The Ottawa 67’s really can’t catch a break when it comes to attaining late-season success, first it was the injuries in the playoffs last season while this year the entire season was cancelled as they sought to make another run deep into the playoffs. Nonetheless, it isn’t all bad news as the 67’s showed exceptional promise and featured many breakout stars as will be talked about below.
2019-20 Overage players:
Noel Hoefenmayer, Austen Keating and Joseph Garreffa are the three overage players of the season, with all three of them showing value inexperience as they served the club well.
Keating, a native of Guelph Ontario has played all of his 309 OHL games with the Ottawa 67’s. Loved and respected by his teammates and coaches Austen has served the club well over his five seasons with the club and will be remembered fondly by all of the fans around TD Place. With 89 points in 58 games this season, Keating had a strong showing as he looks to transition to collegiate hockey. News broke last month that Keating joins a couple of OHL veterans in committing to the UNB Reds as he looks to further his hockey career at the collegiate level.
Noel Hoefenmayer has been a player many across the OHL and even professional hockey have been following this season as he became a free agent in professional hockey after a strong season in the OHL. Hoefenmayer leads all OHL defenceman in points this season (82) and was the quarterback for the 67’s powerplay for the last year. An intelligent offensive d-man, Hoefenmayer will look to transition his junior success to his hometown Toronto Marlies, where he has signed a professional contract for the 2020-21 season. A criminally underrated player, Hoefenmayer is a name that will remain in hockey discussions for the future as he looks to start an underdog professional career.
The final overager for the Ottawa 67’s is Joseph Garreffa an early-season addition who impressed in his little time with the Ottawa 67’s. Overlooked for his diminutive size, Garreffa silenced all the doubters this season with an incredible year mostly on the top-line of the Ottawa 67’s. With injuries to Graeme Clarke, Garreffa was paired with Rossi and Keating to great success. Joseph Garreffa will continue his hockey career in the AHL with the San Jose Barracuda.
— Ottawa 67’s (@Ottawa67sHockey) October 20, 2019
2020 NHL Draft:
Marco Rossi is the obvious candidate to be picked in the top-10 of the NHL Draft which could be happening sooner rather than later. Marco Rossi ranks at 6th in the final North American skater rankings and will almost certainly be picked in the late top 10.
Jack Quinn has truly been the surprise of the season and his draft stock has reflected that. A potential 2nd round pick at the start of the season, some key injuries promoted him in the lineup fast and he has managed to be 7th on the NHL central scouting rankings. A true wildcard due to his quick ascent, the one thing sure about Quinn is he is one of the best goalscorers in the draft.
Another quick rise to fame has been Will Cranley who has emerged as the backup to Cedrick Andree and has had a strong showing all season. Cranley has had a strong season in net and as such has progressed from 16th to 4th in North American Goalie rankings. Look to him to be a solid mid-late round pick who could be a steal due to the lack of ice-time he’s had to prove himself.
Storylines of the season:
Kevin Bahl’s Development:
Occasionally a victim of his own size in years past, Bahl had a year to remember for both the Ottawa 67’s and Team Canada. The best defensive-defenceman ranked on this year’s OHL writer’s poll, Bahl showed his skill at both ends of the ice. A truly underrated player for the 67’s and in the league, Bahl will push hard at the NHL camp level next season.
🇨🇦 Kevin Bahl hit on 🇺🇸 Bobby Brink 😱 pic.twitter.com/aeKnPQYWFy
— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) December 26, 2019
With injuries to Graeme Clarke, Nikita Okhutyuk, Merrick Rippon, absences from Kevin Bahl and Marco Rossi the Ottawa 67’s had every reason to underperform. Even with all of the turnover, the 67’s led the Eastern Conference decisively and looked to take top spot into the playoffs for the second season in a row.
Marco Rossi and Jack Quinn:
Two players with the most to prove after the departure of many skilled players, Quinn and Rossi didn’t disappoint this season. Quinn led the league in scoring until the mid-season run of Nic Robertson and Rossi showed flashes off brilliance throughout the campaign as he led the league with 120 points.
67’s Season Conclusion:
What do you think the best part of the season was for the Ottawa 67’s? Did I miss a key narrative that you think should be featured in another piece?
Contact us @aidanbatt or @networkOHL on Twitter and we would be happy to talk all thing’s 67’s. Have a great offseason, everyone!