Ontario Hockey League Week in Review: Week 3
Photo courtesy of Terry Wilson / OHL Images
By Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell)
With the third week of the Ontario Hockey League season in the books, it’s time for the third 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 three weeks of the season and last week in particular.
- The Oshawa Generals won both of their games last week at home against good teams in Kingston and Belleville and are now a league best 6-1-0 through seven games this year. Lead by current scoring leader Boone Jenner (Blue Jackets), Scott Laughton (Flyers), Tyler Biggs (Maple Leafs) and Lucas Lessio (Coyotes) up front, the Generals have a very potent offense that can light up any team; hence why they lead the league in goals. If Daniel Altshuller (Hurricanes) can continue to play well between the pipes and their defense holds up, they’ll win the Eastern Conference and go on a deep playoff run.
- Through three weeks of hockey, Boone Jenner still leads the OHL in scoring and has a comfortable lead over Nick Cousins (Flyers), who is second in scoring. After seven games, Jenner has 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) while Cousins has 12 points (five goals, seven assists) through seven games. Cousins is my pick to win the scoring title so ultimately I think he’ll catch Jenner, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jenner remained in the top-5 in scoring all year long.
- After a 4-1 loss to the Sudbury Wolves on October 4th, Peterborough Petes Captain Slater Koekkoek called out his team in a post-game interview. He said the compete level hasn’t been there from most of the players, that they come in with a losing attitude and aren’t capable of winning hockey games. Koekkoek then said that he’s not the General Manager but something needs to be done. Fast forward two days to October 6th and the Petes blew a 3-2 third period lead and allowed Mark Scheifele (Jets) to score the game winner for Barrie with 38 seconds left in regulation. The Petes are now 1-5-0 through six games and are last in the league in goals scored. As Koekkoek said, Petes General Manager Dave Reid needs to do something if he wants the Petes to have a shot at the playoffs this year. UPDATE: Petes fire Dave Reid. Coach Mike Pelino and Director of Player Personnel Mike Oke will share GM duties; at least for now.
- Sudbury Wolves forward Josh Leivo (Maple Leafs) was named OHL Player of the Week. Leivo scored six goals and posted a plus-5 rating in three games; all of which were Wolves wins.
- The Central Division is shaping up to be an exciting division to watch. Through three weeks, the Wolves, Niagara IceDogs and Barrie Colts are all tied atop the division with 10 points. The Colts and IceDogs are 5-2-0 while the Wolves are 5-3-0. It will be interesting to see who wins the race for this division and a top-2 spot in the Eastern Conference.
- Connor McDavid has nine points through seven games, which means he’s scoring at a pace that will see him score 80+ points as a 15-year old in the OHL. To put that into perspective, Mark Scheifele, who I absolutely love, went 7th overall a couple years back and only had 75 points.
- The Soo Greyhounds have been a pleasant surprise so far posting a 5-2-0 record through seven games and sitting atop a division that features the Windsor Spitfires, Sarnia Sting, Plymouth Whalers and Saginaw Spirit. While I do expect the Greyhounds to make the playoffs, I don’t expect them to continue to win at this rate as their best defenseman, Ryan Sproul (Red Wings), broke his arm and will miss the next 8-12 weeks. There aren’t many defenseman in the OHL I’d rather have on my team than Sproul so this will definitely by a tough loss to take.
- After three weeks of hockey the Kitchener Rangers, who hold arguably the best group of top-six forwards in the league, have a combined total of 13 goals scored. That’s second last in the OHL and only one goal ahead of Peterborough. With a core of Radek Faksa (Stars), Tobias Rieder (Oilers), Matt Puempel (Senators), Ben Thomson (Devils) up front and offensive dynamo Ryan Murphy (Hurricanes) on defense, I’d expect the Rangers to have that many goals after three games.
- Through six games Owen Sound goaltender Jordan Binnington (Blues) is 5-0-1 with a 2.27 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. If he keeps playing like this, he will be strongly considered for a spot on Team Canada’s World Junior roster.
- This past week the Barrie Colts traded forward Dylan Smoskowitz, who played in zero games for Barrie in the first two weeks, to their division rival the Mississauga Steelheads for a late draft pick and a prospect. Through three games with the Steelheads, Smoskowitz has five points (three goals, two assists) and a plus-1 rating. He’s been playing on the top line in Mississauga and given their lack of forwards who can produce points, Smoskowitz will stay there if he continues to play like this.
Follow me on twitter @ToddCordell.