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%)