The OHL Summer Series: A Preview to the Previews

With the 2016 NHL Entry Draft here and gone, we now focus our attention to the new crop of prospects that hope to impact their teams enough to get drafted in the upcoming Nolan Patrick Draft next June in Chicago.

This past weekend 211 childhood dreams were answered by being selected in the NHL Entry Draft. Of those drafted, a whopping 48 were Good Ol’ Ontaria Boys — well not necessarily from Ontario, but they did play their Junior years in the Ontario Hockey League. The forty-eight players selected from the OHL, which equates to 22.7% of the total players drafted, was the most since the infamous Patrick Stefan draft of 1999, where 52 OHLers were taken.

For the most part, the players drafted this year will return for another year with their junior team. For some, they will be making the move directly into the pros. And for those who weren’t drafted this year and are now ineligible to play in the juniors, they will have to start looking at other avenues in advancing their professional careers, through college or international leagues.

But whatever the case is for those recent draftees/non-draftees, and those who are moving on after an extra year of juniors (like Mitch Marner and Christian Dvorak), the rosters of most OHL teams will look much different from they did at the start of last year. And that’s why I’m here — to give you a preview of the 2017 version of your OHL team.

The Series: A 2016-17 Team Overview

The OHL Summer Series will be the first series I write for The Hockey Writers. Each post will represent a different OHL team in which I will be giving a detailed overview. The order that I will be using will be alphabetical starting in the Eastern Conference and then followed by the Western Conference.

Topics that I will be covering will vary by team, but the main points will remain constant and will include: a recap of the previous season, player additions & losses from the off-season and some keys to success entering the 2016-17 campaign. The order in which I will be going through the teams will be as follows:

The Eastern Conference:

  1. Barrie Colts
  2. Kingston Frontenacs
  3. Hamilton Bulldogs
  4. Mississauga Steelheads
  5. Niagara IceDogs
  6. North Bay Battalion
  7. Ottawa 67s
  8. Oshawa Generals
  9. Peterborough Petes
  10. Sudbury Wolves

Western Conference:

  1. Erie Otters
  2. Flint Firebirds
  3. Guelph Storm
  4. Kitchener Rangers
  5. London Knights
  6. Owen Sound Attack
  7. Saginaw Spirit
  8. Sarnia Sting
  9. Sault Saint Marie Greyhounds
  10. Windsor Spitfires

Closing Notes: What’s to Come

All in all, I intend and hope that this series will be captivating, informative and as unbiased as possible (besides the featured image). Every week I hope to go through two teams, meaning by the end of August the series should be concluded. And with that, I hope this will bring some relief from a hot and hockey-less summer.

Happy reading.