Spitfires notebook: Abraham’s only club player on the NHL Central Scouting roster for 2022

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Windsor Spitfires rookie center Ryan Abraham was on his own Wednesday.

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Abraham, 17, was the only member of the Spitfires to find a spot in the NHL Headquarters Scouting midterm rankings for the 2022 NHL Draft.

Of the 224 qualified North American skaters, the 5-foot-7, 165-pound Abraham was ranked 210th on the list.

“Nothing surprises me,” Spitfires general manager Bill Bowler said. “Everyone has an opinion and, until draft day, it’s just a list.”

Selected in the first round of Windsor in the 2020 OHL Draft, Abraham has five goals and 17 points in 28 games and is a plus five with 23 penalty minutes.

Somewhat surprisingly, 6-foot-2, 192-pound defenseman Nicholas DeAngelis, who was taken in the second round behind Abraham, was not on the list. DeAngelis, 17, has earned a regular spot on a Windsor defense packed with veteran players.

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“The way Nick has performed, he’s getting a lot of attention,” Bowler said. “He will be on that list (final rankings).”

Four other players with local ties also made Wednesday’s list. Tecumseh defenseman Spencer Sova, who plays for the Erie Otters, is the area’s top-ranked player at No. 38. London Knight’s 6-foot-3, 207-pound forward Colton Smith, son of former captain and Spitfire trainer DJ Smith came in at No. 129. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds forward Tyler Savard, son of Spitfires head coach Marc Savard, came in at No. 183, while Brett Brochu of Tilbury, who also plays for the Knights, is ranked 16th among North American goalkeepers.

Random list

The Spitfires have assigned rookie goalie Kyle Downey and rookie forward Wylie Birkett to the team’s junior B LaSalle Vipers affiliate.

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The first goaltender chosen in the 2020 OHL Draft, 17-year-old Downey posted a 4-3-1 record for the Spitfires in 11 games this season with a 4.19 goals-against average and an .857 save percentage. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound Birkett has three assists in 16 games this season for the Spitfires but hasn’t played since Dec. 16.

“With Kyle and Wylie, if the junior B comes back to play, it gives them a chance to play,” Bowler said. “We see it as an opportunity for further development and it made a lot of sense to put them on the junior B cards.”

To make room for Downey, the Vipers traded Matt Tovell, who had appeared in seven games for the Spitfires this season, to the CCHL’s Hawkesbury Hawks.

“We can still access Matt Tovell, but it allows him to play and be closer to home,” Bowler said.

Schedule changes

The Spitfires broke even on a pair of OHL schedule changes on Wednesday.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, the Spitfires will not travel to Saginaw, MI on Saturday to take on the Spirit. That game will now be rescheduled.

However, the club will play at home on Sunday against the Flint Firebirds at the WFCU Center at 5 p.m. in a game originally scheduled for Dec. 31. Due to provincial protocols, fans will not be allowed to attend the game.

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