Ontario Hockey League Week in Review: Week 2
Photo courtesy of CHL Images
By Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell)
With the second week of the Ontario Hockey League season in the books, its time to plan each and every game and make sure you have your tickets, travel plans and hotel booked (if necessary) for each and every game of the season! Actually, it’s time for the second edition of my OHL Week in Review.
Here are some notes on a few teams, performances and news bits that stood out in the first two weeks of the season and last week in particular.
- The Niagara IceDogs look poised to make some noise this year; especially if the NHL misses an entire season due to a lockout. Led by Dougie Hamilton (Bruins) and Ryan Strome (Islanders), both of whom were expected to push for and/or land a spot on their respective NHL teams this year, the IceDogs are in good hands. Two weeks into the season, the IceDogs post an impressive 3-1-0 record and have established themselves as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference – in large part to the play of Hamilton and Strome. Hamilton has four points (one goal, three assists) and a plus-6 rating through four games while Strome has six points (four goals, two assists) and a plus-6 rating. As long as those two are in Niagara and producing at that level, the IceDogs can compete with anyone in the Eastern Conference. The excellent play of Brett Ritchie (Stars), who has six points (one goal, five assists), helps the cause as well.
- I love the trade that brought overage defenseman Chris Buonomo to Sault Ste. Marie from Barrie; especially because they only gave up a 4th round pick. Buonomo is a solid defenseman, he’s experienced and his teammates in Barrie absolutely loved him. He’ll bring depth and a lot of character to a Soo team that could use it.
- Nick Cousins (Flyers) picked up five points (two goals, three assists) in two games for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He is now tied for fourth in the league in the points with eight (three goals, five assists) in just four games and has a game in hand in all three players ahead of him.
- Ryan Sproul (Red Wings) tallied four assists in two games for the Greyhounds and now, like Cousins, has eight points (one goal, seven assists) through four games. Not bad for a defenseman.
- Sticking with the Greyhounds, if Cousins and Sproul continue to produce at a high level, 2013 draft eligible forward Sergey Tolchinsky keeps picking up points and Matt Murray (Penguins) gives them good goaltending, which isn’t a lot to ask given his talent, the Greyhounds could make some noise this season. They have a ton of talent and if they want to have success it will all come down to consistency. I’m interested to see if they can keep this up.
- 15-year-old Connor McDavid continues to prove he belongs in the OHL as he registered four assists in three games during the second week of the season. It’s pretty amazing to think that at the age of 15 he is producing at over a point per game pace. Right now he’s tied for 11th in the league in points and the only game he didn’t get on the scoresheet was his OHL debut. I know I’m stating the obvious but he has a bright, bright future ahead.
- After finishing last in the Eastern Conference last season and winning just 19 times in 68 games, the Kingston Frontenacs are 3-0-0 to start the 2012-13 campaign. With wins over an improved Erie team and two of the better teams in the East in Niagara and the Barrie Colts, the Fronts are showing that they are ready to take the next step and compete. While I don’t expect them to be among the best in the East, I am pretty confident in saying that they will make the playoffs this year.
- Oshawa Generals forward Boone Jenner (Blue Jackets) is leading the OHL in points with 12 (seven goals, five assists) in five games. I really like Jenner, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming.
- One 2013 draft eligible player to keep your eye on this year is Barrie Colts centre Erik Bradford. He’s a very smart two-way player who can contribute offensively, win faceoffs and play in any situation. He’s not flashy, but he’s effective and he never takes a shift off. Keep your eye on him throughout the year.
Follow me on twitter @ToddCordell.