The OHL Power Rankings are back and not much changed as far as the top spot goes. The London Knights remain atop the OHL rankings, thanks to a franchise record 24-game winning streak.. With the NHL Lockout lifted, this means that some of the OHL's top stars may be called up to their NHL teams. Depending if they return or not could determine their season.
1. London Knights-Have not had a regulation loss since November 1 in which they've gone 26-0-1-0. Oh, and by the way, they had a 24-game winning streak during that span. Bo Horvat has 11 goals and 11 assists during his 15-game point streak.
2. Barrie Colts-Team could face a potential setback if Mark Schiefele plays for the Winnipeg Jets this season.
3. Owen Sound Attack-Dropped three straight, but getting Jordan Binnington back will help. Artur Gavrus will return to the team after spending the season in his native Belarus.
4. Sarnia Sting-With Alex Galchenyuk at the World Juniors, Reid Boucher, Charles Sarault and Nikolay Goldobin picked up the scoring pace during his absence. The quesion is, will Galchenyuk spend the upcoming NHL-shortened season in Montreal?
5. Belleville Bulls-Definitely played the role of buyers after acquiring Tyler Graovac, who had a memorable debut for the Bulls with a one-goal, three-assist performance. Malcolm Subban returns to the team, but has he put the World Juniors behind him?
6. Plymouth Whalers-It took them a while, but they're back in stride by winning their past four and five of six. Mitchell Heard is back with the team, but if JT Miller returns, the Whalers will be set for another playoff run. Watch out for rookie goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, who has not had a regulation loss in his first nine OHL games.
7. Oshawa Generals-The team will get better when Boone Jenner, Tyler Biggs and Michael Dal Colle return from their respecitive international tournaments. Definetly buyers at the trade deadline.
8. Niagara IceDogs-Winless in their past three, they may face a further trouble if Ryan Strome (New York Islanders) and Dougie Hamilton (Boston Bruins) are brought up to their NHL clubs.
9. Guelph Storm-The Storm's Michigan trip went sour as they let leads slip away in Plymouth and Saginaw. Garret Sparks returns to protect the Storm cage and and help a team that is winless in their past three games.
10. Kitchener Rangers-The Rangers have a goaltending problem and that is meant in a good way with the return of WJC Tournament MVP John Gibson as he reunites with Franky Palazzese, who help form arguably the top netminding tandem in the league.
11. Sudbury Wolves-The Wolves are like the Jeffersons, because they are moving on up as they have not had a regulation loss in their past 10 games (7-0-2-1). With Dominik Kahun and Conor Cummins back in the lineup, it should get interesting in the Central.
12. Brampton Battalion-Lost last two games, plus let two two-goal leads slip away in Sunday's home shootout loss to Ottawa. Rookie Blake Clarke leads the team in scoring with 35 points.
13. Mississauga Steelheads-Scored four goals in the third period, but it wasn't enough as they fall short against Sudbury. It's been a reflection of their play as of late. Tough task ahead of them as their next six games are on the road.
14. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds-Since Sheldon Keefe took over as bench boss, the Greyhounds are 7-4-0-1. Future Detroit Red Wing blueliner Ryan Sproul was named the OHL defenseman of the Month for December with six goals and six assists in nine games.
15. Kingston Frontenacs-Mike Morrison stole a win for the Frontenacs against the Greyhounds. Kingston's young guns, Sam Bennett, Spencer Watson and Roland McKeown are back after playing for Ontario at the World Under-17s.
16. Saginaw Spirit-Vincent Trockeck returns to the Spirit lineup after helping USA win the gold medal at the World Juniors. Nikita Serebryakov and Derian Ekblad provide youth in net for the Spirit, so does that mean Jake Paterson is expendable?
17. Windsor Spitfires-The team has been outscored 44-19 during their seven-game losing streak. The Sptis will get a boost when Josh Ho-Sang and Patrick Sieloff return to the lineup. Speaking of returning, Alex Khokhlachev will make his season debut against Brampton on Thursday.
18. Erie Otters-Team has already supassed they win total from last year by three games. Goaltender Devin Williams has shown that he can play in the OHL. But it mean that Oscar Dansk will be on the trading block? Connor McDavid returns to the lineup on Thursday.
19. Peterborough Petes-Brett Findlay has carried the hot stick as he scored two goals and five assists in four games since the Christmas break.
20.Ottawa 67's-With Tyler Graovac traded, will Cody Ceci and/or Sean Monahan be far behind? If so, it's a matter of when.
Other OHL News: Sarnia Sting forward Nikolay Goldobin was named the OHL Player of the Week for the week ending January 6 as he scored eight goals and added four assists in five games. Goldobin, who won't be eligible for the NHL Entry Draft until 2014, put on a four-goal performance on New Year's Day against the London Knights which included the game-winning goal that ended the Knights' 24-game winning streak.
Khokhlachev Returns: According to the team's website, the Windsor Spitfires announced that forward Alexander Khokhlachev will return to lineup for his 2012-13 debut this Thursday at home against the Brampton Battalion. This season, Khokhlachev played for Moscow Spartak of the KHL as he scored two goals and five assists in 26 games with the club. Entering his third OHL season, all with the Spitfires, the Boston Bruins' prospect has 59 goals and 86 assists for 145 points in 123 regular season games.
Fitzmorris Traded to Niagara: The Kingston Frontenacs traded forward Mitchell Fitzmorris to the Niagara IceDogs for a seventh round pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection and a 12th round pick in the 2014 OHL Priority Selection. Fitzmorris had two goals and two assists in 36 games with the Frontenacs this season.
Photo of the London Knights by Terry Wilson/OHL Images, CHL Images 2012.