OHL in summer session sizzler

June 6, 2016

No sooner had the London Knights put the lid on the 2015-2016 campaign by winning the Memorial Cup that the 2016-2017 Ontario Hockey League season officially began with the lifting of the trade embargo on June 1.

And as the Ottawa 67’s, Guelph Storm, North Bay Battalion and 2017 Memorial Cup host Windsor Spitfires got the trade season in session, it merely signaled the start of a what should be a sizzling summer for the OHL.

The National Hockey League draft is slated for June 24-25 in Buffalo and while the top three picks are not expected to come from the OHL, the Ontario loop will have its share of first-rounders selected, most-likely beginning with London left winger Matthew Tkachuk.

London alone is projected to have three players selected in the first round, including Tkachuk, defenseman Olli Juolevi and forward Max Jones.

Not to be out-done, Windsor could also have three players go in the first round of the upcoming NHL lottery — defensemen Mikhail (Misha) Sergachev and Logan Stanley and forward Logan Brown.

Of cause for some consternation in Hockey Canada circles is that of the six aforementioned OHLers who are likely NHL first-rounders is that only Stanley is Canadian-born. That’s right, Tkachuk, Jones and Brown were all born in the United States while Juolevi hails from Finland and Sergachev is from Russia.

At any rate, there are few dull moments in a high-profile, high-stakes league such as the OHL and the so-called off season of summer is no exception.

Besides the opening of trade season and the number of OHLers who will become NHL property, there are teams that have still not filled their coaching staff for the ’16-17 season and one club that has yet to hire a general manager.

Meanwhile, trade winds are part of the summer breeze.

OHL commissioner David Branch prefers that player transfers take place when a school semester is not being interrupted and that has led to an increased number of summer and early-fall transactions in recent years.

As previously-noted, Ottawa-Guelph and North Bay-Windsor got the summer-trade season started and more activity can be expected in the weeks ahead.

In Sudbury, for example, second-year Wolves general manager Barclay Branch has acknowledged that he is working the phones.

“Right now, it’s more about talking to other general managers around the league, just to see what other teams are looking to do and what other teams are looking to move,” Branch told Postmedia. “It’s more of a feeling-out process right now. We’re just trying to see what is out there and what other teams are looking to do.”

The Wolves, while having missed the playoffs the past two seasons, do have some decent depth within their organization including two goalies with 1997 birth dates — Troy Timpano and Zack Bowman.

Meanwhile, the Wolves neighbours in nearby North Bay may be on the look for some experience between the pipes as Jake Smith has graduated and Jake Kment has been told by the Battalion that he is not an overage candidate for the ’16-17 season.

PHOTO: Sudbury Wolves goalie Troy Timpano. (Photo by Ontario Hockey League.)

What you think about “OHL in summer session sizzler”

  1. The Wolves should trade Timpano as they would get alot in return for this kid. McGrath is ready to come in and play and Bowman is OK as the starter.

  2. Agreed on McGrath being ready tho I would not trade Timmpano who can be a top goalie in the O with some support in front of him.

  3. SoWho IfJakeKmatIsNot anoverageCandidate
    WHyNotEveryBodyLovesJakeKmat IWouldHaveHimBackAs anoverage
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    IWOuldHaveJakeKment Back ComeOnSo WhoWIllBeTheBackUp
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    andWhatABoutThatChristhanPurboo OrThat AnderiPresnki andWhatAboutThatMarioCaveill FromPowassanVoodeos IsThatRussinGoailleGoingToBePlayingForThenorthBayBattllionNextYeaInTheOHl
    IfWhoreGoingToTradeForAGoialle WhatABoutTroyTimpano OrZachBowan
    OrDylonWallsFromPeterBrough OrMatthewMacciena IDontThinkPeterBroughwouldTradeMatthewMaccina TheyMightTradeDlyanWalls WhatAboutThatThreedPropesectInTheBattllionSymptems OrWhataboutThatMissaugaGoaille OrThatNiguraGoaille OrTheKingston
    OrOneOfTheGreyHoundGoaille WeShouldGoBack aandGetEvenCormerAgainForTheNorthBayBattllion OrWillMatthewWorrnekBeTheStarterForTheNorthBayBattllion HisMomToldme

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