If you were away from Hurricanes hockey for the weekend, our 2017 NHL Draft coverage kicked off with two articles scouting the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League for players who could turn up on the Hurricanes’ draft slate this weekend. The first article featured ‘from the rink’ QMJHL insight from Mike Barrett from Dobber Prospects and Future Considerations, and the second article leveraged the QMJHL scouting of Scott Wheeler from the Toronto Star.

Today’s Ontario Hockey League article is one of two today. The other is HERE.

To see a complete menu of 2017 NHL Draft coverage articles this week, please bookmark our “Carolina Hurricanes 2017 NHL Draft Central” where you can find up to date clickable links for all of our draft coverage.

About the Scout/Writer

Brad Coccimiglio (Twitter=@bradcoccimiglio) is a sports journalist for SooToday. His work has appeared in The Hockey News as well as online at FoxSports.com in addition to regular freelance work with SooToday before joining the team full time. He has covered seven MasterCard Memorial Cup tournaments and has appeared on numerous local sports radio shows as a guest and co-host in addition to providing stories for the SooToday’s affiliate sites.


Scouting the Ontario Hockey League for the Hurricanes 2017 NHL Draft

Canes and Coffee: For a mock draft, who do you see the Hurricanes taking at #12 overall?

Brad Coccimiglio: I’m not sure that the top rated OHL players will make it to Carolina’s pick, but I could see the Hurricanes looking at a player like Nick Suzuki from Owen Sound at #12. He broke out offensively this year and has a lot of skill. He’s a little on the small side but his skill makes up for it.


Canes and Coffee: Which OHL player(s) could be relevant at #12 in the first round? What are the pros and cons of each player?

Brad Coccimiglio: Suzuki should still be available at 12 and could be a good pick based on his skill. Some scouts have said he disappears at times but his numbers make it easy to overlook a game here and there where he might not be noticeable.

In addition to Suzuki being available, a guy like Isaac Ratcliffe of Guelph could be an enticing pick as well. He has good skill, and once he fills out his 6-foot-5 frame a little more he could be really dangerous. He could use some work defensively, but that’s something that can be taught.


Canes and Coffee: Which couple OHL players do you like in the second round which is currently scheduled to be a busy one for the Hurricanes who currently have three second-round selections?

Brad Coccimiglio: Defenceman Conor Timmins in Sault Ste. Marie really came on this year. His offensive numbers were solid, and he moves the puck extremely well. His defensive game is solid as well.

Jonah Gadjovich in Owen Sound had a solid year. He’s got really good size and is willing to use it. He brings a great mix of skill and a physical game.


Canes and Coffee: Which couple OHL players do you like in the third round where the Hurricanes currently have two picks?

Brad Coccimiglio: If he can improve his skating, Mathew Strome of Hamilton could be a strong pick here. He’s got good size and some skill. Coming from a family of high-end players helps.

Adam Ruzicka of Sarnia brings good size and can play both centre and on the wing. If he can find some consistency in his game, he’s a good pick in round three.


Canes and Coffee: Who do you see as 3-5 OHL sleepers that you really like that might be available in middle to later rounds (rounds 4-7) of the 2017 NHL draft?

Brad Coccimiglio: Greg Meireles of Kitchener brings a lot of energy and is responsible defensively in addition to having some skill.

Kevin Hancock of Owen Sound was used in a lot of different spots this season and could be a solid two-way forward.

Kirill Maksimov of Niagara has good offensive ability. He scored a bunch after being traded from Saginaw to Niagara. Some deficiencies in his game but the fact he has some skill and good size make him worth a look.


Canes and Coffee: Do you have any additional thoughts on the 2017 NHL draft as relates to the Hurricanes?

Brad Coccimiglio: Considering the fact that the team has gone with a defenceman with its first pick in three-straight drafts, I expect the team to go best player available but leaning towards a forward. Having six picks in the top three rounds will be huge. The team has the ability to add some really solid players.



Canes and Coffee extends a huge thank you to Brad Coccimiglio from SooToday for generously sharing his ‘from the rink’ insight on Ontario Hockey League draft prospects who could be part of the Carolina Hurricanes 2017 draft class!

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