Forecast Friday: Oshawa's Star Trio
It’s rare that you see three forwards from the same CHL team ranked inside the top 30 of most scouting outlets, but that’s the situation the Oshawa Generals of the Ontario Hockey League have found themselves in this year.
This week we take a look at three great prospects at forward from the same team, a story that is sure to produce some good press should all three of these players make it to the NHL.
Also, one of these forwards has caught the eye of Faceoff-Factor as a player that might look great in the Pittsburgh system, we’ll save that part for the end of the story.
Lucas Lessio – F- 6’1 – 187lbs. – Shoots L – Jan 23, 1993
Where Lucas Lessio was actually going to play hockey this season was a total mystery. After spending a year with the St. Michaels Buzzers of the OJHL, Lessio had initially committed to the University of Michigan. However, he was selected by Oshawa in the OHL priority draft and also got selected by a USHL team in the midst of all this. When the smoke cleared, Lessio was playing for the Generals, and his arrival at the OHL level was highly anticipated.
Lessio hasn’t produced offensively like most hoped, but he’s a skilled forward who possesses a great shot, a good nose for the net, and has a good, strong skating style. Lessio’s game is tough to translate, on some nights he’s mixing it up down low, on other’s he’s burying shots from the outside. The team that takes him will draft him on the general overall hockey abilities that he has. While he may not be the master of any trade, he’s certainly shown that he’s got the abilities to potentially make an impact at the next level.
2010-2011 Stats: 63GP – 26G – 27A – 53P – 64PIM
Nicklas Jensen – 6’3 – 186lbs. – Shoot L – March 16, 1993
This Danish product played for the same team in Denmark as Senators forward Peter Regin. A newcomer to North American hockey this year, Jensen arrived with the Generals and brought an encouraging spark to the team. He put up good numbers for the Herning Blue Fox in his first pro season, and is continuing to settle in at the OHL level.
Jensen has a lot of great things going for him. He’s big, he has good speed, his fundamentals are sound, and most importantly, this kid can snipe. His shot is unbelievable and he really gets his entire body into letting the puck go. He’s not shy about the physical stuff, but could use a bit more consistency in that department. Overall, he’s a sound offensive threat, aware on the ice, and has a good game breaking element to what he does. His vision is solid and he’s got good playmaking abilities. When it’s all said and done, Jensen might be one of the top Danes to be drafted into the NHL. On average, Jensen is the highest rated of the three Oshawa forwards.
2010-2011 Statistics: 58GP – 29G- 29A – 58P – 42PIM
And now, for one of my personal hopes for the Penguins first round selection in this year’s draft.
Boone Jenner – C – 6’1 – 193lbs. – Shoots L – June 15, 1993
Boone Jenner has been a treat to watch in 2010/2011, a young player with a great deal of tenacity, Jenner is continuing to round out an already solid game as the year continues into the playoffs.
Jenner is a big bodied character forward with good hands, great one on one abilities, a physical presence in the game, and an eagerness to get to scoring areas. His skating is his biggest downfall, his strides can be awkward for his size and he needs to improve his first step, but it’s not glaring enough to prevent him from having success at the next level. Jenner has a solid two-way presence and overall an excellent hockey awareness.
Some critics have accused him of being over-zealous with the puck or demanding the puck from his teammates. He does have a tendency to want to do it all himself, but when you see him take guys on one on one you see why. He’s also struggling to be consistent. After a great start to the year, he experienced a small dry spell, rebounded, but has again found himself struggling to find the score sheet.
Overall, I believe Jenner is a very explosive offensive talent, even if his skating doesn’t drastically improve, his game is evolved enough and physical enough that he should find success at the next level. I am of the mindset that this would be a great addition for the Penguins, his jam fits the Bylsma mantra, he’s skilled, and he’s got that blue-collar, Pittsburgh character. More on Jenner will be coming as we head into the NHL draft in June.
2010/2011 Statistics: 60GP – 21G – 39A – 60P – 53PIM