Barrie Colts 2010-2011 Season Post Mortem
Alright, as teams make their exit from the sixty-eight game grind that is the OHL season, I'm going to be doing post-mortems on what the situation looks like for each team in the league. I debated not doing Barrie's until the season officially ends on Sunday, but I decided that it wasn't in appropriate to start in on the Colts now
No matter how Barrie performs this weekend in the OHL, they will still finish last. They will still pick first overall in May. A few extra points or losses isn't going to impact either of those facts.
Key Graduates: Matt Ashman
Key Returnees for Next Season: Mark Scheifele, Colin Behenna, Tanner Pearson, Clint Windsor, Eric Locke, Dylan Smoskowitz
Possible Early NHL Graduates: None
Draft Position: 1
Offseason Needs: Defence, defence, defence
Plan for Next Year: The Colts missed that post-season for the first time in franchise history this year. But they did a lot of tearing down in order to rebuild. Overagers and veterans like Peter DiSalvo, Darren Archibald, Taylor Carnevale and Dalton Prout were shipped out of town and largely replaced with a crew of seventeen year-olds.
The Plan in Barrie seems to be to build around centre Mark Scheifele going forward. Scheifele will be a late first round pick this summer in the NHL Entry Draft which means that the Colts will likely have him for two more seasons, giving them a key cornerstone to build around. It’s also worth noting that all of Barrie’s key returnees are forwards with the exception of mammoth starting goaltender Clint Windsor. There are some good players in Barrie to build around.
What the Colts need is defensemen. They’ve got a lot of personnel on the back end but no real key pieces. That’s where Barrie has to put its focus in the offseason. In trades, at the May Priority Selection and at the June Import Draft, the Colts have to focus on bringing in defensemen. Step one to addressing this problem will centre around fifteen year-old defenseman Aaron Ekblad. The six-foot-three Sun County Panther has petitioned the OHL for Exceptional Player status. If it's granted, the Colts have given every indication of taking the promising blue-liner with the number one pick.
Without a well-structured blue-line, the climb back to the playoffs could be a long one next season on the shores of Lake Simcoe.
If I Could Make One Trade
To Barrie: Keevin Cutting
To Owen Sound: 2nd Round Pick 2013, collection of other lesser picks
The Colts need to add a defenseman that's likely to be in town for two years. While Cutting (a late '92 born player) is technically ranked 122nd by Central Scouting, it's more than reasonable to expect he'll be around for his overage year in two years. Cutting is primarily a shutdown defender but is also capable of chipping in on the offence if need be.
Owen Sound is losing the entirety of its core to graduation this offseason with the exception of Jordan Binnington, Andrew Fritsch, Matt Petgrave and Cutting. Fritsch is also rumoured to want out of the Sound this coming offseason as well. It would behoove the Sound to expedite the rebuild and move out some of its remaining assets to return some futures.