Shining Bright: The Future of the Mississauga Steelheads

Photo Credits: Charles Warburton

Friday night, the Mississauga Steelheads’ season ended with a 6-2 loss in game five of the first round of the OHL playoffs. Losing their best-of-seven series 4-1.

Sudbury was a team on a mission, getting up 2-0 in the game. Mississauga would fight back in the game, tying it 2-2, but in the end, Sudbury’s offence took advantage of their power play chances and didn’t look back as they coasted to a series win.

Mississauga took many positive steps this season. The club finished fourth in the Eastern Conference and broke a franchise record in wins with 38 and points with 84.

The Steelheads will have a competitive team next season. Only three players will not be back: captain Chas Sharpe, Dean Loukus, and Marc Boudreau. Key players will return: Porter Martone, Luke Misa, Angus MacDonell, Lucas Karmiris, and Adam Zidlicky, along with others from this core group.

Once again, Luke Misa, Angus MacDonell, and Porter Martone will lead the forward group.

Porter Martone showed this season why he will be a top pick in next year’s NHL draft. The 17-year-old forward put up a career-high in points with 71. Come training camp next season, he will be bigger, faster, and stronger. Martone will be a game-changer for the team. I would like to see if the team can add another center to help support him. It would be good to separate the lineup and have Misa and MacDonell run their own lines.

Seven Mississauga Steelheads are set to be part of this year’s NHL draft: Luke Misa, Ryerson Leenders, Parker Von Richter, Jack Van Volsen, Mason Zebeski, Finn Harding, and Jakub Fibigr. When these players return from NHL camps in late September/early October, they will have much experience under their belts from years past and from their first NHL camps.

The Steelheads will have the return of their tandem in Ryerson Leenders and Jack Ivankovic. I expect Leenders to be one of the best goalies in the league next season. He showed that he could be this season, which is an excellent sign for the team.

I expect Jack Ivankovic to have a heavier workload next season. He exceeded his expectations in his first season with the Steelheads, winning 14 of the 25 games he started. Ivankovic became the team’s starter in the playoffs when Ryerson Leenders was injured.

Stevie Leskovar will be a crucial piece on defence. He and Chas Sharpe were the Steelheads’ number-one defence pairing this season. I can see Finn Harding or Parker Von Richter slotting into that spot with Leskovar. Mississauga will also have a great supporting cast, including Jakub Fibigr, Reed Gee, and Luke Dragusica. I expect the Steelheads to add on defence, whether through the draft or trades.

The future is bright for this team. The Steelheads will be all in next season, and as the team gets set for a new chapter in Brampton, Steelheads fans have a lot of good things to look forward to.

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