The OHL Draft took place in April and there are some interesting results, as usual. Who will go OHL? Who will go NCAA? Who is undecided? What I find particularly interesting are the scenarios where players are courted by the NCAA, the OHL and the National Program. There are 7 such players this year.
F – Clayton Keller – SSM U-16 – USNTDP – BU commit. OHL – Windsor – Round 2
D – Adam Fox – Long Island – USNTDP – Harvard commit. OHL – Kitchener – Round 8
D – Griffin Luce – Salisbury Prep – USNTDP – Michigan commit. OHL – Kitchener – Round 5
G – Joseph Woll – St. Louis AAA – USNTDP – Harvard commit. OHL – Oshawa – Round 9
F – Graham McPhee – SSM U-16 – USNTDP – BC commit. OHL – Sarnia – Round 9
D – Luke Martin – St. Louis AAA – USNTDP – Michigan commit. OHL – Belleville – Round 11
F – James Sanchez – CYA – USNTDP – Michigan commit. OHL – London – Round 11
So, you can bet the coaches at Harvard (2 players) and Michigan (3) are pleased to see their recruits have committed to the USA National program, but will keep an eye on the OHL’s interest, especially in the case of Michigan, a program that has repeatedly seen commits leave for the OHL ranks.
This pattern, the OHL taking some of the top American players in the draft – obviously isn’t new. So, I wanted to take a look at the 2013 OHL Draft and see where the top 10 Americans drafted ended up playing their hockey in 2013-2014. Sean Day was granted ‘Exceptional Player Status’ and is a dual-citizen, but I’ll put him on the list regardless.
4th – Sean Day – OHL –
16th – Jordan Greenway – USNTDP and BU commit.
24th – Zack Werenski – USNTDP. No college commit.
32nd – Luke Kirwan – USNTDP –
35th – Ryan Moore – OHL – Windsor – 65 GP 5 G’s 5 A’s – 10 PTS
58th – Doug Blaisdell – OHL –
64th – Matthew Thachuk – USNTDP – Notre Dame commit.
75th – Connor Clifton – NCAA – Quinnipiac (drafted as over-ager).
79th – Chase Pearson – Canadian Jr. A – Cornwall.
81st – Brendan Warren – USNTDP – Michigan commit.
So, with 3 of the 10 went straight to the OHL. Werenski is a free agent and Pearson is too.
The top American selected this year was Logan Brown (6th overall) by Niagara. It’s pretty safe to say that he will be playing in the OHL next season, unless he decides he wants to spend the year with the USNTDP, which would probably be eager to have him on board. Brown is the son of a former NHLer, he’s big (6’4-209) and skilled, total package and consistently one of the top performers in his age group. In 19 games for the Indiana Jr. Ice this season (Indiana of the USHL holds his rights) he had 19 goals and 12 assists, 31 points.
Another pair of Americans who look destined for the OHL in 2014-2015 are William Knieren from the Chicago Mission organization and Ben Gleason from Honeybaked. Gleason is the cousin of NHLer Tim Gleason (Carolina) and was a member of that loaded Honeybaked U-16 team, he had a goal and 5 assists for 6 points in 22 games played. Gleason was a high pick and taken by London, who usually gets what they want. Knieren is a big (6’3-207), talented player who had 6 goals, 19 assists, 25 points in 25 games for Mission. Owen Sound drafted him pretty high, he hasn’t shown any interest in other leagues, I would guess that he’ll have an OHL jersey on in 2014-2015.
A few years back in USA Hockey there was some uproar over the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Jr Knights program featuring a number of European players (and Canadian) that resulted in a limit on the amount of imports a USA Hockey membership youth program can roster. Seems reasonable and I understand the logic, but take a look at the powerful Shattuck Saint Mary’s bantam team that swept Nationals in April. Shattuck Saint Mary’s is a hockey powerhouse in Minnesota, how many players from out of state did they have on their roster ? 15 ! The team’s goalies were from Tampa Bay, FL and West Caldwell, NJ respectively. Star scorer Brannon McManus is from California. Two players are from Illinois, two are from Philadelphia, two are from Washington D.C, one’s from Michigan, one from Wisconsin, one from Connecticut, and one from Ontario. So, USA Hockey, what gives?
Shattuck St. Mary’s National Championship Team – U-14 Bantams
G Vincent Shonko – FL –
G David Tomeo – NJ –
F – Logan Hutsko – 65-40-69-109. NJ
F Brannon McManus – 65-65-52-120. CA
F Scott Reedy – 65-56-69-125- MN
F Grant Mismach – 65-48-48-96- MN
D Andrew Lane – DC – 65-3-13-16
D Josh Maniscalo – Philly – 65-17-50-67
D Tyler Inamoto – IL – 33-3-16-19
D/F Michael Schumacher – ND – 63-9-35-44
D Jack Greenburg – IL – 62-15-25-40
F Caleb Rule – MI – 55-18-34-52
F Brady Lyle – Ontario – 62-17-44-61
F Charlie Dovorany – WI -45-17-19-36
F Connor McMenami – Philly – 65-25-24-49
F Alex Mello – CT – 63-44-30-74
F Julian Detmer – DC – 62-15-40-55