— Rob The Hockey Guy (@RobTheHockeyGuy) June 1, 2015
After a monster regular season and an even better playoff run, Canucks prospect Cole Cassels is now a Memorial Cup champion after his Oshawa Generals beat the WHL champion Kelowna Rockets 2-1 in an overtime thriller. The Generals leaned heavily all tournament long, and although he didn’t score in the final, he was tasked with playing heavy minutes and shutting down Edmonton Oilers prospect and tournament MVP Leon Draisaitl in the final game of the CHL’s season.
Cassels was one of the OHL’s best players for Oshawa’s entire playoff run, scoring 10 goals and 21 assists in 21 games to help the Generals punch their ticket to the Memorial Cup, and added one goal and 3 assists in 3 Memorial Cup games.
Congratulations to Cole and the rest of the Generals on a fantastic season!
Cassels was an absolute stud for the Generals from start to finish this season, seamlessly stepping in to Oshawa’s #1 Centre role this season after Flyers prospect Scott Laughton graduated to the AHL. He became Oshawa’s second leading scorer, potting 81 points (30 G, 51A) in just 54 games. He garnered World Junior consideration for both the United States and Canada, and would have had a shot at breaking the 100-point barrier had he not been suspended for 10 games mid-season.
He followed up his great regular season with an even better playoff run, tying for Oshawa’s playoff scoring lead with 10 goals and 21 assists in 21 playoff games against some of the best opposition the OHL had to offer. Cassels began his playoff run with 1G and 7A in 5 games against the Peterborough Petes, added 4G and 4A in 5 games against the Niagara Ice Dogs, and was mostly held in check with 1G and 2A in 6 games against the stingy North Bay Battalion.
But then, hard-matched against Connor McDavid and the Erie Otters, Cassels had his signature series. While he really didn’t shut down McDavid at all, he simply shot the lights out by producing five more points than the Otters offensive phenom over the series, finishing off Erie in five games. In total, Cassels scored 4 goals and 8 assists, including 4 assists in the series-closing game 5, and finished second in OHL playoff scoring behind only McDavid.
A Memorial Cup is definitely a big feather in Cassels’ cap, but ultimately it doesn’t mean much in terms of the type of player he’ll become one day down the road. We took a look at that question just a couple weeks ago, and not much has changed since then. He’s only played a handful more games, but hopefully this has allowed Canucks fans the opportunity to get more familiar with one of the team’s fastest rising prospects.
Cassels becomes the first Canucks prospect to win a Memorial Cup since Steven Anthony won in 2011 with the Saint John Sea Dogs. Zack Kassian, then a Sabres prospect, also won a Memorial Cup in 2010 with the Windsor Spitfires.
Once again, congratulations to Cole Cassels and the Oshawa Generals on a fantastic year!