After five years on the job general manager Chuck Fletcher has made his mark on the Minnesota Wild, swiftly rebuilding a franchise that had lost its way. He has assembled a promising young core of Mikael Granlund, Jonas Brodin, Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle, Jared Spurgeon, Erik Haula, Darcy Kuemper, Matt Dumba, and Christian Folin. With a strong group of veterans brought in via trade and free agency to supplement the few holdovers from the prior administrative regime, this leaves very little room for true prospects at the moment.
Last season, the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors almost fulfilled what was expected to be their destiny from the beginning of the season, falling just short of winning the Memorial Cup in their home rink by losing to the Saint John Sea Dogs (this after failing to capture the OHL crown losing to the Owen Sound Attack.)
Long seen as the weaker OHL conference, there are a number of teams looking to take advantage of the relative tumult in the Western Conference and allow this half of the bracket to stake its claim as the superior side. And with a marquee squad in Niagara poised to take the next step, don’t be surprised if many teams find the OHL Memorial Cup berth to be as difficult to reach as an uphill struggle against the Falls.
Barrie Colts (Last Season: 15-49-2-2)