Hard to complain about the first third of the Hounds season so far. A team that was projected by the so called “experts” to finish anywhere from 6th to 8th in the OHL has so far proven them wrong. Given a favourable early season schedule with plenty of games against the Eastern Confrence the Hounds certainly took advantage. While things are sure to get tougher the rest of the way as the schedule strength improves and teams step up their play against the hounds, it should be noted that this early season success has been great for them to build confidence and develop as a unit.
My review of the first third of the season will be in a few sections. First I will go over the players on the team and look at what they have done so far and what they are on pace for. I will then look at some of the numbers from this season, some milestones etc and finally conclude it with what we may expect the rest of the way.
Current 24GP 15G 24A 39P 8PPG
On Pace 68GP 43G 68A 111P 23PPG
Without a doubt the offensive MVP of the Greyhounds through the first third of the season. Sergey came into the season with a real chip on his shoulder after being passed over in the NHL draft and then earning an NHL contract with his play at the Carolina Hurricanes prospect tourney team. While it is unlikely he will reach his projected numbers due to a little thing called the World Junior Hockey Championship there are a few things that stand out. For starters 111 points would be the most by a Greyhound since Joe Thornton picked up 122 in 96-97 and only the 2nd 100 point total since then the other is obviously Nick Cousins last season with 103. Sergey is on pace for 23 PPGs this season which would be the 4th highest total in Hounds history. The only Hounds within the last 20 years to even hit 20 PPGs was Brett Thompson.
Current 24GP 11G 17A 28P 0PPG
On Pace 68GP 31G 48A 79P 0PPG
The veteran 5th year OHL forward is coming up upon some milestones. Andrew is 10 goals away from 100 and 7 points away from 200 on his career. Andrew is also on pace to set career highs in both goals and assists this season. One thing that sticks out though is that Andrew has 0 power play goals this year through 24 games after leading the team with 12 last year. His 11 even strength goals are 2 of the total he had last year in 55 games. Needless to say the power play goals will start coming for Andrew and if he can maintain a similar even strength goal rate we could be looking at a big final 2/3rds of the season.
Current 22GP 12G 15A 17P 3PPG
On Pace 66GP 36G 45A 81P
The highly touted forward has his name near the top of all the draft lists. Craig Button has him 13th as of November 13th, Future Considerations has him 13th in their most recent rankings and ISS has him 16th. Currently he is on pace to shatter his totals from last year which shouldn’t be much of a surprise. He already has 2 hat tricks this season, a 4 goal outburst against Sudbury and a 3 goal game against Niagara.
Current 24GP 11G 15A 26P 1PPG
On Pace 68GP 31G 43A 74P 3PPG
Tough to come up with anything to say about Tyler that hasn’t been said already this season. He has added an offensive component to this team that it looked like it was lacking before the season started. Currently on pace for 30+ goals and 70+ points. To top it all off he has become the 3rd Hound in the last year to sign a FA contract and the 4th in 4 years if you go back and include Jake Muzzin. It cannot be underestimated what things like that can do for a team from a recruitment perspective.
Current 23GP 7G 18A 25P 4PPG
On Pace 67GP 20G 52A 72P 12PPG
Just like Cap’N Crunch this captain is making it happen. Darnell has asserted himself as one of if not the top defender in the OHL this year. Proving the doubters wrong who questioned his offensive upside by bringing plenty of points from the blue line so far this season. Was an invite to the World Junior Summer Camp and his play so far this season has definitely put him in a position to make the team over Christmas. Darnell is 5 goals and 11 assists off of career highs.
Current 24GP 5G 18A 23P 4PPG
On Pace 68GP 14G 51A 12PPG
Needless to say Patrick is thriving this season with the added offensive responsibilities he was never afforded while in Guelph. His 18 assists are already a career high. The 4 PPGs has been a nice bonus as entering this season Patrick only had 1 in 122 career games. One thing you can expect from him is an uptick in his even strength goals as he is currently well below his career average in that regard. Also his 2 shorthanded assists has him tied for 2nd in the league up to this point.
Current 24GP 9G 13A 22P 5PPG
On Pace 68GP 26G 37A 63P 14PPG
Michael was quite the story coming out of camp. Picking up a hat trick in the first prospect camp game, then returning a few months later to the main camp where he scored in every game. As I am sure you have all heard he was spotted by the Hounds in the GTHL midget all-star game during is first year of AAA hockey. Another example of the Hounds spotting players who have fallen through the cracks for various reasons. Michael has brought some much needed secondary scoring to the Hounds and is one of the key cogs in an offence that is 3rd in the league in goals scored.
Current 14GP 6G 6A 12P 3PPG
On Pace 58GP 25G 25A 50P 12PPG
The Norwegian import has struggled a but with injuries has he has missed the last 10 games with a lower body issue. When in the lineup however Jorgen has added some scoring punch from the wing position and proved to be an efficient scorer on the teams #2 PP unit. Jorgen is a lock to join the Norwegian World Junior team over the Christmas holidays health permitting.
Current 22GP 4G 7A 11P 2PPG
On Pace 66GP 12G 21A 33P 6PPG
One of two 2012 Hounds draft picks to be named a 1st team all prospect in the OJHL last year while suiting up for the Oakville Blades. Kyle was looked upon to easy some of the scoring burden on the blueline that lost both Ryan Sproul and Colin Miller from last season. Averaging a point every 2 games Kyle has done a great job on the power play as he continues to grow his game and adjust to the OHL. Ranked a “C” skater by NHLCS Kyle comes in at #76 on Craig Button’s rankings. Definitely a bright part of the teams future who has entrenched himself in the lineup.
Current 19GP 4G 4A 8P 0PPG
On Pace 63GP 13G 13A 26P 0PPG
The other of the 2 Hounds to make the OJHL 1st team all prospect squad. David is a late birthday who isn’t NHL draft eligible till 2015. After being in and out of the lineup early in the season David now finds himself firmly entrenched as the teams #3 center. Another player who will continue to get better as the season goes on as he develops into the teams #2 center for next season.
Current 23GP 4G 4A 8P 0PPG
On Pace 67GP 12G 12A 24P 0PPG
The Greyhounds 1st round pick in 2013 has had a rookie season that is hard to complain about. The good so far is that he has scored more goals then 11th overall pick from the last 4 drafts. The bad is he started the season goalless in his first 7 scored 4 in 3 games and has since gone goalless in his last 13 games. He has shown that he is a highly skilled forward with great intelligence. Right now it is just an issue of concictency which will come as he gets stronger and continues to adjust to the speed of the OHL. Blake will miss a few games following Christmas has he has been named to Team Ontario for the U17 hockey championship.
Current 24GP 0G 7A 7P 0PPG
On Pace 68GP 0G 20A 20P 0PPG
Last season’s 2nd round pick has shown great improvement over the last season as he is finally getting some regular ice time. Kevin has shown quality growth as he has asserted his spot in the lineup for the Hounds.
Current 17GP 6G 0A 6P 1PPG
On Pace 61G 22G 0A 22P 4PPG
The early season addition via trade from the Kingston Frontnacs, Jean has added some sandpaper to the lineup while also chipping in with some offence. He missed some time early due to a hand/wrist injury as a result of a fight. Back from that it no longer seems to be an issue.
Current 23GP 3G 3A 6P 0PPG
On Pace 67GP 9G 9A 0PPG
The physical anchor on the blueline for the Hounds Alex provides a shutdown element to the blueline as well as leadership. The Hounds have had multiple players in recent years get drafted as reentry candidates or signed to contracts and Alex continues to look like someone who could be one of those players.
Current 18GP 1G 4A 5P 0PPG
On Pace 62GP 3G 14A 17P
The 2nd year forward has been in and out of the lineup this year as he tries to find his role. Some of the new additions have come in with a little more offensive upside and thus have been given more prominent roles. Trent however has gone about his business and has been very productive in his 4th line role. Trent has once again shown an ability to play with lots of energy and maximizes the icetime he does get.
Current 21GP 1G 4A 5P 0PPG
On Pace 65GP 3G 12A 14P 0PPG
The rookie forward came out of the gates hot as he picked up 5 points in the first 5 games of the year. Brandon however has been mired in a 16 game pointless streak. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts over the next third of the season. As some players get healthy ice time may be harder to come by.
Current 24GP 0G 4A 4P 0PPG
On Pace 68GP 0G 11A 11P 0PPG
The Carolina Hurricans draft pick is still looking for his first OHL goal. In the meantime he has been doing a great job on the blue line as one of the 3 returning dmen who played major minutes for the team last season. Adds a physical element to the blue line while not shying away from sticking up for his teammates.
Current 23GP 1G 2A 3P 0PPG
On Pace 67GP 3G 6A 9P 0PPG
Stuck in the 6th/7th dman range last season Mac has obviously worked hard to put himself in the position he is in right now. A reliable and steady dman he was rewarded with his 1st career OHL goal this year. Helps bring stability to the 3rd pairing and providing great depth on the blueline.
Current 20GP 0G 2A 2P 0PPG
On Pace 64GP 0G 6A 6P 0PPG
Hounds 2nd round pick from last year has spent most games as the extra dman. Was considered in the mix as the 7th dman for Team Ontario for the U17 but the addition of Jakub Chuychun left him without a spot. In the event of an injury (Mitchell Vande Sompel has been dealing with one this year) Colton should be first in line to get a call. A mobile and offensive dman Colton is adjusting to the speed of the OHL but looks to be a keeper.
Current 14GP 1G 0A 1P 0PPG
On Pace 58GP 4G 0A 4P 0PPG
One of 3 Hounds to have played on the 2012 OHL cup champion Mississauga Rebels. Nick adds a physical element to the 4th line. Given the ice time he has received this year you can’t really complain about his production. He is definitely a hard working player who has shown a willingness to do what it takes to win.
By the Numbers
0 goals 0-1-0-0
1 goal 1-0-0-0
2 goals 1-2-0-0
3 goals 3-2-0-1
4 goals 4-0-0-1
5 goals 3-0-0-0
6 goals 0-0-0-0
7 or more goals 5-0-0-0
0 goals 4-0-0-0
1 goal 2-0-0-0
2 goals 3-0-0-0
3 goals 5-2-0-0
4 goals 1-2-0-1
5 goals 1-0-0-1
6 goals 0-1-0-0
7 or more goals 1-0-0-0
Record by Division
East Division 6-1-0-1
Central Division 5-0-0-1
Midwest Division 1-2-0-0
West Division 5-2-0-0
Leading after 1 9-2-0-1
Trailing after 1 2-1-0-0
Tied after 1 6-2-0-1
Leading after 2 14-0-0-0
Trailing after 2 0-4-0-1
Tied after 2 3-1-0-1
Score 0 PP goals 4-3-0-0
Score 1 PP goal 6-1-0-2
Score 2+ PP goals 7-1-0-0
Allow 0 PP goals 11-1-0-0
Allow 1 PP goal 3-3-0-1
Allow 2+ PP goals 3-1-0-1
Outshoot opponent 10-2-0-2
Get outshot 6-2-0-0
Tied in shots 1-0-0-0
.492 – Current point percentage of Greyhound oppoents up to this point
.563 – Current point percentage of those the Greyhoudns have to play the rest of the year.
+34 – Current goal differential being sported by the Hounds. Good enough to be tied for 3rd in the OHL with the London Knights
24.7, 20.0, 22.5 – The Greyhounds PP numbers at home, away and overall respectively. Good enough for 6th, 14th and 7th overall in the league.
88.0,76.4.,81.9 – The Greyhounds PK unit has been a strength as these are their numbers at home, away and overall. Good enough for 2nd, 13th and 6th overall in the OHL
312 – The number of PIMs the Hounds have accumulated as a team so far. The 2nd fewest in the league.
15th – Sergey Tolchinsky currently ranks 15th overall in the league with 15 goals so far this year.
7th – Sergey Tolchinsky currently ranks 7th in the league in assists with 24
2nd – Sergey Tolchinsky currently ranks 2nd in the league with 8 power play goals
2nd and 9th – Andrew Fritsch currently sits 2nd in the league with 14 PP assists while Jared McCann is 9th with 11.
4th – Andrew Fritsch currently sits 4th in the OHL with 3 game winning goals
2nd – Greyhounds captain Darnell Nurse currently sits tied for 2nd in the league in defensemen points.
1st – Matt Murray is currently tied for the league lead in shutouts with 3
Andrew Fritsch – 14 games away from 250, 10 goals away from 100, 7 points away from 200
Jared McCann – 14 games away from 100, 29 points away from 100
Patrick Watling – 4 games away from 150, 29 points away from 100
Sergey Tolchinsky – 14 games away from 100, 4 goals away from 50, 10 points away from 100
Tyler Ganly – 14 games away from 100
Darnell Nurse – 6 games away from 150, 24 points away from 100
Matt Murray – 13 games away from 150, 722 minutes played from being 2nd on the Hounds all-time list, 4 wins from 65 which would place him 3rd on the Hounds all-time list, 1 shutout away from tying Ray Emery for 2nd on the Hounds all-time list.
What to Expect for the rest of the year
Well if the first third has taught us anything it is to expect the unexpected. That being said the Hounds clearly benefited from an easy early schedule. All you need to do is look at the .492 point percentage of those they have played and the .563 point percentage for their opponents the rest of the year. The bright side is that the Hounds clearly took advantage of this. Personally I feel they will still get a real challenge from Saginaw for the division lead but the Hounds are definitely good enough give some serious fight back.
Christmas time is world junior time and teams around the league always lose players to various tournaments. The Hounds will be no exception as they will lose Blake Speers to the U17 team from Ontario. For the WJHC if healthy Jorgen Karterud is a lock to play for team Norway. Darnell Nurse and Matt Murray should be heavily favoured to atleast get an invite to the selection camp and with his play in the Subway Series and in the OHL it will be hard to turn Sergey Tolchinsky away from the Russian team but you never know with Russia. From the time the selection camp is running to the end of the World Juniors the Hounds play Guelph, Kitchener, Sudbury, Saginaw, Plymouth, Guelph and Mississauga. Outside of Missisauga and Kitchener all teams they are playing against should be equally affected by the winter tournaments.
The trade deadline is another point in time that will be watched closely by Hounds fans. Obviously it is hard to predict what will happen on that day due to the amount of variables. What we can tell know from some of the trades that have been made is that it is clearly a sellers’ market. If Niagara can get 2nds a 3rd and a cond 2nd for Jesse Graham one can only imagine what Missisauga would get for Trevor Carrick or Windsor for Slater Koekkoek. What affect does this have on the Hounds? Well I don’t know if they are in a position where they will overpay for an asset. Teams like London, Guelph and Erie have positioned themselves due to potential roster turnover next year. With an extra 2nd and 2 extra 4th round draft picks they may look to add a forward but I would expect them to target an 18 year old who will be back next year as they are primed to potentially make a run next year.