With much of the focus on Sochi this year and the compressed NHL schedule, chatter about this year’s draft has not been fairly quiet. After a decent world junior, Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters seems to garner much of the attention among scouts bird-dogging the Ontario Hockey League. And he isn’t even eligible until 2015. That’s not to say that this year’s draft class is bereft of top end talent. Let’s just say few names really jump out as ‘blue chip.’ Aaron Ekblad has been a sensation on defence for Barrie since coming into the league as a 15-year-old on ‘exceptional status.’ Erie’s Dane Fox is an overager having a great season, but he’s overage and undrafted. Otherwise, no one other than McDavid elicits more oohs and aahs from scouts, fans and bloggers alike. All that said, is there another Sidney Crosby on the way? Time will tell.
The younger brother of former OHL star and New York Islanders’ first-rounder (5th overall) Ryan, Dylan Strome is no slouch. Drafted second overall by Erie behind Ottawa phenom Travis Konecny in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection, Dylan is well on his way to putting his own stamp on the OHL and the 2015 draft. The lanky 6’2″ centre has 28 points (eight goals) in 45 games on a very good team — which includes Connor McDavid — that should challenge for the OHL Championship this season. Like his brother, Strome’s path to the bigs seems to be more assured than others as scouts are already raving about his “vision” on the ice, playmaking ability, intensity and skating ability.