Friday Night Hockey preview: Crouse vs. McDavid

Connor McDavid scored his 24th of the season but the Peterborough Petes shocked the Otters.

Friday Night Hockey makes its way back to Kingston for an OHL tilt pitting the Erie Otters up against the Kingston Frontenacs. It’s also a match-up of world junior gold medalists Connor McDavid and Lawson Crouse.

Erie’s win-streak came to an end on Thursday when they dropped a 6-5 decision to the Peterborough Petes. The Otters have still won six of their past seven. The high-scoring trio of Connor McDavid, Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat got a boost when Remi Elie and Jake Marchment were brought in from Belleville to add depth to an already potent lineup.


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The Otters feature three overagers (Kurtis MacDermid, Troy Donnay and Cory Genovese) on defence. All three are big and tough, with almost 200 PIM between them. Darren Raddysh and Travis Dermott provide offence from the back.

In goal, Devin Williams is looking to regain the form that saw him steal the No. 1 job away from Oscar Dansk in the playoffs last season. Williams hasn’t had a spectacular January, but the Otters recently hired Martin Biron to help out with their goaltenders.

As for Kingston, the Frontenacs could make an all-star line with injured players. Sam Bennett has yet to return from shoulder surgery, but is skating. L.A. Kings prospect Spencer Watson has played just 22 games and leading scorer Robert Polesello is done for the year.

A trade with North Bay brought in the much talked-about Nathan Billitier, who left Notre Dame after just one semester. Evan McEneny continues to be a steadying presence and Roland McKeown has had a productive January.

Under head coach Paul McFarland, the Frontenacs have transitioned from a run-and-gun, high-powered offensive team to a lockdown defensive team. The problem for Kingston has been goal-scoring, finding them selves near the bottom of averaging fewer than three goals per game.

The saving grace for Kingston is goalie Lucas Peressini, who’s amongst the league leaders in most statistical categories.

Erie Otters 33-10-1-2 (14-6-1-2 Road), 1L (1st Midwest Division, 2nd Western Conference)

Individual Stats
Top Scorers GP G A PTS Note
Dylan Strome 46 30 57 87 T-2nd OHL scoring
Alex DeBrincat 46 34 34 68 T-7th OHL scoring
Connor McDavid 26 24 44 68 T-7th OHL scoring
Remi Elie 43 19 29 48
Nick Betz 40 20 27 47
In Goal
Name Record GAA SV%
Devin Williams 20-8-0-1 2.78 .892%
Team Stats Rank
PP: 56/185=30.3% 1st
PK: 37/191=80.6% 7th
GF per game: 4.78 2nd
GA per game: 3.15 5th
NHL Drafted/Signed Players

Remi Elie (Dallas, 40th in 2013)
Nicholas Baptiste (Buffalo, 69th in 2013)
Kyle Pettit (Vancouver, 156th in 2014)
Jake Marchment (Los Angeles, 157th in 2014)
Kurtis MacDermid (signed by Los Angeles)
Troy Donnay (signed by New York Rangers)

NHL Central Scouting

Connor McDavid No. 1
Dylan Strome No. 5
Travis Dermott No. 44
Nick Betz No. 129

Under The Radar

Nick Betz has played with confidence all season and those who play with him magically get better. Good size, tough to move off pucks and defensively responsible.

Kingston Frontenacs 17-19-5-2 (10-8-2-0 Home) 3L, 4th East Division, 7th Eastern Conference

Individual Stats
Top Scorers GP G A PTS Note
Robert Polesello 38 17 19 36 Injured
Spencer Watson 22 13 15 28 Just 22 GP
Evan McEneny 43 4 24 28
Juho Lammikko 36 14 32 46
Corey Pawley 42 7 17 24
In Goal
Name Record GAA SV%
Lucas Peressini 17-13-3-2 2.41 .923%
Team Stats Rank
PP: 28/167=16.8% 17th
PK: 36/165=78.2% 13th
GF per game: 2.77 18th
GA per game: 2.93 3rd

NHL Drafted/Signed Players
Sam Bennett* (Calgary, 4th in 2014)
Roland McKeown (Los Angeles, 50th in 2014)
Juho Lammikko (Florida, 65th in 2014)
Spencer Watson (Los Angeles, 209th in 2014)
Evan McEneny (signed by Vancouver)
*injured

NHL Central Scouting
Lawson Crouse No. 4
Jeremy Helvig No. 17

Under the Radar

Jarkko Parikka‘s numbers aren’t pretty, but there’s plenty to like in his game and once it all comes together, should be an impact player for the Fronts.

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