Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Who Are: The Rupert Twins

The 2010 OHL Priority Selection Draft has already seen some of its players contributing at to their teams' successes, namely first-rounders such as Alex Galchenyuk, Brendan Gaunce, Matia Marcantuoni, and Nick Ebert. However, two players taken by London have made their way into the Knights lineup, albeit in depth roles.

Ryan and Matt Rupert, a pair of 5'10" twins, were the Knights' 3rd and 4th round picks in the 2010 OHL Draft. As one might assume, both played their minor hockey in the same system, suiting up for the Elgin Middlesex Chiefs and totaling for 156 points in 105 combined games last season.

Both of the Rupert brothers signed their respected OHL contract, but could not make the Knights out of camp and the duo was demoted to the GOJHL's Lambton Shore Predators.

Ryan, the most offensively-dangerous of the tandem, put his skills on display early, racking up 12 goals and 13 assists in only 14 games for the Predators. Clearly Ryan's hot streak caught London's attention as he was quickly promoted to the Knights' OHL roster.

Matt wasn't quite able to match his brother's gaudy pace for Lambton Shore, though Ryan's absence on the team allowed Matt to take the team lead in scoring with 27 points in 20 games. Possibly one of the biggest benefactors from London's sale at the OHL trade deadline, Matt's solid production and his obvious chemistry with his brother earned him a promotion to the Knights' roster.

The brothers have had varying success to date with the Knights. Ryan has played in 15 games since his promotion and has notched 5 points, including Sunday's game against Oshawa in which he scored a goal and two assists. Matt, however, has only suited up for 5 games and was a scratch against the Generals.

Though I personally think both of the Rupert twins will be hard-pressed to see a legitimate shot at top-6 minutes next year (I foresee the Knights making some major shake-ups during the 2011 offseason), I really believe that they are legitimate NHL prospects and dark-horses for the 2012 NHL draft. The team's top forwards - Jared Knight, Vladislav Namestnikov and Seth Griffith - are all going to be back next season leading the charge for London, so for the Ruperts' sake I hope they can both bring their best game for the remainder of this season in order to lock up top-9 roster spots for next season.

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