After a year that saw a straight-up canceled season, one of the most prestigious junior programs in the world will see an influx of talent for the 2021-22 campaign. The Canadian Hockey League as a whole has received some welcome news over the past few days, as high-end prospects from the 2021 NHL Draft have signed on to play with various teams in the CHL next season. Today, Stanislav Svozil, a third-round pick of Columbus, added himself to that list. We’ll dive into a list of notable first-rounders from the 2021 Draft who are expected to be returning to the OHL or coming there for the first time after stints elsewhere last season.
F Mason McTavish (Anaheim Ducks, 3rd overall) – A somewhat surprising selection, the 6′ 2″, 207-pound power forward will be among the OHL’s biggest stars when the league resumes play after a lost 2020-21 season. McTavish played last season on loan with EHC Olten in the second-tier Swiss League, and impressed with 11 points in 13 regular-season games and seven points in just four playoff games. With an impressive 11 points in seven games for Canada’s U18 squad, serving as their captain during the U18 World Championships, McTavish comes back to his Peterborough Petes as the team’s best and most dynamic forward. He’ll look to improve on his rookie season with the team in 2019-20, in which he scored 29 goals and 42 points in 57 games.
D Brandt Clarke (Los Angeles Kings, 8th overall) – One of the most dynamic defensemen in the draft, Clarke fell all the way to Los Angeles at eighth overall, a lucky break for an already stacked prospect pool. Clarke, property of the OHL’s Barrie Colts, spent the 2020-21 campaign on loan with HC Nove Zamky in Slovakia’s Tipos Extraliga. Posting 15 points in 26 games, the two-way defender flaunted his skating ability on a professional stage. The immense growth in his game overseas will surely be on full display this year in Barrie.
F Brennan Othmann (New York Rangers, 16th overall) – A teammate of McTavish’s with EHC Olten in 2020-21, Othmann looks to bring his elite shot back to the OHL for 2021-22 with the Flint Firebirds. Othmann was able to score some decent playing time in Switzerland, posting 16 points in 34 regular-season games. Those numbers in a professional setting lead many to believe that Othmann will improve on his 17 goals and 33 points that Othmann put up in 55 games with Flint in 2019-20.
F Oskar Olausson (Colorado Avalanche, 28th overall) – Joining Clarke with the Barrie Colts, Olausson is somewhat of a surprise addition to this list. The newly-minted Avalanche prospect has spent the entirety of his career in his native Sweden, yet his decision to move to North America signals a desire to join the Avalanche organization professionally as soon as possible. Picked up by Barrie in the OHL’s Import Draft, Olausson will find more opportunity there than he would have overseas, especially after his HV71 team was relegated to the second-tier Allsvenskan for the upcoming season. His offense should help create an extremely strong attack in Barrie, who’ll have one of the deeper teams in the league next season.