Friday Five

Friday Five: OHLers to Watch at the WJC


A total of 19 current OHLers are competing in the 2017 World Junior Hockey Championship, with several playing key roles for their respective countries.

On top of that, three players (Christian Mieritz, Timo Haussener and Alexander Nylander) are all competing in the tournament, after playing in the OHL last season.

Here’s some players to keep an eye out for during the rest of the tournament:

Dylan Strome (Erie Otters) – CanadaDylan Strome of the Erie Otters. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

Captain Canada has led the way offensively so far, with two goals and five assists through the opening three games. He had 16 points in his seven games with Erie after being returned from the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes. Strome had six points (4g 2a) during last year’s tournament.

Mikhail  (Windsor Spitfires) – Russia

Mikhail Sergachev of the Windsor Spitfires. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL ImagesThe Windsor Spitfire rearguard has a goal through two games with Russia in the tournament, and is among the leaders in ice time on the Russian blue line. A big two-way defenceman uses his size and strength to his advantage. His powerful shot from the point should help Russia’s powerplay as well. Chosen by Montreal 9th overall in the 2016 draft, Sergachev played in three games with the Canadiens this season before being sent back to the OHL’s Spitfires.

Tyler Parsons (London Knights) – USATyler Parsons of the London Knights. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

The only OHL goaltender at the tournament, Parsons backstopped the US to wins over Latvia and Russia. It isn’t clear who will start for the Americans in the New Years Eve game against Canada, but with a Memorial Cup Championship already under his belt, Parsons has proven he can be counted on in short tournaments.

Jeremy Bracco (Kitchener Rangers) – USA 

Jeremy Bracco of the Kitchener Rangers. Photo by Terry Wilson / OHL Images.

The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect has put up ridiculous numbers with the Kitchener Rangers this season, he’s registered a point in all but one of his 27 games this season (he was held off the score sheet vs London in his final game before the tournament). Bracco has scored once through his first three games of the tournament, but his playmaking is a gamebreaker for the Americans.

Anthony Cirelli (Oshawa Generals) – Canada 

Anthony Cirelli of the Oshawa Generals. Photo by Aaron Bell/OHL Images

The Tamp Bay Lightnings prospect has had quite the couple of years. After going undrafted in the OHL, he made the Generals out of camp as 17-year-old, and finished his rookie campaign by scoring the overtime winner in the Memorial Cup Finals. Cirelli is in more of a support role with Canada, but has been able to chip in  on the offence so far with a pair of goals in three games.

Honourable Mentions:

Olli Juolevi (London Knights) -Finland

One of five OHLers on the Finland roster, Juolevi is wearing the ‘C’ for the team who took home gold in last year’s tournament. Many expected Finland to take a step back with the departure of last year’s top line (Patrik Laine, Jesse Puljujarvi and Sebastian Aho), but no one expected them to stumbled out the gate like they have, starting the tournament 0-3. The Canucks’s fourth overall pick in June will be counted on to help turn Finland’s tournament around.

Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads) – Sweden

Although Nylander isn’t playing in the OHL this year, the former Mississauga Steelhead has been leading the way for Sweden, with four goals and three assists through three games. His +8 rating is the highest in the tournament so far.



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