NHL Draft Scout Series: OHL

Christian Roatis
June 07 2017 12:09PM

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It’s that time of year again! A time when our thoughts turn to trades, roster turnover and of course, the National Hockey League draft. A time when trading away those picks in March seems so stupid ’cause look how amazing all these prospects look!

The reality is, only a handful of the 211 children drafted in a few weeks’ time will ever amount to anything in the NHL, but it’s a most exciting time nonetheless. And with the lead-up to the NHL draft comes the now-annual NHL Draft Scout series where I “sit down” with scouts from the different prospect regions around the globe to get an up-close and personal look at the best prospects they have to offer.

This year, we’ll be visiting the WHL, QMJHL, USA, Finland, Sweden, Russia and the OHL, which we start with today. Brendan Ross is the director of scouting for theScout.ca and joins us today to talk about the OHL and the league’s 2017 NHL draft crop.

Let’s get into it.

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2017 Draft: How do OHL Goalies Stack up Against NHL-Caliber Competition?

Mike Z
June 07 2017 10:00AM

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This article is being co-posted on NHLNumbers as well as on my own site, OriginalSixAnalytics.com . Find me @OrgSixAnalytics on twitter. All Junior stats used here were provided by @3Hayden2 , the creator of @Prospect_stats ( www.prospect-stats.com ). Please give him a follow and check out his great work. (Last, for those who do not know, I formerly wrote under the pen name of “Andrew Kerison”) 

While both the NHL and Major Junior (WHL, OHL, QMJHL) can benefit from hockey analytics, the findings in each league are often quite different. The NHL is a league of parity, where the gap between a top player and an average one can be relatively thin. Junior, on the other hand, is the opposite. Top players like Mitch Marner, Matthew Tkachuk, and Brayden Point can often make an immediate impact at the NHL level, while many of their teenage competitors will never play an NHL game at all. The massive range of Junior talent is probably best illustrated by the fact that Connor McDavid was able to win the 2016-2017 NHL scoring race while still being young enough to play for his former Erie Otters team in last week’s Mastercard Memorial Cup!

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No, the Flames aren't after Alexander Ovechkin

christian tiberi
June 06 2017 02:27PM

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Has it really been nearly two months since something interesting has happened to the Calgary Flames?

All the usual conversations have burned out due to the rapid and vast nature of online discourse. The lunacy of the expansion draft and the entry draft are two to three weeks away, respectively. Free agency is still another week after that. There’s so little Flames relevant hockey dealings happening, and it’s killing us.

In the void left from all the meaningful things coming to the end of their threads, a saviour arises: a really weird, otherworldly rumour involving the Calgary Flames and superstar Alexander Ovechkin. It’s a discussion point, but even with the possibility of good conversation, it’s something so out there (and in some cases, believed as legitimate) that we should kill it immediately. Here goes.

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Because It's The Cap: New York Islanders Offseason Preview

Christian Pagnani
June 05 2017 12:00PM

The New York Islanders have their most important offseason in recent history and it all hangs on what happens with John Tavares. Tavares has one more year left on his team-friendly contract before he can hit free agency for the first time in his career. Getting him extended is paramount. 

The Islanders didn't make the playoffs, but finished 24-12-4 under head coach Doug Weight after he replaced Jack Capuano midseason. Weight is now the full-time head coach and general manager Garth Snow can focus on manoeuvring things around before the expansion draft and resolving the Tavares situation.

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Because It's The Cap: Philadelphia Flyers Offseason Preview

Cam Lewis
June 05 2017 09:00AM

The Philadelphia Flyers were a weird team with a weird roster last season. The team finished with a bottom-10 Goals For percentage at even strength but a top-10 Corsi For percentage. That would generally indicate that they were on the wrong side of some poor luck. But is that actually the case? 

Their goaltenders had a terrible time, posting a 91.7 even strength save percentage. A lot of that can be pinned on the defence, as the Flyers blueline was largely a nightmare, allowing many high danger chances and giving up turnovers at inopportune times. Then there's their 6.6 even strength shooting percentage, which is much more confusing. The Flyers have a load of skilled forwards, but struggled immensely to finish. 

All in all you have a roster with upside and a lot of holes and flaws that ultimately performed as you'd expect. For their efforts, though, the Flyers were rewarded nicely at the draft lottery. They moved all the way up from No. 12 to No. 2, giving them a massive boost in their rebuild that already features an interesting core of young talent. 

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