Very few players, at any age, can say that they have broken the record set by Connor McDavid.
Michael Misa joined the elite company, surpassing McDavid’s 19-point record in the OHL Cup tournament, as he finished 20th in the final minutes of a 6-2 victory over the Mississauga Senators in Monday’s championship game. It was a rematch of many more great fights between Senator and Toronto Jr. Canadians, who entered the tournament as the top-ranked team after exiting early from the GTHL play-off in Mississauga.
None of these teams or leagues mean anything to you? That’s fine. The OHL Cup matches the best U-16 talents – in this case, the children born in 2006, for the most part – from Ontario to the Scout, parents, school and fans packed in front of the building. Among the star players who will be playing in this event are: Tyler Seguin, Corey Perry, Shane Wright, Cole Perfetti, Tyler Tofoli, Shawn Monahan, Boone Jenner, Ryan Strom, Travis Connie, Sam Bennett and many more. If you are playing minor hockey in Ontario, you have probably participated in this tournament. Five of the top six scorers in the final tournament of 2019 have already been drafted to the NHL. Top scorer of the year? Wright, 2022 draft top prospect. And Adam Fantiley is a top prospect for 2023.
So will Misa get the most points in the history of the tournament? I mean something.
Born in Oakville, Antwerp, Misa is one of three players who have applied for OHL’s exceptional status, joined by teammates William Moore and Ryan Rubrock of London. It is believed that none of the three will get it, but Misa is the star among them. If anyone could get it – and after breaking McDavid’s record, it would be hard not to say – Misa. But Jack Hughes applied for an exceptional condition after absolutely destroying GTHL and didn’t get it, so the bar is extremely high.
Imagine being able to say no to an offensively talented player with the summary that Misa has put together.
“Mikey’s pace is phenomenal,” said Malcolm Spence, one of the players accused of fighting for first overall place in the OHL Draft. “She is OK. She’s the best. “
Misa was one of the driving forces behind the senator’s team that was almost irresistible. From small atoms to Bantam, the team boasted a 305-33-20 record. Last year before the epidemic, Sense had a 56-1-1 record. This season, the senators were almost irresistible in the regular season, but in a few tournament finals they fell flat and exited the playoffs early. The senators entered the OHL Cup as a wild-card entry – win and you enter. They did not qualify for the quarter-finals until the very last game of the round-robin. It was a long way from an easy road to the Scotiabank pond, but the big guns came out to play.
One of the scouts said, “Misa improved the whole game under pressure. “He has the talent to deprive almost everyone. Speed, skill, perseverance. He’s got the power of a grinder and the talent of a superstar. He dreams of being a coach. And he has shown how good he can be in almost every difficult situation in the last week. “
That’s a bit of an understatement. In three play-off games, Missa had 11 points, including a hat-trick and two assists in the championship game. He was also a face-off wizard, winning 26 or 65 percent of the 40 face-offs he faced. In the final he was -13 for 10.
“A lot of people talk about how talented he is as an offensive player, but I really believe he plays the whole 200-foot game and he’s a game-breaker, and we’ve seen that in big games,” said OHL’s Rain Hernandez. “He was the best player on the ice (the final) and he really shows up for those big games.”
At just 15 years old, it’s too early to guess how good Misa will be. Despite breaking McDavid’s record, at the same age he is nowhere near McDavid’s level. But he is a star in his own right. When you’re playing against kids who are ready to jump into Major Jr., and despite playing for a year, you’re better than almost all of them, people notice.
“You can’t ignore a kid who can control a game at speed,” said another scout. “It simply came to our notice then. Playing against other kids your age or one year old is one thing. But Misar has the skills that allow him to instantly convert to OHL. And it won’t be long before he becomes one of the most talked about kids on the NHL Scouting Radar. “
Misa is not eligible for the draft until 2025, so there will be plenty of time to wait. But think about what the game against the best junior-age talent for years will bring him, be it next season or next year.
“It’s hard to get extraordinary status,” said one scout. “But Hockey Canada is having a hard time explaining why he didn’t get it when he denied it.”
Once the OHL Cup ends each year, it marks the end of an era. Most of these kids play together since childhood. This includes Misa and the senators, who always play one year ahead. Misa even played roller hockey with a few of his teammates, so it was a tough-knit group that got through all of this together. Winning the OHL Cup means a lot to these kids because it will be the last time so many players will play together after a decade of being attached to the buttocks. For some, it was the biggest moment of their careers.
Most of the team will be drafted in a short order, and we will know Misa’s condition much earlier. But he is just getting started, and the future is so bright for the young man.