OHL Draft Game Report: Cambridge Hawks vs Brantford 99ers – January 5, 2020

Pavilion (AAA) 2019-2020 – Minor Midget

Cambridge Hawks –  9-19-2   –  Brantford 99ers –  11-14-4

Final Score:     Brantford 6       Cambridge 3

#94 Steve Leskovar – D – Shoots L – 6’0 – 164 

A tall skilled rushing defensemen as well as the Hawk’s captain.   Leskovar uses his reach, skating ability and hands to gain ice.   On the PP he was able to beat a defender clean on the zone entry with a deke, circle back maintaining possession to allow the unit time to setup.  For this reason he is a big part of the Hawk’s PP and his ability to move the puck successfully was also evident in the possession time for the Hawks on the PP.   He was able to get shots through but accuracy and velocity seemed to be an issue.  Improving his shot from the point as well as adding a more physical element to his game would give him a boost.

Leskovar’s defensive game was good, even though the Hawk’s allowed 6 goals I don’t believe he was on the ice for any goals against.  Controlled puck movement out of the defensive zone was not on display much tonight.  Hopefully the Hawks can improve in this area especially with the fast skilled options they have available to them.

#34 Gavin Bryant –  F – Shoots L – 5’11 – 165

The 99ers captain played another excellent game tonight displaying tremendous all around dominance.   On Brantford’s first goal Bryant was quick to outnumber the Hawk’s defender in the offensive corner.  This created a 2 on 1 puck battle which was won and resulted in a Kyloe Ellis’ one timer to put Brantford up 1 – 0 just 2 minutes into the game.

On one particular rush Bryant used his speed and skating ability to beat a Hawks defender wide down the LW then had the presence of mind to try a high quality wraparound beating the goalie to the far-side post.  Although he didn’t score he maintained control and generated a nice scoring chance.

Gavin is excellent on the PP, his passes are accurate and hard.  In addition to his high quality perimeter passing he was also able to make successful seam passes.  He has excellent PP puck retrieval skills with a high aggression level and as a result is able to block clearing attempts.

Gavin is an excellent back checker he comes back hard and relentless I would describe his defensive positioning as superb.  He is constantly scanning for info making shoulder checks.  He supports his defenders in puck battles and helps  move the puck up ice in a controlled fashion.

#9 Kyle Karon – F- Shoots L – 5’10 – 158 

A good skater with lots of speed.  Karon was able to go coast to coast in a straight line.  Coming down his off wing releasing a wicked snap-shot off his left foot beating Clark’s catching hand and going top left corner taking the water bottle off the net for the Hawks 3rd goal.

#98 Ethan DeKay –F – Shoots L  – 5’7 – 132 

An excellent skater with patience and puck protection skills.   Ethan was able to get a number of successful zone entries and always had his head up coming around the net looking for options.  He did not force bad passes.

In the 3rd period with his team trailing Ethan went coast to coast down the LW.   As he crossed the blue line he pivoted backwards protecting the puck then went into a mohawk traveling east west to the RW creating seperation for himself with his head up.   Ending up at the outside hash-mark on the RW,  Ethan then fired a deceptive shot beating the 99ers goalie clean from a tough angle for the Hawks 2nd goal.

#9 Brandon Balazs – F – Shoots R – 5’8 – 150 

A multi-talented forward with good offensive awareness and a high level of physicality.  On the 99ers first goal Brandon got the 2nd assist by getting separation after a won puck battle then feeding the point for Kyloe Ellis’ eventual one timer.

Balazs was able to generate a number of quality shots on net both with his speed and smarts.  He is able to beat defenders to open ice resulting in good scoring chances.  He has a good shot and likes to shoot therefore quality passing opportunities are at times missed but his 20 goals in 28 games this year is exceptional.

In addition to his offensive contributions Balazs is a very physical player who finishes his checks hard.   He was involved in a few open ice exchanges and never avoids an opportunity for a big hit.  This is a really nice element to his game allowing him to be an impact player in a number of ways for his team.