In one sense, you could say the Mississauga Steelheads and London Knights are victims of their own success. Major junior hockey is a development stream after all and they’ve each developed multiple players well enough for extended stays in the NHL this season, albeit they could still come back to the OHL.
The Everett Silvertips have been thrown into the fires of adversity to start the 2017-18 Western Hockey League season. A gruelling travel schedule and star goaltender Carter Hart on the sidelines due to illness, the Tips have had their work cut out for them, but overage forward Matt Fonteyne says every challenge presents an opportunity.
There’s some hesitancy to read too much into the standings early on in the OHL season, and understandably so. It’s a long season and there’s a lot of good teams that don’t truly get up to speed until sometime in November, maybe even later.
Nico Hischier likes to do things in hockey that nobody else has been capable of achieving. First and foremost, the Halifax Mooseheads centre was selected No. 1 overall by the New Jersey Devils at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft becoming the first player from Switzerland to earn that lofty distinction.
Josh Williams was four years old when he parked himself in front of the television and witnessed the sport of hockey for the first time. Little did he know, it was the start of something life-changing.
It’s hard to build a sustainable contender in the OHL, but we’ve seen it done before. The London Knights have maintained that status for years thanks to shrewd asset management and drafting, often going against the grain to take a chance on talented prospects that may have slipped under the radar.
Nick Suzuki could have a big season in store. The Owen Sound Attack forward was a top-five scorer in the OHL last year leading up to the NHL Draft, where he was selected 13th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights.
The OHL preseason is now in full swing and many of the top players in the league are off to their respective NHL rookie camps. A successful run there will lead to a main camp invite, and perhaps beyond.
Going overlooked at the NHL entry draft can come as devastating news, but Max Gerlach didn’t let it knock him off stride. The 19-year-old Medicine Hat Tigers winger did not hear his name called at the draft for a second straight year, but he went on to spend his off-season like a top prospect all the same.
The calendar says it still summer but that hasn’t stopped the 18 teams in the QMJHL from getting on the ice to start their training camps. On Monday August 21, every Q team began their main camps in preparation for opening night, one month later, on Thursday, September 21.
Ryan Merkley made a seamless transition into the OHL last season. With 55 points (12 goals and 43 assists), he led all OHL rookies in scoring, becoming the first defenceman to do so in nearly 30 years.
The next wave of talent is ready to make its mark in the Western Hockey League. With the 2016-17 season just around the corner, dozens of 16-year-old players are poised to crack their respective rosters and start creating household names for themselves across the league.
1) Prospect Profiles: Alexander Alexeyev, Hunter Holmes & Xavier Bouchard
2) Ask a Coach: University of Vermont Associate Coach Kyle Wallach: Academics, Recruiting & Preparation
3) 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year: November Shortlists
4) Cornered Coach: The Peanut Gallery
5) The Search Begins for the 2018 HockeyNow Minor Hockey Players of the Year