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Team OHL selected for Canada-Russia series

by Adam Kimelman

Sarnia defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Mississauga forward Michael McLeod, top prospects for the 2016 NHL Draft, were among the players picked for Team OHL in the 2015 CHL Canada-Russia Series.

Team OHL will play Team Russia on Nov. 12 in Owen Sound, Ontario, and Nov. 16 in Windsor, Ontario. The games are used by Hockey Canada as an evaluation tool for picking the team that will play for Canada at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

Team OHL roster for CAN-RUS series


GOALTENDERS: Mackenzie Blackwood, Barrie (New Jersey Devils); Michael McNiven, Owen Sound (Montreal Canadiens)

DEFENSEMEN: Travis Dermott, Erie (Toronto Maple Leafs); Vince Dunn, Niagara (St. Louis Blues); Garrett McFadden, Guelph (2016 NHL Draft eligible); Roland McKeown, Kingston (Carolina Hurricanes); Matthew Spencer, Peterborough (Tampa Bay Lightning)

FORWARDS: Nathan Bastian, Mississauga (2016 NHL Draft eligible); Zachary Bratina, North Bay (2016 NHL Draft eligible); Lawson Crouse, Kingston (Florida Panthers); Travis Konecny, Ottawa (Philadelphia Flyers); Andrew Mangiapane, Barrie (Calgary Flames); Michael McLeod, Mississauga (2016 NHL Draft eligible); Dylan Sadowy, Saginaw (San Jose Sharks); Dante Salituro, Ottawa (2016 NHL Draft eligible); Zach Senyshyn, Sault Ste. Marie (Boston Bruins); Blake Speers, Sault Ste. Marie (New Jersey Devils); Dylan Strome, Erie (Arizona Coyotes); Spencer Watson, Kingston (Los Angeles Kings)


GOALTENDERS: Michael McNiven, Owen Sound (Montreal Canadiens); Dylan Wells, Peterborough (2016 NHL Draft eligible)

DEFENSEMEN: Kyle Capobianco, Sudbury (Arizona Coyotes); Jakob Chychrun, Sarnia (2016 NHL Draft eligible); Victor Mete, London (2016 NHL Draft eligible); Roland McKeown, Kingston (Carolina Hurricanes); Alex Peters, Flint (Dallas Stars); Mitchell Vande Sompel, Oshawa (New York Islanders)

FORWARDS: Michael Amadio, North Bay (Los Angeles Kings); William Bitten, Flint (2016 NHL Draft eligible); Logan Brown, Windsor (2016 NHL Draft eligible); Anthony Cirelli, Oshawa (Tampa Bay Lightning); Eric Cornel, Peterborough (Buffalo Sabres); Cristiano DiGiacinto, Windsor (Tampa Bay Lightning); Michael Dal Colle, Oshawa (New York Islanders); Graham Knott, Niagara (Chicago Blackhawks); Mitchell Marner, London (Toronto Maple Leafs); Brendan Perlini, Niagara (Arizona Coyotes); Spencer Watson, Kingston (Los Angeles Kings)

Chychrun, who received an A rating from NHL Central Scouting in its September players to watch list, is expected to be one of the top three players picked at the 2016 draft.

A 6-foot-2, 215-pound left-shot defender, Chychrun has one goal, five assists and a plus-6 rating in 10 games. He will play in the game in Windsor.

Last season he had 16 goals and 33 points in 42 games as a rookie. He missed the final 26 games of the regular season and the Ontario Hockey League playoffs because of an upper-body injury. His father is former NHL player Jeff Chychrun.

"I saw Chychrun a lot last year before his injury and again after he returned and he has an all-around game," Central Scouting's Al Jensen said. "I haven't seen a young defenseman with this type of skill set in his draft year since Scott Stevens. Jakob has that drive and determination, and when I look in his eyes you can see it. He's almost NHL-ready right now. People will be very impressed with this kid; he's got a phenomenal shot, he's a leader and plays all situations, and his 1-on-1 coverage is great."

Also playing in the Windsor game are Peterborough goaltender Dylan Wells, London defenseman Victor Mete, Flint forward William Bitten and Windsor forward Logan Brown, all of whom received B ratings from Central Scouting. In five games Wells (6-1, 187) is 3-1-1 with a 3.15 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. Mete (5-9, 174) is tied for fourth among OHL defensemen with eight points in nine games, and has a plus-11 rating. Bitten, a 5-9, 167-pound center, is tied for fourth in the OHL with 14 points in nine games. Brown, a 6-6, 222-pound center, leads Windsor with 11 points in nine games.

McLeod, a 6-2, 188-pound center, received an A rating from Central Scouting. He will play in the Owen Sound game. In 10 games he has one goal and eight assists. As a rookie last season he had 12 goals and 29 points in 63 games.

Two other 2016 draft prospects will play in the Owen Sound game: Mississauga forward Nathan Bastian, who received a B rating, and Ottawa forward Dante Salituro, who was given a C rating. Bastian, a 6-3, 208-pound right wing, has six goals and eight points in 10 games. Salituro, a 5-8, 178-pound center, has six goals and 11 points in eight games.

Lawson Crouse, taken by the Florida Panthers with the 11th pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, is one of four players that will skate in both games, along with goaltender Michael McNiven, defenseman Roland McKeown and forwards Spencer Watson.

Crouse also is one of five players picked in the first round of the 2015 draft named to the team, along with Dylan Strome (No. 3, Arizona Coyotes), Mitchell Marner (No. 4, Toronto Maple Leafs), Zach Senyshyn (No. 15, Boston Bruins) and Travis Konecny (No. 24, Philadelphia Flyers).

Owen Sound coach Ryan McGill will coach Team OHL in the game in Owen Sound, with Windsor associate coach Trevor Letowski and Owen Sound assistant coach Derek King serving as assistant coaches.

Windsor coach Rocky Thompson will coach the game in Windsor, with Letowski and Windsor assistant coach Jerrod Smith serving as assistant coaches.

Letowski is an assistant coach for Canada at the 2016 World Juniors.

The rosters for Team WHL and Team QMJHL were announced previously. The roster for Team Russia will be released at a later date.


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