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Interview with Ottawa's 14th Rnd Selection, Christian Zanetti


The Ottawa 67's are of course a storied franchise. They have won league Championships and National titles and one man is synonymous with the Franchise, Brian Kilrea. The 67's are going to be heading into a transition phase this season. They will still be on the up and up. but there will be a power outage as the OA Graduates, the loss of Ryan Martindale and possibly Tyler Toffoli and Shane Prince could hurt this franchise this season. A player completely overlooked by most teams may have always known he would be selected by the 67's and I am sure his bloodline to the franchise helped a bit. Don't let the fact that he is the younger brother of a current player fool you. The kid does have skills and and has the makings of a tough OHL blueliner, even if he doesn't break the 6 foot plateau. The Ottawa 67's selected Christian Zanetti, younger brother of Marc Anthony Zanetti, in the 14th round and could be a solid selection come this time next season.  Of course , ITO’s OHL Aficionado Thayne Hallyburton, @thallyburton, and myself first spotted Christian on the Mississauga Senators because the name 'Zanetti' is easy to spot and is very obvious to connect the dots. We watched intently as he was able to score a goal and add a couple helpers in the tournament. We also noticed the mean streak in young Christian. Possibly because his older brother bullied and toughened him up, or maybe because it worked for his brother so it could work for him. Christian did get into some penalty trouble during the tournament but he was with out a doubt, a spark plug when the team needed one. Of course if you want the quick report on him I had to go to Thayne. 3 words to describe Chrisitan and Thayne responded with, 'Smart, Tough & Undersized.' Undersized would be an ‘understatment’ (play on words) but if he has the dedication to getting bigger and stronger like his older brother, he won't be undersized for long. If you need a comparison Thayne suggest you look at Spencer Abraham of the Brampton Battalion. Christian was gracious enough with his time to answer some of my questions and let me pick his brain. Here is what the 14th round selection of the Ottawa 67's had to say:

Christian thank you for taking time to do this, really appreciate
it. The Missisauga Senators, a great program and a decent showing at
the OHL Showcase Cup this past March, and from that comes you being
drafted 14th round by the Ottawa 67's. Who told you the news? 67's
Staff or did your brother relay the message to you?
I was watching the first part of the draft with my dad and at around the 12th round we had to head out to watch my sisters dance competition. About 20 minutes later my goalie Quentin Abrams said congratulations and that’s how I found out.

I remember watching you at the Showcase Cup, partly because the last name Zanetti and needing your brother to confirm that you were related, and the other part being that you play a bigger game then your smaller frame suggests. Where did you get the mean streak/toughness from?
Although I am only 5’09” I do tend to play a little tougher than usual because after watching my brother play in the OHL for the past 3 years being physical was a huge part in his game and I love getting in there to create problems for the other team.

Mississauga Senators were drafted into the OHL and you were
almost the last one chosen from that team, when was the last time you
were selected last? but seriously, surprised at all that you were
late, or were you more surprised you were even drafted?
Hahaha do not remember the last time I was selected last but I was just happy to get picked. Obviously I was hoping to go a little earlier but to go to the same team as my brother did is a great honour.

Now your brother obviously has some type of influence on you as
like it or not, you are following in his footsteps in terms of playing
in the OHL to obviously continue playing at the next level. What are
some of the positives and negatives you have learned from Marc Anthony on and off the ice?
I have learned from Marc-Anthony that it is best to keep your game simple and continue to push myself on and off the ice. He also always tells me to have positive thinking and know that you will eventually achieve your dream.

67's rookie camp has already taken place and i am sure there was
some good advice given to you when it was all said and done. what was
the message from the 67's when camp was complete and what things are
you doing this summer to help yourself when the puck drops in the
2011/12 season?
Unfortunately I got injured a week before the rookie camp started so I was unable to play but they did say to stay healthy and to work hard throughout the summer so I am ready to play at that level.

Being a 14th round selection in the OHL draft, doesn't really work in your favour when discussing about jumping right to the OHL. Heck, even 3rd round selections dont necessarily suit up for their OHL club in first year of eligibility. I imagine you are in the boat of, another year another chance. so where can the people find you this fall if you are not playing with the 67's and what are your feelings on waiting and toughing it out another year?
I know it is definitely tough to make the 67’s as a 14th round pick but definitely not impossible. Defenceman Julien Demers did it as a 15th round pick for the 67’s as well. If I do not make it this year I will most likely sign with a AAA midget team and work hard to try and make it for the upcoming years.

Going back to your brother for a second, Marc Anthony was never drafted into the NHL, but he found himself in Vancouver Canucks
development camp this past week because of such things as hard work
and dedication. Is it an easier pill to swallow when it comes to the
waiting game when you have someone that close to you going through that sort of thing?
It is a huge help having my brother already gone through all of this. Not getting drafted into the NHL was tough for him to deal with but after seeing him persevere and make it to a few different NHL camps helps me realize that although it might take time it will work out in the end.

Just 2 more for you, I cant believe I went the whole interview,
mentioning the OHL Showcase Cup, watching you play with your mean
streak, and not mentioning my boy Thayne Hallyburton (@thallyburton).
he was present in the arena for every game with me, giving me the
coles notes on the players to watch for, yourself included. I can give
you his version of the scouting report on you, but please do him one
better and tell us how you see yourself on the ice?
I see myself as a physical puck moving defenceman that makes a great first pass and loves to jump into the rush to create odd man opportunities.

Finally Christian, your brother is known for a lot of things on the
ice and off the ice, one of those things being an avid tweeter
(@mzanetti10) he is constantly upgrading mine and others 'hockey
vocab' (Wheeler, Duster, Flow, Gino) the list really goes on and on,
and also his JS tweets. When your bro graduates as an OA can we expect
you to pick up the Zanetti Tweeting slack? and what differences or new
style of tweets will you bring to the table?
Hahaha you can definitely count on me to pick up the slack for his twitter. I just started using twitter recently about 6 months ago and I love it. My style of tweets will probably similar to his but I will try to have bring out some more and better hashtags then he does.


Thank you again to Christian Zanetti (@Zanetti73) for talking the time to answer my tough, intellectual questions. He may not be much with words, but he is definitely something else to watch on the ice. If he isn't in an Ottawa 67's jersey in September, do not forget his name. He will make it to the Show that is the OHL and you can all say 'I follow him on Twitter'. Don’t forget to follow Christian on Twitter and his older brother Marc Anthony Zanetti (@mazanetti10). Here is hoping they can start a hashtag war. Don't forget, stay tuned to www.intheoradio.com for more interviews coming up as well as staying up to date with all the news around the OHL found on the website, and through the twitter feed. (www.twitter.com/@intheoradio)

Interview with Battalion's 8th Rnd Selection, Austin Kosack


The Brampton Battalion boasted a very young but very talented blueline this past season and it is a defence corps that will only grow stronger individually, and as a unit, as time goes on. Lost in the top 6 is one of the Battalions draft picks from this seasons OHL Priority draft, Austin Kosack. An 8th round selection by Brampton could be considered a steal in years to come but right now just looks like they are stockpiling talented defenceman. When ITO’s OHL Aficionado Thayne Hallyburton, @thallyburton, and myself watched Oakville in this years OHL Showcase Cup, it didn’t take long for Kosack to become one of the defenceman to watch in this tournament. I always beat Thayne in pointing out Austin, and for good reason, he skated, he carried, he set up plays in the zone. He was a treat to watch. I asked Thayne to give me 3 words to describe Austin and he came up with ‘intelligent’ and ‘offensive upside’ and compared his style of play to Peterborough Petes Steven Trojanovic. Not a bad comparison, but not the most flattering either when you used ‘offensive upside’ to describe Austin. Nevertheless, I had a chance to talk to Austin and pick his brain a little bit. Here is what the 8th round selection of the Brampton Battalion had to say:

Austin, first of all thank you for joining me for this interview and let me start by talking about the OHL Showcase Cup. You battle through the tournament where myself and colleague Thayne Hallyburton watched you intently because we loved how you controlled the back end of your team. Why do you think we ended up
watching you just as much as, if not more, than other teammates from
oakville, like Perischak, Smith, Shiplo, Burns and the like?
I think I am a solid 2 way defenseman that can play tough and smart down low but I can also lead a rush or jump into the rush if the opportunity is there. People in the crowd usually notice the guys in the offensive end while the coaches and scouts watch a lot more about the defensive end. Fortunately I was able to create some positive things when I jumped into the rush so that is probably what you noticed.

   From the Showcase Cup comes the OHL Priority Draft. The big day comes and you finally hear your name called by the Brampton Battalion, after the initial jubilation of being drafted to the OHL, did you step back and seriously look at the blueline they have and start thinking about your chances of jumping into the OHL in
time for the 11/12 season?
Yeah there was a mix of excitement and relief to be honest. I started getting calls pretty quick after I was selected and they told me about how good and young the defensemen were with the Battalion. I know there is very little chance that I could make the team for this upcoming season given the strength of the current blueline.

When was the initial contact with the Battalion and Stan Butler? And what were your initial reaction to the team and your soon to be Head Coach?
I was called right after I was picked by a member of the Battalion staff and I was very excited as you can imagine. My initial reaction was more about who else was selected because I have known Brandon Robinson for years since our families know each other pretty well and I played a lot of lacrosse against him over the years. I went to school with Bryson Cianfrone and he is one of my great friends and then you have Sean and Jake selected from Oakville as well, so I was pretty excited about who was selected by the Battalion. I had never met coach Butler but I have only heard very good things.

In the midst of covering the Memorial Cup for the loyal followers of www.intheoradio.com (shameless plug) Brampton Orientation/Rookie camp happens and it is you against other rookie/veteran Battalion players like NHL Drafted Phil Lane, Sam Carrick and the draft hopefuls like Spencer Abraham, Zach Bell and Barclay Goodrow. Did you think you gave it your all in the 2 day camp?
Orientation camp wasn't what I had expected to be honest. I really
thought it was going to be some meet and greet stuff and some on ice stuff. To come in and be on the ice playing fast paced contact games caught me a bit off guard. I am a rookie so I want to make a good impression while respecting the veterans who I have just met and I am on the ice with. I also appreciate the ability of my fellow defensemen so I passed off a lot more than I normally would have to let the veteran d-men start the plays. I wasn't disappointed with my play but I know I can play much better and I expect to in September.

You had two teammates from Oakville with you in Goaltender Jake Smith and Forward Sean Perischak, was it easier having them beside you even though you are still competing against them since only 4 '95 birthdays can be signed in first year eligibility?
I never thought about the competition for 95 spots. Sean and Jake and I have been together for 7 years and are really good friends plus we play different positions so I didn't think about that until now.

   I am sure there was good exit advice that Brampton gave you, one of
which was probably a joke about 'get a lil taller in the summer' but
in all seriousness what is the game plan for Austin Kosack so when
September comes around, you are the first one called to sign the paper
and play in the 11/12 season as a member of the Brampton Battalion.
Yeah I heard that one as well. I know I am going to get bigger but right now all I can do is work out as hard as I can and come into camp as strong and fast as I can. I am working out at BTNL 6 days a week in Oakville and it is a very tough but fun. The other day I was finished workout and playing NHL 11 with Sam Gagner from the Oilers. Just guys having fun after a hard workout.

I mentioned it before, but the blueline for the Battalion is
stacked, and not only that, young. No turnaround from their 7
defenceman they had last year. Is this a point of worry for you
knowing that no matter how hard you train, there is a good chance, you
will not be putting on that sweater until the season after this?
The Battalion D is stacked. I don't expect to put on a Brampton jersey this year so I signed with the Burlington Cougars to play JR A. It is a great organization and I know that I am going to get to play and develop at a high level. I train hard anyway because I can't control personnel decisions and I have to train hard to be ready to take regular shifts with the Cougs. I am only 16 and being able to play for Burlington, live at home in Oakville, and be able to practise with the Battalion when I can is about as good as I could hope for. My goal is to put that jersey on the following year.

And finally, a lot of Oakville players were taken, 6 in total, are
you guys still besties and is there a lil side wager of which of you
guys will make it into the O first?
Yeah I think that is the most taken out of Oakville in a long time. The core guys drafted have been buds for 7 years so we are all pulling for each other to do well. I really think that one of my Battalion teammates will be the first one playing in the O. Sean was picked the highest and he looked great in mini camp. Jake also looked great and I know from experience how he can win games so I think one of them will be the first. Of course I hope that I will be the first because of the bragging rights that come with it.

There you have it ladies and gentleman, a look into the mind of Austin Kosack… by Austin Kosack. His goal remains the same even though he has re-arranged the timeline. If you get a chance to watch him play in a Jr. A game you will definitely see what makes this kid special. And hopefully sooner rather than later, he will pull on the White with army trim Brampton Battalion Jersey and begin to add some dazzle to that tough blueline that the Battalion currently possess. Don’t forget to follow Austin Kosack on Twitter (www.twitter.com/@kosack22) and make sure you stay tuned to www.intheoradio.com for more interviews coming up as well as staying up to date with all the news around the OHL found on the website, and through the twitter feed. (www.twitter.com/@intheoradio)

Team Canada U20 (WJHC) CHL Invite Roster


A couple weeks back I looked at the Hockey Canada (HC) U18 Camp Invitee roster, with an OHL focus, and gave you my honest opinion on whether or not certain OHLers would make it. Now it is time to look at the OHLers named to the U-20, or World Junior Hockey Championship (WJHC). The crown jewel in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence (PoE). Below is the complete list of invitees, (OHL in BOLD), and then a breakdown of whether or not they have a shot at making the team.

Goaltenders:
Tyler Bunz, Medicine Hat Tigers, Louis Domingue, Quebec Remparts, Mark Visentin, Niagara IceDogs, Scott Wedgewood, Plymouth Whalers

Defencemen:
Nathan Beaulieu, Saint John Sea Dogs, Cody Ceci, Ottawa 67's, Jerome Gauthier-Leduc, Rimouski, Oceanic, Brandon Gormley, Moncton Wildcats, Erik Gudbranson, Kingston Frontenacs, Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs, Scott Harrington, London Knights, Martin Lefebvre, Quebec Remparts, Joe Morrow, Portland Winterhawks, Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers, Ryan Murray, Everett Silvertips, Stuart Percy, Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, Matthew Petgrave, Owen Sound Attack, Mark Pysyk, Edmonton Oil Kings, Duncan Siemens, Saskatoon Blades

Forwards:
Michael Bournival, Shawinigan Cataractes, Brett Connolly, Prince George Cougars, Sean Couturier, Drummondville Voltigeurs, Phillip Danault, Victoriaville Tigres, Brendan Gallagher, Vancouver Giants
Freddie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs, Patrick Holland, Tri-City Americans, Quinton Howden, Moose Jaw Warriors, Jonathan Huberdeau, Saint John Sea Dogs, Boone Jenner, Oshawa Generals, Ryan Johansen, Portland Winterhawks, Lucas Lessio, Oshawa Generals, Greg McKegg, Erie Otters, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Red Deer Rebels, Matthew Puempel, Peterborough Petes, Ty Rattie, Portland Winterhawks, Brett Ritchie, Sarnia Sting, Mark Scheifele, Barrie Colts, Michael Sgarbossa, Sudbury Wolves, Devante Smith-Pelly, Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, Ryan Spooner, Kingston Frontenacs, Mark Stone, Brandon Wheat Kings
Ryan Strome, Niagara IceDogs, Christian Thomas, Oshawa Generals, Tyler Toffoli, Ottawa 67's

OHL Breakdown: 2 Goaltenders, 7 Defenceman and 13 forwards. 22 of the 44 players attending the WJHC Camp are from the OHL. Dominance much?

Yay or Nay?

Mark Visentin, Niagara IceDogs – if you are new to ITO then you do not know that I am in love with this kid and his goaltending abilities. What started off as a mockery of bet at the CHL Top Prospects game has turned into a hate-hate relationship between Mark and I. But no matter what we personally agree or disagree on, this kid will be the starter yet again for Team Canada in December. And I do want to point out that last year when he was labeled the ‘backup’ I was yelling and screaming the whole time that he should have started the tournament. Game set and match, Brandon.
Scott Wedgewood, Plymouth Whalers – Unfortunately for Scott he has been playing in the shadows of phenomenal goaltending as he has come up through the years. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride for Scott and I have been yelling again, since day one that this kid needs more attention. Best kept secret in the OHL… despite Ryan Strome undressing him in that YouTube video. I know Scott is working hard to finally get a chance to wear the Red and White and I don’t see why this year he couldn’t make the roster.
Cody Ceci, Ottawa 67’s – since seeing him for the first time two seasons ago, I keep forgetting that Cody is not a veteran, but man does he play like one. He is 2012 NHL draft eligible and he has already just wowed me with his style of play. He has definitely come up through the HC PoE and I see that trend continuing here. At 6’2” and a staggering 205lbs there is nothing that will get in his way, not even some veterans to this team.
Erik Gudbranson, Kingston Frontenacs – what a past 12 months for Erik. Getting drafted, just missing the ability to sign with the FLA Panthers over an amount of money as low as $15,000 on the contract, forgetting how to play hockey, a suspension here and there, a team meltdown that gets him stripped of his ‘A’, another suspension and overall sucking in your game… and yet he still gets an invite to this years camp. Unlike last season when he made Team Canada, this year, the Florida Panthers will have him signed and he will not be allowed to go. End of story.
Dougie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs – I am conflicted with Dougie here, not because of his ability or skill set. He will make Team Canada based on those qualities right there. He has the skill and size to make it, and his 9th overall drafting in this years NHL Entry Draft proves he can play the game. But I am conflicted on whether or not he will be back in the OHL this season. Something tells me that he could stay with the Boston Bruins… Defenceman do take longer to develop than forwards, and it could hurt him to be there at a really young age… then again for Drew Doughty it didn’t hurt him and Dougie has size and build on him already. If Dougie puts on the pounds he could make BOS and if he does, he will not make Team Canada. If he is back in Niagara. Then he does not get the Christmas break off.
Scott Harrington, London Knights – here is my mandatory, I am a huge fan of the London Knights speech, and I am. I don’t care if I am media and I am supposed to be unbiased. I cant help it. But in this case, I can not see any scenario where Harrington will make Team Canada. He had a… well not awful year, but a very underwhelming draft year. Unless he comes out firing out of the gate and can carry the momentum this year in London… then he will be at home watching like the rest of us. And that is tough for me to say… you know, since I am a London Knights fan.
Ryan Murphy, Kitchener Rangers – So here is a kid who is left off the U18 roster for the Ivan Hlinka because he can not play defence. When the Rangers get knocked out of the playoffs he plays for the U18 team at the Worlds, despite him not being able to play defence. And then he gets drafted 12th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes even though he can not play defence? Has everyone dropped that notion by now? No? ok fine, maybe he can not play D, but he will play for Team Canada.
Stuart Percy, Mississauga Majors – Now a lot of you will be saying who? Stuart Percy… selected 25th by the Toronto Maple Leafs… a solid, stay at home defenceman who has wowed a lot of people this year into not only becoming a Top Prospect, but a first round draft pick. He may not possess bone crushing hits, or a big frame that may scare the opposition. But this kid knows his angles and knows how to play D. if him  and Murphy played together, would it make them the Odd Couple? He is wearing the maple leaf come Christmas.
Matt Petgrave, Owen Sound Attack – here is your recipient of a fantastic team season where he got loads of PP time and worked well in a system invitee… I am not trying to take anything away from Matt Petgrave but his invite is the result of the Owen Sound Attack coming from off the map to become the OHL Champions this year. The buck stops here Matt… but hey this will give you the time to reload your iPod… I hear Beyonce has a new album out.
Freddie Hamilton, Niagara IceDogs – the man with the Brows… or Brow. Depending in what light you are looking at him. Freddie has shown he is a pure sniper. What many didn’t know about him, is that he is a pretty complete player. And this year his stock rose immensely, thanks in part because of a teammate of his who I will get to later. It would be good to take them both on the team, but with the Head Coach being Don Hay from the WHL. This Hamilton may be in Calgary during the Christmas break… but he will be watching his brother.
Boone Jenner, Oshawa Generals – ‘are they yelling boooo? Or Boooooone?’ In the case of Mr. Burns the crowd was chanting BOO! But in Jenner's case, BOOOOOONNNNEEEE! Will this get him onto the team though? No sadly it will not.  A great talent who next season in the OHL will be a breakout star but with a lot of potential for veterans on the team, he will be a victim to the numbers game. Has played in HC PoE at every level and he will wear the Maple Leaf at the U20 soon. But not this year.
Lucas Lessio, Oshawa Generals – I love this kid, I love how he plays, love how he jokes, and I love how the crowd in Niagara hate him sooooooo much. Seriously though, this kid has not grown into his skill yet. Plays a much bigger game than his stature suggests and even though his stats did not set the world on fire, he was on a veteran team who clawed for every second they got to play. This season will be different but he will have to wait until the season after next to play for the red and white.
Greg McKegg, Erie Otters – The Pirate Captain himself, who was cut from last years team even though he was leading in Goals at the time. He finished the year strong and can provide a lot to this Team Canada team. I would look for him in a 3rd/4th line role, like Stefan Della Rovere was for Team Canada a few years ago. He makes the team hands down.
Matt Puempel, Peterborough Petes – Maybe it is because he doesn’t play NHL 11, no seriously, he is not a gamer at all. But Puempel has grown on me. He didn’t set the world on fire in his sophomore season like he did in his rookie campaign but the kid has gotten physically stronger. He lost the end of the year due to hip surgery but I am assured that he is stronger than before in his lower body. But I still don’t believe he never meant to shoot the puck at me back in October… he already wears maroon and white, and maroon is a darker red. Easy decision here.
Brett Ritchie, Sarnia Sting – Not every OHLer can make this team and here is one that I am very undecided on. A big, strong winger that is built like, and plays like he should be in the WHL, that is… if you want to stereotype leagues and players like that. since it is a coach from the WHL, I am inclined to say he will be one of the last players cut, or be a 13th forward.
Mark Scheifele, Barrie Colts – a talented kid who put up numbers beyond expectations for a very weak Barrie Colts team. If he put up numbers like this on Mississauga, or another high offence team, there would be suspicion. In this case, was he deserving of 7th overall and the future face of the Winnipeg Jets? Time will tell (I say yes). He can move, he can shoot, and he learned how to be a better defensive forward this year. Mark will get a long look, but it may not be this season he gets the nod and that is only because of the centreman who I will discuss soon.
Michael Sgarbossa, Sudbury Wolves – Wow this is a tough call, much like Scheifele, once he fell in Sudbury he made the most of his situation including carrying the entire team on his back. Ok not the entire team, because Marcus Foligno was carrying the other half of the team. But it was insane to see the difference in his game once he moved to Sudbury from Saginaw. In 26 games for the Spirit, 7G-13A-20Pts. In 37 games for Sudbury 29G-33A-62pts… Did he play more in the Bury? Definitely… but did he play with the same offensive type talent that Saginaw stockpiled? Definitely not. This kid has something in him, he didn’t get drafted the second time around, but his NHL invites will be interesting. A long look, but too one dimensional for my likes.
Devante Smith-Pelly, Mississauga Majors – what do I not like about this guy? Nothing. I love everything that he brings to the table. You want a tough mucker grinder who has the softest hands in the world who will get you those surprise goals that can turn the tournament in your favour. Then take DSP. Otherwise he will be sitting at home. I think it would be a shame to see him sitting at home, but he is similar to Ritchie, and Ritchie is a little lighter on his feet. Sorry DSP.
Ryan Spooner, Kingston Frontenacs – I know he has talent and skill and has played at the U17 and U18 tournament… but I just don’t realistically see him at this tournament wearing the Maple Leaf. Maybe it is something about his haircut, I don’t know. If he is a hot commodity heading into December, then I will be eating my words. Right now, I don’t see it.
Ryan Strome, Niagara IceDogs – SEE YOUTUBE. That is all I practically have to say. What else do you need to know? Tremendous vision, raised the stock of every player on the IceDogs by constantly feeding them easy goals after he did the hard work. Can skate with the pact and can dangle more than… Steve Dangle himself (although I have never seen Steve dangle, I assume he can with a name like that). Here is your, ‘must cry foul’ if Strome does not make Team Canada this Christmas.
Christian Thomas, Oshawa Generals – Here is one that many people, myself included, screamed to be on Team Canada this past tournament. Granted the team basically had muckers and grinders and here is a kid who had tremendous offensive talent, 54 goals to end the season, who is a speedy little guy too. Christian will not be denied this year otherwise I believe the Oshawa twitterverse will explode.
Tyler Toffoli, Ottawa 67’s – Speaking of crying foul, here is your OHL Goal Scoring leader for this past season. 57 tough love goals and he is cut from Team Canada. I don’t know who he ticked off, maybe it is just his size that people will dismiss him at. He has picked up his skating ability, one of the hardest shots in the league. And has had to battle a few things that you would not believe. Tough kid with character and of course, the Midas touch to goal scoring. I say yes… but I think Don Hay will say no.

FINALLY! That is all 22 OHLers and my personal opinion on whether or not they have a shot at making Team Canada during Christmas. 10 of the 22 I believe will make it, with 2 yes, but the NHL will decide. So I say a total of 12 OHLers could be on Team Canada this upcoming holiday season. And what would that mean? Another dominant effort by the greatest Major Junior league in the World. Hands down the OHL rules and by proxy, I rule because I cover the league!

Barrie's Crowded Crease

Clint Windsor with Barrie in 10/11
It is no secret now that the Barrie Colts are going to go into training camp with the, 'you want the job? take the job' mentality when it comes to their goaltending for the 2011/12 season. Not only will the Colts look at their trio from last season: Clint Windsor, John Chartrand and Josh Malecki, but Barrie has also added Alex Fontinos and Jack McDonald through the OHL Priority Draft but they also added German netminder Mathias Niederberger this past week in the CHL Import Draft. The finally tally if you lost count is 6 goaltenders for 2 positions in the Colts crease. and even though it is expected that Fontinos and McDonald will play either Jr. A or Jr B this upcoming season... you never know what will happen. You would like to see your 16 year old tenders push the veterans and hopefully take the back up job away. If one of the two kids do take the back up position this early in their career then you run into the argument, 'is it good for their development to be sitting on the bench for up to 3 weeks without game action?'
     The real question is why bring in/waste an import pick on a Goaltender if you do not believe he will be your starter? London's situation last year with Igor Bobkov is different than the current Barrie situation because they had a starter in the wings with Michael Houser, who arguably lead the Knights to the Playoffs this season. By bringing the German import you send one of two messages to your current duo/trio (I dont believe Malecki will ever see another game in a Barrie Colts OHL sweater). The message to Windsor and Chartrand is either; 'you guys can not do the job, so who wants to be back up' or 'who wants this more? you or our import?'
'Hollywood' Chartrand
      Personally I wondered why John 'Hollywood' Chartrand had his butt glued to the bench in the final dozen games or so and couldn't figure out who he pissed off. In a discussion with multiple Colts players, no one really gave any insight as to why 'Hollywood' was not playing considering they were not fighting for a playoff spot. Many thought ok if you are going to give the job to Windsor, why not let John play so you can rise his value and trade him in the off season.
     Valid point raised by teammates of the goaltenders. and really why wouldn't you? for the past two seasons I have heard how awful Clint Windsor is, a big goaltender who looks like a giant fish out of water when he is playing in the OHL.
     For the most part... I see these peoples point, and maybe I tend to agree with them more because I like what Chartrand was able to do in Niagara and hoped he could duplicate it with Barrie once he was traded. Going back to the main point of the article. Barrie needs to make a decision. Throw out their two drafted 16 year olds and you still have 4 goaltenders for 2 spots. Toss Malecki out because any goalie who injures himself getting dressed should try a new vocation in life. This leaves the main three. Considering the moves that Barrie has made, (adding Derek Hartwick, Reid McNeill, Victor Terreri, Ray Huether) the Colts are looking to make a big push this season, to push them over the edge the year after. And you can not do this without great goaltending. Is it Chartrand? Neiderberger? Windsor? we will soon find out, and I hope the odd one out is Windsor... Just because Johnny has a great nickname, 'Hollywood'

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