The Ottawa 67’s began their 2014-15 campaign with a 3-1 loss to the Frontenacs in Kingston on Friday night. Though the loss was unfortunate, the team will have the opportunity to get the young season back on a winning note when they play the Generals in Oshawa this Friday, followed by visits to the Barrie Colts and Owen Sound Attack over the weekend.
The 67’s struggled with a depleted roster last season, having recently lost stars like Tyler Toffoli, Petr Mrazek, and Sean Monahan to NHL organizations. Two other former 67’s stars, Cody Ceci and Shane Prince, ended up with the Ottawa Senators. As a result of these major losses, the 67’s finished dead last in the entire OHL two seasons ago, and last in the Eastern Conference last season.
However, the lack of wins have allowed the 67’s to draft some promising young talent, including the selection of centre Travis Konecny as the first overall pick in 2013. Konecny lead the Ottawa 67’s in scoring last year, with 70 points in 63 games, and won OHL Rookie of the Year honours as a result. He will spearhead the 67’s offensive attack this year, as he looks to keep his high draft stock steady as the 2015 NHL Entry Draft in Florida nears.
Other NHL draft-eligible 67’s include defenseman Troy Henley, centre Dante Salituro, and left winger Artur Tyanulin. Meanwhile, defensemen Alex Lintuniemi (round 2, 60th overall) and Jacob Middleton (round 7, 210th overall) are already property of the Los Angeles Kings.
The 67’s reorganized their off-ice personnel significantly over the off-season, welcoming Pat Higgins as GM following a stint as Assistant GM. Former NHLer Jeff Brown takes over head coaching duties.
The 67’s aren’t expected to be a strong team in the 2014-15 season, though they will attempt to fight for a playoff spot. Regardless of the outcome, there are plenty of interesting storylines to follow, and we should all cheer on the youngsters as the team returns to Landsdowne Park and the new TD Place.
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