—4) on Dec. 6 vs. Barrie. Favourite NHL player is Jason Spezza.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Excellent hard-working, two way forward with speed, quickness and smarts. Plays with drive and determination to the net making him very hard to check. Is very effective generating chances on the rush or on the forecheck. Very good offensive skills as a playmaker handling and moving the puck. Strong along the boards and battles for pucks effectively by using smart body positioning. Capable and consistent in all situations.”

 

TEAM ORR

– WATCH: Team Orr goaltender Dylan Wells interviews teammates Luke Green (Saint John Sea Dogs) and Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)

(G) DYLAN WELLS – Peterborough Petes (OHL) [5]

Won three of his first four starts of the season, recording a season-high 46 saves in a win on Oct. 10 at Saginaw…represented the OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series. Made 40 saves in a win over Hamilton on Jan. 9. Favourite NHL goaltender is Braden Holtby.

NHL Central Scouting says: : “Very quick and athletic style; one of the quickest goalies in the Draft. Very determined and focused, has excellent quickness in his reactions and post to post lateral movement. Very effective with low net coverage and with his extended butterfly to seal the ice and five hole; quick to recover back to his feet. Challenges well to the top of the paint on initial shots. Has a very quick glove hand.”

(D) OLLI JUOLEVI – London Knights (OHL) [5]

Third in OHL scoring among rookie defencemen behind Cam Dineen and Mikhail Sergachev. Second in Knights scoring among defencemen behind Victor Mete. Registered a career-high three points (0-3—3) on Nov. 27 vs. Owen Sound. Has a total of seven multi-point performances this season. Won World Junior gold with Finland, setting a new tournament record for under-18 defencemen with nine assists in seven games.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Smooth skating, puck moving defenceman with excellent poise and composure. Displays elite hockey sense and instincts with and without the puck. Plays in every situation and possesses the skills and smarts to have a positive impact on the game in a number of different ways.”

(D) MIKHAIL SERGACHEV – Windsor Spitfires (OHL) [10]

Leads OHL defencemen in goals (12) and is third in points (35) behind Barrie’s Rasmus Andersson and North Bay’s Cam Dineen. Recorded a career-high four points (1-3—4) on Nov. 13 at Mississauga. Registered back-to-back two-goal performances on Nov. 29 vs. London and on Dec. 3 vs. Flint…recorded four points (1-3—4) on Jan. 21 vs. Flint. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on a three-game point streak.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Solid two way defenceman with good offensive skills. Plays with poise and confidence. Is an excellent skater with an effortless stride, possesses deceptive speed and quickness. Very good coverage and one on one game utilizing his mobility, gap and body positioning. Very smart player with and without the puck. Boasts good instincts to make the right play at the right time.”

(D) LOGAN STANLEY – Windsor Spitfires (OHL) [23]

Third in scoring among Windsor blueliners behind Mikhail Sergachev and Jalen Chatfield…recorded his first career multi-point game (0-2—2) on Oct. 22 at North Bay…had a plus/minus of plus-12 over the course of nine December contests. Is the cousin of OHL graduate and Washington Capitals forward Michael Latta. Favourite NHL players are Chris Pronger and Tyler Myers.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Excellent size / strength defender who plays with confidence and authority. Mobile enough to handle speed and defend against the rush. Very tough to beat in one on one play and has a good understanding of positioning and very good stick to puck technique utilizing his size & long reach. Plays with authority and maintains coverage in D zone. Is comfortable handling the puck and composed under forecheck pressure to make a good first pass out of zone.”

(C) NATHAN BASTIAN – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) [19]

Third in Steelheads scoring behind Michael McLeod and Alex Nylander. Tied for second on the team with five powerplay goals. Recorded a career-high four points (1-3—4) on Nov. 15 at Sudbury during a span in which he had 10 points in three contests. Had solid month of November with 17 points (3-14—17) in 13 games. Represented the OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Plays an effective power-forward game using his size and skill to create offense. Good finishing ability in tight and possesses under-rated playmaking ability. Responsible with and without the puck. Plays the game with an edge, making himself hard to play against.”

(C) WILL BITTEN – Flint Firebirds (OHL) [42] 

Leads Flint in goals (21), assists (26) and points (47). Charged out of the gate with points in nine of his first 10 games. Had a great month of November, recording 19 points (7-12—19) in 11 games. Represented the OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series. Favourite NHL player is Claude Giroux.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Energetic and skilled forward who skates very well and competes hard on the play. Uses his deceptive speed effectively to challenge defenders on the rush and isn’t afraid to take pucks to the net despite his modest size. Possesses strong leadership qualities and refuses to be denied.”

(LW) BORIS KATCHOUK – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) [32]

Fourth in scoring among OHL rookies behind Alexander Nylander, Cam Dineen and Max Jones. Plus/minus rating of plus-5 is second highest on team. Five of his 14 goals this season have been game winners. Has recorded three points in a game twice this season, first on Oct. 2 at Guelph (2-1—3) and on Dec. 6 vs. North Bay (1-2—3). Is also an accomplished lacrosse player.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Relentless competitor who is most effective playing an assertive “in-your-face” style. Very good hockey sense and offensive instincts with a good finishing touch. Utilizes size and skills to make plays in tight areas and under-pressure.”

(LW) JACK KOPACKA – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) [33]

Tied for sixth in Greyhounds scoring. Fourth in team shots on goal (123). Had a strong month of October, collecting nine points (5-4—9) in 12 games. Has had three multi-point efforts this season. Favourite NHL player is Jamie Benn. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game with a goal in his last four games.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Good sized winger who skates extremely well. Possesses good hands and offensive instincts while playing at top speed. Uses his size, reach and skills effectively to create scoring opportunities. Has transitioned nicely in his first year in the OHL.”

(RW) ALEXANDER NYLANDER – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) [3]

Leads OHL rookies in goals (25) and points (57) and is tied for the lead in assists (32). Leads Steelheads in scoring and powerplay goals (9). Recorded back-to-back three-point games (1-2—3) in his second and third OHL contests on Sept. 27 at Sudbury and Oct. 1 at Peterborough. Was the OHL’s Rookie of the Month for both October and November. Registered four points (2-2—4) on Nov. 15 vs. Sudbury. Scored his first OHL hat-trick on Nov. 20 vs. North Bay as part of a four-point outing. Recorded four points (2-2—4) on Dec. 3 at Niagara. Has registered 15 multi-point efforts this season. Is the son of former NHL forward Michael Nylander.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Dynamic player with an elite skill-set to go along with NHL speed and quickness. Skilled to make plays at top speed and extremely dangerous in one on one situations. Very good offensive hockey sense to create scoring chances and deceptively quick offensive instincts which make him a scoring threat every time he’s on the ice.”

(RW) TAYLOR RADDYSH – Erie Otters (OHL) [34]

Third in Otters scoring behind Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat. Second in team assists (37). Leads the team in powerplay goals (9) has the second most shots on goal (162). Had points in his first nine straight games of the season. Recorded a career-high four points (1-3—4) on Nov. 6 vs. Peterborough. Collected 21 points (7-14—21) in 11 November contests. Represented the OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series. Has registered 15 multi-point performances this season.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Skilled and confident offensive player who is a strong skater with good speed. Very capable of splitting or taking the D wide. Drives hard to the net and is effective at protecting the puck down low. Smart passer with decent hands and good offensive instincts to generate opportunities. Very accurate shooter who can find ways to score.”

(LW) MATTHEW TKACHUK – London Knights (OHL) [1]

Second in OHL assists (54) behind Barrie’s Kevin Labanc. Is tied for third in OHL scoring with Knights teammate Mitchell Marner. Is third in Knights shots on goal (127). Recorded four straight multi-point performances to begin his OHL career from Sept. 25 to Oct. 4. Posted a career-high six points (2-4—6) on Nov. 6 at Guelph. Scored his first OHL hat-trick as part of a four-point outing on Nov. 22 at Mississauga. Finished the month of November with 25 points (7-18—25) in 10 games. Recorded 12 points (2-10—12) in five December contests. Has recorded four points or more six different times this season. Won bronze with the United States at the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on a six-game point streak dating back to Jan. 15. Is the son of former NHL winger Keith Tkachuk.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Unique with his skill and physical attributes. Possesses elite hockey sense and vision to consistently find ways to contribute and impact. Makes players around him better and has a very good scoring touch around the net. Plays inside the dots and is willing to go to the hard areas to score goals. One of the best puck protection players in the Draft.”

For news, stories, facts and history on the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, please visit bmotopprospects.ca.

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