2022 OHL Draft: 15 Top Prospects to Watch

Although the 2022 OHL Priority Selection remains months away, we’ve been itching to discuss this year’s class of draft-eligible players. And why is that, you ask? Well, the 2006-born class of OHL prospects appears to be an incredibly strong and deep one, as there are players of elite-level talent to be found at virtually every position on the ice. In addition, because of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, the hockey world has been deprived of its normalcy and routines for far too long. However, with minor hockey and its leagues ramping up to restart in just a few short months, there truly is no time like the present to begin highlighting some of the best young players which the 2006-born draft class has to offer!

With that being said, let’s take a look at 15 of the top 2006-born prospects eligible for the 2022 OHL Priority Selection. Although this list has been compiled at quite an early date as mentioned above, we feel as though the bulk of players mentioned below will be made first or second-round selections in the 2022 OHL Priority Selection, if not household names in due time.

15 Prospects To Watch

Jacob Brunton – C

2019-20 Team: Southern Tier Admirals (SCTA)

Recent Stats: 6GP: 3G, 7Pts (WYC U14) || 32GP: 10G, 20Pts (SCTA, 19′-20′)

The first player on our list is none other than Jacob Brunton, a highly technical centre-man who played most recently for the Southern Tier Admirals of the SCTA. Already boasting good size and strength, Brunton boasts a clear vision on the ice when the puck is on his stick and has the ability to create plays as well as finish them. Known for his quick hands and strong work-ethic, Brunton plays a detailed two-way game and doesn’t hesitate to attack his opponents one-on-one when he has both speed and determination on his side.

Nolan Donnelly – LW

2019-20 Team: Quinte Red Devils (ETA)

Recent Stats: 6GP: 5G, 8Pts (WYC U14)

The Quinte Red Devils have come to be known for their ability to develop highly skilled power-forwards, and Nolan Donnelly appears to be the next line. Standing 6-foot-2, Donnelly is a highly skilled winger who boasts blazing speed and the willingness to drive hard to the next with the puck on his stick or in search of rebounds. As a natural goal-scorer, Donnelly isn’t afraid to unleash his heavy shot on goal — in addition, his tendency to shoot the puck also allows him to create plays if his opposition consistently challenges his shot.

Parker Forlin – C

2019-20 Team: Southern Tier Admirals (SCTA)

Recent Stats: 32GP: 34G, 56Pts

Parker Forlin is one of the most dangerous offensive players skating in the SCTA — a reality which could make him one of if not the first player selected from the SCTA come the 2022 OHL Draft. Although slightly under-sized, Forlin is a dynamic offensive machine. Not only does Forlin feature terrific speed and agility, but the youngster pairs a crisp, accurate shot with innate play-making abilities. As a multi-faceted centre, Forlin keeps his opposition on their toes due to his unpredictable nature when the puck is on his stick. In short, there are many reasons why Forlin scored at greater than a goal-per-game pace in his most recent season — expect him to continue this trend in 2021-22 as he ramps up for the 2022 OHL Draft.

Michael Hage – C

2019-20 Team: Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)

Although somewhat under-sized compared to the majority of his competition, Michael Hage stands as a lethal two-way player capable of influencing the outcome of any given game. As a terrific skater, Hage uses his speed, acceleration and stellar edge-work to fly about the ice and create ample distance from his opposition.

Capable of devising plays or shooting the puck, Hage can do it all in the offensive zone owing to his strong work-ethic and relentless pursuit of the puck. In addition, Hage is routinely one of the smartest and most calculated players on the ice — he doesn’t take unnecessary risks and has the innate ability to predict the outcome of plays before they develop.

Justin Huynh – D

2019-20 Team: Mississauga Senators (GTHL)

Recent Stats: 7GP: 4G, 11Pts (WYC U14)

If you’re curious as to who could be the top defenceman selected in the 2022 OHL Draft, look no further than Justin Huynh. With great size and strength heading into his Minor Midget season, the parallels between Huynh and 2020 OHL Draft first-overall selection Ty Nelson are seemingly endless. Like Nelson, Huynh is a terrific two-way defenceman who can be relied upon at even-strength, on the power-play, and on the penalty-kill. Capable of driving his team’s offensive game from the back-end, Huynh is as aggressive as they come when the puck is on his stick and can quarterback his team’s power-play with absolute ease. Consistently a point-per-game player and incredibly difficult to play against within his own zone, don’t be surprised if Hunyh is one of the first players selected come the 2022 OHL Draft.

Owen King – F

2019-20 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)

When the GTHL resumes play, expect Owen King to be at the top of the goal-scoring leaderboard. What makes King such a deadly offensive player is his ability to operate with the puck on his stick at a high-level of speed. Not many players can do it, but those that can handle the puck as they intend to while blazing down the ice like King can boast the ability to create over-whelming scoring opportunities for their teams. Known for his great shot and ability to score goals in a wide variety of ways, look for King to fill the net en route to the 2022 OHL Draft.

Evan Maillet – G

2019-20 Team: Mississauga Senators (GTHL)

Recent Stats: 3GP: 2.25GAA, .905%SVP (WYC U14)

Although it’s early, expect Evan Maillet to stand as one of the top goaltenders eligible for the 2022 OHL Draft in a few months’ time. Following in the footsteps of former Mississauga Senators star goaltender Charles-Edward Gravel, Maillet is a highly technical goaltender who boats laser-sharp focus and the innate ability to come up with timely saves for his team. In addition, Maillet positions himself well within his crease, has a great feel for his angles and doesn’t hesitate to challenge shooters in order to reduce their shooting angles. While he is still growing in stature, Maillet has all of the tools necessary to develop into a stellar goaltender at the next level.

Henry Mews – F/D

2019-20 Team: Ottawa Senators U14 (HEO)

Recent Stats: 29GP: 25G, 62Pts

Henry Mews led the HEO in scoring at the U14 level in the 2019-20 season. Across his 29 games played, he collected 25 goals and 62 points — a mark which topped fellow top prospect Nathan Villeneuve by six points. However, the most impressive aspect of this performance was that Mews did so while alternating between playing centre and defence.

Although he is a natural defenceman, Mews’ lethal skill set and abilities allowed him to play centre when called upon by his team, and to say that he did well would be a massive understatement. If he chooses to become a full-time forward, don’t be surprised if his offensive totals sky-rocket this coming season. However, if he chooses to man the blue-line full time, he’ll remind you of former Ottawa Senators star Erik Karlsson.

Riley Patterson – C

2019-20 Team: Burlington Eagles (SCTA)

Recent Stats: 32GP: 35G, 48Pts

When you score at greater than a goal-per-game pace, scouts are going to take notice. And that is exactly what Riley Patterson did in his most recent season with the Burlington Eagles of the SCTA, as the youngster potted 35 goals in just 32 games played. Simply put, Patterson is a natural goal-scorer — his shot is hard and accurate and he owns a wicked release which he can snap on goal in the blink of an eye. Moreover, Patterson can deflect pucks well and finish rebounds despite being in-tight to the goal. Look for him to establish himself as one of the 2022 OHL Draft’s best goal scorers this coming campaign.

Beckett Sennecke – C

2019-20 Team: Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)

Recent Stats: 4GP: 2G, 3Pts (WYC U14)

What would the OHL Draft be without a handful of incredibly talented Toronto Marlboros prospects? Beckett Sennecke checks all of the boxes when it comes to being incredibly talented, as the youngster has lightning-quick hands, significant on-ice intelligence and the innate hockey sense necessary to succeed at the next-level. While he is no stranger to scoring goals, Sennecke’s true strength lies in his play-making abilities. Whether on the rush or in tight to the goal, Sennecke has the ability to feather passes to his teammates or draw opposing defenders in in order to create time and space to devise a lethal scoring chance.

Malcolm Spence – W

2019-20 Team: Mississauga Senators (GTHL)

Recent Stats: 8GP: 9G, 19Pts (WYC U14)

Malcolm Spence could be a top-five selection in the 2022 OHL Draft — his game is simply that strong and well-rounded. The foundation of Spence’s game is his skating, as the youngster boasts a stable stride and one which affords him with great speed and agility on the ice. In addition to his deceptive skating Spence features a blistering and accurate shot which he can put on net from a variety of angles.

Moreover, he can change his shooting angle with ease based on the traffic in front of him and has the ability to deceive opposing goaltenders as a direct result. However, this is just one facet of his game, as Spence is also a calculated playmaker who loves to setup his teammates and devise high-percentage scoring plays. As an incredibly hard-working and team oriented player, you’ll want to keep an eye on Spence this season.

Luke Tuin – D

2019-20 Team: Niagara North Stars (SCTA)

Recent Stats: 29GP: 6G, 14Pts

If you’re looking for a steady, minute-munching two-way defender, then Luke Tuin is your man. Unlike most defencemen these days who are particularly offensively minded, Tuin places a strong focus on his own one before thinking offence. Tuin boasts an active and accurate stick which he uses to break up scoring chances, as well as the size and strength necessary to punish opposing forwards below the goal line. Tuin’s ability to play a physical game is well complimented by his skating, as he can chase down and smother opposing players before jostling the puck loose and transitioning possession to his forwards shortly after.

Nathan Villeneuve – C

2019-20 Team: Ottawa Jr. 67’s (HEO)

Recent Stats: 29GP: 33G, 56Pts

The HEO is loaded with elite 2006-born talent, and Nathan Villeneuve of the Ottawa Jr. 67’s could very well be the best of them all. As an impressive physical specimen, Villenueve boasts terrific strength and has come to be known as almost impossible to knock off of the puck when it is on his stick. Featuring a relentless compete level and work-ethic, Villeneuve strives to create offence with each passing shift and is successful in doing so at an alarming rate. Not only does he possess an OHL-calibre shot, but Villeneuve is a tactful and deadly playmaker who makes those who he plays alongside better each and every night. Moreover, Villeneuve is developing into the type of leader which all teams and players hope for — in short, he is a complete prospect who should easily command a top-five overall come the 2022 OHL Draft.

Matthew Virgilio D

2019-20 Team: Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)

For scouts and fans alike, Matthew Virgilio is going to remind you of a former Toronto Marlboros star by the name of Jamie Drysdale. Now, that is not to say that Virgilio plays the same game as Drysdale, as Virgilio’s play is different in a number of ways — however, the comparisons in a number of regards are rather shocking. Like Drysdale, Virgilio skates incredibly well and loves to push the pace of the play.

And, like Drysdale, Virgilio is incredibly intelligent on the ice and has the ability to read react to the play before it develops. Further, Virgilio is an elite two-way defenceman, as he can shut down opposing players owing to his active stick and firm gap control before transitioning the puck up the ice alongside his teammates. In this year’s draft class, expect to see Virgilio, Mews and Hunyh as three of the top defenders available.

Thomas Zocco – F

2019-20 Team: North Jersey Avalanche (AYHL)

Recent Stats: 16GP: 16G, 40Pts

Although he isn’t a lock to play in the OHL in 2022-23 given the fact that he is a native of New York, Thomas Zocco would surely be a highly sought after prospect in the 2022 OHL Draft were he to announce his intention to play in the league. In 2019-20, Zocco played up a year against older competition and was able to record 27 points in 20 games played. Then, in 2020-21 against competition the same age as him, Zocco scored 16 goals and recorded 40 points in just 16 games played with the North Jersey Avalanche of the AYHL. A stout two-way player with great size and natural offensive instincts, Zocco’s terrific shot and consistent level of play would make him a first-round talent should he decide to opt for the OHL.

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