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A look at how last year's Storm players are faring

Not everyone can be Nick Suzuki
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The Guelph Storm celebrates its OHL championship victory last May. Tony Saxon/GuelphToday file photo

Sometimes success comes quickly at the next level. Sometimes it takes a while. Sometimes it never arrives.

For fans it is often surprising to see players that had such success at the junior level struggle in the professional ranks. It shouldn't. A first-year pro is akin to a 16 year old on an OHL club. Yes,the odd one will excel immediately, but for the most part the learning curve is huge and it takes time to adjust.

Some never do. The skill set that was good enough for the OHL either isn't good enough or doesn't translate to the pro game. Usually that skill is skating. If you are an average OHL skater, you will be a bad skater at the pro level.

And all those little things that you can get away with in junior? Those things scouts look for? You don't get away with them at the next level.

Then there is the age/contract factor. Markus Phillips has the game to play pro, but he also has the option to be sent back to junior by an organization with too many players under contract where that isn't an option.

And young players often find themselves on fourth line duty in the pros.

Of last year's OHL championship team, Nick Suzuki is obviously the player having the most success this year: the only player to have played an NHL game and excelling with the Montreal Canadiens.

Here's a look at how those players off last year's squar who aren't back in Guelph this year are faring:

Nick Suzuki, Montreal Canadiens (NHL):  63 gp 13 g, 27 a

MacKenzie Entwistle, Rockford IceHogs (AHL): 48 gp 9 g 14 a

Alexey Toropchenko, San Antonio Rampage (AHL): 50 gp 4 g 3 a

Liam Hawel, Kitchener Rangers (OHL): 46 gp 18 g 41 a

Nate Schnarr, Binghamton Devils (AHL): 41 gp 3 g 14 a

Isaac Ratcliffe, Lehigh Valley Phantoms (AHL): 45 gp 5 g 7 a

Ty Collins, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL): 42 gp 7 g 12 a

Dom Commisso, Ryerson Rams (USPORTS): 5 gp 0 g 1 a

Owen Lalonde, Flint Firebirds (OHL): 48 gp 2 g 18 a

Dmitri Samorukov, Bakersfield Condors (AHL): 41 gp  2 g 6 a

Sean Durzi, Ontario Reign (AHL): 34 gp 2 g 10 a

Jack Hanley, Dalhousie Tigers (USPORTS): 24 gp 1 g 1 a

Markus Phillips, London Knights (OHL): 17 gp 3 g 4 a

Anthony Popovich, Flint Firebirds (OHL): 39 gp 3.61 gaa .897 save %

Jake Grimes: Last year's associate coach is now head coach of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. They have a 35-17-2-1 record, good enough for fourth in QMJHL Eastern Conference, 12 points back of first place Moncton.



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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 20 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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