Minor League Hockey

OHL Roundup: Landeskog tops midterm rankings

By Mackenzie Liddell, Contributing Editor

Toronto, Canada (Sports Network) - A look at some of the storylines around the Ontario Hockey League:

DEADLINE DAY RECOURSE

After a hectic and eventful trade deadline last Monday, the players on the move settled in with their new teams this week and, in many cases, paid immediate dividends.

Highlighting the list of the recently departed were Windsor acquisitions Taylor Carnevale and Jake Carrick.

Much was made of GM Warren Rychel's decision to part with rookie sniper Eric Locke to land the services of 19-year-old Carnevale, but it's hard to argue with the results.

In three games this week - all wins, including a 10-2 cakewalk over Belleville - Carnevale scored once and added five helpers.

Carrick, a 20-year-old brought over from Sault Ste. Marie and known more for his physicality than scoring punch, lit it up in his debut with two goals and two assists and finished the week with three goals and eight points.

Despite running into the same problems with Carnevale and Dalton Prout in the lineup, without the two, Barrie sunk even further into oblivion, giving up 19 goals in a pair of losses to Erie and Niagara last week.

For his part, Locke finished the week with one assist.

DRUG BUST

In an unusual development late last week, Plymouth forward Alex Aleardi and Saginaw defenseman Ryan O'Connor were each handed an eight-game suspension after traces of the banned substance methylhexaneamine was found in their urine samples collected in November.

Methylhexaneamine is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's prohibited list and is not an ingredient in Health Canada-licensed medications, but can be found in many over-the-counter supplements.

It was the first time in the league's history that a player has been suspended for the use of performance-enhancing drugs, but commissioner David Branch was comfortable with the findings.

"We are completely satisfied that the players used a supplement which they had purchased over the counter at a local retail outlet and had no knowledge that it contained a stimulant," Canadian Hockey League president and OHL commissioner David Branch said Friday.

Although Aleardi and O'Connor were oblivious to their ingestion of methylhexaneamine, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport sent a note to all 20 teams warning them about the substance.

"Under the CHL anti-doping rules, athletes are strictly liable for any substance found in their doping control sample, regardless of how it got there," CCES president and CEO Paul Melia said.

O'Connor started serving his suspension Friday and Aleardi's went into effect after Saturday's game against Sarnia. His goal and two assists were timely contributions.

LANDESKOG CROWNS MIDTERM DRAFT RANKINGS

NHL Central Scouting released its most recent rankings for the 2011 draft and like the previous edition, Kitchener Rangers winger Gabriel Landeskog heads the class.

Unlike the preliminary rankings that were divided between the three Canadian major junior leagues and the American and European circuits, the midterms separate prospects into North American and European skaters and goalies.

While many had Quebec League prospect Sean Couturier as the favourite to go No. 1, Landeskog's strong campaign (25-20-45) coupled with his brazen leadership qualities vaulted him to the top spot.

He is joined by 56 other OHL players - the most of any league on the 212- player list - including nine ranked in the top-30.

Behind Landeskog, the next highest ranked OHLer is Niagara blueliner Dougie Hamilton (No. 7) followed by Saginaw's Brandon Saad (No. 8) and Landeskog's teammate Ryan Murphy (No. 10).

Junior hockey fans and prospect hounds can watch the top-40 draft eligible players, including 23 of the top-30 skaters - from across Canada battle it out Wednesday in Toronto, Ont. at the annual CHL-NHL Top Prospects Game.

NOTES

It was a wild ride, but Ottawa's Tyler Toffoli's point streak came to a halt at 25 games after he was shut out in Sunday's 6-1 loss to Mississauga.

He finished the run with 30 goals and 57 points, the highest since Brett MacLean's 32-game, 78-point crusade in 2007-08.

01/18 15:09:52 ET


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