Thursday, November 19, 2009

Meet Team OHL-International

As the Subway Super Series moves from the QMJHL in OHL territory, the touring Russians carry a 0-2 record and have been out shot 99-48 and outscored 12-4. Game 3 of the Series goes tonight in Barrie, Ontario with the Russians having traveled from Shawinigan after their game against the QMJHL last night.

Last week I made the argument that the event should feature the Canadian CHLers playing against their European and American counterparts from the same league. You can find my reasons for feeling that way by clicking HERE. Prior to the two games against the QMJHL I released the roster of the team I would have preferred to see play. You can see the make up of Team Q-International HERE.

Following suit, here is the roster for Team OHL-International that I wish we were seeing play tonight and Monday instead of the extremely disadvantaged Russians...


WHile it was slim pickings in the QMJHL for American or Euro goalies, that's not the case with the OHL. By my count there are 9 goalies with the required passport to play for my team and I finally narrowed it down to a quartet, they can all play a period and a half.

Brandon Maxwell of the Kitchener Rangers was a 6th round pick of the Colorado Avalanche last June. In 13 games with the Rangers this year he has a .916 save percentage and a 3.04 GAA. I'd have him sharing the Barrie game (tonight) with German Philipp Grubauer who plays for the Belleville Bulls. Grubauer was recently recognized as one of the top goalies available in 2010. Thus far he's played in 21 games for the Bulls and boasts a .912 save percentage and .327 GAA.

In the other game I would send out London Knights goalie Michael Houser, eligible for the 2010 draft by a mere two days. Houser has the third best GAA in the OHL at 2.48 but he's only appeared in 8 games. Still, his .917 save percentage suggests he's on the same pace as most of the top starters in the league. His partner on Monday night would be Robin Lehner (pictured), the Swede was taken in the 2nd by the Ottawa Senators last June. Lehner plays for the Soo Greyhounds and is in the OHL top 10 for both save percentage and GAA.


There are a few obvious choices for the blueline starting with 2010 marquee prospect Cam Fowler. The American plays for the powerful Windsor Spitfires and leads the OHL in scoring by defencemen with 29 points in 25 games. Fowler (pictured below) is listed a 6'2 and 190 lbs and is a surefire top 5 pick this June.

2009 guest blogger John Moore made the move from the USHL to the OHL this summer and now plays for the Kitchener Rangers. After arriving late from Columbus Blue Jackets camp (1st round pick, 2009) Moore finally got into action and has collected 12 points in 19 games.

Adam Comrie was a 2008 selection of the Florida Panthers. The Virginia born blueliners is now a member of the Guelph Storm after two seasons in Saginaw. HIs 17 points in 22 games with the Storm have Comrie ranked 10th in D-men scoring in the league this year. At 6'4 and 213 lbs, Comrie is definitely an interesting player to watch for in the future.

Another 2008 draftee is Michal Jordan of the Plymouth Whalers. Carolina chose the Czech native in the 4th round that year and he responded by nearly doubling his statistical output to a total of 42 points last season. Jordan has international experience with his country's junior team and even made my proposed team last year in this same exercise.

Undrafted Brian Lashoff gets a nod here as a 6'3, 204 lb two-way defender. Lashoff plays for the Kingston Frontenacs but also appeared in 6 AHL games last year with the Grand Rapids Griffins (DET) where he managed to pick up 5 points. Lashoff has 10 points so far this year with the Frontenacs.

Another undrafted player that caught my eye is Tony DeHart of the Oshawa Generals. With 21 points in 22 games, DeHart has already almost equaled his output from all 67 games last season. He is in his fourth OHL campaign but his first two years in London saw him play sparingly and contribute just 9 points over 72 games. The Missouri product easily eclipse that mark last year playing with the Generals and is well on his way to having a banner season.

The first of my two spares on my team are going to be Sarnia Sting defender Joe Rogalski, a late '91 born player from Lancaster, New York who has 14 points in 23 games this year. The second is native Pennsylvanian Tyler Hostetter who plays in his home State for the Erie Otters. Hostetter has is a bit undersized, went undrafted last year but has 14 points in 20 games this season for the Otters.

Left Wing

As we often see with "All-Star" teams, I'm going to have excess centers where one or two will have to move to the wing. For that reason, I only have 3 natural left wingers on my list. The first is Mississauga's Swedish import William Wallen. The tiny forward has 20 points, just two back of his total from last year when he was a rookie with the Majors. He's 5'8 and 170 lbs so I don't know how much of a pro future he has... just another reason why an event like I'm proposing is an interesting one for these types of players.

Rookie Jeremy Morin of the Kitchener Rangers is someone most people will recognize as a 2nd round pick of the Atlanta Thrashers at last June's NHL draft. Morin has an impressive 27 points in 21 games, third best on the strong Kitchener team. The New York product was a standout on the US-NTDP for the past two years.

A.J. Jenks was a 2008 draft pick of the Florida Panthers. The forward is now playing in his fourth season as a member of the Plymouth Whalers in his home State of Michigan. Jenks has had back-to-back 20 goals campaigns and is on pace to make it a third. The 6'2, 200 lb power forward is projected to be a solid checker at the pro level.

Right Wing

A recent guest on The Pipeline Show, Austin Watson is definitely a player of interest of for the 2010 NHL draft. He's only 9th in scoring on his own team but when that club is the Windsor Spitfires... you have to realize that 17 points is still pretty darn good.

NCAA deserter Kenny Ryan found his way North to the Spitfires after leaving Boston College on the eve of their regular season. The Toronto Maple Leafs chose Ryan in the 2nd round in the 2009 draft and so far this year he has compiled 11 points in 12 contests.

Brampton forward Philip Lane is a 2010 eligible rookie who makes my proposed roster. The Rochester, NY native has 11 points for the Battalion so far this year after 23 games played.

rounding out the right side is another Kitchener player in Gabriel Landeskog. The Swede comes recommended by OHL Prospects writer Brock Otten who suggests the 6'1, 200lb forward was overlooked by me on my initial roster I sent his way. Landeskog has 12 points in 22 games for the Rangers. As a late '92, Landeskog isn't NHL draft eligible until 2011.


So with only 7 wingers on my roster, I'll add five centers and a couple of spares who also happen to be middlemen on their OHL club team. First off are two players who will actually be taking part in the real life Subway Super Series - Russians Alex Burmistrov and Ivan Telegin.

Burmistrov (pictured) is third in scoring for the Barrie Colts with 27 points but has quickly made a name for himself with scouts for the 2010 NHL draft. The dynamic pivot has a team high 18 assists to go with his 9 goals. Telegin plays for the Saginaw Spirit and has 29 points this year including 17 goals. The Saginaw forward stands 6'3 and is listed at 185 lbs.

Richard Panik is another European that was drafted last June. A product of Slovakia, the skilled center currently plays for the Windsor Spitfires and has contributed 12 points in 23 games, arguably a little disappointing considering a certain amount of hype leading into the season. The Tampa Bay Lighting took Panik in the 2nd round in 2009.

London Knights forwards Phil McRae and Jared Knight make the squad although I think the latter will have to be one of the spares considering his sluggish start to the season. McRae, a St. Louis Blues prospect, is just off a point-per-game pace with the Knights whereas his Michigan born teammate has just 15 points in 22 outings.

Erie forward Andrew Yogan has bounced back from serious injury late last season to have 24 points in 22 games so far in 2009-10. He's a late '91 so eligible this June and at 6'3 and 202 lbs you know he'll have plenty of eyes on him.

Finally, I've decided to include 2011 eligible Vincent Trochek of the Saginaw Sprit simply because I think he's earned it. The Pittsburgh native has 15 points as a 16-year-old rookie. Perhaps it's just a gesture for the youngster but he's the last player on my team.


Nationality: USA (18), Sweden (3), Russia (2), Czech (1), Slovakia (1), Germany (1).
NHL Drafted: 10
2010 Eligible: 9

Thanks to Brock Otten from OHL Prospects for his input.


Anonymous said...

Come on,that´s not even funny anymore:"Richard Panik was one of two Czech players drafted last June." When did he turn Czech? another Slovak who transformed to Czech after stepping on their soil, eh?

Guy Flaming said...

well that one is my fault. (red face)

Thanks for the correction.

I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on the proposed system though as I assume you have European ties?

Anonymous said...

You´re welcome. Well actually I have more than just ties, I´m Slovak and live in Slovakia. Your system sounds interesting, however it reminds me too much of an All Stars Game with a different format-i.e. NA vs. Europe (World) that the NHL used to have some time ago, I like the country vs. country system way more and Europe is far from being one country. The serious problem for the Series and the reason why the Russians usually suck so much is the time where the tourney is played. No European teams are willing to release their players during the half of the season. So an another solution might be moving the series for an earlier date- to early November when there is an official IIHF break and all the senior comeptitions as well as junior in most countries (minus the MHL I think) are on break. Then it might be even be possible to get the top Swedish U20 team to play the series, after all they were in Canada to play some university teams druing the break.

Brock Otten said...

Thanks for letting me help with this Guy. I see you took my suggestion on Landeskog.

Just a small correction. The London goalie's name is Michael Houser. Although I can see where the confusion comes from as the Kings once had a goalie prospect named Adam Hauser!

Vincent Trocheck is an interesting player. Certainly having a solid rookie season. I know he was one guy I suggested you leave off (and replace with the Knights Jared Knight), but it was more so because of his inexperience and not because he's not a quality player. I'm really interested to see if Team USA adds him to the Under 17 team for the World Under 17's in December. They usually add a few CHL players and Trocheck, along with a few of those quality WHL guys, has to be a serious possibility.

Outside of the goaltending, which you mentioned as deep, defense would be the next deepest. Some of the guys left off like Adam Sedlak, Brandon Archibald, and Beau Schmitz are all quality NHL prospects and potential top 100 picks in this years draft (although Schmitz less likely because he's a second year eligible).

Good job!