Photo by: Charlie Martin
The Niagara IceDogs are currently the worst team in the OHL with an 11-39-7 record. They have just 30 points in the 2022-23 regular season, which is 14 below any other team in the league. Although this may be painful for IceDogs fans to see, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Finishing last in the OHL means that the IceDogs would have the first overall pick in the OHL draft, set to take place on Apr. 21 and 22. The draft is made up of 15 rounds, three taking place on Apr. 21, and the other 12 taking place on Apr. 22. The projected first overall pick this year by many analysts is centreman Ryan Roobroek from London, ON.
Roobroek currently plays for the London Jr. Knights U16 AAA team and London Nationals in the GOJHL. Just last season as a 14-year-old playing U16, he netted 34 goals and 29 assists in just 27 games. He continued his dominance with the team this season with 50 goals and 28 assists in 29 games played with the Jr. Knights.
In the GOJHL Roobroek has played five games this year and has three goals. The GOJHL is a league consisting of mostly 18 to 20-year-olds — Roobroek has yet to turn 16 years old.
Another player that the IceDogs have the chance to choose at the top of the first round is William Moore, a centreman from Mississauga, ON who currently plays for the Toronto Marlboros in the GTHL.
Moore’s best threat is his shot as it is one of the quickest releases in the league, allowing him to be deceptive when shooting the puck. He also has the ability to be an elite playmaker when needed in order to get his teammates involved in the game. Moore led his previous team, Mississauga Senators in points at the OHL Cup in 2021-22 with seven goals and four assists in seven games.
Moore or Roebroek would both be great pickups for a young IceDogs team that is looking to be competitive next season adding to a young group including Kevin He, Andrew Hermeulen, William Stewart and William Valdemar Hall.
Although it is not a 100 per cent chance that the IceDogs will finish last in the OHL it is surely trending that way, as they only have 10 games left in the season. So, the Erie Otters would have to lose more than seven of their last 10 games and the IceDogs would have to win at least four in order to move up in the standings, a situation that seems very unlikely.
For all information on the Niagara IceDogs visit their page here.