By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire ".
I planned to do this on this date a long time ago, and the stipulated end of the Ontario Hockey League season should have no impact on the original concept.
Each year at the start of the year, the OHL sends out a poll with a variety of survey questions for the media at large,
For the 2019-20 season, there were 15 questions.
Looking at my responses I'd say that I got 6 bang-on, 2 answers are subjective and open to debate, I missed 3 for sure, plus 4 other responses will forever be debated and unknown.
I was accurate on all 4 division winners; London, Saginaw, Ottawa & Sudbury.
I also think I was accurate projecting the league's top prospect ( Saginaw's Cole Perfetti ) and the league's top rookie ( Shane Wright from Kingston )..... but you could rightfully argue those were " no-brainers.
Open to discussion is the category of best defender ( I projected Thomas Harley in Mississauga ) plus the segment for most surprising team ( I said Flint....because I say Flint every year, but I would accept Guelph as a final answer )
What did I miss ?
I thought Quinton Byfield of Sudbury would be the most outstanding player. Based on the opening game of the season at St Catharines; he WAS....but I think the accurate answer would be Liam Foudy in London.
I also saw Ryan Suzuki who started the year at Barrie as the OHL scoring leader. I missed that call by 62 points as Marco Rossi in Ottawa was the Eddie Power Trophy winner this year.
And for best goaltender, I envisioned Hunter Jones of Peterborough, but the obvious answer there was Nico Daws of Guelph...and I doubt anyone including Larry Mellott saw that coming !!
And we're awaiting the Coach of the Year plus we'll never know the club winners of the Gretzky Trophy, the Orr Trophy & the Robertson Cup.
I'm Fred Wallace
2019-20 OHL Pre-Season Media Poll
Fred Wallace's original response from September 2019
Which team will win the Midwest Division?
- Bloody London........although Kitchener will tell you it will be the Rangers.
Which team will win the West Division?
- Saginaw Spirit
Which team will win the East Division?
- Ottawa 67's .......again
Which team will win the Central Division?
- Sudbury Wolves, for the first time in a LONG time.
Which team will be the most surprising?
- every year I say " Flint ", so I'll go with the Firebirds again
Which player will lead the league in scoring?
- Ryan Suzuki, Barrie Colts
Who will be the league’s best goaltender?
- Hopefully somebody in Owen Sound....barring that Hunter Jones Peterborough
Who will be the league’s best defenceman?
-Thomas Harley Mississauga. Might alter my opinion for Jamie Drysdale, Erie
Who will be the league’s top rookie?
- I'll say Shane Wright of Kingston because he was the # 1 pick......but Brandt Clarke in Barrie was dynamite in the pre-season
Who will win Coach of the Year honours?
- Chris Lazary Saginaw Spirit or Cory Stillman of Sudbury Wolves
Who will be the league’s top prospect for the 2019 NHL Draft?
- Cole Perfetti, Saginaw Spirit
Who will be the league’s most outstanding player of the year?
- Quinton Byfield, Sudbury Wolves
Who will win the Wayne Gretzky Trophy as Western Conference champion?
................I'm praying anybody but London....or Kitchener. For the sake of the discussion;....... London
Who will win the Bobby Orr Trophy as Eastern Conference champion?
Who will win the Robertson Cup as OHL champion?
...............guess. The LONDON KNIGHTS