Created: Monday, 18 April 2016 16:14
Originally posted at OHL Prospects Blog by Brock Otten
It's that time of the year for my annual (2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009) list of the top second and third year eligible OHL players for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. This is always one of the most read articles I put out each year. It's also the topic which I receive the most questions on, whether through email or blog comments. For whatever reason, the concept fascinates people. Of course, I'm referring to the concept of the "draft re-entry." A shift in drafting philosophy has seen an enormous rise of these players getting drafted in recent years. This is mostly because drafting a second or third year eligible player gives NHL teams a lot of flexibility in their development under the CBA. Plus, a lot of these guys have been having success in recent years (Tanner Pearson and Andrew Shaw are great examples from the OHL), which basic psychology tells us that other NHL teams will try to mimic.
Read more: OHL Prospects: Top 10 - 2016 NHL Draft Re-Entries
Created: Friday, 18 March 2016 21:09
Originally published at OHL Prospects Blog by Brock Otten
Last year, the North Bay Battalion had an incredibly successful season, advancing all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they were ultimately eliminated by the eventual Memorial Cup Champion Oshawa Generals. It was an extremely veteran laden unit, and as such, the expectations for this year's Battalion squad were relatively low. The OHL can be very cyclical in that way, thanks to annual graduations.
"Well to be honest, I think our goal was to be a competitive team, which we always try to be," said coach Stan Butler. "But given the loss of players that we had, we thought we would settle in as a team battling for the playoffs, in that 7/8th spot. But credit to our team, and my coaching staff, everyone's worked hard and we've thankfully found a way to be better than that."
Read more: OHL Prospects: North Bay's Cam Dineen Excels in his First OHL Season
Created: Friday, 18 March 2016 21:01
Originally published at OHL Prospects by Brock Otten on March 15, 2016
Today, it was my absolute pleasure to chat with North Bay Battalion coach/director of hockey operations Stan Butler. Butler, of course, is a legendary figure in OHL hockey, holding a place inside the top 5 of career victories and games played. His upstart Battalion currently sit 3rd in the Eastern Conference, and we chatted about this year, last year, hockey in Brampton, Hockey Canada, and many of the players he's coached (past and present). Below you can find snippets of the transcript of our conversation.
Read more: OHL Prospects: Q & A with North Bay Battalion Coach Stan Butler
Created: Monday, 14 March 2016 16:32
Previously published at OHL Prospects Blog by Brock Otter
One of the many annual traditions I have on this blog is to rank the new batch of OHL rookies in order of the impression they left on me. Only the "true" OHL rookies have been included, thus why it's labeled the "Most Impressive 1999 born players."
I always like to note that this isn't an early ranking for the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. This ranking isn't the order in which I believe these players should be ranked for the draft, but an order of which players impressed me most. It's not a draft prognostication, it's an acknowledgment of the significant impact these players have had on their teams this season.
As mentioned, this is a tradition, so here are the previous year's lists. 1998. 1997. 1996. 1995's. 1994's. 1993's. 1992's.
Read more: OHL Prospects: Most Impressive Born 1999 Born Players
Created: Monday, 07 March 2016 01:49
Originally posted at OHL Prospect Blog by Brock Otten on March 6, 2016.
The 2016 OHL Coaches Poll should be released sometime next week, or the week after. Each year, I've made it a habit of creating my own ballot to try and predict what the results would look like. Whenever I put this list together, I'm always reminded of how much talent this league has to offer. Some of these categories (like best playmaker, or smartest player) are so tough to decide on. Also this year, predicting the top faceoff man is a little less fun because the OHL has finally decided to keep that stat.
Of course, I feel like I need to repeat that this is my own subjective list and NOT the official results for the poll.
Without further ado, here's my 2016 ballot.
Read more: OHL Prospects: OHL Coaches Poll - My Ballot (2016)