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Ontario Hockey League top-10 list

NHL.com @NHL

(CP) - The top 10 storylines to watch in the Ontario Hockey League in 2007-08:

1. Oshawa Generals forward John Tavares, 16, has asked the NHL and the NHL Players' Association to allow him to be drafted a year early in 2008 under an "exceptional player" clause similar to a clause that allowed him to play in the OHL at 15. Tavares was born five days too late for the 2008 draft.

2. The London Knights would contend for a championship if the one-two punch of Patrick Kane and Sam Gagner returned for second seasons in the OHL. But the Chicago Blackhawks are likely to hang on to Kane, the first pick in this year's NHL draft, for a while.

3. Still with the London Knights, goaltender Steve Mason was a standout for Canada's junior team in the recent Super Series against Russia. He's a candidate to start for Canada at the 2008 world junior hockey championship.

4. Niagara Falls spurned offers from prospective owners wanting to put an OHL team in that city. How many people from Niagara Falls will boost the gate at IceDogs games in St. Catharines just 20 minutes away?

5. Sarnia Sting forward Steve Stamkos is the early favourite to be the first overall selection in the 2008 NHL draft.

6. Erie Otters forward Ryan O'Reilly is another player to watch. He was the first pick in this year's OHL draft and a player the Otters hope can get them out of the league basement where they finished last season.

7. The Kitchener Rangers have both the blessing and the curse of being the 2008 Memorial Cup hosts. They have an automatic berth in the Canadian Hockey League championship tournament, but the pressure is on to perform like they deserve to be there.

8. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds head coach Craig Hartsburg will coach Canada's junior hockey team again. He'll try and match Brent Sutter's feat of back-to-back world junior titles and coach Canada to a fourth straight gold medal.

9. Brian Kilrea enters his 30th season as head coach of the Ottawa 67's. The winningest coach in junior hockey has a way of getting average teams to overachieve.

10. The St. Michael's Majors have a new home in Mississauga's Hershey Centre. The Majors, owned by Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk, need a buzz after finishing out of the playoffs last season with 47 points.

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