OHL Spin Cycle: OAs on the Move, Big Time Commitments, and Things are Sonny in Plymouth

For starters, congratulations to the eight players who won gold with Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup over the weekend. It was Canada’s seventh-consecutive title. Dylan Strome (Erie), Lawson Crouse (Kingston), Mitch Marner (London), Travis Konecny (Ottawa), Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw), Mitchell Vande Sompel (Oshawa), and Matt Spencer (Peterborough) were all a part of the team, including Petes’ Head Coach Jody Hull who was Head Coach of Canada’s squad.

Barrie Colts: Barrie was able to add some size up front when the team reached an agreement with 2012 12th-round pick Roy Radke. Radke, a 6’2″, 205lbs winger, has played U.S. Prep hockey the past two years at Shattuck St. Mary’s and the Culver Military Academy the year before that. Radke had 40 points (19G/21A) last year in 49 games for Shattuck.

Belleville Bulls: The Bulls announced another trade last week, shipping goalie Michael Giugovaz to the London Knights for a conditional draft pick. The team has confidence in the tandem of returnee Charlie Graham and rookie Connor Hicks, while the Knights could use some insurance between the pipes.

Erie Otters: The Otters announced seven players committed to their club last week, representing both the 2013 and 2014 draft. Forwards Shaun Bily and Kyle Maksimovich were selected in the 2014 OHL Draft along with highly-touted goalie Jake Lawr, while the other four came from the 2013 draft. Those included forwards Trent Fox, Patrick Fellows, and Frank Pucci, along with defenceman TJ Fergus.

Kingston Frontenacs: The Frontenacs were busy as well, getting three players to commit to the club earlier this week. 2014 Import selections Juho Lammikko (1st round) and Jarkko Parikka (2nd round) both reached an agreement with the Fronts along with 2014 6th rounder Sam Field.

Kitchener Rangers: The Rangers also announced that they have reached an agreement with their Import selection. Gustaf Franzen, the fourth overall selection from this year’s draft, will be leaving Sweden for the Aud this year. He had 11 goals and 13 assists in 39 games with HV71’s U20 team last year, and it seems like the announcement of a commitment was a mere formality:

Niagara IceDogs: The IceDogs went out-of-house to potentially fill one of their three OA spots this season. Niagara sent a 2019 15th-round pick and two conditional 2017 picks (3rd and 6th round) to the Saginaw Spirit for Cody Payne. The IceDogs also added to their blueline, announcing that recently-acquired Ryan Mantha has committed to the club. Mantha played in the USHL last year and was a fourth-round pick of the New York Rangers this past June. The IceDogs also announced that their first game at the new Meridian Centre will take place on Thursday, October 16th against the Belleville Bulls. The original home opener was supposed to be October 2nd (a game against Mississauga that has been pushed to January), but due to city-organized open houses the date had to be pushed back.

Plymouth Whalers: The Whalers also made a move to shore up their OA situation, acquiring forward Matthew Campagna from the Sudbury Wolves. Campagna told the team that he’d be open to a trade, looking for a fresh start both on and off the ice. We also discovered that highly-touted American forward Sonny Milano had decided on joining the Whalers over Boston College. While Milano hadn’t officialy signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets at the point of the announcement (he was selected with the 16th pick by the team in this year’s draft), he had told BC that he would be, nullifying his NCAA option.

Bryan Thiel is a freelance broadcaster who’s covered the OHL from rink side and the broadcast booth. He’s also filed feature reports on the OHL for the past three seasons. You can follow him on Twitter at BryanThiel_88.

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