It is Day 3 of the 'content-a-day giveaway'... Lets take a look at what the teams may be drafting for come the OHL Priority Draft this Saturday May, 7th live on ontariohockeyleague.com.
To preface, the lists of what the team declares as 'holes to be filled' is not FACT. These are my opinions and are corroborated with others and is a general guess as to what they may be trying to fill come draft day. If they are not adressed during draft day remember that they can also trade for players already in the league. Also, this is 'in a perfect world scenario' as the first 7-10 picks will be best player available and defy the logic of what I am talking about.
Erie Otters -this is a team, who should have gone farther in the playoffs instead of being bounced after 7 games to Windsor. With that being said, if Sadikov does not get a pro deal, not only is it a travesty but it means that he will be back in Erie as an OA. so that eats up one spot. there are 4 91 birthdays on the blueline and there are 5 '91's as forwards and they lose 3 forwards due to graduation. To be honest the only thing that the Otters will not need is Goaltending. So here is a rare place where they will take the Best player available because they need help all over.
Guelph Storm - I think this is pretty simple. I do not foresee the Storm holding on to Holland, Latta and Beck for one more year. At least not all 3. Latta maybe. So you need to find another Holland or Beck and if you are not trading for one. you will have to draft it. And draft a forward the Storm will do.
Owen Sound Attack - Their goaltending is sured up as if Stajcer does not return, they will still have Zador, or vice versa. Also Binnington has showesd that he is ready now, so definitely do not have to worry about drafting one. On the blueline, Stanisz and Blacker are most likely not on the roster next season but that won't hurt the team as much as people are willing to believe. That leaves the F position and there is a lot of quality talent and grit players who will need to be replaced. look for the Western Conference Champions to look for an impact forward, or at least a forward who they can grow around like a Robbie Mignardi. Can be an effective scorer or a defensive forward with ease.
London Knights - There are a lot of questions about the Knights moving forward, but the forwards are not one of them. the D is young enough to grow together and be more effective than they were this season. With the 'failure' that was Bobkov this season, it is clear that they need a competent backup to assist Michael Houser. Look for the Knights to pick up a goaltender in the draft, not only to develop but to win them 5-20 games as a backup.
Kitchener Rangers - When you look at the age of the players on the roster there is no real need to be concerned with the fact they have talented 93 birth year players. What is alarming is that 2 of them will be a top 10 selection, possibly top 5, in Landeskog and Murphy. that leaves big gaps to fill but where is the bigger hole? it could even be in goal with Maxwell possibly not coming back and Morrison becoming the defacto #1. The more pressing need I would say is at the forward level. most of the 91's will not be back, Landeskog is a huge hole, like Skinner the year before. Some of the 93's on the roster, did not get much playing time so they would still be rookies based on playing experience. At the same time, I could still see Kitchener picking a D man... how about a coin toss for this one?
It is very tough to decide what a team will be looking for. As per yesterdays post about how to handle the draft, and the types of plays there can be. Just looking at who will be graduating and based on who a consensus believes will be next years OA's, this is how it was determined what the teams will be looking for at least early on in the draft. Of course they will still take a goalie in the late rounds even if they have 4 in their system. You just never know. But this is just something else to think of before the OHL Priority draft on Saturday. Tomorrow will be looking at the Central division so remember to come check that out.