Watch Bo Horvat, Dane Fox, Brendan Gaunce, and Cole Cassels tear up the OHL playoffs [VIDEO]

The Canucks playoff hopes are about as dim as Shane O’Brien caving in Torca del Cerro del Cuevon without a headlamp. The chances of the Canucks making the playoffs are lower than the chances of “fetch” happening. It’s as unlikely as Facebook ever adding a dislike button.

Some players in the Canucks system are seeing playoff success, however, specifically their forward prospects in the OHL. All four are in the top-ten in scoring in the OHL playoffs, with Dane Fox first and Brendan Gaunce third. Their respective teams also dominated the first round, all advancing in four or five games.

It’s tough to see these prospects in action, however, as OHL playoff games are sporadically televised at best. You can see Bo Horvat and the London Knights take on the Guelph Storm in game one of their second round series this Friday on Sportsnet ONE at 4:30, but if you want to see others, you’re basically out of luck.

You can, however, see some of their goals and assists from the first round in the following highlight video!


This isn’t every goal and assist from the Canucks OHL prospects, as not every game has highlights posted online and some of the assists weren’t particularly exciting or were cut out of the highlight of the goal. Dane Fox and Brendan Gaunce also assisted on a couple of each other’s goals, so those are not duplicated in their respective sections.

Some of the most impressive highlights come from Horvat, particularly his gorgeous backhand goal while fending off a defender on a partial break at 1:24. You can see a little of his great skating and his shot here and you can clearly see that he has some very soft hands.

Fox leads the OHL playoffs in goalscoring and his excellent shot is on full display. The best Fox highlight isn’t a goal, however, but an assist. His fake slap shot at 3:06 that he turns into a back door pass for an open net goal is devastating.

Gaunce’s highlights aren’t the prettiest, with an ugly goal from the boards and some hectic assists, but he’s all around the net in the highlights I’ve seen of Erie Otters games and he just keeps putting up points. While Fox was held off the scoresheet in Erie’s first game of the second round, Gaunce stepped up with 2 assists to lead the Otters to the 3-1 win.

Finally, there’s Cassels, who is second in the OHL playoffs in assists. There’s some very nice passing here, but my favourite moment from him is the audacious between-the-legs shot at 5:30. The Oshawa Generals scored the gamewinning goal just a few seconds later.

As an added bonus, there’s a goal from defenceman prospect Evan McEneny, whose team, the Kingston Frontenacs, unfortunately got eliminated. McEneny finished the regular season with 42 points in 61 games, good for 15th in the OHL in points-per-game from a defenceman, but managed just 2 points in 7 playoff games.

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  1. russellgburger
    April 3, 2014

    I can’t get rid of the feeling in the pit of my stomach that these gifted young players will somehow lose their offensive abilities by the time they get to play at the Rog. As a Canuck fan used to little but disappointment, I suspect I am not alone.

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    • jeremy
      April 3, 2014

      it’s not that these guys will ‘lose their offensive talent,’ it’s that the big, veteran, experienced professionals that do battle night after night in the national hockey league will quickly deny them of it. only a few high draft picks every year turn out to be superstars at that level, fewer still are strictly out of the OHL, and, even then, it only comes with time. a new context will change how these guys play necessarily.

      but that’s no reason not to get excited. someone’s gotta take that mantle, and there’s no reason a couple f these guys can’t do it.

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  2. BBoone
    April 4, 2014

    Once Laforgorella has them lined up in front of the net blocking shots and benching them for trying to carry the puck into the attacking zone what difference does it make who we have drafted.

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  3. iain
    April 4, 2014

    canucks’ draft spot today is…..taaaadaaaaaaaa: No.9.

    which is what we traded away Cory Schneider for in order to pick up Horvat. if they’d waited a year we could have had the No.9 pick for nothing!!!!

    actaually we are only 2pts out of the No.6 spot, so it could get better yet. No.4 and No.5 are a bit of a reach (Isles are 7pts back and the Flames 8pts back), but we are nothing if not optimists in Canuck world.

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    • Sean
      April 5, 2014

      Well, if we get into the #6 spot and win the draft lottery… Hmm…

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  4. CoolerHeads
    April 6, 2014

    I hope they keep theses guys in the AHL next year and let them develop together. Horvat, Fox, Hunter, Gaunce, etc. could add a lot of depth to the Utica team (plus the odd call up to the show)

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