Lost in this year’s “McEichel Mania” and the "Erie Fever" atop the OHL scoring race is another high-octane scorer from a program that has been a factory for scoring talent in the Ontario Hockey League.
The London Knights have already given us Patrick Kane, Rick Nash, Corey Perry and a potential scoring dynamo in Max Domi in the near future, not to mention top-end blue-liners like John Carlson and Olli Maatta.
London’s next major contributor and future star is center Mitch Marner.
The 17-year-old Markham, Ont. native showed serious playmaking potential in his 2013-14 rookie season when he registered 46 assists to go along with 13 goals in 64 games. As impressive as that first taste of the OHL was for Marner, he blew those totals out of the water in his second act. Marner finished second in OHL scoring with 44 goals and 126 points in 63 games this past season.
2015 NHL DRAFT
Punctuating Marner’s great season, the sniper scored nine goals and 16 points in seven playoff games. He's currently top-10 in OHL playoff scoring.
Marner had a firm grip on the OHL’s scoring race heading into the final month of the season before his torrid scoring tapered off some and Erie’s Dylan Strome got red-hot. Strome had nine goals and 20 points in games in March to finish the season, while Marner finished with just one goal and seven points over the season’s last eight games in March.
Marner isn't the biggest kid at 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds, but he could still have some growing to do. His calling card is terrific vision and hockey sense on the ice coupled with an NHL-caliber shot.
Here's TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button on Marner:
“Combine skill, smarts and confidence and you have Mitch. Excellent playmaker who can make plays in and through the tightest of spaces. Very elusive with his skating but can attack & beat defenders 1-1. Sees plays unfolding and is very comfortable holding puck to allow them to develop. Plays with an assuredness that is threatening and he doesn't take a 'back seat' in the game.”