OHL Prospect Profile: Joshua Kavanagh

The undisputed top defenceman from Northern Ontario, Josh Kavanagh displays everything an OHL team could want from a young defender; skating, intelligence, and offensive upside. An elite prospect who will represent Team NOHA at the 2019 OHL Cup, Kavanagh has showcased a mature and highly talented game that should translate well into the major junior level.

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– Joshua Kavanagh –

Sudbury Wolves (NOHA) | Right Defence | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Hanmer, Ontario | 6-foot-1, 170-pounds | May 6th, 2003

Josh Kavanagh is an elite, puck-moving defenceman who has honed his transition game while remaining reliable on the defensive side in all situations as well. A smooth and effortless skater, Kavanagh covers the ice well and holds good gaps against opponents on the rush. An intelligent defender with intriguing upside, Kavanagh will be a highly sought after defender at the 2019 OHL Draft.

Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Rankings.

As a member of the GNML’s Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves, Kavanagh has been a leader from the back end all year long, playing at well over a point-per-game rate while also leading the Wolves to several long runs at some of Ontario’s biggest Minor Midget tournaments.

Strengths:

  • Two-Way Abilities
  • Skating
  • Sense & Intelligence

Kavanagh displays all the traits of a promising new-era defenceman. A smooth skater, Kavanagh shows off multiple options when breaking out of his own zone, whether through a slick tape-to-tape pass, a simple chip, or by skating the puck through the neutral zone himself. He judges plays very well and is able to process when it is beneficial to join the rush.

Related: Don’t miss out on any of our 2019 OHL Prospect Profiles

Kavanagh possesses an effective shot from the blue line by getting it on and off his stick in an instant and excelling at getting his shots on net through traffic. On the back end, he shows a strong understanding of his position and uses an effective combination of body and stick positioning to eliminate passing lanes and force opponents away from the center lane. An intelligent prospect, Kavanagh is also a tremendous decision-maker with and without the puck.

Area of Improvement:

  • Physicality

While Kavanagh possesses solid size for his age, there remains the potential for a more physical side to his game as he continues to solidify his frame. Although he isn’t afraid to take opponents into the boards during an incoming rush or get in the middle of a battle for a loose puck, Kavanagh could add another element to his game by making opponents look out for a strong body check.

While we mentioned that Kavanagh epitomizes the new-era defenceman, a stronger physical aspect would make him a much more intimidating defender to go up against, especially as he prepares to move forth in a major junior career. With this point being raised, it’s important to note that this is not an aspect of Kavanagh’s game that will hold him back, but rather a side that could increase his value further.

Future Potential:

The undisputed top defenceman from Northern Ontario, Josh Kavanagh displays everything an OHL team could want from a young defender; skating, intelligence, and offensive upside. An elite prospect who will represent Team NOHA at the 2019 OHL Cup, Kavanagh has showcased a mature and highly talented game that should translate well into the major junior level.

With a number of high-end puck moving defenceman in this year’s draft class, it will be tough to pinpoint where Kavanagh may be drafted, but one could expect to hear his name called somewhere in the 30-50th overall range.

OHL Prospect Profile: Chase Stillman

Chase Stillman is an offensive dynamo who can be relied upon in all situations to play a significant role. Stillman should be considered as a late-second or early-third round pick for the 2019 OHL Draft, although his NCAA commitment may alter his final destination.

– Chase Stillman –

Sudbury Wolves (NOHA) | Centre | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Peterborough, Ontario | 5-foot-10, 174-pounds | March 29th, 2003

Chase Stillman is a highly-skilled and intelligent two-way centre who makes a significant difference for the Wolves at both ends of the ice. On a high-scoring and fast paced team, Stillman has consistently been one of the most impactful leaders on the team, displaying an impressive offensive ceiling as both a scorer and playmaker.

Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Rankings.

Making a significant impact in league games, where the Wolves play amongst 2001, 2002, and 2003-born players, Stillman remains amongst the league leaders in points, well over a two point-per-game pace. As well, Stillman has been a major reason for Sudbury’s success in Ontario’s Minor Midget tournaments this year, making two semi-final appearances.

Strengths:

  • Intelligence and Awareness
  • Two-Way Responsibility
  • Shot & Playmaking

Stillman is a reliable centre who displays an admirable work ethic in all three zones. He is a leader by example, backchecking hard to support his defencemen and working hard along the boards to retrieve the puck. A visibly intelligent prospect, Stillman is always aware of his surroundings and takes smart routes to the play.

Related: Don’t miss out on any of our 2019 OHL Prospect Profiles.

He showcases excellent vision as a playmaker, slipping tape-to-tape passes through traffic and through lanes that many do not recognize as available. As a scorer, Stillman is able to beat goaltenders with a quick and accurate release to a lethal snap shot, or by positioning himself in the right spots to make himself a passing option.

Area of Improvement:

  • Strength & Puck Protection

Like all prospects for the 2019 OHL Draft, Stillman in continuing to grow and mature, making himself stronger on the ice and more intimidating to face one-on-one. With that said, Stillman could focus on improving his puck protection abilities by using his edges to give himself a stronger center of gravity.

Further, he could utilize his entire frame by placing the puck on the far side of the defender and leaning up against his opponent to better shield off the area surrounding the puck. Skating with a wider stride would also do wonders for Stillman’s already solid ability to shield off opposing defencemen

Future Potential:

All in all, Chase Stillman should be considered one of the top prospects from the Northern region for the 2019 OHL Draft. A Providence College commit, Chase’s father, Cory, is currently the Head Coach of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves. Chase has also impressed scouts by tallying three goals over his first three Jr. A games, as a member of the NOJHL’s Rayside-Balfour Canadians. He was also recently selected to represent Ontario at the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Stillman is an offensive dynamo who can be relied upon in all situations to play a significant role. Stillman should be considered as a late-second or early-third round pick for the 2019 OHL Draft, although his NCAA commitment may alter his final destination.