Oakville native creating a buzz in rookie campaign


Oakville native Matt Spencer is generating a lot of buzz around the OHL.

The 16-year-old defenseman not only made the Peterborough Petes lineup out of camp, but he’s been playing pretty big minutes and producing for a team that is currently sitting in playoff position.

Spencer has five points through his first 20 OHL games and on many nights has been among the leaders in ice time.

His strong start hasn’t gone unnoticed and his ability to transition from Minor Midget to the OHL leaves many impressed.

“The transition has been relatively easy for Spencer,” said Petes beat writer Jesse Thomas. “He clearly belongs in the OHL and could play (regularly) on any team in the league.”

Despite what many feel to be a strong start to his rookie campaign, Spencer says there’s plenty of room for improvement.

“I think I’ve played all right so far,” Spencer said. “It is a work in progress but as each week passes I am becoming more and more comfortable out on the ice.”

Spencer feels he has adjusted to the league fairly well, but noted it’s a big jump from Minor Midget to the OHL.

“It has been a bit of a jump,” Spencer said. “(The OHL) is faster and everything must be done a split second quicker. It’s not like (Minor Midget) where some teams have players that aren’t so good. “

What’s been the biggest difference?

“(The) speed and the fact that everyone is so good,” Spencer said. “At this level everyone can receive a bad pass or take a shot (and score) from any location on the ice.”

While Spencer feels there is room for improvement, he credits his time playing for the Oakville Rangers as one of the reasons he’s transitioned so well to the OHL.

“I was surrounded by the best players and coaches of my age group, many of whom have gone on to play in the OHL,” Spencer said. “Everyone in the Oakville Minor Hockey Association was so supportive of our team over the years and that was just one of the reasons we were so successful.”