OHL Eastern Conference Preview
OHL Eastern Conference Preview Terry Wilson / OHL Images

By Aaron Bell

 

The 2012-13 Ontario Hockey League regular season schedule of games opens next week. Here is an advance look at the Eastern Conference.

 

BARRIE COLTS

Key Returnee: When Mark Scheifele made a late return to the Colts lineup from the Winnipeg Jets last October, he went on an offensive tear that was a huge boost for the rebuilding squad. This year, he should be a dominant force in the Eastern Conference unless he gets another chance with the Jets.

Forwards: Zach Hall made some big strides offensively last year and has the skill set to fill the net on a regular basis. Anthony Camara is another offensive threat and will see lots of time on the top line with Scheifele. The Colts were thrilled to pick up promising youngster Andreas Athanasiou from the London Knights before the season started.

Defence: Despite being just 16-years-old, 2012 Rookie of the Year Aaron Ekblad already has the poise of an OHL veteran and will log huge minutes for the Colts this season. Fellow sophomore Alex Yuill also has great speed and instincts and is expected to play a bigger role this season. Overager and newly named captain Ryan O'Connor brings a bunch of savvy to the back end.

Goaltending: German overager Mathias Niederberger proved last year that he was capable of playing lots of minutes and will again this year.

Behind the Bench: Dale Hawerchuk helped the Colts become one of the biggest surprises in the OHL when they made great strides forward last year in his second season behind the bench. He will be hoping to build off of that again this year.

 

BELLEVILLE BULLS

Key Returnee: Skilled forward Brendan Gaunce comes into his third season with the Bulls with sky-high expectations that he plans to meet. The first rounder of the Vancouver Canucks improved on his rookie season totals with 28 goals and 68 points last season and is primed to become one of the elite offensive producers in the Eastern Conference this season.

Forwards: The Bulls have a deep group of veterans at every position this season including up front. The trio of 19-year-old forwards Michael Curtis, Austen Brassard and Carter Sandlak all have something to prove this year. Russians Sergey Kuptsov and Daniil Zharkov also bring a lot of skill while veteran Garrett Hooey proved to be a versatile performer last season.

Defence: Former first round pick Stephen Silas anchors the Bulls' blueline after putting up solid offensive numbers in his first four seasons. He will be counted on to pull his plus-minus rating above the line this year. Free agent pick up Jason Shaw, a Belleville native, turned into one of the Bulls' most consistent defenders last season. The hulking Brady Austin and slick sophomore Jordan Subban will both play important roles this year.

Goaltending: Malcolm Subban is a star in the making and that was never more apparent than when the Boston Bruins snapped him up in the first round of the NHL Draft last June in Pittsburgh. The team's fortunes came and went with Subban last year and they will look to him to carry the ball this time around.

Behind the Bench: In eight seasons behind the Bulls' bench, George Burnett has seen all of the highs and lows. He took the team through 10 playoff rounds and an appearance in the MasterCard Memorial Cup during a three-year stretch and hopes that he has rebuilt his squad to make another long run this season.


BRAMPTON BATTALION

Key Returnee: Fourth year forward Barclay Goodrow is Brampton's top returning scorer after scoring 26 goals and 52 points last season. He has the ability and will get the playing time to boost those totals this year.

Forwards: The Battalion have several new faces up front this year including Nicholas Foglia, who came over from Ottawa in the off-season. Patrik Machac put up solid numbers (14 goals - 32 points) as a rookie last season and will benefit from increased playing time this year. Brandon Robinson is in a similar situation after scoring 15 goals and 24 points one year ago.

Defence: The Troops have a solid returning group on the back end, including third year studs Dylan Blujus and Marcus McIvor. Overager Cameron Wind and veterans Spencer Abraham and Zach Bell - the team's plus-minus leader with a +22 rating last year - round out the crew.

Goaltending: Matej Machovsky played in 42 games with the Battalion last season, posting a 24-13-0-4 record and will be leaned on to carry the load again this year.

Behind the Bench: Stan Butler remains behind the bench with the Battalion, a post he has held since the franchise entered the OHL 15 years ago. He preaches a solid work ethic game in and game out and his team's success is usually based on it.

 

KINGSTON FRONTENACS

Key Returnee: The Kingston Frontenacs are rebuilding with a solid youth movement and no one is more important to that plan that former Sarnia Sting first rounder Ryan Kujawinski. After coming over in a mid-season trade, the slick pivot dramatically improved his offensive production and finished the season with 17 goals and 42 points. He expects to add more as a sophomore this season.

Forwards: Overage forward Cody Alcock enjoyed a redemption season last year after playing a year of Jr. A in his hometown of Whitby. He is back this year and will combine with Darcy Greenaway - who also came to the Frontenacs  last season from the Jr. A Wellington Dukes - as dependable offensive producers. The Frontenacs are looking forward to a potential breakout season for Billy Jenkins as well as veteran Trevor Morbeck, who frequently lined up with Kujawinski in the second half last season.

Defence: The Frontenacs are anxious to see how second overall pick Roland McKeown adjusts to life in the OHL. The former Toronto Marlies' captain has been compared to NHL defencemen like Drew Doughty and Scott Niedermayer. Michael Moffat had a solid season with the Frontenacs last year and will be counted on to log big minutes again this year. Warren Steele and Kyler Nixon will also see lots of ice while Import pick Mikko Vainonen is a potential shut down-type defender.

Goaltending: The Frontenacs are going with some experienced help between the pipes after bringing in overager Mike Morrison from the Peterborough Petes in the off-season. Rookie Colin Furlong will get in some time as the backup.

Behind the Bench: In his rookie season behind the bench, Todd Gill started to make some progress in creating an identity for his young squad. Gill guided Canada's Under-18 team to a gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament this summer and has been anxious to get the Frontenacs' season started ever since.

 

MISSISSAUGA STEELHEADS

Key Returnee: Veteran forward Riley Brace knew that he needed to step up offensively last year to help his team recover from the graduation of several top end players. He responded by more than doubling his previous season totals and finished the year with 33 goals and 82 points. He will be counted on again this year for more numbers.

Forwards: The Steelheads have a good mix of veterans and youth up front but will rely on a big contribution from Kristoff Kontos as well as increases in production from Justin Rasmussen, Scott Teskey and Brett Foy. Winger Damian Bourne was the Steelheads' first round pick in April and will get every opportunity to contribute this season.

Defence: The Steelheads boast a veteran group on the back end that will be anchored by Maple Leafs' blue chipper Stuart Percy. Veteran Dylan DeMelo also brings loads of experience and some offensive spark while Trevor Carrick, Alex Cord and Eric Diodati will all take on bigger roles this season.

Goaltending: The Steelheads have very high hopes that sophomore Spencer Martin will follow the same path as their recent run of terrific goaltenders. Tyson Teichmann is a former first round pick that bounced around a bit last year. He is looking to prove that he has the ability to win at this level.

Behind the Bench: James Boyd earned a reputation during his playing days as a no-nonsense, hard working grinder and always instills that work ethic into his group.

 

NIAGARA ICEDOGS

Key Returnee: Dougie Hamilton has established himself as one of the premiere defencemen in junior hockey and will not only be one of the IceDogs' key returnees, but Team Canada's as well for the World Junior Championship. He is a horse that plays in every situation and causes trouble for opponents. If there is an NHL season, he will get a long look with the Boston Bruins.

Forwards: Ryan Strome saw his production drop off a bit last year but still managed a 30-goal, 68-point season in just 46 games. He is a likely threat to the OHL scoring title this season and can single-handily win games for his team. Overager Steven Shipley is a former OHL first rounder that could put up big numbers this season. The IceDogs are also looking for veterans Myles Doan and Brett Ritchie to make big contributions.

Defence: Hamilton is the obvious anchor and scored 17 times from the point last season but he is surrounded by a solid group that includes Shayne Rover and Brock Beukeboom as well as highly regarded third year defenders Jesse Graham and Luke Mercer. First round pick Aaron Haydon has already made an impression on his coaches and should contribute right away.

Goaltending: Christopher Festarini has long been considered an OHL-calibre goaltender and should finally get the opportunity to shoulder the bulk of the load for the team this year. Rookie Brent Moran will back up.

Behind the Bench: Marty Williamson guided the IceDogs to the OHL finals last season and while they have lost a lot of key players to graduation, he has a knack of getting more out of his group than expected.

 

OSHAWA GENERALS

Key Returnee: The Generals have been rewarded greatly for making a big deal to bring Lucas Lessio into the OHL and the veteran forward could challenge for the OHL's scoring title this season. He has already enjoyed 27 and 34-goal seasons and looks like he's capable of even more this time around.

Forwards: Captain Boone Jenner is a bona-fide heart and soul type that confidently plays in every situation for the Generals. Former first round OHL pick and recent Philadelphia Flyers first rounder Scott Laughton is a similar type of player and will likely build on his offensive totals again this season. Maple Leafs' prospect Tyler Biggs arrived as a 19-year-old rookie last week but could be a big contributor this season.

Defence: Overage defenders Geoffrey Schemitsch and Matt Petgrave anchor the back end for the Generals while veteran Colin Suellentrop will also put out lots of minutes. Josh Brown and Chris Carlisle are both looking to step up after playing limited roles last season.

Goaltending: The Generals made a big swing in bringing in potential star Daniel Altshuller last season and made room for him to be the regular starter this season. Rookie Ken Appleby will sub in a few starts along the way.

Behind the Bench: New General Manager Jeff Twohey wasted no time in giving D.J. Smith his first shot at being the main man behind the bench. Smith helped the Windsor Spitfires become one of the most dominant teams in CHL history working with Bob Boughner.

 

OTTAWA 67'S

Key Returnee: With the graduation of super sniper Tyler Toffoli, the 67's will be counting heavily on 2013 NHL Entry Draft prospect Sean Monahan continuing his development as an elite level forward. He has already scored 53 goals in his first two OHL seasons and should approach the 40-goal plateau this season.

Forwards: The 67's also graduated Shane Prince, who combined with Toffoli for 95 goals and 190 points last season, so the 67's will be looking for everyone up front to step up. Steven Janes enjoyed a big bump in his production last year and showed signs of becoming a go-to type of player for the 67's this year. Veteran Tyler Graovac and first rounder Dante Salituro will also be regular contributors and Brett Gustavsen looks like he could hit high offensive marks this season.

Defence: The Ottawa Senators won't have to put in any miles to keep tabs on prized defensive prospect Cody Ceci as the 67's play out of ScotiaBank Place this season. Ceci brings it all to the 67's blueline and should get a chance to represent Canada at the World Juniors. Overager Jake Cardwell will also play in many situations and help steady the 67's relatively young blueline group.

Goaltending: Overager Keegan Wilson was brought in from Brampton to carry the bulk of the load for the 67's while Michael Nishi and rookie Jacob Blair battle for the back-up role.

Behind the Bench: Chris Byrne had the unenviable task of replacing the legendary Brian Kilrea behind the bench and in the front office and has done well to make a name for himself along with an identity for his squad.

 

PETERBOROUGH PETES

Key Returnee: Alan Quine was tabbed as a key to the Petes' rebuilding process two years ago and has delivered on those expectations ever since. He is an offensive catalyst and a key to the Petes' success this season.

Forwards: Former top pick Nick Ritchie had a solid rookie campaign and comes into this season with sky high expectations that he has the skill to deliver on. Rookie Stephen Nosad flew under the radar a bit last year and put together a respectable seven goals and 32 points and the Petes would love to see him push that a bit further this year.

Defence: Captain Slater Koekkoek suffered an injury in a pre-season game against Oshawa and the Petes are anxiously eying his return early in the season. The Tampa Bay Lightning first rounder is an elite level defender that excels in all situations. The Petes have a solid group of veterans on the back end that also includes Connor Boland, Clark Seymour and Steven Trojanovic.

Goaltending: Veteran Andrew D'Agostini has put up solid minutes in the past two seasons for the Petes and is anxious to take the bulk of the load this season. Rookie Michael Giugovaz will back up.

Behind the Bench: After missing the playoffs the past two seasons, Mike Pelino feels like he has the horses to get him to the post-season this time around. He may have trouble finding offence in the early going but they shouldn't give up too many chances either.

 

SUDBURY WOLVES

Key Returnee: After scoring 32 goals and 73 points last season, the Wolves are anxious to see what third year forward Joshua Leivo can do for an encore. He was a consistent threat all season long and that could translate into even better numbers this season.

Forwards: Overager Mike Kantor has been an effective two-way presence throughout his OHL career but after leading the Wolves in scoring and being named the top forward in last month's Junior Club World Cup tournament in Russia, he may be ready for a prime time scoring role this season. The third year duo of Brody Silk and Mathew Campagna should be fun to watch this season and sophomore Nicholas Baptiste is very highly regarded for his size and skill.

Defence: The Wolves have a veteran group on the back end including Justin Sefton, Frank Corrado and overager Charlie Dodero but they are also excited to welcome first round pick Conor Cummins into the fold.

Goaltending: Overager Joel Vienneau has secured the starting role and provides lots of composure from the net out. Rookie Taylor Dupuis will battle for the odd start while learning on the job.

Behind the Bench: Trent Cull helped his team get an early start on the season by winning the International tournament last month and feels like that experience in Russia will help his team bond quickly this season.

By Aaron Bell

 

The 2012-13 Ontario Hockey League regular season schedule of games opens next week. Here is an advance look at the Eastern Conference.

 

BARRIE COLTS

Key Returnee: When Mark Scheifele made a late return to the Colts lineup from the Winnipeg Jets last October, he went on an offensive tear that was a huge boost for the rebuilding squad. This year, he should be a dominant force in the Eastern Conference unless he gets another chance with the Jets.

Forwards: Zach Hall made some big strides offensively last year and has the skill set to fill the net on a regular basis. Anthony Camara is another offensive threat and will see lots of time on the top line with Scheifele. The Colts were thrilled to pick up promising youngster Andreas Athanasiou from the London Knights before the season started.

Defence: Despite being just 16-years-old, 2012 Rookie of the Year Aaron Ekblad already has the poise of an OHL veteran and will log huge minutes for the Colts this season. Fellow sophomore Alex Yuill also has great speed and instincts and is expected to play a bigger role this season. Overager and newly named captain Ryan O'Connor brings a bunch of savvy to the back end.

Goaltending: German overager Mathias Niederberger proved last year that he was capable of playing lots of minutes and will again this year.

Behind the Bench: Dale Hawerchuk helped the Colts become one of the biggest surprises in the OHL when they made great strides forward last year in his second season behind the bench. He will be hoping to build off of that again this year.

 

BELLEVILLE BULLS

Key Returnee: Skilled forward Brendan Gaunce comes into his third season with the Bulls with sky-high expectations that he plans to meet. The first rounder of the Vancouver Canucks improved on his rookie season totals with 28 goals and 68 points last season and is primed to become one of the elite offensive producers in the Eastern Conference this season.

Forwards: The Bulls have a deep group of veterans at every position this season including up front. The trio of 19-year-old forwards Michael Curtis, Austen Brassard and Carter Sandlak all have something to prove this year. Russians Sergey Kuptsov and Daniil Zharkov also bring a lot of skill while veteran Garrett Hooey proved to be a versatile performer last season.

Defence: Former first round pick Stephen Silas anchors the Bulls' blueline after putting up solid offensive numbers in his first four seasons. He will be counted on to pull his plus-minus rating above the line this year. Free agent pick up Jason Shaw, a Belleville native, turned into one of the Bulls' most consistent defenders last season. The hulking Brady Austin and slick sophomore Jordan Subban will both play important roles this year.

Goaltending: Malcolm Subban is a star in the making and that was never more apparent than when the Boston Bruins snapped him up in the first round of the NHL Draft last June in Pittsburgh. The team's fortunes came and went with Subban last year and they will look to him to carry the ball this time around.

Behind the Bench: In eight seasons behind the Bulls' bench, George Burnett has seen all of the highs and lows. He took the team through 10 playoff rounds and an appearance in the MasterCard Memorial Cup during a three-year stretch and hopes that he has rebuilt his squad to make another long run this season.


BRAMPTON BATTALION

Key Returnee: Fourth year forward Barclay Goodrow is Brampton's top returning scorer after scoring 26 goals and 52 points last season. He has the ability and will get the playing time to boost those totals this year.

Forwards: The Battalion have several new faces up front this year including Nicholas Foglia, who came over from Ottawa in the off-season. Patrik Machac put up solid numbers (14 goals - 32 points) as a rookie last season and will benefit from increased playing time this year. Brandon Robinson is in a similar situation after scoring 15 goals and 24 points one year ago.

Defence: The Troops have a solid returning group on the back end, including third year studs Dylan Blujus and Marcus McIvor. Overager Cameron Wind and veterans Spencer Abraham and Zach Bell - the team's plus-minus leader with a +22 rating last year - round out the crew.

Goaltending: Matej Machovsky played in 42 games with the Battalion last season, posting a 24-13-0-4 record and will be leaned on to carry the load again this year.

Behind the Bench: Stan Butler remains behind the bench with the Battalion, a post he has held since the franchise entered the OHL 15 years ago. He preaches a solid work ethic game in and game out and his team's success is usually based on it.

 

KINGSTON FRONTENACS

Key Returnee: The Kingston Frontenacs are rebuilding with a solid youth movement and no one is more important to that plan that former Sarnia Sting first rounder Ryan Kujawinski. After coming over in a mid-season trade, the slick pivot dramatically improved his offensive production and finished the season with 17 goals and 42 points. He expects to add more as a sophomore this season.

Forwards: Overage forward Cody Alcock enjoyed a redemption season last year after playing a year of Jr. A in his hometown of Whitby. He is back this year and will combine with Darcy Greenaway - who also came to the Frontenacs  last season from the Jr. A Wellington Dukes - as dependable offensive producers. The Frontenacs are looking forward to a potential breakout season for Billy Jenkins as well as veteran Trevor Morbeck, who frequently lined up with Kujawinski in the second half last season.

Defence: The Frontenacs are anxious to see how second overall pick Roland McKeown adjusts to life in the OHL. The former Toronto Marlies' captain has been compared to NHL defencemen like Drew Doughty and Scott Niedermayer. Michael Moffat had a solid season with the Frontenacs last year and will be counted on to log big minutes again this year. Warren Steele and Kyler Nixon will also see lots of ice while Import pick Mikko Vainonen is a potential shut down-type defender.

Goaltending: The Frontenacs are going with some experienced help between the pipes after bringing in overager Mike Morrison from the Peterborough Petes in the off-season. Rookie Colin Furlong will get in some time as the backup.

Behind the Bench: In his rookie season behind the bench, Todd Gill started to make some progress in creating an identity for his young squad. Gill guided Canada's Under-18 team to a gold medal at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament this summer and has been anxious to get the Frontenacs' season started ever since.

 

MISSISSAUGA STEELHEADS

Key Returnee: Veteran forward Riley Brace knew that he needed to step up offensively last year to help his team recover from the graduation of several top end players. He responded by more than doubling his previous season totals and finished the year with 33 goals and 82 points. He will be counted on again this year for more numbers.

Forwards: The Steelheads have a good mix of veterans and youth up front but will rely on a big contribution from Kristoff Kontos as well as increases in production from Justin Rasmussen, Scott Teskey and Brett Foy. Winger Damian Bourne was the Steelheads' first round pick in April and will get every opportunity to contribute this season.

Defence: The Steelheads boast a veteran group on the back end that will be anchored by Maple Leafs' blue chipper Stuart Percy. Veteran Dylan DeMelo also brings loads of experience and some offensive spark while Trevor Carrick, Alex Cord and Eric Diodati will all take on bigger roles this season.

Goaltending: The Steelheads have very high hopes that sophomore Spencer Martin will follow the same path as their recent run of terrific goaltenders. Tyson Teichmann is a former first round pick that bounced around a bit last year. He is looking to prove that he has the ability to win at this level.

Behind the Bench: James Boyd earned a reputation during his playing days as a no-nonsense, hard working grinder and always instills that work ethic into his group.

 

NIAGARA ICEDOGS

Key Returnee: Dougie Hamilton has established himself as one of the premiere defencemen in junior hockey and will not only be one of the IceDogs' key returnees, but Team Canada's as well for the World Junior Championship. He is a horse that plays in every situation and causes trouble for opponents. If there is an NHL season, he will get a long look with the Boston Bruins.

Forwards: Ryan Strome saw his production drop off a bit last year but still managed a 30-goal, 68-point season in just 46 games. He is a likely threat to the OHL scoring title this season and can single-handily win games for his team. Overager Steven Shipley is a former OHL first rounder that could put up big numbers this season. The IceDogs are also looking for veterans Myles Doan and Brett Ritchie to make big contributions.

Defence: Hamilton is the obvious anchor and scored 17 times from the point last season but he is surrounded by a solid group that includes Shayne Rover and Brock Beukeboom as well as highly regarded third year defenders Jesse Graham and Luke Mercer. First round pick Aaron Haydon has already made an impression on his coaches and should contribute right away.

Goaltending: Christopher Festarini has long been considered an OHL-calibre goaltender and should finally get the opportunity to shoulder the bulk of the load for the team this year. Rookie Brent Moran will back up.

Behind the Bench: Marty Williamson guided the IceDogs to the OHL finals last season and while they have lost a lot of key players to graduation, he has a knack of getting more out of his group than expected.

 

OSHAWA GENERALS

Key Returnee: The Generals have been rewarded greatly for making a big deal to bring Lucas Lessio into the OHL and the veteran forward could challenge for the OHL's scoring title this season. He has already enjoyed 27 and 34-goal seasons and looks like he's capable of even more this time around.

Forwards: Captain Boone Jenner is a bona-fide heart and soul type that confidently plays in every situation for the Generals. Former first round OHL pick and recent Philadelphia Flyers first rounder Scott Laughton is a similar type of player and will likely build on his offensive totals again this season. Maple Leafs' prospect Tyler Biggs arrived as a 19-year-old rookie last week but could be a big contributor this season.

Defence: Overage defenders Geoffrey Schemitsch and Matt Petgrave anchor the back end for the Generals while veteran Colin Suellentrop will also put out lots of minutes. Josh Brown and Chris Carlisle are both looking to step up after playing limited roles last season.

Goaltending: The Generals made a big swing in bringing in potential star Daniel Altshuller last season and made room for him to be the regular starter this season. Rookie Ken Appleby will sub in a few starts along the way.

Behind the Bench: New General Manager Jeff Twohey wasted no time in giving D.J. Smith his first shot at being the main man behind the bench. Smith helped the Windsor Spitfires become one of the most dominant teams in CHL history working with Bob Boughner.

 

OTTAWA 67'S

Key Returnee: With the graduation of super sniper Tyler Toffoli, the 67's will be counting heavily on 2013 NHL Entry Draft prospect Sean Monahan continuing his development as an elite level forward. He has already scored 53 goals in his first two OHL seasons and should approach the 40-goal plateau this season.

Forwards: The 67's also graduated Shane Prince, who combined with Toffoli for 95 goals and 190 points last season, so the 67's will be looking for everyone up front to step up. Steven Janes enjoyed a big bump in his production last year and showed signs of becoming a go-to type of player for the 67's this year. Veteran Tyler Graovac and first rounder Dante Salituro will also be regular contributors and Brett Gustavsen looks like he could hit high offensive marks this season.

Defence: The Ottawa Senators won't have to put in any miles to keep tabs on prized defensive prospect Cody Ceci as the 67's play out of ScotiaBank Place this season. Ceci brings it all to the 67's blueline and should get a chance to represent Canada at the World Juniors. Overager Jake Cardwell will also play in many situations and help steady the 67's relatively young blueline group.

Goaltending: Overager Keegan Wilson was brought in from Brampton to carry the bulk of the load for the 67's while Michael Nishi and rookie Jacob Blair battle for the back-up role.

Behind the Bench: Chris Byrne had the unenviable task of replacing the legendary Brian Kilrea behind the bench and in the front office and has done well to make a name for himself along with an identity for his squad.

 

PETERBOROUGH PETES

Key Returnee: Alan Quine was tabbed as a key to the Petes' rebuilding process two years ago and has delivered on those expectations ever since. He is an offensive catalyst and a key to the Petes' success this season.

Forwards: Former top pick Nick Ritchie had a solid rookie campaign and comes into this season with sky high expectations that he has the skill to deliver on. Rookie Stephen Nosad flew under the radar a bit last year and put together a respectable seven goals and 32 points and the Petes would love to see him push that a bit further this year.

Defence: Captain Slater Koekkoek suffered an injury in a pre-season game against Oshawa and the Petes are anxiously eying his return early in the season. The Tampa Bay Lightning first rounder is an elite level defender that excels in all situations. The Petes have a solid group of veterans on the back end that also includes Connor Boland, Clark Seymour and Steven Trojanovic.

Goaltending: Veteran Andrew D'Agostini has put up solid minutes in the past two seasons for the Petes and is anxious to take the bulk of the load this season. Rookie Michael Giugovaz will back up.

Behind the Bench: After missing the playoffs the past two seasons, Mike Pelino feels like he has the horses to get him to the post-season this time around. He may have trouble finding offence in the early going but they shouldn't give up too many chances either.

 

SUDBURY WOLVES

Key Returnee: After scoring 32 goals and 73 points last season, the Wolves are anxious to see what third year forward Joshua Leivo can do for an encore. He was a consistent threat all season long and that could translate into even better numbers this season.

Forwards: Overager Mike Kantor has been an effective two-way presence throughout his OHL career but after leading the Wolves in scoring and being named the top forward in last month's Junior Club World Cup tournament in Russia, he may be ready for a prime time scoring role this season. The third year duo of Brody Silk and Mathew Campagna should be fun to watch this season and sophomore Nicholas Baptiste is very highly regarded for his size and skill.

Defence: The Wolves have a veteran group on the back end including Justin Sefton, Frank Corrado and overager Charlie Dodero but they are also excited to welcome first round pick Conor Cummins into the fold.

Goaltending: Overager Joel Vienneau has secured the starting role and provides lots of composure from the net out. Rookie Taylor Dupuis will battle for the odd start while learning on the job.

Behind the Bench: Trent Cull helped his team get an early start on the season by winning the International tournament last month and feels like that experience in Russia will help his team bond quickly this season.

Schedule & Results Previous Games
  Thursday December 18
SSM 0 1 GUE 1st - 6:16
OS 1 1 NIA 1st - 5:18
BELV 2 0 PBO 1st - 10:02
SAG 0 0 WSR 1st - 9:35
PLY
BAR 7:30
Fan Zone

Get the Insider

Be the first to know what's happening in the OHL.