Top 25 in 25: Best Players in 25 Years of Barrie Colts Hockey #Top25in25 #25Strong #OHL - Very Barrie Colts | A website covering the Barrie Colts of the OHL.

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Monday, September 2, 2019

Top 25 in 25: Best Players in 25 Years of Barrie Colts Hockey #Top25in25 #25Strong #OHL


Photo credit: Barrie Colts Hockey Club

The Barrie Colts are celebrating 25 years in the Ontario Hockey League. The celebrations will see former players honored and a new set of alternative uniforms. The Colts chose to go with Yellow, Silver and Blue for the alternate jerseys with white buckets that have a decal of the logo above. Below are the jerseys the team will wear.



To celebrate the 25 year anniversary, Very Barrie Colts put together a list of the Top 25 Barrie Colts players. The criteria was for contributors Ryan McArthur, Ryan Noble, and Justin Stapleton to choose their 25 favorite Colts players of all time. Based on those rankings, 975 points were assigned to the players to create a composite top 25 ranking. We think it worked out pretty well. Too bad we couldn't include Colts rookie sensation Brandt Clarke. He just missed the cut off here, but expect him to have a bright future with the Barrie Colts. Without further ado, the #Top25in25 is listed below.


Honorable Mentions: Mike Jefferson, Lucas Chiodo, Brendan Lemieux, Hunter Tremblay, Ivan Telegin, Luke Pither, Alex Hutchings, Michael Henrich, Colin Behenna, Justin Murray, Vladimir Nikiforov, Zach Hall, Justin Scott, Blaine Down, BJ Crombeen, Dalton Prout, Paolo Colaiacovo, Bryan Cameron, and Tyler Tucker.



Kyle Clifford had 45G and 55A for 100 points in 184 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the second round (35th overall) of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings.

Analysis: Clifford is the only former Barrie Colts player to win two Stanley Cups and still plays with the LA Kings. Really gritty player that threw some heavy hits during his time with the Colts. Tough on the puck and a very strong contributor to the Colts throughout his junior career. 





Tanner Pearson had 52G and 81A for 133 points in 126 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft by the Los Angeles Kings.

Analysis: Pearson is one of those feel good stories looking back through the history of the Barrie Colts. Drafted in the 14th round in 2008, Pearson didn't make the Colts until his third time around in 2010. In his final season with the Colts in 2011-2012 is where he gets himself on this list putting up a 91 point season and playing on the Canadian World Junior team. Pearson is a great story of perseverance and hard work to become a very powerful player at both the OHL and NHL level. 





Anthony Camara had 44G and 29A for 73 points in 81GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the third round (81st overall) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Boston Bruins.

Analysis: Need a timely hit to boost the team or a big playoff goal? Maybe someone was taking liberties with your star player. Camara could do it all. Playing on the top line with Zach Hall and Mark Scheifele, Camara played an integral role in the 2013 run to the final with his combination of skill, speed and grit.  




Brian Finley had an OHL career GAA of 2.89, 0.916 SAV% and a 95-44-3 record. He was selected in the first round (sixth overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Nashville Predators.

Analysis: Most old time fans would say Finley was their favorite goalie in Barrie Colts history. Finley backstopped the Colts to their only ever OHL title in 2000. He made some spectacular saves during that championship run that made him a true Colts Legend. He had a stand up style with incredible flexibility, making spectacular saves from many different angles and positions. Easily the best goalie in Colts history in the eyes of contributor Ryan McArthur.





Mackenzie Blackwood had an OHL career GAA of 2.94, 0.910 SAV% and a 84-42-4 record. He was selected in the second round (42nd overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the New Jersey Devils.

Analysis: Mackenzie Blackwood will be remembered as one of the best Barrie Colts goalies of all time. Mac was a quick goaltender with great size. His ability to stay calm in all situations helped him put up some great stats for some memorable Colts teams. 






Ryan Suzuki (currently on the team) has 39G and 80A for 119 points in 129 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the first round (28th overall) of the 2019 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Analysis: Suzuki is a wizard on the ice that makes dazzling passes of all different varieties. The current Barrie Colts superstar might have made it farther down on this list if it were done next season, but after two years with the team he did enough to crack the top 25. Colts fans are expecting big things from Zuke this season.





Alex Burmistrov had 22G and 43A for 65 points in 62 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the first round (8th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers.

Analysis: Burmistrov was in Barrie for only a short time, but had a big impact on fans of the team. He was absolutely electric in the 2010 championship run and one of the most talented forwards to ever play in Barrie. Dekes and dangles to make your head spin, Burmistrov was a superstar for the Colts.





Jan Bulis had 71G and 91A for 162 points in 123 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the second round (43rd overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals.

Analysis: Bulis was part of the team in the first two seasons and the second year he really made his mark. He dictated the play by both teams when he was on the ice and was in full control of everything that happened. A true leader that had a presence unlike any other former Colt. 





Martin Skoula had 21G and 82A for 103 points in 133GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the first round (17th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche.

Analysis: Shut down D from the early days that never got beat off the rush. Skoula went on to a solid career with the Colorado Avalanche and won a Stanley Cup in 2001. He had a solid NHL career, which wasn't the case for many high Barrie Colts draft picks from the early days. He was a pillar on the back end for Barrie with a nice offensive punch.





Eric Reitz had 20G and 58A for 78 points in 194GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the sixth round (170th overall) in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild.

Analysis: The most reliable defender in the D zone in Barrie Colts history that was super tough to play against below the dots. Reitz was an absolute beast on the back end for the Barrie Colts. Solid career and excellent overall leader that helped the Colts win their only ever OHL title in 2000.






Luch Nasato had 26G and 108A for 134 points in 177GP with the Barrie Colts. He had a Barrie Colts all-time record 657 PIM.

Analysis: Luuuuuuuuuuch!! The notorious Luch chant would echo through the BMC every time Luch Nasato touched the puck. Punishing defender that buried opponents right through the end boards with no mercy. Our hardest hitter award at Very Barrie Colts is the Luch Nasato award. Luch was killer on the power play with an excellent slap pass or low snapshot sent towards the net to be tipped. The Colts scored a lot of goals when Luch quarterbacked their power play in the late 1990's.




Rasmus Andersson had 21G and 103A for 124 points in 131GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the second round (37th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames.

Analysis: Andersson had all the tools when he joined the Colts. Remembered as one of the best offensive threats on the Colts blue-line, he was also a real asset in the defensive zone. Rasmus was always dependable when shutting down opponents and quick to generate offensive chances.  





Alexandre Volchkov had 66G and 80A for 146 points in 103 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the first round (fourth overall) in 1996 NHL Entry Draft by the Washington Capitals.

Analysis: The first real buzz the city had ever experienced. During the inaugural 1995 season, the entire OHL couldn't stop talking about Volchkov. He played with such drama and flare. The speed and his dangles had everyone enthralled in his game and he was the first superstar of the Barrie Colts.





Joseph Blandisi had 55G and 70A for 125 points in 78 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the sixith round (162nd overall) in 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche.

Analysis: The former captain of the Colts was a fan favorite while in Barrie. Blender had a memorable season in 2014-15 when he put up 52 goals (2nd most in team history) and 112 points (3rd most in team history). Blandisi was quick and creative with the puck. Blandisi is currently in the Pittsburgh Penguins organization and looks to earn a spot on the full-time roster on a team trying to establish itself as a top team in the NHL. 





Denis Shvidki had 76G and 124A for 200 points in 122 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the first round (12th overall) in 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers.

Analysis: The Ukraine Train! No one had the power and skill combination in Colts history quite like Shvidki. He dominated the OHL at times and was an absolute stud on the OHL Championship team in 2000.




Mathias Niederberger had an OHL career GAA of 2.50, 0.926 SAV% and a 64-26-3 record. He was not drafted to the NHL and plays for Düsseldorfer EG of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL).

Analysis: Another key cog of the 2013 Eastern Conference championship team. Niederberger was one of the most underrated goalies in the OHL during his tenure in Barrie. Mathias holds the Colts record for best save percentage and tied for first in GAA in franchise history. Not a big goalie, Niederberger relied on his lightning quick reflexes and strong positioning to put together the strongest season by any Colts goalie statistically in team history.




Sheldon Keefe had 62G and 101A for 163 points in 94 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the second round (47th overall) in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Analysis: The captain of the infamous 2000 Barrie Colts championship team. Keefe was second on the team in scoring during the playoffs and first on the team in scoring during the regular season that year. He was a monster and led the Colts to their best ever finish - runner-up in the Memorial Cup Championship game.





Andreas Athanasiou had 78G and 84A for 162 points in 132 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the fourth round (110th overall) in 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Detroit Red Wings.

Analysis: Speed that kills and wheels for days and days. Athanasiou could flat out fly and left fans holding their breath at times during his career in Barrie. Made some ridiculous dangles that left us awestruck. What a player! Still comes back for training camp and plays in camp scrimmages. Truly one of the good guys and a great ambassador for the Barrie Colts program. 





Andrew Mangiapane had 118G and 143A for 261 points in 195 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the sixth round (166th overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames.

Analysis: The best story in Barrie Colts history - an undrafted free agent that turned in an OHL legend. Mango had so much skill and firepower on the offensive end. He teamed up with Kevin Labanc and they had instant chemistry throughout their careers. They were very dynamic together, whether if it was with Joey Blandisi or Justin Scott.




Aaron Ekblad had 40G and 76A for 116 points in 175GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the first round (first overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the Florida Panthers.

Analysis: The exceptional status and first overall pick dman from Sun County, Ekblad had a dominant tenure with the Colts and almost won a title in 2013. Ekblad was so solid and never got beat off the rush in Barrie. His size was formidable from an early age and he is one of the most polarizing figures in the history of the OHL.





Andrei Svechnikov had 40G and 32A for 72 points in 44 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was drafted in the first round (second overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes.

Analysis: Svech lit the whole city of fire two years ago! 40 goals in only 44 games were amazing and he could have scored over 60 in a full season. Absolutely dominant with the Colts, on a team that was a little short on depth. Svechnikov has got off to an excellent start with the Carolina Hurricanes and will have a great NHL career.





Daniel Tkaczuk had 145G and 189A for 334 points in 238 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the first round (sixth overall) in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames.

Analysis: The first overall pick in the 1995 OHL Draft by former Coach/GM Burt Templeton. Tkaczuk was a franchise pillar and paved the way for the 2000 championship team. Leadership abilities were oozing from Tkazcuk and he put up plenty of points for Barrie. A very talented two-way pivot that was a fantastic play maker.





Bryan Little had 153G and 189A for 342 points in 247 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the first round (12th overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers (Winnipeg Jets).

Analysis: All-time Barrie Colts points leader and one of the best captains in the history of the Club. Little was the quintessential all-round centre on both ends of the ice. 
The goals came in bunches! He got so many points with the Colts, sometimes you didn't know which goal they were announcing. Had a really steady career for the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets. It says a lot when a player never gets traded and his team never moves on from him during a long NHL career. He brings that much so much to the table and quality to the locker room.




Mark Scheifele had 84G and 133A for 217 points in 158 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the first round (seventh overall) in 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the Winnipeg Jets.

Analysis: Probably the most successful Barrie Colts alumni at the NHL level. Scheifele almost led Barrie to a title in 2013 and was a legend in a Colts uniform. Very close vote and Labanc at number one wasn't unanimous among our group. Scheifele did it all and was the most well-rounded player the Colts have ever had.





Kevin Labanc had 81G and 188A for 269 points in 198 GP with the Barrie Colts. He was selected in the sixth round (171st overall) in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft by the San Jose Sharks.

Analysis: Stunning playmaker that made incredible passes like he had eyes in the back of his head. Completely dominant when he won the scoring title in his overage year. The most fun Barrie Colts player to watch in team history that made a massive impression on Very Barrie Colts contributors. It truly was a pleasure to watch Labanc play in Barrie and we are proud to give him the number one spot.




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