Home > 2014 NHl Entry Draft, OHL, Prospects, Saginaw Spirit, Sarnia Sting > 2014 NHL Draft Watch: Spirit fall 6-3 to the Sting

2014 NHL Draft Watch: Spirit fall 6-3 to the Sting

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 of the Sarnia Sting (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Tony DeAngelo of the Sarnia Sting (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

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.


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.

Saginaw's Zach Bratini (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Saginaw’s Zach Bratini (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

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.


Next Stops:

Friday, October 18th – Kingston Frontenacs @ Kitchener Rangers

Sunday, October 20th – Ottawa 67’s @ Guelph Storm


Thanks for reading,

Brendan Ross



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