Come next June, the Ontario Hockey League will once again have its usual share of talented players selected to the various teams, in various rounds.
In June of 2012, 48 players from the OHL were selected in the NHL draft, a staggering number, but then again not really considering the abundance of talented players available.
With action set to commence, it’s time for the new crop of NHL draft eligible players to prove that they deserve to be selected next June.
Darnell Nurse of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds is one such player.
Nurse is a very interesting prospect. He shows the potential to be a dynamic defenseman in the NHL. Drafted third overall by the Greyhounds in the 2011 OHL Draft, he should be in for a big season this year when it counts the most.
At six-foot-four, Nurse is a big yet mobile defenseman with tremendous athleticism most players his size do not possess. His physical play, skating ability and vision are what stand out most.
Going into this season Darnell will be the No. 1 defenseman on the Greyhounds and the go to guy on the back end. Expect big things from Nurse this season, as he has a lot of room to move higher on scouts radar. If his game keeps progressing like it has been expect his name called in the first round next June at the 2013 NHL Draft.
Much like Nurse, Bo Horvat has NHL scouts very excited heading into the season.
Horvat is a complete, two-way forward who does all the little things that make great NHL players. He is a win at all costs type of player who is relentless on the puck. With that attitude, he has what it takes to be a great team leader.
Horvat had an impressive campaign last season as a sophomore, helping London reach the Memorial Cup. If he continues to play the same style of hockey that he has shown to consistently play there is no doubt Horvat will be off the board early next June.
While Nick Baptiste may not have the offensive skill of Horvat, the Sudbury Wolves forward is still a gritty, hardworking, in your face player with the ability to put up points.
Despite standing at six feet and 200 pounds, Baptiste has great speed and a quick first step. He plays a physical game and when he gets the puck good luck trying to get it back, as he shield opponents with his frame.
Jason Dickinson had an impressive sophomore campaign, producing 35 points in 63 games. He’ll look to build on that in his draft year.
Playing among the top-six forwards for the Guelph Storm will only help his draft stock grow. Dickinson shows great skill with the puck and a strong scoring ability. His smooth, long strides and low centre of gravity make him a beast on the boards and very hard to knock off the puck.
There is a lot to be excited about with Dickinson this upcoming campaign. If he continues his strong play from last season into this season, there is no doubt he will get many looks from NHL scouts.
Based on his name alone, Jordan Subban will be garnering a lot of attention as well. You have to believe there is a lot of motivation for him to play his best each game, in that alone.
Subban is a quick, mobile, smooth skating defenseman with an offensive flare to his game. Whether he wants to carry the puck into the offensive zone and set up shop or deliver a crisp breakout pass, Subban already displays confidence in doing both. Defensively he is sound, using his skating to quickly close gaps.
How Subban and his OHL counterparts fare in their draft season remains to be seen, but the excitement around the league on eligible talent is already evident.