The 2022 NHL Draft was an interesting one in regard to the OHL. Due to the pandemic, the OHL skipped the entire 2020-21 season, which meant the players that would be eligible for the 2022 Entry Draft missed their entire rookie season. Losing a whole year of development is impactful, any way you put it, but it is even worse when you are in one of the only junior leagues in the world not to play a single game.
This meant scouts had less watch time on these OHLers than anyone else they were watching for the draft. Due to this, some pretty talented players went undrafted when they were not expected to.
Fast forward nearly 20 games into the 2022-23 season, and there are multiple undrafted OHLers off to hot starts, so let’s take a look at a few of them that you should keep your eye on the rest of the year.
Zakary Lavoie, RW (Mississauga Steelheads)
Lavoie is a goal-scoring winger who works well in the offensive zone and has the instinct to create space for himself. He possesses a solid shot that has been on display to start the year. Lavoie kicked off his season with a hat trick and an overtime winner against the Niagara IceDogs in the Steelheads’ season opener.
With eight goals and six assists through 15 games, he is currently on pace for 63 points in 68 games, a jump from 44 points in 64 games last season. His production does not jump off the page for a DY+1 player at this point, but his skill set gives a lot to like for a player you could get late in the draft or potentially sign as a free agent.