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Evaluating The 2014 OHL Draft One Year Later

19 of the 20 players from the 2014 OHL Priority Selection are eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft.

(2016)=Year player is eligible for the NHL Draft. This means that the player would be eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft.

  1. Sarnia Sting: Jakob Chychurn, D, (2016)

    Jakob Chychurn was the top pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection after an epic season with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. Look at the other top-overall picks since 2010. 2012-2013 NHL rookie of the year Alex Galchenyuk was the top pick in the 2010 OHL Draft, in 2011 Aaron Ekblad was the top pick in the 2011 OHL Draft at age 15 before being the top pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Connor McDavid continued that trend by gaining exceptional status as a 15-year-old in the 2012 OHL Draft. McDavid also happens to be the top pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. Travis Koenecny won rookie of the year with 70 points after being the top pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.

    Chychurn will play on line 1 across from defenseman Anthony DeAngelo. DeAngelo was a first-round pick in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, even though, I had him graded out as a second-round prospect. Some teams had DeAngelo graded out as a second-round pick because of his character issues. Chychurn has to stay disciplined and use his leadership skills to keep DeAngelo out of trouble.

    At this point, Chychurn is the favorite to go #1 overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. A lot could happen, Chychrurn has to demonstrate leadership and help Anthony DeAngelo make good choices.

    2015 Update Anthony DeAngelo got traded to the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Jakob Chychurn took over as the #1 defenseman on the Sting's blue line. Chychurn already got promoted to alternate captain during his rookie season.

    Chychurn is ahead of development than Aaron Ekblad the #1 pick in the 2014 NHL Draft. Ekblad only had 29 points and 34 points during his first two years at defense. He never got promoted to alternate captain and was named captain in 2013-2014 during his final year before being eligible for the 2014 NHL Draft. Chychurn has 33 points as a rookie this season and is showing more than what Ekblad showed during his first two seasons with the Barrie Colts.

    Chychurn is the top defenseman in the 2016 NHL Draft. He will be a franchise player and will have an immediate impact in the NHL. At the same time, he has to compete with right wingers Auston Matthews from USA and Jesse Puljujarvi from Finland to be the top pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

  2. Kitchener Rangers: Adam Mascherin, C, (2016)

    Adam Mascherin was captain of his junior team in Vaughan. In a few years, the Kitchener Rangers center could go as high as second-overall in the 2016 NHL Draft.

    2015 Update Adam Mascherin has the hockey IQ and instincts to be a playmaker on offense. His 29 points in 60 games was disappointing to an extent.

    Mascherin weighs 5-9 192 lbs. His lack of height and size might explain why he is so sluggish on defense. This guy will struggle if he does not win face offs.

  3. Ottawa 67s: Travis Barron, LW, (2016)

    Travis Barron was captain of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens that Jakob Chychrun played on. Having Barron play next to Travis Koenecny on the first line as a line 1 left winger will give the 67s a shot at contending for the OHL Playoffs in 2015.

    Barron could go as high as third-overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. There is also a chance he could fall to the second round of the 2016 NHL Draft, if he does poorly without Koenecny. Regardless, watching Barron in Ottawa the next few seasons will be a lot of fun.

    2015 Update Travis Barron began the season in a depth role on the fourth line. He's worked his way up to the top line and is now line mates with 2015 NHL Draft prospect Travis Konecny. His 21 points may be underwhelming. This guy showed a lot of heart and looks like a guy to keep an eye on next season regardless of whether Konecny or Dante Salituro is on the 67's top line at center.

  4. Belleville Bulls: Brandon Saigeon, C, (2016)

    Brandon Saigeon was a captain for the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs. He could go in the top 5 overall if he remains mentally focused. Worst case scenario he is a top 15 pick.

    2015 Update Brandon Saigeon has some talent and ability to make things happen on offense. He hasn't been the best at executing scoring chances, but he's created opportunities for his teammates that don't translate to points.

    Saigeon always looks down the middle without looking to the left or right. He also tends to struggle with face offs. The 16-year-old skater turns 17 in June.

    Saigeon lacks discipline on the ice. There's a chance he may have to move to the wing because he can't win a face off.

  5. Mississauga Steelheads: Michael McLeod, C, (2016)

    Michael McLeod was captain of the Toronto Jr. Marlies. McLeod is still projected to be picked behind Brandon Saigeon in the 2016 NHL Draft. Thing is he may be the safer pick.

    2015 Update Michael McLeod had a poor season with 29 points. He has to improve in 2015.

    McLeod had two big problems this season. First, McLeod tried to push the puck past defenders without even reading the lanes and passing the puck. Second, he had a +/- ratio of -23. Meaning even though he had 29 points he was also on a line that gave up 52 goals giving him a -23 +/- ratio. McLeod has to improve on both ends because he certainly lacks the awareness to ever make the NHL at this point. You might be looking at an AHL player at best.

  6. Niagara Ice Dogs: Logan Brown, C, (2016)

    Logan Brown is 6-foot-4 and 210-pounds. That is big for a 16-year-old. Brown will get drafted somewhere between picks 16-30 in the 2016 NHL Draft assuming he makes good choices and lives up to the hype.

    2015 Update Logan Brown got traded from the Niagara IceDogs to the Windsor Spitfires. He bulked up to 6-6 216 lbs and had 43 points in his first OHL season. Brown looks like the only player outside of Jacob Chychurn that is a lock for the NHL right away straight as a rookie.

  7. Plymouth Whalers: William Bitten, C, (2016)

    William Bitten was captain of the Ottawa Jr. 67s before the Plymouth Whalers drafted him. Bitten will play on line 3 during his rookie season before moving up to line 2 in the 2015-2016 season.

    Bitten’s previous leadership experience at the Ottawa Jr. 67s gives him a chance of being a late first-round pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

    2015 Update William Bitten will be playing for the Flint Firebirds in 2015-2016. Not the Tropics, not the Phoenix, not the Flint Stones that Joseph Potter brilliantly suggested. It's not the worst nickname, but I'm sure Joey is going to hate this logo as much as the New Orleans Pelicans logo.

    William Bitten had 31 points in 63 games. He showed a complete game as an offensive player. He weighs 5-9 154 lbs. Not only is he undersized, he's practically useless on defense which only hurts your cause when you are undersized. This guy cannot do squat on a power play or a penalty killing unit.

  8. Owen Sound Attack: Victor Mete, D, (2016)

    Victor Mete played defense for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens across from Jakob Chychrun. Mete will be a #2 defenseman and a guy that will be a late first-round pick that gets drafted between picks 26 and 30.

    2015 Update Victor Mete began the season as a #4 defenseman on the second line. He worked his way up to the #3 role on the blue line anchoring the second line. Mete also earned the right to be a line 1 power play defenseman that creates scoring chances. Why do you think his +/- ratio is +19?

    Mete projects as an elite offensive defenseman. At the same time, it's pretty easy to have a +/- ratio that high when you got guys like Max Domi and 2015 NHL Draft prospect Mitch Marner who leads the league in points this season. The sad thing is that he is the best defenseman among the OHL players after his former teammate Jacob Chychurn.

  9. Peterborough Petes: Jonathan Ang, C, (2016)

    Not one, but two Asian Americans were drafted in the first round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. Odds are one of the Asian prospects becomes a first round draft pick in 2016. You have to like Jonathan Ang’s odds.

    Ang loves watching Sidney Crosby play. Who doesn’t enjoy #87. Ang will be picked in between picks 28 and 30 in the 2016 NHL Draft if I had to project his value at thi point.

    2015 Update Jonathan Ang had 10 goals, 10 assists, and 20 points in 58 OHL games with the Peterborough Petes. At the same time he is only 5-10 150 lbs, and he struggles on defense. Being one dimensional could keep him from going in the first round if he does not step up in 2015-2016.

  10. Saginaw Spirit: Ty Felhaber, C, (2016)

    Ty Felhaber is the one guy in the OHL that looks like a bust among the top 10 picks. Saginaw will try to mold Felhaber into a 2016 first-round pick.

    2015 Update Ty Felhaber should be proud of what he accomplished in 2014-2015. Felhaber did more than expected.

    At the same time, he needs to worry less about his strength with puck possession and correct his glaring weakness which involves a lack of puck control. This guy can keep the puck away from defenders, but he has trouble dishing the puck out and finding the open guys. That has to change this upcoming season.

  11. Sudbury Wolves: Michael Pezzetta, C, (2016)

    Michael Pezzetta posted a disappointing 37 points. He is not somebody you want to draft in the first two rounds of the 2016 NHL Draft until he shows he can score 70 to 100 points in the OHL during his two seasons with the Sudbury Wolves.

    2015 Update Michael Pezzetta is to the Ontario Hockey League what Mike Piazza was to MLB. His name is confusing to pronounce and one has to wonder if Pezzetta and Piazza are related since their last names sound very similar.

    Pezzetta only had 12 points and a -28 +/- rating on a line that allowed 40 goals in 61 games. One has to wonder if Agent K could do a better job in the AHL than Pezzetta does in the OHL.

  12. Windsor Spitfires: Logan Stanley, D, (2016)

    Logan Stanley is 6-foot-6 and 209-pounds. The 16-year-old reminds me of Zdeno Chara. A second-round pick in 2016 for sure.

    2015 Update Logan Stanley, the Stanley Steamer as I like to call him knows how to bring the poop by checking players into the boards. I know that analogy is inappropriate, yet at the same time I think about the Stanley Steamer commercial with the dog every time I think about Logan Stanley.

    The nickname is fitting when you consider he only had 0 goals, 4 assists, and 4 points along with a -25 +/- rating during his first season. Still Stanley needs to improve his game in 2015-2016 so my write up on him is more P.C. next year.

  13. Barrie Colts: Givani Smith, LW, (2016)

    Givani Smith will be a third-round pick in 2016, unless he works his tail off and manages to defeat 2014 second-round pick Brandon Lemeiux for the line 1 spot on Barrie.

    2015 Update Givani Smith only had 4 points on the Barrie Colts. He did much better with 13 points once he was aquired by last year's OHL Champion the Guelph Storm.

  14. North Bay Battalion: Zachary Poirier, C, (2016)

    Zachary Poirier will have a chance to make an impact by being the line 1 center on an OHL Team that made the 2014 OHL Finals. Poirier needs two good seasons with North Bay if he expects to be a first-round pick in 2016.

    2015 Update Zachary Poirier nicknamed Zach Poirier did a nice job in his first season. He had 11 points in 58 games and looks like a natural line 1 center.

  15. Kingston Frontenacs: Reagan O’Grady, D, (2017)

    Reagan O’Grady will be a 2017 first-round pick. Where he goes in 2017 remains to be seen because it is way too early to speculate.

    2015 Update If you thought my Logan Stanley Stanley Steamer reference was annoying I bet you'll love Reagan O'Grady's Reagan Smash when you face him head on when he's playing the blue line. Luckily for Kingston fans, they get to see O'Grady's Reagan Smash for the next two seasons after this year.

  16. Oshawa Generals: Cliff Pu, C, (2016)

    Cliff Pu is could go as early as 30th overall and could go as late as pick 40. Pu is the sleeper among the 2014 OHL first-round picks.

    2015 Update Cliff Pu struggled in Oshawa and crapped his way out of the Generals organization. Pu has done much better with the London Knights. He will get more ice time in 2016 on the second line if Max Domi makes the jump to the NHL.

  17. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds: Anthony Salinitri, C, (2016)

    Anthony Salinitri is the third Asian American prospect drafted into the OHL after Jonathan Ang and Cliff Pu. I cannot wait to see the Peterborough Petes and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2014-2015. Both Ang and Salinitri will be line 2 centers on their respective teams.

    2015 Update Anthony Salintiri struggled with Sault Ste. Marie as a line 4 center. He got dealt to Sarnia in the trade that sent Anthony DeAngelo to the Greyhounds.

    Salintiri is now the line 1 center and he's passing the puck to Pavel Zacha at left wing and Nikita Korostelev at right wing. Having this line of forwards plus Chychurn anchor the blue line makes the Sting a dark horse in this year's OHL Playoffs if they can get by their first round opponent.

  18. London Knights: Max Jones, LW, (2016)

    Max Jones was the captain of the Honeybaked team. He will have more flexibility in London. Jones could go as high as third-overall in the 2016 NHL Draft, and he could fall all the way to round 3 in the 2016 NHL Draft. Jones will be a fun guy to watch these next few seasons.

    2015 Update Max Jones turned down a deal with the London Knights to play for the United States National Team Developmental Program in the USHL short for the United States Hockey League.

    Jack Eichel did the same thing in 2012 when he turned down being a first round pick with a Halifax Mooseheads team that was stacked at the time with guys like Nate MacKinnon, Jonathan Drouin, Martin Frk, Nikolai Ehlers, and goaltender Zachary Fucale.

    Eichel could have been part of that special squad that went on to defeat the Portland Winterhawks to win the 2013 Memorial Cup, but he chose to play for USA in the USHL and went from 44 points in the USHL to 66 at Boston University in 2014-2015.

    I realize Jack Eichel is unrelated to Max Jones. At the same time, we could see Jones skip out on the OHL altogether. London said back in the regular season that he would come up to the OHL at some point in the future. I got a feeling he might stay another year in the USHL like Eichel did, but we'll see what happens.

  19. Erie Otters: Taylor Raddysh, RW, (2016)

    The Erie Otters will have Connor Brown, Connor McDavid, and Taylor Raddysh on the first line this season. The Otters have to be the favorite to win the Memorial Cup. Nate MacKinnon was compared to Sidney Crosby and he won a Memorial Cup with the Halifax Mooseheads. McDavid and the Otters have a chance to be that team.

    2015 Update Taylor Raddysh could realistically be a 2016 first round pick. Playing with Connor Brown and Connor McDavid on the top line at right wing helped him get 21 goals, 6 assists, and 27 points as a right wing sniper on the top line.

    Even when Connor McDavid injured his hand in a fight the guy stepped up. This guy delivered when Dylan Strome played on the top line too. Raddysh will continue to develop with the Erie Otters who have coaches that play the Pennsylvania Lottery with Gus the Groundhog in Erie, PA.

  20. Guelph Storm: Matthew Hotchkiss, C, (2016)

    Matthew Hotchkiss will be a line 3 center on the back 6 with the Guelph Storm. Hotchkiss has to help Guelph repeat as OHL Champions if he expects to be a first round draft pick in 2016.

    2015 Update Hotchkiss has been disappointing in his first season with only 13 points in 63 games. He lacks focus and intensity. It shows on the ice which is why Hotchkiss needs to step up with Givani Smith next season in 2015-2016.

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