The NHL seasons gets underway tonight, and a handful of recent OHL grads have cracked opening night lineups.
Owen Tippett already has some NHL experience under his belt, and has even scored his first NHL goal. He’ll start the season with the Florida Panthers, and is eligible to be sent down to the AHL’s Springfield Falcons.
Fresh off a season that saw him win the OHL championships with Guelph, and impressive training camp by Nick Suzuki has earned him a spot with the Montreal Canadiens. Suzuki was traded a pair of times last season, once in the OHL, and his rights were also swapped at the NHL level.
Connor Timmins missed all of last season, his first as a professional, with a concussion. He cracked the opening night roster for the Colorado Avalanche, and might split time between them and their AHL affiliate Colorado Eagles.
Jordan Kyrou spent most of last year with the AHL’s San Antonio Rampage, get a little taste of NHL action with the St. Louis Blues. He will start the season on the non roster injured reserve.
The lone player who has to either play in the OHL or NHL this season is Barret Hayton. The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward will get a regular season test run with the Arizona Coyotes. Selected fifth overall by the Coyotes in the 2018 draft, Hayton must play for the Coyotes or the Greyhounds this season.
Bode Wilde is eligible to return to the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit this season, but can also be assigned to the AHL. Wilde was drafted by the New York Islanders in 2018 when he was with the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. An ankle injury has hampered his training camp, and he will start the season on the non roster injured list. When he’s healthy, the Islanders can assign him to the AHL’s Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Saginaw Spirit, are keep him in the NHL.
An honourable mention is Scott Sabourin, who may not be a recent OHL grad but will be getting his first taste of the NHL this season with his hometown Ottawa Senators. The former member of the Oshawa Generals spent six seasons with five different teams before cracking Ottawa’s roster out of camp. That’s 308 AHL games before he skates in his first NHL contest.