The Ontario Hockey League has always been one of the premiere talent factories for the NHL, churning out elite prospects every season. Like every year, the talented folks over at OHL Prospects have put together a consensus ranking of the 2018 draft eligible players, with contributions from various scouting gurus like Mike Morreale (NHL.com), Scott Wheeler (The Athletic) and Dan Stewart (Future Considerations).
In this ranking of OHL prospects—like any other you’ll find—Andrei Svechnikov tops the list. He was first on all 22 contributing scouts’ lists, with several implying that he could jump right to the NHL already. Svechnikov had 14 points in 10 games for the Barrie Colts before injuring his hand, should return to the lineup at some point in mid-to-late December. He’s a near lock to go in the top three selections next June.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have activated Lukas Sedlak from injured reserve, giving them some more depth at center. The Blue Jackets have used Nick Foligno in the middle for much of this season, but could move him back to the wing where he is much more experienced now that they have another healthy body. The team could still obviously use another center, but have several options with how to deploy their lineup.
- Jason Brough of TSN has heard that the Florida Panthers have at least some interest still in Erik Gudbranson, even though we had previously heard otherwise. Brough also reports that “a few other teams” have interest in the Vancouver Canucks’ defenseman which would mesh with the report that the Toronto Maple Leafs have poked around. Gudbranson will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
- Marian Gaborik is nearing a return for the Los Angeles Kings, and head coach John Stevens spoke with Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider on the progression of the 35-year old sniper. The Kings continue to lead the Pacific Division, and it will be interesting to see if Gaborik can find a role on the team after several years of sub-par performance.