The 2012 OHL Priority Selection takes place next Saturday April 7, 2012, beginning at 9:00 am with the special online draft show presented by State Farm.
Here are five forwards to look for in the early rounds of the draft with analysis from OHL Director of Central Scouting Darrell Woodley.
Samuel Bennett, Toronto Marlboros: 5'11 160 LW
Samuel is a player that does all the little things that most coaches love. One of his bigest attributes is his hockey sense, he reads and understands the game at a level higher then most players his age. Samuel has very good hands whether it's chipping pucks to his teammates, making a cross ice pass or capitalizing on a scoring chance in the offensive zone. He is not afraid to go to the dirty areas to score goals or prevent goals in his own end. He is a player that complements all the other highly skilled players on his team very well, because even though he is not as quick as them he uses his smarts and compete level to make those players better. Bennett finished the 2012 OHL Cup with three goals and eight assists for 11 points in seven games.
Eric Cornel, Upper Canada Cyclones: 6'2 165 RC
Eric is an offensive minded centre that can create offense in a number of ways, beating a defender off the rush, using his shot from the point on the power play or setting a teammate up for a tap in goal. Eric has a very hard and accurate snapshot which he also has the ability to get off while in full stride which most players at this level cannot do. At the next level with skilled wingers to play with he is going to be a very dominant centre and will put up some big numbers in his Junior career.
Michael Dal Colle, Vaughan Kings: 6'2 170 LC
Michael is a big centre with high end offensive skills. He is most effective when he has the puck on his stick and is setting up his teammates. Michael's strongest part of his game is in the offensive zone from the top of the circles down. He controls and protects the puck extremely well off the cycle, where he creates the majority of his scoring chances. He is one of the better playmakers in the draft but when he gets the opportunity to score he usually finishes his chances. Michael led the Kings in scoring at the 2012 OHL Cup with four goals and seven assists for 11 points in five games.
Robert Fabbri, Mississauga Rebels: 5'10 150 LC
Robert is a winner and does whatever it takes to win. Whether it means taking a hit to get a puck out, blocking a shot while killing a penalty, scoring the big goal in the third period or matching up against another teams top centre and being asked to shut him down. Robert plays like he is 6'2 and will not back down against anyone no matter how big they are. He is definitely a big game player, the bigger the game the better he plays. When his team needs a big goal he is usually the one that they turn to. As captain of the OHL Cup Champion Rebels, Robert led the team in scoring with eight points in seven games.
Joshua Ho-Sang, Toronto Marlboros 5'11 160 RC
Joshua is one of the most gifted players in the draft. It seems like there isn't anything he can't do with the puck on his stick. He has the ability to beat a defenseman 1 on 1 and make them look like they were standing still. Joshua has many gears which makes him very hard to defend off the rush. He is also not afraid to take the puck to any area of the ice if it will create a scoring chance for himself or his teammates. At top speed there are very few players at this age that can keep up with him and he seems like he can skate forever and not get tired. In five OHL Cup games he recorded six points for the Marlies.