2014/2015 Outlook

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2014/2015 Outlook

Post by Macker88 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 5:34 pm

So I've read on this Forum on a few occassions people talking about next season. Sure it's barely past the half way mark of this season, but I figured throwing something out there would help peoples views on next season. Some think the Generals will be brutal next season, some thing next year is our year. Here is some information and my personal opinion, but you be the judge yourself.

Barrie Colts
Barrie will be losing OA's Mitchell Theoret, a New York Islanders Draft pick and top 6 forward, Zach Hall a PPG player & Tyson Fawcett, an energy player who has contributed offensively in his last season in the OHL. Also they very likely will be losing 94 born & Colorado Avalanche draft pick Joseph Blandisi to the AHL. There is about a 30% chance he returns in my opinion, as Colorado is pretty thin at the forward position as far as prospects go. Andreas Athanasiou is another 94 born NHL draft pick. Athanasiou is a Detroit Red Wings pick, he has a slightly better chance at returning for an OA season as Detroit is very deep at the Forward position as far as prospects go. Martin Frk a former 1st rounder and hugely successful player in the QMJHL has spent the majority of the season in ECHL. Detroit is a team who doesn't rush their players to the NHL, but they do like them to get to the pro level as quick as possible, so despite Athanasiou likely playing in the ECHL next season, he'll more then likely turn pro. Garrett Hooey, their final '94 born forward will in all likely hood return for his OA season. It wouldn't surprise me to see him invited to NHL camps and AHL camps, but despite his constant improvements he'll likely benefit from an OA season. Expect him back. Up front the Colts will return Brendan Lemieux who will likely be a late 1st round NHL pick this season or early to mid 2nd round. Kevin Labanc & Andrew Mangiapane will also return and will be mid to late round NHL draft picks. On top of those guys this look for the Colts to return, Nick Pastorious, Matt Kreis, Justin Scott & Cordell James. On the back end, Aaron Ekblad is eligible return, but there is little to know chance he returns, especially if he slips to Edmonton at #2. He would be a top 4 D-Man in Edmonton right now if he was on their roster. Jake Dotchin is a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect, and with them graduating so many prospects to the NHL, he's likely headed for the AHL. At this point he's probably 70/30 in favor of sticking in the AHL. Liam Maaskant & Jonathan Laser are returning 94 born D-Men and those 2 combined with Hooey will be the Colts 3 OA's in 14/15. Mac Clutsam, Josh Carrick, CJ Garcia & Michael Webster should all be back. In goal, Daniel Gibl is an Import 95, he'll likely return unless the Colts feel 96 born MacKenzie Blackwood has cemented himself as a capable #1 goalie. A little side not with the goal tending. If the Colts can add to quality imports players, don't be surprised if Gibl doesn't return and the Colts pick a '98 born goalie early in this years OHL Entry Draft.

Belleville Bulls
Gone to OA are Cameron Brace, Scott Simmonds & Jake Worrad. Brace & Worrad are key contributors and will be missed, but with a strong core of young players returning, the loss wont be as hard to take. Defenseman Adam Bignell is the only 94 currently listed on the Bulls roster, so going into 14/15 the Bulls will be able to add two overage players. With lots of teams having 5 or 6 94's set to return this puts the Bulls in a very good position to acquire a couple quality OHL veterans. The Bulls shouldn't lose any current roster player to the NHL and with only 94's being eligible to make the jump to the AHL the whole forward, d-core and goaltenders should return. Remi Elie, a Dallas Stars prospect has really flourished with more ice time in Belleville and look for him to have a huge year next year. Stephen Harper has also seen a spike in points since his trade from Erie, being a 4th year player next year he should once again see a point increase. With so many young forward one or two should break out offensively and my picks would be Niki Petti & Aaron Berisha. On the back end Jordan Subban should again improve even more offensively, but also defensively. Subban has improved immensely defensively since being a 1st round OHL pick just a few years ago. Justin Lemcke should have a solid sophomore season and expect the Bulls to select d-man Jacob Chychrun 1st overall in the OHL draft. This kid is not Aaron Ekblad.. but think that kind of impact. In goal, Charlie Graham & Michael Giugovaz should hold down the fort rather well. Expect a big improvement in Belleville next season.

Kingston Frontenacs
Everybody thought this would be Kingston's year to come out of the East, while that might still be the case, its starting to look more an more likely that it won't be. The Fronts will loose, Darcy Greenaway, Michael Moffat & goalie Matt Mahalak to OA next season. Also expect them to lose finish imports Henri Ikonen and Mikko Vainonen. Ikonen is a '94 born Import forward who is a Tampa Bay Lightning prospect. He should make the AHL affiliate of the Lightning, however if he doesn't don't expect him back, its very rare a team keeps an import as their OA. Vainonen on the other hand is a defensemen who is also an import and NHL prospect of the Nashville Predators. I read that Vainonen could of made the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL this season, so I fully expect him to make the jump at the conclusion of this season. Up front Loren Ulett, Robert Polesello, Samuel Schutt & Slater Doggett are all 94 born and headed for their OA seasons. None are drafted or signed by NHL teams so Kingston will have an interesting choice to be made. Polesello was wooed out of the NCAA so expect the Fronts to keep him. Schutt is a top 5 scorer on the team so a case will be made for him. Ulett is the obvious choice of the group of 4 to be released or traded. Slater Doggett is a good checking forward with some offensive upside and I'm sure they'd like to keep him, but with 94 defensemen also returning I assume he'll be traded and part of another OHL team by the start of next season. On the back end Warren Steele & Evan McEney are the teams 94 born players. Warren Steele will be invited to NHL camps and its possible he earns a AHL contract. He should however in all likely hood be back next season. McEney is a big strong two-way defenseman and I find it hard to believe they'd get rid of him, especially with such depth up front, and a defense that should thin out a bit going into next year. The 3rd OA spot will come down to McEney & Schutt, either way they'll loose one of them as well as Doggett and Ulett. Defensively they Fronts will return Ryan Hutchinson, Roland McKeown, Ted Nichol & Matt Watson. Roland McKeown is climbing on NHL draft boards, there is a slight chance he sticks in the NHL, that would be worst case scenario for the Fronts. In net look for Peressini to take over the starters position with Jeremy Helving backing up. Helving is currently the starter with the Toronto Lakeshore Patriots of the OPJAHL. Returning forwards include, Ryan Verbeek, Ryan Kujawinski, Lawson Crouse, Mack Lemmon, Connor McGlynn, Corey Pawley, Spencer Watson and Sam Bennett. Although Bennett is currently rated 1 by central scouting and if he indeed goes number one or more realistically top 3-5 he has a real shot at the NHL next season. Losing McKeown and Bennett could be catastrophic for the Fronts.

Mississauga Steelheads
The Steelheads are only going to loose captain Brett Foy to overage this season. While Foy is a top 6 forward an key contributor to the team this year, that's more so because of the lack of depth with the team. Foy is a 3rd line player on most any other OHL team. 94 born forwards returning are Andrew Goldberg, Brandon Belding & Sam Babintsev. None of these kids are real difference makers, but with no other 94's on the roster they can return. However expect Import Sam Babintsev to not return as the Steelheads will likely wanna upgrade their forward import position. Brandon Belding is a big 6'3 210 forward but with only 3 points in 32 games I'm sure if the opportunity presents itself the Steelheads wouldn't hesitate to upgrade and release Belding. Goldberg has 22 points in 42 games, which right now is actually good for 3rd on the team in points. He's more of a checking forward, but he serves a purpose with the club and I'd bet by the start of the 2014-2015 season he will be the only one of the 3 '94 born players that returns. The Steelheads return a very young, but very solid defense core. With two 95's, three 96's, one 97 and one '98 (Sean Day) Mississauga's d-core is the youngest in the league. However Stefan LeBlanc and Jared Walsh are both going to be drafted to the NHL this season, and possess both solid offensive instincts to go along with ever improving defensively skills. Both are also very smooth, solid skaters. Sean Day might not be producing the Connor McDavid Exceptional Player status numbers, but just watch this kid play and you'll be really impressed. He's very calm with the puck, a fantastic skater, makes good outlet passes and has a heavy shot from the point. At 6'2, 217 and only just turning 16 in January if he adds a physical dimension to his game he could challenge to be the number 1 pick in the NHL draft in two years time. Rounding out the defense core are Stephen Gibson, Greg DiTomaso & "Veterans" Jacob Graves and Nick Zottl. The Steelheads will also return Spencer Martin. Martin is a Colorado Avalanche draft pick and when he's hot he damn near unbeatable. Martin will be arguably the best goalie in the OHL next season and has a strong chance to represent Canada at the World Juniors next season. Also Mississauga will likely be adding a top 5 pick in the OHL draft. They currently hold the 7th pick, but Niagara is just 2 points back with 2 games in hand and Plymouth is just 1 point back. With such offense skill available in the top 10, the Steelheads will undoubtedly be adding a highly skilled forward to there club.

Niagara Icedogs
The Icedogs are another team with just one OA on there roster at this time, and that's Eric Ming. Ming is a contributor and his physicality will be missed but its not gonna be a huge loss to the rebuilding club. Forward Billy Jenkins is their only '94 born forward so he'll more then likely be back as an OA, as will the only '94 born defenseman Luke Mercer. Up front the Icedogs could be very potent with Carter Verhaege, Brendan Perlini, Anthony DiFruscia & Jordan Maletta all returning. Those players are currently the top 4 point producers on the Icedogs. Look for both import players also to return, forward Alexander Protapovich and defensman Aleksander Mikulovich. Graham Knott, Matt Gillard, Mitchell Fitzmorris, Ben Hughes, Johnny Corneil, Hayden McCool (2013/14 1st round Pick) & Cody Caron should also all return. On the backend on top of Mikulovich & Mercer, Blake Siebenaler will also return. Siebenaler is a highly ranked defenseman going into this years NHL draft. While he won't be a first round pick, he could sneak in to the later half of the 2nd round, but in all likely hood will be a 3rd round pick. Joining those 3 D-Men will be Vince Dunn, Brian Bosnan, Aaron Haydon and Zach Wilkie. Aaron Haydon is also a pretty highly ranked defensman as he recently participated in the CHL's Top Prospects game. Goal tending also will not be an issue with Niagara next season as starter Brent Moran will be returning. Moran unseated veteran Chris Festerini as the teams starter at the quarter way mark of the season and hasn't looked back. He has rocketed up the NHL draft charts and likely will see his name called in the later rounds. Blake Richard is a 94 and a backup.. and he's not really good to be honest so I expect him to be all but gone next season. The backup role will likely be filled by a youngster.

North Bay Battalion
North Bay (formerly Brampton) always seem to be a middle of the pack team regardless of the year, and I expect nothing to change next season. They loose captain and top point producer Barclay Goodrow to OA, along with forwards Ben Thomson and Matt MacLeod. Goodrow and Thomson's offense will definitely be missed with the Battalion as they struggle to score goals now even with those two in the lineup. '94 born forwards are import Vincent Praplan, Connor Jarvis, & Jamie Lewis. Although Praplan is 4th on the team in scoring with 29 points in 39 games, he will be an OA import next season and is all but headed back to Switzerland to play in the Swiss Elite league. Jarvis has 7 points in 32 games so I fully expect him to be gone next season. Lewis is by no means an offensive force but he plays a pretty solid all around game and does have 16 points in 45 games and a +3 rating. He'll likely start the season in North Bay, but if the Battalion are contenders he will be a prime candidate to be traded or released in exchange for an upgrade. '94 defensemen are Marcus McIvor, Dylan Blujus & Brendan Miller. Blujus is a 2nd round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2012, so I fully expect him to start the season in the AHL next season, and the 6'3 198lbs defenseman will likely stick their all season. Brendan Miller & Marcus McIvor will return on D and join Jamie Lewis as the 3 OA's going into 2014/2015. Nick Paul & Mike Amadio currently sit 2 & 3 respectively in team scoring and they will both return. Also returning up front are 2013 first round pick Brett McKenzie, import Alex Henriksson, Jared Steege, Zach Bratina, Matt Santos & Calvin Gomes. Joining McIvor and Miller on the back end will be Miles Liberati, Kyle Wood, Riley Bruce & Kyle Locke. In net '94 born Brendan O'Neil will likely be gone and rookie Evan Cormier will come in to replace him. Jake Smith will once again be the starter in North Bay.

Oshawa Generals
The Generals will be losing Colin Suellentrop, Alex Lepkowski & Dylan Smoskowitz to OA, but keep in mind the Generals sat in 1st at the trade deadline even without Lepkowski & Smsokowitz. Oshawa will also lose '94 born Scott Laughton to either the AHL or the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers, as he is a 1st round pick of the Flyers. '94 born goalie Daniel Altshuller is more then likely gone to the AHL's Charlotte Checkers, but its interesting to note, Carolina does have a lot of depth in goal. Although I firmly believe Altshuller will be playing pro hockey next season I'd say there is about a 15% chance he's returned to the OHL for an OA season. I say this because goalie is a position where you need to play to improve, If Altshuller is simply going to back up in the AHL or ECHL it serves him better to play 50 games in the OHL. Captain Josh Brown is also a '94 and a NHL draft pick of the Florida Panthers, but with their depth on D in the Junior and Minor Pro ranks I fully expect to see Josh Brown back in a Generals Uniform next season. I'd say its about 80/20 in favor of him returning. Chris Carlisle and Justice Dundas are the remaining '94 born players and they will be back if the Generals will have them back, and I don't see why they wouldn't. However if Altshuller happens to return look for Carlisle to be moved before Dundas as the Generals have some depth on the back end. Returning forward will include, Bradley Latour, Cole Cassels, Hunter Smith, Josh Sterk, Jacob Busch, Joe Manchurek, Sam Harding, Aiden Wallace & Owen McDade. Defensively the Generals will return 2013 1st round pick Mitchell Vande Sompel, Will Petschenig & Stephen Desrocher along with Potentially Josh Brown & Chris Carlisle.. one for sure with a high potential for both. Also Stephen Templeton has been signed and will be joining the D-Core. Ken Appleby will be the starter next year if Altshuller does indeed crack the pro ranks, Jeremy Brodeur will in all likely hood come in an be his back up. Then their is Michael Dal Colle, this kid is a make or break it for me with the Generals. He is touted as a top 5 NHL pick if he makes the NHL. The Generals suffer.. lots, if he returns the Generals I think can once again be favorites in the East, especially if Appleby because the starter I think he can be.

Ottawa 67's
Ottawa looses Ryan Van Stralen & goalie Philippe Trudeau to OA, but everyone else on their current roster is eligible to return. Erik Bradford, who was acquired at the trade deadline is '94 born and will earn NHL training camp invites, but will in all likely hood return to play on the teams top line in 14/15. Captain Brendan Bell is also '94 born an is undrafted by any NHL team. He to could earn NHL training camp invites but will return. Brett Gustavsen and Taylor Fielding are the teams remaining '94 born players. Given that Gustavsen has 34 points in 43 games this season and plays in the teams top 6 he will likely be the teams 3rd Overage player, leaving Taylor Fielding to be released or traded. Returning forwards include 1st overall pick in 2013 Travis Konecny, 2012 1st overall pick Dante Salituro, Tyler Hill, Sam Studnicka, Connor Brown, Andrew Abou-Assaly, John Urbanic & Connor Graham. Dylan MacDonald a 2013 draft pick has also seen some time in the OHL this season an he will likely be a full time player next season. It would surprise me to Abou-Assaly, John Urbanic & Connor Graham released or traded in favor of new players as these players have been given more then enough time to develop and just have not turned into quality OHL players. Defensively, though whole blue line returns. Led by draft prospects Jacob Middleton & Alex Lintuniemi whom is also an import. Also returning top point producing d-man Nevin Guy, as well as 2nd round pick in 2013 Troy Henley. Adrian Sloboda the teams other import should return, however if there is an upgrade available at the import spot he could be the odd man out. Mike Vlajkov and Taylor Davis are the final two d-men eligible to return. In net Liam Herbst should be the starter and will be pushed by Connor Hughes. However if the 67's are able to get Ben Blacker to un-commit to Western Michigan University and come to the OHL look for Connor Hughes rights to be moved to a team in need of a young goalie.

Peterborough Petes
The Petes will lose, goaltender Andrew D'Agostini to OA, as well as defensemen Clark Seymour and Nelson Armstrong. These will be big hits to the Petes overall team defense as D'Agostini starts about 85% of the games and Armstrong and Seymour are the teams top 2 defensemen. However the loss won't be to tough to deal with if the team decides to keep Connor Boland and Brendan Devlin as 2 of their 3 overage players next season. I fully expect them to do, as the team only has 4 OA candidates for next season at this point. Michael Clarke is a Colorado Avalanche 6th round draft pick and a 30 point in 42 game player in the OHL. He likely will return for his OA season as he doesn't dominate at the OHL level, and players who dominate the OHL level usually have tough times in the AHL. With Clarke likely being kept as the 3rd OA, Josh MacDonald will be the odd man out. But other then MacDonald the whole forward core should return. The forward core will be led by the teams current 1st like of Nick Ritchie, Hunter Garlent & Eric Cornel. Ritchie should be a early 1st round NHL pick this season while Cornel should go 3rd or 4th round. Garlent went undrafted last season but will most definitely attend NHL training camps this summer an may actually get drafted in the later rounds of the coming draft. Jonatan Tanus is the teams lone import and is a 95 so eligible to return, he seems to enjoy playing in Peterborough so I see no reason why he would not return. Anthony Stefano has enjoyed a solid rookie campaign and the two way forward will likely see a bump in minutes and point production next season. Also returning next season will be Stephen Nosand, Greg Betzold, Steven Lorentz, Josh Maguire, Matt McCartney & Mitchell Webb. On the back end joining Devlin and Boland will be this years 1st and 2nd round picks Matt Spencer & Cameron Lizotte. Rounding out the core will be Steven Varga. In goal I doubt the Petes will go forward with Jason Da Silva as their starter however he may likely be given the opportunity in training camp. Look for Scott Smith to back up as he's been with the club as the teams 3rd goalie for some time now.

Sudbury Wolves
The Wolves loose goalie Franky Palazzese to OA, as well as defensemen Kevin Raine and Craig Duininck. These will be substantial loses as Raine & Duininck play heavy minutes for the club. '94 born Trevor Carrick will also be lost to the AHL's Charlotte Checkers as he is a top Carolina Hurricanes defensive prospect. Also '94 born Radek Faksa will be lost to the Texas Stars of the AHL as he is a 1st round pick of the Dallas Stars. The Wolves will be faced with the toughest decision in the Eastern Conference regarding OA players as, Jeff Corbett, Brody Silk, Connor Crisp, Nathan Pancel, Ray Huether, Mathew Campagna & Nathan Cull are all '94 born. With such a turnover on the blueline I expect Corbett to be kept, that leaves 2 OA spots for forwards. Pancel & Campagna are 1,2 in team scoring, so they are the obvious choices. However both will likely earn NHL training camp invites and both could end up sticking in the AHL. if they do, then expect Silk and Crisp to be kept. Forwards that will undoubtedly return are Danny Desrochers, Nicholas Baptiste, Jacob Harris, Connor Burgess, Dominik Kahun, Matt Schmalz & David Zeppieri. On the back end Connor Cummins, Evan de Haan & Kyle Capobianco will all return and Troy Timpano will likely be the starter. So much can change in Sudbury if Pancel and Campagna don't return. Either way the Wolves will return a good core of forwards but will be thin along the blue line as well as young and very young in goal, although Timpano is a very solid young goaltender. I would expect if the team gets off to a strong start but has shaky goaltending that a move will be made for a veteran.

With that all said an done, I expect Peterborough to be pretty strong next season especially if they can find goaltending. Belleville will improve but likely still will be at best a 6th place club. Niagara will be a playoff team an genuine contender. Oshawa will again be a top 4 team in the East. Depending what happens with Sudbury's forward core they could either be the East Favorite or a middle of the pack club. Kingston if they loose Bennett & McKeown a once promising outlook could become very bleak. Barrie again should be a middle of the pack/contender. Mississauga will also be a team that vastly improves and I see no reason why North Bay wouldn't be the same as always. You know heavily defensive, but good enough to win their fair share of games. I suspect Ottawa will again be weak, but in two 2015/2016 could be a favorite. The East as a whole will be vastly improved next season.

Macker88

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Re: 2014/2015 Outlook

Post by jaycro on Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:10 am

Excellent summary, Macker88. Thanks for sharing and keep it up!

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Re: 2014/2015 Outlook

Post by Generals2010 on Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:42 pm

Very good read. Thanks!!!
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