by Brandon Sudeyko (@intheoradio)
With the OHL Cup just a day away, let’s have a sneak peek at the Divisions and who to watch for each team. For more information, with team and individual player breakdown check out the ITO OHL Cup Preview podcasts.
Toronto Marlboros, Barrie Jr. Colts, Elite Hockey, Eastern Ontario Wild, NOHA All-Stars
Toronto Marlboros: all year long Dylan Strome and Mitchell Stephens have been at the forefront with Strome really elevating his game during the GTHL Playoffs. This is a perfect opportunity to watch defenceman Josh De Farias play against some elite offensive talent and take notice of forward Noah Robinson who is bouncing back after a second half ‘slump’.
Barrie Jr. Colts: Tyler Macarthur is the defenceman of note along with his defence partner Michael Holmes will also have eyes on him (if he returns from injury). Austin Gerhart is the teams big time scorer but you should also pay attention to JD Falconer, Brandon Savoy and Ryan Franks.
Eastern Ontario Wild: The OEMHL runners up will be motivated for a good showing, which should bring out the best in goaltender, JP Sabourin. JP is arguably the best goaltender in the loop and without the top draft eligible goaltender in the OHL Cup, look for Sabourin to be extra motivated. Jeremy McFarlane and Martin Frechette will look to be the offensive weapons they were in the regular season after being silenced in the playoffs.
NOHA All-Stars: This all star team has some pretty good individual talent but how will they do as a team? If you are looking for individuals then you should be watching Blake Speers, Adam McPhail and Matt Caruso who played with the Soo Thunder. On the back end, Cameron Lizotte, the big, raw defenceman from Nickel City Sons will draw your eyes to his play. Also from Nickel City keep an eye on Scott Villeneuve and Anthony Pelletier.
Mississauga Rebels, York Simcoe Express, Waterloo Wolves, Ottawa Senators, Halton Hurricanes.
Mississauga Rebels: Offensively Christian Rajic is their big ‘star’ but that doesn’t discount the play of Captain David Zeppieri, Jacob Hayhurst and Kyle Chalmers. On the back end Austin Clapham and Rocky Kaura get a lot of talk, and recently there has been more said about Mitchell Duggan.
York Simcoe Express: When healthy, this team is one of the best in the age group boasting some top players. Goaltender Marcus Semiao has been a big reason for their success. Up front Jake Appleby, Graham Knott, Sam Harding and Connor Barrow are their big weapons while Connor Schlichting and Christian DeDonato control the blue line.
Waterloo Wolves: the team doesn’t have ‘stars’ like most of the teams in the OHL Cup, but this team competes hard. Scott Pedersen and Tayler Trachsel are the big men on the blue line, both standing at 6’2”. Up front, Jamie Collins, Braedon Hancock and Tyler Randerson will draw the eye as forwards.
Ottawa Senators: The OEMHL Champions are on a mission to show that they have been over looked for too long. Defenceman and Captain Kris Myllari leads the way alongside Grant Baird. The goalie duo should not be overlooked as Connor Hicks and Charlie Jensen are starting to be talked about more as the season progressed. Forwards Brandon Zullo, Zachary Senyshyn and Ben Fanjoy will have a good tournament, but expect some others to really stand out on the bigger stage.
Halton Hurricanes: The Hurricanes are a ‘wildcard’ entry from the OMHA and a team that seemingly everyone wanted in the OHL Cup. The top dog, so to speak, is Matthew Kreis. The Forward will be something to watch and will draw comparisons to Max Domi in style of play. His brother has risen through the ranks this season as Mitchell Kreis has shown he is as good on the back end as Matt is up front. Others to watch on the Hurricanes is forward Chris Klack who won’t be hard to miss with his white gloves (Bryson Cianfrone, Toronto Marlboros 95 Captain), Mitchell Prentice has the knack to provide a spark to his team, if not putting his name on the score sheet and there is Josh Dickinson, who bares a striking playing resembelnce to his older brother Jason, currently playing for the Guelph Storm in the OHL. Also on the back end is Matthew Mercer, who generally has an average first period, but always builds up to having a great game as you get closer to the final buzzer.
Oakville Rangers, Huron Perth Lakers, Thunder Bay Kings, Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Central Ontario Wolves
Oakville Rangers: The OMHA Champions have a lot of talent on their team and each will serve a specific team niche. Matthew Spencer, Troy Henley and Kyle Capobianco headline the blueline. Brett McKenzie, Jesse Barwell, Cole Buchan, Adam Craievich, Sean Kohler and Cody Petawabano headline the forwards to watch.
Huron Perth Lakers: The Alliance invite team has some good talent to go along with a hard working team that has been underrated all season long. We have another pair of brothers to watch in Ted and Blake Nichol, Ted being a forward with Blake patrolling the blueline. When not watching either of the twins, forwards Greg Hansdford and Luke Medeiros will get some attention and on defence, look out for Trent Dundas and Zach Jacobs.
Toronto Jr. Canadiens: TJC is a lot like the Oakville Rangers where they have some very good talent up and down their lineup. Many of the talent have improved from the beginning of the season and are peaking right now. Nikita Korostelev headlines the forwards but shortly behind him is Noah Jordan, Ryan Ngan, Nicholas Mucci and Colt Jaime. On the blueline Zach Wilkie has been a solid rock helping out the goalie duo of Izzy Benigno and Nick Destounis when they needed it.
Central Ontario Wolves: another team in this group who hasn’t gotten the fair shake they deserve this season. Captain Johnny Corneil has lead his team since the beginning to a strong finish at the OMHA chanmpionships. Jake Bricknell, Lucas Clark and Austin Eastman are the forwards to watch along with the captain. Keep an eye on the goaltender Brett Chandler and Jimmy Graham as well.
Elgin Middlesex Chiefs, Whitby Wildcats, TPH Thunder, Toronto Red Wings, Southern Tier Admirals
Elgin Middlsex Chiefs: Travs Konecny. That is who everyone will be watching this week. But you cannot forget the other forwards: Josh Coyle, Lawson Crouse, Drew Worrad or Carson Brookshaw. On the back end be on the lookout for Noah Carroll and Cole Mayo.
Whitby Wildcats: What fuels a team more in the OHL Cup than losing the League Championship just a few days before it. This may be a big breakout tournament for forward Hayden McCool who headlines the team. Shane Beaulieu, Bryce Yetman and Justin Long are forwards who kind of play a secondary role, but are just as dangerous as any other forward in the age group. Ryan Sarris and Justin Lemcke patrol the blueline and make it look easy.
Toronto Red Wings: Not very often that a team is headlined by a goaltender but Jeremy Helvig is just that good, and is the top goaltender playing in the OHL Cup. Captain Jesse Saban and Nick Vitali are your players to watch on the blueline, and up front you can be on the lookout for Jake Avidan, Michael Vitro, Cody Chypyha, Kyle Clarke and Justin Shoycet-McCully.
Southern Tier Admirals: They say you never get a second chance at a first impression. Considering their performance in the OMHA Championship, this is the perfect lift me up to forget about the weekend.
Captain Connor Walters and Michael Davies will be on display during the week. But you cannot over look forwards like Mike Baird, Christian DeFelice, Spencer Fox or Brady Cranwell. Bryce Biller and Jacob Bianchi are two defenceman to also take note of.