By Victor Fernandes Erie Times-News staff blogger
Staff writer Victor Fernandes has ice in his veins. Hockey – he plays it, coaches it and provides the region's best coverage of it.   Read more about this blog.
 Phone: 814-870-1716
Posts tagged ‘ontario junior a hockey league’
Posted: June 25th, 2013

Former Erie Otters Kris Grant and Jordan Coccimiglio will play for Otters alum Brett Gibson at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, next season, the school announced today. Grant and Coccimiglio are part of part a nine-player recruiting class that includes Kevin Bailie, a former goaltender for the London Knights and Oshawa Generals.
Grant, a 20-year-old defenseman, spent two seasons with the Otters from 2010-12. Last August, club officials told him to remain at home in the Kingston, Ontario, area instead of attending training camp after Grant requested a trade. He played for the Kingston Voyageurs of the Ontario Junior A Hockey League this past season.
Coccimiglio, a 20-year-old forward, had five goals and 13 points in 98 games for the Otters from 2009-11 before released by the club midway through the 2010-11 season. He spent the rest of that season with the Barrie Colts. He played for the OJHL’s Oakville Blades in 2011-12 and the Truro (Nova Scotia) Bearcats of the Maritime Junior Hockey League.
Gibson, 33, had 33 goals and 71 points in 94 games for the Otters from 1996-98. He has coached at Queen’s for the past eight seasons.

Posted: May 2nd, 2013

The Erie Otters have hired Chris Hartsburg and Vince Laise as the new assistant coaches on coach Kris Knoblauch‘s staff. They were introduced, along with first-round pick Dylan Strome, to the media and a group of season-ticket holders and fans during a welcome reception Thursday at Erie Insurance Arena.
Hartsburg, 33, whose father, Craig Hartsburg, was a defenseman in the NHL and now is associate coach with the Columbus Blue Jackets, spent the past four seasons as an assistant with the WHL’s Everett Silvertips. Hartsburg, a native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, will focus on the defense and penalty kill.
Laise, 30, a native of Bramalea, Ontario, will handle off-ice training, video breakdown and assist Knoblauch with the power-play units. He has worked with many professional athletes at the Athletic Training Center, a hockey training facility in Mississauga, Ontario. He also has worked with Strome.
He was an assistant coach this season with the Brampton Bombers, a Junior B club in the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League. He spent the 2011-12 season, his first in coaching, with the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior A Hockey League.
Knoblauch said he has someone in mind for the club’s part-time goaltending coach. But he planned to wait until the OHL releases the schedule for the 2013-14 season before making a decision. Knoblauch said the team’s schedule would need to fit into that undisclosed candidate’s plans.

- Victor Fernandes

Posted: April 9th, 2012

Erie Otters center Dane Fox stands 46th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, which was released Monday. Five teammates join him on the list, including first-tim selection Luke Cairns. The veteran center is considered No. 189 among North American skaters after not appearing on Central Scouting’s preliminary and midterm lists.
Right wing Connor Brown (No. 110 from No. 85 in the midterm rankings) as well as defensemen Adam Pelech (No. 120 from No. 54), Troy Donnay (No. 122 from No. 115) and Liam Maaskant(No. 195 from No. 134) slipped down the list.
Former Otters winger Chris Marchese, now with Windsor, stands at No. 122. Center Drake Caggiula, the Otters’ third-round pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, appears at No. 185. Caggiula, who played for Stouffville in the Ontario Junior A Hockey League this season, has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at North Dakota.
Sarnia’s duo of right wing Nail Yakupov and Alex Galchenyuk rank first and fourth, respectively, followed by Ottawa defenseman Cody Ceci (sixth), Kitchener center Radek Faksa (seventh) and London defenseman Olli Maatta (eighth). Belleville’s Malcolm Subban (first), Saginaw’s Jake Paterson (third) and Kitchener’s Frank Palazzese (ninth) rank among the top 10 North American goaltenders.
The NHL draft takes place June 22-23 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh. Check out the the complete rankings by clicking on the link.

Posted: January 11th, 2012

Third-year forward Dane Fox and second-year defenseman Adam Pelech headline five Erie Otters named to NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings for the NHL Entry Draft in June.

Fox, 18, who was acquired along with second-year defenseman Troy Donnay from London last week, stands 48th among North American skaters. Pelech, 17, is six spots back at No. 54. Rookie winger Connor Brown, 17, stands at No. 85. Donnay, 17, and rookie defenseman Liam Maaskant, 17, are Nos. 115 and 134, respectively.

Former Otters winger Chris Marchese, who was traded to Windsor for winger Anthony Cortellessa last month, stands at No. 97. Center Drake Caggiula, the Otters’ third-round pick in the 2010 OHL Priority Selection, is at No. 197. He plays for Stouffville in the Ontario Junior A Hockey League and has committed to the University of North Dakota.

Sarnia winger Nail Yakupov ranks first overall among North American skaters. The OHL has eight other skaters among the top 20 – Kitchener C Radek Faksa (No. 4), London D Olli Maatta (No. 6), Belleville C Brendan Gaunce (No. 11), Guelph D Matthew Finn (No. 15), Ottawa D Cody Ceci (No. 16), Peterborough D Slater Koekkoek (No. 17), Belleville LW Daniil Zharkov (No. 19) and Owen Sound C Gemel Smith (No. 20). Belleville’s Malcolm Subban ranks first among North American goaltenders.

Check out the complete lists on, including the top European goaltenders. Sherry Bassin, Otters managing partner and general manager, has said the 2012 CHL Import Draft in June features goaltenders that could be selected in the first round of the NHL draft.

Bassin likely will focus on the CHL draft to find a goaltender to replace overager Ramis Sadikov next season. Rookie backup Devin Williams, who has played 18 minutes in his brief OHL career, is currently the most experienced prospect in the organization.