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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Barrie Colts 2018 OHL Priority Selection #OHL

Photo credit: Ontario Hockey League


Barrie Colts 2018 OHL Priority Selection
By: Ryan McArthur (Twitter: @ryanpmcarthur)


Round 1 - 16th overall
Riley Piercey, Right Wing (shoots left) from the Toronto Marlboros (GTHL). 6’2.5”, 184lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: 33rd overall.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 59 GP, 26G & 30A for 56 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 6 GP, 4G & 1A for 5 points with a +5 rating.

Analysis: Riley Piercey is an excellent skater with a long, fluid stride. He has high-end speed, great edgework and a very quick first step. He utilizes his skating ability to create space in the offensive zone and track down loose pucks. He is extremely effective on the forecheck and forces defencemen into plenty of turnovers. Riley is loaded with skill and beats defenders using his shiftiness and stick handling ability. His shot has a very quick release and it tracks at a high pace. He wins loads of puck battles by taking the body and he plays with a physical edge. Riley improved a ton throughout his minor midget season, therefore he projects very well for the future. He is an effective, skilled forward with a large frame who can excel at multiple roles throughout the lineup. In hindsight, I probably had this player ranked much lower than I should have at 33rd overall. I love this pick and it will be interesting to see how Riley fits in with the Colts next season.


Round 3 – 55th overall
Tyson Foerster, Centreman (shoots right) from the Barrie Jr. Colts (OMHA). 5’11.25”, 173lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: 34th overall.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 34 GP, 20G & 41A for 61 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 5 GP, 5G & 4A for 9 points with a +9 rating.
Statistics from 2018 OMHA Playdowns: 5 GP, 4G & 6A for 10 points.

Analysis: Tyson Foerster is from the hometown Barrie AAA Jr. Colts program. He is a player that I ranked much higher than where he got drafted. Like Piercey, Foerester is a player that showed tremendous improvement over the year, therefore he projects well for the future. At the start of the season, he looked like an excellent complimentary player on the Jr. Colts top line. Near the end of the season, he was creating offense individually and turned into a feature player on one of the best teams in Ontario. He is a fantastic playmaker and excels at the role of the ‘set up guy.’ However, he can also finish plays and bury a lot of goals. This player is another highly skilled forward who is an excellent skater. Expect to see him get bigger and be another well-balanced player the Colts can rely on at any spot on the lineup card.


Round 3 – 56th overall
Eric Russell, Left Wing (shoots left) from the Vaughan Kings (GTHL). 6’1.5”, 178 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: 44th overall.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 63 GP, 34G & 28A for 62 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 7 GP, 0G & 6A for 6 points with a +9 rating.

Analysis: Russell was another player I ranked higher than his actual draft position. He has a big frame and is a natural goal scorer. Eric has a heavy shot and can unload it quickly. His shot is easily his biggest strength and it is OHL ready. He also possesses a significant amount of skill and is a very aggressive player that wins tons of puck battles. He played on one of the most dangerous lines in the minor midget loop last season. His line-mates were Cole Perfetti (5th overall pick to Saginaw) and Ty Tullio (11th overall pick to Oshawa). This was a forward group that dominated when they were on the ice. Russell was not just a complimentary player for those guys. He was a key cog that helped drive their success. This kid is another fantastic skater and can really move at top speed (utilizing a tremendous motor and a strong stride). Foerster (above), Piercey (above), and Russell are perfect examples of solid two-way players that Colts fans are accustomed to. The Colts absolutely cleaned up with their first three selections. These three players could form a top forward line one day for the Colts.


Round 5 – 87th overall
Austin D’Orazio, Left Defenceman (shoots left) from the Vaughan Kings (GTHL). 5’11.75”, 201 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 64 GP, 6G & 21A for 27 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 7 GP, 0G & 3A for 3 points with a +5 rating.

Analysis: Austin is a very solid defensive defenceman. He is a strong kid at 201 lbs. and uses his strength to his advantage. This player is a very physical, bruising defenceman that can shut down high-end opposition forwards. He is very tough below the dots and could turn out to be a great player one day. These are types of glue guys you need on a team and Austin fits the mold of a solid defensive guy who isn’t afraid to block shots or take a hit to get the puck out of the defensive zone. However, I would not sleep on his offensive abilities. He has a hard shot and moves the puck well.


Round 5 – 96th overall
Rocco Testa-Basi, Centreman (shoots left) from the Rockland Nationals (HEO Midget). 5’10”, 165 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 37 GP, 24G & 18A for 42 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: did not play. No HEO representatives attended the OHL Cup.

Analysis: What a shot! Saw this player on an HEO representative team (Ottawa Capitals) and he can really wire the puck. Pure sniper with a quick release who could end up scoring a ton of goals for the Barrie Colts. He has a pretty good skill set and utilizes his speed to create scoring opportunities in the offensive end. I had limited viewings of this player, but his shot/ability to create separation really stood out.  Also, he has the coolest name of the Colts 2018 draftees by a mile. A kid with that name and a shot like that will probably make the squad down the line. Imagine his name being announced over the loudspeakers after a goal.


Round 6 – 116th overall
Ryan Beck, Centreman (shoots left) from the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U15 (USA). 5’8.5”, 173 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 20 GP, 10G & 16A for 26 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: did not play.

Analysis: This player has tremendous speed and is very shifty. When his line was on the ice they absolutely flew around everywhere causing havoc. He has noticeable skill and could end up being a nice find for the Colts. I have had limited viewings of this player, but I like his game.


Round 8 – 156th overall
Aidan Hughes, Centreman (shoots left) from the Mississauga Reps (GTHL). 5’10.75”, 155 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: 50th overall.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 31 GP, 8G & 14A for 22 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 5 GP, 3G & 3A for 6 points and +3 rating.

Analysis: Let’s go!! This is a massive steal for the Colts. Jason Ford and his staff separate themselves from other teams in these mid-rounds and they might have done it again this year. I had this player ranked 50th overall and the Colts got him at 156th. However, I must say that this is my style of player (which is probably why I ranked him so highly). He plays with a physical edge and can win tons of pucks by applying a very gritty style forecheck. He is a very good defensive forward that is also highly skilled and can provide great secondary scoring. This kid is a fantastic penalty killer and would be an awesome third line centre in the OHL. He is not purely defensive at all either. He worked the power play for the Mississauga Reps, who were one of the top teams in Ontario. Aidan also has high-end skill and can finish plays. He scored an incredible goal at the OHL Cup that you wouldn’t think an eighth-round pick would be able to score.  I’m elated with this selection and he could be the best pick in the draft for the Colts.



Round 9 – 161st overall
Ian Devlin, Left Defenseman (shoots left) from the Toronto Titans (GTHL). 5’9”, 145 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 52 GP, 4G & 10A for 14 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: did not play. His team was eliminated from contention in a wild-card play-in game.

Analysis: This player is a mobile, fluid skater and is also a good puck moving defenseman. He is a smaller player and will need to spend some more time developing before he can make the Colts. It is interesting to note that he is Matt Devlin’s son. Matt Devlin is the play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Raptors. He is the guy who once said something like “he hit that three all the way from Barrie!!” while announcing a Raps game.


Round 9 – 176st overall
Noah Marino, Right Defenseman (shoots right) from the Chicago Fury U16 (USA). 6’0”, 202 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 36 GP, 4G & 9A for 13 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: did not play.

Analysis: This pick has Assistant General Manager Ike Rhodes written all over it. This is part of his region and hopefully he found a gem. I have not seen this player.



Round 10 – 186th overall
Bryce Sutherland, Centreman (shoots right) from the Mississauga Senators (GTHL). 5’11.5”, 138 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 32 GP, 8G & 7A for 15 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 4 GP, 1G & 0A for 1 point.

Analysis: Solid prospect picked up here. Good value in the tenth round and he could develop into a solid OHL player. Bryce made some plays this season that made me turn my head and he showed flashes of brilliance at times.


Round 11 – 216th overall
Storm Moerch-Karlstad, Right Wing (shoots right) from the Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL). 6’1”, 182 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 58 GP, 12G & 17A for 32 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 7 GP, 0G & 3A for 3 points.

Analysis: Bigger, power forward that leans heavy on his stick. He could end up becoming a dominant force in the OHL. He played for one of the best teams in the province and was relied upon to play a complete game for his squad. The Jr. Canadiens won the OHL Cup and the Toronto Marlies tournament this season.


Round 12 – 236th overall
Matthew Stredl, Right Defenceman (shoots right) from the Detroit HoneyBaked U16 (USA). 5’11.5”, 175 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 19 GP, 3G & 1A for 4 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: did not play.
Analysis: Very, very limited viewings. I can’t assess this player.


Round 13 – 256th overall
Jakob Robillard, Goaltender from the Hawkesbury Hawks (HEO Midget). 5’10”, 166 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
No statistics available.
Analysis: I have not seen this player.


Round 14 – 270th overall
Matt Coronato, Left Wing (shoots left) from the Long Island Gulls U16 (USA). 5’8”, 173 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: none available.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 4 GP, 2G & 3A for 5 points and a +5 rating.

Analysis: Matt played in the OHL Cup for the EHG Development team. EHG was one of two American invite teams and had players from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Former alumni of this program include Kevin Labanc (heard of him?!?!). This is a nice selection for the Colts late in the draft. I really liked his game at the OHL Cup where he had 2G & 3A for 5 points and a +5 rating in four games. Very nice pick here – this player has a great blend of explosiveness, speed and skill. He would have gone earlier in the draft if he was not American with a commitment to Harvard University. However, these commitments can be broken, and he could be a flight risk for Harvard. Fly to Barrie bud!


Round 14 – 274th overall
Reid Oliver, Right Defenceman (shoots right) from the Waterloo Wolves (Alliance). 5’10.5”, 158 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 33 GP, 1G & 17A for 18 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: did not play.
Analysis: Very, very limited viewings. For some reason I did not watch Waterloo very much this season. I can’t assess this player.


Round 14 – 276th overall
Nathaniel Hanley, Centreman (shoots right) from the PAL Jr. Islanders U16 (USA). 5’9.25”, 157 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 24 GP, 12G & 17A for 29 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 4 GP, 2G & 1A for 3 points and a +3 rating.

Analysis: Nate played in the OHL Cup with the EHG Development team (same OHL Cup team as Matt Coronato). This is another very nice selection for the Colts late in the draft. I really liked his game at the OHL Cup where he had 2G & 1A for 3 points and a +3 rating in four games. He also had 29 points in 24 games for his club team. This player and are strong stride and has excellent hands. Like Coronado, Nate is an American player with a commitment to NCAA (in his case, Northeastern University). It’s another one of those risk/reward scenarios. With four fourteenth round picks, why not take the risk? The Colts have had luck with the EHG Development Group before (again, Kevin Labanc reference must be inserted here).


Round 14 – 277th overall
Sami Molu, Goaltender from the Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL). 5’11.25”, 140 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: none available.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 1.30 GAA, 0.937 SAV%, 5-0-1 record.

Analysis: Sami was the starting goaltender for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens OHL Cup championship winning team. He played six of the seven games for JRC in the OHL Cup and had impressive stats (1.30 GAA, 0.937 SAV%, 5-0-1 record). He also backstopped the Junior Canadiens to the Toronto Marlies tournament championship. It’s worth noting that he was the best goaltender on a stout Jr. Canadiens squad that didn’t allow many goals in tournaments. He is a winner, which is great to have in your goaltending depth. Let’s see how he develops.


Round 15 – 296th overall
Rees Cameron, Left Wing (shoots left) from the Barrie Jr. Colts (OMHA). 5’11.75”, 154 lbs.

Ryan McArthur’s pre-draft Top 60 prospects ranking: not ranked.
Statistics from OHL Priority Selection Media Guide: 34 GP, 12G & 12A for 24 points.
Statistics from 2018 OHL Cup: 5 GP, 2G & 2A for 4 points and a -2 rating.

Analysis: Rees was a favorite of my buddy Justin Stapleton (whom many Colts fans know from Twitter as @staples1311). Justin thinks this guy has potential. I’d have to agree with Justin here, especially after seeing the Colts select him. He is a gamer and shows ultra competitiveness. I saw him elevate his game at key points in the OHL Cup tournament and make some nice plays for the Jr. Colts. Rees was an important secondary player for the Jr. Colts throughout the entire season. They had a solid squad and it was awesome to see the program have eight players drafted. It will be interesting to see how Rees develops, so keep an eye on him going forward. There are a bunch of Jr. Colts that did not get drafted and hopefully they play together in Midget for the Barrie Jr. Colts AAA program. I’m sure that the management/scouting staff of the BIG Colts will be keeping an eye on these players going forward (Max Morris and Brayden Cunningham are the top two that come to mind).


Final thoughts
I really liked a player named Nate Naves from the Grey-Bruce Highlanders. I had him ranked 60th and he was not selected by an OHL team. It will be interesting to see if this player is at any OHL training camps next season. He was the only Canadian player I ranked that was not selected. I also ranked Ryan Kirwan and Landon Slaggert. These are both American players that are trying out for the United States National Development Team Program. They are unlikely to play in the OHL, but it's worth keeping an eye on them.

It’s also worth noting that the 2018 OHL Priority Selection was a very deep draft. Probably the deepest talent pool I have seen since I began watching the age group four years ago. This was my first year doing rankings and I watched a ton of games (much more than I ever have as you can see from the detail in my analysis above).

Hopefully you enjoyed my assessment of the Colts draft. Jason Ford and his staff are the best in the business - fans (like myself) should be proud of the scouting work they accomplished this year and their draft day execution. Shout out to Jason Ford, Rob Stewart, Ike Rhodes, Dale Hawerchuk, Howie Campbell and all the scouting staff. Good work fellas!!



Additional Articles by Ryan McArthur:

Barrie Colts Prospect Report - 2018 OHL Gold Cup 

GO COLTS GO!!!


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