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from the CCHL to the OHL

SPECIAL THANKS TO: Chris Messina
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The Central Canada Hockey League has done a good job at developing players that have gone on to have successful careers in the Ontario Hockey League. The Junior ‘A’ league is run out of Eastern Ontario and its alumni list from recent years is pretty impressive. Players such as Calvin De Haan (Kemptville 73’s) who established himself as one of the League’s premier defenseman as a member of the Oshawa Generals and was also on two Canadian World Junior Teams and Jason Akeson (Cumberland Grads) who developed into one of the league’s premier scoring threats as a member of the Kitchener Rangers, capped off his OHL career by being one of the league’s co-scoring leaders last year.
There is a new crop of up and coming players from the CCHL enjoying their rookie year in the OHL. Many that have followed the league would even claim last year’s group of sixteen year olds (1994 born players) was the strongest rookie class the league has ever seen. Let’s take a look at how they are doing thus far:


Daniel Altshuller – Oshawa Generals (Nepean Raiders):
He was made famous by being the only none OHL player on Team Ontario’s gold medal winning roster last year at the U17s. Originally drafted by the Belleville Bulls he had his rights dealt to Oshawa this past summer. In 11 games with the Generals, Altshuller has posted a 5-5 recorder with 2.95 GAA and .909 save percentage.

Warren Steele - Kingston Frontenacs (Smiths Falls Bears):
He played last year in Smiths Falls but found his way into seven games with the Frontenacs as a sixteen-year-old. With the Bears he played in 62 games, scored 3 goals and added 25 assists for 28 points. This year he has been one of the few bright spots on a team in Kingston that is struggling. His style of play has drawn comparisons to another former CCHLer Calvin De Haan. In his first 15 games this year, he’s collected 3 goals and 4 assists for 7 points.

Nathan Pancel – Sudbury Wolves (Gloucester Rangers):
He was the CCHL Rookie of the Year last season. He scored 37 goals and had 62 points in 58 games with Gloucester last year. Shortly after the Gloucester Rangers were swept out of the playoffs by the eventual RBC Cup Champion Pembroke Lumberkings, Pancel signed with the Wolves. He saw action in 2 playoff games for the Wolves before his season came to an end. In his first 12 OHL regular season games he’s amassed 1 goal, 2 assists for 3 points.

Zach Lesile – Guelph Storm (Gloucester Rangers):
With Gloucester last year he scored 13 goals as a rookie defenseman in 56 games. The only other defenseman under 18 to have double digits in goals was Kevin Tansey (13) of the Cumberland Grads (currently playing for Clarkson in NCAA).  In 11 games with the Storm to this point he has 2 assists and 14 penalty minutes.
Spencer Cobbold – Mississauga St. Michaels Majors (Kanata Stallions):
Known for his lighting quick speed he had a good season with Kanata Stallions a year ago. He was tied for fourth on his in goals with 17. He’s scored twice in 12 games so far for the Majors.

Brandon Lesway – Kitchener Rangers (Kemptville 73s):
Last year with the Kemptville 73s he’s recorded 9 goals and28 points in 62 games. This season he’s been pointless in 10 games with the Rangers.
Curtis Meighan – Kitchener Rangers (Cumberland Grads):
In 55 games with the Grads last year he scored 9 goals and had 23 points. This year in 11 games with Kitchener he’s scored a goal along with two assists for 3 points.

Adam Lloyd – Brampton Battalion (Gloucester Rangers):
He was able to get in one regular season game and one playoff game last season with the Battalion. In 11 games this year with the Battalion he’s recorded 2 assists.


For more information and to ask Chris some questions about the CCHL or its Graduates follow him on Twitter @cmessina85

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