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'Special' former Predators now leading five different OHL teams

'It would be safe to say that no other AAA  zone in the province can boast having such a leadership presence in the OHL,' said Predators' official

As the 2023-2024 Ontario Hockey League season swings into full gear, there is a remarkable North Central Predator presence in the leadership ranks of the OHL.

"To know that we have five former Preds wearing letters — three captains — in the OHL  is off the charts," said the AAA hockey organization's vice president, Rich Foshay.

"We knew these kids were special when they played in our organization. It is great to see them being recognized at the next level for their leadership abilities and for being great young men," said Foshay. 

"It would be safe to say that no other AAA  zone in the province can boast having such a leadership presence in the OHL. We are exceptionally proud of all our NCP alumni ... and these five young men in particular."

Orillia native Chas Sharpe was appointed captain of his Mississauga Steelheads club to begin this season. The rangy 6'3" right-handed shot defenceman is into his fifth season with the GTA-based club. Sharpe is off to a terrific start to the season with seven goals and five assists in 12 games. 

Connor Punnett, a tough 6'2", 200-pound defenceman with the OHL Barrie Colts, has also been named captain of his club. The Powassan native is also off to an incredible start to his campaign with a goal and nine helpers in 10 games. This is the second season Punnett has been part of the leadership group with the Colts.

First round NHL pick in the 2023 priority draft and Orillia native Colby Barlow has worn the "C" for Owen Sound for two years now. He is the youngest player ever to wear the "C" for Owen Sound in the history of the franchise.

Barlow continues to do what Barlow does ... scores big goals while playing a 200-foot game and leading his club. The Winnipeg Jets' prospect now has six goals and 10 points in his first nine games this season.

Midlander, Brett Bressette, was named an alternate captain for his Erie Otters club this season. The 5'9" winger is now playing in his fiffh campaign with the Otters. Bressette has always been a leader, displaying an uncanny ability to play his best hockey in high pressure situations when it matters the most.

Ethan Larmand, also from Midland, is in his fifth season with the Sudbury Wolves. Larmand is considered one of the hardest working players in the league.  His leadership is expressed through his actions. Larmand won the most sportsmanlike player award at the 2018 U-15 OHF Championship weekend and he has continued to display this leadership ability in the OHL.

"We are exceptionally proud of these five NCP players. We wish them all the best for a successful OHL campaign. They are doing us proud in each and every game they play," said Foshay.