By David Dickenson
With the 2012 OHL Priority Selection set for this weekend I have updated my earlier 2012 OHL mock draft taking into account the information received from the OHL cup. The list has also been expanded and now is inclusive through the first two rounds of the Priority Draft. The draft is live April seventh at nine am on the OHL web site.
1. Erie Otters C-Connor McDavid (ON) Toronto Marlboros *** EXCEPTIONAL PLAYER STATUS ***
This is only the second time in the past seven years (last year Aaron Ekblad achieved that status and was chosen first overall by the Barrie Colts) that an under aged player has achieved exceptional player status. When breaking it down McDavid clearly is the epitome of the term exceptional, so much so that some are even comparing him with a similar skill set to that of Sidney Crosby. While it’s unlikely he will be able to live up to such lofty praise, an extra year of action in the OHL will not only help him cement his own legacy, but also manage to help revitalize an Erie Otters franchise that appeared close to packing its bags and moving to Hamilton, Ontario.
2. Kingston Frontenacs D - Roland McKeown (ON) Toronto Marlboros
McKeown wouldn’t be the Fronts first choice, but a good one for the team none the less. Logic would dictate McDavid’s linemate and stud forward Joshua Ho-Sang be the choice here, but rumors around the province having him indicating there are a number of teams he would not report to, and that is a situation the Fronts can’t afford to put themselves in again, after making the calculated move last year to pick up Max Domi. With a dearth of first round talent in the defensive position, Kingston will gladly pick up McKeown and his Drew Doughty-esque do-everything skill set and still be able to pick up a forward at their compensatory pick at #9 overall.
3. Peterborough Petes C/LW - Eric Cornel (ON) Upper Canada Cyclones
Cornel isn’t the flashiest kid on the ice, but he usually ends up being one of the best. He’s tall and lanky and needs to fill out his frame, but he’s been a key player and scorer at every level of hockey he ever played. He’s taken that note even farther this season after his team was eliminated from the playoffs, he stepped up to a weak Kemptville Jr. A club and was putting up a point a game and was the best player on the ice for them as a 15 year old. He’ll be a solid, no headache top line guy for the Petes, who has speed to burn.
4. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds C - Robby Fabbri (ON) Mississauga Rebels
Fabbri is going to be a very good hockey player and might be the best total mix of everything in the draft. He was a leader for the Rebels all season, has some sand paper to his game, can score and seems to make the players around him better. He’ll be a guy, who you were glad you chose in the draft. While he may not be the fanciest of players or the best future NHL prospect he may be one of the best players to build your team around in the draft.
5. Windsor Spitfires W/C - Joshua Ho-Sang (ON) Toronto Marlboros
With the exception of McDavid, Ho-Sang is hands down the most talented player in the draft and likely would have gone at every spot from #2 to here if there weren’t rumours he would not report to certain clubs. He’s a standout talent, who has a little Pavel Datsyuk to his game and literally control play out there by himself. Windsor will be ecstatic with the addition of Ho-Sang as they retool for next year’s big run. The only real knock on his game is he tends to be considered more of an individual player with exceptional skills instead of an exceptional player who makes the players around him better.
6. Guelph Storm RW/C - Jared McCann (ON) London Jr. Knights
McCann is another good pickup. A strong winger, who always finds ways to score and make his team better. He’ll be a nice addition to team with the likes of Hunter Garlent and a solid young Guelph squad as they make their way back to the league’s elite. He’s known for rushing the puck and can make or break plays that way. He’ll be a really good pick for the Storm.
7. Oshawa Generals C - Michael Dal Colle (ON) Vaughan Kings
Dal Colle may have gained a little ground here since there’s rumoured to be a group of kids not enamoured with heading to one of the OHL’s farthest outposts of the Soo. Either way this ends up being a nice fit for both Dal Colle and the club. The big pivot has some nice skills and should be a key player on offence and will contribute right away at both ends of the ice. His size and play should benefit him well in his NHL draft year and has already received some comparisons to former Greyhound and current LA King Jeff Carter.
8. Owen Sound Attack D - Jacob Middleton (ON) Huron Perth Lakers
Middleton is the number 2 defender on the board after McKeown, but also marks a quite large drop off in the position as well. He’s large, mobile, and plays well both on offence with a good point shot and shutting down the oppositions top line, but just doesn’t have that top end skill McKeown has. He’ll make an impact as a good defender in the OHL and may fit in the top pairing, but he won’t be a top end guy in the NHL.
9. Kingston Frontenacs C/RW - Sam Bennett (ON) Toronto Marlboros
A linemate of Ho-Sang and McDavid, Bennett not only fits in with those two, but at times was the more consistent performer. He’s not as flashy as his Marlboros linemates, but he’s a strong right winger, who will fit in on the Fronts first line and contribute in every facet of the game. He’s good at getting his nose dirty to help his linemates, or crowd the crease if needed, while also managing to have lots of skill.
10. Belleville Bulls LW - Brett Hargrave (ON) Mississauga Rebels
This guy has size, speed and skill. From day one, his 6’4” frame and matching skills will make him an impact player in the OHL and have NHL teams down the line salivating. His best attribute may not be his size but his breakaway speed, which allows him to burn defenders similar to that of much smaller players. Hargrave looks like a man amongst boys out there and will be an immediate help to the Bulls.
11. St. Michael’s Majors LW - Jeremiah Addison (ON) Toronto Marlboros
Addison is a guy, who really found his game at the midway point of the season and really excelled from there. He’s shown flashes of brilliance in the second half of the season and is very athletic and skilled. He doesn’t mind a little hard work to get a scoring opportunity for his team, and plays the physical aspect of the game quite well.
12. Saginaw Spirit C - Spencer Watson (ON) London Jr. Knights
Watson is a pure offensive beast. He’s shifty, quick and manages to create opportunities for his linemates. As long as he has the wingers to compliment his game he can be a top scorer at the OHL level and a great asset for any team. He has a few elements of his game that remind some of Joey Hishon and should have a similar impact.
13. Sarnia Sting LW - Brook Hiddink (ON) Elgin Middlesex Chiefs
Hiddink is a solid, but not spectacular winger, who has plenty of experience playing against larger and older players throughout his junior career. He manages to put points on the board and work hard to make those around him better, but often doesn’t get the credit he deserves because he’s not as fancy as other kids in the class.
14. Sudbury Wolves RW - Andrew Abou-Assaly (ON) Ottawa Jr. 67’s
Abou-Assaly has been a scoring machine the last few years, but tended to be a little overlooked since he played in the Ottawa District Minor Hockey Association, which at times doesn’t have the same rep or notoriety as the other Ontario leagues. All his hard work and natural offensive abilities have finally registered for scouts after an impressive performance at the OHL Cup where he led his team to a semi-final berth and finished second to Connor McDavid in tournament scoring. He’ll fit in nicely with other Ottawa area forwards helping lead the Wolves resurgence.
15. Brampton Battalion C - Damian Bourne (ON) Mississauga Rebels
Bourne is quite frankly a Stan Butler type of player, he works hard, he’s big, he can be physical, but he still has some skill. His size is a tremendous asset to his game and will be able to step in and contribute right away, but he may lack the high end upside of other players in his class. He’s no slouch in his own end of the rink either as he plays a nice all-round game.
16. Barrie Colts G - Liam Herbst (ON) Mississauga Rebels
He’s a big keeper who’s managed to excel in some big games throughout minor hockey. He’s played a key role in helping the Rebels to past provincial championships, though as of late shown a couple chinks in the armour with a few shaky games in the GTHL playoffs. He’ll be a strong OHL goaltender and should have a good upside to possibly have a bright professional future beyond that.
17. Kitchener Rangers LW/C - Jaden Lindo (ON) Toronto Marlboros
Lindo will be a bit of a sleeper pick that could end up being a home run, for whichever team picks him. He’s a very athletic talent, who’s fast, physical and seems to be everywhere on the ice at times. While he may still need to learn a few of the games finer points of positioning, he has all the makings of another Devante Pelly-Smith who was a heck of an OHL player in his own right.
18. Ottawa 67’s C - Dante Salituro (ON) Don Mills Flyers
Ottawa looks for a forward who can put the puck in the net and comes up with their next Tyler Toffoli with Dante Salituro. He’s a pure scorer, who is a perfect pick to fill in for some scoring lost from projected graduations of a talented 67’s forward corps. While slight in size, Salituro can play with the big boys and always manages to find a way to contribute offensively; he‘s a future league scoring champ.
19. Plymouth Whalers C - Michael Cramarossa (ON) Toronto Marlboros
He does everything pretty well, and would have gotten more ice time and press if he wasn’t over shadowed by some stellar teammates who have scouts drooling. Like his older brother a current OHLer, Cramarossa will be able to chip in offensively, provide some energy to the game and still manage to be responsible in his own end of the rink.
20. Niagara Ice Dogs LW - Matt Schmalz (ON) Southern Tier Admirals
Schmalz is an area kid, who will help the Ice Dogs fill their new arena when it opens, but in addition he’s also a really good player who will help out. He may not be a dynamic player, but at 6’5” he definitely fit’s a power forward role for the club and should be counted on to be physical on the ice and keep up the team’s aggressive style of play.
21. Niagara Ice Dogs D - Dylan DiPerna (ON) Mississauga Rebels
DiPerna is a solid pickup for the Ice Dogs who are trying to rebuild their back end with solid players who will replace a strong graduating crop of players and try to keep the team at the top of the league. DiPerna is a solid all round defender who has excelled as the top blue liner on one of the provinces’ top teams in the Mississauga Rebels.
22. London Knights D - Trevor Abbott (ON) London Jr. Knights
The Knights will risk the temptation to pick an uber-talented American kid here, who may or may not come to the OHL. So in response they look to their own back yard and pick up a strong naturally offensive defenceman to add a little glitz to their back end. Abbot isn’t the biggest blue liner out there, but knows how to make smart plays and get an offensive rush going. He’ll be a nice compliment to youngsters Bo Horvat and Max Domi on the power play.
23. Kingston Frontenacs C/W - David Miller (ON) Mississauga Rebels
24. Kingston Frontenacs C - Niki Petti (ON) Southern Tier Admirals
25. Peterborough Petes LW - Owen McDade (ON) Ottawa Valley Titans
26. Owen Sound Attack D - Jonathan Duchesne (ON) Vaughan Kings
27. Erie Otters LW - Jake Evans (ON) Mississauga Rebels
28. St. Michael’s Majors D - Daniel DeSousa (ON) Toronto Marlboros
29. London Knights LW - Blake Clarke (MO) St. Louis Amateur Blues U-18
30. Guelph Storm D - Patrick Sanvido (ON) Guelph Jr. Storm
31. Belleville Bulls D - Graeme Brown (ON) Greater Kingston Jr. Frontenacs
32. Saginaw Spirit D - Justin Felker (ON) Southern Tier Admirals
33. Plymouth Whalers LW - Dylan Larkin (MI) Detroit Belle Tire
34. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds LW - Michael Amadio (ON) Soo Thunderbirds
35. Erie Otters C - Alex Tuch (NY) Syracuse Stars Jr. B
36. Brampton Batallion W - Jordan Addesi (ON) Vaughan Kings
37. Saginaw Spirit D - Kyle Locke (ON) York Simcoe Express
38. St. Michael’s Majors W - Connor Cobbold (ON) Ottawa Valley Titans
39. Ottawa 67’s G - Brent Moran (ON) Ottawa Jr. 67’s
40. Sarnia Sting LW - Brendan Lemieux (ON) Toronto Red Wings
41. Windsor Spitfires C - Nick Schmaltz (IL) Chicago Mission U-16
42. Barrie Colts D - Connor Cummins (ON) Whitby Wildcats
43. London Knights C - Ryan MacInnis (MO) St. Louis Amateur Blues U-16