The 2012-13 Ontario Hockey League season is set to begin tonight with Leafs prospect Tyler Biggs playing his first game in the OHL with the Oshawa Generals against Peterborough.
“I’m really excited to get everything going,” Biggs said in an interview with the Toronto Star. “I’ve been waiting all summer just to play hockey, to be part of something and I think we can do big things here.”
Biggs was the Leafs first round pick, 22nd overall in the 2011 NHL Draft. He played one season at Miami University in Ohio where he had 17 points in 37 games before deciding in the spring to leave school for the OHL.
The Generals are expected to be one of the top teams in the OHL this season. In the first edition of the BMO CHL MasterCard Top 10 Rankings, the Generals are ranked 10th.
Fellow 2011 first rounder, Stuart Percy is heading into his first season as captain of the Mississauga Steelheads. This will be his second season as captain as he wore the ‘C’ last season in the final season for the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors.
The Steelheads open their season Friday at home against Kitchener. If you are heading to the game, look for our Leafs game crew as Carlton The Bear, the Blue Crew and the Pizza Pizza Great Canadian Goalie Racers will be there.
Percy suffered a concussion last December and didn’t return to the lineup for two-and-a-half months which meant he only played in 34 games last season with 25 points (five goals, 20 assists) and a plus 18. Percy was able to play four games for the Marlies, three in the playoffs. It impressed Steelheads head coach James Boyd.
“With all that adversity, there was a lot of good that came out of last season because Stuart took the right approach,” Boyd told the Toronto Star. “The way he finished the year — competing hard for us in the playoffs and then performing well with the Marlies — tells a lot about his character.”
Fellow OHLer David Broll and the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds host the Plymouth Whalers Friday. The Mississauga native was the Leafs’ sixth choice in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Broll had 33 points in 59 games last season.
There are several other prospects in the system who begin their OHL season over the next few days. Forward Connor Brown who was selected in 2012, was recently named the captain of the Erie Otters who begin the season Thursday against Niagara. Josh Leivo, who had 32 goals last season with Sudbury will face Tyler Biggs and the Generals on Friday. Rugged winger Ryan Rupert and London play the first game of their season against Brown and the Otters Friday at home.
Leafs 2012 second round pick, Matt Finn, who is the captain of the Guelph Storm, begins the 2012-13 season against Saginaw. His teammate on the Storm, goalie Garret Sparks is also a Leafs prospect.
In the WHL, 2012 first round pick Morgan Rielly and the Moose Jaw Warriors open their season Friday against the Swift Current Broncos. Rielly played only 18 games last season due to a knee injury. He has been healthy all summer and played for Canada against Russia in the four-game series in August.