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NHL Draft

DeBrincat, Raddysh lead Erie to OHL title

Top 2016 NHL Draft prospects help Otters earn home-ice advantage in playoffs

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / Staff Writer

Erie forwards Alexander DeBrincat and Taylor Raddysh, each projected to be selected early in the 2016 NHL Draft, combined for two goals and two assists in a 4-2 win against London on Saturday to help the Otters clinch the No. 1 seed and home-ice advantage throughout the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.

The Otters (52-15-1) needed to win in regulation to tie London with 105 points and finish atop the league based on more wins. Erie, which will open the 2016 OHL playoffs in a best-of-7 series against Saginaw on March 25, not only tied the franchise record for wins set in 2014 but became the first team in OHL history to earn three-straight seasons of 50 or more victories.

Raddysh, No. 34 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters eligible for the 2016 draft, had two goals, a plus-1 rating and five shots on goal in the victory. The 6-foot-2, 203-pound right wing has 24 goals and 73 points this season. He has 45 goals and 100 points in 125 regular-season games.

DeBrincat (5-7, 163), No. 20 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking, had two assists, a plus-1 rating and three shots on goal. The right wing finished with 51 goals and 101 points, marking his second straight 100-plus point season. DeBrincat has 102 goals, 205 points and a plus-77 rating in 128 regular-season games for Erie. The fact he topped 100 points is significant this season since he did so without Connor McDavid as his center. 

McDavid played three seasons in Erie before becoming the No. 1 pick in the 2015 draft by the Edmonton Oilers. McDavid had 97 goals and 285 points in 166 games with the Otters.

The win by Erie also clinched a second straight Midwest Division title and fifth overall.

London left wing Matthew Tkachuk, No. 1 on Central Scouting's midterm ranking of North American skaters, had one assist in the loss to conclude the regular season with a 19-game point streak. Tkachuk (6-1, 195) has 14 goals and 37 points over that stretch. The son of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Keith Tkachuk has 30 goals, 107 points and a plus-45 rating in 57 games this season.

Third-seeded London (51-14-3), which had a nine-game win streak end, will play sixth-seeded Owen Sound in the opening round of the OHL playoffs.

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