Last year Mitch Marner, Matthew Tkachuk and Christian Dvorak racked up a combined 344 points in the Ontario Hockey League. All three are going to get a chance to put up NHL points to start 2016-17.
Marner has made the opening night roster in Toronto, Tkachuk has done the same in Calgary and Dvorak will begin the year wearing number 18 for the Arizona Coyotes.
Marner impressed the Maple Leafs throughout training camp and the pre-season and earned high praise from both Toronto Head Coach, Mike Babcock and General Manager, Lou Lamiorello.
Babcock told reporters that the former Knights’ co-captain, “…generates a lot. I think he’s been really good. He’s good defensively, way better than I expected.”
Marner recorded four assists in six games, averaging 11:36 of ice time in the pre-season.
Lamiorello added, “What we’ve seen of him, offensively and defensively, he’s done very well. We’re not thinking of anything other than how he can help us right now and his commitment to get better.”
Tkachuk had an incredibly productive pre-season for Calgary, making a home in front of the opposition net. The St. Louis native scored twice and added a shootout winner and was twice named a star.
Not long after Tkachuk was taken 6th overall by the Flames in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Calgary’s Assistant General Manager, Craig Conroy said publicly that the Flames really didn’t have anyone who played Tkachuk’s style on their roster. Tkachuk spent a great deal of time on a line with Sam Bennett and Troy Brouwer through the exhibition games that he played.
Dvorak makes up part of a young Coyotes’ roster. Lawson Crouse of Mt. Brydges also made Arizona.
Clachan’s Travis Konecny will begin the year with the Philadelphia Flyers and Dylan DeMelo of London has made the San Jose Sharks. He played in 45 games for San Jose last year.