Generals Updates: 1- Hamilton
- They went all-in this year and it will pay off with 1st place in the East. Robert Thomas will be the best player in the Eastern Conference and the additions of Caamano/Moore on F and Mattinen/Stillman really help round out their depth, which is the best in the East.
Brandon: 1- Hamilton
- With additions like Robert Thomas on the front end, and Nicolas Mattinen on the back end, it will be hard for other teams in the East to make up any ground. Currently with a 10 point lead over the Kingston Frontenacs, and a 7 point lead over Barrie Colts, I believe they have themselves a safe enough cushion to remain 1st in the Eastern Conference.
Generals Updates: 2- Barrie
- I really don’t understand the Lipanov move, but they’re still the best team in the Central division. They’re not in a great spot this year because of the very small window where they’ll have Svechnikov (probably just this season) and lack of draft picks, but they should still be able to get the 2 seed I think.
Brandon: 2- Barrie
- While already being the highest scoring team in the Eastern Conference the top line is only going to get better now that Svechnikov is back from the WJHC and Sokolov added at the deadline. While the Ice Dogs are only 2 points behind, currently with a game in hand, I believe the Colts will be able to pull away slightly, because of their ability to score goals.
Generals Updates: 3- Kingston
- Nobody mortgaged their future more than Kingston this deadline, and while I don’t think it was smart, it will result in an exciting rest of the season for the Fronts. I think they’re the 2nd best team in the East, but because of division winners being 1/2, they finish 3rd.
Brandon: 3- Kingston
- By definition, the most all-in team in the Eastern Conference this season. With the additions made they will easily be able to pull ahead of Niagara for 3rd overall in the conference. Guys who know how to win in Pu, Jones, Vilardi, and Day will add something the Fronts have often lacked moving into the postseason; experience. They will make it close with Hamilton but will need a big second half.
Generals Updates: 4- Niagara
- I really don’t get the Miletic move, especially because they didn’t do anything else to add before/after that trade. They could get a home playoff series in round 1, although I think they’re by far the most likely team to get upset in the first round.
Brandon: 4- Niagara
- Rounding out home ice in the East, the ice dogs will pretty well stay where they are, dropping only behind Kingston by the end of the season. By adding Sam Miletic from the London Knights, the IceDogs will add an extra punch of scoring, something they have slightly struggled with this season.
Generals Updates: 5- Mississauga
- James Richmond was put in a terrible position because of no trade clauses, which forced him to buy (although he only really shopped in the discount bin). Because of the terrible start they had, I don’t expect them to get a home playoff series, although their 2nd half will be much better than their 1st half.
Brandon: 5- Ottawa
- The team that has had highs and lows came into the deadline with a record of 2-6-1-1 in their past 10 games. The team made some decent additions in Merrick Rippon, Shaw Boomhower and Jacob Cascagnette from the Mississauga Steelheads. Only 5 points behind the Oshawa Generals, I believe they will string enough wins together to find themselves playing Niagara in the 1st round… again.
Generals Updates: 6- Ottawa
- If they get even decent goaltending, they could finish as high as 5th, but I just don’t trust Olivier Tremblay. The 5-8 seeds will be the most contested in the Eastern Conference, but I think Ottawa finishes in the 6th seed.
Brandon: 6- Oshawa
- Playing .500 hockey much of this season, the Generals pretty well stayed put at the OHL deadline. While they have played good hockey as of late, they have a tough 2nd half schedule that includes 7 games against the Kingston Frontenacs that will be very hard to pull wins from.
Generals Updates: 7- Oshawa
- The Gens could finish as high as 5th, but because Mississauga added and Ottawa is just so much deeper, I think the Gens finish 7th. Although I am very excited to see how this team starts playing once they finally get their head coach back behind the bench for the 1st time this season (should be sometime soon).
Brandon: 7- Peterborough
- To the dismay of many Pete’s fans, GM Oke did very little at the deadline, making one splash in trading away Jonathan Ang. Despite losing one of their top forwards, a change in coaching scenery will help push the team into making the playoffs this season.
Generals Updates: 8- Peterborough
- Probably in the worst spot of any Eastern Conference team. They’re too good to tank (Wells/Korostelev will steal a bunch of points by themselves) but also not good enough to really make any kind of noise. Can’t see them missing the playoffs, but also can’t really see them finishing higher then 7th.
Brandon: 8- Mississauga
- One of the most up and down teams in the entire OHL this season, the Steelheads made small additions to their squad that I believe will make them better. Very easily I believe they could finish ahead of Peterborough, but also could see them only making the final spot. Players like Ryan McLeod, Owen Tippett and goaltended Jacob Ingham are expected to have bigger and better 2nd halves.
Generals Updates: 9- North Bay
- Trading away Dineen and McKenzie will likely see the Battalion fall out of the playoffs, but I don’t think they fall below SBY.
Brandon: 9- North Bay
- A team that stayed pretty quiet at the deadline, I cannot see Mr. Stan Butler squeaking his team into the postseason. With only 2 more goals than Sudbury for 9th in goals scored (128) in the East, and on the higher end of goals against (153), there are simply too many factors working against the Battalion team.
Generals Updates: 10- Sudbury
- They have an 8 point head start on North Bay for last right now. I think 9th is the highest that they could finish, but I think they end up in the last spot in the Eastern Conference and end up picking 3rd overall in the draft next year.
Brandon: 10- Sudbury
- Same story different year, it seems for the lowly Sudbury Wolves. Just as they so frequently have done, the Wolves were big sellers at the deadline trading away captain Michael Pezzetta, Troy Lajeunesse and Dmitry Sokolov. The Wolves have the lowest goals scored (126) in the East, 2nd fewest in the league. Same goes for their goals against (165). There’s always next year, right Sudbury?
Generals Updates: 1- Sault Ste. Marie
- By far the best team in the OHL (probably the CHL). There’s no chance that they don’t finish 1st in the West. If they don’t win the Memorial Cup this season, then they should consider it a failed season.
Brandon: 1- Sault Ste. Marie
- Very hard to argue that anyone will be able to stop the Greyhounds this season. Adding two of the best available players in Taylor Raddysh and Jordan Sambrook at the deadline only made there roster better, and stronger. Leading the league with the most goals (187), and fewest scored against (108) speaks for itself. They Greyhounds also currently hold a 17 point lead over Sarnia, and 21 point lead over Kitchener.
Generals Updates: 2- Kitchener
- Will be fighting with Sarnia for the 2nd most points in the West, but because they’ll win their division, Kitchener will finish 2nd place, although their goaltending worries me.
Brandon: 2- Kitchener
- In a season in which the Midwest division is not as incredibly strong as it has been in recent years, the Rangers will be able to take the division and finish 2nd in the Western Conference. While they were able to make their team better with additions such as Logan Brown and Givani Smith, the Rangers did not ruin their future to do so. Do they have enough to compete with the Soo come playoffs? Maybe not, but they will not experience much of the same drop.
Generals Updates: 3- Sarnia
- The pickups of Dineen, Ang and Pezzetta will be huge for them going forward. I’m already excited for a 2nd round playoff series of Sarnia vs Kitchener.
Brandon: 3- Sarnia
- Rounding out the to-be expected top 3 in the West, the Sting made key additions to their roster to make the team even better. Michael Pezzetta, Jonathan Ang, and Cam Dineen help fill the holes that the Sting had before the deadline. The key to their success moving forward will be the ability to win the games they are expected to win against lower seeded teams, something they have struggled to do on occasion.
Generals Updates: 4- Saginaw
- Didn’t do much at the deadline, but are one of the most exciting young teams in the league. 4th place could very well be either Saginaw or Guelph, but I’m going to pick Saginaw because they seem to get the most of their young players.
Brandon: 4- Saginaw
- Following a few rough seasons, the Spirit will not only make a return to the postseason, but they will also host at least one round. Quietly winning many games in the west this season, the team will take advantage on London and Windsor selling this year. I mean hey, a 6 goal comeback against the then #1 ranked Sting counts for something right?
Generals Updates: 5- Guelph
- A good 2nd half from guys like Toropchenko and Hillis (as well as Popovich keeping up his hot play) could very well see Guelph finish has high as 4th, but I have them in the 5th spot in these projections because of the lack of consistency from Guelph’s top guys.
Brandon: 5- London
- A team that despite selling their 4 best players in Pu, Jones, Thomas, and Miletic will still finish in the top half of the conference. What people need to realize is that the players they brought in at the deadline are still fantastic young players. Give it a year or two and the Knights will be the talk of the OHL, and maybe even the CHL once again.
Generals Updates: 6- Windsor
- Owen Sound has a considerably better roster than Windsor, but Michael DiPietro (he is the team) has a 9 point head start and he’ll steal enough games that I can see WSR staying ahead of OS and finishing 6th.
Brandon: 6- Windsor
- A year removed from their Memorial Cup Championship, the Spits will finish at 6th in the west. The team made big trades in order to better themselves moving forward but still have one of the best goalies in the OHL in Michael DiPietro who is extremely capable of winning this team games moving forward.
Generals Updates: 7- Owen Sound
- Hard to believe how bad they’ve been this season when you look at how good their roster is. Adding Brett McKenzie at the deadline should help a bit, but even without him, they should be much better than they were in the 1st half. Goaltending will obviously be the huge key for them, and I just don’t trust Lafreniere or Guzda
Brandon: 7- Owen Sound
- Coming off a franchise year last season, the Attack have found themselves without an OHL calibre starting goaltender, which has them finishing this low in the standings. With scoring capabilities on the roster they will not having trouble continuing to put the puck in the net, but with the now injured Olivier Lafreniere they will struggle to keep the puck out of their own net.
Generals Updates: 8- London
- A very, very young team now after trading Pu+Jones+Thomas+Miletic and not getting Mete. Because their 15 points up on Erie already, I don’t think there’s any chance that London misses the playoffs, but I think they fall to 8th.
Brandon: 8- Guelph
- Despite the teams ahead of them being sellers, I do not see the Storm finishing any higher than 7th, but most likely finishing 8th by the end of the season. Currently 3-6-0-1 in their last 10 have had it rough lately. Goal scoring has been a bit of an issue in Guelph with only 132 goals for, trading away Givani Smith will only make it more difficult to score the necessary goals to win.
Generals Updates: 9- Erie
- After trading Raddysh+Sambrook and having the worst goaltending combo in the league (in my opinion) I don’t expect Erie to get many points going forward. But I also don’t expect them to fall below Flint. I’d pick Erie to get the #2 overall pick in next year’s draft.
Brandon: 9- Erie
- Knowing the team needed to sell off this season, the Otters did exactly that and will miss the playoffs for the first time in 4 seasons. Scoring has not been that bad of an issue for Erie but taking Sambrook and Raddysh out of the lineup will make it more difficult to score. As well, OHL Champion goaltended Troy Timpano has left the team leaving a bit of a void in net.
Generals Updates: 10- Flint
- I don’t think Flint wins many more games the rest of the season. They’re definitely my pick to pick 1st overall next year and they can just hope that Quinton Byfield is willing to report.
Brandon: 10- Flint
- A team that cannot score (111) and cannot keep them out (180) is simply going to finish last in the West and the OHL. The team has sold off their best players throughout the season including Ryan Moore, Nicholas Caamano and Nicolas Mattinen, are not going to win very many games moving forward. It is clear to everyone that Flint wants Byfield, but will Byfield want Flint?