Dale Hawerchuk may not have been behind the bench, but he was always back of mind for the Barrie Colts this season. The Colts trudged on, equipped with plenty of leadership to help them along the way.
Graduating from the Colts this season are fifth-year vet Aidan Brown, big defender Christopher Cameron and experienced centreman Josh Nelson.
Aidan Brown (Barrie – 2015-2020)
A Barrie Colts through and through, Aidan Brown saw a steady upward trend over the course of his five seasons with the squad. The winger wrapped things up with 47 points (20-27—47) in the 57 games he suited up for this season, good for third overall in Barrie scoring, and rounded out a total 106 points (46-60—106). His 275 regular season games are the third-most by any player in Colts franchise history. The Newmarket, Ont. native was Barrie’s third round pick in the 2015 OHL Priority Selection from the York Simcoe Express Minor Midget program. He’s committed to the University of Guelph’s men’s hockey program for 2020-21.
Christopher Cameron (Barrie – 2016-2020)
Michigan-born defender Christopher Cameron skates away from his overage year having suited up for 227 contests in a Colts uniform, including a 12-game playoff appearance in the 2017-18 postseason. The 6-foot-4 blueliner put forth a 39-point (5-34—39) production over his four-year stint. He is currently a free agent, and was originally picked up by the Colts in the 10th round of the 2016 OHL Priority Selection following a pair of seasons with the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies.
Josh Nelson (London, Barrie – 2016-2020)
Veteran Josh Nelson brought a wealth of leadership with him when he joined the Colts’ lineup midway through his overage year. The Locksport, Ill. native played the best hockey of his career over his final season, racking up 16 goals and 37 points in appearances with both the London Knights and the Colts. The 5-foot-11 centreman skated in 234 OHL games with a 92-point (45-47—92) showing, and his three-and-a-half seasons with London led him to two playoff appearances. Nelson signed with the Knights in 2016 as a free agent after two seasons with the Chicago Fury. He was also invited to skate with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a free agent in the 2019 Prospects Tournament.
The Colts also feature a couple of 2000-born players in left wingers Victor Hadfield and Luke Bignell.
The 2019-20 OHL season came to a sudden end on Thursday, March 12th, with play suspended and the remainder of the playing season cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, many of the League’s overage and graduating players never had the chance to enjoy a proper send-off from their home fans. The 2020 Graduating Class series takes a look at the OHL tenure of each team’s overage players while also recognizing other potential graduates.