Happy New Year y’all! I hope everyone had a nice and safe holiday and enjoyed those World Juniors. Many stars are back with their respective teams and the trade deadline is right around the corner so let’s jump right in.
Canada took home another gold at this year’s under-20 tournament, but not without some excitement. The top OHL player, in terms of points at the World Juniors was Connor McMichael; he registered five goals and seven points in seven games, with one goal and one assist in the gold medal game against Russia. He continues to look like a late first-round steal for the Capitals.
In unfortunate news, Jan Jenik suffered a knee injury during the tournament that needed surgery and will keep him out for the rest of the season. He was having a career season with Hamilton, posting career highs in every offensive category and had registered a point in every game he played except for one. Keep an eye on his recovery, but he should be ready to go at the start of next season.
Speaking of Czech players on Hamilton, Jan Mysak, the team’s first-round import pick has hopped the Atlantic and will play with the Bulldogs. He played well during the world juniors, scoring two points in five games. It would have been fun to see him play with Jenik and Kaliyev, but he should still see plenty of opportunities in Hamilton in hopes of boosting his draft stock before the annual summer festivities.
Updated profile @DobberProspects— Jokke Nevalainen (@JokkeNevalainen) January 6, 2020
17-year-old forward Jan Mysak who is moving from Czechia to the Hamilton Bulldogs in the OHL after a strong performance at the #WorldJuniors. He is a projected 1st round pick for the #2020NHLDraft.https://t.co/ALVe9VgPbP
While the likes of McMichael, Jenik, and Arthur Kaliyev were away representing their countries, Marco Rossi took over the scoring lead. He is up to 69 points on the season, playing in only 29 games thus far. He is a bit undersized (five-foot-nine), but could easily hit a growth spurt in the next few years. Right now he is in my top-five for this summer’s entry draft and he recently ranked eighth in DobberProspects 2020 NHL Draft Fantasy Rankings.
We had a scary situation happen when Niagara IceDogs goalie Tucker Tynan was cut in the crease by an inadvertent skate and lost a lot of blood while on the ice. Thankfully paramedics worked quickly and they were able to rush him to the hospital where he underwent successful surgery. He is at home making a full recovery and they hope to have him back in Niagara in mid-January to start his rehab with the team.
With the trade deadline on January 9th for overagers and 10th for everyone else, moves are being made. With tons of action happening, keep your eye on your OHL Insiders for all the latest moves.
In other fun news, over 68,000 teddy bears were tossed onto the ice for this year’s teddy bear toss games across the OHL. The highest amount was in Hamilton, where fans threw over 10,000 bears onto the ice! Every holiday season the teddy bear toss helps multiple organizations provide for families in need and bring smiles to children all across Canada.
Midway through the season, the Frontenacs decided to give Shane Wright an ‘A’ on his sweater. Letters aren’t always big news, but when the player is only 15 years old, that is quite an accomplishment.
He is currently second in rookie scoring, with 32 points in 33 games, which is also good for second on the Frontenacs. The number that really stands out to me is the situations he is scoring his goals. Of his 19 lamplighters, three of them are game-winners, one is an overtime winner, and four of them were scored as the first goal of the game.
That shows he is a true gamer, starting the game off on the right foot and wanting to make an impact early and having the clutch performance to score late when his team needs him to. Again, he is only 15 years old and will continue to get better, which is scary considering he is not NHL draft-eligible until 2022.
I hope everyone has a great start to 2020!
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