With the Barrie Colts fighting for a playoff spot, Ryan Suzuki took his game to another level down the stretch drive of the OHL regular season.
While the Colts would come up just short in their playoff drive, Suzuki played some of the best hockey of his young junior career. The second-year centre racked up six goals and six assists over Barrie’s last seven games.
A top prospect for this year’s 2019 NHL Entry Draft, Suzuki should be a first-round selection and the final rankings by NHL Central Scouting reflect that. Suzuki, who led the Colts in scoring with 25 goals and 50 assists for 70 points in 65 games, is ranked 18 overall among North American skaters for the draft being held June 21-22 in Vancouver, BC.
Suzuki wasn’t the only Colt among those ranked for this year’s draft as a pair of defencemen found their way onto the list. Jack York, who was acquired from the Kitchener Rangers in mid-December is ranked 213, just ahead of Barrie teammate Nathan Allensen.
York had six goals and 11 assists in 33 games with Barrie, while Allensen, a second-round pick (32 overall) of the Colts in 2017 had four goals and 16 assists in 67 games.
Colts rookie Jet Greaves was one of just five OHL goaltenders listed among North American goaltenders in the final rankings. Greaves, who is ranked 28 overall, finished the season with 7-12 record. Barrie’s third-round pick (56 overall) in 2017 had a 3.35 goals against average and an impressive .911 save percentage, with one shutout in 27 games.
Those four weren’t the only Colts making news on this day. Seven Barrie prospects were selected to represent their respective minor hockey associations at this year’s OHL Gold Cup, being held May 2-5 in Kitchener.
Defenceman Brandt Clarke, the fourth overall selection in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection will suit up for GTHL Red along with forward Ryan Del Monte (second-round pick).
Jacob Frasca (third-round pick) and left winger Oliver Smith (ninth-round pick) will play for GTHL Blue. Defenceman Kai Greaves (sixth-round pick), the younger brother of Jet Greaves, will dress for the Alliance, while centre Blake Hall (10th-round pick) will be a member of OMHA White. Forward Mark MacPhee (seventh-round pick) will lace the skates with HEO.
An annual showcase event, the OHL Gold Cup features the top under-16 players in Ontario. Players from the event will be invited to attend the National Under-17 Selection Camp, along with other skaters across Canada, to earn a spot at the World Under-17 Challenge.
photo: Barrie Colts forward Ryan Suzuki is No. 18 among North American skaters in the final NHL Central Scouting rankings released on Apr. 15. Terry Wilson/OHL Images