Friday Five / Junior Hockey / News

Friday Five: Top Playmakers

You’ve likely heard the common saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” well the five guys on this list have something in common, they’ve all averaged much more than an apple a game and have all managed to keep relatively healthy this season. Coincidence? Likely.

Sometimes playmakers don’t get quite as much attention as the goal scorers, so this week I’ll be shining the spotlight on the “Princes of Pass”, the “Dukes of the Dish,” or the “Sultans of the Sauce”… ok, I’m done now.

Here’s the top five playmakers in the OHL

Jordan Kyrou – Sarnia Sting – | 24GP 18g 34a 52pts | 

He has points in all but two games this season, and there’s been just six games where he hasn’t registered an assist. He’s had at least three assists on seven different occasions, including a four assist effort. His 34 helpers is seven higher than the next closest playmaker. Kyrou is also scoring more this year, which makes him much more dangerous as a playmaker.

Morgan Frost – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – | 26GP 13g 27a 40pts | 

Ten assists in his last four games, and he’s had ten multi-assist games so far this season. Frost is no stranger to the helpers, as 42 of his 62 points last season were assists. He’s often compared his style of play to a “point guard on skates” as he uses his speed to create openings for his teammates, and then gets them the puck in quality scoring areas.

Nick Suzuki – Owen Sound Attack – | 24 GP 17g 25a 42pts | 

Suzuki had 51 assists last season, and returns as one of the league’s most dangerous players in the offensive zone. He can hurt you in many ways, with his dazzling playmaking ability one of several weapons in his arsenal. Just four assists for the Vegas Golden Knights first rounder in his last seven games, but he’s still scored six goals in that span.

Mac Hollowell – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – | 21GP 5g 22a 27pts | 

You could say things are going very well for Hollowell this season (couldn’t resist). He’s coming off back-to-back 20 assist seasons, and already has 22 in 21 games this year. He’s the OHL’s only defenceman averaging more than an assist per game, although Ryan Merkley, Sean Durzi and Matthew Timms are awfulling close.

Sam Miletic – London Knights – | 20GP 7g 21a 28pts | 

The Penguins prospect only had two goals and one assist through his first seven games, he has 20 assists in the 13 games since, including four goals and 16 assists during a nine game point streak that just ended. With 37 goals and 18 assists, last season, Miletic was more of a finisher. The overager has found himself in more of a set up role this time a round, a role he is relishing.

Honourable Mentions:

Ryan Merkley – Guelph Storm | 25GP 7g 24a 31pts |
Has registered an assist in 13 of his last 14 games and leads all defensemen with 24 assists this season. He had 43 assists in 62 games as a 16-year-old rookie last year.

Taylor Raddysh – Erie Otters  | 25GP 13g 24a 37pts |
Raddysh had 67 assists in 58 games last year, but many attributed some of that to playing with guys like Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome. Yes, that likely didn’t hurt, but he still has 24 helpers in 25 games this season on a much weaker Erie team.

Sean Durzi – Owen Sound Attack – | 23GP 12g 22a 34pts |
Durzi was on an absolute tear to start the season, scoring four goals and 17 points in his first nine games. He has slowed down from that pace but has still enjoyed a very productive season from the blueline. He leads all OHL Dmen with 34 points, and is just one point back from the assist per game pace.

Matthew Timms – Peterborough Petes | 19GP 0g 17a 17pts |
Timms is another defensemen who’s averaging nearly an assist per game with 17 in 19 contests. What jumps out at you with Timms though is that he hasn’t scored any goals. He’s offensive production has slowed down significantly as of late. After picking up 13 assists in his first nine games, he has just a pair of helpers in his last seven contests

Photos by Terry Wilson and Aaron Bell (OHL Images)

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