Another month is in the books for the OHL, and the Prospect Power Rankings have been shaken up a bit.
Serron Noel and Aidan Dudas are tied for tops in goals among prospects. Ryan Merkley not only is at the top of defensive scoring in the league, but leads draft eligibles in assists. And while he’s not in the power rankings, re-entry candidate Linus Nyman had an explosive month of November.
OHL Prospect Power Rankings for the 2018 NHL Draft: November
All in all, there were plenty of moves and shakers since the end of October. So we start with a brand new name at the top.
All stats are up-to-date as of Tuesday, November 28
1. Evan Bouchard, London Knights – TI Score: 40.5 – October: 12.5
The Knights won seven out of ten games in November, and the top prospect was a big reason for that. The third-year defenceman sits third on team scoring, thanks to an 18-point month. Bouchard’s four-point and two three-point games gave him five goals and 13 assists for the month. He’s now just 14 points off of his career high, and made the largest jump points-wise on the Power Rankings.
— Dominic Tiano (@dominictiano) November 28, 2017
2. Ryan Merkley, Guelph Storm – TI Score: 36 – October: 16
Merkley moved out of a four-way tie for eighth last month, to holding down the second spot. The questions around the likely first-round prospect will never be about his offence. November proved that. If you had any doubt, the sophomore went scoreless in just one game, notching three goals and 13 assists. The more concerning number is his -12, which factors into his TI score. Merkley exits November second in scoring among all OHL defencemen. The thing is, he has the second-worst plus/minus among the top ten. He finished with a minus-rating in five of his ten November games.
3. Akil Thomas, Niagara IceDogs – TI Score: 33.5 – October: 20
Moving up one spot is the blooming IceDogs superstar. Despite being held scoreless in back-to-back games twice in a month, Thomas continues to cement himself among draft eligibles. Thomas closes the month on a three-game point streak (one goal, four assists), to go along with four multi-point games. He has turned himself into a draft darling, and even without another nine-game point streak, it’s tough to see his arrow ever pointing down this year.
4. Allan McShane, Oshawa Generals – TI Score: 33 – October: 22.5
After scoring just twice the first month of the season, McShane went on a goal-scoring tear in November. He scored five goals in a home-and-home with Ottawa, scoring eight of his ten goals on the season this month. McShane continues to be a consistent producer, even if he’s streaky in his categories (just one assist in November). He exits November with a two-point lead on Jack Studnicka for the Generals team lead. He did, however, move down one spot in the prospect power rankings.
5. Ryan McLeod, Mississauga Steelheads – TI Score: 33 – October: 18.5
Now that his brother is back in the fold in Mississauga, the sky is the limit for the McLeod boys. Ryan kicked the month off with a four-assist game, launching a four-game point streak. After that, McLeod’s scoring would be contained to one game (three assists against Oshawa), offering a significantly cooler stretch of seven games. Ryan will have plenty of chances to play with and without his brother, as Michael is among the safer bets to make Team Canada. It also seems like a safe bet that the younger McLeod will find his way back to his scoring ways. The slump didn’t hurt the first round prospect though, as he holds down fifth place for the second month.
6. Aidan Dudas, Owen Sound Attack – TI Score: 32 – October: 15
A good bump for Dudas this month, as he moves from tenth place to sixth. Dudas sits fourth on the Attack in scoring, one of four players with 20+ points. The Parry Sound native had a good month, coming away with five points and 12 assists in 10 games. After going scoreless against Guelph, Dudas’ five-game point streak was snapped, after racking up three goals and seven assists. He’s another player that should see a bump in ice time soon. As we move to December, teammate Nick Suzuki is a near-lock for Team Canada at the World Junior Championship.
— Orr Hockey Group (@OrrHockeyGroup) November 23, 2017
7. Nathan Dunkley, Kingston Frontenacs – TI Score: 31 – October: 8
Despite playing on a team with prime re-entry candidate Linus Nyman, Nathan Dunkley is making a name for himself. Dunkley closes the month on a four-game point streak, with three goals and six assists. For the month, he was one of the best performers, with seven goals and 10 assists. One of the biggest risers, he didn’t crack the top ten on the prospect power rankings last month.
2018 draft-eligible center Nathan Dunkley is one quite a roll for the OHL's Kingston Frontenacs. He's picked up nine points in his last four games
— Derek Neumeier (@Derek_N_NHL) November 27, 2017
8. Barrett Hayton, SSM – TI Score: 26.5 – October: 16.5
Hayton slides one spot from seventh to eighth but continues to put up good numbers on a deep Greyhounds team. Want to know how deep? He’s eighth on the team with 20 points, and only 75 players have reached the 20 mark so far. After scoring three goals in his first six November games, Hayton wrapped up the month with a point in four of five games. The impressive thing about his standing in the rankings is that less than half of his points came on special teams. Of his 20 points, seven have come on the power play and one shorthanded.
9. Riley Damiani, Kitchener Rangers – TI Score: 26 – October: 16
Just a ten point bump for Damiani, whose Rangers continue to lead the Midwest Division. His shorthanded points give him the ninth spot, as he’s one of just four draft prospects with two or more shorthanded points (Svechnikov has three, Dudas and Ty Dellandrea have two). Damiani’s best stretch was the middle of the month, where he had four goals and three assists in six games. He started November with three scoreless games and could finish with three if he doesn’t get on the scoresheet Wednesday against Owen Sound.
10. Brady Hinz, Sarnia Sting – TI Score: 25 – October: 24
This looks like a typo, but it isn’t. Hinz managed just three points in November, nd finished the month a minus-5. Plus/Minus isn’t weighted that heavily, but that number was enough to see Hinz rise by just one point. After finishing October in second place, he finishes November in tenth. His slow down hasn’t hurt the Sting, who ends the month on a five-game win streak, but they’ll be looking for him to rebound.
Missing the cut…
Serron Noel finished November as the Player of the Week but missed out on the top ten by half a point. His TI Score is the same as the injured Svechnikov, who was first last month. Kody Clark’s solid season has him on the cusp of the top ten as well. Ninth last month, Clark’s score of 24 just wasn’t enough. Guelph’s Cam Hillis also barely misses out for the second month in a row.
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