Prospect Update: OHL Playoffs
Nick Paul and Tobias Lindberg head into the OHL Eastern Conference Finals on their quest for a championship and a chance at the Memorial Cup
With Binghamton finishing up their season this past weekend, our eyes shift over to our prospects still competing in the OHL playoffs. We have a shortened prospect update this week, as we only had three prospects still playing.
The second round of the playoffs just wrapped up this past weekend, with Nicholas Paul and the North Bay Battalion taking down Ben Harpur and the Barrie Colts in five games. As he has been doing all season, Paul continued his torrid pace of picking up points. He managed to get at least a point in every game in the series, including a two-goal first star performance in the series clinching game on Saturday night. Paul now has six goals and seven assists through nine playoff games. His 13 points has him ranked tenth in playoff scoring (some Connor McDavid kid is leading the pack with 23 points).
Meanwhile, Paul's second round adversary Ben Harpur was matched up regularly against him and the Battalion's top line. Acting more in a shutdown role than he had to in the first round where he picked up 5 points in a four game sweep of Belleville, Harpur only found the scoresheet once with an assist in game five.
Harpur just finished up his fourth year in the OHL and will likely be making the move to Binghamton next season. The large 6'6 210 lbs defenceman will be a welcome addition to the AHL squad.
The North Bay Battalion will be meeting the Oshawa Generals in the Eastern Conference finals, featuring yet another Senators prospect, Tobias Lindberg. As mentioned in a previous update, he got off to a wicked pace to start the playoffs. He scored a hat trick and hit a post in just the first period of game one of the first round. Unfortunately, he has cooled off from that unsustainable pace and has six points in his last five games. Lindberg's Generals polished off the Niagara IceDogs in five games and he was also named first star in game two of the series. Lindberg is a strong player who plays in all strengths and situations and can get a shot off quickly.
From a Sens fan perspective, it'll be very interesting to watch both Nick Paul and Tobias Lindberg in the OHL Eastern Conference finals as it kicks off on Friday night. It's also intriguing that both players are connected with a pair of big trades that the Sens have made in the past.
First, as we all likely still remember, Nick Paul came back to Ottawa in the trade that sent former captain Jason Spezza to the Dallas Stars. The other pieces in that trade (Alex Chiasson and Alex Guptill) have both fallen short of expectations, so hopefully Paul makes us a winner in this trade.
Similarly, Tobias Lindberg was chosen with a fourth round draft pick that came back to the Sens in a very controversial trade. Back in 2013, we traded away Ben Bishop for Good Old Cory Conacher and a fourth round pick that later turned into Tobias Lindberg.
The similarities between those two get even stranger. In the 2013 NHL Draft Paul was drafted 101st, quickly followed by Lindberg at 102nd. Then only six picks later, Ben Harpur at 108th. Did we just find a trio of fourth round picks who could have NHL impact? It looks promising, but only time will tell.