Neutral Zone rankings: Oshawa Generals draft sixth in OHL Priority Draft


Published April 21, 2023 at 5:01 pm

Beckett Sennecke, Oshawa Generals' first round selection in 2022

The Oshawa Generals pick sixth in the OHL Priority draft, which goes live (Rogers TV) at seven p.m. Friday night, and while it would be a steal to draft Ryan Roobroek, the 6’2” ‘little’ brother of current General Dylan Roobroek, the younger Roebroek’s draft rating of #3 makes that an unlikely selection.

The three players rated #5, #6, and #7 by Neutral Zone, one of Canada’s top amateur scouting organizations, are the likely targets for Oshawa, who have picks in all three rounds tonight.

Here are the scouting reports on the three players:

C Jake O’Brien (Toronto Jr Canadiens U16) 4.50 star (of 5 stars

  • Jake does nearly everything well. He is very controlled with the puck making easy plays and not causing turnovers. He is very much a defensive first player who doesn’t cheat for offense. Battles hard in his own end, always understanding where his man is and giving a quick outlet to his defensemen to help them out. Very good in tight with his hands easily gets through players with sneaky hands and dishing the puck to open teammates. Very good edges and balance hard to knock off the puck. Has a low center of gravity and very strong legs. Wide skating base keeps his head up and very agile getting around defenders. He has a calming sense when the puck is on his stick. Not an overly fast skater but is very efficient and smart in the way he skates. He is your prototypical center man who can be trusted in all zones and in any situation.

C Tyler Hopkins (Toronto Marlies) 4.50 star

  • Hopkins is an elite 200-foot forward who can beat players a number of different ways. His key asset is his skating and ability to drive the play off the rush. He plays in all key situations and runs their first unit power play and is their top player 5 on 5. At times he can overwhelm defenders with his pace and then he has quiet periods in games. Hopkins finishes his checks down low, wins battles all over the ice and has a bit of a sandpaper to his highly skilled game. He generates excellent pace through the neutral zone and presents challenges for defenders with his speed, size and reach.

C Luca Romano (Toronto Jr Canadiens U16) 4.50 star

  • Romano is a solid 200 foot forward who can make plays in all 3 zones. He has a stable base when moving up ice and is difficult to knock off the puck. He changes pace well and always seems to make the correct adjustment or subtle little play to create space for his teammates. He plays the game with skill and is confident to hang on and let the play set up. He is one of the top players on an elite offensive team and has the puck on a string at times. A versatile right shot forward who can generate pace through the neutral zone. He carries pucks with confidence and plays a good give and go game with his linemates. He competed to create space and showed a willingness to get into the good scoring lanes. His stick was always on the ice in close and he wanted the puck. He was particularly good on the power play where he can shoot the puck quickly. He also has enough vision to find guys in the seams in the good scoring areas.

Matthew Schaefer, a defenceman with the Halton Hills Hurricanes U16s, is the number one player in the draft, according to Neutral Zone. The top ranked player from Durham Region is Evan Elliot, a RW from the Whitby Wildcats ranked at #97 in the draft.

Whitby has eleven players rated between 97 and 290 in the 15-round draft.

Rounds 4-15 will be televised Saturday, starting at nine a.m.

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