2019 OHL Draft Review: 15 Potential Steals

The 2019 OHL Priority Selection is officially in the books, and what an event it proved to be.

Although there was no surprise at first-overall, the remainder of the 2019 OHL Draft was anything but certain. Owing to the depth of this year’s class, a number of prospects originally projected to be made early-round picks fell deep into later rounds — a reality which was not reflective of their respective skill-sets on the ice.

DILAURO, Justin IMG_8530 Tim Cornett
Selected in the seventh-round by the Mississauga Steelheads, Justin Dilauro is one of many late-round prospects who have the talent necessary to succeed at the OHL-level. (Photo Credit: Tim Cornett, CHL Images)

However, these late-round steals were not limited to position players alone, as a number of goaltenders also fell — or were not selected at all — as the event wore on. Yet, despite being selected in later rounds of the draft, each and every prospect still holds a great deal of potential and the skill-sets necessary to thrive at the major-junior level.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Profiles

So, who are these late round picks and why could they prove to be draft day steals in a few years’ time? Well, let’s take a closer look below — we’ve highlighted 15 prospects picked lower than originally anticipated who should come to impress in the immediate future.

15 Potential Draft Steals

Here are, listed in alphabetical order, 15 prospects selected in the 2019 OHL Draft who could rather easily develop into late-round steals and full-time major-junior contributors.

Robert Andreakos Jr. – Saginaw Spirit: 161st Overall

  • Position: Goaltender
  • 2018-19 Team: Mississauga Reps (GTHL)
  • Stats: 35 GP; 2.58 GAA

Although the Mississauga Reps didn’t clinch a berth in the GTHL playoffs in the 2018-19 season, goaltender Robert Andreakos Jr. was absolutely outstanding throughout. A highly athletic and incredibly intelligent netminder, Andreakos Jr. is poised in his crease and has the ability to make highlight-reel saves with remarkable consistency. While he likely won’t compete in the OHL next season, Andreakos Jr. has the potential to develop into a starter at the major-junior-level.

Owen Forester – London Knights: 182nd Overall

  • Position: Right Defence
  • 2018-19 Team: Toronto Nationals (GTHL)
  • Stats: 4G, 11A, 15P

A calm and composed defender, Owen Forester has all the makings a supreme puck-mover at the next-level. With solid size and impressive lower-body strength, Forester has the ability to munch major minutes with relative ease while providing his team with stable defending and an offensive edge in the attacking zone. Given the Knights’ lack of depth on the blue line, Forester could prove to be a steal in the years to come.

Ranvir Gill – Ottawa 67’s: 83rd Overall

  • Position: Right Defence
  • 2018-19 Team: Ottawa Jr. Senators (HEO)
  • Stats: 8G, 37A, 35P in 43 games

As a big, strong, and OHL-ready defender, it came as an absolute shock to see Ranvir Gill of the Ottawa Jr. Senators selected 83rd overall. Capable of playing the game with both poise and pace, Gill can dictate the play at both ends of the ice and boasts the energy-level necessary to influence the game with each passing shift. In short, don’t be surprised if Gill pushes for a place on the 67’s roster to begin the 2019-20 season.

Cole Hipkin – Saginaw Spirit: 121st Overall

  • Position: Right Defence
  • 2018-19 Team: Brantford 99ers (Alliance)
  • Stats: 9G, 25A, 34P in 33 games

Despite being widely projected as a top-40 talent over the course of the 2018-19 season, Cole Hipkin of the Brantford 99ers fell to 121st overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. This came as a shock considering the elite skill-set which Hipkin possesses — he is an excellent puck-mover who can rush the puck as well as control the pace of play at both ends of the ice. Although his defensive play remains a work in progress, Hipkin is far too talented to remain outside of the OHL for very long.

Brayden Hislop – Owen Sound Attack: 166th Overall

  • Position: Left Defence
  • 2018-19 Team: Waterloo Wolves (Alliance)
  • Stats: 2G, 10A, 12P in 32 games

The Owen Sound Attack may very well have stolen a dandy with the 166th overall selection in the 2019 OHL Draft. Although he will need to improve his size and strength in the year’s ahead, Brayden Hislop possess a vastly underrated skill set which should translate very well to the OHL-level. A fleet-footed and agile skater, Hislop can skate the puck out of trouble or lead the rush up ice. An excellent passer and playmaker, Hislop’s game is reminiscent of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Jake Gardiner.

Owen Hollingsworth – Sudbury Wolves: 257th Overall

  • Position: Right Wing
  • 2018-19 Team: Navan Grads (HEO)
  • Stats: 23G, 30A, 53P in 45 games

Despite standing as a top-15 scorer in the HEO this past campaign, Owen Hollingsworth was nabbed by the Sudbury Wolves at 257th overall. Although of a smaller stature, Hollingsworth consistently proved himself as an offensive force capable of driving his team’s attack on a game-by-game basis. A tremendous playmaker who also features a potent shot, Hollingsworth could very well become an impact player at the OHL-level once of greater physicality.

Griffin Jurecki – Saginaw Spirit: 221st Overall

  • Position: Centre
  • 2018-19 Team: Little Caesars U15 (T1EHL)
  • Stats: 32G, 37A, 69P in 62 games

While he was a lethal offensive force throughout the 2018-19 campaign as a member of the Little Caesars, Griffin Jurecki turned heads once again owing to his performance at the 2019 OHL Cup. Across his six games played in the annual tournament, Jurecki helped to lead his team on a deep run on the heels of his four goal, ten point performance. Nabbed by the Spirit with the 221st overall selection, Jurecki could become a key contributor in the years ahead if he commits to a major-junior career.

Judd Katz – Peterborough Petes: 133rd Overall

  • Position: Left Defence
  • 2018-19 Team: Mississauga Rebels (GTHL)
  • Stats: 1G, 10A, 11P

Consistency was the name of the game for Judd Katz throughout the 2018-19 season, as the towering young defender improved dramatically over the course of his minor midget campaign. Of great size and strength, Katz skates very well for his size and has the ability to stick with and shutdown the most agile and dynamic of opponents. What’s more is that Katz features an emerging offensive game, as the defender owns a powerful shot and a keen playmaking eye.

Amadeus Lombardi – Flint Firebirds: 245th Overall

  • Position: Centre
  • 2018-19 Team: Toronto Titans (GTHL)
  • Stats: 19G, 29A, 48P in 58 games

The Toronto Titans played to a dismal 3-25-5 record this past season, although their campaign did feature its fair share of bright spots. Alongside William Demkiw there was Amadeus Lombardi — a competitive and hard-working centre who paced his team’s offensive game with impressive consistency. Capable of devising plays in addition to firing the puck into the net, Lombardi’s underrated play for the Titans could propel him to success with the Firebirds.

Edward Moskowitz – Flint Firebirds: 185th Overall

  • Position: Left Wing
  • 2018-19 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)
  • Stats: 34G, 40A, 74P in 73 games

Despite being overshadowed at times on a historic Don Mills Flyers roster, Edward Moskowitz’s game improved dramatically over the course of the 2018-19 GTHL campaign. A tireless competitor who plays the game with both pace and consistency, Moskowitz has quickly evolved into a capable two-way player who should be able to contribute at both ends of the ice at the OHL-level.

Wil Murphy – Erie Otters: 86th Overall

  • Position: Left Defence
  • 2018-19 Team: Kingston Jr. Frontenacs (ETA)
  • Stats: 12G, 26A, 38P in 36 games

Nabbed by the Erie Otters in the fourth-round of the 2019 OHL Draft, Wil Murphy is a steady and lethal two-way defender. In his own zone, Murphy displays composure while in possession of the puck and has the ability to make accurate and consistent breakout passes to his forwards. What’s more, however, is that Murphy loves to play a role in the offensive zone — the reason behind his 38 points scored in 36 ETA regular season games played. Although he could be one season away from competing in the OHL, Murphy certainly has the skill-set necessary to thrive once he arrives.

Joshua Orrico – Sarnia Sting: 289th Overall

  • Position: Right Defence
  • 2018-19 Team: Toronto Red Wings (GTHL)
  • Stats: 4G, 25A, 29P in 50 games

Despite missing a portion of this past season due to injury, Joshua Orrico returned the Toronto Red Wings lineup and didn’t miss a beat — stepping onto the blue line and making an immediate impact. Although somewhat undersized, Orrico is a very intelligent defender who can read the play extremely well and react accordingly with both poise and consistency. Of a growing offensive and defensive game, Orrico could become a dynamic yet responsible fixture on the Sting’s blue line in the years ahead.

Cole Patey – Peterborough Petes: 113th Overall

  • Position: Right Wing
  • 2018-19 Team: North Central Predators (ETA)
  • Stats: 19G, 24A, 43P in 29 games

Despite finishing the 2018-19 season as the seventh-highest scoring player in the ETA, Cole Patey slipped to the Peterborough Petes at 113th overall. A natural playmaker who has a knack for scoring timely goals, Patey plays the game with pace and a purpose each an every time he takes to the ice and is consistent in doing so. Founded upon his strong skating skills and tireless work ethic, Patey could develop into a premier offensive player for the Petes in the not-so-distant future.

Joshua Rosenzweig – Niagara IceDogs: 119th Overall

  • Position: Goaltender
  • 2018-19 Team: Toronto Red Wings (GTHL)
  • Stats: 7 GP; 2.44 GAA; .883 SV%

Joshua Rosenzweig was one of the GTHL’s top goaltenders this past season, making his selection at 119th overall somewhat of a surprise on draft day. Of solid size and a tremendous athlete to boot, Rosenzweig displayed the ability to make highlight-reel saves with apparent ease while also stealing games for his team over the course of the 2018-19 season. Although he can — at times — overplay shots fired on-goal by his opposition, Rosenzweig boasts the raw skill set necessary to thrive at the OHL-level in the near future.

Devon Savignac – North Bay Battalion: 171st Overall

  • Position: Left Wing
  • 2018-19 Team: Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves (NOHA)
  • Stats: 23G, 15A, 38P in 27 games

Energy, pace, and work-ethic stand as the foundation of Devon Savignac’s game — a winger who competes endlessly and is an offensive force as a direct result. As a strong and stable skater who loves to rush the puck, Savignac can devise and execute devastating scoring chances with relative ease and is no stranger to bulging the twine. An absolute steal by the North Bay Battalion with the 171st overall selection, Savignac could push for a place on North Bay’s roster as soon as next season and become a staple within their lineup in the year’s to come.

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