Friday, September 4, 2015

A Very Barrie Colts Season Preview. #OHL


The 2014-15 Season Notes:
  • Finished 1st in the Central Division and 2nd in the Eastern Conference. 
  • Ended the season with a 41-24-1-2 record.
  • Eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by North Bay.
  • Joseph Blandisi led team in points with 52 goals (1st in OHL) and 60 assists totaling 112 points. (4th in OHL)
  • Brendan Lemieux led the OHL in power play goals with 25 while serving 145 PIM. 
  • Kevin Labanc went on a point streak that lasted from Nov 1, 2014 to Jan 10, 2015. In that time he scored 15 goals and 37 assists to total 52 points. 
  • Mackenzie Blackwood appeared in 51 games. Finished with a GAA 3.09, SAV% .906. Not beautiful stats however his 33 wins were 4th in the league. 
 Forwards:

Notable loses - Joseph Blandisi, Garrett Hooey, Matt Kreis
Notable additionsJulius Nättinen

There is no way to quickly replace a player like Joesph Blandisi. The bigger hit is when you consider the possibility that Kevin Labanc could also not return. We will not entertain that thought because a) Why would it benefit Labanc to not spend one more season in the OHL to further develop physically and mentally and b) he has been taking part with the team at training camp. That being said, we believe he will be back with the Colts. That's just our 5 cents.

SO LABANC WILL BE BACK! (probably.. and by probably we mean yes.)

SO YOU CAN'T JUST REPLACE A BLANDISI! and at centre we look a little thinner since Garrett Hooey (OA) will not be returning. As tough as it is to lose a 100+ point scorer in Blandisi you can't overlook that loosing a 40+ point bottom six guy in Hooey is also a sizable loss. Julius Nättinen coming in could be a great addition to a roster in need of somebody willing to take a top six role up the middle and he could become just that.

The Colts are still a very strong team up front. Andrew Mangiapane, Brendan Lemieux, Kevin Labanc and Justin Scott totaled 324 points combined which is pretty alright if you ask us.

Forwards to Watch - Scott and Radke. Scott made a HUGE jump in production last season and there is no reason not to think he will find a way to further develop his game this year with the possibility of a bigger role. Radke no doubt wants to have a big season coming off getting drafted by the Blackhawks and will also have a chance at more ice time which he could turn into a higher point production season.

Defense:

Notable loses - Jonathan Laser, Ben Harpur

Losing Jonny Laser to OA and Harper to Ottawa will really hurt this season. A plus is that Rasmus Andersson will be returning. Andersson lead Colts blue liners last season 64 points which was enough to not only make him the 3rd highest point producer for defensemen in the league but finished him in the number 4 spot for points on the Colts.

Michael Webster will have a chance to step up into a bigger role this season. Finishing last year with 23 points I think it is fair to assume that with more minutes on a top line could result in him having a 30-35 point season.

Brandon Prophet had a pretty solid season and with openings in the top 4 could allow him to really grow as a player. The Colts also will be hopeful that Kaura and Carrick will be able to take advantage of bigger roles on the team.

Defense to Watch - Josh Carrick. Openings in the top 4 and of him, Kaura and Gagnon I feel he will be the one to stand out. Also look for Chadd Bauman to be an energy guy for the Colts with his physical game.

Goaltending:

No brainer that Devils draft pick Mackenzie Blackwood is the main guy in goal for the Colts as he looks to begin his 3rd campaign in the league. As noted earlier, Blackwood appeared in 51 games. Finished with a GAA 3.09, SAV% .906. One thing these stats don't show was that the Colts had no discipline. Barrie lead the league with 1155 PIM which was 100 more minutes than the team with the second most (London).

As far as back ups are concerned you have to think that Ruan Badenhors will be the back up this year. Ruan only appeared in 4 games for the Colts last season as him, Gibl and DeKort fought for the position while Blackwood was out with an injury. Badenhors wasn't brought in until Gibl and DeKort were unable to fill in for Blacky.

How did Ruan do? Well, no worse than the others. Raun played in 4 games where he managed to get one win. The Colts did not make his first 2 games easy allowing 87 shots with 16 penalties taken. From game to game Ruan improved and looked more and more confident. The potential was there, and all he needs is a chance to play back up. I think this season he will get his chance.


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