2023-24 OHL Season Preview: Barrie Colts

2023-24 OHL Season Preview: Barrie Colts

Last season, the Barrie Colts finished with a record of 42-17-6-3 in the regular season, ranking them in second place in the Central Division. The team re-added Brandt Clarke at the halfway mark, and did not make any big splashes at the trade deadline. Ultimately, they lost in game 7 to the North Bay Battalion in their second-round playoff series. Now, they need their younger players to take the next step in Beau Akey, and Cole Beaudoin.

Beau Akey, of the Barrie Colts (Josh Kim/Barrie Colts)
Beau Akey, of the Barrie Colts (Josh Kim/Barrie Colts)

Before we dive into what next season has in store for this team, let’s discuss the influx of youth that has infiltrated their system.

2023 OHL Priority Selection Draftees

  • Round 1 – #19: F – Shamar Moses (Don Mills Flyers – GTHL U16) (signed)
  • Round 2 – #26: F – Jaiden Newton (Whitby Wildcats – ETAHL U16) (signed)
  • Round 3 – #59: F – Mason Goodfellow (Greater Kingston Gaels – ETAHL U16)
  • Round 3 – #60: D – Justin Handsor (York Simcoe Express – ETAHL U16)
  • Round 4 – #73: F – Sam Black (Waterloo Wolves  – Alliance U16)
  • Round 5 – #90: F – Johnathan Cirone (Barrie Colts – ETAHL U16)
  • Round 5 – #92: D – Teague Vader (Huron Perth Lakers – Alliance U16)
  • Round 6 – #107: F – Peter Legostaev (Smith Falls Bears – HEO U18)
  • Round 6 – #119: D – Ethan Armstrong (Toronto Jr. Canadiens – GTHL U16)
  • Round 7 – #139: F – Cole Dubowsky (Sudbury Nickel Capitals – GNML)
  • Round 8 – #159: F – Kaiden Harman (Peterborough Petes – ETAHL U16)
  • Round 9 – #179: G – Owen Butler (Vaughan Kings – GTHL U16)
  • Round 10 – #199: D – Nathan Gerelus (Ajax/Pickering Raiders – ETAHL U16)
  • Round 11 – #219: F – Lior Buchler (Smith Falls Bears – HEO U18)
  • Round 12 – #232: D – Kyler Leboutillier (Pembroke Lumber Kings – HEO U18)
  • Round 12 – #239: G – Nico Armellin (Toronto Jr. Canadiens – GTHL U16)
  • Round 13 – #259: F – Owen Bruining (Barrie Colts – ETAHL U16)
  • Round 14 – #279: D – Eric Sencaj (York Simcoe Express – ETAHL U16)
  • Round 15 – #299: F – William Schneid (Defected to USHL)
  • Round 15 – #301: F – Mac Earle (Toronto Red Wings – GTHL U16)

The Colts selected 20 players in the 2023 Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Priority Selection, and appear to have gotten some value in their picks. Many scouts had Peter Legostaev ranked higher, potentially in the top-50 range, and he fell to them at the 107th selection. He is known for his vision and puck-handling abilities, and can generate scoring chances from a cycle.

via @OHLHockey on Twitter

Shamar Moses will be drawing plenty of eyes over his OHL career, as the Don Mills Flyers forward is known for his combination of size and skill. He can enter battles, win plenty of them with possession, and can drive into the inner-slot area at one of the highest rates compared to any player in this draft class.

Josh Kim, the Barrie Colts team photographer, offered some insight into Mose’s game.

“I’d say he fell a little to our spot, and embodies the identity of our team. He’s got a heavy shot, a unique level of swagger on the ice, and I think he can hold his own physically.”

“The second name that stood out to me was Teague Vader (Round 5, #92 overall),” Kim said he might not start this season on the team, but he impressed me in rookie camp. Smooth skater with a knack for closing gaps and blocking shots, I feel like there is some potential there just based on how well he moves on the ice.”

Let’s discuss their import draft and the one player that is confirmed to be coming over to North America for next season.

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2023 CHL Import Draftees

  • 49th: Michael Brandsegg-Nygard (unsigned) (2024 NHL Draft eligible)
  • 109th: Endo Meier (signed)

Barrie used both of their import slots on a pair of forwards and has just the lone commitment from Endo Meier.

via @OHLBarrieColts on Twitter

The Swiss native had 17 goals, and 39 points in 46 games in the U20-Elite league, and will be looking to gain NHL Draft consideration for next season. Michael Brandsegg-Nygard is a projected top-10 pick in next year’s NHL Draft and will play in the HockeyAllsvenskan league.

It’s been a quiet offseason for the Colts, but there was a trade made by the team in June that bolsters their forward group.

Barrie Acquires Riley Patterson

On June 21st, the Colts acquired the rights to Riley Patterson from the Flint Firebirds in exchange for a Sudbury 2nd (‘24), a Kitchener 2nd (‘25), a 3rd (‘27), a 4th (‘26), a 4th (‘27) and a Sarnia 6th (‘24). Last season, he played for the North York Rangers in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL) and produced 30 goals and 73 points in 52 games. His stellar season was capped by winning the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) Rookie of the Year award.

via @OHLBarrieColts on Twitter

“The transition to the OHL is tough, but given how he performed at the OJHL level and the fact that he wants to be in Barrie, that means a lot,” Kim said on Patterson.

He committed to the team on June 22nd, and projects to be a top-six contributor. The move was a surprise as he had already committed to Michigan State University, but credit to the team for convincing him to sign in Barrie.

Season Prediction: 35-29-2-2 (3rd in Central)

The team added Eduard Sale, who was drafted 20th overall by the Seattle Kraken in the 2023 NHL Draft, and he’ll be a top contributor for them. Many believe that he’ll play on a line with Patterson, which could be a fun combination to watch over the next few seasons. Sale is tied with Pavel Zacha for second all-time for most points by an under-17 Czechia skater in Hlinka Gretzky tournament history, which was recently broken by Adam Benák in the last few weeks.

There is also Akey, who was selected 56th overall by the Edmonton Oilers in this year’s draft, who will have permanent top-pairing duties without Clarke. He broke out offensively with 47 points in 66 games last season and was above-average transition defense throughout the regular season last year. 

The Colts need to see how their new parts integrate into their team and could take a step back in the regular season. However, they are primed to load up at the trade deadline and could set themselves up for a longer playoff run next spring.

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