Three (Future) Star Selection: Sarnia Sting
by, 03-06-2013 at 03:13 (10633 Views)
In this edition of Three (Future) Star Selection, we’ll take a look at the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League.
The Sting have taken a long road to get to where they are today. In fact, the franchise didn’t even start out in the OHL but rather was an original franchise of the QMJHL. That version of the team was called the Cornwall Royals and played in the QMJHL from 1969 until 1981 when they changed leagues and started skating in the OHL. They moved to Newmarket for the 1992 season and kept the team name “Royals”. Purchased by the Ciccarelli brothers in 1994 and moved to Sarnia, the Sting currently play out of the 4000+ seat RBC Center.
A virtual lock to make the playoffs every year (15 out of 19), the Sting have yet to find success in those playoffs with their best finish coming in 2007-08, when they made it to the conference semi-finals.
The Sting have had no trouble producing NHL caliber talent having sent 37 players to the big leagues. Among the notable names are Dan Carcillo, NHL hits leader Matt Martin, Calder trophy candidate Alex Galchenyuk, and first overall picks Nail Yakupov and Steven Stamkos.
Third Star: Charles Sarault (20) – Sarnia Sting – Center - @sarault12
Talk about playing your way into a contract. Sarault picked a great time to have a career year, currently leading the OHL in points with 102 and assists with 80. A slick, skilled center, Sarault has a knack for putting the puck on the tape of his line mates sticks in scoring positions. Featuring a deceptive wrist shot, Sarault can find the back of the net as well, illustrated by back to back 20 goal seasons. The Sting captain will be looking to lead his team deep into the playoffs.
Fantasy Future - one out of three stars
Second Star: Reid Boucher (19) – Sarnia Sting – Winger
Goals anyone? Reid Boucher knows how to score goals, lots and lots of goals. Playing on a team who’s history boasts OHL scoring leaders (Aaron Brand 1995-96 and Peter Sarno 1998-99) and a two time Rocket Richard trophy winner (Stamkos 2009-10 and 2011-12), Boucher has outperformed them all when it comes to putting the puck in the net. With 60 goals in 63 games so far this year, the New Jersey Devils draft pick has secured his spot in the Sting record books. Armed with a lightning quick release and deadly accurate shot, Boucher has certainly polished his offensive game this year but that’s not all. While he will never contend for any defensive awards, Boucher has worked hard to change that part of his game, with success. His rating of +14 this year is 33 points higher than it was last year (.-19). Showing the will and determination to make himself a more complete player, Boucher could be exactly what the goal starved Devils need.
Fantasy Future – two out of three stars
First Star: Anthony DeAngelo (17) – Sarnia Sting – Defense - @TonyDee07
A raw talent on the backend, DeAngelo has the tools to go all the way to the NHL. An effortless skater with great offensive instincts, he also doesn’t mind the dirty part of the game, with four fighting majors to his credit. A true diamond in the rough, with the right coaching, DeAngelo can become a game changer for some lucky NHL team. Expect some seasoning in the minors to start his career.
Fantasy Future – one out of three stars
The question that surrounds the Sting is a simple one. When will they find playoff success? The recipe is a simple one, success in hockey starts at the top and trickles down throughout the organization. The Sting have top notch ownership, a general manager and coach who has built a championship team before and top end talent on the ice. Only time will tell if the Sting make a deep run at their first OHL championship but this franchise is due and has the necessary parts. Don’t bet against them.
As always, I invite your comments and opinions and thank you for taking the time to read Three (Future) Star Selection. Join me on Twitter @fiveminutemajor
Charles Sarault just signed an entry level contract with the Anaheim Ducks