Again, this list is meant to be the order in which if I were drafting for an NHL team, I would take these players. It is not meant to be a prognostication of where these players will go or should be ranked. This is my own personal opinion on seeing these guys play this year and last year.
Here is my midseason top 30 of 2009 draft eligible OHL players.
1. John Tavares - F - Oshawa Generals - 6'0, 198lbs - DOB: 1990-09-20
2. Matt Duchene - F - Brampton Battalion - 5'11, 196lbs - DOB: 1991-01-16
3. Ryan Ellis - D - Windsor Spitfires - 5'10, 173lbs - DOB: 1991-01-03
4. Zach Kassian - F - Peterborough Petes - 6'3, 205lbs - DOB: 1991-01-24
5. Peter Holland - F - Guelph Storm - 6'2, 190lbs - DOB: 1991-01-14
6. Nazem Kadri - F - London Knights - 6'0, 177lbs - DOB: 1990-10-06
7. Ethan Werek - F - Kingston Frontenacs - 6'2, 195lbs - DOB: 1991-06-07
8. Calvin de Haan - D - Oshawa Generals - 6'0, 170lbs - DOB: 1991-05-09
9. Taylor Doherty - D - Kingston Frontenacs - 6'8, 218lbs - DOB: 1991-03-02
10. Edward Pasquale - G - Saginaw Spirit - 6'2, 216lbs - DOB: 1990-11-20
11. Casey Cizikas - F - Mississauga Majors - 5'11, 184lbs - DOB: 1991-02-27
12. Alex Hutchings - F - Barrie Colts - 5'10, 179lbs - DOB: 1990-11-07
13. Michael Latta - F - Guelph Storm - 5'11, 197lbs - DOB: 1991-05-25
14. Marcus Foligno - F - Sudbury Wolves - 6'2, 202lbs - DOB: 1991-08-10
15. Taylor Beck - F - Guelph Storm - 6'1, 207lbs - DOB: 1991-05-13
16. Matthew Tipoff - F - Belleville Bulls - 5'11, 180lbs - DOB: 1990-10-04
17. Ryan O’Reilly - F - Erie Otters - 6'0, 205lbs - DOB: 1991-02-07
18. Jesse Blacker - D - Windsor Spitfires - 6'0, 190lbs - DOB: 1991-04-19
19. Peter Di Salvo - G - Barrie Colts - 6'0, 180lbs - DOB: 1990-11-14
20. Scott Stajcer - G - Owen Sound Attack - 6'2, 185lbs - DOB: 1991-06-14
21. Andrew Agozzino - F - Niagara Ice Dogs - 5'9, 188lbs - DOB: 1991-01-05
22. Peter Hermenegildo - D - Sudbury Wolves - 5'10, 196lbs - DOB: 1991-02-15
23. Phil Varone - F - London Knights - 5'10, 187lbs - DOB: 1990-12-04
24. Garrett Wilson - F - Owen Sound Attack - 6'2, 199lbs - DOB: 1991-05-30
25. Jordan Szwarz - F - Saginaw Spirit - 5'11, 186lbs - DOB: 1991-05-14
26. Tyler Randell - F - Kitchener Rangers - 6'1, 195lbs - DOB: 1991-06-15
27. Michael Fine - F - Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds - 6'0, 191lbs - DOB: 1991-05-10
28. Brett Flemming - D - Mississauga Majors - 5'10, 165lbs - DOB: 1991-02-26
29. Chris Perugini - G - Ottawa 67's - 5'10, 147lbs - DOB: 1991-06-02
30. Beau Schmitz - D - Plymouth Whalers - 5'10, 185lbs - DOB: 1991-03-26
Players to Watch, but NOT in the Top 30:
Taylor Carnevale - F - Barrie Colts - 5'11, 191lbs - DOB: 1991-03-15
Since a trade from Oshawa to Barrie in exchange for a 3rd round pick, Carnevale has been excellent. He's found a lot of success in mainly centering a line of Josh Brittain and Darren Archibald. He's an excellent playmaker and a solid all around player who's not afraid to get his nose dirty. If he can continue to produce at this clip in Barrie, he'll find himself on many NHL team's radar.
Simon Gronvaldt - D - Kitchener Rangers - 6'2, 179lbs - DOB: 1991-01-30
This Danish import has found some success as a two way defenseman for Kitchener. Has been running the point on the powerplay with Ben Shutron and seing his icetime increase as the season has gone along. Is currently playing for undefeated Denmark at 2009 WJC's, in Division 1B. When he returns to the line up, an increased confidence level from the international success he has experienced could elevate his game even higher.
Kyle Pereira - D - Brampton Battalion - 6'0, 186lbs - DOB: 1991-02-02
Smooth skating, puck moving defenseman who had a really solid month of November for the Battalion. Obviously this was during their win streak when the entire team was having success. But defenseman who can move the puck and skate it up ice have a lot of value in today's NHL. Has cooled down a bit lately, but the potential is there for him to be an above average powerplay defenseman.
Mathew Clark - D - Brampton Battalion - 6'3, 205lbs - DOB: 1990-10-17
Another Brampton blueliner, Clark is a bit of a different breed than Pereira. He's a big hulking, physical defenseman who is enjoying his first season in the OHL as a late 1990 born. But he's gotten better as the season has gone along, and scouts have to like the fact that he's a big guy who can skate well. He's shown flashes of offensive ability as well, with at the very least an ability to make a good first pass out of the zone. Reminds me of Adam Comrie last season, big and physical, yet smooth skating defenseman with raw offensive tools.
Marc Zanetti - D - Ottawa 67's - 6'0, 200lbs - DOB: 1991-05-20
Zanetti is what he is. He's a big, mean, physical defenseman who plays hard and will drop the gloves. His skating is average, and he's not a wizard with the puck, but as long as he plays a safe, defensive first game, he's fine. Big defenseman who can play the body and are good positionally rarely go through the draft undrafted.
Kyle Clifford - F - Barrie Colts - 6'1, 200lbs - DOB: 1991-01-13
He was just getting going offensively before suffering a freak injury. Clifford had 6 points in 8 games at the end of November before getting his hand sliced open by the skate of a linesman during a fight with Ice Dog forward Chris DeSousa. He just recently returned to action and can hopefully find his scoring touch again. Clifford is a big forward with a lot of hustle, fights and can hit like a truck. But besides being a solid energy player, he works the cycle well and looks to have a bit of offensive potential. We'll see how well he returns from injury after the Christmas break.
Luke Judson - F - Belleville Bulls - 6'0, 190lbs - DOB: 1991-02-14
Forward on a deep Belleville team who can play. He skates very well, drives hard to the net and plays a rough game. If he got more ice time, i'm confident his offensive production would be much more consistent. Could be a late pick who ends up breaking out next season.
Andy Bathgate - F - Belleville Bulls - 6'1, 175lbs - DOB: 1991-02-26
Another Belleville forward who's caught a bit in the numbers game. With Tangradi off at the WJC's, Bathgate has been playing a larger role and has been impressive. He has really good speed and skating ability and forechecks well. Seems like a relatively solid all around forward, but might have a somewhat limited offensive ceiling.
Ben Chiarot - D - Guelph Storm - 6'2, 205lbs - DOB: 1991-05-09
A very tough and physically imposing defenseman. Chiarot is very solid defensively and very hard to beat one on one. Has been receving increased responsibility as the season has gone along and is currently an impressive +10. As a midget player, he was much more involved in the offensive side of the game which suggests that when he gets more comfortable, we could see a greater offensive contribution from him.
Chris DeSousa - F - Niagara Ice Dogs - 5'9, 190lbs - DOB: 1990-10-19
An undersized mini might, DeSousa is a hustling forward who wears his heart on his sleeve. He's a solid all around player who skates hard, hits hard and plays well on the penalty kill. He's also got one heck of a shot which he's not afraid to unleash coming down the wing. Has 14 goals in his last 19 games.
Andrew Shaw - F - Niagara Ice Dogs - 5'11, 165lbs - DOB: 1991-07-20
Shaw, an incredibly talented inline hockey player, is playing his first season in the OHL. This guy is an absolute fan favourite in Niagara. He's a good skater, he's not afraid of anyone, and he's a very good playmaker who can create off the rush and in the cycle. Hasn't been playing big minutes in Niagara, but has been seing his offensive production increase every month. Shaw is a guy I'm pulling for to increase his point production to see if he can get himself drafted.
Tyler Brown - F - Plymouth Whalers - 5'11, 185lbs - DOB: 1991-04-04
Scrappy, hard skating forward who filled in really well for Plymouth when Chris Terry was out of the line up. His showing in the month of November alone might have got him noticed by scouts. He's going to need to continue to hit the score sheet with decreased ice time.
Brandon Foote - G - Brampton Battalion - 5'11, 164lbs - DOB: 1991-04-26
With Foote, it's all about consistency. He's off and on, and while his win-loss record is great, his play has been subpar of late. After starting the season so strong, he finds himself losing starts to Patrick Killeen as the season goes along. Needs to get back to where he was in the first two months of the season.
Michael Zador - G - London Knights - 6'2, 189lbs - DOB: 1991-05-08
Going the opposite way of Foote, Zador is a former first round OHL priority selection who has had very high expectations. Way terrible at the start of the season, but has been playing better of late in his starts. Still inconsistent, but he might be finding himself in this league.
Werek took a little while to get used to the OHL, but he's come on very strong in the last two months, averaging over a point per game, including three multi goal showings. He skates hard to the net and he's got good hands. A guy who's really starting to blossom and could find himself to be a 1st round NHL draft pick if he keeps playing well under Coach Killer.
A big goalie who's been a huge part of Saginaw's success this season (3rd best record in the West). He moves well in his crease and has good fundamentals. I think he's definitely emerged as the top goalie from the OHL for his draft year.
Blacker has seen his role in Windsor increase as the season has gone along, and subsequently his offensive stats as well. He skates very well and has confidence in bringing the puck up ice. He will also play a solid defensive game and will take the body. Needs to pick his spots better in pinching, but you can't deny his skills and progression.
Large goaltender who has really stepped up his game in Owen Sound. Has found himself in a platoon situation with top draft pick Tyler Beskorowany, which is quite impressive, especially considering the fact that Stajcer has better stats thus far. He's actually a pretty similar goalie to Beskorowany, in that he covers a lot of the net, but also moves well side to side.
Schmitz is an American defenseman who struggled terribly to start the season. He came to the OHL with pretty high expectations after opting out of his NCAA commitment. He's been meeting those lately. He's emerged as a leader of the Plymouth defense, and has 7 points in 9 games in December. Still takes some liberties defensively and can stand to get a little stronger in one on one plays, but he's stepped up his physical play. This at least shows his competitive nature and that he is teachable.
I still have a lot of concerns over his skating ability. He's a good playmaker and he isn't afraid to drive to the net, but as a big body, I'd like to see him more involved with the cycle and infront of the net banging home pucks. I'm just not sure his skill set is great enough to compensate for his style of play and lack of skating ability. But I might be in the minority here since CSB and other scouting agencies seem to love him.
After starting the season so well, Fine only has 8 points in his last 21 games. He was also a -9 in the month of December (thus far). He's a good player who can drive hard to the net and can be a bit of an effective pest, but the offensive production needs to become more consistent.
Scouting agencies still seem to like him, even though I've yet to see him play a good game this season in the three times I've seen him play. Treats the puck like a hand grenade and is a turnover machine in his own end. And while his one on one play is ok, his play along the boards is way to passive for a defensive first player. I wouldn't touch him with an NHL draft pick.
Maggio is an offensive defenseman and a former high OHL draft pick. His defensive game can leave you frustrated, but that's not the reason he's falling per say. Maggio has missed a month with a knee injury and is still expected to be out until the new year, maybe more.
After starting to show signs of coming around, Cullen has been absolutely atrocious in the past month or so. He's athletic, but as of right now his goaltending mechanics aren't good enough for him to be a consistent puck stopper. He goes down to early and gets exposed, and he needs to challenge shooters more to count down the angle. He's got the raw athleticism you like to see in your goaltenders, so hopefully a goaltending coach can work with him.