NHL Draft: OHL Countdown Prospects #20-16


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.

This is the part of the countdown where we start to see familiar names. The next five names on the OHL Countdown provide a medley of talent. We have the NHL Central Scouting Services’ number one North American goaltender prospect, a big power forward and three solid prospects on defense.

20. Matthew Spencer – Peterborough Petes

Born: March 24th, 1997 From: Guelph, ON
Height: 6’2” Weight: 194 lbs
Position: D

Drafted 3rd overall in the 2013 OHL Priority Draft, Spencer has always been a highly touted prospect for the 2015 NHL DRAFT. Spencer improved on his rookie year, scoring 6 goals with 24 assists through 67 games with the Petes.

Spencer has played big minutes with the Petes and also began to fill out his frame in his second campaign. He plays an okay two way game but excels at moving the puck. His offensive transition game is strong. Spencer still needs to polish a lot of areas in his game. He likely slips into the third, maybe fourth round.

OHL Prospects wrote this about Matt Spencer.

"“Originally talked about as the top defender available from the OHL this year, but several factors have caused Spencer to slip. Firstly, he didn’t have a terrific year, which highlighted some current holes in his game. Secondly, some of the other defenders available from the ‘O’ had fantastic years and leapfrogged him. It’s important to note that Spencer is still a very solid prospect and a guy who deserves to be a 2nd/3rd round draft pick. Early on in the year, he was quite solid at both ends, but he seemed to lose confidence (particularly offensively) in the second half. Late into the year, he had a lot of trouble getting the puck out of his own end and his decision making with the puck did not look strong. This was also evident at the Under 18’s, where I felt he struggled with this particular aspect too. I think at this point it’s strictly a confidence issue, because as a midget player, he was a fantastic puck rusher and power play QB. As mentioned, he has a lot going for him. Size and mobility are both a plus and he’s shown a willingness to play a tenacious brand of hockey in his own end. Keeping things simple will need to be a necessity moving forward until he’s able to gain his confidence back offensively.”"

19. Stephen Desrocher – Oshawa Generals

Born: January 26th, 1996 From: Toronto, ON
Height: 6’4” Weight: 198 lbs
Position: D

Undrafted last season, Desrocher had a breakout season in 2014-15. He put up 10 goals and 13 assists in 66 regular season games. In 16 playoff games he scored 3 goals with 4 assists en route to an OHL Championship. He also put up 2 goals and an assist as the Generals won the Memorial Cup playing only 4 games.

Desrocher plays a simple and effective game. Crisp, tape-to-tape passes. He’s got size to leverage himself against opposition. Desrocher’s two way game is solid, however he still needs to get quicker. He’ll see much more ice-time next season with the Memorial Cup winning Oshawa Generals. He’s likely scooped up in the 3rd round.

Per OHLProspects:

"“Came out of nowhere to pace the Generals in the final three rounds of the OHL playoffs (against Niagara, North Bay, and Erie). Well that’s not exactly true, as Desrocher has been on my radar (and scouts’ radar) all year based on the improvements he’d shown during the OHL’s regular season. I had him 9th on my mid April draft re-entry list (here), but there’s no question that he’d be higher if I re-did that list now (I’d have him 3rd). In the final two rounds against North Bay and Erie, Desrocher had 9 points in 11 games (including 3 goals). His confidence is at an all time high heading into the Memorial Cup and he’s showing an aggressiveness offensively that was not there in the regular season. At 6’4, 200lbs, he has the size. And now scouts have seen a glimpse of what he’s truly capable of offensively. I think there’s a very good chance he goes in the top 3 rounds come June.”"

18. Kyle Capobianco – Sudbury Wolves

Born: August 13th, 1997 From: Mississauga, ON
Height: 6’1” Weight: 170 lbs
Position: D

One of the assistant captains on the Wolves, Capobianco scored 10 goals and 30 assists in 68 games, He traveled to Switzerland after the OHL season for the U-18 World Championships, where he scored a goal and an assist in 7 games en route to a bronze medal.

Capobianco is a slim defenseman who still needs to get bigger if he wants to be able to compete at a higher level. He’s a smart puck moving defenseman who can be shifty with the puck. Plays well positionally and has good speed.

Sean Lafortune of McKeen’s Hockey wrote this on Capobianco

"“Smart, quick, agile and offensive minded, he’s more confident, more poised, working the powerplay while more importantly, gaining strength. He’s never going to be extremely hard to play against, but strength has allowed him start the process of being better in his own zone. I think you can lock him in as a top 90 draft candidate”"

17. Zachary Senyshyn – Soo Greyhounds

Born: March 30th, 1997 From Ottawa, ON
Height: 6’2” Weight: 194 lbs
Position: RW

In his first complete OHL season, Senyshyn displayed impressive offensive numbers as he scored 26 goals and 19 assists in 66 regular season games. With the Greyhounds in the playoffs, he scored 4 goals and 3 assists in 14 games.

Senyshyn plays a power forward game. He plays at a high compete level and speed. Senyshyn is effective offensively. He can win puck battles, drive the net and beats defenders wide. He may not be the most skilled but he may certainly find himself as a bottom 6 NHLer in the future.

LastWordOnSports had this to say about Senyshyn

"“While there are certainly aspects of Zachary Senyshyn’s game that need improvement, his potential is still very high. He’s a bit of a long term prospect, as he will likely need time to work on his positioning and on developing his skill game a bit more before he’s ready for a scoring line role, but he could be a top six forward with his skating ability, shot, and size. His game is reminiscent of Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers, though this is a style comparison and not one based on talent”"

16. Mackenzie Blackwood – Barrie Colts

Born: December 9th, 1996 From: Thunder Bay, ON
Height: 6’4” Weight: 205 lbs
Position: G

By most accounts, Mackenzie Blackwood is the number one goaltending prospect in the upcoming NHL draft. Like most goalies these days, Blackwood is big and tall. Through 51 regular season games with the Colts, Blackwood posted a 3.09 GAA and 0.906 GAA with a 33-14-2 record.

Blackwood is calm between the pipes. He doesn’t let a weak goal rattle him. This is a pretty important attribute for young goaltenders. Stylistically he is a butterfly-styled goaltender. He tracks the puck well and displays superb reflexes.

Curtis Joe from EliteProspects.com sums it up best here

"“A goalie who stays calm, cool, and collected in all situations, whether down by five or leading by ten. Knows his game inside and out, and never panics. With his size, it isn’t a surprise that he excels in the traditional butterfly-style; plays the puck intelligently and is quick to react with both his blocker and glove hand. Swift, crisp lateral movements let him get into positions where shooters have nothing to shoot at. At the end of the day, you can never complain when you have a goalie who tries as hard, and plays as consistently, as Mackenzie Blackwood.”"

Check back on Saturday for part three of the countdown, where we examine #15 to #11.

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