Sarnia Sting and the OHL to return to action in February

The Ontario Hockey League will return to action on Feb. 4, the league says.

Teams will play primarily against opponents in their geographic region to reduce travel in a 40-game season, commissioner David Branch said.

Training camps are set to begin Jan. 23. Eight teams will qualify for three rounds of playoffs, beginning May 11.

The first round will be a best-of-five, followed by two best-of-seven formats, Branch said.

“The safety and well-being of our players, staff, officials, tremendous fans and communities remains paramount.”

Meanwhile, three Sarnia Sting players have been named to NHL Central Scouting’s list of players to watch.

Sting netminder Ben Gaudreau is a B rank, meaning he has potential as a second or third round pick in the NHL draft, the OHL said.

The 6-foot-2 goalie suited up for 28 games with the Sting last season. He stopped 823 shots and earned 10 wins.

Sting centres Nolan Dann and Ty Voit are also among the 46 OHL players listed. Their C rankings means they’re likely fourth, fifth or sixth round picks.