Barrie trio : The Colts are the top team in the Central Division, and the offense provided by Aaron Luchuk, Andrei Svechnikov and Dmitri Sokolov. Luchuk recently had his 20 game point streak snapped, where he had 12 goals and 33 points during that stretch. Svechnikov is riding an OHL-best 21 game point streak, where he’s scored 21 goals and 41 points. Sokolov has scored 29 goals and 54 points since joining Barrie at the trade deadline.
Evan Bouchard – With 61 points through his first two OHL seasons, Bouchard is definitely no slouch offensively, but I don’t think anyone saw him having the type of seasons he’s had, 23 goals and 84 points heading into the final weekend. In the history of the London Knights, he’ll be the first Dman to lead the team in scoring.
London/ Owen Sound – Man, this is going to be a great first round series, and home ice will likely play a big factor in the outcome. Currently, Owen Sound is two points up on London with one game left, while the Knights have three games remaining to make up the ground. London has won six straight, while Owen Sound has points in six straight, with five of those being victories. jostle for 4/5 in West (OS tough rink to play in)
Rebuild? More like reload – That has been the story in London, despite parting ways with a handful of older players at the deadline, the Knights have been able to make it work with the younger guns. Since trading Robert Thomas, Sam Miletic, Max Jones and Cliff Pu at the trade deadline, London has won 15 of their 25 games since the deadline, the same amount of wins that Hamilton and Kingston has had.
Hamilton solidified #1 in East – Saying that, the Bulldogs have managed to clinch first overall in the Eastern Conference, so they have to be pretty happy with how their season is going. Although, that could mean a first round match up with Mississauga, who’s won seven of their last ten.
Nicolas Hague – The Vegas Golden Knights prospect has had quite the season offensively, with 33 goals, including five two goal games. His 33 goals are the most by a Dman since Chris Allen scored 38 with the Kingston Frontenacs in 1997-98.
Saginaw slipping – The Spirit still have a shot at finishing as high as 6th, so regardless of how the last weekend plays out it looks like they’ll have a tough first round opponent. With three straight losses, and just two wins in their last ten games, they are certainly limping to the finish line. Not what I expected from a team who was gradually getting better throughout the season.
Foudy on fire – Foudy started his sophomore season with just four goals and three assists during his first 35 games. As London traded away some of their older players it allowed more offensive opportunities for Foudy, and he’s made the most of it. In 27 games since he’s scored 20 goals and added 12 assists.
Another member of the 2016-17 Jr Knights team signs – For those who follow minor midget, this team was stacked, and another player from that team has signed with an OHL club. Following a very strong season in the GOJHL, Mason Howard signed with the Niagara IceDogs. Ryan Suzuki (Barrie) and Aidan Prueter (Saginaw) are already OHL regulars as 16-year-olds, and Liam Van Loon (Hamilton), Levi Siau (Sudbury), Mason Millman (Saginaw) and Luke Drewitt (Kingston) also got their first taste of the OHL this season. Another member of that team Brett Budgell, has 20 points in 30 games with the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders. Jeff Burridge and Peter Fleming are two others who could make the jump to the OHL next season.
Curtis Douglas – He was a big part of the return in the Aaron Luchuk trade, and I don’t use the term BIG lightly. Listed at 6’8″ and 232 lbs., Douglas just turned 18 earlier this month. He’s been given more offensive opportunities in Windsor and he’s delivered, scoring 15 goals and 27 points in 36 games with the Spits. Before the trade, he had 11 goals and 27 points in 81 games with Barrie.
Holy Mackinaw! – Sudbury Wolves’ netminder David Bowen made 36 saves for his first win, he’s the son of the longtime voice of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Joe Bowen.
Where are all the penalties? – Going into the final weekend of the season, there are only five players with more than 100 penalty minutes this season, there were seven in 2016-17, and 15 the year prior. No player has reached 200 penalty minutes since Windsor’s Ty Bilcke did so in 2011-12. That year, 39 OHLers had more than 100 penalty minutes. In 2007-08, 56 players had more than 100 penalty minutes, and three players had more than 200. I went back through the last decade to see how many players had more than 100 penalty minutes, and how many the league leader finished the season with.