NHL Draft: OHL Countdown Prospects #30-26


Over the course of the week, Tyler Brenton will be sharing his Top 30 prospects eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft from the OHL. He will be counting down from 30 all the way to Connor McDavid.

First up is the 30 to 26 range. These guys are usually found near the 100s of the Central Scouting Services rankings for the NHL Draft. Sometimes they turn out to be decent professional hockey players, other times they go on a different path. There could be a diamond in the OHL rough and that’s what NHL teams will be looking at. Good teams are able to identify talent in the latter stages of the draft and having a constant stream of depth is vitally important in the salary cap era NHL.

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30. Hayden McCool – Windsor Spitfires
Born: April 11th, 1997 From: Whitby, ON
Height: 6’2” Weight: 196 lbs
Position: C/LW

McCool spent the majority of his draft season with the Windsor Spitfires after being dealt from the IceDogs in a package for Josh Ho-Sang. He finished his second OHL season with 15 goals and 18 assists in 64 games.
Similar to his rookie season, McCool had consistency issues. He has a big frame where you would expect him to be a power forward type player but he still hasn’t developed into that role. McCool also is missing an extra jump in his skating to help him beat defenders. For the Spitfires he is a versatile forward who can play on the wing or center.

HockeyProspectus.com had this to say about McCool

"“Hayden looks good on the ice and on paper. He does not have the puck skills or sense to be a productive offensive player. With a long development in the right system he could become a good shut down winger. Playing 10-12 minutes a night, Hayden projects as a bottom 6 Minor league player. He will play as an average junior then take 4 years of minor hockey before the hockey sense is developed enough for him to attempt to make an NHL roster. He rates as a Tier VI player for the 2015 draft, a seventh rounder at best.”"

29. Pius Suter – Guelph Storm
Born: May 24th, 1996 From: Wallisellen, SUI
Height: 5’11” Weight: 170 LBS
Position: C

Suter saw a massive improvement with regards to his offensive numbers in his second season overseas. In 61 games he scored 43 goals and 29 assists, and he contributed 3 goals and 2 assists in 9 playoff games. Over the past two seasons, Suter has played in many big games including a Memorial Cup tournament in 2014.

Suter is on the small side of 6 foot, but that doesn’t impede his drive to score goals and grind for the puck. Last year he went undrafted after a season where he had a depth role on a very strong Guelph Storm team. That likely changes this year, as Suter has bottom six qualities. It has been said that Suter will return to Switzerland next season to play in the NLA with Zurich SC Lions or the NLB with GC Kusnacht Lions.

Rafik Sollman wrote the following regarding Pius Suter on McKeen’s.

"Enjoyed a successful first season in North America – helping the Guelph Storm compete for the Memorial Cup .. made big progress last season and is developing nicely into a solid two-way center who can contribute both offensively and defensively .. possesses decent acceleration and reaches a respectable top speed within a few strides .. only average sized at 5-foot-11 and 165 pounds, but definitely looks stronger on the ice .. battles hard along the boards and effectively uses his compact positioning and strength to hold his ground .. not afraid to move forward into the hot areas in front of the net to score dirty goals and is often the first player to challenge the goaltender for rebounds .. owns a hard and accurate shot with a quick release and operates as more of a finisher as opposed to a playmaker .. will pursue his career with a second year in Guelph and is looking for his first U20 World Junior Championship appearance were he should be used in a top-six offensive role.”"

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28. Jeremiah Addison – Ottawa 67’s
Born: October 21st, 1996 From: Toronto, ON
Height: 6’0” Weight: 183 lbs
Position: LW

Addison is a hard working winger who played his third OHL season this past year. This year he put up 19 goals and 28 assists in 63 games along with 10 points in 6 playoff games. This was a 30 point improvement on his previous best 17 point season.

Addison is a strong skater who isn’t afraid to go into the dirty areas and retrieve the puck. He has decent hands around the net and can open up lanes with his speed. Addison also possesses a decent shot that he doesn’t use frequently. His ceiling is likely as an NHL 4th line grinder.

Here’s what McKeens Hockey had to say about him in March

"“Good hands and extremely aggressive on the forecheck with strong acceleration .. tends to roam in all three zones and can get caught out of position because of it .. not afraid to stick up for his teammates .. goes to the net to score his goals by finishing plays in tight or jumping into the rush for a rebound .. structured, balanced stride but more effective down the sidewall with the puck than taking it inside .. great release but enjoys trying to screen the goalie and redirect pucks .. remains extremely active and involved without the puck .. not a gifted puck carrier but makes the smart, low-risk play .. a linear player.”"

27. Brett McKenzie – North Bay Battalion
Born: March 12th, 1997 From: Vars, ON
Height: 6’1” Weight: 196 lbs
Position: C

In McKenzie’s second OHL season he scored 11 goals and 21 points in 68 games while also notching 7 assists in 15 playoff games. He was one of the big reasons why the Battalion were able to knock out the Kingston Frontenacs in the first round of the playoffs.

McKenzie plays a two way, shutdown role on the Battalion. He plays a simple but effective game and knows how to use his size to his advantage. As he develops he should see an increase in offensive output. He reminds me a lot of Cody Eakin of the Dallas Stars.

Dennis MacInnis, director of scouting for International Scouting Services had this to say:

"“The Scouting Report praised McKenzie’s all-around game, saying, “It may take several viewings before you realize just how good McKenzie is, but after continued viewings you can really appreciate the nuances of his game that make him so effective. Offensively he’s more of a playmaker than a shooter and does a good job of using his size and skill to buy time and find open teammates. He is good on faceoffs and is a competitive player with good shutdown centre capabilities”"

26. Dante Salituro – Ottawa 67’s
Born: November 15th, 1996 From: Don Mills, ON
Height: 5’8” Weight: 185 lbs
Position: C

In the age of fans discussing “The Next Tyler Johnson or Johnny Gaudreau”, Dante Salituro provides a compelling argument. He had a great 2014-15 season, scoring 37 goals with 41 assists in 68 games as well as 5 goals and 5 assists in 10 playoffs games.

Salituro plays a big part in the youth resurgence in Ottawa. For a player his size he’s not afraid to get himself dirty in the corners. At his size, he can’t get by solely by skill, so he has to be aggressive and have the drive to get the puck. He’s got a solid, usually accurate shot and plays the game at a high pace. Salituro is shifty and quite agile which allows him to beat defenders with ease in one-on-one situations. Due to his size, NHL teams will probably question his professional upside. Salituro ranges between rounds 5 and 7, but he should be selected at the draft.

Future Considerations said this about Salituro in December 2014

"“A skilled, pint sized forward that goes to the dirty areas of the ice…is a strong, balanced skater for his size who has a fast top speed and good overall agility…darts around the ice and is elusive…has a good shot that is accurate and quick off his blade…gets himself to areas where the puck will be for a prime scoring chance…not afraid to get knocked around for a scorning chance…has good intelligence and on-ice vision…makes crisp passes but is more of a shooter…interesting to see if he can get over his size and carve out a pro career. “"

Check back tomorrow morning as numbers 25 through 21 are revealed.

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