Sean Kohler is just like any 17 year old teenager. He enjoys the TV show Cops, hates math and having a good time with friends. But one thing in particular separates him from most others: he’s one heck of a hockey player.
Kohler, the 106th overall pick by the Erie Otters in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection draft, suited up for the Oakville Blades for his first season of Junior A Hockey in the OJHL this past year. In 52 contests with the club, the durable winger showed a lot of promise while playing with the likes of Kitchener Rangers (OHL) forward Mark Bzowey and Milton Icehawks (OJHL) winger Chris Poletek, recording 20 points in the process. The two way forward graduated from the Oakville Rangers Minor Midget AAA club prior to joining the Blades, scoring 77 points in 69 games en-route to winning the 2013 OHL Cup. His skill caught the attention of the OJHL’s Aurora Tigers, who gave Kohler a two game stint following his incredible season with the dominant Rangers midget team.
While Kohler isn’t known for his incredible offensive ability, the 17 year forward has proven that his real strength is being an effective role player. His biggest asset is his speed, which has been instrumental in his game when attempting to create offence and take advantage of the Olympic size ice at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex in Oakville. Aside from that, Kohler, despite being just 5’9 and 174lbs, has shown that size doesn’t matter in terms of getting under his opponents skin. When, at times, Kohler was paired with Bzowey and Poletek during the 2013-2014 Blades season, the trio proved to be one of the most effective lines on the ice at all times. Kohler won’t have those buddies back with the team this year, but with more danger coming from all four Oakville lines this year, Kohler’s overall production will only continue to rise.
Despite not having top offensive numbers, Kohler was an attractive option for many universities looking to add a great two way presence for the future. Penn State University would end up being the team that would get the rights to Kohler, as the young Oakville, Ontario native committed to the school for the 2016-2017 season. It’s not too common that you see players choose their future destination that early, but Kohler has the security to play his own game and not make mistakes trying to play like someone he isn’t. With two seasons to further his development, Kohler is expected to continue to grow into a very effective two way forward, and playing for a much improved Oakville club will only help him shine even more.
Steven is a junior hockey reporter for the Oakville Blades of the Ontario Junior Hockey League, and also focuses on international hockey for his website, TheHockeyHouse.net. You can follow Steven on twitter,@StevenEllisNHL.