As we continue 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.
Sarnia Sting - The Sarnia Sting will basically be looking to replace offensive talent come draft day. The team loses the likes of Kale Kerbashian and Tyler Peters due to OA graduation and even though the team is still talented up front, will be looking for more. Galchenyuk, Latta, Yakupov and Ritchie to name a few, will be counted on more heavily but you can never pass up on more offensive talent. If there is a toss up where the Offensive talent is equal to another players Defensive skill, I can see where the Sting may look to rebuild their Defence and make it stronger.
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds - After the season they had, I am assuming many people would like to see a huge overhaul and see them draft every position imaginable. The truth is, their goaltending is going to be much improved with the idea of Perugini coming back and Murray in his sophmore season. The blueline will get an upgrade with Beukeboom coming back, along with the emergence of Volpe, Sproul and Curcurrato. Their forwards will be all a year more experienced with the likes of Catenacci, Sulmonte, Omelyanko and Findlay all being counted on. This team does not need an overhaul but out of those three areas my money would be on a defenceman to ensure any short comings with the Offence, will be remedied by a strong defence for years to come.
Windsor Spitfires - The Spitfires will lose a lot of offence and grit with the likes of Johnston, Carrick and Brown graduating from the OHL. In theory, Ellis and Kassian can anchor this team next season as they are 91 birthdays. The problem is that more than likely those two will be playing in the AHL and even though you can not replace a Ryan Ellis... Nick Ebert looks like he may be the next one. this leads me to believe that the Spits will look for a goaltender to develop. John Cullen will not be an OA with this team next year and more than likely Campbell will be back. It also appears as though Windsor is not a huge fan of Nishi, so if they can draft a possible, above average goalie who is technically sound, who will take direction and learn from a goaltender who has an impressive international resume... then that is who they will take.
Plymouth Whalers - Here is a team that I do not see many holes in. They have Scott Wedgewood and Matt Mahalak, who will be their goaltenders without a doubt. Their offense loses with their 3 OA's graduating from the forward position. and even though they have to replace them with somebody. The team is not hurting huge without the 3. The year of development and the great playoff series against Kitchener has done wonders for them. Since the Whalers lose Livingston, Brown and Czarnik. Then they will take a forward and most likely a winger
Saginaw Spirit - The Spirit went for broke this season, and turns out... they are broke and even thought their offence was as potent in the playoffs when compared to the regular season. The team will still be looking to add to the blueline. Dalton Prout will be a big hole to fill, as well as Walch, Chiarot or Hermenegildo as one or none of them could be back next year due to a crowded OA situation in Saginaw. The younger the D for next season the great the team can be in 2012/13 when the Goaltending and blueline is top notch. and not to mention their depth of young forwards will be ready for prime time.
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 Midwest division so remember to come check that out.