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The OHL season is over, and it was an interesting one

All eyes were on the most promising prospect since at least Sidney Crosby. Connor Mcdavid did not disappoint, producing at over 2.5 points per game. His ability to take over a game is unmatched by his peers.

The scoring race came down to the wire, and it happened to be between two draft eligible players. Dylan Strome offered a sensational performance to clinch the title in the last game of the season, vs Niagara. Mitch Marner finished a close second, actually producing at a slightly greater pace than Strome.

Now it is time to look ahead to the playoffs. I will go over each series, what to look for, players to watch, and predict the outcome.


(1) Oshawa Generals vs (8) Peterborough Petes

Peterborough is in tough. Oshawa has been the top rated team in the country for most of the season.

Oshawa is the stronger team, from every aspect. They score more, have tight solid defence, play within a very tight system, and have better goaltending. They are bigger, more physical, and are so deep they can essentially roll four lines. Ken Appleby has been one of the best goalies in the CHL this year. They added players with Memorial Cup experience at the deadline, in McCaaron and Mermis.

Peterborough will need goaltender Mancina to steal games if they want to have a chance, which is a lot to ask for an 18 year old. They have one true dangerous offensive line, which Oshawa’s experienced physical veterans can neutralize. Peterborough is a fairly young team, they may be able to take lessons away from this series.

In the end, Peterborough in 4. With one or two blowouts along the way.

NHL Prospects and Notable Draft Eligible Players

Oshawa :
Michael Dal Colle, New York Islanders
Cole Cassels, Vancouver
Tobias Lindberg, Ottawa
Mitchell Vande Sompel, 2015 Eligible
Hunter Smith, Calgary
Anthony Cirelli, 2015 Eligible
Michael McCaaron, Montreal
Matthew Mistele, Los Angeles
Josh Brown, Florida

Michael Clarke, Colorado
Eric Cornel, Buffalo
Matthew Spencer, 2015 Eligible
Dominik Masin, Tampa Bay
Kyle Jenkins, Carolina
Cameron Lizzote, 2015 Eligible
Brent Pedersen, Carolina

(2) Barrie Colts vs (7) Belleville Bulls

This is going to be an emotional series. On paper, the edge goes to Barrie, but this is Belleville’s last run, before moving to Hamilton. The Bulls are a large part of Belleville’s identity, as a city. The coaching staff will likely use that to motivate their players, and I can’t imagine Belleville goes down without a fight.

Belleville is the only team in the league playing on Olympic Ice, which can give them an edge. That being said, Barrie has a good skating team, and should adapt fairly easily. The goaltending advantage goes slightly Barrie’s way, if Mackenzie Blackwood can figure out his angles on the big ice.

Offensively, the teams do not compare. Barrie has much more firepower than the Bulls, with three 100+ point scorers. They don’t waste time in their zone, and launch the play the other way better than most OHL teams. Belleville will need a strong effort from Stephen Harper and Michael Cramarossa, but ultimately I think they fall short.

I predict Barrie in 6, in a high scoring series.

NHL Prospects and Notable Draft Eligible Players

Joseph Blandisi, New Jersey
Kevin Labanc, San Jose
Rasmus Andersson, 2015 Eligible
Brendan Lemieux, Winnipeg
Ben Harpur, Ottawa
Mackenzie Blackwood, 2015 Eligible

Jordan Subban, Vancouver
Adam Lemcke, 2015 Eligible

(3) North Bay Battalion vs (6) Kingston Frontenacs

This is my personal favorite. It will be a fascinating matchup, in many different aspects.

Goaltending will be fun to watch. Kingston’s Lucas Peressini has been one of the OHL’s best, and has been consistent throughout the season. At the other end of the ice, Jake Smith will make things interesting. Last season, he was North Bay’s top performer in the playoffs, but hasn’t been quite as good this season. He is capable of great things, and can be streaky. It will be interesting to see if he catches fire for the series.

The other interesting contrast is the offence. North Bay has a balanced attack, over three scoring lines. They play a responsible style, like most Stan Butler coached teams, and have produced at a reasonable rate. On the other hand, Kingston has a lot more raw firepower… on their top line. Sam Bennett, Lawson Crouse, and Spencer Watson are hands down the best offensive line between both teams, but the drop off in the lineup after them is significant. They have been electrifying leading to the playoffs. Sam Bennett has produced at more than two points per game since his return from injury, and I believe he would have played in the NHL this season if health wasn’t an issue.

In the end, this is the playoffs, and you ride your stars. Kingston in 7, and I can’t wait to watch!

NHL Prospects and Notable Draft Eligible Players

North Bay:
Mike Amadio, Los Angeles
Nick Paul, Ottawa
Kyle Wood, Colorado
Miles Liberati, Vancouver
Ryan Kujawinski, New Jersey
Brett Mckenzie, 2015 Eligible

Lawson Crouse, 2015 Eligible
Spencer Watson, Los Angeles
Juho Lammikko, Florida
Roland Mckeown, Carolina
Sam Bennett, Calgary
Nick Moutrey, Columbus

(4) Ottawa 67’s vs (5) Niagara IceDogs

This will be an interesting matchup between two teams that finished their season in different ways. Niagara has truly become one of the top Eastern teams in 2015, while an injury to Travis Konecny has exposed Ottawa’s limited depth.

The winning team will have to take a game on the road, which will be no easy feat, as both teams have excellent records on home ice. There are still question marks over who starts in net, but I expect Brandon Hope for Niagara, based on experience, and Liam Herbst, based on consistency. I see it as a fairly even matchup, and if one of these goalies can stand on his head, it will go a long way to winning the series.

On offence, Ottawa will miss Travis Konecny a great deal. Even if he plays, he will not be 100%. Other producers such as Salituro and Addison will be a little more exposed. Niagara’s forwards form a real solid group, and have gotten decent production throughout the lineup. Defensively, Niagara is stronger, and has a nice core that can perform in all situations. Vince Dunn has blossomed in the second half of the season.

Niagara in 6.

NHL Prospects and Notable Draft Eligible Players

Ottawa :
Travis Konecny, 2015 Eligible
Dante Salituro, 2015 Eligible
Jeremiah Addison, 2015 Eligible
Alex Lintuniemi, Los Angeles
Jacob Middleton, Los Angeles
Liam Herbst, 2015 Eligible

Carter Verhaege, Toronto
Josh Ho-Sang, New York Islanders
Brendan Perlini, Arizona
Vince Dunn, 2015 Eligible
Graham Knott, 2015 Eligible
Blake Siebenaler, Columbus
Cody Payne, Boston
Ryan Mantha, New York Rangers
Aaron Haydon, Dallas
Brent Moran, Dallas

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