The 2016-17 major junior hockey season officially came to an end on May 28 with the Windsor Spitfires’ Memorial Cup championship win.
As the off-season begins, London Knights’ fans can try to make sense of the somewhat confusing reality that their team knocked out the eventual champs in seven games in the first round of the OHL playoffs.
If you are a London fan, try not to spend too much time working out those logistics, or with Windsor and Erie meeting in the Memorial Cup final, on what could have been.
The Knights, themselves, are already looking ahead and have officially added two new players to their roster.
On Tuesday morning, London announced that Lucas Rowe and Andrew Perrott to OHL Standard Player Agreements.
Rowe was the Knights’ first-round pick in the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. He was taken 18th overall after helping the Mississauga Reps to an OHL Cup championship in April.
With the game just seconds away from overtime and a faceoff in the offensive zone, Rowe won the draw cleanly back to Dennis Golovatchev and he wristed the championship-winning goal into the Toronto Nationals’ net with nine ticks of the clock left, and the Reps celebrated a 3-2 victory.
Rowe had two assists in that game, proving he is a player who can elevate his play at key times.
“He’s a goal scorer who can make plays,” according to Knights’ general manager Rob Simpson.
Athleticism runs in Rowe’s family. His father was a baseball player who was drafted by the New York Mets.
London’s second-round pick, Andrew Perrott, can say the very same thing.
His father Nathan went head-to-head with the Knights in the ’90s as part of the Soo Greyhounds and Oshawa Generals. There is a good chance that those teams went unbeaten against London. They were highly competitive from 1994-97 and the Knights were not.
Nathan Perrott then went on to play 89 games in the National Hockey League and over 500 more in the minors and in Russia.
Andrew is a six-foot, 194-pound defenceman who has a great deal of offensive ability and very good poise.
Those skills should allow him to carve out a spot on a London blue line that stands to return Victor Mete, Evan Bouchard and Nic Mattinen for sure. Brandon Crawley could still come back as an overager and the Vancouver Canucks will have to decide if Olli Juolevi is ready for the National Hockey League as a 19-year-old. If they determine he isn’t, the only place Juolevi can play is London.
Among forwards, Adrian Carbonara and Sam Miletic are potential overagers, but even with the insertion of Billy Moskal and Richard Whittaker to everyday roles, there will be a couple of spots to fill, and Rowe will be looking to make for an excellent addition.