The 2016 OHL Priority Selection takes place online Saturday April 9th beginning at 9AM with the first three rounds shown live as part of a Draft Show webcast hosted at ontariohockeyleague.com.
The future of the Ontario Hockey League begins with the Priority Selection. Here is a sample of some of the top minor midget prospects who will hear their names called by OHL clubs on Saturday.
Nathan Dunkley (LC) – Quinte Red Devils (OMHA) – 34 GP, 24 G, 23 A, 47 PTS.
OHL Central Scouting says: Nathan was one of the top players in the ETA this season. He has a low centre of gravity which makes it very difficult to knock him off the puck. He is a powerful skater with a very strong ten foot game which allows him to gain a step on players in every zone. Nathan is a skilled center that is good offensively in every aspect, sees the ice well and can beat players one-on-one as well. He shoots the puck extremely well and has scored a lot of nice goals this season. He is like a bulldog on the ice as he never gives up on a play and will fight through anything to score. Nathan was a major contributor for the Red Devils this season.
OHL Comparable: Matthew Tkachuk (London Knights)
Kirill Nizhnikov (RW) – Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL) – 27 GP, 23 G, 14 A, 37 PTS.
OHL Central Scouting says: Kirill has the ability to be a total difference maker in each and every game he plays. When he has the puck on his stick he is one of the most electric players in the age group. He makes plays and passes that you don’t see coming and his creativity is off the charts. Offensively he is one of the top players in this draft but he still has some learning to do about the game defensively. When you have skill like he does you can put up with some defensive shortcomings.
OHL Comparable: Christian Dvorak (London Knights)
Damien Giroux (LC) – Sudbury Jr. Wolves (NOHA) – 23 GP, 15 G, 21 A, 36 PTS.
OHL Central Scouting says: Damien is a very skilled, undersized centre that has continued to turn heads with his play over the course of the season. He is good skater with an extremely good ten foot game. His puck skills, vision and speed make him one of the elite offensive threats in this age group. He does everything offensively that you could ask of a player, is a great playmaker, sees the ice extremely well and has elite creativity with the puck. He is very hard to contain and hit, is always moving and plays with his head up. Damien will continue to be an offensive threat at the next level.
OHL Comparable: Dante Salituro (Ottawa 67’s)
Hunter Holmes (LC) – Niagara North Stars (OMHA) – 35 GP, 22 G, 12 A, 34 PTS.
OHL Central Scouting says: Hunter is a big, skilled centreman that catches your eye at first glance. He is a very effective skater with a long, effortless stride. He has the ability to beat you off the rush with his speed and can use his size to gain an advantage as well. He has good one-on-one skills, sees the ice very well and moves the puck well in all three zones. He shoots the puck very well and could probably stand to shoot the puck more often. He is a smart player and is in the right place at the right time. Hunter had a standout performance at the OHL Cup.
OHL Comparable: Mike Amadio (North Bay Battalion)
Giovanni Vallati (LD) – Vaughan Kings (GTHL) – 64 GP, 9 G, 27 A, 38 PTS.
OHL Central Scouting says: Giovanni is a smooth-skating defender that doesn’t shy away from joining the rush. He is a very strong skater with excellent mobility, allowing him to beat a forechecker by himself. His defensive game has really improved since the beginning of the season and he has really simplified his approach. He has very good skills and a hard, accurate shot from the point. Giovanni was relied on heavily by his team to help get them into a Wild Card Play-In game at the OHL Cup.
OHL Comparable: Miles Liberati (Kitchener Rangers)
This is the fourth and final “Five to Watch” article in a series previewing top OHL Priority Selection prospects.
READ STORY #1: Five to Watch – Hayton, McShane, Dudas, Busby, Robertson
READ STORY #2: Five to Watch – Roberts, Tinmouth, Hillis, Merkley, Stratis
READ STORY #3: Five to Watch – Lalonde, Chisholm, Ingham, Antropov, Foudy