First Half Power Rankings:
- Erie Otters – Have shown they are the class of the league this year, having been on top of the standings since day one. Second in the league in offence and defence, there are no glaring flaws.
- Kitchener Rangers – It has been a bit of a surprise how good these guys have been. Found a great goalie in Luke Opilka, had a huge breakout from Adam Mascherin, and even got to add Jeremy Bracco as a bonus. Limped into Christmas break on 3 game losing streak.
- London Knights – Leads the league in goals by a wide margin, but haven’t always taken care of their own end. Even still, they are in the same class as Kitchener and Erie, with a clear divide between them and the teams below.
- Kingston Frontenacs – The best in the East so far, they haven’t been perfect, but they simply have won the games they are supposed to win.
- Windsor Spitfires – Another surprise team, the Spits have gotten excellent contributions from their many young players. Adding Lemieux with DiGiacinto gives them some sandpaper too.
- Barrie Colts – The defence needs some work, but Labanc and Mangiapane have picked up right where they left off last season. They also have a goalie who can truly steal games in Blackwood.
- Sarnia Sting – Young team got a huge boost when Pavel Zacha returned, and have a very interesting mix of younger and older talent. Acquisition of Mistele means they’re going for it.
- Niagara IceDogs – Putting them here purely based on speculation, but they have been on the wrong end of a lot of one-goal games. With Nedeljkovic in net, and so many talented players, that trend should stop.
- Mississauga Steelheads – Inconsistency has been killing them, but they aren’t built for this year. And holy cow, will this team be absolutely loaded next year. Could surprise in the playoffs.
- North Bay Battalion – They’ve been much better after a rough start, and seem to have settled into a groove. With a veteran goaltender and coach, they look primed for a strong second half.
- Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Not sure what to make of this team, but there are a lot of interesting pieces. Also banking on Halverson stepping his game up.
- Ottawa 67’s – Brutal start and finish to their first half, but the way they played in between, combined with the talent on their roster, makes you think they can be better.
- Peterborough Petes – A big winning streak in November has them in the Eastern Conference picture, but they allow so many goals that it’s hard to see them staying there.
- Owen Sound Attack – They have played competitive hockey, but just aren’t good enough to compete with the big boys of the division. The future is bright though, thanks to contributions from their youngsters.
- Saginaw Spirit – Another team with a bad start, they’ve been getting progressively better as the season has played out. But like Peterborough, too many goals against.
- Flint Firebirds – Other than some bizarre “team walk-out” drama, it has been a fairly quiet half for the Firebirds inaugural season. Kudos to Will Bitten on an excellent first half.
- Oshawa Generals – The most important part of the season is coming up for these guys: the trade deadline. Could set this team up well down they road if they handle it correctly.
- Hamilton Bulldogs – They’ve been more competitive than they really had any business being, which bodes well for the future of this very young club.
- Sudbury Wolves – While not as painful as last year, it hasn’t exactly been a fun year in Sudbury. Signs of hope are there though, thanks to a strong year from #1 overall pick David Levin.
- Guelph Storm – Speaking of rough years, Guelph is going through one right now. Justin Nichols has been playing his heart out in net, but he can only do so much.
Top Performers of the First Half:
Christian Dvorak (London): 27GP, 28G 37A 65Pts, +29
Mitchell Marner (London): 25GP, 22G 36A 58Pts, +25
Alex DeBrincat (Erie): 30GP, 33G 23A 56Pts, +18
Dylan Strome (Erie): 25GP, 16G 37A 53Pts, +15
Alexander Nylander (Mississauga): 33GP, 21G 28A 49Pts, +8
Ryan MacInnis (Kitchener): 29GP, 20G 23A 43Pts, +15
Roland McKeown (Kingston): 30GP, 6G 22A 28Pts, +11
Rasmus Andersson (Barrie): 31GP, 7G 20A 27Pts, +1
Cam Dineen (North Bay): 32GP, 4G 23A 27Pts, +5
Travis Dermott (Erie): 29GP, 2G 25A 27Pts, +21
Jakob Chychrun (Sarnia): 31GP, 5G 19A 24Pts, +12
Santino Centorame (Owen Sound): 34GP, 9G 15A 24Pts, +3
Devin Williams (Erie): 28GP, 23-2-1-0, 2.13GAA .923sv% 1SO
Mackenzie Blackwood (Barrie): 24GP, 16-7-0-0, 2.36GAA .932sv% 2SO
Luke Opilka (Kitchener): 22GP, 17-3-2-0, 2.40GAA .918sv% 1SO
Lucas Peressini (Kingston): 26GP, 15-8-2-1, 2.66GAA .912sv% 1SO
Stories From AroundtheOHL.com:
- Between the Pipes: Dream Come True (READ) – by Taylor Dupuis
- 63 OHLers on the latest CSS’s rankings (READ) – by Chris Croucher
- OHLers at the World Juniors (READ)
- Around The OHL Podcast: Episode 12 (INTERVIEW)
- Jeremy Bracco settling in with Rangers (INTERVIEW & STORY) – by Jake Jeffrey
- Van Ryn Has Kitchener Among OHL Favourites (INTERVIEW & STORY) – by Jake Jeffrey
- Craievich looking for big season in Ottawa (INTERVIEW & STORY) – by Jake Jeffrey
- David Levin’s Unique Journey to the OHL (INTERVIEW & STORY) – by Jake Jeffrey
- A look back at the last 10 OHL first overall picks (READ) – by Jake Jeffrey