2018-2019 Season: It was a season in which the Ottawa 67s came so close to the memorial cup but possibly sacrificed the future to do so. With Kyle Maksimovich, Lucas Chiodo, Michael Dipietro, and more all moving on this year. The 67s will have to rely on their young prospects to get them back to fighting for the Memorial Cup.
Key Losses: Tye Felhaber, Sasha Chmlevski, Lucas Chiodo, Kyle Maksimovich, Michael Dipietro, Samuel Bitten.
Additions: Jack Matier, Dylan Robinson, Brendan Sirizotti, Jack Beck
Three Storylines for this Season
- Goaltending Committee
With the departure of Dipietro, the goaltending duties heading into this season will be split by Sophomore Will Cranley and now seasoned veteran Cedrick Andree who combined have the potential to be an elite goaltending committee. Cranley in particular looks to show strong signs after participating in Hockey Canada’s Program of Excellence camp over the offseason.
- Changing of the guard:
By the end of the season, the Ottawa 67s had three overagers and a multitude of NHL prospects playing prominent minutes in their lineup. With the departure of these players into pro hockey and the transition of more to the professional scene, the 67s need to have their younger players and even their rookies step up.
Core to this new team needs to be Graeme Clarke and Nikita Okhotyuk who were both just recently drafted by the New Jersey Devils and had busy summers at professional level camps.
First-round pick Jack Matier also looks to impress, as he seems to hold down a depth role in his first season. Multiple other young players in the system will be looking to impress towards the end of camp as they battle it out for prominent roster positions left behind by the old guard.
- How does Marco Rossi adjust to a more prominent role?
Sophomore Marco Rossi has a lot to prove as he goes into his first year of draft eligibility after an impressive rookie season and 2019 preseason camp. A projected mid-first round pick Marco Rossi will look to continue improving his draft stock and make the most of his increased role due to the previously mentioned departures. If he can produce at a high level, look for the 67s to be back in the playoffs and for him to be a top-10 pick in 2020’s NHL Draft.
There are a lot of reasons to believe that Rossi could make his way into the top 10 due to his elite scoring ability and his significantly increased role. With a potential first line of Rossi – Keating – G. Clarke, Rossi has the potential to have an 80-100 point season.
The 67s have every reason to be a contender in the East this year after a strong showing last season. If core players stay healthy and Andree stays consistent, the team should be one of the top 3 in the East. Although I think they will do in the regular season, I don’t expect them to repeat their extreme success last year. Nonetheless, If this year’s prospects perform, then they could easily be in the Memorial cup conversation.
Regular Season: 2nd in the East.
Where does the Season end: 2nd round playoffs.
MVP: Austen Keating.
Defensive Player of the Year: Noel Hoefenmayer.