It’s day two of our Ontario Hockey League’s draft eligible rankings and today we’ll begin to look at the top 20 skaters. Yesterday we began with the top 5 goaltenders. If you missed it, you can find them here.
We start today by looking at the skaters ranked from number 20 to number 11 and will follow with the top 10 tomorrow.
The list includes players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft for the first time. Players passed over in previous drafts are not listed. This is our first list that includes players from Europe selected in the Canadian Hockey League’s import draft and players from the United States that made the jump to the OHL.
You’ll also see where we had the players ranked in our pre-season rankings. Those not ranked previously (NR) are mostly players who made the jump from Europe and the United States.
Here are our number 20 to number 11 rankings:
20. Stephan Nosad – Peterborough Petes
Previous Rank: 15
Date of Birth: January 25, 1995
Hometown: Tottenham, Ontario
Stats: 12GP 2G 2A 4PTS
Position: Right Wing
Nosad is one of those guys that the stats haven’t quite been there early on, but the Petes as an organization have struggled early on. Nosad was already accomplished defensively last season, his first year in the OHL. And it seems that he has taken those responsibilities even more seriously this season.
But Nosad does come with offensive potential. He won’t score 50 goals but could be around the 20 goal, 50 point range in the OHL should Peterborough right the ship. Nosad has good vision; he sees the ice very well. He makes a good pass, can keep possession of the puck to give his teammates time to get into the open, or he can keep it and create a chance for himself.
19. Sergey Kuptsov – Belleville Bulls
Previous Rank: 18
Date of Birth: October 6, 1994
Hometown: Ekaterinburg, Russia
Stats: 11GP 3G 4A 7PTS
Position: Left Wing
The Russian import is in his second OHL season so there is no adjustment needed here. While his statistics may not stand out, he is third on the Bulls who aren’t scoring at a torrid pace themselves. (You’ll find out later in these rankings who leads the team).
Kuptsov has the size to be a legit power forward and he uses that size effectively. He’s mobility is above average, both with and without the puck. He can make good passes and has the vision to find teammates. He is also willing to drive to the net. He’s found some consistency after lacking it at times last season. Now, he only has to keep it up for the season.
18. Ryan Hartman – Plymouth Whalers
Previous Rank: NR
Date of Birth: September 20, 1994
Hometown: West Dundee, Illinois
Stats: 13GP 4G 7A 11Pts
Hartman is one of the older players available for the draft having missed the 2012 draft age by just 5 days. Hartman is one of a few smaller players you’ll find on this list. But he plays much bigger than his 5’11 frame says. He’s a banger and he’s not one to shy away from the physical game. The question is: How long can he keep that up?
I’ve been impressed by his offensive game. He’s an excellent passer, but he also creates offense by driving hard to the net, something he tries to do at every opportunity. He has an uncanny ability to hold onto the puck, protect it, and draw people in to create openings for his teammates.
17. Nicholas Baptiste – Sudbury Wolves
Previous Rank: 7
Date of Birth: August 4, 1995
Hometown: Ottawa, Ontario
Stats: 15GP 1G 5A 6PTS
Position: Right Wing
If you’re looking at Baptiste’s previous ranking to his current ranking and thinking he’s been a bit of a disappointment, you’ve hit the nail on the head. He came into the season high on potential and needed to prove that his development curve is heading in the right direction. So far it hasn’t, but it’s still early and the season is long.
I still believe in his potential and that’s the reason he hasn’t dropped right off the list. But he seems to have lost his competitive drive. He’s shown it all in the past. His physicality, competitiveness, passing abilities, drive, you name it he possessed it. Now, he just needs to find it again.
16. Dominik Kahun – Sudbury Wolves
Previous Rank: Not Ranked
Date of Birth: July 2, 1995
Hometown: Plan, Czech Republic
Stats: 16GP 4G 10A 14PTS
Kahun has been a very pleasant surprise for the Wolves and has jumped over two of his teammates (Brody Silk and Nicholas Baptiste) previously in our top 20 list. The transition to North America was made a little easier for him after having been away from home and playing in Germany for a couple of years. In 2010-11 he played for Mannheimer U16 in Germany and in 30 games scored 69 goals and a whopping 137 assists for 206 points.
Kahun is a playmaker first, but gets his share of opportunities for himself. He’s an extremely intelligent player and his vision is second to none. He’s quite possibly the best passer available right now – on the verge of being elite.
15. Hunter Garlent – Guelph Storm
Previous Rank: 17
Date of Birth: February 4, 1995
Hometown: Thorold, Ontario
Stats: 11GP 4G 6A 10Pts
What can I say about the little guys up and down the list? It is what it is. Garlent was just getting into a groove and about to enter the point per game territory when he went down with an injury. The Storm are off to a great start and he’s one of the reasons why earlier on.
Garlent has all the necessary tools, and though his size will be questioned, he plays like he’s 6’ 200 pounds. He’s not afraid to go into corners or along the boards and do battle with bigger guys because of his work ethic and win at all costs mentality. If he can’t beat you with strength, he’ll beat you with his smarts.
14. Sergey Tolchinsky – Soo Greyhounds
Previous Rank: Not Ranked
Date of Birth: February 3, 1995
Hometown: Moscow, Russia
Stats: 16GP 7G 7A 14PTS
Position: Right Wing
I guess the question from everyone that hasn’t seen Tolchinsky play is: Why is a 5’7” player on this list? The answer is simple: Lightning in a bottle. There are maybe a handful of players in the OHL that could out skate Tolchinsky. He has extraordinary speed and is almost impossible to catch, even while controlling the puck. He has the ability to bring fans to the edge of their seats when he gets going on the rush.
Hard to say what NHL scouts will think of him come June, and it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that if he had remained in Russia that he wouldn’t get a second look from NHL teams, but with all eyes on teammate Darnell Nurse in the Soo, Tolchinsky will get noticed., but will anyone take a chance? The ranking isn’t a gesture of goodwill. He is talented.
13. Zach Nastasiuk – Owen Sound Attack
Previous Rank: 13
Date of Birth: March 30, 1995
Hometown: Barrie, Ontario
Stats: 8GP 3G 2A 5PTS
Position: Right Wing
Known as Nasty to his teammate, Nastasiuk is the proto-typical power forward. An injury has forced him to miss the past few weeks or he could have been a bit higher on this list.
He’s a big body who is not afraid to bang and crash. Shift to shift he is the hardest worker on the ice on any night. He can play in any situation and has improved his play away from the puck this season. Skating is not an issue, but he could work on his speed, particularly his first couple of strides. He added some muscle in the offseason, and if he continues to do that while working on his speed, he will be a force.
12. Chris Bigras – Owen Sound Attack
Previous Rank: 11
Date of Birth: February 22, 1995
Hometown: Elmvale, Ontario
Stats: 14GP 1G 10A 11PTS
Last season, Bigras already had an established defensive game but come playoff time he showed his offensive abilities. He needed to bring that this season and so far, he’s done just that. He’s third among defensemen in scoring and his plus 14 is 5 better then second place Max Domi.
He’s a very intelligent hockey player. He’s quick in transitioning from defence to offence without great skating speed. He reads the ice very well and is an excellent passer. He is positionally strong defensively but lacks an overall physicality.
11. Jordan Subban – Belleville Bulls
Previous rank: 9
Date of Birth: March 3, 1995
Hometown: Rexdale, Ontario
Stats: 13GP 3G 10A 13PTS
Quite possibly, the most talented of the Subban brothers – at least at the junior level. And when you think of Subban, think back to Ryan Murphy and his draft year and you’ll hear the same shortfalls – warranted or not: Too small, can’t play defence. He is, for all intents and purposes, Ryan Murphy lite.
He is the best offensive defenseman at this time. He’s tied with the Soo Greyhounds Darnell Nurse in points and trails him by one goal with three fewer games played, and is the only draft eligible defenseman to lead his team in scoring, by 4 points early in the season. A tremendous skater who can do wonders with the puck, he will need to work on his game in his own end. He’s the definition of high risk, high reward.