10 OHL Rookies to Watch in 2021-22

The OHL is back, and the 2021-22 season will introduce two rookie classes to the league — but which players will make the biggest impact with their new team’s?

The OHL is set to return on October 7th, 2021 — marking the official end of a long and painful layoff enforced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Because the 2020-21 OHL campaign was unfortunately cancelled, there is a wealth of storylines to follow as we enter the regular season. Perhaps the most notable storyline of all will be the immense influx of young talent into the league this campaign. Since last season was lost, it means that two rookie classes are set to enter the OHL this season — those born in 2004 and 2005 (with the exception of Shane Wright, of course).

With this being said, there will be an incredible number of youngsters eager to make their mark at the OHL-level this campaign. At the top of the list is none other than Ty Nelson, the first-overall choice in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection who has waited more than a year to take to the ice with the North Bay Battalion. Then there is the 2021 OHL Priority Selection’s first overall choice, Quentin Musty — a power-forward poised to follow in the footsteps of another stellar Quinton who leap-frogged through Sudbury on his way to the Los Angeles Kings in 2020-21.

Ty Nelson has waited more than a year to hit the ice with the North Bay Battalion after being selected first overall in the 2020 OHL Draft. (Photo: Tim Cornett)

So, while we all know that Nelson and Musty will make an immediate impact this season, what other prospects chosen within the past two OHL Drafts could make the biggest splash in their rookie campaigns? Here are ten young players who we expect to explode as they step onto the OHL stage this season, listed in alphabetical order:

10 Rookies to Watch This Season

Colby Barlow

2021-22 Team: Owen Sound Attack

As one of the most talented 2005-born prospects around, it came as a surprise to see Colby Barlow fall to the Owen Sound Attack at eighth-overall in the 2021 OHL Priority Selection. Barlow owns impeccable hockey sense, refined puck skills and the ability to be a force at both ends of the ice on a nightly basis. What’s more is that Barlow has great size and strength for a player of his age — a fact which should allow him to step directly in the Attack’s top-six come opening night.

Jorian Donovan

2021-22 Team: Hamilton Bulldogs

The second defenceman chosen in the 2020 OHL Draft, Jorian Donovan will be counted upon to play major minutes for the Hamilton Bulldogs in his rookie season in the OHL. Fortunately for Donovan, he boasts all of the skills and abilities necessary to allow for a smooth and easy transition. As a tremendous skater with great size, Donovan will be able to showcase his premier shut down abilities in his defensive end this coming campaign and will surely come to playing an impactful offensive role as well. While he likely won’t see considerable time on the Bulldogs’ first power play unit to begin the season, expect Donovan to have a firm grasp on the role come the end of the season.

David Goyette

2021-22 Team: Sudbury Wolves

After dominating the HEO and setting the minor hockey circuit in the U.S. ablaze as a member of Selects Academy, David Goyette will make his long awaited return to Canada this season with the Sudbury Wolves. Although there was a fair deal of uncertainty revolving his selection in the 2020 OHL Draft, Goyette was nabbed by the Wolves and now stands poised to be one of their best players this coming season. Boasting blazing speed, ample agility and the innate hockey sense necessary to keep opposing defenders on their toes, Goyette could very well prove to be one of the best players chosen in the 2020 OHL Priority Selection — if not the best in a few years’ time.

Zakary Lavoie

2021-22 Team: Mississauga Steelheads

Despite being neglected by Hockey Canada in recent international events, Zakary Lavoie stands poised to enjoy a terrific rookie campaign with the Mississauga Steelheads this coming season. Lavoie is a strong and stable skater known for his tactile edge work who can make an impact at both ends of the ice. However, where is most deadly comes in the offensive zone, as Lavoie owns a lethal shot and the vision necessary to create high-percentage scoring chances for his team. Don’t be surprised if Lavoie sees regular time within the Steelheads’ top-six this season as well as on their first powerplay unit this season.

Paul Ludwinski

2021-22 Team: Kingston Frontenacs

If you’re looking for a strong two-way player who excels in each and every facet of the game, look no further than Paul Ludwinski. The fifth-overall selection in the 2020 OHL Draft, Ludwinski plays a refined and highly detailed 200-foot game — an ability which allows him to thrive in all situations on the ice. Whether he is killing a penalty or contributing to a power play, Ludwinski finds ways in which to be productive while helping to improve the play of his fellow teammates in the process. A natural leader and deadly offensive player, Ludwinski’s game is eerily similar to that of another star centre which the Frontenacs are fortunate to ice.

Bryce McConnell-Barker

2021-22 Team: Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds

The 2019-20 Alliance Player of the Year, Bryce McConnell-Barker stands poised to play a major role within the Greyhounds’ top-six this season. With great size and strength, McConnell-Barker is a difficult player to shutdown who is seemingly impossible to knock off of the puck. Moreover, he owns a stellar shot and the ability to score goals in a variety of ways — hence why he was able to score 29 goals in his 33 regular season games played with the London Jr. Knights in his U16 season. As a well-rounded centre who oozes consistency and the makings of a professional player, expect steady production from McConnell-Barker in his rookie OHL campaign.

Max Namestnikov

2021-22 Team: Sarnia Sting

Although the Sarnia Sting will boast a young team this coming season, it will be one that is not only highly skilled but incredibly competitive. Set to lead the way for the new-look Sting is none other than Max Namestnikov — the club’s third overall selection in the 2020 OHL Draft. Well known for his refined skill-set and lethality when the puck is on his stick, Namestnikov is a raw and dangerous offensive player who can fill the score sheet with startling regularity when he is at his best. The main knock on Namestnikov has long been his lack of size and strength, however, the youngster now stands a whopping 25-pounds heavier than he did one year ago — a transition which should allow him to stand as a formidable force in his upcoming rookie season.

Sasha Pastujov

2021-22 Team: Guelph Storm

Despite being drafted by the Guelph Storm in the 2019 OHL Draft, Sasha Pastujov headed south of the border and competed with the U.S. Development Program for the past two seasons. In those two campaigns, Pastujov further established himself as a premier offensive player — totalling 65 points in 41 games played this past season alongside an impressive 26 points in 18 USHL contests. With great size, strength, playmaking skills and the ability to score timely goals, Pastujov — a third-round pick of the Anaheim Ducks in the 2021 NHL Draft — should enjoy a seamless transition to the OHL-level with Guelph.

Carson Rehkopf

2021-22 Team: Kitchener Rangers

During the 2021 OHL Draft, many organizations were unsure of whether or not Carson Rehkopf would opt for the major-junior route if selected. As a result, he fell outside of the top-ten despite being one of the most talented forwards eligible for selection. However, the Kitchener Rangers decided to take a chance on Rehkopf, and it was a gamble which paid immediate dividends. Now committed to the Rangers for the 2021-22 season, Rehkopf will join a highly skilled Rangers roster laden with NHL prospects and depth at every position on the ice. If afforded with ample playing time as well as opportunities in different situations, Rehkopf should be able to total a significant offensive output while quickly becoming one of Kitchener’s top players in the process.

Calum Ritchie

2021-22 Team: Oshawa Generals

Did the Oshawa Generals select the best player available in the 2021 OHL Draft with the second overall selection? Well, although time will tell, there is no question that the Generals added an elite two-way centre to their roster. A deadly offensive player, Ritchie can score goals as well as create them and boasts an innate level of hockey sense typically reserved for high-end NHL prospects. What’s more is that Ritchie often plays an important role in his own zone as well, using his size and strength to assist his defenders in stealing the puck from his opposition before transitioning possession up ice to his fellow forwards. In short, expect Ritchie to have an instant and substantial impact with the Generals this season alongside Ty Tullio and Brett Harrison — we could be talking about the 2021-22 Rookie of the Year in a few months’ time.

Five Honourable Mentions

Sam Alfano

2021-22 Team: Peterborough Petes

Don’t be surprised if Alfano jumps directly into the Petes’ top-six to begin his rookie season. The 6-foot-3 winger and former SCTA Player of the Year is a deadly offensive player who played at a two point-per-game pace in his most recent season with the Southern Tier Admirals.

Pano Fimis

2021-22 Team: Niagara IceDogs

The second-overall choice in the 2020 OHL Draft will be given every opportunity to succeed with the Niagara IceDogs this season. A blue-collar, hard-working player who plays a full 200-foot game, Fimis will surely enjoy ample power-play time considerable even-strength ice time as he acclimates himself to the OHL-level.

Isaiah George

2021-22 Team: London Knights

The London Knights did what the London Knights do in the 2020 OHL Draft, nabbing Isaiah George in the fourth-round at 68th overall. The former Toronto Marlboros star was projected to be chosen in the first-round with ease, but a lack of clarity regarding the direction of his playing future allowed the Knights to secure his rights. Expect the strong and steady George to play a major role with the Knights this season.

Cedric Guindon

2021-22 Team: Owen Sound Attack

The HEO Player of the Year in 2019-20, Cedric Guindon is a formidable offensive force who can be relied upon to play a responsible and disciplined game at both ends of the ice. An equally talented playmaker and goal-scorer, expect Guindon to quickly develop into a jack of all trades for the Attack.

Hunter Haight

2021-22 Team: Barrie Colts

As one of the 2020 OHL Draft’s most lethal goal scorers, expect Haight to pick up right where he left off as a member of the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs this season. Haight is a natural goal-scorer who can pot the puck in a variety of ways — moreover, he can act as a playmaker when opposing defenders place too much emphasis on his ability to shoot the puck.


2021 NHL Draft Review: 5 Undervalued OHL Prospects

With the 2021 NHL Draft in the books, we look at five OHL players who were woefully undervalued by every NHL organization.

With the 2021 NHL Draft officially in the books, the time has come to review the prospects who were — and weren’t — selected within the event. Once again, the Ontario Hockey League was well represented, with 30 of the 224 players chosen in the Draft hailing from prominent organizations with the League. The most notable of these 30 players were Mason McTavish and Brandt Clarke — two incredibly skilled youngsters whose play and prominence led to their selections within the top-ten overall.

While a handful of other talented OHL prospects were also chosen inside of the first round of the 2021 NHL Draft, it was those who were chosen later — or not at all — which garnered a great deal of attention come the conclusion of the event. It is no secret that the OHL did not play during the 2020-21 season due to the Coronavirus pandemic — a reality which had a detrimental impact on the progression of hundreds of players who suddenly found themselves without a place to play during the campaign. This inability to showcase their personal skill-sets undoubtedly impacted their respective draft stocks, as a number of wildly talented OHL players were selected shockingly late within the 2021 NHL Draft, or not at all.

While it goes without saying that being selected by an NHL franchise regardless of the round is nothing less than an honour and incredible accomplishment, here are five youngsters who we believe were woefully undervalued by all 32 franchises over the course of the 2021 NHL Draft.

Benjamin Gaudreau

2020-21 Statistics: 5-0-0, .919%, 2.20GAA (WJC-U18)

2021-22 Team: Sarnia Sting

NHL Draft Status: Round Three, 81st Overall (San Jose Sharks)

Widely regarded as one of Canada’s top young goaltending prospects, Benjamin Gaudreau burst onto the scene with the Sarnia Sting in 2019-20 as a rookie. Although his statistics weren’t sparkling, they were quite impressive given the Sting’s struggles on the ice — Gaudreau earned a save percentage of .890% despite being shelled by high quality scoring chances on a nightly basis. Had he been able to play during the 2020-21 OHL campaign, Gaudreau undoubtedly would have taken a significant step forward in his personal development and have helped the Sting to a fairly successful season in the process.

Despite being held off of the ice this past season with the exception of the U18 World Junior Championship where he was stellar, Gaudreau was still expected to be chosen in the late-first to early-second round of the 2021 NHL Draft. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 180-pounds, Gaudreau’s highly athletic nature and innate abilities in the crease commanded nothing less. However, come the event, Gaudreau was forced to wait until the middle of the third-round before he heard his name called by the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks, who likely stole one of the best goaltending prospects available, were surely shocked to see Gaudreau still available when they stepped up to make their selection.

Braeden Kressler

2020-21 Statistics: Did Not Play

2021-22 Team: Flint Firebirds

NHL Draft Status: Undrafted

Being under-valued is nothing new to Braeden Kressler, as the youngster who oozes elite hockey sense and ability was also over-looked in the first round of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. Eventually, Kressler was nabbed by the Flint Firebirds in the second-round, 28th overall — a somewhat shocking fall given his refined skill set and innate offensive abilities. Come the 2021 NHL Draft, the case was unfortunately no different for Kressler, as all seven rounds came and went without Kressler hearing his name called.

Kressler, a second-round selection of the Flint Firebirds, recorded 18 points in his rookie OHL campaign. (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

However, rather than be disappointed, Kressler will surely use this setback as fuel to improve throughout the coming 2021-22 OHL campaign. After posting 18 points in 46 regular season contests as a rookie, Kressler will take to the ice determined to prove his doubters wrong. Although he has always been somewhat under-sized, Kressler compensates for this perceived deficiency through his incredible work ethic tireless engine. Dogged in his pursuit of the puck, Kressler has shown the ability to play a detailed two-way game — now, the time has come for his relentless hard work to pay off on the scoreboard.

Connor Lockhart

2020-21 Statistics: Did Not Play

2021-22 Team: Erie Otters

NHL Draft Status: Round Six, 178th Overall (Vancouver Canucks)

Despite seeing inconsistent ice time on an Erie Otters team flush with depth at their offensive positions, Connor Lockhart still managed to collect 27 points in his 57 regular season contests in 2019-20 — a level of output commensurate with that of a third-overall selection in the OHL Priority Selection. Laden with high-end offensive skills and terrific skating abilities, Lockhart stood poised to erupt in his sophomore season in the OHL. However, when the 2020-21 season was cancelled, it robbed Lockhart of the ability to showcase his true potential at the next level.

As a result, Lockhart didn’t hear his name called until the sixth-round of the 2021 NHL Draft. While time will tell, at first glance it appears as though the Vancouver Canucks stole a player of first-round caliber at 178th overall. With plenty of room to grow and loads of experience to attain, Lockhart should become a prominent offensive player within the Otters’ lineup this coming season — he’ll no doubt prove those who overlooked him wrong in the process.

Francesco Pinelli

2020-21 Statistics: 13GP: 5G, 11Pts (HDD Jesenice, AlpsHL)

2021-22 Team: Kitchener Rangers

NHL Draft Status: Round Two, 42nd Overall (LA Kings)

As a first-round selection of the Kitchener Rangers in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection and the third-highest scoring rookie in his inaugural campaign, it came as no surprise to see Francesco Pinelli projected by many as a first round talent ahead of the 2021 NHL Draft. A player who can score goals, create plays, provide leadership and play a sound 200-foot game, Pinelli has all the makings of a top-six forward at the next level — a reality which should have made him a highly sought after player in the NHL Draft.

Pinelli’s 41 points as a rookie stood as the third-highest total amongst all freshmen in the 2019-20 OHL campaign. (Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

However, come Draft Day, Pinelli did not hear his name called. In fact, Pinelli would have to wait until Saturday and the second-round before he discovered where his future in the game lay. Eventually nabbed by the Los Angeles Kings with the 42nd overall selection in the 2021 NHL Draft, to say that many were shocked to see Pinelli fall into the second-round would be an understatement. Long viewed as a consensus first-round pick, Pinelli shockingly fell to the Kings in the second-round — a team which now boasts a wealth of high-end OHL talent in Quinton Byfield, Brandt Clarke and Pinelli. Although Pinelli was surely thrilled to be selected in the Draft regardless of the position, the fact remains that his skill-set and potential should have commanded a first-round selection.

Brenden Sirizzotti

2020-21 Statistics: Did Not Play

2021-22 Team: Ottawa 67’s

NHL Draft Status: Undrafted

Despite putting on a clinic for the Pickering Panthers of the OJHL in the 2019-20 season and being ranked as the 143rd best North American skater as a direct result, Brenden Sirizzotti failed to hear his name called during the 2021 NHL Draft. A second-round pick of the Ottawa 67’s in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, Sirizzotti skated in nine OHL contests as a rookie, but was largely held out of the team’s lineup due to its incredible depth at every position on the ice. As a result, Sirizzotti was able to shred the OJHL instead, amassing 17 goals and 57 points in just 41 games played — a total which led all 2003-born skaters by a wide margin.

Come the 2021-22 OHL campaign, expect Sirizzotti to make a substantial impact with the 67’s. Boasting blazing speed, terrific hands and the ability to execute highly technical plays at a high rate of speed, Sirizzotti should quickly establish himself as a top-six forward and player who should not have been overlooked in the 2021 NHL Draft. There is a reason why Sirizzotti was named as the OMHA’s ETA Player of the Year in 2018-19, after all — he blasted home 32 goals and 93 points in his 36 league games played as a member of the Whitby Wildcats.

London Knights: 5 Storylines to Follow in 2019-20

To no one’s surprise, the London Knights will be a deadly force within the OHL’s Western Conference in 2019-20. However, they are not perfect by any means. Now, can the team’s young prospects take the team to the next level?

To say that the London Knights are a perennial powerhouse in the Ontario Hockey League would be a vast understatement. In fact, the Knights have clinched a postseason berth in each of their last 19 seasons of play — winning four OHL Championships and two Memorial Cups in the process.

And, ahead of the 2019-20 season, it appears as though the Knights are once again destined for an overwhelming amount of success.

Although a number of the team’s top players have departed the OHL in order to embark upon their respective professional careers, a new crop of wildly talented youngsters stand poised to take their places in 2019-20 — a perennial reality which has allowed London to remain not only competitive but downright deadly for the better part of two decades. Sure, question marks do remain within the team’s roster ahead of the upcoming season, however, London’s immeasurable depth will undoubtedly ensure that the team once again pushes deep into the postseason.

Five Storylines to Follow in 2019-20

If you are a die-hard fan of the Knights or just a follower of the Ontario Hockey League in general, here are five crucial storylines to follow which will surely revolve around London this upcoming season. If able to receive optimal outcomes from these storylines, expect the Knights to once again dominate their opposition on a nightly basis.

However, if the Knights fail to receive positive outcomes in a number of the areas of interest detailed below, they could stare down an early exit in the 2020 OHL postseason.

1. Is Kooy Ready for the Spotlight?

Over the past two OHL seasons, the Knights came to rely heavily upon the abilities of Joseph Raaymakers — an incredibly competitive goaltender who appeared in a whopping 93 regular season games for London. However, given his 1998-birth, Raaymakers will now move onto the next stage of his playing career — a reality which will afford Jordan Kooy with the opportunity to prove himself as a legitimate starting goaltender at the major-junior level.

Jordan Kooy of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
The Knights will need consistency and ability from Kooy if they wish to succeed in 2019-20. (Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images)

Fortunately for the Knights, Kooy should enjoy a relatively seamless transition into the starter’s role in 2019-20, as the youngster has already appeared in 50 regular season contests for London on top of 11 postseason appearances as well. As a seventh-round selection of the Vegas Golden Knights dating back to the 2018 NHL Draft, Kooy has the size, confidence, and raw ability to take the OHL by storm this coming campaign. Standing 6-foot-2 in stature, Kooy is an intimidating presence in-goal who has the ability to make highlight-reel saves with ease. If able to play with consistency, Kooy could very well lead a young London squad to considerable playoff success in 2019-20.

2. Will Luke Evangelista Explode?

An injury riddled rookie season limited Luke Evangelista to a mere 27 regular season games played for the Knights in 2018-19, during which he was able to put forth just two assists. However, the former first round choice of the Knights in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection has been widely regarded as a lethal young prospect for quite some time — once healthy and afforded with consistent playing time, the youngster could very well explode offensively for London in his first year of NHL Draft eligibility.

Luke Evangelista of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Luke Evangelista is a prospect beaming with untapped potential. (Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images)

Although he tips the scale at just 165-pounds and stands 5-foot-11 in height, Evangelista’s game carries significant heft on the ice owing to his raw skill set and innate abilities. Blessed with lightning quick hands, Evangelista makes confident plays without hesitation and has the ability to score goals in addition to creating opportunities for his teammates. What’s more is that Evangelista features tremendous on-ice intelligence as well, as the youngster has a natural feel for the game and can navigate the ice surface with both purpose and efficiency. If able to emerge offensively in 2019-20, Evangelista would add another layer of depth to the Knights’ attack.

3. Is Stranges Set for Stardom?

Antonio Stranges has long been known for his absolutely outrageous puck-handling abilities, as the youngster has scored highlight-reel goals, dished out jaw-dropping passes, and sent fans crazy on social media owing to his advanced abilities on the ice. All of this has come through just his first season of play in the OHL — a fact which has fans and scouts alike buzzing with anticipation as Stranges enters into his first season of NHL Draft eligibility.


The main question facing Stranges as he embarks upon his sophomore campaign with the Knights will be just how good can the native of Plymouth, Michigan, become? Owing to his raw skill set, Stranges has drawn considerable comparisons to former London superstar Mitch Marner, and for good reason. Like Marner, Stranges owns devastating on-ice intelligence and the confidence necessary to execute high-percentage scoring plays with apparent ease. However, in his sophomore season with the Knights, Marner scored 44 goals and 126 points — so, only time will tell as to whether or not the Stranges-Marner comparison is accurate.

4. Will the Knights’ 2003-born Rookies Excel?

The Knights drafted a whopping 19 prospects in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, all of which ranging in skill, ability, and position. And, while some will surely take longer to develop than others, it appears as though London’s initial three selections will play a significant role with the team this coming season. Drafted in the first and second rounds, respectively, it appears as though Stuart Rolofs, Logan Mailloux, and Max McCue will all be afforded with considerable opportunities in their rookie OHL campaigns.

With his size, skill, and speed, 2019 first round pick Stuart Rolofs should have little issue adjusting to the pace of the OHL game. (Photo Credit: CHL Images)

In Rolofs, London boasts a young prospect who should have little issue adjusting to the major-junior level. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing in at 190-pounds, Rolofs has the size necessary to compete with the league’s seasoned veterans and the skating abilities required to become an instant impact player regardless of the playing time which he will receive as a freshman. Further, in Mailloux and McCue, the Knights boast a dynamic defender and a tantalizing playmaker — two prospects who should also adjust relatively easily given their respective sizes and ability to process the pace of play at a high-level.

5. Could London’s Young Blue Line Buckle?

London’s blue line throughout the 2018-19 season was absolutely blistering, as the likes of Adam Boqvist, Evan Bouchard, Matt Timms, Will Lochead, and Joey Keane stood as lethal offensive threats in addition to their incredible defensive abilities within their own zone. However, with all of which surely moving on to the next stages in their respective hockey careers in 2019-20, the Knights will now need to rely on a steadily developing core of blueliners who are not only young but relatively inexperienced as well.

Alec Regula of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Standing 6-foot-4 and 205-pounds, Alec Regula must have a big season in order to lead the Knights’ young blue line. (Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images)

While Alec Regula will return for his third season of play with the Knights, London must come to rely upon the likes of Mailloux, Hunter Skinner, Bryce Montgomery, and others such as Benjamin Roger and Liam Whittaker to afford them with quality minutes at both ends of the ice throughout the upcoming campaign. Although ensuring such will certainly be a major ask of the Knights, the team could falter quite significantly if unable to attain consistent defending this upcoming season. Loaded offensively and in possession of a solid starting goaltender, London will need sturdy defending if it wishes to reach its potential with the Western Conference in 2019-20.

Kitchener Rangers: 5 Storylines to Follow in 2019-20

The Kitchener Rangers are a team saturated with elite talent and remarkable depth. Although a few question marks do remain, expect the Rangers to be as potent and persistent as ever during the 2019-20 OHL season.

The Kitchener Rangers have come to be known as a perennial powerhouse in the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference, and for good reason.

Over their past fifteen years of play, the Rangers have fallen short of the postseason on just two occasions — an era of success highlighted by the franchise’s OHL championship during the 2007-08 season. And, fortunately for the Rangers and their passionate fanbase, this fact appears destined to remain unchanged in the years ahead.

Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
The Rangers’ crop of seasoned veterans will play a major role in the team’s potential success this coming season. (Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.)

Currently defined by their ideal mixture of seasoned veterans and highly skilled young prospects, Kitchener boasts a deep and competent roster which should push deep into the playoffs this coming campaign. Although a number of questions marks do remain — the majority of which we will touch on below — the Rangers are poised for success not only this coming season but long into the future to boot.

However, before the Rangers can attain this almost certain success, they will need to answer a handful of questions specific to their current roster.

Five Storylines to Follow in 2019-20

As mentioned, here are five storylines for fans of Kitchener and the Rangers themselves to follow throughout the upcoming 2019-20 OHL campaign. While it goes without saying that positive outcomes in all of these situations would be ideal, the Rangers stand as a remarkably deep team seemingly capable of overcoming any adversity or shortcomings which it may face.

1. Can Jacob Ingham Stabilize the Rangers’ Crease?

When the Mississauga Steelheads targeted goaltender Kai Edmonds of the Barrie Colts this offseason, it meant that they needed to trade their long-time starting netminder in Jacob Ingham. Long a fan favourite in Mississauga, Ingham has become widely known for his ability to make timely, highlight reel saves with a startling level of consistency. Further, as a prospect of the Los Angeles Kings, Ingham takes to his crease with poise and features the size and raw athleticism necessary to thrive in the OHL-level and beyond.

Jacob Ingham of the Mississauga Steelheads. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jacob Ingham boasts the ability to raise his game to the next level when the situation demands. (Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.)

This level of production and effort is exactly what the Rangers coveted when they landed Ingham from the Steelheads, as Kitchener has long lacked a definitive starting goaltender. If able to arrive in Kitchener and put forth a consistent and effective effort on a game-by-game basis, Ingham could very well lead the Rangers upon a deep playoff run despite the perennial strength of the OHL’s Western Conference.

2. Will Valade and Sebrango Take the Next Step?

The Rangers landed two stellar young players in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

At 17th overall, Kitchener nabbed Reid Valade — a former standout with the Toronto Marlboros of the GTHL who brought speed, skill, and a total of 20 points to the ice in his rookie OHL campaign. Secondly, the Rangers were able to steal Donovan Sebrango with the 40th overall choice in the event — a selection which paid immediate dividends, as Kitchener received 26 points from the youngster as a freshman.

Reid Valade of the Kitchener Rangers Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
An increase in ice time could lead to a dramatic rise in Valade’s offensive output. (Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images)

Now, with the 2019-20 OHL season upon us, the Rangers will undoubtedly expect to receive a greater level of production from both Valade and Sebrango. Sure to be rewarded with increased playing time this coming season, Kitchener will stand as a much deeper and potent force if both Valade and Sebrango are able to take the next steps within their personal developments. If Valade can dramatically increase his offensive productivity while Sebrango polishes the fine details of his game, the Rangers could rather easily boast a dynamic roster capable of competing with the Western Conference’s power-house teams.

3. Is Pinelli Ready to Dominate?

Signed by the Rangers to round out the month of July, the impending arrival of Francesco Pinelli has Kitchener’s management team and fans alike drooling with anticipation. As a member of the Toronto Red Wings in 2018-19, Pinelli put forth an overwhelming 49 goals and 114 points in just 71 games played — a mark which stood alongside the likes of Shane Wright and Brennan Othmann in the GTHL. Perhaps most impressive of all was the manner in which Pinelli recorded his point total, as the youngster was a natural leader who directed his team with poise in all three zones of the ice.

Nabbed by the Rangers 13th overall in the 2019 OHL Draft, Pinelli will quickly prove to be a tremendous selection. (Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/OHL Images)

So, could Pinelli become a dominant player in his rookie OHL campaign? Absolutely.

The driving force behind Pinelli’s on-ice consistency and lethality at both ends of the ice is the youngster’s impressive level of maturity. Not phased by tough calls or unfortunate plays against his team, Pinelli boasts a level of poise and calm typically reserved for seasoned veterans and has the ability to rally and re-direct his team when necessary. Come his freshman campaign with the Rangers, expect Pinelli to seize increasingly important minutes while playing a surprisingly significant leadership role to boot. In short, Pinelli could very well captain Kitchener in the years ahead.

4. Can Vukojevic Lead Kitchener’s Blue Line?

Despite initially intending to embark upon a career in the NCAA, Michael Vukojevic left the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL for the Rangers in 2017-18 and hasn’t looked back. Since arriving in Kitchener, Vukojevic has developed exactly as expected — dominating both ends of the ice owing to his intimidating size and strength while providing intermittent offence from the blue line.

The result?

Michael Vukojevic of the Kitchener Rangers Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Vukojevic quickly evolved into a minute-munching defender for the Rangers in his sophomore OHL season. (Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images)

Well, Vukojevic heard his name called in the third round of the 2019 NHL Draft by the New Jersey Devils and will surely be in contention for a place within Team Canada’s WJC roster in the years to come. Now, the main question facing Vukojevic will be exactly how potent and persistent of a defenceman he can become at the OHL-level. Sure, he has dominated his opposition and caught the attention of scouts in the past, but can Vukojevic take the next step in his personal development and become the go-to blue-liner for the Rangers? Likely to tackle greater playing time once again this coming season, Vukojevic will hold the opportunity to prove himself as a premier major-junior player on the fast track to significant success at the professional-level.

5. Will Jonathan Yantsis Score 50 Goals… Again?

To say that Jonathan Yantsis exploded during the 2018-19 season would be both accurate and underwhelming. After scoring just five goals and 12 points for the Rangers in his first full regular season campaign with the team, Yantsis hammered home a whopping 50 goals and 73 points in his sophomore OHL season. This dramatic increase in offensive production saw the native of Markham, Ontario improve his goal total by 45 and his point total by 61 — marks which stood amongst the best in major junior hockey.

Now, the test facing Yantsis will be his ability to prove that his dynamic offensive season of 2018-19 was not a fluke. Fortunately, Yantsis has a number of factors working in his favour. First and foremost there is Yantsis’ size, as the youngster stands 6-foot-2 and tips the scale at 210 pounds — a reality which makes him difficult to knock off of the puck as well as a force on the Rangers’ forecheck. Secondly there are Yantsis’ smooth hands while in control of the puck, as he boasts the ability to elude defenders, deflect pucks, or fire the puck home with a well-placed shot. Essentially, if Kitchener wishes to stand as a threat in the Western Conference, they’ll need veteran players such as Yantsis to dominate the ice on a regular basis.

The Top 2002-Born OHLers to Watch in 2019-20

The 2020 NHL Draft will be loaded with elite talent, and a great deal of which will come from the Ontario Hockey League. In fact, the 2002-born group of OHL prospects is one of the strongest classes which they league has ever developed. So, which players should you keep an eye on throughout the 2019-20 OHL campaign? Look no further.

The upcoming 2020 NHL Entry Draft — and the first round in particular — will be absolutely loaded with elite talent from the Ontario Hockey League.

In fact, the 2002-born class of OHL prospects is one of the strongest crops which the league has produced in quite some time, as there are prospects at each position of the ice who hold the potential to become star players at the NHL level. Up front stand the likes of Quinton Byfield, Cole Perfetti, Jacob Perreault and Antonio Stranges, while defenders by the names of Jamie Drysdale, Lleyton Moore, and Donovan Sebrango can protect as well as attack. In goal there is Tristan Lennox, a netminder widely regarded as the top Canadian goaltending prospect in decades — although, he is not eligible until the 2021 NHL Draft.

The 2018 OHL Priority Selection featured one of the deepest draft classes in league history. (Photo Credit: Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

In short, there will be a plethora of young talent on display throughout the OHL this coming season, with a number of top NHL prospects set to display their skill in local barns throughout Ontario and into the U.S. However, are you unsure of which teams to target and which players to watch this coming campaign?

Don’t fret, we’ve got you covered.

Below, you’ll meet the top 2002-born players to watch this coming OHL season and learn about their past success’ and exactly what abilities make them unique. Further, we’ve listed an additional five prospects to monitor throughout the coming season, as these honourable mentions could develop into first round talents come to the end of the 2019-20 OHL season.

The Top-10 2002-Born Players to Watch

Here are, arguably, the top ten 2002-born prospects set to grace OHL ice this coming season.

Below, you’ll find what team each prospect played for in 2018-19, their respective statistics, as well as where each youngster will need to improve — if at all — if they wish to take the next step forward in their personal developments.

Quinton Byfield

2018-19 Team: Sudbury Wolves

2018-19 Statistics: 64GP: 29G, 61PTS

Although Alexis Lafreniere is widely expected to be chosen first overall in the 2020 NHL Draft, Quinton Byfield holds the skill and ability to challenge Lafreniere for the prestigious distinction. A towering centre given his 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame, Byfield is blessed with terrific size and knows exactly how to use it at both ends of the ice in order to benefit the Sudbury Wolves. What’s more, however, is the fact that Byfield is a tremendous skater in addition to his size, as the youngster features a smooth stride and explosive acceleration.

Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves. (Photo Credit: CHL Images)

It is Byfield’s size, skating stride, and natural offensive abilities which will make him a player worth watching throughout the 2019-20 OHL campaign. A ferocious competitor, Byfield displayed the ability to lead his team single-handedly as a rookie and will surely stand substantially improved in his sophomore campaign. In addition to Byfield’s blistering offensive game and of note is the youngster’s two-way play, as the native of Newmarket, Ontario is surprisingly responsible and strong within his defensive end.

Will Cuylle

2018-19 Team: Windsor Spitfires

2018-19 Statistics: 63GP: 26G, 41PTS

In his rookie season with the Windsor Spitfires in 2018-19, Wil Cuylle took significant strides in justifying his trade from the Peterborough Petes. Across his initial 63 regular season games played in the OHL, Cuylle posted 26 goals and 41 points — a total which stood as the sixth highest output on the Spitfires’ roster. Now, with the 2019-20 campaign rapidly approaching, Cuylle will look to further establish himself as one of the top young power-forwards in the league.

Will Cuylle of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Boasting a 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame, Cuylle has the size necessary to command and protect the puck in the offensive zone. Having created separation from his opponents, Cuylle features a deceptive yet crisp shot which has the ability to beat goaltenders cleanly in the blink of an eye. Further, Cuylle is not afraid to go to the net in search of rebounds or loose pucks — a willingness which makes him a versatile and incredibly potent goal-scoring threat on a nightly basis.

Jamie Drysdale

2018-19 Team: Erie Otters

2018-19 Statistics: 63GP: 7G, 40 PTS

As an absolute stud during his tenure with the Toronto Marlboros of the GTHL, the Erie Otters knew exactly what the were getting when they selected Jamie Drysdale fourth-overall in the 2018 OHL Draft. A confident and smooth-skating defender, Drysdale acclimated to the OHL-level with little issue in his rookie season — hammering home seven goals and a whopping 33 assists in the process. The one blemish on Drysdale’s initial OHL campaign? A sour -24 plus/minus rating which stood as the poorest mark on his team.

Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

However, come the 2019-20 season, expect Drysdale to take to the ice as a dramatically improved two-way player. Already one of the best 2002-born defencemen in the nation, greater size and strength accumulated this past offseason should lead Drysdale to improved play at both ends of the ice. Defensively, greater strength and speed will allow Drysdale to seize the puck and fuel his team’s transition game more so than before, while an increased level of confidence alongside experience will see Drysdale become a lethal threat on the opposing blue line.

Jean-Luc Foudy

2018-19 Team: Windsor Spifires

2018-19 Statistics: 63GP: 8G, 49 PTS

Jean-Luc Foudy took the OHL by surprise in 2018-19, as the former tenth-overall selection quickly became a consistent offensive force in his rookie campaign with the Windsor Spitfires. A former standout with the Toronto Titans of the GTHL, Foudy put his playmaking abilities on full display this past season — accumulating 41 assists against eight goals scored. The driving factors behind Foudy’s playmaking prowess are his vision and confidence when in possession of the puck — two traits which allow Foudy to excel with impressive consistency.

Jean-Luc Foudy of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jean-Luc Foudy of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

As Foudy takes to the ice in his second season with the Spitfires, it goes without saying that these traits will be once again amplified owing to the considerable success which he enjoyed as a rookie. If able to continuously dissect opposing defences and set up his equally skilled teammates in the process, don’t be surprised if Foudy joins his older brother Liam as a first round NHL Draft pick.

Tristan Lennox

2018-19 Team: Saginaw Spirit

2018-19 Statistics: 15GP: 2.79GAA, .907% SVP

The OHL is regularly loaded with elite young talent, however, no goaltender will be more valuable this upcoming season than Tristan Lennox of the Saginaw Spirit. Although he isn’t a towering presence in-goal, Lennox is a sizeable netminder who commands his crease with both confidence and poise. The one aspect of Lennox’s game which truly separates him from his competition is the youngster’s raw athleticism, as the native of Mississauga, Ontario features explosive movements and lightning-quick reflexes.

Tristan Lennox of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images

In his rookie campaign with the Spirit, Lennox appeared in 15 regular season games as well as seven playoff contests. Although defined as Saginaw’s backup goaltender during the regular season, Lennox was thrust into the starting role in the postseason when Arizona Coyotes prospect Ivan Prosvetov fell victim to an unfortunate suspension. Despite facing an excellent foe in the eventual OHL champion Guelph Storm, Lennox was simply brilliant and single-handedly held the Spirit in their third-round matchup until the bitter end. In short, Lennox will be one of the top goaltenders in the OHL in 2019-20.

The most impressive fact? Lennox isn’t eligible for the NHL Draft until the 2020-21 season.

Logan Morrison

2018-19 Team: Hamilton Bulldogs

2018-19 Statistics: 47GP, 14G, 34PTS

Although he missed a considerable portion of the 2018-19 OHL campaign due to injury, Logan Morrison stands poised to breakout in his sophomore season. Across his 47 games played with the Bulldogs as a rookie, Morrison potted 14 goals and collected a total of 34 points — an output which stood as the ninth-most amongst all OHL rookies. Nabbed by the Bulldogs in the first round of the 2018 OHL Draft, Morrison features a versatile two-way skill set which should allow Hamilton to flourish this upcoming campaign.

Forward #9 Logan Morrison of the Hamilton Bulldogs
(Photo Credit: Brandon Taylor/OHL Images)

What’s more is that given the subtractions from the Bulldogs’ roster ahead of the 2019-20 season, Morrison will surely receive ample playing time in his first year of NHL Draft eligibility. If able to maintain his health while generating chemistry with his pre-existing line mates as well as new teammates, Morrison could rise significantly within respective draft rankings ahead of the NHL’s 2020 event.

Cole Perfetti

2018-19 Team: Saginaw Spirit

2018-19 Statistics: 63GP: 37G, 74PTS

Despite blasting home 37 goals and an OHL-best 74 points as a freshman, Cole Perfetti was unable to capture the Emms Family Award in 2018-19 as the league’s Rookie of the Year. Not only was this decision highly controversial, but it will undoubtedly serve as additional motivation for Perfetti as he embarks upon his sophomore season in the OHL. Come the 2019-20 campaign, expect Perfetti to be as explosive and productive offensively as he was in his initial year of play at the major-junior level.

Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images
Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Natalie Shaver/OHL Images

Although his supporting cast in Saginaw this coming season will arguably be weaker than it was in 2018-19, Perfetti’s jaw-dropping vision, composure with the puck, and ability to play a complete two-way game should lead to a wealth of success for the native of Whitby, Ontario. Drafted by the Spirit with the fifth-overall selection in the 2018 OHL Draft, it is without question that Perfetti held the talent to be chosen second-overall — technicalities, however, led Perfetti to Saginaw and on the road to an incredible OHL career.

Jacob Perreault

2018-19 Team: Sarnia Sting

2018-19 Statistics: 63GP: 30G, 55PTS

Jacob Perreault’s rookie campaign in the OHL was simply sensational, as the 18th overall selection in the 2018 OHL Draft burst onto the scene in Sarnia and became an instant difference maker. Founded upon his strong frame, skating strength, and natural two-way abilities, Perreault quickly became a staple within the Sting’s attack owing to his owing to his vision and goal scoring prowess. Come to the end of the 2018-10 season, Perreault had hammered home 30 goals alongside 25 assists — an output which afforded him 55 points on the year.

Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting. (Photo Credit: Luke Durda/OHL Images)

Come the 2019-20 season, expect Perreault to take yet another substantial step forward in his personal development. Sure to return to Sarnia stronger, faster, and more deadly, Perreault holds the ability to become not only a consistent goal-scorer but an elite centre-man to boot. Not afraid to mix things up physically either, Perreault’s team-oriented approach should bode well for a Sting roster soon to be laden with electrifying young talent.

Antonio Stranges

2018-19 Team: London Knights

2018-19 Statistics: 66GP: 13G, 34PTS

Could Antonio Stranges be the next coming of Mitch Marner in London?

Well, based upon Stranges’ elite puck-handling skills and creativity while in possession, it certainly goes without saying that he has the potential to do so. Although his rookie season with the Knights wasn’t exactly blistering — 13 goals and 34 points in 66 regular season contests — Stranges regularly displayed the jaw-dropping talent requisite of a future star player at the NHL-level. Now, as he enters into his sophomore campaign in the OHL, the question facing Stranges will be whether or not he can elevate his game.

Antonio Stranges of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
(Photo Credit: Luke Durda/OHL Images)

If the past is any evidence in this regard, expect Stranges to explode this upcoming season. Sure to garner greater and more consistent playing time in a variety of situations, Stranges should quickly become a staple within the Knights’ offensive attack capable of creating and scoring goals in the blink of an eye. Although he is widely expected to be chosen in the late-first to early-second round of the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft, Stranges’ elite skill-set could push his stock much higher than initially anticipated.

Tyler Tullio

2018-19 Team: Oshawa Generals

2018-19 Statistics: 60GP: 15G, 42PTS

A former teammate of Perfetti while skating for the Vaughan Kings of the GTHL, Ty Tullio burst onto the OHL scene for the Oshawa Generals in 2018-19 and enjoyed a surprisingly productive campaign. Drafted by the Generals with the 11th overall selection in the 2018 OHL Draft, Tullio jumped into Oshawa’s lineup and immediately became a versatile offensive threat. Come to the end of his rookie season, Tullio had netted 15 goals and 42 points — an output which ranked as the eighth-best within a deep Generals’ roster.

Tyler Tullio of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

Although concerns surrounding his size have long lingered, Tullio has cast aside any and all doubters owing to his impressive play over the past few years. Sure to return to the ice in 2019-20 faster and stronger than in his rookie season, Tullio will have the opportunity to develop into a vastly underrated two-way star alongside his equally talented teammates. If able to take lofty step forward in his personal progression, Tullio will stand as a hidden gem within the upcoming 2020 NHL Draft.

Five Honourable Mentions to Monitor

Although they aren’t as high profile per se as the prospects listed above, these five prospects are glowing with NHL potential. If able to enjoy successful sophomore seasons, these five youngsters could quite easily be considered as first round talent come the 2020 NHL Draft.

Butler quickly became a goal scoring threat in his rookie campaign with the Petes, and could very well score 25+ in his second season in Peterborough.

Although he played sheltered minutes in 2018-19, Hardie still managed to light the lamp with consistency — he should become a fixture offensively in Mississauga this season.

Traded to Oshawa by the Niagara IceDogs last season, Moore is a terrific skater who can process the game at an elite level. Expect him to log major minutes on the Generals’ blue line.

The late first round pick stepped into the Greyhounds’ lineup as a rookie and had an instant impact. Solid in his own zone, expect O’Rouke’s offensive output to grow as a sophomore.

Sebrango was a pleasant surprise for the Rangers as a rookie, providing offence while limiting his opposition. Expect him to flourish alongside increased playing time in 2019-20.

Guelph Storm: 5 Storylines to Follow in 2019-20

The Guelph Storm claimed the OHL championship in 2018-19 and earned a berth in the Memorial Cup in the process. However, with their top talent leaving town, can the Storm remain a contender in the OHL’s Western Conference?

The Guelph Storm were the champions of the Ontario Hockey League in 2018-19, battling hard against stern competition in their opening three rounds before shocking the Ottawa 67’s in just six games to claim the J. Ross Robertson Cup. Mid-season acquisitions played a major role in the success of the Storm, as a number of highly touted NHL prospects — led by Nick Suzuki — came together to push Guelph to the Memorial Cup.

Despite falling in the semi-finals of the prestigious tournament to the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, the Storm established themselves as a premier threat and one of the strongest, most complete teams within the major-junior circuit this past season. However, with the vast majority of Guelph’s high-end players destined for professional careers in 2019-20, the Storm now head towards an uncertain future. Boasting a suddenly thin lineup, the most significant challenge facing Guelph in 2019-20 will undoubtedly be their ability to cope with the lack of depth and experience present within their roster.


If the Storm wish to avoid a championship slump, they will need to rely heavily on the contributions of their younger players while affording returning veterans with crucial playing time in high-leverage situations. If able to receive consistent goaltending from Anthony Popovich, Guelph could stave off their bitter Western Conference rivals until their new core of talented youngsters stands ready to lead the team into the immediate future. Unfortunately, if exactly such does not transpire, the Storm could fail to reach the postseason for the third time in just five seasons.

Five Storylines to Follow

Fresh off of their second OHL Championship this decade, the Storm head towards the 2019-20 season with far more questions than answers. Effectively, Guelph will look to avoid the championship slump which has hampered a great number of teams in past years.

If able to sport a solid trio of overage players while receiving substantial contributions from their newest players — Marko Sikic being the latest of which — the Storm could very well remain as a lethal threat in the Midwest Division.

1. Can the Storm Avoid a Championship Slump?

Over the past five seasons, the reigning OHL champion has not been able to surpass the second round of the postseason after hoisting the J. Ross Robertson Cup. Now, while many would not consider reaching the second round of the playoffs a championship slump, other reigning victors have failed to reach the postseason all together owing to the massive outflow of elite and experienced talent which tends to follow hoisting the cup.

2019 Rogers OHL Championship Series_06
The 2019-20 edition of the Guelph Storm will look dramatically different than the one which captured the J. Ross Robertson Cup. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

Unfortunately for the Storm, the team could be staring down a significant slump in 2019-20, as the vast majority of Guelph’s top players — a number of which who were acquired in trade — will be embarking upon professional careers this coming campaign. Additionally, over-agers Domenico Commisso, Jack Hanley, and Sean Durzi will all be moving on from the Storm due to their age — a reality which force Guelph to ice a largely unfamiliar roster this coming season. However, the Storm could avoid a slump in 2019-20 if their emerging young talent can come to play significant if not surprising roles with the team.

2. Who Stays, Who Goes?

When the 2019-20 OHL season came to a close, the Storm held a whopping twelve 1999-born players on their roster. Given that the over-age brith year has now shifted to 1999, Guelph will only be able to have three of these 12 players on its roster for the upcoming campaign. With Nick Suzuki, Isaac Ratcliffe, MacKenzie Entwistle, Dmitri Samorukov, Nate Schnarr, Marcus Phillips, and Fedor Gordeev all sure to begin their professional careers this coming season, it appears as though the Storm will have to choose three of five remaining 1999-born players to keep on their roster next season.

Isaac Ratcliffe of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
The loss of long-time fan favourite Isaac Ratcliffe will rattle the Storm in the goal-scoring department. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

These five remaining players are none other than Liam Hawel, Anthony Popovich, Cedric Ralph, Zachary Roberts, and Alexei Toropchenko. To choose three of these players is no simple task, and a job which George Burnett surely wishes he could avoid. Of the lot, it is Popovich who arguably holds the greatest value to the team — he recently led to Storm to OHL championship and is a composed competitor in the crease. Next, there is Hawel, a towering centre who enjoyed a breakout offensive season in 2018-19 whose presence should ease the transition of Guelph’s young prospects. Finally, there is Ralph, a diminutive yet highly competitive player whose presence down the middle would provide Guelph with much needed depth this coming campaign.

In short, exactly which 1999-born players will stay and which will go remains up for debate. However, the fact remains that these will be extremely difficult decisions for Burnett and his staff to make in the weeks and months ahead.

3. Can Collins, Chayka, and Terry Erupt?

Playing time was extremely difficult to come by for Guelph’s 2002-born class of prospects throughout the 2018-19 campaign, as the Storm’s roster was laden with experienced players en route to their clinching their first OHL Championship since 2013-14. However, this reality is poised to change in a major way come the 2019-20 season, as the vast majority of Guelph’s seasoned veterans will be moving on to professional careers throughout North America.

Danlil Chayka of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Guelph’s blue line could be steadied in 2019-20 if Chayka — amongst others — can explode at both ends of the ice. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

With this being said, the door will be wide open for the likes of Ty Collins, Daniil Chayka, and Zack Terry to secure highly valuable playing time. In Collins, the Storm hold a natural goal-scorer eager to set loose upon the OHL and its netminders. Further, in Terry and Chayka, Guelph boasts two potential defensive pillars who could come to lead the team at both ends of the ice for years to come. If the three youngsters mentioned above — alongside others such as Matthew Papais — can put forth significant contributions this season, the Storm just might be able to avoid the drought which has claimed so many OHL champions in the past.

4. Will Guelph’s Blueline Buckle and Break?

Sean Durzi, Fedor Gordeev, Jack Hanley, Markus Phillips, and Dmitri Samorukov — all five of these defenders will likely see their OHL tenures come to an end in 2019-20 as they embark upon professional careers. With this being said, the Storm’s blue line will be a skeleton of what it was throughout the 2018-19 season and into the OHL Playoffs, as only Chayka, Owen Lalonde, and Terry stand poised to return to the team’s blue line.

Owen Lalonde of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Fourth-year OHL defender Owen Lalonde will be looked upon to log major minutes this coming season. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

As such, it goes without saying that Guelph’s blue line stands in need of dramatic improvement ahead of the 2019-20 campaign. While Chayka, Lalonde, and Terry are all more than capable of logging significant minutes in high pressure situations, the trio will need to rely upon a competent supporting cast of incoming defenders if the Storm hope to stand as a viable threat in the Western Conference this coming season. Unfortunately, help in the form of 2003-born prospects could prove hard to come as, as the Storm’s top-two defence prospects from the 2019 OHL Draft — Dylan Gratton and Declan Ride — both appear destined to fulfill their NCAA commitments.

5. Can Zhilkin Steady the Storm’s Depleted Attack?

With a number of the Storm’s elite offensive players poised to begin their professional careers in 2019-20 — namely the likes of Nick Suzuki, Isaac Ratcliffe, and Nate Schnarr amongst others — Guelph will need to receive significant contributions from its younger core if it wishes to remain competitive. One player who could provide much needed offensive firepower this coming season is Danil Zhilkin, the team’s first round choice in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.

Nabbed by the Storm with the 14th overall choice, Zhilkin is an uber-talented puck handler who boasts a stellar shot defined by its pin-point accuracy. A smooth skater as well who plays with an edge, Zhilkin’s well-rounded game could help to supplement Guelph’s offensive attack given the loss of a number of their top scoring players. Although it could take Zhilkin some time to adjust to the OHL-level, his already significant size should allow him to transition to major junior hockey easier than most prospects his age.

Erie Otters: 5 Storylines to Follow in 2018-19

Despite missing the postseason the past two campaigns, the Erie Otters stand poised for significant improvement in 2019-20. If able to find success through these five storylines, the Otters could be surprisingly competitive this coming season.

The Erie Otters failed to reach the postseason in 2018-19, marking the second consecutive campaign in which the club fell short of the playoffs since winning the OHL Championship in 2016-17.

However, expect this troubling trend to come to a decisive end this coming season, as the Otters stand as a dramatically improved team owing to an influx of promising young talent.

Sure to play an impactful role this coming campaign and long into Erie’s future is Connor Lockhart — the team’s first choice in the recent 2019 OHL Draft who has the ability to impact the game at both ends of the ice. While he will come to lead the Otters’ offence, Jamie Drysdale will undoubtedly pace the team’s defence — the youngster stands as one of the top defenders eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft. In short, these two elite prospects stand as the present and future of the franchise.

However, Lockhart and Drysdale won’t be able to do it alone. Fortunately, Erie holds a number of other promising prospects as well as experienced depth players who should come to play an important role in the season ahead. If able to receive production from their depth forwards, stable defending, and quality minutes between the pipes, the Otters could do some significant damage in 2019-20.

Five Storylines to Follow

With this being said, here are five key storylines to follow in Erie this season. Although the Otters likely won’t push deep into the postseason, they are a team which could pose a significant challenge to other competitors if they receive positive outcomes in the areas which we have identified below.

1. Will Jamie Drysdale Lead the Otters to the Postseason?

As a former fourth-overall choice in the OHL Priority Selection, nothing other than greatness has come to be expected from Jamie Drysdale. A smooth skating and puck moving defenceman, Drysdale continues to display the ability to impact any given game at both ends of the ice with a remarkable level of poise and consistency.

Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jamie Drysdale recorded 40 points in his rookie season — a total which will surely increase in 2019-20. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images.)

This poise — and lethality — was on full display in Drysdale’s rookie campaign, as the youngster collected 40 points in his first 63 games of OHL action. Although he also collected a lacklustre -24 plus/minus rating in the process — a total reflective of the Otters’ poor team play — the fact remains that Drysdale is a young prospect booming with potential who has proven he has the skill set necessary to lead Erie back to the postseason.

If he can continue to mesh with his increasingly talented teammates while making improvements in his defensive zone, Drysdale should be able to push the Otters into playoff contention with apparent ease.

2. Can Connor Lockhart Spark Erie’s Offence?

With the third-overall selection in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, the Otters nabbed the agile and highly skilled Connor Lockhart. A dynamic offensive force for the Kanata Lasers this past campaign, Lockhart is a young centre who can push the pace of playing owing to his speed while devising devastating offensive opportunities in the process.

Officially committed to the Otters for the upcoming 2019-20 OHL season, keep a close eye fixed on Lockhart as the campaign progresses. Sure, he will be one of the youngest players on the ice, however, Lockhart’s raw speed and electrifying shot should allow him to play a crucial depth role for Erie while he continues to improve and strengthen a variety of aspects of his game.

3. Will Aidan Campbell or Forbes Anderson Push for Playing Time?

The Otters struggled to find consistency between the pipes last season, as Dan Murphy, Cole Ceci, and Noah Battaglia pieced together an average campaign of goaltending for Erie. However, with Ceci now set to play for York University in 2019-20, the door has been opened wide for one of the Otters’ young goaltending prospects to seize valuable playing time.

Noah Battagliaof the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Noah Battaglia will surely battle for valuable playing time this coming season. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

Of the lot, Aidan Campbell or Forbes Anderson could make a significant push for the Otters crease. With both netminders coming off of excellent seasons last year, both are high in not only ability but confidence with the 2019-20 OHL campaign rapidly approaching. And, although it would appear as though Murphy will once again handle the majority of the workload, one or both of these youngsters could come to play a crucial role as the Otters’ backup netminder next season.

4. Hayden Fowler: Star in the Making?

Despite suffering a fractured collarbone this past season, Hayden Fowler fired home eight goals and 18 points in his 25 regular season games played — an impressive point-per-game total for a player who was not yet eligible for the NHL Draft. However, Fowler will be eligible for the NHL Draft this upcoming season, and the Otters are hoping that the youngster can continue his torrent offensive play once the 2019-20 campaign kicks off.


If able to stay healthy this coming season, Fowler should come to play a significant role for his team at both ends of the ice. As a former first-round choice of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection, Fowler has the skill-set and determination necessary to become an impact player for the Otters — a reality which he was quickly seizing last year before suffering the first significant injury of his career. If able to play a full regular season, Fowler’s contributions could single-handedly push the Otters towards the post-season.

5. Can the Otters’ Depth Break Through?

The Otters have been mired by inconsistent depth production in recent years — a lack of offensive contribution which has placed a great deal of strain and expectation upon the team’s top players. So, if Erie wishes to legitimately compete for a post-season berth in 2019-20, they’ll need to receive heightened contributions from their bottom-six forwards. While another year of play and additional experience will certainly help the Otters this season, the presence of a number of the team’s mid-round prospects could certainly give the team an offensive edge.

Chad Yetman of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Chad Yetman exploded last season, firing home 21 goals and 57 points — both career-highs. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images.)

If able to receive commitments from the likes of Brett Bressette, Cole Melady, and Ryan Forberg in the months ahead, the Otters could very well feature a bolstered bottom-six capable of contributing sporadic offensive this coming season. Although young, additions such as these would not only earn valuable experience but provide Erie with a strong foundation for their future in the process.

OHL Update: The Most Lethal Rookies in 2018-19

The OHL is loaded with elite young talent in 2018-19, and the 2002-born rookie class is proving to be no slouch. Here are five of the hottest OHL rookies this season, as well as three honourable mentions to keep an eye on.

The Ontario Hockey League is loaded with elite young talent this season — a great deal of which coming in the form of the 2002-born rookie class.

Led by 2018 first overall selection Quinton Byfield, the likes of Cole Perfetti, Jean-Luc Foudy, Jacob Perreault, and Marco Rossi have all exploded into starring roles with their respective teams this season. And, in most cases, these players have become offensive catalysts for their new franchises — leading the charge on a nightly basis while standing surprisingly consistent in their abilities to do so.

Danlil Chayka of the Guelph Storm. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Danlil Chayka of the Guelph Storm has quietly enjoyed a strong rookie season. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

Outside of these five rookie stars, a secondary class of promising newcomers also exists. Leading this group of rookies are youngsters such as Jamie Drysdale, Will Cuylle, and Vladislav Kolyachonok — three players of varying position who have also been downright dominant in their initial seasons in the OHL.

With this being said, let’s take closer look at five of the OHL’s most prolific rookies thus far in the 2018-19 season. Listed in alphabetical order, you’ll want to know exactly how these former minor midget stars have fared in their first campaigns of major-junior action.

Five Surging OHL Prospects

Quinton Byfield

Team: Sudbury Wolves

Drafted: 1st Overall (2018)

Seeing Quinton Byfield amongst the OHL’s top rookies thus far should come as no surprise, as the first overall choice in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection has picked up where he left off with the York Simcoe Express of the ETA. Founded upon exceptional skating abilities and aided by his immense size, Byfield has quickly become an offensive catalyst for the Sudbury Wolves in his rookie campaign.

Byfield has continued his dominant ways as a member of the Sudbury Wolves. (Photo Credit: CHL Images)

Through his first 48 games played with the Wolves in 2018-19, Byfield had recorded 19 goals and 46 points — a total which led the team at the mid-way mark of February. Regarded as one of the top prospects eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft, Byfield’s presence in Sudbury has helped to transition the Wolves from a fringe contender into a legitimate force within the Eastern Conference.

Jean-Luc Foudy

Team: Windsor Spitfires

Drafted: 10th Overall (2018)

Jean-Luc Foudy could very well come to be known as the steal of the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, as the former Toronto Titans star has had little trouble adjusting to the OHL-level. Thus far in 2018-19, Foudy has become a playmaking force for the Windsor Spitfires — regularly feeding the puck to his fellow teammates while doubling as a possession dynamo.

Jean-Luc Foudy of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jean-Luc Foudy has been a pleasant surprise thus far for the Windsor Spitfires. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

Through his first 50 games played in his rookie campaign, Foudy had recorded a whopping 41 points — 35 of which assists — in helping to drive the Spitfires’ offensive attack. As a tireless skater and puck-hound who buzzes throughout the ice with speed and purpose, Foudy has quickly become a pleasant surprise in Windsor and a prospect who should lead the team in the years ahead.

Cole Perfetti

Team: Saginaw Spirit

Drafted: 5th Overall (2018)

Although he was chosen fifth-overall in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, it goes without saying that Cole Perfetti was amongst the three best prospects eligible for his respective draft. Fortunately for the Saginaw Spirit, Perfetti was willing and able to compete for their team this year and has been absolutely dominant to begin his rookie OHL campaign.

Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Cole Perfetti has quickly become a standout rookie for the Saginaw Spirit. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

Through his first 47 contests this season, Perfetti was one of just two rookies to produce offensively at greater than a point per game pace — notching 22 goals and 48 points. A dynamic and versatile threat who can shoot the puck with authority as well as pass it, Perfetti has quickly become a fixture within the Spirit’s attack and has shown no signs of slowing down. Come the 2020 NHL Draft, it would be an incredible shock were Perfetti not chosen within the top-15 overall — he is simply that good.

Jacob Perreault

Team: Sarnia Sting

Drafted: 19th Overall (2018)

The Sarnia Sting knew exactly what they were receiving when they selected Jacob Perreault with their first round choice in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. A former standout with the HPHL’s Chicago Mission, Perreault is a hard-nosed centre who brings both skill and pace to the ice on a nightly basis.

Jacob Perreault of the Sarnia Sting. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Jacob Perreault has become a goal-scoring dynamo for the Sarnia Sting. (Photo Credit: Luke Durda/OHL Images)

And, thus far in the 2018-19 season, Perreault has done exactly such for the Sting — contributing offensively on a nightly basis while standing as a difficult and highly competitive force for his opponents to compete with. On the scoreboard is where Perreault has shone brightest, as the native of Montreal, Quebec had blasted home an impressive 26 goals and 22 assists through his initial 50 games played with Sarnia.

Marco Rossi

Team: Ottawa 67’s

Drafted: 18th Overall (2018 Import)

Although one of the OHL’s oldest rookie skaters in 2018-19, Marco Rossi has quickly become the league’s most potent. The 19th overall selection in the 2018 CHL Import Draft, Rossi has quickly earned his place within an abundantly strong Ottawa 67’s team owing to his high-end skill as well as poise with the puck.

Marco Rossi has exploded onto the OHL scene and stands as a premier prospect eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft. (Photo Credit: OHL Images)

Mature beyond his years, Rossi is a stellar playmaker who also boasts the elite skill necessary to also score goals at an outrageous pace. In the opening 39 games of his rookie campaign, Rossi had not only netted 24 goals for the 67’s but he had added a whopping 29 assists for a total of 53 points. Often centring Ottawa’s top line and a fixture on the team’s top power play unit, Rossi’s importance to the 67’s despite his young age is second to none within the OHL.

3 Honourable Mentions

As mentioned above, a dominant secondary class of rookies also exists within the OHL this season — all of whom must be considered elite-level prospects ahead of the 2020 NHL Draft.

With the top-five outlined above, here are three honourable mentions you must keep an eye on as the 2018-19 season winds to a close.

Will Cuylle

Team: Windsor Spitfires

Drafted: 3rd Overall (2018)

The Spitfires paid a substantial price in order to acquire Will Cuylle from the Peterborough Petes, and thus far Cuylle has been exactly as advertised. Although his point totals are slightly behind the top tier of this year’s rookie class, Cuylle has been a force nonetheless — potting 22 goals and 33 points in his opening 50 contests while playing a physical role in the process.

Will Cuylle of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Will Cuylle of the Windsor Spitfires continues to dominate owing to his combination of size, speed, and skill. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

A tireless skater by nature whose game appears effortless at times, Cuylle is a natural goal-scorer who has the skill-set necessary to drive Windsor’s offensive attack. Of solid size given his 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame, Cuylle will undoubtedly be an integral piece of the Spitfires’ future and an increasingly potent player as he continues to find his footing at the OHL-level.

Jamie Drysdale

Team: Erie Otters

Drafted: 4th Overall (2018)

Come the 2020 NHL Draft, Jamie Drysdale will undoubtedly stand as one of the top defenceman eligible for selection. Nabbed by the Erie Otters with their fourth-overall choice in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, Drysdale is a calm and composed defender who has had little issue adapting to the OHL-level in his rookie campaign.

Jamie Drysdale of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.
Jamie Drysdale’s composure and maturity have made him a star on the Erie Otters’ blue line at a young age. (Photo Credit: Terry Wilson / OHL Images)

In fact, through his initial 47 games played, Drysdale had recorded four goals and 24 assists for a total of 28 points. Sure, his -16 plus/minus rating was less than stellar, however, it stood as a mark reflective of the Otters’ play as a team this season rather than Drysdale’s inabilities on the blue line. Ultimately, Drysdale is an endlessly talented defender whose on-ice intelligence and poise have and will continue to make him one of the OHL’s most promising young defenders.

Vladislav Kolyachonok

Team: Flint Firebirds

Drafted: 102nd Overall (2018 Import)

The sole 2019 NHL Draft eligible rookie on this list, Vladislav Kolyachonok has quickly established himself as a prospect to watch after being placed on waivers by the London Knights earlier this season. A sizeable defender yet fluid skater, Kolyachonok has become a reliable presence for the Flint Firebirds this season and one capable of playing a seamless two-way game.

Vladislav Kolyachonok of the Flint Firebirds Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
Confidence and fluid skating are the names of the game for Vladislav Kolyachonok of the Flint Firebirds. (Photo Credit: Luke Durda/OHL Images)

Although his natural offensive instincts and drive can pull him out of position at times, Kolyachonok’s flair throughout the ice is simply unquestionable. An excellent skater who can pass the puck extremely well and rush the puck throughout the ice, Kolyachonok’s 25 points in his first 41 games played this season stand as an indication of his potential at the professional-level.

NHL Prospect Profile: Connor McMichael

Connor McMichael of the OHL’s London Knights has risen dramatically over the course of the 2018-19 season. Once perceived as a mid-round prospect, McMichael has exploded into a potential top-10 choice.

– Connor McMichael –

London Knights (OHL) | Centre| 2019 NHL Draft Eligible

Ajax, Ontario| Jan. 15th, 2001 | 6-feet, 170-pounds

Although he began the 2018-19 season as a prospect widely projected to be selected outside of the first round, Connor McMichael has progressed by leaps and bounds throughout the campaign proceeding the 2019 NHL Draft, and now stands as a sure-fire top-31 choice as a result.

A fixture within an increasingly dynamic London Knights offence, McMichael has quickly becoming a driving force for the Knights and one capable of leading his team to success with an impressive level of consistency. Defined by his skating, McMichael is an electrifying presence who can burn his opponents with speed and pick apart their defences owing to his versatile skill-set.

What’s more is that McMichael boasts a level of drive and determination which stands high above the vast majority of his competition. As an extremely passionate player who strives to succeed on a game-by-game basis, McMichael and his lethal skill-set could push him into the top-10 overall if not higher come the 2019 NHL Draft in June.


  • Skating Speed and Agility
  • Offensive Instincts and Creativity
  • Work-Ethic and Determination

As alluded to above, McMichael is a player who is driven and defined by his skating abilities. In fact, not only does McMichael feature eye-watering acceleration and breakaway speed but the youngster displays a level of edge-work and agility typically reserved for players at the professional-level.

Related: 2019 NHL Draft Rankings

It is McMichael’s wheels which stand as the foundation of his game, as the native of Ajax, Ontario’s natural offensive instincts and creativity derive directly from his speed throughout the ice. Able to create a great deal of time and space for himself owing to his skating, McMichael can craft deadly plays in the opposing zone and is consistent in his ability to execute at even-strength as well as on the man-advantage.

Related: 2019 NHL Draft — Prospect Profiles

Perhaps the two most important facets of McMichael’s game, however, are his unwavering drive and determination. A tireless skater and one fuelled by his personal production and the success of his team, McMichael exudes an overwhelming amount of passion and emotion on the ice and is controlled in doing so.

Areas of Improvement:

  • Personal Strength
  • Puck Protection

To be quite honest, there isn’t a ton of room for improvement within McMichael’s game — he is simply that good and as well-rounded as they come.

Connor McMichael of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images
McMichael is one of the best skaters eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft, combining jaw-dropping acceleration and high-end speed. (Photo Credit: Luke Durda/OHL Images)

In the years ahead, McMichael will do well to add greater muscle to his frame. Now, this is not to say that McMichael is under-sized or weak by any means, but rather that he will be able to better maximize his skill-set once he becomes a stronger player physically — especially down low. A direct outcome of adding greater strength will be McMichael’s increased ability to protect the puck — greater lower-body strength will allow the youngster to become a more potent puck-hound than he has already become.

Future Potential:

Ultimately, McMichael could be one of the most under-appreciated players eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft.

Although many have projected McMichael to be chosen in the middle of the first round if not later, we could very well be looking at a top-10 choice come draft day given McMichael’s torrent production and continued improvement on the ice. With all of the skills which NHL franchises covet at the young age of just 18-years, McMichael could prove to be a steal if selected much earlier than anticipated.

To provide some similarity, recall the selections of Ty Dellandrea and Liam Foudy in the 2018 NHL Draft. Although projected as second-round talents, both prospects rose significantly into the first round owing to their exceptional skating abilities, consistency, and unquestionable work-ethic.

In 2019, expect McMichael to do the same.

OHL Prospect Profile: Stuart Rolofs

Stuart Rolofs of the HEO’s Kanata Lasers is a lethal sniper who boasts not only dynamic offensive abilities but consistency as well. In short, he’s one of the top snipers eligible for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.

– Stuart Rolofs –

Kanata Lasers (HEO) | Left-Wing | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Ottawa, Ontario | 6-foot-2, 185-pounds | March 28th, 2003

Stuart Rolofs is a highly-skilled sniper who has consistently been close to a goal-per-game player in the Ottawa area. A teammate of the highly-touted Connor Lockhart, Rolofs is a big, strong winger who dictates the pace of the game with an elite combination of skating and puck skills. Further, Rolofs displays several gears of speed which he uses to keep defenders on their heels.

A reliable sniper, Rolofs tallied 59 goals in 67 games played in the two seasons preceding his OHL Draft year, and is once again on fire for the Kanata Lasers within the HEO in 2018-19. If able to develop a stronger playmaking game, it is safe to say that Rolofs could prove to be one of the steals of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.


  • Shot
  • Skating
  • Offensive Instincts

The greatest asset of Rolofs’ game is undoubtedly his wicked shot. With an electric release and an ability to switch up shooting angles on the fly, he consistently keeps goaltenders moving and guessing. Strong on his feet, Rolofs utilizes a wide stride and long reach to protect the puck and drives the net with remarkable success. To boot, he displays good speed on the fly and can make jaw-dropping moves at top speed.

Related: Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Prospect Profiles

In the offensive zone, Rolofs shows great instincts below the dots, with intelligent positioning and shots through screens as he curls off of the half wall. He often forces turnovers and uses his vision to pick off passes regularly. Further, he has tremendous net-front talent, deflecting pucks and finding rebounds with apparent ease.

Area of Improvement:

  • Playmaking

Stuart Rolofs is an offensive-minded player who can change the momentum of a game in an instant. He’s always looking for a way to put the puck in the net, however, he could become a more dangerous winger by improving the dynamic element of playmaking. A likely result of his natural goal-scoring talent, he sometimes misses out on excellent passing opportunities.

Yet, with this being said, by no means is Rolofs a selfish player — he simply knows his best asset and looks to use it whenever possible. Over time and as he ascends to higher levels of competition, Rolofs’ playmaking tendencies will surely grow as defenders focus on negating his lethal shot and its ability to cause significant damage. Once this occurs, Rolofs will become a more dynamic and versatile offensive threat.

Future Potential:

Given his stellar size and electrifying shot, it goes without saying that Rolofs will be made a late first to mid-second round selection in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection — if not higher.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft and OHL Cup Rankings

As a natural goal-scorer who features a wicked shot, Rolofs boasts all of the tools necessary to enjoy a long and productive career at the OHL-level. What’s more is that given his size and skating abilities, Rolofs could transition to the major-junior level in a seamless fashion. At the end of the day, not may prospects break into the OHL with the size, release, and determination which Rolofs displays on a nightly basis.