Owen Sound vs. Ottawa Feb. 11, 2017
The Owen Sound draft trio of Nick Suzuki, Markus Phillips and Jonah Gadjovich collected eight points in a 10-5 manhandling of the 67’s, yet seeing them live only served to reinforce that the point totals they are piling up at an impressive rate in the past couple of months isn’t necessarily matching their pro potential.
Each of them had two points in the third period after the game was already out of reach including two goals from Gadjovich to complete the hat trick…in effect padding their point totals in a game where Owen Sound exploded for a 6-0 lead before Ottawa displayed a pulse with two goals late in the second period.
Their opponent also featured three prospects whose pro potential doesn’t necessarily match their point totals…making this a game for scouts to ultimately be disappointed in what they saw in terms of draft potential.
Owen Sound Attack prospects:
Nick Suzuki – He had one of his more lackluster performances through two periods as he failed to create much offence or get that involved in the play. For an undersized player he is by no means a dynamic skater, and while he can get away with it at the junior level, if he hopes to vie for a top-si or even a top-nine spot on an NHL team he will need to get quicker and compete harder in tight spaces. On the plus side – he is one of the smartest players in the draft, and sees the ice well. He anticipates the play, and gets in the right spots in the offensive zone in particular. He has good hands and is an above-average playmaker. He was more dangerous offensively in the third period when the game was out of reach. Scouts will want to see how productive he is when things tighten up in the playoffs…he won’t be padding his stats in very many 10-5 games in the tough western conference. Draft projection: 35-50 range.
Jonah Gadjovich – He showed the soft hands and scoring touch that have made him a good bet to be selected somewhere in the third or fourth round. Normally a 6-2 OHL draft-eligible winger who already has 31 goals would be a good bet to be selected in the top 50 but what has scouts concerned is his skating. He’s able to compensate for his lack of foot speed and poor technique by using his size and hands effectively at the junior level versus smaller opponents. Draft projection – 3rd or 4th round.
Markus Phillips – He looked like a player you wouldn’t draft in the first period; committing four turnovers and collecting a double minor for a needless stick infraction. Thankfully the 67’s were asleep or it could have put his team behind the eight-ball. Phillips is hard to define – he’s stock and not very quick at times as he gets beat by speed…yet he had very good skating results at the Top Prospects Games testing. He can make flagrant errors and look like a blueliner with poor hockey sense and poor hands..then play a couple of periods mistake-free and set up a couple of goals with skillful plays. He’s another player who will likely be better defined after the OHL playoffs. Draft projection – 4th or 5th round.
Ottawa 67’s prospects:
Sasha Chmelevski – For folks who like to judge a prospect based on his point totals, Chmelevski had a fine day with two assists but that would be very generous in describing his game in what was a concerning effort from a prospect who hopes to be drafted in the top 50. There is no question that the 5-11 center possesses soft hands and makes some pretty plays. That’s not going to be enough to make the NHL however, and if Suzuki scouts have minor issues with Suzuki’s size/skating combination…they are downright terrified of Chmelesvski’s when he’s not competing and moving his feet. He’s fine agility-wise and in tight spaces for the most part, but when he’s on the backcheck or trying to break away from an important his transmission gets stuck in first gear. Chemelevski ended the game -4… an appropriate number as that’s at least how many spots he dropped on my draft list. Draft projection = 60-80 range.
Noel Hoefenmayer – If this was the “game of prospects who don’t skate well for their size”…Hoefenmayer may have been the poster boy considering he plays a position where you need to have at least size or speed to be attractive to scouts in the top 60. Much like the Owen Sound trio, Hoefenmayer’s performance looked impressive on the scoresheet as he notched two goals to bring his season total to 12. When one looks deeper, though…both goals were on the power play in the third period of a game where the 67’s were already beaten. Hoefenmayer is a smart defenceman with a good point shot and passing skills who gets plenty of offensive opportunities on a team with no true offensive defenceman. His defensive game, however, is limited due to a lack of size and speed and agility concerns. Draft projection – 4th round.
Austen Keating – The 2015 Ottawa first round rounds out a trio of 67’s who, if you didn’t guess already, won’t be drafted as highly as their point totals might suggest because of skating issues. Unlike Chemelevski, Keating isn’t especially skilled with the puck either, but he battles harder and makes the most of his chances while being a little more willing to dish off the puck instead of trying to do it himself. this was not a game that Keating will be sending copies of to his grandparents, ending the game pointless and -2. If there was any consolation..he was not alone. Draft projection – mid to late rounds.