By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Come this weekend, several Oshawa Generals will be watching their TVs intently.
When the 2016 NHL Entry Draft kicks off in Buffalo on June 24, four Gens are newly eligible to have their names called.
Defenseman Riley Stillman and Sean Allen are both eligible, along with rookie Domenic Commisso and Eric Henderson.
Last year, following Oshawa’s epic Memorial Cup victory, two Gens drew the attention of NHL clubs and saw Anthony Cirelli drafted 72nd overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Mitch Vande Sompel 82nd overall by the New York Islanders.
In the final NHL Scouting Rankings, Stillman found himself ranked in the 66th spot, Commisso at 111th and Allen at 202.
Commisso definitely had a season that attracted the eyes of top scouts. Finishing third on the team for points in his first OHL season, netting 18 goals and 24 assists in his 66 games. The rookie also led the team with three goals and two assists in the playoffs, tied for top in points with captain Cirelli.
It may a longshot, but if last year’s rankings can be trusted, both the 66th and 202nd ranked players found themselves selected in the draft.
Below is a quick snapshot of each player’s junior career ahead of this weekend’s draft.
Shoots: Right; Height: 5’11’’; Weight: 183 lbs; Birthdate: 1998-02-19; Hometown: Oakville, Ont.
Commisso was Oshawa’s fifth-round pick in 2014.
Both his speed and his puck-handling shone early in the season, and only improved through the course of his first year of OHL action.
He also held the second longest point streak of any rookie in the league, scoring 16 points in 11 games between Nov. 29 and Jan. 2.
The effort would help him on his way to finishing ninth in OHL rookie scoring.
“For a 98 guy that’s never played in the league, he’s making great strides forward and obviously his offensive flare talks for itself,” head coach Bob Jones previously told The Oshawa Express.
Commisso is projected to go in the fifth or sixth round of the draft.
Shoots: Left; Height: 6′; Weight: 180 lbs; Birthdate: 1998-03-09; Hometown: Peterborough, Ont.
The Peterborough native was a fourth-round selection of the Generals in 2014.
Known for his strong defensive play at both ends of the ice and his ability to quarterback the powerplay, Stillman managed 21 points in his rookie season with six goals and 15 assists.
His strong efforts also earned him an invite to the recent NHL Combine in Buffalo.
He’s projected to go in the third or fourth round.
Shoots: Left; Height: 6’2”; Weight: 188 lbs; Birthdate: 1998-04-21; Hometown: Puslinch, Ont.
Acquired from the Kitchener Rangers late last year, Allen found himself on a team that could offer him much more than his former club, mainly in the form of ice time.
While not known for his point production, Allen has size on the blueline that proved a strong asset for Oshawa last season with such a young and small roster.
Perhaps look to see Allen go in the later rounds.
Shoots: Left; Height: 6’1”; Weight: 182 lbs; Birthdate: 1998-04-23; Hometown: Kingsville, Ont.
Similar to Allen, Henderson was acquired from the London Knights and found himself with the opportunity to see a lot more ice time with the Generals.
In 46 games this season with Oshawa, Henderson scored 24 points, he proved himself an asset in front of the net during the powerplay.
Watch for Henderson to go in the later rounds.