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OHL Hot-Stove: If the playoffs started today, who is your sleeper pick?


With the playoffs nearing, I've decided that it was time to get the writers on our team to examine and select their sleeper team. Obviously the playoffs are not set in stone yet, but at this point we pretty much know who will and will not make the playoffs and which teams are not getting the respect and recognition they deserve.

Without further ado, here is this week's question for the hot-stove to discuss: If the playoffs started today, who is your sleeper pick?

Joining me in this week's hot-stove is Trevor Miller, Alex Quevillon, and Phil Phillips.

Todd Cordell

If the playoffs started today, my sleeper team would have to be the Barrie Colts. Though they're currently 5th in the Eastern Conference, I feel as though they don't get the respect they deserve. The Colts have a good mixture of high end talent, gritty players, and their starting goaltender, Mathias Niederberger, is playing the best hockey of his young OHL career. I feel like the Colts forwards can score with pretty much any team in the league, and their defense and goaltending are very underrated in my opinion. The Colts have a lot of depth on defense, and between Niederberger and rookie goaltender Alex Fotinos, who has played very well for Barrie this season, I think they certainly have the talent to get the job done.

All of this aside, your best players need to be your best players come playoff time and with the likes of Mark Scheifele, Ivan Telegin and Tanner Pearson, among others, leading the way I see no reason why the Colts can't make some noise.

Trevor Miller
If the playoffs started today, my pick for the East as a dark horse would have to be the Brampton Battalion. The Troops have been terrific all year with the exception of their eight games without coach Stan Butler behind the bench. While not laden with OHL stars, the Battalion boast one of, if not the best defense corps in the league. Steady goaltending from Matej Machovsky and Keegan Wilson has also been and will continue to be crucial for Brampton’s success. They have victory’s over the elite teams in both conferences this year and Sam Carrick, Barclay Goodrow and Phil Lane have proved to be valuable up front for the team.

My dark horse in the West is Sarnia. With the likes of Yakupov, Sarault, Spooner and Thompson up front, the Sting should have little trouble scoring. They solidified their goaltending bringing in JP Anderson, a guy who went all the way to the OHL and Memorial Cup final last year. They have a good enough defense corps to knock off some of the big teams in the West.

Alex Quevillon


In my mind, Oshawa has to be the "sleeper" in the East.  They lose so many games because of poor discipline.  In the playoffs, I think that the referees will become a little more lenient and it will be intimidating for other teams to play the Gens.  Having a young goaltending tandem is worrisome.  But let's be honest.  Who wouldn't love to have Boone Jenner in a seven-game series? Fact is, the Generals attack is scary when it gets going.  They play a tough game against teams like Niagara and Ottawa and if they end up playing a team like Barrie, the inexperience in goal isn't any sort of disadvantage.  I've spoken to many 67's fans who are hopeful that Oshawa doesn't end up being the first round playoff opponent, or it could be another short playoff here.  In the West?  Well, Windsor always finds a way to go far as of late, right?

Phil Phillips


If the playoffs started today, my sleeper pick to represent the Eastern Conference in the OHL final would be the Oshawa Generals.

Big things were expected of the Generals this season, and they haven't lived up to the hype. They made a coaching change. Chris DePiero stayed on as the teams GM, but was replaced behind the bench with Gary Agnew earlier in the season.

Coach Agnew comes to the Generals with a nice resume, He's coached in the NHL, AHL.  Is a two time winner of the Matt Leyden Trophy for OHL Coach of the year. He took the London Knights to the OHL Final in 1999, where his Knights would lose to the Belleville Bulls in 7 games. He also holds the distinction of being the only coach to lead the Kingston Frontenacs to a division title in 1994–95.

Up front the Generals are loaded with fire power. Where do you start ? Andy Andreoff , Lucas Lessio , Nicklas Jensen, Boone Jenner and lets not forget former 50 goal scorer Christian Thomas, who we all know is capable of more. The Generals could have six 20 goal scorers in the line up when the playoffs start. And with import Sebastian Uvira and Scott Laughton also on the roster, if they can get rolling any team in the East would have a hard time handling what would be three very solid lines.

On the back end the Generals are lead by two players they picked up at the trade deadline. 1st is Matt Petgrave, who brings a wealth of playoff experience and Julian Melchiori. Both can put up points. Chris Carlisle and Colin Suellentrop are both over +11 and give the Generals a nice top 4.

But as we know all playoff runs start and end in net. This is a question mark for Oshawa. They have a former 1st rounder in Kevin Bailie. Who up to this year, hasn't really lived up to expectations. But as of late the Belleville Minor Hockey product seems to be coming in to his own . Daniel Altshuller has showed in his rookie year that he also has the tools to help the Genny's go far. With a lead both goalies are able to win games.

If all of the pieces fall in to place and everyone reaches their potential look for the Oshawa Generals to make some noise.

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