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.Tags: Bo Horvat, Brendan Gaunce, Cole Cassels, Dane Fox, Evan McEneny