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  #11  
Old 09-19-2017, 01:51 PM
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OHL Writers have predicted that our Ice Dogs will finish ..... in the Eastern Conference

(7) Niagara Icedogs

HC Billy Burke 1st season


GM Joey Burke 1st season

Top Returning Scorer
2017 1st round pick

Key Additions
Elijah Roberts - Skilled defender in need of a change of scenery. Could really take off with the Ice Dogs.
Zach Shankar - OA from North Bay should soake up leveraged minutes to help insulate young blueliners
Philip Tomasino - 1st round pick could be the highest scoring '01 in the OHL this year.

Key Subtractions
Ryan Mantha - OA defenceman had a career year last year. His minutes will be missed.
Aaron Haydon - Versatile OA who spent his entire 5 year career in Niagara.

Reasons to be Optimistic
They return the most underrated goalie in the OHL in Stephen Dhillon. They have a budding OHL super star in Akil Thomas. Maksimov looked fantastic since coming over from Saginaw at the trade deadline and they have an open OA slot to add to their lineup when needed.

Reasons to be Pessimistic
Both the GM and HC are the owners sons. This team was horrid last year and continually outplayed if not for the stellar play of Dhillon they likely would have been in the running for the 1st overall pick, this team is better than last years but how much growth has there been and what happens if Dhillon goes down with an injury? The backline still has a lot of questions marks, the Roberts acquisition helps but they need 2 or 3 guys to really step up.
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2017, 02:09 AM
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IceDogs primed to take next step
By Bill Potrecz - September 19, 2017

http://bpsportsniagara.ca/icedogs-pr...ake-next-step/

The Niagara IceDogs have set their sights high this season. How high? Try 40 wins.

“Right from Day 1, we’ve talked that we want to win 40 games and if we do that we think that will put us right in the conversation for the division,” said new head coach Billy Burke. “It’s definitely a lofty goal but with the guys coming back and the maturity of the team we definitely think it’s realistic.”

"I think our identity is right where you want to be in the modern OHL. A mobile back end, our forwards can fly, and we have a great goalie. I definitely feel confident in where we are at and hopefully the way we play builds that identity.”
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2017, 08:50 AM
Chipperdog Chipperdog is offline
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Pretty lofty expectations...hope their right...would be awesome
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2017, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Chipperdog View Post
Pretty lofty expectations...hope their right...would be awesome
They could be right, assuming Dhillon stays healthy all season and they never lose more than one from the top 3 D's at one time. Offensively they should be deep and and dangerous enough, I think that they will have very solid 3 lines, first line a bit stronger and 2nd and 3rd interchangable. But reality could just be much different
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  #15  
Old 09-20-2017, 11:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retired/sectionJ View Post
OHL Writers have predicted that our Ice Dogs will finish ..... in the Eastern Conference

(7) Niagara Icedogs
Notwithstanding the OHL Writers predictions, I have rebuttal to some of the points.

Quote:
HC Billy Burke 1st season
Not his first year in the league or first year with the team.

Quote:
GM Joey Burke 1st season
Not true, just first year with the new title.


Quote:
Key Subtractions
Ryan Mantha - OA defenceman had a career year last year. His minutes will be missed.
Aaron Haydon - Versatile OA who spent his entire 5 year career in Niagara.
As much as Mantha had a career year, he also was overused and often chiefly responsible for being too far forward and allowing an attacker to coming in unchecked and score. Haydon spent a good chunk of his year as a forward.

Quote:
Reasons to be Pessimistic
Both the GM and HC are the owners sons. This team was horrid last year and continually outplayed if not for the stellar play of Dhillon they likely would have been in the running for the 1st overall pick, this team is better than last years but how much growth has there been and what happens if Dhillon goes down with an injury? The backline still has a lot of questions marks, the Roberts acquisition helps but they need 2 or 3 guys to really step up.
The team president is also the owner's wife and the store manager is the owner's daughter in law; there may also be a second step-cousin once removed who is friends with the guy who drives the zamboni - who cares. The team was NOT horrid last year, with a core group of rookies they made the playoffs when those same writers predicted a 20th place finish. The team had a large number of one-goal losses that could easily have been wins but for a bit of experience. Dhillon did play well and he is back with an even bigger chip on his shoulder having been panned for the NHL twice now. Our back line has less question marks with the acquisition of Shankar and there is still another OA spot or import spot free. I don't predict that Niagara will *need* 2 or 3 guys to step up, I predict they will *have* 4 or 5 guys stepping way up.
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  #16  
Old 09-20-2017, 11:21 AM
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To go further on these predictions,,,,, OHL Prospects predicted that our team would finish 6th in the East.
Remembering that I predicted a 5th place finish.
3 more sleeps until we will be in Hamilton for the season opener.
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  #17  
Old 09-20-2017, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by NiceDawg View Post
Notwithstanding the OHL Writers predictions, I have rebuttal to some of the points.



Not his first year in the league or first year with the team.



Not true, just first year with the new title.




As much as Mantha had a career year, he also was overused and often chiefly responsible for being too far forward and allowing an attacker to coming in unchecked and score. Haydon spent a good chunk of his year as a forward.



The team president is also the owner's wife and the store manager is the owner's daughter in law; there may also be a second step-cousin once removed who is friends with the guy who drives the zamboni - who cares. The team was NOT horrid last year, with a core group of rookies they made the playoffs when those same writers predicted a 20th place finish. The team had a large number of one-goal losses that could easily have been wins but for a bit of experience. Dhillon did play well and he is back with an even bigger chip on his shoulder having been panned for the NHL twice now. Our back line has less question marks with the acquisition of Shankar and there is still another OA spot or import spot free. I don't predict that Niagara will *need* 2 or 3 guys to step up, I predict they will *have* 4 or 5 guys stepping way up.
I believe that the interesting part of this coaching topic might just be the new associate coach Ted Dent who might just be the glue for the equation
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  #18  
Old 09-20-2017, 11:30 AM
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I believe that the interesting part of this coaching topic might just be the new associate coach Ted Dent who might just be the glue for the equation
I can't believe I left that out of my rebuttal. That is a very valid point and I agree that it will be an x-factor for the team this year. Dent's experience can't be overlooked (even though I did and the OHL writer's did also).
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  #19  
Old 09-20-2017, 12:35 PM
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I say fourth or fifth esp if they stay healthy
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  #20  
Old 09-20-2017, 10:48 PM
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My prediction is fifth place assuming a healthy Dhillon all year.

If he's hurt for any length of time, all bets are off as I still am not sold on Incze being a bona fide OHL goalie .


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