By: Steve Irving
Photo: Aaron Bell – OHL Images
The 67’s launch a 3 games in 3 days road trip this evening when they take on the Generals in Oshawa. Our boys are 0-1 for the season but showed well in a 3-1 loss to the powerhouse Kingston Frontenacs…a member of the CHL’s elite top-10. Catch the game on Rogers 22 television but not on radio due to conflicts with the REDBLACKS and Sens. TSN-1200 will however stream audio coverage on the game on its website.
After Oshawa, it’s on to Barrie on Saturday night and then Owen Sound on Sunday afternoon before coming home to prep for the historic TD Place home opener next Friday night.
Oshawa went 2-0-1 opening weekend. The Generals will look to leaders like Cole Cassels and Hunter Smith this season while needing youngsters to step up to fill in the gaps left by graduating players like Scott Laughton. Sam Harding has stepped up early this season, already exceeding last year’s goal total in 3 games. Oshawa’s special teams ranked top 5 in both categories last season with the 3rd ranked penalty kill and 5th ranked power play.
The Colts will be without Aaron Ekblad as the first overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft tries to crack the Florida Panthers opening night roster. Former 67’s fan favourite Joseph Blandisi will suit up against his former team after returning from the Buffalo Sabres camp. Former NHL agitator Claude Lemieux’s son Brendan was drafted in the 2nd round by the Sabres this past summer and is expected to be a force on a Barrie team that finished 4th in the Eastern Conference last season. The Colts have 3 players the preliminary watch list for the 2015 NHL draft. Roy Radke, Rasmus Andersson and Mackenize Blackwood will all work to improve their draft status this season.
The Owen Sound Attack will look to build on last year’s seventh place finish in the Western Conference. The Attack will benefit from the return a pair of second rounder NHL draft prospect. The Red Wings prospect Zach Nastsiuk will lead the office while Avalanche prospect Chris Bigras will anchor the blue line. Micheal Mcniven, Thomas Schemitsch, Ethan Szypula and Connor Walters all cracked the CSS 2015 NHL draft watch list. The Attack struggled on special teams last year. They had the 11th ranked power play last season and the Owen 17th ranked power play last season.