The Ottawa 67’s may have found Sean Monahan’s successor in the supremely-talented Travis Konecny.
The 67’s went with the smooth-skating, offensive workhorse from the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs with the first-overall pick. Konecny, a cousin of 2013 NHL draft eligible Bo Horvat, carries a toolbox brimming with the tools to succeed and become a premier player in the OHL in the near future.
The Erie Otters are surrounding exceptional player Connor McDavid with another gem in Dylan Strome. The younger brother of New York Islanders prospect Ryan, Dylan was chosen with the second pick in the draft and should create quite the dynamic duo with McDavid in the not-too-distant future.
The first defenceman was taken with the third pick, but it wasn’t Sean Day. The Peterborough Petes instead opted for Matthew Spencer, whose impact won’t always be reflected in the box score.
Day’s slide ended with the next pick, No. 4 to the Mississauga Steelheads. The fourth player to be granted “exceptional player” status to play in the league at 15 and third in three years, Day will carve up the ice in the Toronto suburb for at least three seasons before being eligible for the NHL draft in 2016.
The Kingston Frontenacs rounded out the top five with Konecny’s teammate, left winger Lawson Crouse. The big and powerful winger will be a handful to contain once he realizes his immense potential.
Travis Konecny (C, 2015), Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs – 5’9″ – 161 pounds – March 11, 1997
Drafted first-overall by the Ottawa 67’s
Konecny shone as a standout on Team Hall at the Allstate All-Canadians camp .. dynamic skater with natural speed and fluidity .. generates significant initial thrusts with his first steps and start up .. the slick pivot possesses soft, articulate hands with excellent playmaking vision .. makes the biggest impact when he pushes the pace of play and competes aggressively at both ends of the ice .. composed in possession and excels in making crafty plays in motion, aided by fine in-close puck skills and cleaver lateral mobility .. makes split-second decisions and can execute his game-plan smoothly in top gear .. can play with a physical edge and be a physical force .. delivers impactful open-ice hits and can terrorize opposing defencemen on the fore-check .. excels in traffic; comfortable with body contact and protecting the puck as he finds open space .. shows intuitiveness at sensing danger, knowing when to hold onto the puck for that extra second and when to distribute .. possesses a dynamic snapshot with an unpredictable release point that keeps goaltenders guessing .. consistency can waver, as he can get frustrated when given extra attention by the opposition .. his role next year may be tied to the future of Sean Monahan in the nation’s capital, but the expectations are that Konecny will come into the league as a top two centre, while working on adding some strength to his frame and continuing his development .. has the ability to be one of the top players in the league in two years.
Dylan Strome (C, 2015), Toronto Marlboros – 6’2″ – 165 pounds – March 7, 1997
Drafted second-overall by the Erie Otters
Quickly became known as the most dangerous playmaker in his age group .. puck skills and vision are his best assets .. a gifted passer, displays an ability to carve defences with no-look passes ranging from five to 20 feet in little-to-no space .. exhibits great imagination with the puck in the offensive zone, driving the net or finding teammates in open ice .. soft, quick hands make him one of the more dangerous players around the net .. well-sized for a player of his age and continuing to grow into his body .. still needs to work on adding bulk to his large, 6’2 frame .. not an elegant skater, as he is somewhat stiff and heavy footed .. increasing the length and fluidity of his stride will make him a stronger, more mobile player .. projects as a number one centre at the next level .. will probably slot into a top-six role initially with the Otters .. much like McDavid last year, look for the Otters to play him with finishers such as Dane Fox or Stephen Harper, where he can truly utilize his puck skills .. a power-play tandem of McDavid and Strome may become one of the most dangerous in the league in the coming seasons.
Matthew Spencer (D, 2015), Oakville Rangers – 6’2″ – 185 pounds – March 24, 1997
Drafted third-overall by the Peterborough Petes
A responsible, well-rounded workhorse .. plays in all situations and thrives in each .. extremely-effective at closing down space in both the neutral and offensive zones .. gap control is top notch, aided by his deceptive quick feet and strong stick-work .. extremely tough to beat one-on-one, specifically when backing up and defending the rush .. sustains tight gaps and takes away space from opposing puck-rushers .. proficient at getting his stick into passing lanes and deflecting shots on net .. underrated in the offensive zone .. displays an ability to join the attack while making accurate lead passes .. composed under pressure and dissolves fore-checking pressure by making quick, decisive decisions with the puck .. packs a sizzling slap-shot with a hard, heavy one-timer .. has the ability to fake a shot, walk the line and alter a shooting lane .. could be more adventurous as a puck-mover, as he tends to be a bit conservative offensively .. will need to continue to bulk up and add muscle to his already large frame .. won’t be judged on the score-sheet, but more so on his adjustment to the league this year .. should play more of a depth role defensively, seeing some time on the penalty kill and perhaps on the second power-play .. as he matures, expect him to be a leader who can positively contribute at both ends of the ice.
Sean Day (D, 2016), Detroit Compuware U16 – 6’2” – 200 pounds – January 9, 1998
Drafted fourth-overall by the Mississauga Steelheads
Assertive and confident beyond his years .. takes charge of situations and always strives to be a difference-maker .. an innovative, highly-skilled workhorse with great hands and elite mobility .. blessed with an explosive skating stride and backed by excellent footwork .. edges slash into the ice, generating a quick start-up bust and terrific turning speed .. paralyses opponents with dynamic lateral shifts and clever toe-drag moves .. plays the game with remarkable tempo in possession, moving effortlessly with the puck and displaying outstanding one-on-one elusiveness .. hands are fast and skilled .. boasts tricky in-close puck-possession abilities, backed by tremendous focus .. makes sharp, accurate passes and also packs a quick, hard shot .. can play tough, although that really isn’t his forte .. will skate himself into trouble at times, and run out of room .. needs to learn to improvise on the fly while better utilizing his teammates .. must also continue to make gains in his structure and consistency .. will be put in every position to succeed and learn from mistakes by playing top-four minutes following potential graduations of Stuart Percy, Dylan DeMelo and Alex Cord .. has the ability and talent to be one of the best offensive-minded defenders that we have seen in the OHL in some time.
Lawson Crouse (LW, 2015), Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs – 6’3″ – 189 pounds – June 23, 1997
Drafted fifth-overall by the Kingston Frontenacs
A skilled and competent puck-handler thanks to strong hands and an ample wingspan .. deceptively quick off the mark, leaps in crossovers and initial steps before setting into a wide, lunging skating stride .. may lack elite mobility, however, but is a strong skater with surprisingly effective agility and lateral mobility .. hard to contain as he enters the offensive zone, using his large frame to protect the puck as he drives to the net .. possesses an elite-level snapshot with an unpredictable release point .. increasing his playmaking tempo and intensity .. misses some vision, but distributes effectively when operating on the sideboards .. at his best when powering through the offensive zone, gaining positioning on opposing defenders through his determination levels .. thrives when working without the puck, getting into open-ice and allowing a teammate to find him driving the net .. forces defenders to back off as he hits top speed, using his combination of agility and power to intimidate .. gets caught flat-footed watching defensive sequences, must stay active and strive to stay involved .. has the frame to be a powerful force, but needs to physically mature while adding strength and mass to his core .. should be an offensive leader for the Frontenacs while developing his defensive zone awareness and physical maturity .. high potential forward has the tools to be an impact forward at the OHL level .. will be initially placed in a depth role of the Frontenacs, learning about the game and adjusting to the speed, but don’t be surprised if he’s in the team’s top six by the second half of the year .. should mesh well with ’96-born centre Sam Bennett.