Eric Cornel was the best player from the Ottawa region in the 2012 OHL Draft. What attracted me to him all year was his high projectable upside, due mainly to his combination of mobility, vision and speed.
Koekkoek seems to be the type of player that doesn’t come around very often. When I first saw him playing with the Upper Canada Cyclones of the OEMHL, I thought that he could be a first overall selection in the OHL Draft. He moved out to Saskatchewan and played with the famed Notre Dame hockey program. He was then drafted into the OHL 7th Overall by the Peterborough Pete’s, and by the end of the season he was arguably the Pete’s best defenceman at 16 years old. He played for Canada at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka tournament, and showed himself to be a high-end offensive talent. This year, he started off the season where he ended last year, and was raising into my top 10 for the 2012 NHL draft. However, a injury to his shoulder in late November put him out for the season. He still has all the potential that I saw in him 12 months ago, and think he could be a steal if he falls past the 20th overall selection at the NHL Draft.
Hatcher is an interesting forward with some untapped potential. He saw very limited ice time in London earlier this season, but after the trade to Peterborough he saw more of an opportunity there. He still is very raw, but in the 3-4 viewings I saw of him after the trade, he displayed improved confidence and puck skills. He still has a long way to go, but could be a late round draft selection if a team sees potential.
Stephen Pierog / Centre / 6’0″ / 175 / Jun. 7, 1994
Pierog is a hard working forward who always brins an honest effort. He shows good compete and is willing to play a smart two way game. He is not on the NHL Draft radar at this time.
Slater Koekkoek / Defence / 6’2″ / 183 / Feb. 18, 1994
Koekkoek is a high potential defenceman who could be one of the more interesting prospects for the 2012 NHL Draft. He is a puck moving defenceman who is at his best moving the puck quickly and with intelligence. He is a strong skater who shows strong skating strides and first few steps. He is willing to play physical down low and along the boards, and willing to play a physical role if needed. He has the highest ceiling of any defenceman in Ontario for this draft, and if healthy all year, would have been a top 15 draft selection. Based on the high amount of games he missed this season, he should fall to the bottom half of the first round, but could be a real steal at that spot.