This week, we take a close look to an emerging prospect out of the Ontario Hockey League: Anthony Cirelli. Cirelli is the assistant captain of the Oshawa Generals and is playing in his second season with the club. He was selected in the third round, 72nd overall, at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
“His biggest strength is that he has no glaring weaknesses,” Oshawa Generals head coach Bob Jones said. “He’s a great skater and puck handler. He’s what we call a 200-foot player.”
Last season, Cirelli scored 13 goals in 68 games played with the Generals, recording a +34 along the way. This past June, Cirelli played a key role as he scored two goals against the Kelowna Rockets to clinch the Generals first Memorial Cup title since 1990.
“He started out as a bit of an unknown but he made a huge impact as the season went on,” Jones said. “He leads by an example and is a great character player.” Jones also said that Cirelli was their No.1 penalty-killer.
Cirelli continues to pick up the pace in the 2015-16 season, scoring five goals in his first 17 games. He has notched 15 points in comparison to his 36 points that he picked all of last season.
Cirelli posted a solid three-point performance over the past week. Last Friday, he scored the game-winning goal against the Sudbury Wolves which gave the Generals a 5-4 overtime victory. On Sunday, he picked up two assists in the Generals 6-3 triumph over the Kingston Frontenacs.
When asked about Cirelli’s development, Jones emphasized his patience with the 18-year-old. “His maturity is beyond his years but he still has a ways to go.” Jones also stressed the importance of developing the body of a teenager in addition to his maturity.