The great thing about the playoffs this year in the Ontario Hockey League, is that both conferences were so tight.
In the East, the Oshawa Generals missed first place by four points, while the race for the final three playoff spots came down to three teams and seven points. In the West, there were three teams with 100 points, with the Knights finishing one shy of the century mark.
If that’s any indication, the playoffs will be a lot of fun.
1) Peterborough Petes vs 8) Niagara IceDogs
Up front: The Petes seem to have it figured out offensively this year. The second-highest scoring team in the East got consistent production from the trio of Jonathan Ang, Steven Lorentz, and Logan DeNoble, and then tidied that up with Christopher Paquette and leading scorer Nikita Korostolev (29 points in 24 games with PBO). The IceDogs got a spectacular season out of rookie Akil Thomas, and an equally impressive one out of Oliver Castleman, but it’ll be up to them and Ben Jones and Johnny Corneil to keep pace with the Petes.
On the blueline: Give Ryan Mantha credit: He came into this year motivated, led by example, and earned himself an NHL contract. Now he and Aaron Haydon have to shoulder the load for a very young blueline. At first glance, Peterborough’s defence doesn’t have that ‘wow’ factor, but they’re consistent and reliable. Matthew Timms, Kyle Jenkins, Matt Spencer, and Brandon Prophet will have to prove they can limit the workload for Dylan Wells. Continue reading
By: Bryan Thiel
Each year NHL teams hold Development Camps for recently drafted/signed prospects, and to get a good look at some of the players that didn’t get draft but might be worth an entry-level contract.
Sometimes it can be hard to keep track of just who’s going where during the summer, so we’ve broken it down below, going team-by-team through the NHL. As some teams have not released a full roster, this list will be updated as information becomes available. Continue reading
By: Bryan Thiel
The OHL announced the schedule for all 20 home openers during 2016/17 Opening Week on Tuesday. All 20 teams will play their home openers between Wednesday, September 21st and Saturday, October 1st.
You can see the schedule below:
(*Indicates a playoff matchup from the 2016 playoffs; Home team is in capitals)
Wednesday, September 21st:
SARNIA STING vs London Knights
FLINT FIREBIRDS vs Saginaw Spirit Continue reading
By: Bryan Thiel
With the NHL Draft now under a month away, another key date has come and gone when it comes to the prospect calendar.
On June 1st, NHL teams had to determine the future of any players selected out of the CHL from the 2014 Draft class that they had yet to sign. They could either come to an agreement on an entry-level contract, or they could forfeit the rights of the player, meaning the player could re-enter the draft or (in some cases) become a free agent.
Niagara IceDogs defenceman Josh Wesley was the only player of the 16 approaching that deadline to come to an agreement with his NHL team. After an up-and-down year split between Flint and Niagara, the Carolina Hurricanes inked Josh to an ELC. He’ll now stay with the club where his father, Glen, won a Stanley Cup and is now Director of Defensemen Development. Continue reading