Story by Ryan Pyette (London Free Press) | Photo by OHLImages
Taylor Raddysh is a powerhouse expert.
In his first two OHL seasons, he was knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual Memorial Cup champion Oshawa Generals and London Knights. Then last year his league-winning Erie Otters made it to the Cup final, where they lost to the host Spitfires at Windsor.
He has only been in Sault Ste. Marie a short time since the post-world junior blockbuster deal sent him from Pennsylvania to northern Ontario — but in his mind, these Greyhounds already measure up to some of those great yardsticks of the recent past.
“It reminds me a lot of last season in Erie,” the 19-year-old Lightning prospect said. “This is a full-depth lineup. Anyone can produce offensively and be just as reliable in the d-zone. Last year we were the powerhouse team with the Otters and that’s what the Soo is this year.
“We’ve got to keep working hard here and good things will happen for us.”
The Hounds are difficult to beat because they are relentless. They have trailed late in games, especially over the last few weeks, and still found ways to wins.
In their only defeat over the last 29 outings — a shootout loss to Mississauga — they were behind three goals in the first period and rallied to force overtime.
“They are really good skaters and they’re not a team that’s just going to give up the puck,” Raddysh said. “They’re going to use that speed and skill and make you work for it. It’s a smart way to play. You don’t want to give up the puck and dump it in unless you have to. I feel that’s a strength of these guys and I’m happy to be part of it.”
In his first three games with the Hounds, Raddysh recorded four goals and nine points.
“It was a fairly easy transition,” he said. “Coming in, there is a little bit of pressure knowing how good a record they have and wanting to contribute. It also helps a lot having a familiar face. I was traded with (defenceman) Jordan Sambrook and that was great.
“We can bring our friendship and experience to help this team.”
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