We're almost there, the OHL Championship is right around the corner as the Mississauga Steelheads get ready to face the Erie Otters. Arguably the two best teams in each conference vying for a chance at the J Ross Robertson Cup.
We've seen some impressive performances this post-season and none of them should come to a big surprise except maybe for the dominant play of two prospects for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft including Jason Robertson, who's post-season was cut short when the Peterborough Petes eliminated his Kingston Frontenacs in the second round. Robertson was finally being noticed as a bonafide first round prospect and didn't disappoint in the post-season finishing with 5 goals, 19 points in just 11 games. In fact, at the end of two rounds, he was tied for the OHL playoff scoring title.
Nick Suzuki is the other draft prospect that really emerged as a game breaker in the playoffs. His Owen Sound Attack were just eliminated by the Erie Otters in the recent Western Conference finals. Suzuki who is expected to be the third highest selection of OHL players in the draft, finished with 8 goals and 23 points in 17 games. Both these prospects put up impressive performance against more veteran competition.
Steven Lorentz (Carolina Hurricanes) has come a long way since his rookie season and was one of the Peterborough Petes' best players throughout the regular season and playoffs. Over the last two seasons, he's worked hard on his defensive game and his decision making. He reads plays much better and it's been showing in both his offensive and defensive game. He recently earned a three-year entry level deal ahead of the June 1st deadline. Lorentz has bulked up and become bigger and stronger but still has a long way to go before he can battle for a spot in the NHL. Expect him to stick around in the minors for at least a couple years.
Still fighting for a berth in the Memorial Cup:
Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks) has surpassed his previous playoff performances and currently leads the OHL in playoff scoring. He consistently puts up big numbers in the postseason and regular season including three consecutive 50-goal and 100-point regular seasons. But for some reason, DeBrincat still gets questions thrown at him. While he has great linemate, both his scoring ability and playmaking make him a double threat. His size will always be a question until he faces bigger and stronger players on a regular basis, but for now, it still hasn't slowed him down. Expect to see him get a shot with the Blackhawks, but expect to see him in the AHL for the majority of next season.