If you were to look at the OHL standings, you’d be hard-pressed to find another team that matches the success of the Ottawa 67s, and as of February 3rd, you wouldn’t find another team that’s qualified for the playoffs.
ONE WAY TICKET TO PLAYOFFS ✈️ pic.twitter.com/8prpwsgtRu
— Ottawa 67's (@Ottawa67sHockey) February 2, 2020
Now let’s talk about some of the new storylines that are causing the team to mirror the success of last season.
The Ottawa 67’s of the last few years have become known for their consistent ability to out-score their opponents, even if their prolific defence has some rocky nights here and there. During their current nine-game winning streak the 67’s have scored three or more goals in every game. This is due in part to the emergence of Jack Quinn and Marco Rossi getting even better numbers after settling into his new-line. Those two players, in particular, have seen their production rewarded as Bob McKenzie’s draft-rankings have Rossi ranked at #7 and Quinn at #19, both now solidly first-round picks.
Check out the full 62-player (and honourable mentions) mid-season ranking at https://t.co/oqGzu2w3E9 later today.
— TSN Hockey (@TSNHockey) January 30, 2020
With three shutouts and a career-best Save % and GAA, Will Cranley who’s currently ranked at #16 for North American Draft-eligible goalies should see his rankings rise from his recent performances. Listed at 6-foot-4 and approximately 180 pounds, Cranley hulks over his goaltending partner Cedric Andree and last year’s Mikey Dipietro.
Cranley’s been an unfortunate victim of circumstance in the recent past as the Ottawa 67’s traded for Dipietro last season, demoting him down to the third-string goaltender for the last half of his rookie season. Going into 2020, Dipietro has long transitioned to the pro’s and the 67’s being comfortable on top of the East has meant that Cranley is consistently getting more opportunity to prove himself.
If he keeps taking advantage of the starts he is getting down the stretch, his draft stock will likely rise, and he could be a worthwhile late-round gamble.
Hopefully writing this doesn’t jinx all the progress the 67’s medical team has been making but the 67’s line-up is starting to look like it’s approaching full-strength. With the return of New Jersey Devils prospect Nikita Okhotyuk and Graeme Clarke expecting to return by the playoffs at the latest, the 67’s could go from being a top-6 heavy team to having three strong offensive lines. With most of the international events also out of the way, keeping the entire roster intact is going to be the key to progressing farther than they did last season.
Speaking of progress, vote and respond to this poll for your chance to feature in an upcoming article!
Time for a way too early prediction; Will the 67's make it to the Memorial Cup this season?
— Aidan Batt (@AidanBatt) February 3, 2020
Although the 67’s have already qualified for the playoffs, the season is just starting to get interesting as we head into February. If the 67’s can keep getting results from their depth players, and most importantly stay healthy than they have a real chance to see the Memorial cup come the spring.