A total of 22 OHL graduates, 10 from the Grand Rapids Griffins and 12 from the Syracuse Crunch, will battle in the 2017 Calder Cup Finals of the AHL Playoffs.
The series is a rematch of the 2013 AHL Final that saw Grand Rapids skate to a 4-2 series victory and hoist the Calder Cup for the first time.
The AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, the Western Conference champion Griffins advanced to the AHL Final with a 4-1 series victory over the San Jose Barracuda. Belleville Bulls graduate Eric Tangradi is tied for the Grand Rapids lead in playoff scoring with 15 points (2-13–15) while former OHL champion and Guelph Storm forward Tyler Bertuzzi has also been impressive with 13 points (6-7–13).
The AHL affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Western Conference champion Syracuse Crunch are in the hunt for the first Calder Cup title in the team’s 23-year existence. Syracuse got past the Providence Bruins with a 4-1 series win to advance to the a showdown with Grand Rapids. Syracuse has a prominent OHL presence on the blue line with regulars in Windsor Spitfires grad Slater Koekkoek, Barrie Colts grad Jake Dotchin and Peterborough Petes graduate Dominik Masin patrolling the back end.
The series features a total of seven players included on playoff rosters that skated in the OHL this past season.
Grand Rapids features defencemen Filip Hronek (Saginaw Spirit) and Vili Saarijarvi (Mississauga Steelheads) along with power forward Givani Smith (Guelph Storm) while Syracuse includes OHL champions Anthony Cirelli and Erik Cernak (Erie Otters) as well as centreman Mitchell Stephens (London Knights) and defenceman Matt Spencer (Peterborough Petes).
The 2017 Calder Cup Final gets underway with Games 1 and 2 on Friday and Saturday in Grand Rapids. The series shifts to Syracuse for Games 3, 4 and possibly 5 on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
A total of 109 OHL graduates were on rosters to begin the 2017 Calder Cup Playoffs back on April 20th.
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS ROSTER – OHL GRADUATES (10):
AHL Affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings
Tyler Bertuzzi (Guelph Storm, 2011-15)
Daniel Cleary (Belleville Bulls, 1994-98)
Filip Hronek (Saginaw Spirit, 2016-17)*
Brian Lashoff (Barrie Colts, Kingston Frontenacs, 2006-10)
Edward Pasquale (Belleville Bulls, Saginaw Spirit, 2006-10)
Vili Saarijarvi (Flint Firebirds, Mississauga Steelheads, 2015-17)*
Dylan Sadowy (Saginaw Spirit, Barrie Colts, 2012-16)
Mathew Santos (Brampton/North Bay Battalion, 2012-16)
Givani Smith (Barrie Colts, Guelph Storm, 2014-17)*
Eric Tangradi (Belleville Bulls, 2006-09)
SYRACUSE CRUNCH ROSTER – OHL GRADUATES (12):
AHL Affiliate of the Tampa Bay Lightning
Dylan Blujus (Brampton/North Bay Battalion, 2010-14)
Erik Cernak (Erie Otters, 2015-17)*
Anthony Cirelli (Oshawa Generals, Erie Otters, 2014-17)*
Adam Comrie (Saginaw Spirit, Guelph Storm, 2007-10)
Jake Dotchin (Owen Sound Attack, Barrie Colts, 2011-14)
Mike Halmo (Owen Sound Attack, 2008-12)
Henri Ikonen (Kingston Frontenacs, 2012-14)
Slater Koekkoek (Peterborough Petes, Windsor Spitfires, 2010-14)
John Kurtz (Windsor Spitfires, Sudbury Wolves, 2006-10)
Dominik Masin (Peterborough Petes, 2014-16)
Matt Spencer (Peterborough Petes, 2013-17)*
Mitchell Stephens (Saginaw Spirit, London Knights, 2013-17)*
*-played in OHL during 2016-17 season