These 11 players are not going to go in the second round or even third round although some of them may, but they are guys that I see as going in the 3-4-5-6-7 range who are intriguing players. Lots of upside, but they are projects in their own rights. Let’s take a look
10) Corey Kennedy-TPH Thunder-Forward
Little Corey Kennedy was the backbone of the TPH attack. At 5 foot 7 and 145 pounds he will not put the fear into the eyes of his opponents, but those eyes had better not blink, or he will be flying right by the defender. Speed to burn and hands of gold, this little guy can flat out play. Being an American and under-sized will make him a very late pick, but whoever gets him might just be surprised like Windsor was, with Eric Locke (13th rd. 09) and he could be in the line-up in the next few years.
9) Aiden Wallace-Don Mills Flyers-Forward
Anyone who watched the finals of the OHL cup on Rogers Sportsnet this year saw what Aiden Wallace brings to the table. On a stacked Don Mills team he still shined through. A natural wrist shot and lots of speed to turn the corner on defenders are his best assets.
8) Zack Nastasiuk-Barrie Colts-Forward
The Colt’s forward is a big body who is strong on the puck, is an adequate skater and is capable of that game breaking play at any time. He would do best in a puck possession down low and cycle game. He is above average at most things including defensive zone coverage, but watching him, he lacks that one intangible that would make him a ‘can’t miss prospect’.
7) Cole Cassels – Ohio Blue Jackets- Forward
The son of former NHLer Andrew Cassels, Cole impressed at the OHL Cup. Like most kids of NHL parents, his biggest strength is his skating. He also sees the ice very well. He needs to work on his passing game and needs to get stronger in the upper body, but he will be a serviceable OHLer with the chance at more.
6) Kenny Appleby-NOHA-Goaltender
Every scout at the OHL Cup was pining to see this kid play. At 6 foot 5, you knew when he was in the net for the NOHA Wolves All-Star team. At this age group you want to see size and athleticism in a goaltender and this kid has both. He possesses the quickest feat that I saw at the tournament and that was supposed to be a title belonging to Spencer Martin of the Jr. Canadiens. Look for Appleby to be a 3-4-5 round pick and get a shot to make an impact early.
5) Jordan Larson-Thunder Bay Kings-Forward
Thunder Bay is known for being the Staal’s home but the next great OHLer from there may be Jordan Larson. Larson plays the center position, but from the times that I saw him, he looks to fit the bill more as a winger. He has elusive speed and a great shot but he seems to make a lot of stuff happen off the half boards, blue line – in. He might become one of the steals of the draft if he sneaks past the 5th round.
4) Brent Pederson-Waterloo Wolves-Forward
Pederson is not a flashy player to see him play, he is the kind of player that when a goal is sored you ask “who got that one?” and the answer always seems to be Brent Pederson. He makes a lot of things happen right close to the net. He likes to play the power forward game. His skating needs some work, but is good enough. I see him as a 3rd line 15-20 goal scorer and PK specialist. He has that defensive intangible you don’t see in many 15 year olds.
3) Austin Kosack- Oakville Rangers-Defense
Kosack was snubbed from the OHL draft combine and I have no idea why. This kid was the best defenseman on a very good Oakville Rangers team. He is dependable on the defensive side but he shines leaving the zone with his first pass. If you have a counter attack, quick pace team (Ottawa 67’s style) this is the kid for you. He has a heavy shot, and you can hear him out there calling for the puck so he can use it. Future power-play quarterback.
2) BJ Salerno-Don Mills Flyers-Forward
There is a lot of talk that Salerno will choose a USHL-NCAA path to the draft and that would be a shame for us OHL fans. This kid is an electric player. He has shown the ability to take over a game. He works hard in all 3 zones, but his hands and offensive creativity is his biggest asset. Salerno should be a top 60 pick, but may drop into the 100’s.
1B) Alex Carnevale-Barrie Colts-Forward
Carnevale had people’s attention before the OHL Cup, but after, he had everyone smiling. He bangs with the best of them, isn’t a pretty skater but more than gets the job done, has hands of gold and an OHL shot. This kid will flat outwork his opponent until he gives in. He’s fun to watch and will become a fan favourite at the next level. He will be hard to pass up and will struggle to make it past the 3rd round.
1A) Mackenzie Dick-Elgin-Middlesex-Defense
Mackenzie Dick didn’t have the greatest of OHL Cups but had a fantastic year. He was one of the best defenseman In the Alliance. His stock may drop, but make no mistake he will be an early pick. This kid has a great shot and is very capable in his own end. His footwork is OHL ready but his head may not be. If he can think the game better he would be in the top 30 discussion. Luckily with a little video work this can be taught. Teams had better think hard before they look elsewhere. He should go in the 50-70 slot.
Stay tuned for the Draft results tomorrow, or watch live on http://www.ontariohockeyleague.com at 9am for the draft.