The highly equipped Owen Sound Attack were only made stronger by the skills and experience of three established leaders.
The Attack say goodbye to defender Brady Lyle, versatile winger Matthew Philip and veteran centreman Matthew Struthers.
Brady Lyle (North Bay, Owen Sound – 2015-2020)
Brady Lyle left a lasting impression on the blueline, concluding his final season with the Attack as the new franchise leader for goals by a defenceman. The 20-year-old set the record in early March when he earned his 42nd tally to surpass the previous mark set by Bobby Saguinetti. The veteran rearguard capped off an OHL career that spanned five seasons with a total of 175 points (49-126—175) and received ‘Hardest Shot’ honours in the recent 2019-20 OHL Coaches Poll. Originally drafted 18th overall by the hometown North Bay Battalion, Lyle got off to a late start when he was forced to miss the first 24 games of his rookie campaign with an injury. He eventually headed to Owen Sound in October of 2017 and has since received invites to NHL camps with the Anaheim Ducks and Ottawa Senators.
Matthew Philip (Niagara, Owen Sound – 2016-2020)
A solid player in all situations, overage winger Matthew Philip wrapped up his four-year OHL tenure playing a leadership role in an Owen Sound jersey. Following three seasons in Niagara, the native of Ilderton, Ont. was sent to the Attack in the offseason prior to his final year and put up an even 59 goals and 59 assists for 118 points over a total 227 OHL appearances. Philip was drafted by the IceDogs in the ninth round of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection out of the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs program.
Matthew Struthers (Owen Sound, North Bay, Owen Sound – 2015-2020)
His OHL career saw him in and out of Owen Sound, but five-year vet Matthew Struthers was able to end things off right where it all began with the Attack. The 20-year-old forward appeared in 298 OHL contests, amassing 217 points (91-126—217) and notably reached a career high 31 goals and 81 points over the 2018-2019 season. The Milton, Ont. native was scooped up by the Attack in the third round of the 2015 OHL Priority Selection and was dealt to the North Bay Battalion in January of 2018. He was traded back to Owen Sound this past December where he finished out his overage year and skates away as a free agent with a little taste of AHL experience under his belt, having been invited to try out for the Montreal Canadiens’ affiliate Laval Rocket of the American Hockey League in 2019.
The Attack also currently sport six 2000-born players in Barret Kirwin, Adam McMaster, Kaleb Pearson, Sergey Popov, Carter Robertson and Los Angeles Kings prospect Aidan Dudas.
The 2019-20 OHL season came to a sudden end on Thursday, March 12th, with play suspended and the remainder of the playing season cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Sadly, many of the League’s overage and graduating players never had the chance to enjoy a proper send-off from their home fans. The 2020 Graduating Class series takes a look at the OHL tenure of each team’s overage players while also recognizing other potential graduates.