|Acadie-Bathurst Titan||Baie-Comeau Drakkar|
|Blainville-Boisbriand Armada||Cape Breton Screaming Eagles|
|Chicoutimi Sagueneens||Drummondville Voltigeurs|
|Gatineau Olympiques||Halifax Mooseheads|
|Moncton Wildcats||PEI Rocket|
|Quebec Remparts||Rimouski Oceanic|
|Rouyn-Noranda Huskies||Saint John Sea Dogs|
|Shawinigan Cataractes||Sherbrooke Phoenix|
|Val-d'Or Foreurs||Victoriaville Tigres|
|Brandon Wheat Kings|
|Edmonton Oil Kings|
|Medicine Hat Tigers|
|Moose Jaw Warriors|
|Prince Albert Raiders|
|Red Deer Rebels|
|Swift Current Broncos|
|Prince George Cougars|
June 21, 2012
The 2012 NHL Entry Draft takes place June 22-23 in Pittsburgh, PA. Here are some top ranked prospects from the OHL that could be selected in the early rounds:
Radek Faksa – Kitchener Rangers – 6’2.5’’ 203 C – Ranked 7th by NHL Central Scouting
Faksa finished runner-up in OHL Rookie of the Year voting despite leading all first year players with 29 goals and 37 assists for 68 points in 62 games. He also represented the Czech Republic at the World Junior Championship and won the Shootout Challenge at the Home Hardware CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in Kelowna.
Rangers Assistant GM and Associate Coach Paul Fixter says: “Faksa is a good-skating, smart, two-way player who competes hard every game. He has offensive upside and is reliable in the defensive zone. He is destined to be a long-serving centreman in the National League.”
Faksa could be the third straight Rangers’ forward selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft following Gabriel Landeskog and Jeff Skinner. He would also be the second player from the Czech Republic to be selected in the first round as a member of the Rangers following Jakub Kindl in 2005.
Brendan Gaunce – Belleville Bulls – 6’2’’ 215 C – Ranked 13th by NHL Central Scouting
Gaunce led the Bulls in scoring this season with 28 goals and 40 assists for 68 points in 68 games nearly doubling his offensive numbers from his rookie season. The Markham, ON, native won bronze with Canada’s Under-18 team at the World Championships in April with four points in seven games.
Bulls GM and Head Coach George Burnett says: "Brendan is an intelligent two-way centreman who is utilized in all game situations. He's very responsible and pays great attention to detail. His greatest asset is his ability to play effectively and use his frame in all three zones of the ice."
Gaunce could be the first member of the Bulls to be selected in the first round of the NHL Entry Draft since 1999 when the New York Islanders picked Branislav Mezei tenth overall.
Matt Finn – Guelph Storm – 6’0.25’’ 192 D – Ranked 16th by NHL Central Scouting
Finn scored 10 goals and 38 assists for 48 points in 61 games for the Storm this season finishing sixth among OHL defencemen. The Toronto, ON, native scored six of his goals on special teams including five power play and one shorthanded marker.
Storm GM Mike Kelly says: “Matt is one of the top 3 defence prospects I have had the pleasure to have been involved with in my 17 years in the OHL. Matt is mature beyond his years, sometimes I think I am dealing with a 27 year old rather than a 17 year old. He is capable of being a top 2 NHL defenseman and team leader.”
Finn is one of eight Storm players ranked by NHL Central Scouting for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. The Storm’s most successful draft in franchise history was back in 1994 when seven players were selected. The last Storm defenceman selected in the first round was Stanley Cup champion Drew Doughty back in 2008 picked second overall.
Gemel Smith – Owen Sound Attack – 5’10’’ 161 C – Ranked 37th by NHL Central Scouting
Smith finished third in Attack scoring with 21 goals and 39 assists for 60 points in 68 games playing in his second OHL season. The Toronto, ON, native won bronze with Canada at the 2012 IIHF World Championship, and gold with Canada at last summer’s Ivan Hlinka.
Attack Head Coach Greg Ireland says: "Gemel combines top end speed and a high compete level. He is a highly skilled forward that can beat players with his speed and is a tenacious worker on the forecheck and backcheck. What has impressed me the most is his willingness to get back hard and work and support down low in his own end on Defensive Zone Coverage. He is a player that will be able to help an NHL team at both ends of the ice. His biggest area for future development will be to continue to get stronger physically and with the development he has made in one short year that will come in leaps and bounds.”
Smith is one of four Attack players that appear in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings. Four players selected would match the club’s best draft years of 2010 led by first rounder Joey Hishon, and 1993 led by goaltender Kevin Weekes who was a second round selection.
Andreas Athanasiou – London Knights – 6’0’’ 180 C/LW – Ranked 40th by NHL Central Scouting
Athanasiou scored 22 goals and 15 assists for 37 points in 63 games while adding five points in 11 playoff games for the OHL Champion Knights. The Woodbridge, ON, native won gold with Canada last summer at the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Under-18 tournament.
Knights Assistant GM and Coach Misha Donskov says: “Andreas is an elite skater who is very dynamic on the rush. What separates Andreas from other elite skaters is not only his ability to skate but his ability to skate with the puck on his stick. As Andreas matures, and he continues to improve his game on both sides of the puck, he has a tremendous amount of potential.”
The Knights are one of just three OHL teams along with Peterborough and Plymouth who have had at least one player selected in each of the last 20 NHL Entry Drafts. Last year the Knights had two players selected including first rounder Vladislav Namestnikov and second round pick Scott Harrington.
Stay tuned to www.ontariohockeyleague.com for video interviews of all OHL players selected at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.