Friday, November 22nd, 2013
On Thursday evening I was able to battle through the awful traffic on a four hour drive to Oshawa to catch game three of the SUBWAY® Super Series. It was a privilege to stand amongst the slew of NHL GMs and upper management, as well as notable media personalities. Coming into the OHL games, it was expected that the Ontario squad would dominate the Russian squad who were playing the second game in back-to-back nights. Welp, that certainly did not happen as Team OHL struggled to find chemistry versus an aggressive Russian defensive attack. It’s not uncommon for all-star teams to have difficulty finding their way when players are thrown together for a one or two game series. Kudos to Team Russia on playing a suffocating defensive game and capitalizing on almost every scoring chance the Ontarians allowed them.
From an evaluation standpoint, there seemed to be a general consensus floating around the scouts’ room that there weren’t enough draft eligible skaters on Team Russia and I agree. Unfortunately, not much can be done about the makeup of the roster and Russia shouldn’t be blamed for trying to send a competitive team especially because this event is used mainly for evaluation for the Under-20 Teams.
Turning to individual performances, let’s break down the OHL players one-by-one and touch on a few stand-out Russians as well.
Per Media release on Tuesday November 19, 2013
TORONTO, ON – Team Ontario Director of Operations Barclay Branch along with Head Coach Roger Hunt, Assistant coaches Drew Bannister and Seamus Kotyk announced the 22-man roster today for Ontario’s Under-17 Team that will compete at the upcoming 2014 World Hockey Challenge being held in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, from December 29, 2013, through January 4, 2014.
“I am impressed with the players we have selected to represent Ontario at this year’s World Hockey Challenge. Every player going through the Under-17 evaluation process is committed to excellence, which makes it difficult when making decisions on who will ultimately make the team. There is always disappointment for those players who are not selected, however, we as a staff believe that we have put together a group of athletes who will represent Ontario with honour and class both on and off the ice and are capable of winning the Gold medal at this year’s World Hockey Challenge,” stated Director of Operations Barclay Branch.
“The skill level of the players selected to represent Ontario at this year’s event is remarkable and indicates that the minor hockey system in Ontario is continuing to produce high performance athletes as well as quality citizens,” stated head coach Roger Hunt.
The team will depart for Cape Breton on December 27 where they will begin play in the World Hockey Challenge on December 29, 2013, with a preliminary game against Germany. The tournament features 10 teams including 5 regional teams and 5 International teams in 2 conferences. The 2 top teams from each conference will advance to the semi-finals while the remaining 3 teams from each group will crossover for placement games. Team Ontario will play in a conference with Germany, Team Atlantic, Russia and the USA.
Ontario has won eight gold medals at the tournament including 2011 in a 5-3 win over the United States led by two goals in the final from Calgary Flames rookie and former Ottawa 67’s star Sean Monahan.
The Hockey Development Centre for Ontario (HDCO) facilitates the Men’s Under-17 hockey program on behalf of the 3 Ontario Branches of Hockey Canada.
OHL players on Team Ontario for 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge:
Troy Timpano (Sudbury Wolves)
Garrett McFadden (Guelph Storm)
Kyle Capobianco (Sudbury Wolves)
Sean Day (Mississauga Steelheads)
Justin Lemcke (Belleville Bulls)
Matthew Spencer (Peterborough Petes)
Mitchell Vande Sompel (Oshawa Generals)
Mitchell Marner (London Knights)
Jesse Barwell (Mississauga Steelheads)
Sam Harding (Oshawa Generals)
Brett McKenzie (North Bay Battalion)
Graham Knott (Niagara IceDogs)
Matthew Kreis (Barrie Colts)
Dylan Strome (Erie Otters)
Travis Konecny (Ottwa 67’s)
Blake Speers (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Adam Laishram (Belleville Bulls)
Hayden McCool (Niagara IceDogs)
Lawson Crouse (Kingston Frontenacs)
Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw Spirit)
Also listed on the roster is goaltender Benjamin Blacker (Milton IceHawks) who was selected by the Ottawa 67’s in the seventh round of the 2013 OHL Priority Selection, and Jacob Chychrun (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) who is eligible for the 2014 OHL Priority Selection.
Director of Operations – Barclay Branch (Belleville Bulls)
Head Coach – Roger Hunt (Oshawa Generals)
Assistant Coach – Drew Bannister (Owen Sound Attack)
Assistant Coach – Seamus Kotyk
Athletic Therapist – Rich Rotenberg (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Equipment Manager – Michael Boyes (Oshawa Generals)
With the OHL season fully underway and players starting to find their groove, Youngblood Hockey is pleased to release the 3rd edition of Youngblood, which is chalked full of pertinent OHL and prospect information.
Included inside is a brand new featured dubbed “One Timer” which allows fans to get to know their favourite prospects through a Q & A. It is with great pleasure to kick off this series with the exceptional defenseman, Sean Day, of the Mississauga Steelheads. Thanks to @SeanDay66 for taking the time to enlighten us about his game, personality and life goals!
Furthermore, the November Youngblood edition provides updated draft rankings of OHL players eligible for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft in what is shaping up to be a year-long close battle. Check out the snippets of scouting reports on a few Alliance prospects eyeing to be drafted into the OHL next spring which is available in the section “Eye in the Rinks”.
The release also features the complete OHL rosters for the SUBWAY® Super Series roster that pits the mighty Russian National Junior squad against the OHL’s top players.
As always, thanks for reading and feel free to ask questions, add comments or strike up a chat using the comment section below or Twitter (@RossyYoungblood).
Thursday, October 18, 2013
With eyes focused on eligible skaters for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, I have decided to post notes on these players with each Ontario Hockey League game I visit this season for your reading pleasure. There is better debut to begin with than Thursday’s Sting-Spirit game with several highlight individual performances to note. The Sarnia Sting recorded a season-high six goals in their second straight victory after defeating the Saginaw Spirit at the RBC Centre.
Tony DeAngelo (Sarnia Sting, D) – Coming into the 2013-14 OHL season, there was no player I was more interested in following then Sarnia’s offensive defenseman Tony DeAngelo. His path of progression is extremely important to his ultimate draft position. DeAngelo is known for his outstanding and rare offensive skillset but it was important that he developed other aspects of his game.
Early in his draft season, DeAngelo has addressed his weaknesses perfectly. He has shown grown maturity in his game, limiting poor penalties and emotional outbursts. Defensively, DeAngelo is utilizing his exceptional skating ability to maintain good gap control and positioning in his defensive zone to contain opposing attackers. Most importantly, DeAngelo hasn’t been making (as many) risky offensive decisions and appears to be picking his spots to jump into the rush better. Previously, it was common place to catch DeAngelo attempting to execute a toe-drag through the neutral zone (often leading to a turnover and scoring chance, if unsuccessful) but the young native of New Jersey has reeled it back lately.
In Thursday’s game versus Saginaw, DeAngelo picked up a team leading four points (one goal, three assists) and put his vision, unflappable patience and advanced puck skills on display through the entirety of the game. DeAngelo leads all OHL defensemen in scoring with 14 points (5G 9A) through the opening nine games and has factored in on 48% of the Sting’s goals this season, including seven of Sarnia’s eight powerplay goals.
Nikolay Goldobin (Sarnia Sting, RW) – Off to a streaky start with the Sarnia Sting in 2013-14 is last year’s rookie scoring leader. Goldobin has recorded points in only four of Sarnia’s nine games but when he’s ‘on’, there are few players in the league that have the ability to control the pace of the game. During the offseason Goldobin added to his average sized frame and looks to be a physically stronger player. His game-to-game and shift-to-shift consistency and intensity still waver at times although improvements have been made in that area.
— Brendan Ross (@RossyYoungblood) October 18, 2013
Goldobin’s puck skills are elite, as is his on-ice vision that allows him to dissect the rink and send passes to players most competitors wouldn’t notice, and it’s these two rare skills that makes him arguably one of the OHL’s most dangerous powerplay options. Composed under pressure, Goldobin owns a ridiculous panic threshold level and is able to operate in minimal space with ease. Goldobin recorded two goals (one was a laser over the shoulder of Red Wings’ prospect goaltender Jake Paterson) and added a beautiful assist on rookie Nikita Korostelev’s second tally of the nice on a cross-ice one-timer. Goldobin is up to 10 points through as many games and remains high on my 2014 NHL Draft Rankings.
Tyler Hore (Sarnia Sting, D) – Hore had a solid game for Sarnia skating alongside Josh Chapman most of the game. He remains a sleeper pick for the upcoming draft and I like him as a late round selection but he will need to clean up his defensive play at time. On most nights, Hore and Chapman are drawing tough assignments against opposing team’s top players and he has used his strong skating skills and awareness to contain attackers. His puck skills are good for a defenseman and he has shown several times this year that he has the confidence and puck handling abilities to make difficult keep ins at the offensive blue line. It will take a team to really like Hore’s upside and gamble on his developing skills for him to be drafted but I like this defenseman.
Brett Hargrave (Sarnia Sting, RW) – Prior to Thursday’s game, reports surfaced that Sarnia’s 2012 1st round selection (13th overall), Brett Hargrave, returned home to North Bay to await a trade. To date, the big forward has had an up and down season showing very well during Sarnia’s training camp but has been wildly inconsistent through regular season. There was no word from the Sarnia Sting as to how this situation will unfold at this time.
Patrick White (Sarnia Sting, C) – Congratulations to Sarnia`s Patrick White for scoring his first career OHL goal on slick pass from fellow rookie Noah Bushnell. White is a skilled pivot that has shown flashes of offensive creativity but will need to become a more consistent scoring threat to be considered by NHL teams.
Alexandre Renaud (Sarnia Sting, LW) – Former 2012 2nd round selection, Renaud, found himself moved up in the lineup to play alongside Daniel Nikandrov and Alex Carnevale (both undrafted). However, Renaud continues to play too much of a passive game for a man of his size. Renaud is a good skater but his puck handling skills haven`t progressed yet and he will need to make gains in that area. Renaud is still seeking his first point of the season and has been part of a group rotating in and out of the lineup as healthy scratches.
Brandon Prophet (Saginaw Spirit, D) – Prophet was easily my favourite Spirit player on the night. He owns good size, great skating ability and an offensive flare to his game, which is a quality I like in defensive prospects. Prophet logged a lot of time on the Spirit’s top powerplay unit and his ability to read the ice and move into open spaces really impressed me. He remains a potential first round prospect for the upcoming draft class and should find himself land somewhere in the first half of the draft.
Zach Bratina (Saginaw Spirit, LW) – Bratini is a playmaking winger who displays good hockey intelligence. His ability to read the ice allows him to be an effective player in all three zones. Bratini skates well and his overall offensive game is promising but there were certainly times I wanted him to engage physically with his size. At this point in his career Bratini is fairly raw but his package of skills is very promising and he could hit his stride as the seasons pass. Bratini scored in Thursday`s game on a fluky bounce play during the second period.
Dylan Sadowy (Saginaw Spirit, LW) – In my first viewing of Saginaw this season, Dylan Sadowy impressed me with his responsible two-way game. He was very effective as a defensive forward showing good positioning and a willingness to engage physical. Sadowy owns good size skating at over six feet and his defensive awareness and shot blocking abilities could make him a serviceable bottom six energy player.
Daniel DeSousa (Saginaw Spirit, D) – In his fourth game as a member of the Spirit, De Sousa had an ‘okay’ game. He showed good puck skills in passing and walking the line but his ability to move the puck out of his own zone was quite spotty. As a second round selection of the Belleville Bulls (2012), De Sousa had some lofty expectations placed on him but has disappointed somewhat in his early seasons of OHL hockey. The fresh start in Saginaw could help him but he will need to show consistent offensive output in order to garner serious NHL interest.
Sarnia’s 1st round selection (9th overall, 2013), Nikita Korostelev (Eligible for 2015 NHL Draft), had a terrific game scoring his first two goals of his OHL career. Noah Bushnell (2015 eligible) picked up his first career OHL point as well assisting on Patrick White’s first goal.
Friday, October 18th – Kingston Frontenacs @ Kitchener Rangers
Sunday, October 20th – Ottawa 67′s @ Guelph Storm
Thanks for reading,
The second edition (October) of Youngblood, a hockey prospect focused journal, is now available for free download. Remember, Youngblood will be a one-stop place to follow your Ontario Hockey League news as I travel rinks across Ontario and Northern USA scouting the future of the greatest game on earth – hockey!
In the October Edition of Youngblood, readers have access to a newly constructed Top 30 2014 NHL Entry Draft Ranking of OHL eligible players, OHL trades, feature stories on the spectacular OHL draft class and how players returning from the NHL are going to impact their OHL clubs.
I encourage the readers to post your thoughts and/or recommendations on the new publication.
Download Youngblood October Edition here: Youngblood October Ed
Thanks for reading,
As promised via Twitter, I have developed an exciting new project to be featured throughout the 2013-14 hockey season. Youngblood is a hockey prospect focused journal that will follow relevant news throughout the season. Specifically, Youngblood will be a one-stop place to follow your Ontario Hockey League news as I travel rinks across Ontario and Northern USA scouting the future of the greatest game on earth – hockey!
In the September Edition of Youngblood, my 2014 NHL Entry Draft Pre-Season Rankings are revealed and all prospects ranked in the opening round are profiled. Furthermore, there are several mini-feature articles on OHL stories and I have passed on my personal thoughts on some minor midget players who are entering their OHL Draft years.
I encourage the readers to post your thoughts and/or recommendations on the new publication.
Download Youngblood September Edition here: Youngblood
Thanks for reading,
Originally published at TheHockeyWriters.com by Brendan Ross on April 12th, 2013
Coming off four-straight gold medals at the World Under-18 Championships, the United States have selected the 23-man roster that will attempt to make it five straight first place finishes. The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) annual World U-18 tournament is scheduled to commence on April 18th in Sochi, Russia when ten countries convene to vie for gold. Traditionally, the United States have dominated the World U18 Championships taking home a record nine straight medals (six gold, two silver, one bronze). Competing against the Americans in Group A is Finland, Czech Republic, Latvia and Russia. Canada headlines Group B consisting of Germany, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland. The tournament is a great opportunity for players eligible for the 2013 NHL Entry Draft to showcase their talents one last time against their draft peers. Unfortunately, Canada is unable to send many of their top players because of their ongoing participation in Canadian Hockey League playoffs.However, the Championship is a highly attended event in the scouting with loads of talented young hockey players ready to leave a lasting impression.
JT Compher [photo: Tom Sorensen]
The Americans will be hungry to keep their win streak intact and Head Coach Don Granato is excited about the 13 forwards, seven defensemen and three goaltenders that will be donning the stars and stripes.
J.T. Compher, a two-way forward out of the USNTDP Under-18 program, is the top ranked draft eligible American skater on the team but he is joined by fellow draft eligible forwards and USNTDP teammates Michael McCarron, Hudson Fasching, and John Hayden.
The massive 6-foot-5 Michael McCarron certainly has appealing NHL size and his aggressive in-your-face style of hockey has drawn lots of interest. McCarron has racked up 166 penalty minutes in 51 games while registering 13 goals and 30 points.
Hudson Fasching, a big bodied forward, came into his draft season with lofty expectations because of his size and potential. Heading to the World Championships will provide Fasching with an opportunity to show off his high compete game and improve his draft stock. Fasching netted 11 goals and finished the season with 29 points playing for the illustrious NDTP Under-18 team.
John Hayden, a forward blessed with great size (6-3, 216) and physical strength, has shown a willingness to win battles and employ an effective net drive. The Americans will utilize Hayden’s power forward game while he attempts to show scouts that his soft hands and offensive skills are worthy of being drafted into the National Hockey League. Hayden found the back of the net 16 times and added 16 assists for 32 points in his draft year.
Boston University commit, Jack Eichel, is the youngest player on the team at the ripe age of 16-years-old. Eichel is a highly touted prospect for the 2014 NHL Entry Draft and his success on the USNTDP U-17 squad is highlighted by his 19 goals and 34 points in 36 games.
On the blue line, USA Hockey will be led by draft eligible defensemen Steven Santini, Will Butcher and Keaton Thompson. Butcher was the offensive leader for the US UNDTP U-18 team providing nine goals and 33 points as the team’s most dangerous offensive blueliner. Keaton Thompson is a solid two-way poised rearguard with an excellent first pass and the ability to get nasty as well. The team will rely heavily on defenseman Steve Santini, an intelligent shutdown defender that packs a solid point shot. Look for Santini, Butcher and Thompson to play tough minutes in Sochi as the team chases gold.
Here is the complete roster for the 2013 USA World Under-18 Roster:
*Eligible for 2013 NHL Entry Draft
Thatcher Demko (USNTDP U-18)
Hunter Miska (USNTDP U-18)*
Blake Weyrick (USNTDP U-17)
Gage Ausmus (USNTDP U-18)*
Will Butcher (USNTDP U-18)*
Connor Clifton (USNTDP U-18)*
Clint Lewis (USNTDP U-18)*
Steven Santini (USNTDP U-18)*
Keaton Thompson (USNTDP U-18)*
Thomas Vannelli (USNTDP U-18)*
Evan Allen (USNTDP U-18)*
J.T. Compher (USNTDP U-18)*
Dawson Cook, USNTDP U-18*
Jack Eichel, USNTDP U-17
Shane Eiserman, USNTDP U-18)
Hudson Fasching (USNTDP U-18)*
John Hayden (USNTDP U-18)*
Tyler Kelleher (USNTDP U-18)*
Kevin Labanc (USNTDP U-18)
Anthony Louis (USNTDP U-18)*
Sean Malone (USNTDP U-18)*
Michael McCarron (USNTDP U-18)*
Tyler Motte (USNTDP U-18)*
Follow @RossyYoungblood for all your NHL Draft and Hockey Prospect news.