Meet Team Orr


January 27, 2016

With the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game fast approaching, the attention of the Canadian junior hockey community shifts to Vancouver as many of the CHL’s top 40 draft eligible prospects hit the ice together, putting geographical boundaries aside as the best from the OHL, QMJHL and WHL showcase their skills.

Team Orr hits the ice with five straight wins under their belt dating back to 2011 when Player of the Game Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had a goal and an assist in a 7-1 victory. Since then, a strong goaltending performance from Chris Driedger and Francois Tremblay in 2012 gave Bobby Orr’s group a 2-1 edge, Laurent Dauphin’s goal and assist in 2013 led Orr to a 3-0 victory in Halifax and Jared McCann’s late winner sealed the deal in a 4-3 triumph two years ago in Calgary. Most recently, Philadelphia Flyers prospect Travis Konecny had two goals and an assist to lead Team Orr to a 6-0 win in St. Catharines last year.

WATCH: Team Orr goaltender Dylan Wells (Peterborough Petes) gets to know teammates Luke Green (Saint John Sea Dogs) and Carter Hart (Everett Silvertips)

Top ranked 2016 NHL Draft prospect Matthew Tkachuk leads Team Orr into battle on Thursday in Vancouver. He’s accompanied by Swedish winger Alexander Nylander (Mississauga Steelheads) and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles forward Pierre-Luc Dubois who were also ranked highly in NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings on January 19.

Without further ado, here’s a closer look at Team Orr. NHL Central Scouting Service Midterm Draft Rankings position is in brackets.

(G) CARTER HART – Everett Silvertips (WHL) [1]

Leads the WHL in wins (27), shutouts (6) and minutes (2548). Was named the WHL’s Goaltender of the Month for November after going 9-2-0-1 with a 1.16 goals-against average, a .951 save percentage and four shutouts over 12 appearances. Represented the WHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game with a 7-2-1-0 record, a 1.69 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage in the month of January. Favourite NHL goaltender is Carey Price.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Very poised, patient and calm in the net; doesn’t get rattled. Displays a focused and consistent technique with positioning and crease management. Stays square on the play and plays out to the top of the crease. Very good at reading and reacting to plays. Excellent butterfly coverage and seals the ice well with his pads, keeping his body upright to protect the upper corners. Has very good rebound control to minimize secondary chances.”

(G) DYLAN WELLS – Peterborough Petes (OHL) [5]

Won three of his first four starts of the season, recording a season-high 46 saves in a win on Oct. 10 at Saginaw…represented the OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series. Made 40 saves in a win over Hamilton on Jan. 9. Favourite NHL goaltender is Braden Holtby.

NHL Central Scouting says: : “Very quick and athletic style; one of the quickest goalies in the Draft. Very determined and focused, has excellent quickness in his reactions and post to post lateral movement. Very effective with low net coverage and with his extended butterfly to seal the ice and five hole; quick to recover back to his feet. Challenges well to the top of the paint on initial shots. Has a very quick glove hand.”

(D) JAKE BEAN – Calgary Hitmen (WHL) [13]

Currently leads all WHL defencemen in goals with 17 and is fourth in points with 43. Second in Hitmen scoring behind Radel Fazleev. Tied a career-high with four points (2-2—4) on Oct. 9 vs. Red Deer. Has scored twice in a game four times this season. Represented the WHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series. Had a strong month of December, recording four goals, 10 assists and 14 points in 12 games. Favourite NHL player is Cam Fowler.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Very dynamic and smart offensive player that is poised in all aspects of the game to get the job done. Excellent shot, and can score from the point or off the rush. Good playmaking ability and strong game at the offensive blue line. Defends well using his mobility and smarts and is capable of being a game breaker.”

(D) LUKE GREEN – Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL) [37]

Former first overall QMJHL Draft pick is tied for second among Saint John blueliners in scoring with Thomas Chabot. Followed up a two-goal effort on Dec. 9 at Moncton with the first hat-trick by a defenceman in Sea Dogs franchise history on Dec. 11 at Halifax. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game with seven assists over his last six games.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Highly effective skating, puck moving defenceman. Strong and mobile skater who is capable to lead a rush and who excels at jumping into the attack.  Advances the puck effectively with first pass plays and distributes puck well on power play.  Shoots with authority and can find the shooting lanes from point.”

(D) LIBOR HAJEK – Saskatoon Blades (WHL) [26]

Second overall pick in the 2015 CHL Import Draft is second in scoring among Blades blueliners behind Brycen Martin. Recorded career-high three points (1-2—3) on Oct. 23 at Kootenay. Has represented the Czech Republic in four different international tournaments since 2013 including the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge, the World Under-18 Hockey Championship and two Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournaments. Favourite athlete is Jaromir Jagr.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Strong skater with very good speed, agility and mobility. Very good at starting the rush and making the first pass out of zone. See the ice well to not put teammates in bad positions and outlets smartly for partner. Good awareness of his defensive responsibilities and solid containment game handling one on one situations. Utilizing size effectively to play the body as well as showing good anticipation to step up in the neutral zone to make a hit.”

(D) OLLI JUOLEVI – London Knights (OHL) [5]

Third in OHL scoring among rookie defencemen behind Cam Dineen and Mikhail Sergachev. Second in Knights scoring among defencemen behind Victor Mete. Registered a career-high three points (0-3—3) on Nov. 27 vs. Owen Sound. Has a total of seven multi-point performances this season. Won World Junior gold with Finland, setting a new tournament record for under-18 defencemen with nine assists in seven games.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Smooth skating, puck moving defenceman with excellent poise and composure. Displays elite hockey sense and instincts with and without the puck. Plays in every situation and possesses the skills and smarts to have a positive impact on the game in a number of different ways.”

(D) MIKHAIL SERGACHEV – Windsor Spitfires (OHL) [10]

Leads OHL defencemen in goals (12) and is third in points (35) behind Barrie’s Rasmus Andersson and North Bay’s Cam Dineen. Recorded a career-high four points (1-3—4) on Nov. 13 at Mississauga. Registered back-to-back two-goal performances on Nov. 29 vs. London and on Dec. 3 vs. Flint…recorded four points (1-3—4) on Jan. 21 vs. Flint. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on a three-game point streak.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Solid two way defenceman with good offensive skills. Plays with poise and confidence. Is an excellent skater with an effortless stride, possesses deceptive speed and quickness. Very good coverage and one on one game utilizing his mobility, gap and body positioning. Very smart player with and without the puck. Boasts good instincts to make the right play at the right time.”

(D) LOGAN STANLEY – Windsor Spitfires (OHL) [23]

Third in scoring among Windsor blueliners behind Mikhail Sergachev and Jalen Chatfield…recorded his first career multi-point game (0-2—2) on Oct. 22 at North Bay…had a plus/minus of plus-12 over the course of nine December contests. Is the cousin of OHL graduate and Washington Capitals forward Michael Latta. Favourite NHL players are Chris Pronger and Tyler Myers.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Excellent size / strength defender who plays with confidence and authority. Mobile enough to handle speed and defend against the rush. Very tough to beat in one on one play and has a good understanding of positioning and very good stick to puck technique utilizing his size & long reach. Plays with authority and maintains coverage in D zone. Is comfortable handling the puck and composed under forecheck pressure to make a good first pass out of zone.”

(C) NATHAN BASTIAN – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) [19]

Third in Steelheads scoring behind Michael McLeod and Alex Nylander. Tied for second on the team with five powerplay goals. Recorded a career-high four points (1-3—4) on Nov. 15 at Sudbury during a span in which he had 10 points in three contests. Had solid month of November with 17 points (3-14—17) in 13 games. Represented the OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Plays an effective power-forward game using his size and skill to create offense. Good finishing ability in tight and possesses under-rated playmaking ability. Responsible with and without the puck. Plays the game with an edge, making himself hard to play against.”

(C) WILL BITTEN – Flint Firebirds (OHL) [42] 

Leads Flint in goals (21), assists (26) and points (47). Charged out of the gate with points in nine of his first 10 games. Had a great month of November, recording 19 points (7-12—19) in 11 games. Represented the OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series. Favourite NHL player is Claude Giroux.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Energetic and skilled forward who skates very well and competes hard on the play. Uses his deceptive speed effectively to challenge defenders on the rush and isn’t afraid to take pucks to the net despite his modest size. Possesses strong leadership qualities and refuses to be denied.”

(LW) PIERRE-LUC DUBOIS – Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) [7]

Tied for fifth in QMJHL goals with 30…sixth in league scoring with 68 points. Leads Cape Breton in assists (38), points (68) and shots on goal (168). Is 51.9% (305/588) in the faceoff circle this season. Recorded points in nine of his first 10 games of the season. Was named CHL Player of the Week for the week ending Nov. 22 after recording eight points (1-7—8) in two games…Represented the QMJHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series. Recorded career-high five points (3-2—5) on Dec. 29 vs. Halifax. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game with points in six of his last seven games.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Highly skilled forward that can play all three forward positions.  Knows how to utilize his size and strength to advantage and can play with an edge.  Strong skater with deceptive speed and quickness. Gifted playmaker with elite hockey sense and soft hands; has very good vision and anticipation to generate offense and capitalize on chances.”

(C) BRETT HOWDEN – Moose Jaw Warriors (WHL) [27]

Fourth in Warriors scoring behind Dryden Hunt, Brayden Point and Noah Gregor. Scored his first WHL hat-trick on Oct. 21 vs. Swift Current. Recorded 13 points (7-6—13) in 12 October games. Has recorded three points in a game five times this season. Is the younger brother of former Warrior and Florida Panthers forward Quinton Howden.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Displays very good speed and acceleration in all areas of the ice. Plays with determination to generate offense when driving to the net from both wings. Very effective on the penalty killing unit utilizing his size, speed and tenacious fore-checking to force turnovers. A valuable team player that can bring different dimensions to the game.”

(LW) BORIS KATCHOUK – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) [32]

Fourth in scoring among OHL rookies behind Alexander Nylander, Cam Dineen and Max Jones. Plus/minus rating of plus-5 is second highest on team. Five of his 14 goals this season have been game winners. Has recorded three points in a game twice this season, first on Oct. 2 at Guelph (2-1—3) and on Dec. 6 vs. North Bay (1-2—3). Is also an accomplished lacrosse player.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Relentless competitor who is most effective playing an assertive “in-your-face” style. Very good hockey sense and offensive instincts with a good finishing touch. Utilizes size and skills to make plays in tight areas and under-pressure.”

(LW) JACK KOPACKA – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) [33]

Tied for sixth in Greyhounds scoring. Fourth in team shots on goal (123). Had a strong month of October, collecting nine points (5-4—9) in 12 games. Has had three multi-point efforts this season. Favourite NHL player is Jamie Benn. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game with a goal in his last four games.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Good sized winger who skates extremely well. Possesses good hands and offensive instincts while playing at top speed. Uses his size, reach and skills effectively to create scoring opportunities. Has transitioned nicely in his first year in the OHL.”

(C) PASCAL LABERGE – Victoriaville Tigres (QMJHL) [31]

Leads the Tigres in assists (25) and shots on goal (124). Second in team scoring behind Maxime Comtois. Recorded a career-high four points (1-3—4) on Dec. 18 at Rimouski. Registered 13 points (4-9—13) in seven December contests. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game coming off a two-point (1-1—2) performance on Jan. 23 in Val-d’Or.

NHL Central Scouting says:”High skilled forward with good offensive hockey sense.  Strong skater with an extra gear to pull away with the puck. Soft hands and good vision to make plays and finish scoring chances. Competes on a high level and willing to go to the dirty areas to score.”

(RW) ALEXANDER NYLANDER – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) [3]

Leads OHL rookies in goals (25) and points (57) and is tied for the lead in assists (32). Leads Steelheads in scoring and powerplay goals (9). Recorded back-to-back three-point games (1-2—3) in his second and third OHL contests on Sept. 27 at Sudbury and Oct. 1 at Peterborough. Was the OHL’s Rookie of the Month for both October and November. Registered four points (2-2—4) on Nov. 15 vs. Sudbury. Scored his first OHL hat-trick on Nov. 20 vs. North Bay as part of a four-point outing. Recorded four points (2-2—4) on Dec. 3 at Niagara. Has registered 15 multi-point efforts this season. Is the son of former NHL forward Michael Nylander.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Dynamic player with an elite skill-set to go along with NHL speed and quickness. Skilled to make plays at top speed and extremely dangerous in one on one situations. Very good offensive hockey sense to create scoring chances and deceptively quick offensive instincts which make him a scoring threat every time he’s on the ice.”

(RW) TAYLOR RADDYSH – Erie Otters (OHL) [34]

Third in Otters scoring behind Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat. Second in team assists (37). Leads the team in powerplay goals (9) has the second most shots on goal (162). Had points in his first nine straight games of the season. Recorded a career-high four points (1-3—4) on Nov. 6 vs. Peterborough. Collected 21 points (7-14—21) in 11 November contests. Represented the OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada Russia Series. Has registered 15 multi-point performances this season.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Skilled and confident offensive player who is a strong skater with good speed. Very capable of splitting or taking the D wide. Drives hard to the net and is effective at protecting the puck down low. Smart passer with decent hands and good offensive instincts to generate opportunities. Very accurate shooter who can find ways to score.”

(C) OTTO SOMPPI – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) [47]

Second in Mooseheads scoring behind Maxime Fortier. Is 54.2% (300/554) in the faceoff circle this season. Recorded three points (1-2—3) in his QMJHL debut on Sept. 11 at Charlottetown. Had a strong month of October, recording 13 points (2-11—13) in 14 games. Has had two multi-goal games, including Dec. 31 vs. Cape Breton and Jan. 5 vs. Charlottetown with two goals each. Favourite NHL players are Jonathan Toews and Teuvo Teravainen.

NHL Central Scouting says:  “Skilled forward that can really skate; plays with a purpose. Possesses good size and consistently brings an excellent two way effort. Playmaker with very good vision distributing the puck and can direct the play while playing point on the power play. Decent scoring touch and finds ways to contribute.”

(LW) SIMON STRANSKY – Prince Albert Raiders (WHL) [25]

Third in Raiders scoring behind Reid Gardiner and Jordan Tkach. Had an explosive start to the season with points in 13 of his first 14 games, including five multi-point performances. Finished the month of October with 17 points (6-11—17) in 14 games. Scored twice on Nov. 21 vs. Regina. Had three consecutive multi-point outings from Jan. 9-15, collecting six points (2-4—6) in that span. Is the younger brother of WHL graduate and Dallas Stars farmhand Matej Stransky.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Excellent hard-working, two way forward with speed, quickness and smarts. Plays with drive and determination to the net making him very hard to check. Is very effective generating chances on the rush or on the forecheck. Very good offensive skills as a playmaker handling and moving the puck. Strong along the boards and battles for pucks effectively by using smart body positioning. Capable and consistent in all situations.”

(LW) MATTHEW TKACHUK – London Knights (OHL) [1]

Second in OHL assists (54) behind Barrie’s Kevin Labanc. Is tied for third in OHL scoring with Knights teammate Mitchell Marner. Is third in Knights shots on goal (127). Recorded four straight multi-point performances to begin his OHL career from Sept. 25 to Oct. 4. Posted a career-high six points (2-4—6) on Nov. 6 at Guelph. Scored his first OHL hat-trick as part of a four-point outing on Nov. 22 at Mississauga. Finished the month of November with 25 points (7-18—25) in 10 games. Recorded 12 points (2-10—12) in five December contests. Has recorded four points or more six different times this season. Won bronze with the United States at the 2016 World Junior Hockey Championship. Enters the 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on a six-game point streak dating back to Jan. 15. Is the son of former NHL winger Keith Tkachuk.

NHL Central Scouting says: “Unique with his skill and physical attributes. Possesses elite hockey sense and vision to consistently find ways to contribute and impact. Makes players around him better and has a very good scoring touch around the net. Plays inside the dots and is willing to go to the hard areas to score goals. One of the best puck protection players in the Draft.”

The BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, which takes place on Thursday January 28, features 40 of the CHL’s top draft eligible players for the 2016 NHL Draft.  This annual showcase features the next wave of NHL talent from the Ontario Hockey League, Western Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

The 2016 BMO CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game is proudly supported by title partner BMO, along with associate sponsors , Cooper Tires, and Sherwin-Williams.  The game will be broadcast live on Sportsnet, TVA Sports and in the United States on NHL Network.

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