Friday, May 20, 2011

2011 OHL Priority Selection: Thoughts & Notes

The 2011 OHL Draft took place May 7th and I figured I'd make use of the opportunity of pointing out some things that caught my eye. Full results can be found here.

  • Aaron Ekblad was the obvious choice for Barrie at the #1 slot: he was granted exceptional player status for a reason. The already-massive '96-born (weighs in at 6'2" and 205 lbs.) put up over a point per game in his second season of playing on Sun County's '95 AAA team. He's the total package and the Colts have themselves a huge piece to build around - pun intended.
  • I absolutely love the fact that Belleville fulfilled my hopes with their #5 overall pick by adding another Subban to the organizational depth chart. It's easy to see why Jordan's been compared to his brother, P.K.: he's a similar size, plays with the same flair and manages to put up awesome offensive numbers (21 goals and 64 points for the Toronto Marlboros). The Bulls are a very up-and-coming squad, so while it would be bold to expect huge things out of Subban for next year, he will be critical in the Bulls' rebuild. Having brother Malcolm around as the starting goalie won't hurt him either.
  • I was surprised to see that Kingston picked Max Domi with the #8 selection. Sure, he was considered the favourite to be the #1 pick for most of the season, but using that high of a selection on a player you'd be lucky to get into the lineup is very risky business. His 57 points in 30 games is nothing to ignore, though, so if the Fronts can get him locked-in he'll be an absolute steal.
  • Ritchie to Peterborough makes plenty of sense. They have a lot of ways they could have improved and taking a offensively-gifted winger with size will do a lot for to help out Puempel, Watson and company. To make things that much better for the Petes, Ritchie isn't NHL draft-eligible until 2014, meaning he'll definitely play in Peterborough for at least three seasons.
  • I'm not really well-informed about him and his play, but Evan Allen and his 114 points in 80 games probably would have been a top-30 pick if he actually wanted to play in the OHL. He has committed to the University of Michigan for '13-'14 and will play for the US National Training & Development program in the fall. Windsor rolled the dice on him in the final round, but, given their track record with American prospects headed to the USNTDP, I wouldn't be surprised to see Allen in a Spitfires jersey down the road.
  • Joseph Blandisi seems like a very solid pick in the 3rd Round for Owen Sound. 51 goals and 92 points in 41 games is impressive and as of late they've been churning out some quality offensive prospects (see: Hishon, Joey).
  • Similarly, Davis Brown could be a very solid pick by Sarnia in the 3rd Round. They already have a great young core with Yakupov, Galchenyuk, Ritchie and Francisco, so the potential of adding Brown's offense (71 goals and 113 points in 65 game) into the mix intriguing.
  • Ekblad's teammate, Trevor Murphy, is definitely one to watch. Drafted by the Petes in the 3rd round, Murphy scored scored 39 goals and 92 points in 59 games for Sun County - as a defenceman!

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