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Early 2013-14 Season Predictions

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06-27-2013, 11:50 AM
  #1
saska sault
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Early 2013-14 Season Predictions

Although the NHL draft, Import draft and some pre-season trades have yet to happen. I am interested to see some predictions for the standings next year. Anyone wanna give it a shot?

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06-27-2013, 01:30 PM
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Cfriss216
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I'll take a stab at it...sorry if I have your team lower/out of the playoffs

East
1. Belleville Bulls (just think they'll be a good team again)
2. North Bay Battalion
3. Barrie Colts
4. Missy Steelheads
5. Kingston Frontenacs (I expect them to improve this year)
6. Oshawa Generals
7. Sudbury Wolves
8. Peterborough Petes

West
1. London Knights (How can I not..going to/have to be a powerhouse in the cup year)
2. Saginaw Spirit ( this will be a tough division this year, just got a hunch towards them)
3. Guelph Storm (I'm expecting bigger things from this team this year)
4. Owen Sound Attack
5. Kitchener Rangers
6. Windsor Spitfires
7. Plymouth Whalers (hard to say where they'll finish right now)
8. Erie Otters (gotta believe they'll make the playoffs this year)

Spots 5-8 in the west was just a gut feeling..don't put to much stock into this right now.

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06-27-2013, 03:38 PM
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defensehockey19
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East:

Barrie
Sudbury
Peterborough
Kingston
Brampton
Bellevillie
Ottawa
Niagara

Oshawa
Missy


London
Saginaw
Guelph
OwenSound
Sault
Windsor
Erie
Kitchener

Plymouth
Sarnia

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06-27-2013, 03:39 PM
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Kingpin794
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Not going to throw out a full conference prediction yet, but I will say that the west division will be weak. Plymouth, Sarnia, and the Soo lose alot from last year. Saginaw should handle that division. And London should win the Midwest.

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06-27-2013, 04:40 PM
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ottsabrefan
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My early East prediction:

1) Sudbury
2) Kingston
3) Peterborough
4) North Bay
5) Barrie
6) Mississauga
7) Belleville
8) Niagara
9) Oshawa
10) Ottawa

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06-27-2013, 05:32 PM
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Ward Cornell
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Originally Posted by Kingpin794 View Post
Not going to throw out a full conference prediction yet, but I will say that the west division will be weak. Plymouth, Sarnia, and the Soo lose alot from last year. Saginaw should handle that division. And London should win the Midwest.

Huh?....the West will be weak?
No.....they will be very weak with the only decent team will be London followed by maybe Saginaw!

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06-27-2013, 10:08 PM
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krazy kanuck
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Repeat of the 2013 final. Unless the Oilers draft/keep Horvat (heard that as a possibility on the radio again today).

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06-28-2013, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by krazy kanuck View Post
Repeat of the 2013 final. Unless the Oilers draft/keep Horvat (heard that as a possibility on the radio again today).
Even if Horvat stayed up, the Knights will still be in the OHL Finals. Knights will only lose between 4 and 8 games next year.

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06-28-2013, 09:23 AM
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Im fine with the Rangers being 8th or worse... whoever has them higher then 7th may not follow them closely... although from what im hearing a lot of teams will be bad in the West... Erie and OS will be interesting teams to play spoilers and Guelph will be tough this year also.

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06-28-2013, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BoxerMax View Post
Even if Horvat stayed up, the Knights will still be in the OHL Finals. Knights will only lose between 4 and 8 games next year.
They will need at least 3 significant upgrades if Horvat leaves for that to happen.

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06-28-2013, 02:18 PM
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SeanLafortune
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Originally Posted by krazy kanuck View Post
Repeat of the 2013 final. Unless the Oilers draft/keep Horvat (heard that as a possibility on the radio again today).
Can't see a repeat with the loss of Camara, Schiefele, Niederberger and O'Connor without much internally set to take the next step. Other issue is that within their system, they don't have alot of 2014 and 2015 picks to move. Cordell James is probably ready to move up, but who else from past drafts? They probably can absorb the loss of O'Connor internally, but they don't have the offensive depth for the typical Hawerchuk style, they are going to need to make some aggressive moves.

They need to be MUCH more aggressive in the Import Draft then they every have been in the past, while hoping that Fotinos becomes something he never has been before. Its alot to ask.

At least with London, if they loose Horvat (haven't talked to anyone who envisions it, but well see), they have 95's and 96's who are high picks who will struggle to get into the lineup next year that are valued by other teams, plus more picks to move then the Colts do. They are built for next year, and will give up the assets that they have. Its a perfect storm it seems.


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06-28-2013, 05:25 PM
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I agree with Sean above. London will definitely be there.

Barrie may be there, only because there is a lot of parity in the East, and with a few lucky trades and imports, they may make a difference.

I see Kingston, North Bay and Sudbury as leaders in East. This is the year for the East teams to make aggressive moves to win the East, and if London wins the West, then Eastern champion will earn birth into Mem Cup.

If Kingston, Sudbury and North Bay don't make the aggressive moves to load up at Xmas time, then their GMs should be fired. Point blank.

London seems like the only competitor in thee West, and the East has 4-5 teams that can win the East.

I believe that Kingston or Sudbury will be there at the end.

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06-28-2013, 06:07 PM
  #13
ErieOttersNews
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Obviously I am a bit biased here, but i honestly think the Otters could take as high as 4th this year, simply because I dont see the west being that strong. London will be tough, and I think Saginaw will be good as well. Guelph will be London's biggest challenger if Sparks stays. Kitchener and Sarnia look like they may be having down years, and Plymouth lost so much I can't see them taking top 4. My best guess is:

1. London
2. Saginaw
3. Guelph
4. Erie
5. Windsor
6. Plymouth
7. Owen Sound
8. Kitchener
9. SSM
10. Sarnia

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06-28-2013, 09:04 PM
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Cfriss216
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Originally Posted by erieottersnews View Post
Obviously I am a bit biased here, but i honestly think the Otters could take as high as 4th this year, simply because I dont see the west being that strong. London will be tough, and I think Saginaw will be good as well. Guelph will be London's biggest challenger if Sparks stays. Kitchener and Sarnia look like they may be having down years, and Plymouth lost so much I can't see them taking top 4. My best guess is:

1. London
2. Saginaw
3. Guelph
4. Erie
5. Windsor
6. Plymouth
7. Owen Sound
8. Kitchener
9. SSM
10. Sarnia
I am also optimistic on the otters, however I think they get in the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed. They remind me of how saginaw was last year. The Spirit weren't so hot in the beginning of the year, then played their best hockey in the second half of the year, and showed that they will come back stronger this season. And now the pieces are in play for a good team this year. I think this year is the tail end of Erie's rebuild, the otters will be improved this year, but the 2014-2015 season is their real test to see if they can make a run imo. I like your top 3, but I think Owen Sound gets the 4th seed.

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06-28-2013, 11:24 PM
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krazy kanuck
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Originally Posted by BoxerMax View Post
Even if Horvat stayed up, the Knights will still be in the OHL Finals. Knights will only lose between 4 and 8 games next year.
You're predicting the greatest team in OHL history? At a minimum they'll have several players in NHL and WJC camps...during which time they will likely drop at least that many games.

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06-28-2013, 11:40 PM
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krazy kanuck
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Originally Posted by SeanLafortune View Post
They probably can absorb the loss of O'Connor internally, but they don't have the offensive depth for the typical Hawerchuk style, they are going to need to make some aggressive moves.

They need to be MUCH more aggressive in the Import Draft then they every have been in the past, while hoping that Fotinos becomes something he never has been before. Its alot to ask.
We'll see. The Colts have had some pretty decent import picks (Niederberger, Burmistrov...if you want to go way back Skoula), or more likely, they'll trade for an import or two. Also, I would anticipate they'll be aggressive in trading some picks to improve the OA situation. I'm not too worried about Fotinos, he didn't have a much of an opportunity last year, but he was highly regarded out of MM and played very well in relief of the Hamburglar before getting injured last season. Also, there should be growth from the 95/96 crop lead by EA5. Who do you believe will be stronger in the East?

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06-28-2013, 11:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Cfriss216 View Post
I am also optimistic on the otters, however I think they get in the playoffs as the 7th or 8th seed. They remind me of how saginaw was last year. The Spirit weren't so hot in the beginning of the year, then played their best hockey in the second half of the year, and showed that they will come back stronger this season. And now the pieces are in play for a good team this year. I think this year is the tail end of Erie's rebuild, the otters will be improved this year, but the 2014-2015 season is their real test to see if they can make a run imo. I like your top 3, but I think Owen Sound gets the 4th seed.
Yeah, you may be right there. A more realistic, unbiased guess would be:

1. London- I dont expect them to lose Domi, Horvat, or Zadorov. Key for the Knights will be keeping their motivation high, it seems some teams lose some motivation when they know they are in the memorial cup
2. Saginaw- most of their core coming back, with one of the best goalies in the league, and playing in what I think will be the weakest division in the league vaults Saginaw to second
3. Guelph- not losing a ton from last years 5 seed, and if Sparks comes back, this team will be tough and push london for the division crown
4. Windsor- lot of the roster coming back, going to be a talented team, I think their goaltending is a bit of a question mark though
5. Owen Sound-losing Binnington and Ceci will hurt, but they should have the horses to pick up the 5 seed
6. Erie-solid forward group, with lots of youth and inexperience on the back end, if they can figure it out defensively the 6 seed is well within reach for this squad
7. Plymouth-losing a lot, but it's plymouth and they will find ways to win and make the playoffs again, even if its only the 7 seed
8. Kitchener-nearly a rebuilding year for kitchener, but like plymouth, i think they will find a way to get in
9. SSM- if nurse does not return, simply put, i think this team is in trouble and looking at a rebuild year
10. Sarnia-big rebuild year in my opinion, Goldobin will be a force offensively but they have lost too much (Yakupov, Galchenyuk, Boucher, Sarault, Anderson) to contend for a playoff spot

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06-29-2013, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by krazy kanuck View Post
I'm not too worried about Fotinos, he didn't have a much of an opportunity last year, but he was highly regarded out of MM and played very well in relief of the Hamburglar before getting injured last season.
I saw Fotinos play 20+ games with the Marlboros and as a 16 year old, I know the pedigree. But what he did in Minor Midget has no baring on this year. I hope he gets his game back, but last year was not one that he would be happy with. Love to see him step up, but its a massive question mark at this point. Depends if you have a cup half full or cup half empty mentality.

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Originally Posted by krazy kanuck View Post
We'll see. The Colts have had some pretty decent import picks (Niederberger, Burmistrov...if you want to go way back Skoula), or more likely, they'll trade for an import or two.
Neiderberger came from moving down because they couldn't (or wouldn't, not sure) secure a guy like Maatta, Grigorenko, et all. When picking as late as they are, its a crapshoot at best, especially this year when there are not as many high end players coming over as years past (as most agents have told me). With regards to trading for imports..who? The only ones I could imagine being availuabe would be guys like Kopta, Nemecek or Alexeev. Alexeev is a decent depth guy, but not a top 6. There really are no imports on the market.

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Originally Posted by krazy kanuck View Post
Also, I would anticipate they'll be aggressive in trading some picks to improve the OA situation.
They have done that in the past, I believe they are down to 8 or 9 picks (no seconds, one third) in the next two drafts, picks are running dry

Quote:
Originally Posted by krazy kanuck View Post
Also, there should be growth from the 95/96 crop lead by EA5.
Lemieux will be ready for a top 9 role and Garcia a bottom pairing role, perhaps some Powerplay time. I think Cordell James can be penciled into the 4th line. Outside of that, perhaps Scott becomes a third liner?

Im still not sure where the offense that Schiefele and Camara brought will come from. Guys like Athanasiou and Bradford will be top forwards on this team, but who replaces them on the second units? If Lepkowski gets the AHL deal that its rumored to be coming his way, thats a big loss as well.

I just can't see how the team continues to play the same style and is successful. They have lost the core of last years team and don't have the guys coming in to pick up the slack. If they move to more of a 1-2-2 system and own the neutral zone, they probably have a better opportunity to win. Not sure if that is the plan. Have some friends in the Colts hockey Operations and hope they do have more success, just don't see how they can.

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Originally Posted by krazy kanuck View Post
Who do you believe will be stronger in the East?
North Bay, Sudbury and Kingtson will head into the year as top teams.

North Bay will loose both its imports, but has a better core coming back, (Goodrow, Robinson, Clarke, Adamio, Paul, McLeod) plus Brett McKenzie (could be atop 6 forward right now). Looking at how they are structured, the systems that they play, they are probably ready to take the next step. The big question mark is Jake Smith, Im not sure he will be ready to take the #1 job, don't be shocked to see them move some picks for another goaltender who can split time with him.

Sudbury is a team that will surprise. I think they may have the most players coming back, and most importantly, may have the best goalie in the East. Their top 8 forward core is already set, and have the most picks to move to pick up OA's heading into the year. Defence needs help, but LeBlanc (5th best 96 not in the OHL last year) and Capobianco will help. Id also expect Cummins to take the next step. Wouldn't be shocked to see them pick up a legit top 4 guy early, although Palazzese's play will allow the defense to make mistakes and not suffer too much.

Kingston will be improved, only because they have had some fantastic drafts in the past few years. The 96 core is one of the best in the OHL, and probably will allow them to compete a year earlier then expected. Matt Watson will be a really important piece next year for them. Consider that Darcy Greenaway who scored 24 goals and 20 assists last year will be the teams third line centre next year, thats how deep they suddenly are up front. McKeown will be one of the best defenceman in the OHL next year (we have him right with Ekbald next year for the NHL at McKeens), and guys like Steele, Vainonen and Moffett will allow them to have a pretty solid top 4. Big loss will be Ikonen, have to find a top 6 guy at the Import draft or on the trade market, but luckly they also have alot of picks to use. Crouse probably could step in, but better to be patient, as he may be a premier forward at the OHL level for 2-3 years, but will need some time. Probably becomes a top 6 guy by years end however.

The issue with the Colts is that most of their core has graduated and they have used a significant amount of picks to build those past two teams, where as the Sudbury's, Kingston's and North Bays have many more assets to move. Barrie will fight for home ice if Fotinos can get his game back.


Last edited by SeanLafortune: 06-29-2013 at 12:43 AM.
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06-29-2013, 02:09 AM
  #19
krazy kanuck
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Sean - First of all, thanks for the thoughtful insight. It's refreshing.

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Originally Posted by SeanLafortune View Post
I saw Fotinos play 20+ games with the Marlboros and as a 16 year old, I know the pedigree ... Depends if you have a cup half full or cup half empty mentality.
This - I believe had he not been concussed on a fluke play, he very well could have finished 11-12 as the number 1 for the Colts, and who knows what would have happened this year. Of course he was, but still I believe he can return to form. True number 1 goalies don't do so well playing sporadic backup minutes.

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Originally Posted by SeanLafortune View Post
Neiderberger came from moving down because they couldn't (or wouldn't, not sure) secure a guy like Maatta, Grigorenko, et all.
I thought moving down was a function of not needing a Grigorenko/Maata type for the 11-12 season. I thought the philosophy was they were shooting for 13-14, and why bother drafting a guy who might be a one and done and would probably be gone by then. When they needed a top guy (09-10), they did what was necessary to get him (Burmistrov). If they decide that goaltending is a need, maybe they go after Tretiak. I'd buy the jersey

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Originally Posted by SeanLafortune View Post
Lemieux will be ready for a top 9 role and Garcia a bottom pairing role, perhaps some Powerplay time. I think Cordell James can be penciled into the 4th line. Outside of that, perhaps Scott becomes a third liner?
History tells us that Kreiss will be traded for experience (as all Colts first rounders not named Della Rovere or Ekblad have been). This is what I would have the top 9 (Shore is probably wishful thinking...LaBanc might be more likely, and I presume Lepkowski moves on, either AHL or by trade):

Athanasiou - Hall - (Import)
MacDonald - Theoret - (OA)
Lemieux - Shore - (Import)

If Lepkowski goes to the AHL, I still think the Colts trade some D. There's a lot of pieces there...Ekblad, Laser, Dotchin, Yuill, Garcia, Webster, (and potentially Lepkowski). Not to mention the ice Ekblad can/will log.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanLafortune View Post
McKeown will be one of the best defenceman in the OHL next year (we have him right with Ekbald next year for the NHL at McKeens), and guys like Steele, Vainonen and Moffett will allow them to have a pretty solid top 4.
Respectfully disagree on this front. Ekblad has grown by leaps and bounds from regular season (11-12) to playoffs (12), to regular season (12-13) to playoffs (13). Pretty hard to compete with the big game experience he's had over the past two years. One could make a strong argument that he was the best all around defenceman in this year's playoffs (as a just turned 17 year old). McKeown is a year (and nearly another half season due to the playoff runs) behind EA5 in his OHL development. Not saying that McKeown won't be good, just that EA5 will be much better.

As for Kingston competing for the conference, I'll believe that when I see it. They always seem to mess things up...it's a gong show over there.


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06-29-2013, 05:46 AM
  #20
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Originally Posted by SeanLafortune View Post
I saw Fotinos play 20+ games with the Marlboros and as a 16 year old, I know the pedigree. But what he did in Minor Midget has no baring on this year. I hope he gets his game back, but last year was not one that he would be happy with. Love to see him step up, but its a massive question mark at this point. Depends if you have a cup half full or cup half empty mentality.



Neiderberger came from moving down because they couldn't (or wouldn't, not sure) secure a guy like Maatta, Grigorenko, et all. When picking as late as they are, its a crapshoot at best, especially this year when there are not as many high end players coming over as years past (as most agents have told me). With regards to trading for imports..who? The only ones I could imagine being availuabe would be guys like Kopta, Nemecek or Alexeev. Alexeev is a decent depth guy, but not a top 6. There really are no imports on the market.



They have done that in the past, I believe they are down to 8 or 9 picks (no seconds, one third) in the next two drafts, picks are running dry



Lemieux will be ready for a top 9 role and Garcia a bottom pairing role, perhaps some Powerplay time. I think Cordell James can be penciled into the 4th line. Outside of that, perhaps Scott becomes a third liner?

Im still not sure where the offense that Schiefele and Camara brought will come from. Guys like Athanasiou and Bradford will be top forwards on this team, but who replaces them on the second units? If Lepkowski gets the AHL deal that its rumored to be coming his way, thats a big loss as well.

I just can't see how the team continues to play the same style and is successful. They have lost the core of last years team and don't have the guys coming in to pick up the slack. If they move to more of a 1-2-2 system and own the neutral zone, they probably have a better opportunity to win. Not sure if that is the plan. Have some friends in the Colts hockey Operations and hope they do have more success, just don't see how they can.



North Bay, Sudbury and Kingtson will head into the year as top teams.

North Bay will loose both its imports, but has a better core coming back, (Goodrow, Robinson, Clarke, Adamio, Paul, McLeod) plus Brett McKenzie (could be atop 6 forward right now). Looking at how they are structured, the systems that they play, they are probably ready to take the next step. The big question mark is Jake Smith, Im not sure he will be ready to take the #1 job, don't be shocked to see them move some picks for another goaltender who can split time with him.

Sudbury is a team that will surprise. I think they may have the most players coming back, and most importantly, may have the best goalie in the East. Their top 8 forward core is already set, and have the most picks to move to pick up OA's heading into the year. Defence needs help, but LeBlanc (5th best 96 not in the OHL last year) and Capobianco will help. Id also expect Cummins to take the next step. Wouldn't be shocked to see them pick up a legit top 4 guy early, although Palazzese's play will allow the defense to make mistakes and not suffer too much.

Kingston will be improved, only because they have had some fantastic drafts in the past few years. The 96 core is one of the best in the OHL, and probably will allow them to compete a year earlier then expected. Matt Watson will be a really important piece next year for them. Consider that Darcy Greenaway who scored 24 goals and 20 assists last year will be the teams third line centre next year, thats how deep they suddenly are up front. McKeown will be one of the best defenceman in the OHL next year (we have him right with Ekbald next year for the NHL at McKeens), and guys like Steele, Vainonen and Moffett will allow them to have a pretty solid top 4. Big loss will be Ikonen, have to find a top 6 guy at the Import draft or on the trade market, but luckly they also have alot of picks to use. Crouse probably could step in, but better to be patient, as he may be a premier forward at the OHL level for 2-3 years, but will need some time. Probably becomes a top 6 guy by years end however.

The issue with the Colts is that most of their core has graduated and they have used a significant amount of picks to build those past two teams, where as the Sudbury's, Kingston's and North Bays have many more assets to move. Barrie will fight for home ice if Fotinos can get his game back.
Hey Sean, do you think the Petes will slide in somewhere around the 4-5 spot? I really think they have a chance to do some big things this season with the following year being the go for it season.

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06-29-2013, 01:45 PM
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My Prediction(hope) is Kingston gets home ice and makes it to the 2nd round, atleast.

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06-29-2013, 06:30 PM
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I would think that the Hounds are at least a playoff team? The West conference seems pretty wide open after London... Guelph, Saginaw and Owen Sound will surely be good teams. With Tolchinsky, Nurse, Mccann, Fritsch, Murray all returning and have a good coach in place now who can get the most out of guys, I would think we have a close finish to last year in a weaker conference. We will more then likely move Justin Nichols, and have some veterans who will provide leadership and some good young guys on the back end in Ganly and White. I dont think we are going to be pushing for home ice, but I can see a 6th or 7th place finish with a young team, unless Dubas decides to really sell the far and push for the following year.

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06-30-2013, 12:25 AM
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Sean - First of all, thanks for the thoughtful insight. It's refreshing.
Anytime, its the reason Ive join on here.


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Originally Posted by krazy kanuck View Post
This - I believe had he not been concussed on a fluke play, he very well could have finished 11-12 as the number 1 for the Colts, and who knows what would have happened this year. Of course he was, but still I believe he can return to form. True number 1 goalies don't do so well playing sporadic backup minutes. If they decide that goaltending is a need, maybe they go after Tretiak. I'd buy the jersey
Hes one of the biggest wildcards in the OHL. I believed that he deserved to start over Niederberger last year, but he just fell off the map. He was lost, fell back into his crease, struggled with confidence and lost his compete level. People point to London's goalies and suggest they are issues, but Id have either over Fotinos at this point. Hope he gets back there, but even my friends within the Colts are not sure what he is right now, and there are no veterans are the market right now, so...
And Tretiak is not eligible being a 96 (plus, based on my views at the U17's, hes not that good).

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Originally Posted by krazy kanuck View Post

Athanasiou - Hall - (Import)
MacDonald - Theoret - (OA)
Lemieux - Shore - (Import)
Shore won't be coming to Barrie. Jim Nill took over in Dallas after being the right hand man and 'prosepct guru' in Detroit. Nill loves players to 'cook' in the minors. Brendan Smith, Riley Sheehan, Landon Ferrero, etc. I can't remember the last prospect that Nill has moved into the CHL. Shore probably is a 3-4 year guy in Maine.

With regards to Imports, its not simply 'deciding' to bring in a high end import. The Colts will be picking 47th and 107th, and you are no longer allowed to trade Import picks. Look at the history of teams that draft at those spots, and its iffy at best. Niagara and Ottawa drafted players who couldn't finish the year...You can't assume that they will be able to bring in two Imports, and with no real impact imports on the block....it doesnt look good.


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Originally Posted by krazy kanuck View Post
Respectfully disagree on this front. Ekblad has grown by leaps and bounds from regular season (11-12) to playoffs (12), to regular season (12-13) to playoffs (13). Pretty hard to compete with the big game experience he's had over the past two years. One could make a strong argument that he was the best all around defenceman in this year's playoffs (as a just turned 17 year old). McKeown is a year (and nearly another half season due to the playoff runs) behind EA5 in his OHL development. Not saying that McKeown won't be good, just that EA5 will be much better.
Its not just me thats saying it. I had the opportunity to sit and watch two games at the BMC with an NHL head scout who agreed with my assessments. Nothing against Ekblad, but he has shown some holes in his game that he really needs to upgrade. I think McKeown may be next years version of Drew Doughty in his last year in Guelph.

Barrie has too many holes and too many players leaving in order to be 'the team to beat' versus teams like Sudbury, North Bay and Kingston, who are simply looking to fill holes, not will the shoes of a Schiefele or Camara.

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06-30-2013, 12:32 AM
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Hey Sean, do you think the Petes will slide in somewhere around the 4-5 spot? I really think they have a chance to do some big things this season with the following year being the go for it season.
Absolutely everything needs to go right. Corneil needs to have a Greg McKegg sophomore year, Ritchie needs to play 60 plus games and score 35-40. They need someone to step up and be a leader on the back end. I know they are denying it, but there is alot of fire around the Janus back home story.

They need to hit on that Import pick with a quality 96 defender, need Giugovaz to prove hes a #1 and guys like Varga, Nosad and McGuire to take big steps.

I think they will be a playoff team, but probably moreso in the 6th - 7th in the conference.

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06-30-2013, 12:35 AM
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I would think that the Hounds are at least a playoff team? The West conference seems pretty wide open after London... Guelph, Saginaw and Owen Sound will surely be good teams. With Tolchinsky, Nurse, Mccann, Fritsch, Murray all returning and have a good coach in place now who can get the most out of guys, I would think we have a close finish to last year in a weaker conference. We will more then likely move Justin Nichols, and have some veterans who will provide leadership and some good young guys on the back end in Ganly and White. I dont think we are going to be pushing for home ice, but I can see a 6th or 7th place finish with a young team, unless Dubas decides to really sell the far and push for the following year.
Id expect the Hounds to fight for home ice. Have three big holes in the top 6 right now, but Speers may be able to fill one and Schumacher may be back to fill the second one. Import Draft will be the key. I know the team is high on Miller, but I can't see him as a top 6 guy next year.

They will be deep on the back end. Kyle Jenkins was one of the best players not in the OHL last year, will be a bottom pairing guy (perhaps paired with Spinozzi) and add some depth to the second pairing power play.

Expect a goaltender to be moved, but that probably will be for picks as opposed to a live body, Halveson (who looked strong tonight at the U17 Select camp) probably comes in as the #2.

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