CHL on Sportsnet preview: Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds vs. Mississauga Steelheads

He’s 6-foot-6 and 220 lb., has a cannon from the point, loves the offensive side of the game and will be a top pick in June.

The CHL on Sportsnet begins tonight at 7:30 ET with the Soo Greyhounds visiting the Mississauga Steelheads. It’s the first of a 23-game regular-season slate on Sportsnet en route to the MasterCard Memorial Cup in May. Here are a few things to get you ready for tonight’s tilt.

Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 24 16 7 1 0 33 0.688 88 76 5-0-0-0 8-2-0-0 243
Mississauga Steelheads 21 6 9 3 3 18 0.429 73 89 0-2-1-1 1-4-3-2 327

The Mississauga Steelheads are the OHL’s most disappointing team so far this season. Pre-season predictions had them challenging for the OHL’s Eastern Conference title, but they’ve been sunk by disappointing special teams and and a save percentage that is 18th out of 20 at 5-on-5 and and last in all situations.

But! The Steelheads are also loaded with intriguing talents. Shoot first, ask questions later Owen Tippett is seventh in the O in goals with 16 and is slated for the top 10 in June’s NHL Draft. He’s joined by hulking blueliner Nic Hague, who is second among OHL D-men in goals per game and is also looking like he could be a lottery pick.

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The Steelheads also have speedster Michael McLeod, who went 12th overall last June and is the team’s captain, Nathan Bastian the 41st pick in 2016 and debuting tonight after starting the season injured, defenceman Villi Saarijarvi a third-rounder by Detroit who should add a dynamic presence to the back end. (For you deep divers, Ryan McLeod, Mike’s little bro, is the highest-scoring 2018 draft-eligible skater in the league.)

But it’s not all Steelheads, not by any means. The visiting Greyhounds have surprised by rising to sixth overall in the league on the back of an 8-2-0-0 run (including five in a row) while playing in the much tougher Western Conference. They boast the No. 7 power play and the third-best penalty kill.

Offensively the Soo is led by former Steelhead Bobby MacIntrye, 20, who’s on pace for a career season and is currently sixth in league scoring. Zach Senyshyn (15th to BOS in 2015), Boris Katchouk (44th to TB in 2016), Blake Speers (67th to NJ in 2015) and Morgan Frost round out the team’s most dangerous forwards.

Name GP Est.FC% GD GF% SD SF% Sh% Sv% PDO
Mississauga Steelheads 21 54.57 -1 49.51 120 55.16 7.96 0.902 98.15
Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 24 52.49 0 50 42 51.65 8.14 0.908 98.99
5v5, courtesy                

Overall, the Greyhounds have scored the fifth-most goals in the league, while the Steelheads sit at No. 16. On the other side of the puck, the Soo has the sixth-best goals-against total and Mississauga the 14th.

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