Nick Cousins Continues to Produce Despite Hovering Charges + 10 OHL Thoughts
Photo courtesy of OHL Images
By Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell)
Despite having sexual assault charges hovering around him and the uncertainty of what will come from them, Sault Ste. Marie forward and Philadelphia Flyers prospect Nick Cousins has not let it get to him; especially on the ice.
Just over a month into the 2012-13 Ontario League Campaign, Cousins is 3rd in the OHL in scoring with seven goals, 12 assists and 19 points in 13 games and is only one point behind Mark Scheifele and Vincent Trocheck for 1st in the OHL in points.
Those are some very impressive statistics, especially given the situation he is in. Greyhounds General Manager Kyle Dubas couldn’t say enough about Cousins’ play this year when asked, “Nick has been terrific on the ice. We played our first 10 games versus conference rivals and Nick came out of that stretch with 16 points,” Dubas said. “We play in a very tough conference and his ability to average over 1.5 points per game despite playing very fierce competition shows the level of play he is exuding right now.”
Cousins isn’t just leading the Greyhounds on the ice, he’s also taken on a big leadership role off it, Dubas said. “On the ice, we want Nick to lead by example and continue to work on play with his trademark tenacity over all 200 feet of the ice. Off the ice, Nick has done some community appearances and received rave reviews from the people in charge of the various community programs where he has appeared.”
While Dubas wouldn’t comment on Cousins’ situation and what could happen if guilty, he believes there is a good chance Cousins will be the OHL’s scoring leader at years end, “Nick stands a great chance of leading the league in scoring. He was the leading 1993 born scorer in our league last season and is already amongst the leaders this year despite our tough early season schedule.”
Cousins is producing at this level despite missing some key pieces who could help him contribute even more, said Dubas. “As Colin Miller & Ryan Sproul (injured, puck moving defencemen) return to our lineup, that will only provide a further boost to Nick’s offensive output.”
Is 100 points out of the question for Cousins? He should break that plateau with ease, said Dubas. “He’s been on pace to hit 100 points and he shows such a passion to score and create offence, that I wouldn’t doubt him easily surpassing 100 points.”
1. Connor McDavid picked up a point in all three games this weekend to extend his point-streak to 11 games. The 15-year-old phenom now has points in every game he has played in besides his OHL debut game; which his play had good reviews on from those who saw him play. He’s on a pretty impressive run and it will be interesting to see how long he can keep it going for.
2. The Kitchener Rangers appear to finally be getting back on track. They’ve won their last three games against Oshawa, Sarnia and Kingston all by at least two goals. They have a pretty home heavy schedule upcoming as 16 of their next 26 games are at home and they should only improve with time. They have a very, very talented team and it’s only a matter of time before they sit as one of the top teams in the OHL.
3. The Guelph Storm are 8-0-1 in their last nine games and now are tied with the Barrie Colts for first in the OHL with 19 points. The Storm also has a game in hand on the Colts. Guelph leads the league in goals, have five players averaging at least a point-per-game and are showing that they can compete with the league’s best teams.
4. Sticking with the Storm, 2013 draft eligible forward Hunter Garlent left Sunday’s game early with an ankle injury and was seen leaving the rink on crutches. There is no word on how severe the injury is, but the Storm should continue to have success without him as they have arguably the most balanced attack in the OHL. Garlent has 10 points in 11 games on the year and very well could be a first round pick come June.
5. One guy who’s not getting near enough credit and respect from those who follow the OHL: Jordan Binnington in Owen Sound. Binnington, a St. Louis Blues prospect, is 7-1-1 with a 2.07 goals against average and .935 save percentage. Binnington is a legitimate candidate to make Team Canada’s World Junior squad in December and I think he should. He’s posted better numbers than Malcolm Subban in all three major categories (wins, goals against average and save percentage) and I think he’ll give him a run for his money for a spot on the team and potentially the starter’s role.
6. The Windsor Spitfires are looking to move a defenseman, or are at least ‘listening’ to offers for a defenseman. They are currently using an eight-man rotation and I’ve heard they would like to make it a little less crowded. While nothing is certain, I wouldn’t be surprised if one is moved out within the next couple of weeks.
7. The Barrie Colts hold three of the league’s top six scorers in Mark Scheifele, Zach Hall and Anthony Camara. Scheifele has 20 points, Hall, 19, and Camara has 18. That’s pretty darn impressive.
8. Jason Dickinson has been on fire for the Storm as of late. He is currently on an eight-game point-streak and has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in that span. He now has 15 points in 12 games on the year and sits tied for 2nd in points with Sean Monahan for points by draft eligible OHL players. Only Max Domi of the London Knights has more.
9. After registering 16 points in his first seven games, Oshawa Generals forward Boone Jenner has hit a bit of a wall as of late. The Blue Jackets prospect has just two points and a minus-7 rating in his last six games. That could explain why the Generals have been slumping of late losing four of their last six.
10. Ottawa 67′s forward and Minnesota Wild prospect Tyler Graovac is on a six-game point-streak and has 10 points (seven goals, three assists) in that span. That’s pretty impressive for a guy who scored only eight regular season goals a year ago. Graovac has made dramatic improvements to his game and is now a legitimate scoring threat every time he’s on the ice. Looks like the Wild have another high-end prospect in their system.
This concludes the first edition of the 10 thoughts post. I modelled this format after my favorite column, which is Elliotte Friedman’s “30 thoughts” post. I have not decided if this column will be weekly or bi-weekly, but I hope to provide you with as much information as possible each time I write one.
Follow me on twitter @ToddCordell.