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OHL Media Poll: #OHLOpeningWeek Predictions

 

The votes are in.

With the launch of #OHLOpeningWeek, a poll of various media who cover the league in broadcast booths and press boxes provides opinions and analysis on some of the players and teams to watch in 2019-20.

Below is a compilation of the most popular answers with select media comments to support their decisions.

 

Which team will win the Midwest Division?

London Knights (85%)

“Every time I think it’s London’s year to take a step back they prove me wrong, so I’ve stopped betting against them.”

Honourable mention: Kitchener Rangers (15%)

 

Which team will win the West Division?

Saginaw Spirit (92%)

“There’s a sense of unfinished business from last season, and the Spirit want to finish it.”

Honourable mention: Flint Firebirds (8%)

 

Which team will win the East Division?

Ottawa 67’s (100%)

“The 67’s are still the class of the East.”

 

Which team will win the Central Division?

Sudbury Wolves (69%)

“Quinton Byfield will lead the Wolves to the top of the Central.”

Honourable mentions: Barrie Colts and Mississauga Steelheads (15%)

 

Which team will be the most surprising?

Flint Firebirds (62%)

“Not only will they get into the playoffs, they could make some serious noise doing it.”

Honourable mention: Owen Sound Attack (15%)

 

Which player will lead the league in scoring?

Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit (31%)

“His rookie season was impressive, but what he did with Canada at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup has really convinced me.”

Honourable mention: Akil Thomas, Niagara IceDogs (23%)

 

Who will be the league’s best goaltender?

Cedrick Andree, Ottawa 67’s (46%)

“He won 34 games last season, gained some valuable playoff experience and is ready to backstop the 67’s to big things.”

Honourable mention: Jordan Kooy, London Knights (23%)

 

Who will be the league’s best defenceman?

Bode Wilde, Saginaw Spirit (38%)

“If he comes back from the Islanders there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the most dynamic defenceman in the OHL this season.”

Honourable mentions: Thomas Harley, Mississauga Steelheads (31%)

 

Who will be the league’s top rookie?

Shane Wright, Kingston Frontenacs (69%)

“He’s physically and mentally mature beyond his years. He should have more than ample opportunity on a young Kingston team.”

Honourable mention: Brandt Clarke, Barrie Colts (23%)

 

Who will win Coach of the Year honours?

Chris Lazary, Saginaw Spirit (46%)

“He turned the Spirit around when he stepped behind the bench last season and is poised to guide them to big things.”

Honourable mentions: Eric Wellwood, Flint Firebirds and Jay McKee, Kitchener Rangers (15%)

 

Who will be the league’s top prospect for the 2020 NHL Draft?

Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves (54%)

“It’s going to be a great year for the OHL. There’ll be a battle between Byfield and Perfetti to determine who will go higher next summer.”

Honourable mention: Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit (46%)

 

Who will be the league’s most outstanding player of the year?

Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves (31%)

“Other players might put up more points, but Byfield’s presence with his power, size and great stride give him a real edge.”

Honourable mentions: Akil Thomas, Niagara IceDogs and Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit (15%)

 

Who will win the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as Western Conference champion?

Saginaw Spirit (54%)

“They check all the boxes up and down the depth chart. I think the Spirit have a real good shot this season.”

Honourable mention: London Knights (46%)

 

Who will win the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference champion?

Ottawa 67’s (92%)

“I think Sudbury will be right there, but an experienced Cedrick Andree could very well be the difference in a playoff series for Ottawa.”

Honourable mention: Sudbury Wolves (8%)

 

Who will win the Robertson Cup as OHL champion?

Saginaw Spirit (54%)

“It’s a ‘go-for-it’ year for the Spirit. They’ll be all-in.”

Honourable mentions: London Knights and Ottawa 67’s (23%)

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