FrontsFront: Kingston Frontenacs Weekly – Don Mills Flyers Star Comes To Kingston And A Closer Look at Defenceman Jake Murray

Weekly Fronts Front – Jan 16

Record:

39 GP – 12-23-2-2  (28 Points)

5th East Division / 8th Eastern Conference

Playoff Push – Kingston is seven points back of both Niagara and Barrie for a Conference playoff spot. 11 points back of Hamilton in East playing one less game

Injuries:

Luke Drewitt – Day-to-day with Upper Body Injury –  Nov 24

Games Last Week: 

3-2 (so) win over Owen Sound Attack – Jan 10

3-1 win over Guelph Storm – Jan 11

@BoutHockey Stars of the Week: (Jan 10 – Jan 16)

  • Francesco Arcuri – Only goal scorer in shootout win over Attack (Only OHL player 4/4)
  • Ryan Dugas – 35 saves on 37  shots and perfect in the shootout vs Attack
  • Martin Chromiak – two goals, one assist, +two, five shots on goal

On The Fronts Front:

  • Chromiak has adjusted well so far with three goals and two assists for five points in five games
  • Jordan Frasca has six goals in his last eight games. Now has career-high 11and counting.
  • Zayde Wisdom tied for 25th in OHL goal-scoring (20)
  • Jake Murray (190), Wisdom (90) and Chromiak (35) named on NHL Central Scouting list out Jan 14.
  • Shane Wright leads OHL rookies in Powerplay points (14), SOG (122), GWG (3), and is tied with Mason McTavish for rookie point lead (33)
  • Francesco Arcuri is the only player on OHL with four shootout goals

Upcoming Games This Week: 

  • Friday: Hamilton Bulldogs  7 p.m. at Leon’s Centre

Kingston looks to get a victory against a team it has had problems with finding themselves 0-4 in the season series so far. The teams have played in Hamilton in the last two contests with the East Division rivals’ last meeting on Saturday, Jan 4 with the Bulldogs taking a 3-1 win. Kingston was in their third game in three days on a weird scheduling blip playing a pair of road games sandwiched around a Friday night home game. On Dec 14, on a nationally televised Sportsnet game, the Bulldogs stormed back from an early two-goal deficit to beat Kingston 5-2. When the Bulldogs last visited Kingston they took a 4-2 win away back on Oct 18.

Arthur Kaliyev continues to be a dominating force as his 31 goals have him tied for the OHL lead with Pavel Gogolev of Guelph. The loss of forward Jan Jenik (injured at World Junior) can’t help but hurt the Hamilton offence as he was one of the leading scorers in the league when he went down. Similar to Kingston, Hamilton recently signed their 2019 Import pick Jan Mysak out of the Czech Republic who’ll likely see his first action against the Frontenacs on Friday.

Kingston comes in with wins in their last two games looking to scratch and claw back into the playoff race where they’d been so close just a couple weeks ago sitting tied with Mississauga for that final spot. While they are seven points back currently, they do have more than one team they can catch at that margin now with Niagara and Barrie both within sights.

The line of Wright, Wisdom, and Chromiak has been getting plenty of offensive chances since being joined together and at times looks to be one of the more dangerous lines in the league. The trio has a nice blend of shooting, passing and physical play amongst each other and clearly, there is a chemistry developing.

  • Sunday: Flint Firebirds 2 p.m. at Leons Centre (Note the early start time)

Team Canada World Junior member Ty Dellandrea and the much-improved Firebirds make their only visit to Kingston on Sunday for a matinee affair. Like Kingston, Flint had a tough year last season, but find themselves in a playoff position currently third in the West Division and sixth in the Western Conference.

Wright and Arcuri will face-off against former Don Mills teammate and fellow OHL rookie Brennan Othmann for the first time since he was selected second overall after Wright at last summers Priority Selection. Othmann has eight goals and 20 points The teams will meet once more in Flint on Feb 29 while the Frontenacs are on a seven-game road stretch seeing them away from the Leon’s Centre from Feb 25 to Mar 8 with the 2020 Tim Horton’s Brier being held at Leon’s Centre.

Evgeniy Oksentyuk is the only 20 goal scorer and leads the Firebirds with 47 points but Kingston’s main focus will likely be on Team Canada World Junor member Dellandrea. The Dallas Stars 2018 first-round pick sits third in team scoring but has played fewer games than his teammates due to his Team Canada commitment.

Flint traded for Quinn Yule from Ottawa 67’s at the trade deadline but won’t have his services as he is sitting out on a four-game suspension for a hit on Kingston’s Dawson Baker during the Ottawa/Kingston game on Jan 2.

Player Profile

Jacob Murray

The 2019-20 season has seen Murray take on an even larger role from a first-year-player himself to now helping guide new rookies with some already-garnered experience he’s built up earning an “A” on his jersey. While still a young player himself, he is a quiet leader in the room treating his teammates, coaches, and game with respect.

Defenceman Jake Murray of Kingston Frontenacs (Photo by Billy Kimmerly)

At 6 foot two, 190 pounds, he’s an excellent skater able to move the puck out of his zone with ease but also blessed with a vision for making smart passes starting breakouts. While he likes to join the rush and provide offensive support, Murray is smart enough and quick enough to get back in position when the opposition gets the puck. Just as much as a 200-foot forward is valued to a coach, a responsible defender like Murray is also a desirable asset.

Twice this season he’s had a three-game point streak and was pivotal in a multi-point game on Nov 24 against Mississauga. His goal made OHL highlight reels as he deked through three Steelhead defenders before putting a high backhand in the net. Says coach Foster: “He’s really been coming on the last couple months playing much more assertive hockey.” He is plus one since Nov 1 in 25 games, after a -15 clip through the first 14, and has all but three of his points in the last couple months.

Murray is a hockey sponge soaking up lessons from anywhere he can and mentions current captain Jakob Brahaney as a leader he can learn from: “I’m always watching how he plays, his work ethic and its something I want to lead by as well.”  He has also happily taken advantage of being tutored by former NHL-defenceman and current head coach Foster. And, his coach has seen him step up: “He’s led by example every day and leads the right way.” Murray also credits his minor hockey coach Gord Hynes (former pro and Olympic Silver Medalist) for helping his career. Hynes described Murray as “… a strong character, a really good person and he’s a superb athlete in many ways.”

Frontenacs StatPack: (up to Jan 16)

  • Goals: Wisdom – 20
  • Assists: Brahaney – 20
  • Points: Wisdom – 35
  • Penalty Mins: Baker – 63
  • +/-: Hache, Hutton +3
  • Shots: Brahaney – 130
  • Face/Off Leader: Drewitt (INJ) – 57.1% (min. 100 faceoffs taken)
  • GAA: Dugas – 4.26
  • Save %: Dugas – .884
  • Goalie Wins: Propp – 10 (4 with Soo Greyhounds)
  • Rookie Leader
    • Goals: Wright – 20
    • Assists: Wright – 13
    • Points: Wright – 33 (Leads OHL Rookies)
    • Penalty mins: Callens – 19