OHL Defense

OHL Defenseman that may be selected in this years draft.


Cam Dineen (D) 0.867647 6/19/1998 5’11 L
Mikhail Sergachyov (D) 0.850746 6/25/1998 6’2 L
Jakob Chychrun (D) 0.790323 3/31/1998 6’2 L
Olli Juolevi (D) 0.736842 5/5/1998 6’2 L
Logan Stanley (D) 0.265625 5/26/1998 6’6 L
Victor Mete (D) 0.558824 6/7/1998 5’10 L
Benjamin Gleason (D) 0.5 3/25/1998 6′ L
Jordan Sambrook (D) 0.402985 4/11/1998 6’2 R
Markus Niemeläinen (D) 0.415385 6/8/1998 6’6 L
Sean Day (D) 0.385965 1/9/1998 6’3 L
Riley Stillman (D) 0.33871 3/9/1998 6′ L
Cole Candella (D) 0.540541 2/13/1998 6’1 L
Noah Carroll (D) 0.208955 12/2/1997 6′ L
Ondrej Kachyna (D) 0.25 4/30/1998 6’3 L
Nicolas Mattinen (D) 0.25641 3/5/1998 6’4 R
Austin Osmanski (D) 0.153846 4/30/1998 6’4 L
Connor Hall (D) 0.230769 1/28/1998 6’2 L
Tyler Nother (D) 0.163265 2/7/1998 6’4 R
Keaton Middleton (D) 0.106061 2/10/1998 6’5 L

Cam Dineen (20 – 50)

  • Jeff Cox:  Dineen is a dynamite skater that can impact the game in all three zones. His skating stride is very smooth and crisp. He has outstanding vision, makes good breakout passes, can skate the puck out of the zone and reads plays well. He has good footwork, walks the line on the power play and distributes the puck with precision.  …  While he is an inch shorter, a good current NHL player to compare Dineen to is New York Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy.
  • Dineen is an offensive defenseman but he has a good skill-set that makes him more than a one dimensional player.  His outlet pass is oustanding; Brock Otten, ‘ I saw North Bay a lot this year and I honestly can’t remember him making a bad pass out of his own end.’  He has high-end hockey sense and he’s playing for defensive guru Stan Butler so he’s going to continue to improve in that aspect.  Dineen could be a solid second round selection for a team if he falls out of the first round.

Mikhail Sergachyov (D) (6 – 15)

  • Craig Button:  Windsor Spitfires defenceman Mikhail Sergachyov (No. 10) can do it all. He’s an excellent skater with the quickness to jump into the attack and the requisite footwork to operate in tight areas and beat pressure. He has a very good shot and the smarts to get into offensive spots where he can make a contribution. He also can deliver body checks that make life unpleasant for opponents.
  • Brock Otten:  The following players have won the Max Kaminsky trophy (as the league’s top defenseman) in their (original) draft year since 1990: Aaron Ekblad, Ryan Ellis, Drew Doughty, Bryan Berard, and Chris Pronger. Pretty damn good company. Bust rate = zero.
  • The three defenseman at the top of this draft class possess different skill set.  Chychrun might have the best tool box, complete skills set.  Juolevi might be the safest pick but he might not be a top pairing defenseman.  Sergachyov might have the highest offensive uside.  He’s not far off offensively from Ekblad’s draft year (.91 PPG) and when you factor in that it was his first year playing in the OHL those are pretty impressive numbers for a 6’2 defender.  There have been concerns about his consistency and he’s been noted as a boom/bust prospect.  He will turn 18 just a couple of weeks before the draft, he has size, smart and has highend offensive upside.

Jakob Chychrun (D)  (6 – 15)

  • Elite Prospects: An unyielding two-way defenceman, Jakob Chychrun is a rising star with a toolbox bursting at the seams. Consistently displays elite four-way skating ability and is not afraid to throw his weight around physically. Plays with poise and composure through high pressure situations and, with the puck on his stick, can direct the play up-ice. Exhibits a particularly potent shot that works its magic on the power play and on the forecheck. Excellent first pass and uses his vision and awareness to keep the puck moving in the direction of the opposition’s tail or to a teammate with more time and space. Defensively adept at tracking the puck and staying a step ahead of the opposition. Proactive with his stick and body, exerting pressure on the opposition and forcing them to make hurried decisions.   All-in-all, a well-rounded two-way defender that competes with pro-level drive and makes his authoritative presence felt at both ends of the ice. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
  • Chychrun might have the most complete skill package of any defender in this years draft class.  Prior to the season he was projected to be a top 3 pick.  He’s got size, skill and skating as his pluses.  There are questions about his hockey sense and offensive upside.

Olli Juolevi (D) (6 – 15)

  • Last Word on Sports:  Juolevi’s strong two-way game is based on his strong skating ability. He has very good speed in both directions, and good acceleration.  His pivots are crisp and his edge work is very solid. This allows him to quickly transition from offence-to-defence or vice-versa. This skating allows Juolevi to cover a ton of ice, and to be able to join the rush, or make pinches at the blueline and still get back defensively.  Adding core strength would allow Juolevi to improve his balance and be stronger on the puck, as well as better at winning battles in the corners.
  • Juolevi is a smooth skating defenseman, strong hockey IQ, responsible defensively.  Not sure if he will transition to a big point producer and is not an overly physical defenseman.  He is likely a steady top four defenseman in the NHL.

Logan Stanley (D) (20 – 50)

  • RedLine Report:Stanley’s career progression reminds RLR exactly of another 6-6 blueliner from three seasons ago: Samuel Morin in Rimouski.  And of course, Morin wound up being drafted 11th overall by Philadelphia.We’re not saying that Stanley is a top 15 pick just yet, but the improved skating and offensive ability, combined with his size, hockey IQ, and naturally snarly disposition, has him at least knocking on the door for entry into the first round.
  • Stanley is a huge defender that doesn’t mind playing physical and he will likely projects as a defensive d-man as he’s a little shy offensively.  Most scouts have his skating and hockey sense as a plus.  He’s projected to go in the first round due to offensive upside I think he should be a second round pick.

Victor Mete (D) (50 – 100)

  • Corey Pronman:  Mete is one of the best skaters in this draft class. He can explode up the ice and lead a rush as well as anybody in the CHL, and he is quite agile. His puck skills aren’t high-end, but he can make some plays in open ice, and he moves the puck around well. He’s a small defender, but he is actually quite solid defensively and was often relied on by London in key defensive situations. Although he isn’t perfect in that area, mainly due to his size, his skating and quality hockey IQ allow him to make some stops. He’ll need to bulk up a ton, but he has significant pro upside.
  • Mete scouts rave about his elite skating an elite skater, he’s regarded as an effective two-way defenseman and he has excellent hockey sense.  The concern will be his size and for a smaller defenseman you would like better production.  I think he’ll go in the middle of the second round.

Benjamin Gleason (D) (50 – 100) / (100 – 150)

  • All About The Habs: Gleason is an offence-oriented defender, displaying excellent push-rushing ability. While his decision-making must continue to improve, his explosive skating style and aggressive style make him a constant threat on the ice. Gleason’s 28 points place him third in Bulldogs scoring.
  • Gleason is a smooth skating left hand defenseman that has two-way potential.  His defensive game is a work in progress, but he really worked on that part of his game this season.  I’d like to see a little more offense.  Gleason has good size (6’1) but would need to add more muscle to his frame.   Right now I think he’ll be picked around the bottom of the 3rd round/4th round.

Jordan Sambrook (D) (50 – 100) / (100 – 150)

  • Brock Otten: Sambrook is a solid two-way defender. Defensively, he engages physically and is already a very good boards player. He’s still learning as a coverage defender, but he shows a lot of gusto in his own end, which I like. Offensively, he showcases good puck skill and makes a very solid first pass. He can lead the rush and has good vision in the open ice. Possesses a good point shot too, and should develop into a PP QB.
  • Jordan Sambrook could be a solid mid-late round pick.  The 6’2 right shot defender put up .4 PPG with the majority of his points (.328 PPG) coming on even strength.  He’s a good puck moving defenseman and has a nice shot.

Markus Niemeläinen (D) (20 – 50)

  • Elite Prospects:  A complete all-around defenceman that makes the game look easy. Natural size and strength compliment his smooth stride. Very mobile skater who moves up and down the ice quickly, with acute recognition of puck and body position. His maturity and poise is actualized in his high-percentage decision-making, with and without the puck, as well as his proactive stick and body play. Very stable defensively and always takes his lane, but is quick to rush the puck up the ice as he recognizes and accounts for how much time his team is spending in their own end. All-in-all, a quick-thinking defenceman that, honestly lacking nothing, has the potential to develop into a reliable two-way defenceman. (Curtis Joe, EP 2016)
  • Hockey Now:  A very confident four-way skater who is a natural skating defender. Tall and lanky with a long reach and an active stick defending, and uses that reach to break up passes. Very poised with the puck on his stick and can maneuver away from forecheckers. Makes long stretch passes right on the tape and makes it  look effortless. Plays a stay-at-home game and does a good job holding his line. Clears his net well and gives his goaltender a clear look at the puck. Doesn’t get too involved in the offence and doesn’t shoot much but will play special teams and keep the puck moving.
  • Niemelainen is rated as a second round pick.  While there are mixed opinions on his offensive upside most believe with his size and skating he could develop into a solid shutdown defender.  Brock Otten questions his hockey sense and vision.  For a big defenseman (6’4+) Niemelainen has been the most offensively productive (.41 PPG) in the CHL.

Sean Day (D) (50 – 100)

  •  Hockey’s Future:  The first thing you notice about this kid, who was granted “exceptional status” to enter the OHL a year early, is the impressive, fluid feet and all-encompassing mobility. The second thing is the size and strength he has, which allows him to be physical. He is an offensive-minded D-man who can rush the puck end to end with his quick hands and creativity or make that long-range pass to spring a forward.
  • Sportsnet; “There’s just no urgency to his game,” a scout said. “It’s all there but he just doesn’t tap into it. He’s great with the puck, a lot of the times anyway, from the top of the circles and up, and that starts to fool you. Someone’s going to gamble on him at the draft, but it’s not going to be us, at least not based on anything I’ll have to say.”
  • His skating is elite, Brian Kilrea said reminds them of former Edmonton Oilers great Paul Coffey.  He’s been a disappointment as an exceptional status player and you have to wonder how much affect it’s taken on him, when he’s quoted as saying, ‘I felt great about it, but I’m still getting ripped on.’  Day has had a rough couple of years personally, and that has to have some impact as well.  He’s likely not the offensive defenseman that he’s projected but with his size and speed he could be a solid shutdown dman.  Day has the talent to play in the NHL whether he has the hockey sense or the desire is the question.  If I was a team with a good strong player development group and a couple of extra picks, I’d take a chance on Day.

Riley Stillman (D) (50 – 100)

  • Brock Otten loves this Kid, ‘Stillman has average size (6’0), but he plays much bigger than that in the defensive end. Stillman is an extremely efficient open ice hitter and he’s great at timing up hits as forwards cut across the blueline. Stillman is also very mobile, exhibiting strong lateral and backwards agility, which makes him a tough guy to get around one on one, despite being only 6’0. Offensively, he keeps things simple. Can be effective at leading the rush and has already improved as a powerplay QB, exhibiting an excellent point shot. His hockey sense is also excellent at both ends of the ice. As he becomes more comfortable and continues to add strength and power to his forward stride, I think we’ll see the offensive numbers jump. ‘
  • Stillman definitely improved as the season wore on.  He had 0 points in his first 20 games, then averaged .5 Pts/G the rest of the way.  Riley is the son of former NHLer Cory Stillman.  There is a lot of reasons to like Stillman’s game; he’s physical, a leader, has pedigree, strong two-way game, makes a solid outlet pass & smart defender.  There are two questions that I’d ask the scouting staff.  What is the ceiling for a 6′ physical that likely projects as more of a defensive d-man?  Is he worth a top 100 pick?

Cole Candella (D) (100 – 150) *

  • Chris Ralph the Hockey Writers:  He’s a big body that isn’t afraid to go into the dirty areas. He should be able to grow into a two-way defenceman with a powerful shot from the blue line – and has the ability to control the tempo of the game with his puck possession skills.
  • Candella is a strong two-way defenseman that isn’t elite in any one area but does a little bit of everything well.  Right now he projects as a second pairing defenseman that can play in all situations.  He could be picked in the top 100.  His estimated even strength PPG (.351) are behind only Dineen & Sergachev amongst first year draft eligible defenseman in the OHL.

Noah Carroll (D) (150 – 200)

  • OHL Writers:  He competes for pucks down low and along the boards. He can skate the puck out of trouble or make a good first pass. He’s an above average one on one defender with an active stick and is willing and able to separate the opposition from the puck physically. At 6’1” he has good size but will need to fill out and work on his overall strength.
  • Carroll’s offense didn’t come around, he’s a below average size defenseman, his stock is dropping he was 80th on central scoutings mid-term ranking and he finished at 139.  In his pre-season draft rankings Brock Otten compared Carroll to Travis Dermot and said he was intense and intelligent.  Guelph has been bad year their coach got let go after a 2-24-0-1 start.  Carroll’s started the season with just 3 points in 34 games, he finished the season with 11 points in his final 33 games.  If you think that Carroll can recover he might be a good buy low candidate, a guy you draft with one of your last picks and hope he just had a down year.

Ondrej Kachyna (D) (100 – 150)

  • Brock Otten:  He shows good speed and overall mobility and that helps him at both ends. I particularly love the way he stays ahead of forwards on the rush and he’s very composed and patient, allowing the play to come to him so that he can use his size and reach to defend. He also really improved his confidence with the puck and began to lead or jump up in the play to create scoring chances. I think his future is probably as a strong stay at home kind of guy, but there might be some hidden offensive potential in there.
  • Kachyna finished the season strong as he scored 8 points in his final 18 games, he had 5 points in his previous 34 games.  He has good size, decent mobility, with a nice shot and likely projects as a stay at home defenseman.

Nicolas Mattinen (D) (150 – 200)

  • Dominic Tiano from OHL Writers:  Mattinen is more of a stay at home defenceman. He already has very good size with a filled out frame at 6’4” and 220 pounds. He controls his gaps extremely well and with his long reach and active stick shuts down passing lanes quickly and effectively.
  • On one hand Mattinen is 6’4 220 pounds, skates well ( … for a big guy), with a 100 MPH shot and he’s put up decent numbers (ES PrimaryPts/60 is .818 and he’s 5th by 1st year draft eligible defenders) in a depth role.  On the other hand, he’s a depth defender, that has been healthy scratched during the majority of London’s playoff run.  Coach Hunter would prefer a more reliable defensive d-man, which doesn’t bode well for a ‘stay at home defender’ and the majority of London’s defense should return next season.  Given all of the above, I think he could be a solid draft and follow pick in the 5th – 7th round or he could go undrafted.

Austin Osmanski (D) (150 – 200)

  • Buck Eye State Hockey: Osmanski is a big bodied defencemen, 6’4, 194. He’s a good skater who looked good carrying the puck. He showed good offensive instincts joining the rush and pinching when appropriate. His shot is fine and he was able to get his shot from the point through traffic and on net.
  • Osmanski is a good player to select in the later rounds as a project.  He has excellent size, just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago, the Steelheads have a strong roster (Nylander, Bastian, Day, McLeod & Tippett should all return and be a year older) and could challenge for the OHL title.  I know that +/- isn’t a great stat, but Osmanski lead the Steelheads with +19 in the regular season & +4 in the playoffs.  The Steelheads were outscored by -14 by their opposition this year.

Connor Hall (D) (100 – 150)

  • Brock Otten from OHL Prospects: He’s got good size and he is quite aggressive in using it. He’s especially effective at pinning on the wall and comes away with the majority of loose pucks in one on one battles. Hall is also a pretty good skater, although he needs to keep his feet moving when defending off the rush as he can be caught flat footed at times. Offensively, he plays a relatively simple game. Can make a solid first pass, but does struggle when he tries to do too much with the puck
  • Hall is a physical, stay-at-home defender with good size 6’2 and he plays aggressive.  He is projected to be a mid-late round (4th – 5th round) pick.  Hall played well during the playoffs (5 points in 9 games) and was selected as the 7th D for Canada at the U18.  There is opportunity for Hall in the next couple of years, next year he’s penciled in as a top 4 and two of the returning defenseman will be overagers.  So if he develops properly in two years he will likely be on the top pairing.

Tyler Nother (D) (150 – 200)

  • Matt Lafortune at Scout.ca: The defencemen is extremely confident with the puck, and shows the ability to skate it out of his zone and make plays at high speeds. He makes crisp, accurate passes in the offensive zone. Can read defenses and distribute the puck as necessary.
  • Nother is a 6’4, smooth skating, right-hand-shot d-man with some offensive upside.  He plays behind Stanley & Sergachyov, both potential first round draft picks.  Nother needs to improve in his own end and isn’t as physical as you would like from a player his size.  He could be worth a late round pick.

Keaton Middleton (D) (100 – 150)

  • Mike Mackley: While his puck skills aren’t elite, Middleton shows deceptively good vision and an ability to make a strong an accurate first pass. A player who shows poise and patience in possession, Middleton makes strong decisions in possession, rarely forcing plays as he keeps his game simple and takes whats given to him.
  • Middleton is a big, (6’6), physical, stay-at-home defender.  Button has him listed as a top 100 pick.  The concern I’d have is if he has enough offense to make it to the NHL.  Most people hope to get a Chara with this type of player but the realistic players are; Gryba, Prout or Fistric if they make it at all.  The problem is there are only a handful of players with this skill-set in the draft.  The other player is Logan Stanley who is possibly going in the first round and as Brock Otten said,  is there really much separating Middleton and Logan Stanley?



One thought on “OHL Defense

  1. Pingback: NHL Draft: Defenseman | Oiler's Future

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