Sam Bennett is one of the most skilled players in the 2012 OHL Draft, and has all the tools you look for in a potential top 3 forward at the Ontario Hockey League level. His combination of mobility, elusiveness and his shot are all reasons to love his upside.
As of this moment, Rolan McKeown is the best defenceman in the 96 Birth year. The 2nd overall draft selection in the 2012 OHL Draft, he has all the projectable upside to be an impact player at the Ontario Hockey League level, and a potential first round selection in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Jenkins is one of the most improved players from the start of the Ontario Hockey League season. He started the season as a depth player on the Niagara Ice Dogs, and did not see significant ice time. He did not show a lot of upside, and was not on the radar for the 2012 NHL Draft. In mid season Jenkins was moved to the Kingston Frontenacs, where he was placed on the top line with centre Ryan Kujawinsky and Trevor Morbeck. The three showed immediate chemistry, and was one of the better lines in the second half of the season. The questions that surround Jenkins are weather or not he is the player that we saw in Kingston, or more of the player who struggled to make an impact in Niagara. Personally, I like his upside as an intelligent bottom six forward, however he still has a lot of room to develop.
Steele is a player who has really improved over the course of three seasons. When I first saw him in Upper Canada in the OEMHL, I was not sure about how much of an impact he would have at the next level. The following season Steele was signed to play for the Smith Falls Bears of the CCHL, which has a nice history of development for players in the Ottawa region. He had a very successful season in Smith Falls, and was signed by the Frontenacs. This season, he quickly became one of the most improved players over the coarse of the season. When he first came into the league, he struggled with his decision making and his reads of the ice, but what I liked the most about him is that he always seemed to recognize his mistakes and worked on not making them again. All year long he kept taking on more and more responsibilities, and as the year ended he was arguably the Frontenacs top defenceman. In April, he was named to Canada’s entry into the U18 World Championships. Even thou he did not play as much as he probably would have liked, the fact that he was named to the team was the accomplishment. He projects out as a puck moving defenceman who could be a depth defenceman at the next level.
Jenkins is a smooth skating forward who has found his niche with the Frontenacs. He has shown some strong offensive instincts in the second half of the season, and is one of the more interesting players for the draft. He is at his best skating the puck through the neutral zone, assessing the play and making a smart, crisp pass. He is one of the better skaters in the draft and shows strong footwork and acceleration. He projects out as a smart top 9 forward, and should be a mid to late round draft selection.
Nathan Cull / Left Wing / 5.11 / 184 / Jan. 7, 1994
Cull is a hard working forward who is at his best down low and along the boards. He shows a strong compete level, and is willing to do what it takes to win. He struggles with his footwork and acceleration, and has some room to grow with both his vision with the puck and his individual puck skills.
Trevor Morbeck / Right Wing / 6’2″ / 197 / Nov. 21, 1993
Morbeck is a forward who shows an interesting skill set. He is aggressive down low and on the forecheck, and is at his best creating space for his teammates. He does a lot of the dirty work that creates opportunities for others. He has struggled at times with consistency and puck skills, but has improved over the past three months. He is a bit of a late round gamble for the NHL Draft.
Adam Lloyd / Left Wing / 6.00 / 183 / Feb. 13, 1994
Lloyd is a skilled forward who is still finding his role with the Frontenacs. He was asked to play a depth role on the young squad, and always brought a good complete level. He has some room to grow with his intelligence on the ice, as well as his ability to adapt to the game and its speed. Probably not on the NHL Draft radar at this time.
Alex Gudbranson / Defence / 6.02 / 206 / Sep. 3, 1994
Gudbranson came into the year as a bit of a mystery. Heralded as a top 60 draft selection by some, he initially struggled with finding his role. He was trying to do to much, and thus his play really struggled. Once the team added some defensive depth, Gudbranson seemed to find his role as a physical, defense first defenceman. He is strong in his own zone and has shown some improved strength. He still has room to grow with his footwork and vision and decision making with the puck, but the potential is there. He projects out as a bottom pairing defenceman at the next level, and should be a solid mid round draft selection.
Warren Steele / Defence / 6’0″ / 187 / May. 16, 1994
Steele is a defenceman who has progressed well. He is a smart puck moving defenceman who is at his best skating the puck out of his own zone, reading the play and making an intelligent decision. He skates well and shows good overall mobility and agility. He can struggle at times with his defensive zone play, as well as his willingness to play physically, but the potential is there. Projects out as a solid NHL defenceman, and should be a top 4 round selection at the NHL Draft
Andrew Tessier / Defence / 6’1″ / 203 / Jan. 1, 1994
Tessier had a good start to the season, but struggled once the second half of the year started. He is a smart defense first defenceman who is solid positionally. He is always willing to play aggressive in his own zone, and effective at having an active stick in passing lanes. He struggled with both his overall mobility and agility, and needs to continue to develop the offensive side of his game. Not on the NHL Draft radar at this time.