September 24, 2017

A season of redemption: A look at your potential 2017-18 Ottawa 67's

After three long seasons of ups and downs, the Ottawa 67’s are off to a fresh start with a lot of new faces from rookies to veterans and almost the entire coaching staff.

This optimism was a little deflated after a terrible showing in Barrie where they lost 11-2 in the opening game of the new OHL season. They rebounded the next game with a big 4-3 win over the Mississauga Steelheads. The home opener is tomorrow at 7:00pm.

Let’s take a closer look at you 2017-2018 Ottawa 67’s:

  • C Sasha Chmelevski
  • C Austen Keating
  • LW Travis Barron
  • D Noel Hoefenmayer
  • D Peter Stratis
  • G Olivier Lafreniere
After a disappointing season offensively, we have our eyes on Sasha Chmelevski looking for a breakout year. We’ve seen the skill and it’s all there, it’s a matter of it coming all together consistently. Could he finish in the top 10 of scoring? We think so.

Chmelevski, Travis Barron and Noel Hoefenmayer all come back with NHL camp experience under their belts and will all play in a key offensive and leadership role. Austen Keating returns with something to prove after not being selected in the NHL draft. His leadership and all around play will be a big part of Ottawa’s success this season.

With Leo Lazarev shipped off to Barrie, the starting goaltender gig is back up for grabs. Olivier Lafreniere showed some great promise last season, but there are questions on his ability to play the full load of games. This is his chance to prove he can with a rookie (Cedric Andree) and veteran (Olivier Tremblay) on his tail.

  • C Zack Dorval
  • C Patrick White
  • RW Artur Tyanulin
  • LW Jared Steege
  • D Chris Martenet
  • D Ryan Orban
  • G Leo Lazarev
Patrick White, Jared Steege and Chris Martenet were overagers last season and have moved on from the OHL. White and Steege now play at U of Ottawa and Carleton U respectively while Martenet will play for the Dallas Stars AHL farm team. They all added much needed leadership to a very young squad last year.
The 67’s lose a huge offensive weapon in Artur Tyanulin who could have remained in Ottawa this year, but would take up both an overager spot and import spot on the roster -- which is rare to see in the OHL. He will likely return overseas to play.

Leo Lazarev, an overager this year, was traded to the rebuilding Barrie Colts allowing Lafreniere the opportunity to lead the team. Lazarev and Lafreniere played much of the tandem with Lazarev taking the bulk and into the playoffs. Lazarev was on the opposite end of the 11-2 drubbing in Barrie on opening night.

  • C Sam Bitten 
  • RW Graeme Clarke 
  • RW Oliver True 
  • RW Jack Quinn 
  • LW Mitchell Hoelscher 
  • LW Quinn Yule 
  • LW Seva Losev
  • D Nikita Okhotyuk 
  • D Lucas Peric 
  • G Cedrick Andree 
  • G Olivier Tremblay 
While the final roster cuts haven’t been made, the 67’s have 11 new faces hoping to secure a full-time spot with the team. The likes of Sam Bitten and Mitchell Hoelscher got their feet wet with a couple games experience last season and are joined by fellow 2016 draft picks Quinn Yule and Cedrick Andree. Sam Bitten, who is the younger brother of Montreal Canadiens’ prospect Will Bitten has a big year ahead of him.

There are five picks from the 2017 draft. Out of these five, expect to see the two Import picks Nikita Okhotyuk and Oliver True to make the lineup along side first rounder Graeme Clarke.

Olivier Tremblay comes over from the QMJHL after spending four seasons between Rimouski, Victoriaville and Rouyn-Noranda. Tremblay will take up one of the three overage spots for Ottawa.

OVERAGERS (2/3 spots)
  • C Mathieu Foget
  • G Olivier Tremblay
IMPORT PLAYERS (2/2 spots)
  • RW Olivier True
  • D Nikita Okhotyuk
  • C Sam Bitten 
  • RW Oliver True 
  • RW Kody Clark
  • D Carter Robertson
  • D Peter Stratis
  • D Kevin Bahl
The 67’s have a lot of young and upcoming talent on their squad including six guys in their first year of eligibility for the 2018 NHL Draft.

Judging from their play last season, we think Kevin Bahl, Kody Clark and Carter Robertson have the best chance of being drafted. Bahl gained a lot of valuable experience as a rookie on a young blueline last season. He came into last year still adjusting to his tall/lanky frame. He looked lost at times but has since worked on his defensive game and could be the stay-at-home defenseman Ottawa desperately needs. If Bahl can get on the board offensively as well, he’ll be an anchor on the 67’s blueline this upcoming season.

We were impressed with the way Kody Clark ended the season in Ottawa last year. The fact he kept his improvement on the upswing shows a lot of promise coming into his draft year. He’s skilled with the puck and has a heavy shot - he’s become a bonafide top 6 forward with the team.

Carter Robertson, like most players, had a rough season last year but still showed some great potential. He moves and plays well on both ends of the ice but has a higher offensive ceiling than some other blueliners on the team. He will be an interesting player to track this year.

  • James Boyd: General Manager
  • Jan Egert: Assistant General Manager 
  • Andre Tourigny: Head Coach & VP of Hockey Operations
  • Norm Milley: Assistant Coach
  • Mario Duhamel: Associate Coach
  • Andy Chiodo: Goalie Coach
  • Derek Miller: Director of Player Development and Performance

When Jeff Brown stepped down, the 67’s were left no Head Coach and no GM. In early June, the 67’s hired former Mississauga Steelheads GM James Boyd and Assistant GM Jan Egert. Boyd comes with 7 years of GM experience, 17 years of coaching experience and a couple seasons playing in the OHL including 1 season with the 67’s. Egert, has worked with Boyd in the past as the Video Coach, Assistant GM and Head of Scouting with the Steelheads through his 3 years of experience. He also served as Team Switzerland’s video coach for 3 years.

Replacing Brown in the Head Coach roll is Andre Tourigny who has 13 years experience years of coaching & 11 years as GM in QMJHL. He also spent 3 years in a coaching in the NHL and is a 4-time coach with Team Canada at the U18s & U20s.

The 67’s continued to fill out their staff with former players, coaches and GMs. The CHL experience will be key for the staff understanding their roles and how to deal with younger and more impressionable players.

  • Jun 13: James Boyd & Andre Tourigny hired
  • Jun 25: Noel Hoefenmayer & Sasha Chmelevski drafted to NHL
  • Jun 28: Nikita Okhotyuk and Oliver True drafted in the CHL Import Draft
  • Jul 4: Mario Duhamel & Jan Egert hired
  • Jul 22: Graeme Clarke at U17 development camp
  • Aug 2-4: Sasha Chmelevski participates with Team USA in the World Junior Showcase
  • Aug 7-9: Kevin Bahl plays with Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament
  • Aug 12: Kevin Bahl wins gold with Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament
  • Aug 14: Import Draft pick Nikita Okhotyuk commits to the 67’s
  • Aug 18: Hunter Carrick traded to Windsor for draft picks
  • Aug 25: Andy Chiodo & Derek Miller hired
  • Aug 30: Norm Milley hired 

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