Two Maple Leafs OHL prospects are heading for the post season.
The OHL season is over, and playoffs begin on April 21. The Maple Leafs have two prospects heading into the postseason. It’s time to review their seasons, and see what the playoffs hold for them.
Voit was drafted by the Maple Leafs last summer in the fifth round at 153rd overall. He missed his pre-draft season entirely, and had nothing but his 16-year old season to recommend him. He’s not playing like a fifth round pick this year, but more on that in a minute.
Voit is listed at 5’9” and 151 lbs by the Sarnia Sting, where he is a right-shooting RW. He led his team in points with 80 in 67 games, and was third in goals with 26.
Using Pick224.com for a more granular look at his performance, we can see how he stacks up against his peers.
For players in their fist year post-draft, he is sixth in the OHL in Even-Strength Primary Points per Game. The OHL, like most leagues not the NHL, do not provide ice time numbers necessary to do more accurate per 60 minute ratings of performance. Voit is a top line guy who plays on the power play, so we know he plays a lot of minutes. For Power Play Primary Points per Game, he is 15th in his peer group.
Overall in the OHL, regardless of age or status, he is 12th and 32nd in those two measures, making him a top line OHLer on any team by his points performance.
He finished the year with a Shooting % of 15.6% which seems gaudy, but you need to remember that in leagues outside the NHL, SH% for elite players trends much higher. He’s just barely in the top 100 for players with at least 30 games played. So his points are not just a personal shooting heater. However, his teammate Nolan Burke is third in that group with 25%, and Nolan Dann, the other big scorer on the Sting, is at 20%.
This is a hot line with a lot of talent. Burke, by the way, is undrafted and turns 20 this December. Dann is draft eligible this year and is ranked way down at 224 by NHL NA Central Scouting. They are not stars, they just play like stars.
Sarnia plays the Windsor Spitfires, who finished ahead of them and have home ice advantage. The first game is next Thursday, April 21 at 7 pm in Windsor.
Kressler is an undrafted free agent signed by the Leafs while still in the OHL — a fairly rare occurrence. He’s been with the Flint Firebirds, and also missed the entire 2020-2021 season. His points stats are not going to excite anyone, partly because he’s only played 28 games. His coaches in Flint see enough to give him an A, though.
Kressler is listed by the Firebirds at 5’9” and 175 lbs, and he is a right-shooting centre. His missed games were most of the winter, from the start of January through to early April, and were due to a torn UCL. He’s played five games since his return heading into the playoffs.
Since he’s played so few games, I’m going to compare his points per game rates directly to Voit, since his place in the league is well understood now.
Voit’s Even-Strength Primary Points per GP is .75 and Kressler’s is .26. Kressler plays some power play time, and he has two power play goals, but his rate there in primary points is .09 compared to Voit’s 1.05.
These are two very different players with totally different skillsets. Flint finished third in their conference, ahead of Sarnia by 30 points. The Sting squeaked in, Flint is a good team, and their star is Rangers draft pick Brennan Othmann, who leads the team in goals and points, and might be a name we’ll all know someday. Kressler, with his injury disrupted season is going to need another junior season to really show what he’s capable of. He turns 20 in January, and would be AHL eligible for the 2023-2024 season.
Flint hosts Owen Sound in their first playoff game on Saturday, April 22 at 7 pm.
Both of these players could join the Marlies on ATOs if their playoffs end before the Marlies are finished.
OHL playoff games are broadcast on the pay service of the CHL, watch.chl.ca and on some local television stations.
The ultimate OHL champion will play in the Memorial Cup in Saint John New Brunswick this year. Maple Leafs prospect William Villeneuve will be there as a member of the host team. His QMJHL team is still in action through to the first of May, but they have already clinched a playoff spot.