Prospect Ramblings: (A Late) OHL Playoff Primer

by Hayden Soboleski on March 31, 2019

 

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Last week, I wrote a relatively quick look at the WHL playoffs, and which fantasy-relevant prospects could become risers or fallers by being post-season heros or flops. This week, I’ll be doing the same for the OHL (or at least the teams that have made it to the second round, my apologies for the lateness).

 

London Knights vs Guelph Storm

  • London boasts one of the most fantasy-prospect-loaded lineups in the tournament thanks to Alex Formenton (OTT), Evan Bouchard (EDM), Adam Boqvist (CHI) who dominated the first round. These aren’t necessarily revelations, so much as sell-high opportunities should you choose.
  • Over-aged top scorer Kevin Hancock (undrafted) might earn himself a contract, or at the very least a training camp invite if he keeps up his pace.
  • Liam Foudy (CBJ) has a respectable 4 points in 4 games so far, but has more in the tank and could become an under-the-radar fantasy-riser if he looks ready to push into the NHL lineup soon.
  • Not to be outdone, Guelph boasts firepower of its own in top prospects Nick Suzuki (MTL), Isaac Ratcliffe (PHI) and Sean Durzi (LAK). All three players have the chance to boost their fantasy stocks with solid post-seasons (Suzuki is already high-profile, but Ratcliffe and Durzi have sleeper pick potential in the coming seasons).
  • One prospect already taking advantage of the spotlight is Alexei Toropchenko (STL), a 4th-rounder who has 7 points in 4 games. Keep an eye out.
  • Same goes for Mackenzie Entwistle (CHI), a 3rd-rounder whose fantasy stock has been rising all year long.

 

Saginaw Spirit vs SSM Greyhounds

  • Less loaded than some other clubs, Saginaw is succeeding while Owen Tippett (FLA) does what he does best – scoring goals (5 in 4 games so far). His fantasy value took a hit when he didn’t produce in 7 NHL games in 2017-18, and didn’t see any actin this season. He’s got something to prove.
  • Barrett Hayton (ARI), and Morgan Frost (PHI), are probably unfair names to include here – their fantasy stocks are currently very high and unlikely to dip too much. That being said, if poor showings occur and value does take a hit, use this as a buy-low opporunity on two potential stars.
  • It’s been a career year for Mac Hollowell (TOR), who has been appearing on more and more radars all year long. Make sure sure you stay in the loop.
  • Keeghan Howdeshell (undrafted) is probably playing his way into a training camp invite this fall, so watch for his name to become available in dynasty leagues if signed.

Ottawa 67s vs Sudbury Wolves (likely)

  • Barring a 3-game rally by Peterborough, which would pit them against the 67s instead.
  • Mid-range prospects Sasha Chmelevski (SJS) and Adam Ruzicka (CGY) can do a lot for their careers with strong pushes this time of year. Just a couple names to watch for signs of pro-readiness and gain an edge come training camp.
  • Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has a 0.946 SV% through 4 playoff games. Think Sabres fans are excited? Think fantasy owners are even more excited? Just remember that goalies are long-term projects. Take the fantasy rises and falls with a grain of salt.

 

Niagara Ice Dogs vs Oshawa Generals (likely)

  • Barring a 3-game rally by Peterborough, which would match up Niagara vs Sudbury.
  • Jason Robertson (DAL) is one of the most under-rated prospects in the world, so its hard not to feel that he’s just one big goal away from a whirlwind of hype (and therefore a huge bump in trade value). 
  • Two 2nd-rounders have made waves this season and have a lot to prove with a strong post-season. Jack Studnicka (BOS) got recognized for his complete game this year and have Bruins fans excited for a push toward pro this fall.  Akil Thomas (LAK) let his scoring do the talking, breaking out for 102 points. A dynamite post-season could give him that extra edge when training camp lineups get set in September and we know the Kings are desperate for speed and scoring. These guys’ stocks probably aren’t going to fall, but they could see another jump.
  • One low-profile prospect already having a sneaky-good playoffs is Ivan Lodnia (MIN), another name worth watching. He got an AHL tryout last season and would’ve again if not for this post-season push.
  • I just couldn’t do a ramblings without an Avs note…Brandon Saigeon (COL) quietly dominated the OHL this season and has 6 points in 4 games so far in the playoffs…he’s turning pro for an organization that assigns lots of decent players down to the ECHL if they aren’t convinced they’re ready yet, so I would bet he’s motivated.

 

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FIRST NHL GOALS TIME!

 

Only one this week, but luckily its a beauty. I love Welinski’s confidence to take an opportunity to skate into a puck and blast the slapper:

 

 

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Thank you for reading! I hope everyone is kicking back and just enjoying the quality hockey being played, now that fantasy leagues are wrapping up for the season.

Hayden Soboleski

@soboleskih