OHL Coaches Poll Recognizes the Greatness of Leafs Prospects

The OHL coaches poll is a fun year end assessment of the top players in various categories. Over the past few years it seems like there has been a lack of Leafs in this and this largely because the Leafs have been have had one of the shallowest talent pools in the league. That’s not the case any longer, and the OHL Coaches Poll is now something to be excited about as Mitch Marner, Jeremy Bracco, and Travis Dermott all received some love from around the league.

The Coaches Poll is tabulated when each team submits one nominee per category, and coaches then vote for the top three players for each category within their conference.  Players receive five points for a first place vote, three points for a second place vote, and one point for a third place vote.  Clubs are not permitted to vote for players from their own team allowing for a maximum of 45 possible points for each winner.  This season all 20 OHL clubs are represented in at least one category.

The Leafs had winners in:

Best Playmaker:

Eastern Conference:
1. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts (31)
2. Josh Ho-Sang, Niagara IceDogs (26) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
3. Michael Dal Colle, Kingston Frontenacs (12)

Western Conference:
1. Mitch Marner, London Knights (35) – finished second in voting in 2014-15
2. Dylan Strome, Erie Otters (27)
3. Jeremy Bracco, Kitchener Rangers (12)

Best Stickhandler:

Eastern Conference:
1. Josh Ho-Sang, Niagara IceDogs (35) – finished first in voting in 2014-15
2. Alex Nylander, Mississauga Steelheads (16)
3. Kevin Labanc, Barrie Colts (15)

Western Conference:
1. Mitch Marner, London Knights (43) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. William Bitten, Flint Firebirds (13)
3. Jeremy Bracco, Kitchener Rangers tied Blake Speers, Soo Greyhounds (11)

Best Offensive Defenceman:

Eastern Conference:
1. Rasmus Andersson, Barrie Colts (31) – finished third in voting in 2014-15
2. Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa Generals (23) – finished second in voting in 2014-15
3. Cam Dineen, North Bay Battalion (17)

Western Conference:
1. Travis Dermott, Erie Otters (28)
2. Vili Saarijarvi, Flint Firebirds (21)
3. Mikhail Sergachev, Windsor Spitfires (20)

It’s kind of interesting to see that Bracco and Marner did well in the same categories, and also nice to see that Dermott is such a highly touted defensive prospect.

Other categories that didn’t have a Leafs presence included: Most underrated player; Most improved player; Smartest player; Hardest worker; Most dangerous in goal area; Best skater; Best shot; Hardest shot; Best on Face-offs; Best body checker; Best shot blocker; Best penalty killer; Best defensive defenseman; Best puck handling goaltender; Best shootout shooter; Best shootout goaltender.

2016 Draft Class

Since the draft is a big deal around Toronto, it seems like it would be worth noting a few of the draft eligibles received recognition in the top 3 of certain categories as well.

Adam Mascherin– Most Improved Player, Best Shot, Hardest Shot

Matthew Tkachuk- Smartest Player 

Michael McLeod- Hardest Worker

Alex DeBrincat- Most Dangerous in Goal Area, Best Shot

Sean Day- Best skater

Victor Mete- Best Skater 

Jordan Kyrou- Best Skater

Alex Nylander- Best Shot, Best Stickhandler, Best Shootout Shooter

William Bitten- Best Stickhandler, Best Shootout Shooter

Mikhail Sergachev- Best Offensive Defenseman

  • SEER

    I’d rather reserve judgement on these players until we see their corsi ratings. I would add Bracco’s mom is pretty active on twitter but I had to school her on shot differentials and SH%.

    I don’t understand why people hate on analytics when we are such nice, reasonable and kind people.

  • Gary Empey

    While receiving Pittsburgh’s pick is far from in the bag it is still interesting to speculate on how the Leafs could use it.

    Here is a reminder of how the Leafs brain-trust turned their second 1st round pick into three prospects.

    They parlayed their 24th pick (#24-Travis Konecny) in 2015 into (#34-Travis Dermott) + (#61-Jeremy Bracco) + (#68-Martins Dzierkals)

    I wonder after all this time has passed how the punters here at Leafs Nation evaluate this trading down in the draft strategy?

    When it was first done I don’t think it was all that popular.

    Because Martins Dzierkals is playing up in the wilds of Northern Quebec I thought I should post his stats.

    He has played 57 games, scoring 24 goals and 42 assists for 66 points. 38 minutes in penalties. Plus 22

  • Gary Empey

    thanks for the article.
    It’s worth remembering, Toronto’s first and second picks required no extra brain power; Marner/Strome, Dermott/Anderssson. Toronto parlayed 24th into 34th and 2 B prospects, because after 20th, there’s no consensus ranking, up to about 46th. Whereas, they are not going to parlay 17th-20th, where a top-six center, and maybe a top 3 D-man, is available, into B prospects. Finally, I am wondering if Hunter is changing his mind about Mascherin and Dineen at 31st.

    • Gary Empey

      It is starting to look like there may be quite a bit of change in the draft rankings by the end of the season.

      For us Leaf fans there should be lots of fun/interest in assessing all these guys.

      It seems odd that the consensus seems to be the best player in the OHL is only ranked 4th. I suspect this is a mistake.