Barrie Colts Young Guns.

There are many new faces on the Barrie Colts this year, and Brandt Clarke, Ryan Del Monte and Jacob Frasca are three of the most exciting new faces on this years squad. Below you can find out a little bit more about the latest Colts, including where they came from, what kind of player they are and where they might fit into the lineup.

Brandt Clarke
 (Raymond Bowe/Barrie Today)

The Barrie Colts selected standout defenseman Brandt Clarke 4th overall in the 2019 OHL Draft. Clarke put up a mind-blowing 35 goals, 78 assists for 113 points in 73 games for a stacked Don Mills Flyers squad. In 7 games of OHL Cup action, Clarke put up 11 points, assisting on the game-winner in the final. It is truly shocking the Colts were still able to select Clarke at the 4th overall selection.

Colts fans can expect Clarke to be an offensive dynamo from the blueline. So far in the preseason, this has become very apparent. Clarke has used his sneaky, accurate shot to fool goalies. Equally impressive is Clarke’s skating. He uses his edges to lose forecheckers to exit his zone cleanly and to maintain puck possession. He also uses his speed well to do anything from rushing the puck to getting back into position and breaking up plays.

Clarke also does the little things exceptionally well. He is always the first one to get the puck in his zone and rarely loses a puck battle. Clarke utilizes his skating and very active stick to break up plays from the neutral zone and back as alluded to above.

Expect Clarke to get top 4, if not top pair minutes right off the bat. During training camp and preseason, he has been paired with both Tyler Tucker and Nathan Allensen. Mathew Hill could also be an option to allow Clarke to rush the puck more. Clarke will also get ample powerplay time as he may be the powerplay quarterback the Colts have been missing since the days of Rasmus Andersson. Clarke will also get time on the penalty kill as well, so expect to see a lot of him this season.

Ryan Del Monte
(Raymond Bowe/Barrie Today)

The Barrie Colts selected Ryan Del Monte 24th overall in the 2019 OHL Draft. Del Monte put up a solid 14 goals, 23 assists for 37 points in only 25 games with the Toronto Nationals. Del Monte missed games in the second half of the season due to injury, but even with the limited viewings, it was a no brainer for the Colts to take the risk on the ultra skilled forward.

Colts fans can expect to see some dazzling plays from Del Monte. He has a very methodical approach to the game and seems to be going to where the puck is going, not where it is. Skill with the puck is high. Del Monte is good at anticipating the play and has a quick jump to take advantage of the opportunities given to him. There was a preview in camp in the preseason, but once Ryan gets adjusted to the pace of the OHL, he will become an impact player for the Colts.

It will be interesting where Del Monte fits in the Colts lineup. Some teams like to put the young skilled players with other skilled players right from the start. Traditionally this has not been the Barrie Colts way, but with Warren Rychel in as coach for this year, it could be different. In the final preseason game, Del Monte was on a line with Tyson Foerster and Jacob Tortora, and they looked fantastic. The second unit power play isn’t out of the question for Del Monte either as he has the skill and smarts to succeed on the powerplay right away. Del Monte will be a player on the rise this season as he gains OHL experience.

Jacob Frasca
 (Dan Hickling/Hickling Images)

The Barrie Colts selected Jacob Frasca 45th overall in the 2019 OHL Draft. Frasca put up 20 goals, 10 assists for 30 points. Frasca was on Team GTHL Blue for the OHL Gold Cup where he was held off the scoresheet in 4 games on the championship squad. The big 6’2 189-pound center adds some needed size down the middle for the Colts.

Colts fans can expect a player with a high compete level that plays a strong 200-foot game. What became very apparent during camp and in the preseason is that Frasca has some untapped skill that will develop over time. Frasca was also impressively strong and confident with the puck, which could be due to his impressive size and strength for his age. With all these attributes Frasca will be very versatile for coach Warren Rychel as he can be plugged in anywhere in the lineup.

As for where Frasca will regularly fit in the lineup, expect to see him in a bottom 6 role this season. Frasca from the get-go can be used as a shutdown player with his size and complete game. A line with Luke Bignell and Aidan Brown would be a hard line to play against. It would also not be a surprise to see Frasca used on the penalty kill as he has some great tools to find success there as the team looks to improve on the 14th ranked penalty kill they had last season. 

All of us here at Very Barrie Colts would like to welcome Brandt Clarke, Ryan Del Monte and Jacob Frasca to Barrie and are looking forward to a great season from the team. The regular season starts Friday night against the North Bay Battalion. The home opener is the next night against the London Knights. Go Colts Go!

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