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Time to preview the Western Conference OHL Playoffs


(1) Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds vs (8) Saginaw Spirit

Saginaw is not a bad team, they have good young goaltending and play hard, but the Greyhounds are an absolute powerhouse. Their depth up front is unmatched, to the point that their third line would be a first line in a lot of CHL teams. In Deangelo and Nurse, they get the best offensive defenceman and one of the best all situation defender in the OHL.

What is particularly surprising is how quickly Sault Ste Marie’s deadline acquisitions have blended in with the roster. Credit coach Keefe for handling the transition.

In the end, Sault Ste Marie are my favorites to win the Memorial Cup. They win in 4.

NHL Prospects and Notable Draft Eligible Players

Sault Ste Marie:
Sergey Tolchinsky, Carolina
Jared McCann, Vancouver
Michael Bunting, Arizona
Blake Speers, 2015 Eligible
Anthony Deangelo, Tampa Bay
Jean Dupuy, Buffalo
Zach Senyshin, 2015 Eligible
Darnell Nurse, Edmonton
Nick Ritchie, Anaheim
Justin Bailey, Buffalo
Brandon Halverson, New York Rangers

Dylan Sadowy, San Jose
Mitchell Stephens, 2015 Eligible
Marcus Crawford, 2015 Eligible

(2) Erie Otters vs (7) Sarnia Sting

This is Erie’s chance to capitalize on having the best player of this generation, but Sarnia will not make it easy. They have a promising young team and can compete with the best teams in the league.

Erie knew this was the year they had to make a run at a championship, and added some key pieces to surround Mcdavid, Strome, and Debrincat. Elie and Baptiste make their forward core very deep. The goaltending advantage goes to Erie, as Devin Williams should elevate his game, and can be dominant.
An interesting aspect of this series is that both of these teams revolve around draft eligible players, in Mcdavid, Strome, Zacha, and Korostolev. I look forward to seeing how they react to the pressure. The other matchup I will have my eye on is the two leading rookie of the year candidates, in Debrincat and Chychrun, both of which are draft eligible in 2016.

This is going to be a good learning experience for Sarnia’s young group, and they will give Erie a run for their money, but I expect Erie takes it in 5.

NHL Prospects and Notable Draft Eligible Players

Dylan Strome, 2015 Eligible
Connor Mcdavid, 2015 Eligible
Nick Baptiste, Buffalo
Travis Dermott, 2015 Eligible
Remi Elie, Dallas
Kyle Pettit, Vancouver
Troy Donnay, New York Rangers
Jake Marchment, Los Angeles

Nikita Korostolev, 2015 Eligible
Pavel Zacha, 2015 Eligible

(3) London Knights vs (6) Kitchener Rangers

It seems the Knights are a contender each season, and this one is no different. However, they were more sellers than buyers this season, and seem to be re-tooling to once again compete for the Memorial Cup in the upcoming years. That being said, despite being very top-line heavy, they are still one of the better teams in the CHL.

This series will be decided on the following factors : Can Kitchener’s defence shut down London’s top line of Marner, Domi, and Dvorak, all of which having finished the season with over 100 points? Can Jake Paterson steal some games for Kitchener? Can London get decent production from their secondary scorers? Can Kitchener remain disciplined to avoid a powerplay operating at nearly 30%?

Despite the advantage in nets for Kitchener, London’s offence is too skilled and should come out victorious. I predict London wins an exciting series in 7 games.

NHL Prospects and Notable Draft Eligible Players

Mitch Marner, 2015 Eligible
Max Domi, Arizona
Christian Dvorak, Arizona
Julius Bergman, San Jose
Chandler Yakimowicz, St. Louis


Ryan MacInnis, Arizona
Gustaf Franzen, 2015 Eligible
Nick Magyar, Colorado
Jake Paterson, Detroit

(4) Guelph Storm vs (5) Owen Sound Attack

This is the most even matchup in the OHL playoffs, in my opinion. They are both hard working teams that play a physical game and are relentless on the other team’s defence.

Up front, I give a slight edge to Guelph. A healthy Robby Fabbri will have an impact. He is a great player, and it is scary to think he belongs to such a strong NHL team, the St. Louis Blues. Tyler Bertuzzi is one the better forecheckers in the league, and Jason Dickinson brings a very good two way game.

Defensively, Owen Sound is slightly stronger. Chris Bigras is a strong quarterback, which Guelph is lacking with Zac Leslie injured. In goal, I believe Owen Sound’s 6’8 goaltenderr Jack Flynn is the best in this series.

I am excited for this matchup because it will come down to which team wants it more and works harder for it. I predict Guelph, in 7.

NHL Prospects and Notable Draft Eligible Players

Tyler Bertuzzi, Detroit
Jason Dickinson, Dallas
Robby Fabbri, St. Louis
Zac Leslie, Los Angeles ( Currently injured )

Owen Sound:

Kyle Platzer, Edmonton
Zach Nastasiuk, Detroit
Chris Bigras, Colorado
Thomas Schemitsch, 2015 Eligible
Petrus Palmu, 2015 Eligible

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