Josh Williams was four years old when he parked himself in front of the television and witnessed the sport of hockey for the first time. Little did he know, it was the start of something life-changing.
It’s hard to build a sustainable contender in the OHL, but we’ve seen it done before. The London Knights have maintained that status for years thanks to shrewd asset management and drafting, often going against the grain to take a chance on talented prospects that may have slipped under the radar.
Nick Suzuki could have a big season in store. The Owen Sound Attack forward was a top-five scorer in the OHL last year leading up to the NHL Draft, where he was selected 13th overall by the Vegas Golden Knights.
The OHL preseason is now in full swing and many of the top players in the league are off to their respective NHL rookie camps. A successful run there will lead to a main camp invite, and perhaps beyond.
Going overlooked at the NHL entry draft can come as devastating news, but Max Gerlach didn’t let it knock him off stride. The 19-year-old Medicine Hat Tigers winger did not hear his name called at the draft for a second straight year, but he went on to spend his off-season like a top prospect all the same.
The calendar says it still summer but that hasn’t stopped the 18 teams in the QMJHL from getting on the ice to start their training camps. On Monday August 21, every Q team began their main camps in preparation for opening night, one month later, on Thursday, September 21.
Ryan Merkley made a seamless transition into the OHL last season. With 55 points (12 goals and 43 assists), he led all OHL rookies in scoring, becoming the first defenceman to do so in nearly 30 years.
The next wave of talent is ready to make its mark in the Western Hockey League. With the 2016-17 season just around the corner, dozens of 16-year-old players are poised to crack their respective rosters and start creating household names for themselves across the league.
After a one year hiatus away from the medals, Canada returned to glory as gold medal champions at the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Team Canada crushed the Czech Republic 4-1 on home ice at the Ice Bors Arena to capture their ninth championship in the last ten years.
Team Canada is heading to its ninth Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament final since 2008. Thanks in part to a goal and an assist from Benoit-Olivier Groulx (Halifax Mooseheads), as well as a 24-save effort from Olivier Rodrigue (Drummondville Voltigeurs), the Canadians were able to defeat the previously unbeaten Swedes 4-1 in Friday’s semifinal.
Canada’s National Summer Under-18 Team is off to the semifinals after downing Slovakia 6-1 on Wednesday, August 9 at the Slovnaft Arena in Bratislava.
Team Canada’s outlook is a lot brighter after day two of the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. Thanks in large part to a 3-for-7 effort on the power play, the Canadians defeated Finland 5-1 Tuesday in their second round-robin game.
Team Canada’s hopes of redemption will begin Aug. 7 in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. After a disappointing fifth-place finish that ended a eight-year championship run at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, the Canadians will return to the annual under-18 summer tournament.
It’s been a revolving door for OHL coaches and general managers this off-season. Nearly half of the 20 teams in the league will begin the 2017-18 season with a new head coach as many successful ones from last season have moved on to coach in the professional ranks.
1) Meet Matthew Savoie, the NAX Forward Taking the CSSHL by Storm
2) Veteran Hockey Bench Boss Takes Over Milton Icehawks Coaching Reins
3) Victoria Grizzlies Rookie Alex Newhook Carving Up BCHL Far from Home
4) Sudbury Wolves Get one-of-a-kind Quinton Byfield in OHL Draft
5) On Top of the World: CSSHL Keeps Gaining Traction in Canada’s Hockey Landscape