Oakville native making smooth transition to OHL


Oakville native Jesse Barwell is making waves around the OHL.

At just 16 years of age, Barwell made a quality Mississauga Steelheads team straight out of training camp and has been a key contributor offensively.

The skilled forward has seven points in 15 games, which puts him top five on the team in scoring.

A quick start is exactly what Barwell had hoped for.

“Coming into the league I wanted to make an impact right away,” said Barwell. “Posting points and being on the ice in key situations is what I worked for all summer long.”

Barwell’s play has caught the eyes of many, including OHL player agent Thayne Hallyburton, but not just because he’s producing points.

“The biggest thing for me has been his ability to create space for himself,” Hallyburton said. “He was very good at it (in Minor Midget) but the fact he has the same ability to do it at the OHL level is fantastic.”

Barwell’s contributions would suggest it’s been an easy transition from Minor Midget to the OHL , but he says that’s not the case.

“The speed, size and strength (of players) in the OHL game is on a different level (than Minor Midget),” Barwell said. “That is taking time to get adjusted to.”

While Barwell has been happy with how things have gone thus far, he knows he needs to keep working.

“It’s a really long year,” Barwell said. “A good start, while nice, won’t mean much if I don’t keep getting better and pushing myself all season long.”

Many players set goals in terms of how many points they want to have. Barwell says he isn’t worried about personal achievements, but rather helping the team any way possible.

“I just want to make the biggest impact I can,” said Barwell. “(I want to) be a contributor, a guy the coaches can trust, a guy the boys can count on.”

So far he’s been that.