It can be amazing what a difference the addition of a single player can make to an OHL team. Obviously, the OHL is home to a lot of special talent, but some players are just so special that it transforms an entire team. One such player so far has been Alex DeBrincat. He’s put up great numbers in his return, but his entire Erie Otters team has gone from having a rough start, to racking up eight of their last ten games. With that in mind, OHLers playing in the pros right now are creeping up on the time where NHL teams have to make a decision. Could Mikhail Sergachev boost the Spitfires to the top? Or maybe Pavel Zacha and Travis Konecny rejoin the Sting and turn them into a powerhouse? The point is, there are still some major moves that could shift the power in the league that are still to come.
1. Erie Otters (LW: 3) – Only one loss in regulation in their last ten games, the Otters are on a hell of a role. Trading for Troy Timpano has looked brilliant so far.
2. Sarnia Sting (LW: 2) – Sure, they got creamed by Oshawa, but that was at the end of back to back road games. Otherwise, they’ve looked solid considering they only have had three home games this month.
3. Kitchener Rangers (LW: 7) – Only loss last week came in London, and was a tight affair. After last season’s defence-oriented team, the Rangers now lead the league in scoring.
4. London Knights (LW: 8) – It was a big week for the Knights, bouncing back from a 7-1 loss to Erie by reeling off three straight wins. Win in Hamilton was a statement game.
5. Hamilton Bulldogs (LW: 1) – Had to play three straight games against three tough teams, and flunked the test. Even so, they kept it close against Kitchener and North Bay.
6. Oshawa Generals (LW: 11) – Big jump, as they notched a win against Sarnia, and followed that up by beating Guelph. Guelph was the first team to score more than two goals on them since Oct. 7.
7. Windsor Spitfires (LW: 4) – Baffling stat of the week: How does a team with this much forward talent only have 40 goals for? Only two teams in the Western Conference have less.
8. Flint Firebirds (LW:9) – Still faced a tough schedule, but pulled out wins against Windsor and Sault Ste. Marie before running out of gas against Kingston.
9. Sudbury Wolves (LW: 6) – Big win against the Greyhounds offset by a big loss to Ottawa, and a not so big loss to Peterborough.
10. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (LW: 5) – Lost big to Sudbury, but took Flint to OT and got back in the win column against Ottawa.
11. Barrie Colts (LW: 14) – Got on a bit of a roll, culminating in a big divisional win against Mississauga, and managed to grab a point against Guelph.
12. Owen Sound Attack (LW: 10) – Split games with Erie this past weekend, and have some nice wins on their resume. A candidate to move higher.
13. Mississauga Steelheads (LW: 15) – A busy weekend, but played hard against Kitchener and Barrie, grabbing a point from each, while beating Niagara.
14. Guelph Storm (LW: 20) – Last week in this column, they were written off. This week, they pop back up the rankings by grabbing 5 of a possible 6 points in a back-to-back-to-back weekend.
15. North Bay Battalion (LW: 16) – Beat Hamilton and Ottawa, but something seems to be holding this team back, and I can’t quite figure out what.
16. Peterborough Petes (LW: 13) – Got rocked 6-1 by Sarnia, but bounced back against Sudbury. It’s still early, but you’d like them to find some consistency.
17. Ottawa 67’s (LW: 17) – Won big against Sudbury, beating the Wolves 6-2, but lost their other two games. Will get two chances to notch their first home win this week.
18. Kingston Frontenacs (LW: 12) – Nice win against Flint, but had lost to Windsor and Saginaw. Windsor loss is excusable, but Kingston needed two points from the Saginaw game.
19. Saginaw Spirit (LW: 18) – The aforementioned win against Kingston keeps them out of the bottom for now, but a -22 goal differential means they won’t go too far.
20. Niagara IceDogs (LW: 19) – It’s incredible how many one goal games they have been in, but they haven’t actually won one since Oct. 9.