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- Created: Monday, 13 March 2017 20:42
A few weeks back we kicked off our OHL Mock Draft series with the “Way Too Early Mock Draft” for our subscribers. This time around, we’re making our quick selection mock draft available for the public and expanding it to TWO ROUNDS.
Every mock draft needs to be prefaced with some things to consider and understand. That is especially true with the 2017 OHL Draft class. Unlike the National Hockey League Draft, the OHL’s Priority Selection is often impacted by several significant factors.
First, we are dealing with young teenagers who are undergoing schooling while competing in major junior so families have a vested interest in making sure their children are looked after. As a result, players can often decide if there’s a more favourable place to play or not and this is especially true with the top talent - which this mock draft is focused on. Some teams will be handcuffed with information that Player X and Y are not interested in playing for them which will shorten their draft lists in the first few rounds. For example, our second/third ranked player could easily slide to 7th based on the fact that he prefers a specific destination. It’s out of team’s control and makes this process even more difficult as a forecaster.
Secondly, the NCAA/collegiate commitments drastically influence the draft, often eliminating most of the top American talent until mid to late rounds. Teams with intel can take a gamble on some of the top talent but 1st and 2nd round selections are all too valuable to be taking “shots in the dark” so it’s important that teams have received some reassurances about possible interest in playing in the OHL. Committed players selected in the mid to late rounds are often players who may change their development path in a few seasons after receiving advice from NHL teams who may have selected them.
Lastly, projecting teenagers is extremely difficult to do and from the scouts we’ve talked to this season, the 2001-age group is especially unique in the sense that some teams will have Player Z ranked in the first round while others will have him slotted in the 8th round. As a result, we’re definitely going to see some players drafted higher and lower than expected. With 40 days until the draft takes place, excitement is building and this is the first of several mock drafts we will feature on TheScout.ca heading towards the 2017 OHL Priority Selection Draft.
NOTES TO CONSIDER:
- The 2016-17 OHL Regular Season has not yet completed so the draft order is based on reverse standings as of the date below. Mississauga is awarded the 8th overall selection after Kirill Nizhnikov (7th overall, 2016) failed to report to the Steelheads club.
- The four teams who fail to make the playoffs are awarded the first four spots in the draft, ordered based on final points.
- Please take this mock draft as a fun exercise because, like every season, we’re pretty much taking guesses this early in the process (as the title suggests) based off our viewings and little intel - particularly true this season.
- The following Mock Draft is not a reflection of THESCOUT.CA’s player rankings for the 2017 OHL Draft.
- Draft order reflected by the OHL standings as of Monday, March 13, 2017
1st Barrie Colts (41P) – Jack Hughes, C, Toronto Marlboros
The best player gets plucked off in the top spot. This selection becomes more complicated if Jack Hughes shows interest in joining the USA NTDP Camp, which he is expected to be named to any day now.
2nd Guelph Storm (46P) – Tag Bertuzzi, C/LW, Oakland Jr. Grizzlies
Bertuzzi will be competing for Total Package Hockey (TPH Thunder) at the OHL Cup which will give those unfamiliar with the assertive forward a chance to see his talents. It’s generally expected that the Oakland forward wants to play in the OHL and that should see him land firmly in the Top 5.
3rd North Bay Battalion (52P) – Philip Tomasino, C, Mississauga Rebels
North Bay could go a number of different ways with Ryan Suzuki, Jamieson Rees, Blake Murray and several other attractive options on the board but Tomasino is a gamer and the Battalion have a good eye for highly competitive players.
4th Saginaw Spirit (61P) – Nick Wong, C, Mississauga Senators
Saginaw is the real wild card here and they’re holding their cards close to their chests. Expect the unexpected as they aren’t afraid to get aggressive with their American selections and could stir up the top half of the draft class. We’re sending them one of our favourite ‘skill guys’ in Nick Wong since it’s always a mandatory ingredient in their first round selections.
5th Sudbury Wolves (55P) - Ryan Suzuki, C, London Jr. Knights
The Wolves would be thrilled if the uber-skilled Suzuki landed in their laps because they’ve shown a tendency to target top players in the Alliance region. Suzuki is as good a prospect that the Alliance has produced since Travis Konecny went 1st overall to Ottawa in 2013.
6th Niagara IceDogs (56P) - Jamieson Rees, C, Mississauga Reps
Call it a hunch but Jamieson Rees is the perfect fit for the IceDogs and he’d be excellent value at the six spot. The ultra-competitive pivot is dynamic, fearless and plays the game hard and he’d be a great one-two punch with standout rookie Akil Thomas.
7th Ottawa 67’s (50P) – Graeme Clarke, RW, Toronto Marlboros
We are not changing the 67’s pick from our original mock as it just makes sense that the hometown sniper returns to his roots to re-energize Ottawa. A game-breaker who’s game is trending back upwards heading into the OHL Cup, Clarke could elevate his draft stock out of Ottawa’s reach if he plays to his full potential.
8th Mississauga Steelheads (Compensation Pick) - Blake Murray, C, Whitby Wildcats
Blessed with two first round picks after Kirill Nizhnikov failed to report, Mississauga lands a highly intelligent center who can play with power and skill, but also owns a good size element - and the Steelheads traditionally fancy that.
9th Sarnia Sting (67P) – Brandon Coe, C, Toronto Young Nationals
Sarnia always targets skill and cerebral type of attackers which makes Brandon Coe the perferct selection. He’s rangy and can control possession with strong puck skills and clever vision.
10th Kingston Frontenacs (69P) – Hayden Fowler, C, Greater Kingston Frontenacs
We’re being awfully generous to the draft prospects in this mock as Hayden Fowler stays in his hometown where the dynamic forward can continue to wreak havoc in the Eastern Ontario loop. He’s a gamer who shows up to compete and we feel he’d be an excellent selection in the middle to late first round.
11th Hamilton Bulldogs (72P) – Connor McMichael, C, Ajax-Pickering Raiders
McMichael may not last until the Bulldogs pick, but rest assured that Hamilton would certainly welcome his skill into the lineup. He’s a player who processes the game carefully and shows flashes of high-end offensive skills so landing him at 11th could pay off big time.
12th Flint Firebirds (72P) – Cody Morgan, C, Toronto Jr. Canadiens
Another forward who may not slide down this far, Cody Morgan will get scooped up quickly if the second half of the 1st round opens up and his name has yet to be called. Teams can work on his hitches in his skating stride but he’s a player with a big-time shot and an outstanding feel for the game.
13th Kitchener Rangers (74P) – Aidan Prueter, C, London Jr. Knights
The Rangers are a difficult team to predict but regardless of who they select, it’s a lock that they’ll give him all the opportunity in the world. Prueter is a big time gamer who sets the pace for the Jr. Knights and on most nights, he was London’s most consistent threat.
14th Mississauga Steelheads (75P) – Thomas Harley, D, Vaughan Kings
As mentioned in our OHL Cup Preview, Syracuse native Harley appears to be most interested in the OHL route and that could see him go as the first defenseman off the draft board. His mobility and control in possession are high-end and over the next few seasons, the Steelheads could see his production start to climb.
15th Oshawa Generals (81P) – Billy Constantinou, D, Toronto Marlboros
Looking to inject some more skill into their blue line, Oshawa adds an explosive defender off the line who can jump up and strike quickly.
16th Peterborough Petes (85P) – Mason Primeau, C, Toronto Young Nationals
The Petes select towering pivot Mason Primeau and player who can chip in all facets of the game. He moves very well for a big guy and takes care of his responsibilities well. He projects as a steady second line centerman who can also play with pace and produce secondary points.
17th Windsor Spitfires (88P) – Nathan Staios, D, Vaughan Kings
The Spits are likely to see several notable defenseman graduate this season and adding a player who can manage the game intelligent will be vital in the opening few rounds. Staios comes with good hockey bloodlines and he’s a player who operates with intelligence. Once he matures physically, he will be a load to handle.
18th London Knights (93P) – Alex Turcotte, C, Chicago Mission 16U
The Knights are masters of turning out competitive rosters each and every season but we’re going on a hunch and placing a top American committed talent as their first round selection. Mission’s Alex Turcotte is a top 3 talent in the 2001 age group and if the Knights can get him to report, he’d be one of the many fantastic American players they’ve iced over the past decade.
19th Owen Sound Attack (94P) – Nicholas Robertson, LW, Toronto Red Wings
The Attack may fancy Aidan Prueter from the Jr. Knights program - a team they’ve had success drafting from in the opening round (Nick Suzuki and Ethan Syzpula) but if he’s not available, they could target a similar skilled player in Nick Robertson. Small and ultra-competitive, Robertson is the driving offensive force for the Toronto Red Wings. He’s a dazzler with high-end skill and the ability to break a game open with his one-on-one creativeness.
20th Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (96P) – Mitchell Russell, RW, Barrie Jr. Colts
A sturdy attacking winger with a big time shot, Barrie’s Mitchell Russell doesn’t get the press that a lot of other prospects due after competing on a limited Jr. Colts team. He’s a smart attacker whose best hockey is in front of him, especially if he can get slotted alongside a true playmaker.
21st Erie Otters (99P) – Ethan Keppen, LW, Toronto Young Nationals
Not unlike when they nabbed Taylor Raddysh in the back end of the first round, Ethan Keppen would be a similar type of addition. A big body who owns excellent hockey sense and a knack for finding the back of the net.
Note: Draft pick transactions were tracked by Peter Kneulman of OHLWriters and we thank him for his dedication to archiving OHL trades. There is a possibility that some of the following draft picks are incorrect since obtaining detailed information about OHL trades has been a difficult process. We apologize for an discrepancies in accuracy. Original owners of draft picks are listed in brackets (formerly TEAM X).