In 2019-20, the OHL had six players that recorded at least 40 goals and 85 total points. Nick Robertson, the Toronto Maple Leafs top forward prospect, led the way with 55 goals in just 46 games. Jack Quinn, who was selected eighth overall this fall by the Buffalo Sabres came in second in the goal-scoring race, tallying 52. Connor McMichael, the Washington Capitals wunderkind, hit the twine 47 times, Arthur Kaliyev, a Los Angeles Kings second-round steal notched 44 and Nashville Predators prospect Philip Tomasino recorded exactly 40 goals in his 100-point breakout season.
The sixth and final member of the 40/85 club was Pavel Gogolev, who shares little else with the rest of the list. Gogolev, who turned 20 earlier this year, went undrafted in his first two years of draft eligibility, despite being the 79th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting in 2018. This is a player who, after coming to Canada as a young teenager, went eighth overall in the 2016 OHL Priority Selection. After experiencing some ups and downs throughout the first few years of his junior career, Gogolev was a force with the Guelph Storm this season, scoring 45 goals and 96 points in just 63 games, his powerful shot finding the back of the net from all over the offensive zone.
By the end of September, as pundits were finishing their draft boards for the upcoming event, Gogolev’s name surfaced again. It was his third year of draft eligibility, and this time it looked certain that someone would take a chance. Corey Pronman of The Athletic even ranked him 50th on his final list, though as it turns out, that was quite a bit too high.
In fact, Gogolev would go undrafted for the third time. It appeared as though he may return to the Storm for an overage year, but the 20-year-old forward has now signed in Sweden, according to Guelph Today. Gogolev will join Vasby IK in the second tier of Swedish professional hockey (Allsvenskan) and try to continue his development there. According to his Storm GM George Burnett, the young forward will continue to search for a pro contract in North America, but has signed for the rest of the Allsvenskan season.
Fringe prospects like Gogolev need to take every opportunity they can to get on the ice and put film together for scouts around the world. With the uncertainty still surrounding the OHL season, it makes sense for him to take a deal somewhere else. Though he’s off the North American radar for now, his name is still one to remember down the road.