September 28, 2016

A closer look at your 2016-17 Ottawa 67's

Just two games into the OHL regular season and a 1-1 record, the Ottawa 67’s brass is slowly starting to see how their team shapes up. There are many positives from both games including some great offensive performances by Austen Keating, Artur Tyanulin and Drake Rymsha along with a couple stellar saves by Leo Lazarev. But there is a lot of work to be done.

“We got a lot of youth in the lineup, especially on the backend, it's tough. Even our older guys struggled today. It’s early and we’ve got a lot of work to do.” said head coach Jeff Brown after a 7-5 loss to the Barrie Colts on a guaranteed-win Sunday afternoon.

The 67’s will have one of the youngest teams in the OHL this season and it has shown from several defensive breakdowns throughout the preseason and the regular season. With such a young squad, the 67’s brass will have to be very patient

15 returning players
8 brand new players
7 rookies
3 current overagers
2 current import players

  • Dante Salituro
  • Nathan Todd
  • Nevin Guy
  • Evan de Haan
  • Stepan Falkovsky
  • Jeremiah Addison
  • Liam Herbst
  • Adam Craievich
After two impressive draft seasons and not being selected, Dante Salituro earned himself a NHL contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets as a free agent. Salituro will likely make the Cleveland Monsters, the AHL affiliate for Columbus.

Graduating is Nathan Todd, Nevin Guy and Evan de Haan. Todd was a huge threat down the stretch and one of Ottawa’s best players in their last two postseasons. He signed a deal with the Quad City Mallards of the ECHL. Guy and de Haan leave behind them a young blueline who will miss some of that veteran direction.

Adding to the already depleted blueline is last year’s import selection, Stepan Falkovsky. It is unknown where Falkovsky will land at the moment, but there is no spot for him with the 67’s at this time with two players (Artur Tyanulin & Andrej Golikov) already filling the Import player maximum.

Earlier this month, Jeremiah Addison was traded to the Windsor Spitfires in exchange for conditional picks. Between Salituro, Todd and Addison - who are all no longer with the team - that is 200 points gone from last season. Other players will now be depended on to step up

Liam Herbst was traded to the Guelph Storm in the offseason for a 4th round pick. It was clear that Leo Lazarev won the starting goaltending job and Herbst would not be getting all the playing time he deserves. Trading Herbst allows him to become a starter for a rebuilding team, let’s Olivier Lafreniere come in to get experience, and frees up an overage spot for Ottawa.Through two games, Herbst hold a 1.00 goals against average. Not too shabby.

Adam Craievich was cut from the team and will look to pursue other hockey opportunities. We thought he has a lot of skill that he wasn't able to connect in Ottawa but skills that could land him in the QMJHL, however, he is currently playing for the Caledonia Corvairs in the GOJHL.

  • Patrick White
  • Olivier Lafreniere
  • Ben Evans
  • Kody Clark
  • Peter Stratis
  • Carter Robertson
  • Kevin Bahl
  • Andrej Golikov
The Addison and Herbst trades opened up an overage spot which the 67’s filled with Orleans native, F Patrick White. White was acquired in the offseason from the Sarnia Sting for a fourth round pick.

Also making their debuts for the 67’s is 2014 pick Olivier Lafreniere who is expected to take over from Leo Lazarev next season. F Ben Evans made some big impressions in camp and earned a roster spot along with fellow 2015 pick F Kody Clark. Clark has shown some great flashes of skill and is off to a good start with a goal in each game. Clark is the son of former Maple Leafs’ favourite, Wendel Clark. His father has been around town since training camp and was able to see both of his son’s goals.

“It’s fun and exciting for me to be here watching my young guy play,” says Wendel Clark.

Rounding out the rookies the 2015 selections Peter Stratis (1st round), Carter Robertson (2nd round), Kevin Bahl (2nd round) and Andrej Golikov (1st round import draft). Other than all being drafted in the 2015 OHL draft, they are also all defenseman and make up a good chunk of the blueline. Stratis has missed both regular season games and will be out for a couple more weeks with an upperbody injury.


Leo Lazarev is the started while Olivier Lafreniere backs up. Lazarev will be relied on a lot this season. He will be expected to steal some games for this young squad while being a mentor for Lafreniere as he prepares to take over in the future.


As mentioned, the defense has a big overhaul of talented, young players. There are only two defenseman over the age of 18. Jake Middleton will be looked to often and has a big task ahead of him. They 67’s will need to decide if they bring in another veteran defenseman or be patient and let the rookies learn from their own mistakes.


The 67’s have 11 returning forwards, but only 9 who played regularly last season. After requesting a trade in the offseason, Ben Fanjoy is looking rather comfortable on the top line. Players to watch will be Sasha Chmelevski and Austen Keating as they both enter their draft year along with experienced vets Travis Barron, Artur Tyanulin and sophomore Drake Rymsha. Tyanulin will look to build on his career high of 52 points in 67 games. Chmelevski and Rymsha hope to stay healthy to prove themselves throughout the season. Barron has definitely worked out in the postseason and it looks like it’s been working for him as he has a complete new energy since he returned.


Jeff Brown enters his 3rd season behind the 67’s bench. Joining the 67’s coaching staff this season is another former NHL defensemen, Brad Brown (no relation), as an assistant coach. The 67’s now have three Browns on their team. Brown was part of the Maplesoft Hawks Hockey Organization for the last six years. Before that, he was helping out with the Barrie Colts in 2009.

  • Run and gun - Brown likes systems, but it may take the players a bit to get used to it and buy in. The team has a run-and-gun look, but that won’t always make them successful if they continue to cough up the puck in their own zone.
  • Inexperience - experience can be a lot, especially down the long stretches. Some players will be looked upon faster than they may expect and there will be a lot of pressure on the few vets.
  • Long pain period - the 67’s will have to decide if they are going to be patient and let things work out for themselves or if they will trade some assets for more potential success this season.
  • Ben Fanjoy
  • Austen Keating
  • Sasha Chmeleveski
  • Drake Rymsha
  • Travis Barron

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