Mitch Marner dominating the OHL, Connor McDavid comes alive and Jets prospects impress
Saturday, January 3rd
Happy New Year to all of our dedicated DobberProspects readers! As we turn a new calendar year, I speak on behalf of the entire DobberProspects staff, including Associate Editor Austin Wallace, when I say that we hope to continue bringing you some of the best prospect coverage out there. As a new resolution, Austin and I are planning on ramping up the frequency of our ramblings so be sure to keep checking back.
Before I dive into the World Junior Hockey Championships, there are few non-WJC related prospect stories that need to be addressed…
In an NHL draft class that features to projected superstars in Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, it’s extremely difficult to top the daily news that surfaces daily on those two players. In saying that, how about London Knights’ draft eligible forward Mitch Marner’s surgence? The young right winger has been absolutely sensational since the end of October.
He started the season off on a slow note with just four points in his opening 10 games which required me to remind the hockey world that he would be alright and not to worry, sending people to re-read my article on him late last summer. On October 24th, Marner picked up three assists against an Ottawa 67’s squad which sparked a 16-game point streak tallying 21 goals and 44 points before he was held pointless on December 5th against the Soo Greyhounds, ending that impressive run. Since he was blanked, Marner has picked back up from his storybook month that witnessed him become the OHL’s November Player of the Month.
In his past 10 games, the slick playmaking forward has dominated the gamesheet posting 10 goals and 28 points, including 5-point and 6-point nights in back-to-back games against the Sarnia Sting. Do the math and you quickly find out that Mitch Marner has racked up 31 goals and an astonishing 72 points over his last 27 games, with only one pointless game.
In any other draft, Marner would be a lock for a top 5 selection but the likes of McDavid, Eichel, Hanifin, Crouse, Werenski, Strome and Zacha are still making it tough to crack. Outside of maybe McDavid, I haven’t seen many draft eligible skaters with Marner’s ability to create offense and it’s going to be arguably the best Top 10 in the drafts recent history. What a class of players! Marner sits with a seven point cushion in the OHL scoring race (77 points in 37 games) ahead of Dylan Strome (70).
Marner’s linemate Michael McCarron (Canadiens 2013 1st rounder) was traded to the contending Oshawa Generals earlier this week. He takes his 21 goals and 40 points that he accumulated with the London Knights with him. London was sort of sitting on the fence on whether to make another run this season but without the guns on the backend and unproven goaltending, it appears the Knights will do a quick restock and rely on Mitch Marner, potential Knight Max Jones and promising young defensemen Victor Mete and Ben Gleason for a run as soon as maybe 2015-16.
Knights GM Basil McRae stated that he has no intentions of trading Max Domi (when he returns from the WJC) unless the young Arizona prospect and WJC standout requests a trade. My hunch….Domi gets moved ;).
Marner’s other linemate, Christian Dvorak (Coyotes), continues to run red hot. In fact, for a USA team that had trouble scoring goals at the WJC, I am sure they may be second guessing their choice to leave this budding prospect back in the OHL. Dvorak was just named OHL Player of the Month for December, recording 26 points including 10 goals and 16 assists over 10 games. As nice as his statline is, Dvorak plays an outstanding two-way game that should translate well to the professional ranks. Get this kid on your radar (he should’ve been long ago) as he plays such a complete game that he will get looks earlier than most other prospects. Dvorak is coming off back-to-back six-point games.
While we’re at it, it’s worth mentioning that one of my favourite sleepers for the 2015 NHL Draft was just named OHL Rookie of the Month (December). Congrats to Greyhounds’ forward Zach Senyshyn, who’s riding an eight-game point streak. His 13 points in 10 December games certainly has this lanky skilled winger on scout’s draft radars now.
Since being cut,