In a recent Benning Eye for a Stats Guy post, we saw the Mississauga Steelheads fall to the Erie Otters in a game where the Steelheads top draft prospects, Alex Nylander (PCS pace 26%), Michael McLeod (PCS pace 18%), and Sean Day (11%) were pretty underwhelming. Would they redeem themselves in Benning’s second viewing on November 15th versus Sudbury? Find out after the jump.
The Wolves are currently in the cellar of the OHL’s central division and didn’t put up too much competition for the Steelheads in this game, eventually losing 6-0. Their highest rated draft prospect is Dimitri Sokolov (PCS pace 10%), who is in his first OHL season after playing last year with Omskie of the MHL. He was a non-factor in this one, with no points and a minus 3 rating.
The Steelheads opened the scoring early in the first period, with McLeod burying a slick pass from 2016 draft eligible center, Nathan Bastian (PCS pace 22%). The 6’4, 204 lb Bastian looked excellent in this game, showing excellent patience while beating out multiple Sudbury defenders to find McLeod on this goal:
Bastian recorded his second assist of the game just over two minutes later when he teed up Alex Nylander for a one-timer from the point. Nylander has a cannon of a shot, and there wasn’t much the Sudbury goalie could do on this one:
The Steelhead prospect line hit the score sheet again in the second period. See McLeod win the foot race for the puck to gain the zone, then drop pass to Bastian, who finds Nylander in the slot for his second goal of the game:
After racking up three assists, Bastian showed Benning that he can find the back of the net himself, hammering a rebound into the back of the net from about 15 feet out:
Key Takeaways from Benning’s Eyes
On this road trip, Benning has been treated to watching excellent from London’s Mitch Marner, Matthew Tkachuk, and Christian Dvorak, and Erie’s top line of Taylor Raddysh, Dylan Strome, and Alex Debrincat. After quiet viewing against the Erie Otters, Benning got to see the best that the Bastian, Nylander, McLeod line could offer as the trio lit up the Wolves for a combined 10 points.
Every linemate brought their best to the table today: Nylander showing off his elite shot, McLeod showing his speed and playmaking ability, and Bastian earning a spot on Benning’s radar as a potential radar as a potential mid-round selection.
Noticeably quiet again was Sean Day, only the fourth player to ever receive the OHL’s exceptional player status enabling him to play as a 15-year-old. The 6’3, 230 lb man-child has been sliding down most draft ranking over the past 12 months and really didn’t do much to impress Benning tonight.
Benning Eye for the Stats Guy Player of the Game: Nathan Bastian
Others in this series: