Thomas Harley certainly turned heads with his play this OHL season on the blue line for the Mississauga Steelheads.
More importantly, the 18-year-old native of Syracuse, NY caught the attention of the NHL scouts. Harley, who finished the season with 11 goals and 47 assists for 58 points in 68 games, is listed at No. 11 among North American skaters in the final rankings released by NHL Central Scouting on Apr. 15.
Outstanding at both ends of the rink, Harley was Mississauga’s 14 overall selection in the 2017 Ontario Priority Selection. The six-foot-three, 183-pound defenceman took a huge stride this season after posting a goal and 14 assists in 62 games as a rookie. Harley anchored the back end for the Steelheads, seeing key minutes on both the power play and penalty killing units.
Harley wasn’t the only Mississauga player to find his way onto the final rankings. Teammates Cole Schwindt and Keean Washkurak were also on the top prospects list. Schwindt, a centre, is ranked 96 after a breakout season where he scored 19 goals and added 30 assists for 49 points in 68 games. Washkurak comes in at No. 149 in the rankings. The forward had 16 goals and 31 assists in 66 games this season.
The NHL Entry Draft will be held June 21-22 in Vancouver, B.C.
The trio weren’t the only Steelheads making news on this day.
Seven of their top prospects were selected to represent their respective minor hockey associations at this year’s OHL Gold Cup, being held May 2-5 in Kitchener.
Mississauga’s 12 overall pick in this 2019 OHL Priority Selection, defenceman Ethan Del Mastro will suit up for the GTHL Blue. Third-round pick and forward Luca Del Bel Belluz will play for GTHL Red.
Dressing for OMHA Black will be Justin DiLauro (seventh-round pick), Sean Mateer (13-round pick) and Adam O’Marra (sixth-round pick). Josh Reid (third-round pick) will play for HEO and Chas Sharpe (third-round pick) will represent OMHA White.
An annual showcase event, the OHL Gold Cup features the top under-16 players in Ontario. Players from the event will be invited to attend the National Under-17 Selection Camp, along with other skaters across Canada, to earn a spot at the World Under-17 Challenge.
photo: Mississauga Steelheads defenceman Thomas Harley is ranked No. 11 on the NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings, announced Apr. 15. Harley was one of three Steelheads players on the list. Terry Wilson/OHL Images