The OHL Gold Cup concluded on Sunday afternoon in Kitchener, ON when the two teams from the GTHL squared off in the title game. GTHL Blue took a 5-4 decision to defend their OHL Gold Cup title. While the tournament provides entertaining hockey to watch in May, fans are more interested to see how their teams’ newest prospects perform. The Kingston Frontenacs had nine draft picks participating in the tournament. Here is a recap of their performances:
Francesco Arcuri: Kingston’s second round pick had the highest point total of any player the Black and Gold selected in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection. Arcuri put up one goal and four assists, including a three-assist game in a 10-1 win over HNO, over his four tournament games. His performance eliminated any question of him being able to put up points without the help of his Don Mills Flyers line mate, Shane Wright. Arcuri’s GTHL Blue team claimed gold with a 5-4 win in Sunday afternoon’s final.
Shane Wright: Many people were surprised to see Shane Wright be held off the scoreboard in the opening game of the tournament. In fact, he didn’t record any points through the first five periods of the OHL Gold Cup. He made up for that in period six, however. With his GTHL Red team trailing 5-4 entering the final period against OMHA Black, Shane scored two goals and added an assist to help bring his team back and win 8-5. He then scored again in his next game but unfortunately his team lost 3-2 to NOHA. They had a strong enough record to play in the tournament final, but the battle of the GTHL teams didn’t go their way as Shane and GTHL Red suffered a 5-4 loss to claim silver.
Maddox Callens: The third round pick of the Frontenacs scored 25 goals in the regular season for his team in just 33 games. He continued to score goals at that pace in the OHL Gold Cup. Playing for Team ALLIANCE, Callens scored one goal in each of his team’s victories. The only game he didn’t score in was the opener against GTHL Red, which ultimately ended up being the tie breaker after the round robin. Maddox opened the scoring in the bronze medal game, kick starting his team to an 8-2 victory over OMHA White. He finished the tournament with three goals.
Cayden Faust: Faust was an eleventh round pick by the Frontenacs but played like someone who should have been taken much higher. He joined Maddox Callens on Team ALLIANCE. After being held of the scoresheet in the tournament opener, Cayden broke out in the second game of the tournament scoring two goals in a 6-2 win over NOHA. He followed that up with a single goal performance in a 3-1 win over OMHA Black. He didn’t get his name on the scoresheet in the bronze medal game against OMHA White, but with his team winning 8-2, Faust claimed a bronze medal while matching his teammate, and fellow Fronteancs draft pick Maddox Callens, with three goals in the tournament.
Barret Joynt: The final pick the Frontenacs made in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection was from their own backyard. Barret played for the Kingston Jr. Frontenacs last season and represented OMHA White at the OHL Gold Cup. His best performance came in the opening game of the tournament against the eventual champion. In a 5-4 OT loss to GTHL Blue, Joynt scored two goals. One put his team ahead in the third period. OMHA White finished fourth in the tournament after a tough loss in the bronze medal game. Barret finished the tournament with two goals and no penalty minutes.
Jake Coleman: Many of the Frontenacs prospects were scoring goals at the OHL Gold Cup, but not many were setting them up. Jake Coleman was an exception to that. In the opening game of the tournament he had two assists in a 4-1 win over HNO. He followed that up with a goal and an assist in the final game, helping HEO to a 4-3 win over NOHA and a fifth-place tournament finish. Jake finished second on his team in scoring with four points in four games placing him ahead of the 3rd overall pick from the Erie Otters, Connor Lockhart.
Owen Watson: Sometimes in hockey, points don’t come easy, but players can still help their teams in other ways. Owen Watson was held scoreless in the OHL Gold Cup but the experience he gained while playing with the best U-16 players in Ontario will help his development in the future. He now has a better idea of what to expect in training camp as August approaches.
Cameron Walker: Scouts will debate about whether being clutch is a skill or not, but in the end every team wants a player that has a knack for scoring in big moments. Cameron Walker was held off the score sheet in the opening game of the tournament until overtime. That’s when he scored an OT winner to help NOHA to their first win. He added an assist later in the tournament in a big upset win over GTHL Red. NOHA went 2-2 in the tournament and Cameron Walker had a point in each of their wins. They would finish sixth in the tournament after a tough 4-3 loss to HEO in the final game.
Braden Haché: Certain players aren’t expected to score because they are more valuable in other ways. Braden is a player that coaches will look to in defensive situations. Being a big body defenceman allows Braden to play a physical game and protect the front of his net. Although he didn’t record any points at the OHL Gold Cup, he did play the role he would be expected to play in Kingston. He was often matched up against the best players from the opposing team, as well as logging minutes on the penalty kill. Frontenacs fans can expect to see a Jacob Paquette or Mike Moffat type of game from Braden when training camp roles around in the fall.
All things considered, the OHL Gold Cup was a success for Frontenacs prospects. After struggling to score goals last season, it was good to see so many prospects hitting the scoresheet in a highly competitive tournament. The nine Black and Gold prospects combined for 14 goals and 9 assists. Four prospects left the tournament with a medal. The future looks bright in Kingston and the nine players that suited up in Kitchener last weekend have a lot to do with that.