It was another slightly concerning week in the Ontario Hockey League with COVID-19 continuing to run its course with the Sudbury Wolves. Despite that, there were some big news stories to get to, and ones that could seriously alter the landscape of contending teams. Let’s jump right into it.
Tucker Tynan Traded to Greyhounds
The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds have been rumoured to be in the hunt for an elite goaltender for quite some time, but with little to no success finding one, it seemed like they would have to continue their wait. That changed on Monday afternoon when the Greyhounds announced that they had acquired Tucker Tynan from the Niagara IceDogs in exchange for an eighth-round pick in the 2024 OHL Priority Selection and a third-round pick in 2025.
In the 2019-20 season, Tynan was involved in an incident where not only the future of his hockey career was questionable, but there were legitimate fears for his life. Before this, the IceDogs had used a 10th-round pick to select Tynan in the 2018 Priority Selection, but he was developing into an elite OHL-calibre goaltender. In the 2019-20 season, Tynan put up some really good numbers on a really bad IceDogs team. He boasted a 3.80 goals-against-average and a .910 save percentage in 23 games before being injured.
“He’s a super competitive kid,” said Greyhounds’ general manager Kyle Raftis of Tynan. “He’s highly motivated and coming into this new environment is really going to take him to another step.”
This season, his numbers have been down slightly, but that is mostly to do with a bad team in front of him. He should bring stability to the Greyhounds’ crease and allow them to focus a little more on the offensive side of the ice. With the Greyhounds sitting in third place in the Western Conference, they are showing that they are all in on winning a Memorial Cup this season.
Sudbury Wolves Troubles With COVID-19
Last week, the Sudbury Wolves made headlines when the OHL was forced to postpone three of their games due to an outbreak of COVID-19 within the team. According to the OHL, 12 players had tested positive for the virus, although they would not identify those who were positive. On Monday, the league announced two further postponements where the 12 positive cases were again identified.
On Wednesday morning, the OHL and the Wolves announced dates for their rescheduled games.
- @ Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Wednesday, December 1st, 2021 > Tuesday, March 1st, 2022
- Vs. Barrie Colts – Friday, December 3rd, 2021 > Tuesday, January 25, 2022
- @ Barrie Colts – Saturday, December 4th, 2021 > Tuesday, January 18th, 2022
- Vs. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Friday, December 10th, 2021 > Tuesday, January 4th, 2022
- Vs. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds – Sunday, December 12th, 2021 > Tuesday, February 8th, 2022
Alex Johnston Commits to 67’s
On Wednesday morning, the Ottawa 67’s announced that overage forward, Alex Johnston had committed to the team. Johnston has past experience in the OHL with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds, but was the odd man out this season. He has since played in the British Columbia Hockey League with the Nanaimo Clippers where he has scored two points in two games.
“Alex is a hard-working and competitive player, with experience in the Ontario Hockey League,” said general manager James Boyd. “His addition will provide stability, and maturity to our lineup.”
While playing with the Greyhounds, Alex Johnston played well and was certainly an OHL calibre player. He was the odd man out in a crowded overage spot and was let go in training camp. He waited for his chance to play elsewhere, but that didn’t come for some time. On Wednesday night, he picked up his first point in the barber pole.
“It was really big for us,” said Norm Milley who is serving as the head coach while Dave Cameron is away at the World Juniors. “We’ve been talking about it for a long time to insulate the young guys. They were playing a lot and sometimes when you overplay them, you can hurt their development. By getting Alex [Johnston] it gives us the ability to not only add depth to our team but also gives us support for our younger guys and helps them develop as well.”
Brandon Coe Signs With Sharks
On Monday, the NHL’s San Jose Sharks announced that they had signed North Bay Battalion forward Brandon Coe to a standard entry-level contract. Coe was drafted by the Sharks in the fourth round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and is currently setting the OHL alight with 46 points in 24 games.
“Brandon is a developing power forward with great skating ability,” said Sharks Director of Scouting Doug Wilson Jr. “Last year he gained valuable experience playing in the AHL and we’re proud of how he has taken his offence to the next level this season. He’s leading the OHL in scoring and is a key player on a first-place North Bay team.”
It’s Almost Christmas
It’s hard to believe that the Christmas break will soon be upon us in the OHL. Players have already started leaving for the World Juniors, and soon, we will step aside for a few days and there will be a trade freeze. The first chunk of the season has been filled with exciting games, lots of parity, and some interesting transactions. It’s still anyone’s guess how this season will end, but the start was completely unexpected in many ways.