Many OHL Players Fighting For Contracts

Posted: October 29, 2015 by OHLInsiders in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Playing in the Ontario Hockey League offers up some of the best opportunities for players to turn pro. There are
many ways players can do this with the first being the yearly NHL Entry Draft that occurs for all players who are 18 years old. This is an opportunity available to players until they turn 20 years old with the likelihood of being drafted declining drastically each eligible year. After their window to be selected in the NHL Entry Draft has come and gone, the only opportunity left for players to realize their dream is to work their tails off in their overage season and hope an NHL team notices them, which is the case for over 50 individuals currently playing in the Ontario Hockey League.

Obviously you would think that this isn’t the preferred route, but for some, it is. If you know you would be a late round or on the verge of not being selected, why not keep your options open instead of having one team own your NHL rights, this way, you control your destiny and if you perform well enough, perhaps you could be in a position to choose which option fits best out of an array of multiple offers.

Playing the overage year has worked well for many Ontario league players in recent history including Dane Fox, Joseph Blandisi, Barclay Goodrow, Charlie Sarault, Max IaFrate, Josh Chapman, Matt Rupert, Erik Bradford, Zack Mitchell, who are all either in the NHL or playing pro within a hop, skip and a jump of the NHL. Even further back names like Ryan Callahan and Peter Holland enjoyed overage seasons in the OHL.

This year, over 50 players find themselves fighting for NHL contracts while riding out their overage season. Among them, names like Jake Marchment* & Devin Williams (ER), Justin Nichols (GUE), Mason Marchment (HAM), Conor McGlynn (KGN), Brandon Robinson (KIT), Jack Flinn (MIS), Sam Studnicka (OTT), Bryson Cianfone & Josh Sterk (OS), Greg Betzold, Tyler Hore (SSM), Bradley Latour (WSR) as well as Nick Betz (ER), Stephen Harper (HAM), Aaron Berisha (LDN), Hunter Garlent (PBO), Kevin Labanc* (BAR) and Matt Mistele (OSH) who are all among the top 20 in OHL points. Lucas Peressini (KGN) sits 3rd among top OHL goaltenders.

*Player was drafted but unsigned and therefore an NHL Free Agent

Certainly not all of these players will end up within arms reach of the NHL, but these are all individuals who have benefited from not being drafted and playing an overage year in the OHL. These players will find many open doors at the end of their junior career, could be OUA/CIS, ECHL, overseas and yes even the AHL/NHL for the lucky few.


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