Two seasons ago, Alexander “Sasha” Chmelevski was part of a major trade. The Sarnia Sting of the OHL acquired Travis Konecny and Sam Studnicka from the Ottawa 67s in exchange for Chmelevski, Chase Campbell, eight draft picks, and two conditional draft picks. The then 16 year old Chmelevski was somewhat underwhelming in Sarnia, scoring nine goals and eight assists in 29 games. A broken collarbone meant he only played five games with the 67s that season.
But his tournament play that summer with the US National Under-17 Team had Chmelevski a nearly point-per-game player. He looked to be ready to bounce back with the 67s in the 2016-17 season.
Yet again, he found himself underwhelming. That’s not to say that he was bad, by any means. Far from it - he posted 43 points in 58 games with the 67s. In playoffs, he contributed four points in six games. While those numbers were good, they were disappointing compared to his tournament numbers, again, when he led the Hlinka Memorial Tournament with nine points in only four games.
Chmelevski’s tournament play is exciting and explosive. It’s the kind of play that makes trading two seventh round picks to draft him in the sixth round an understandable move. It makes his ranking on this list understandable. But it shifts the perspective on his regular season play, which generally falls short in comparison.
Those moments where he’s the best player in a tournament show what Chmelevski is capable of becoming. If he can find that in himself during the regular season, he’s going to be a prospect to look out for.
Name: Alexander “Sasha” Chmelevski
Age (as of 9/9/17): 18
Last Year’s Ranking: N/A
2016-17 Team: Ottawa 67s
Where he’ll (probably) be next year: Ottawa 67s
What we like
Chmelevski is a major power play asset. He led the 67s last season with 12 power play goals. According to OHL Writers, his face-off record is at 55.5%. Chmelevski is a player who always comes in clutch.
What to improve on
His defensive play needs work. When he’s away from the puck, he can tend to float and play without urgency - that won’t cut it at NHL-level play.
This play from Chmelevski is a great example of his offensive creativity and ability.