NHL Prospects: 5 OHL Forwards Off To Hot Starts
NHL Prospects (Futures Watch List): 5 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Forwards Off to Hot Starts in 2016-17
We’re almost a third of the way through another year of junior hockey and several NHL prospects are making an early impact. Today, we look at five major junior players from the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) who are off to hot starts, complete with their position and where they were drafted.
Stay tuned in the near future for coverage of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) on Puck Prose!
Taylor Raddysh, RW, Erie Otters
Raddysh, picked 58th overall in 2016 by the Tampa Bay Lightning, has been dominating the OHL alongside linemate Alex Debrincat. The 18-year-old Raddysh has a crazy 47 points in 20 games for the Otters and has shown no signs of stopping. The recent news of Dylan Strome’s return should only help boost his totals moving forward.
Alex DeBrincat, LW, Erie Otters
DeBrincat, a pint-sized sniper from Farmington Hills, Michigan (and Chicago Blackhawks draft pick), is the forefront of the size-doesn’t-matter in hockey right now. DeBrincat is off to a torrid start with 19 goals in 19 games. Can the 5-foot-8 dynamo help lead Erie to the Memorial Cup?
Jeremy Bracco, RW, Kitchener Rangers
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A Maple Leafs draft pick in 2015, Bracco has really found his groove with the Rangers after joining the club midway through 2015-2016, forming chemistry with Panthers draft pick (and the third best scorer in the OHL) Adam Mascherin. With 36 points through 18 games, the 19-year-old could wind up being a steal for the Leafs.
Janne Kuokkanen, LW, London Knights
Super-Finn Kuokkanen has been lighting it up with the Knights on the left side of fellow running man Cliff Pu. A second-round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes last year, Kuokkanen has been outstanding so far in his OHL debut season with 29 points in 18 games.
Brett McKenzie, C, North Bay Battalion
How about this? McKenzie was passed over in the 2015 draft but was picked up in the seventh round of the draft by the Canucks in 2016. Now, McKenzie is making a name for himself this season with 26 points in 21 games. If the 19-year-old can translate his stellar two-way game to the NHL level, maybe the Canucks fan base will give GM Jim Benning a little more credit for his unorthodox style.
Other NHL prospects names to remember: Matthew Strome (Hamilton Bulldogs – 2017 Draft Eligible), Nikita Korostelev (Sarina Sting – Leafs Draft Pick), Max Jones (London Knights – Ducks Draft Pick). Owen Tippet (2017 Draft Eligible) & Nicolas Hague (Mississauga Steelheads – 2017 Draft Eligible)