OHL Report: November 2019
Happy November! We are well over a month into the season and it has not disappointed so let’s dive right in.
November is a great month of the OHL as it is Special Olympics Game Month. Each team has one home game in support of Special Olympics Ontario to raise awareness and money for this great program. Click the link and learn how you can help contribute to this movement.
Jamieson Rees is making 30 other teams look absolutely silly right now. He is already almost to his goal total from last season in a fourth less of the games; he currently has nine goals and 22 points in nine games while he had 10 goals and 32 points in 37 games last season. Rees missed some time early last season due to an injury and when he came back he wasn’t the same. Still having his injury linger, he was not getting all the juicy matchups and top line minutes.
Since he doesn’t have a ton of size, he has to play with an edge. Sometimes he can cross that line though as he was suspended for eight games late last season due to a high hit. His relentless play and small stature are probably factors that kept some scouts away, but he seems to have matured and plays a smarter, but still physical brand of hockey.
Deception is a big part of his game and when watching players, I look for this; can he shoot or pass one way while looking the other way, and Rees passes with flying colors. Giving out that bad information helps him escape trouble and creates space for his linemates.
Arthur Kaliyev has 19 goals and 36 points through 18 games to lead the OHL. Quinton Byfield is in second with 33 points in 18 games as well. Connor McMichael comes in third with 32 points in only 13 games.
His 19 goals are also good for first in the league as well, but it is not the total goals I am impressed with. He is also first when it comes to scoring the first goal of the game with four tallies.
It is easy to score in garbage time, especially a player with his skill set, but when the game starts and both teams are even, he is a complete gamer. Being able to score first shows me he has a clear mindset on winning and comes into the game prepared, which was a big knock on him going into last year’s draft. If he can build off of this start and keep competing like this, he is going to be a steal for the LA Kings.
Unfortunately for our own Peter Harling (@pharling), his Kingston Frontenacs have only won one game this season. They do have a bright future with Shane Wright and a number of young players and draft picks in the next couple of drafts.
They seem to be preparing for the future early on in the season as they traded Billy Constantinou to the Soo Greyhounds for three future draft picks. It has been reported he was unhappy with his role on the rebuilding team, so general manager Darren Keily felt it was best to move on.
Moving Constantinou will give some of their younger defenders more ice time to help build their game and it will give management a look as to who is ready for more minutes in bigger roles when the team starts competing again.
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