Sunday, April 24, 2011

OHL draft should have Michigan flavor

Courtesy Michigan Hockey

The annual Ontario Hockey League draft is on tap for May 7 and as in past years, there is no shortage of Michigan talent for the taking.

Of course, the OHL is just one option for many of the talented Michigan players as many have colleges and the United States National Team Development Program on their heels.

That said, expect many a Michigan player born in 1995 to see his name pop up on the computer screen during the online draft that goes 15 rounds and lasts nearly eight hours.

OHL Michigan scout Kevin Hess sat down with Michigan Hockey recently to assess the top in-state players at each position.


Evan Allen, Honeybaked U-16 – “Speedy forward who competes at a very high level. Possesses a very good shot with a pro-style release.”

Dawson Cook, Cadillac High School – “Prototypical power forward. Good north/south skater. Has a heavy shot and possesses the physical tools to be an effective player at the next level.”

Zach Diamantoni, Compuware U-16 – “Skilled center that is a great set-up man.”

Joel Lesperance, Compuware U-16 – “Plays a solid two-way game and possesses very good hockey sense. Plays in every situation.”

Michael McCarron, Honeybaked Major Midget – “Big-bodied power forward with high-end skill. Uses his size and skill to make everyone on the ice better. Playing up this season has helped him elevate his overall game.”

Tyler Motte, Honeybaked U-16 – “Reads the play in the offensive zone well. Extremely dangerous in the goal scoring area. If my team needed a goal, this is the guy I want with the puck on his stick.”

Jacob Pritchard, Little Caesars U-16 – “Speedy, shifty, and skilled forward who has steadily improved throughout the season.”

Samuel Rennaker, Forest Hills North/East High School – “Competes at a high level in all three zones on the ice. Has a good shot and converts on a high percentage of his scoring chances.”

Michael Sabatini, Honeybaked U-16 – “Good skater with good high-end speed. Possesses a good skill set and is dangerous both as a passer and a shooter in the goal-scoring area.”

Brendan Smith, Compuware U-16 – “Very good skater with exceptional top-end speed. Plays the game at full speed at all times. Possesses a very good shot with a quick release.”

Alex Talcott, Honeybaked Major Midget – “Good north/south skating prospect with excellent acceleration. Not afraid to go to the tough areas of the ice to score. Another player that improved his overall game by playing Major Midget this season.”

Christian Wolanin, Little Caesars U-16 – “Versatile prospect that can play both forward and defense. Plays a very smart two-way game.”


Michael Downing, Novi Catholic Central High School – “Very good skating defender with high-end offensive capabilities.”

Trevor Hamilton, Honeybaked U-16 – “Physical defender who is not afraid to jump into the rush.”

Mitch Jones, Honeybaked U-16 – “Stay-at-home defenseman with an offensive upside. Makes a very good first pass.”

Alex Roberts, Honeybaked U-16 – “Very mobile defenseman who plays both ends of the rink effectively.”

Cory Schueneman, Little Caesar’s U-16 – “Smooth skating defenseman who takes care of his own end first before joining the offense. Has the skating and skill to take the puck end to end.”

Alexander Smith, Honeybaked Major Midget – “Primarily an offensive-minded defenseman, but playing Major Midget has helped him get better in his own zone. Powerful skater who is very light on his feet and possesses a great range of mobility.”


Ian Jenkins, Belle Tire U-16 – “Very athletic goaltender who never gives up on a puck. Has quick reflexes and does a nice job of controlling his rebounds.”

Devin Williams, Motor City Metal Jackets U-16 – “Fundamentally-sound butterfly goaltender with good rebound control.”

Honorable mention

Bryan Basillico, F, Belle Tire U-16; Taylor Fernandez, F, Little Caesars U-16; Troy Saunders, D, Compuware U-16; Reed Whiteside, D, Trenton High School; Michael Yuhasz, F, Little Caesars U-16.

Recent Plymouth First Round Draft Picks
2006 – Vern Cooper, F
2007 – Beau Schmitz, D
2008 – Tyler Seguin, F
2009 – Garrett Meurs, F
2010 – Max Iafrate, D

Recent Saginaw First Round Draft Picks
2006 – Nick Crawford, D
2007 – Daniel Pachis, F
2008 – Brandon Saad, F
2009 – Anthony Camara, F
2010 – Justin Kea, F

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