In case you missed it over the weekend, Canadian Hockey League regular seasons are now in the books. Accordingly, it seemed like a good time to take a look at how a few Boston Bruins prospects fared in the OHL this season, and what faces them in the immediate future.
So here you go, Boston fans; Bruins prospects playing in Ontario are ‘yours to discover’.
Cody Payne – RW – Plymouth Whalers
Drafted: 2012 (5th Rnd, 145th)
In 66 games played, the 19 year old RW scored 24 G & 21 A for the Whalers this season, while also chipping in 75 PIM in a display of his more physical side (as noted here last summer by Bob Mand.) The Whalers ended their regular season with an eight-game winning streak, and had won 16 of its last 17 games overall. Plymouth finished with a record of 42-17-5-4, good for 2nd in the OHL’s Western Conference.
What’s next? A date with the Sarnia Sting in the first round of the OHL playoffs.
Seth Griffith – RW – London Knights
Drafted: 2012 (5th Rnd, 131st)
Despite playing in only 54 games due to a hand injury, Griffith managed to score 33 G & 48 A for the Knights, just 4 points off his total from a year ago (in 14 less games.) In fact, Griffith (a line mate of two highly touted and draft eligible forwards in Max Domi & Bo Horvat) was well on his way to challenging for the league lead in scoring prior to breaking his hand.
While he was unable to keep up in that chase (finishing 11th), Griffith did win the Jim Mahon Trophy as the league’s top scoring right winger, and will look to keep it going as the Knights attempt to make it back to the Memorial Cup in Saskatoon. The Knights clinched the #1 seed in the Western Conference (50-13-2-3) after going on a near historic 24 game winning streak earlier this season, and finished first overall in the league.
What’s next? A first round match-up with the Saginaw Spirit
Malcolm Subban – G – Belleville Bulls
Drafted: 2012 (1st Rnd, 24th)
Subban’s junior season may be most remembered for the controversy surrounding his play and usage at the World Junior tournament in Ufa (check this Naete Sager piece for some perspective on that), but his OHL season was nothing short of spectacular.
Subban posted a record of 29-11-4, and led the league in SV% (0.934) and GAA (2.14). He also added 5 shutouts for good measure, and posted a perfect record in the shootout. Subban’s Bulls finished with the 2nd best record in the OHL with a record of 44-16-5-3.
Oh, and little brother / fellow Bull Jordan would also look good in the Black ‘n’ Gold on Draft day, am I right?
What’s next? Subban and the Bulls open up the playoffs with a series vs the Mississauga Steelheads.
Anthony Camara – LW – Barrie Colts
Drafted: 2011 (3rd Rnd, 81st)
If there was one moment that Camara might most be remembered for this year, it’s this:
Back in Barrie, the bruising winger scored an impressive 36 G (13th overall) & added 24 A in 50 GP, while also amassing 91 PIM.
Camara is known for being a physical presence in the vein of a Milan Lucic, but displayed a more balanced game this year by upping his point totals and lowering his PIM’s (his previous high was 132 in 2010-11.) Camara also has quite the personal story (his older sister died at the age of 19 just 4 years ago), one that no doubt has greatly shaped his hockey career to date.
The Colts put up a record of 44-20-2-2, and the Bruins ensured that his hockey career won’t end there with this announcement last week:
The Boston Bruins sign forward Anthony Camara to an entry-level contract. Read: http://t.co/gnHHpCj3o8 ^BB
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 14, 2013
What’s next? Barrie will face off with the Kingston Frontenacs in round one, and Camara will likely report to Providence if/when they’re eliminated from the OHL playoffs. Also, Camara is sure to be a fan favorite should he become a permanent fixture in Boston.
Alexander Khokhlachev – C – Windsor Spitfires
Drafted: 2011 (2nd Rnd, 40th)
The one they call Koko had a very interesting year. After signing a deal last year with Moscow Spartak of the Kontinental Hockey League, it was believed that his OHL career was all but over. However, after scoring a goal in the Bronze Medal game to give Russia a victory over Canada, Khokhlachev decided to return to Windsor for the balance of the OHL season.
Khokhlachev lit up The City of Roses with 29 G & 26 A in just 48 games for the Spitfires, but it was not enough to propel Windsor into the playoffs. As a result, Koko’s pro career will begin sooner than later, confirmed in this tweet on Sunday:
#OHL Windsor @GO_SPITS_GO #Spitfires centre Alex Khokhlachev to join #AHL Providence #Bruins Tuesday. #NHL 2nd-round pick by Boston in 2011.
— Jim Parker (@winstarparker) March 17, 2013
While there’s no doubting Koko’s offensive gifts, his two-way game could use a little seasoning, and a taste of the AHL will give a clearer picture of where he is at in his development. Judging by the twitter reaction, fans are eager to get a look at him, and certainly the sky’s the limit when it comes to his potential.
There you have it, folks. It’s an exciting time for these (and other) Bruins prospects, and Boston should be encouraged by the talent they currently have in the Ontario pipeline.
Bruins fans should definitely keep an eye on the OHL playoffs – not only to see if Subban, Camara, Griffith & Payne can make an even bigger mark in the OHL, but also to see if the next Lucic can trickle up to Providence to assist Koko & his new teammates in a Calder Cup run.
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