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Youngblood: OHL Cup – Players to Watch

A weekend capped off with several championship celebrations from the minor midget AAA loops across the province can only mean one thing – the OHL Cup week is upon us. The past weekend witnessed the Quinte Red Devils capture the OMHA AAA Gold medal defeating the York Simcoe Express, the Toronto Marlies clinch the GTHL Championship in a gruelling eight-game series against a skilled Don Mills Flyers squad, and the Waterloo Wolves grab their second straight Alliance Championship after knocking off the talented London Jr. Knights. The Ottawa Valley Titans topped the Ottawa Jr. 67’s earlier in the week to take the OEMHL Championship as well.

TORONTO, ON - Mar 11 : , (Photo by Brian Watts/ OHL Images)
Belleville Bulls' 1st round selection, Brandon Saigeon, competes at the 2014 OHL Cup for the Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

With the 2015 OHL Cup scheduled to begin on St. Patrick’s Day, twenty of the top teams in the loop will be looking for their share of luck as they take the ice at Buckingham’s Scotiabank Pond in hopes of winning the illustrious event. The annual showcase tournament is home to hundreds of scouts for the week-long event as they attempt to get their final looks at players before the April 11th OHL Priority Selection Draft. If you are in the Toronto Area, this is your chance to see many of the NHL's future stars. 


OHL Cup Participants

The 17th edition of the OHL Cup includes 20 participating teams from across Ontario and the United States, with 17 of the 20 spots guaranteed through league competition. The 17 guaranteed spots include all four GTHL Semi-Finalists, and the top four teams that place at the OMHA Championship. Three teams from the ALLIANCE will be guaranteed a spot in the tournament including the Champion and Finalist, along with the winner of a best-of-three Semi-Final Wild Card Series to be played between the losers of the two league Semi-Finals. The OEMHL Champion and Finalist will also be guaranteed spots in the tournament, along with two United States entries, one HNO representative, and one NOHA representative.

As introduced last season, the final three Wild Card spots will be determined among six teams that will play a one game 'win and in' scenario. The six competing teams aiming for the final three tournament spots will include the fifth place team at the OMHA Championship, the loser of the ALLIANCE Semi-Final Wild Card Series, and four teams named by the Tournament Selection Committee based on regular season, playoff, and tournament play. All three Wild Card matchups and times of play will be determined by random draw among the six competing teams.

Last season the Toronto Marlboros captured their fourth OHL Cup title in 10 years with a 5-0 win over the Toronto Jr. Canadiens. 

Teams/Players to Watch


Waterloo Wolves (ALLIANCE Champions)

Nathan Schnarr,RC – Powerful pivot with good north-south attacking speed…successful when moving his feet at top speed and shooting off of the rush…lacks quickness in start-up and isn’t overly agile on his edges… prone to tunnel vision as he prefers to unleash a high volume of shot … displays good touch around the crease ...projects as an opportunistic shooter who complements a player well.

Sullivan Sparkes, LC – Offensive winger who excels with the puck on his stick, showing confidence and poise under pressure ..strong puck control and creative handling features good use of misdirection and fakes…isn’t overly quick or explosive limiting his overall impact on the rush but compromises with clever use of space as he waits for options to open up…accurate shooter …excellent in-tight handling ability and good in board battles, using his stick and feet.

Other Wolves to Watch: Trent Lamarche, Nicholas King, Max Wright, Noah Benjamin, Drayton Duckett


London Jr. Knights (ALLIANCE Finalist)

Nick Suzuki, RC – Cerebral pivot with a lethal snap shot and two-way acumen coveted in a top-six pivot…wavering impact on the offensive side of the puck causes some concern as it appears he`s capable of giving more … processes the game extremely well and intelligently anticipates the flow of the game…excelled as a powerplay quarterback on the point in the playoffs…capable of another offensive level makes him a shrewd Top 20 selection.

Isaac Ratcliffe, RW – Left shooting rangy winger who suffocates defenders with his north-south attacking speed…high volume shooter on the rush or off of the half-boards, Ratcliffe`s shot features outstanding release velocity but needs some work in accuracy…prone to tunnel vision in possession…drives the net well and has the frame to add a ton of muscle mass…high potential winger will surely be taken in the opening round.

Ryan Martin, LD – Mobile athletic two-way defenseman has shown great progression this season…Martin has honed his “riverboat gambler” approach to the puck rushing game, showing better decision making…great lateral agility and quick acceleration allows him to cover the offensive blueline well, keeping plays alive…could stand to improve his quickness in decision making but overall, Martin owns some intriguing top-four upside.

Max Vinogradov, RW – High paced short and stocky possession winger who’s offensive drive is quite apparent…loves to have the puck on his stick and being in control of the pace…prone to trying to do too much, overlooking easier passing options for a high-risk dangle…possesses the individual skill to be a game-breaker but would maximize his effectiveness by utilizing teammates more…great shooting release.

Other Knights to Watch: Aiden Hughes, Jordan Di Cocca, Isaiah Payne, Jackson Brown, Marcel Berube, Brett Willits, Alex Turko, Tyler Arndt, Jaimen Allison


Kitchener Rangers (ALLIANCE Semi-Finalists)

Owen Lane, LW – Skilled scoring winger playing in his second straight minor midget season…entered the draft season identified as one of the top skaters …displays good offensive instincts, anticipating plays unfolding and exploiting soft spots on the ice…lacks second-chance determination after his attempts are failed…good but not outstanding skater …possesses good puck control but not overly creative or dangerous in one-on-one attacks…excelled early and is coming off a good playoff showing but figuring out his role at the next level is most difficult…could use a strong OHL Cup performance.

Jason Willms, LW – With Owen Lane, Willms formed the one-two offensive punch that Kitchener relied on…also playing in his second minor midget season, Willms’ best tool is a strong shot that features accuracy and quickness to keep goaltenders on their tools…owns decent power in his stride to perform well in the corners and in short offensive attacks but lacks the top end speed to strike fear as an individual threat on the rush…uses his reach and body position to gain prime shooting position…playmaking doesn’t come naturally.

Other Jr. Rangers to Watch: Sam Shaw, Peter Cascagnette, Andrew McIntyre,



Toronto Marlboros (GTHL Champion)

Cliff Pu, drafted by the Oshawa Generals in the 1st round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection, helped the Marlboros capture the 2014 OHL Cup Championship (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Cliff Pu, drafted by the Oshawa Generals in the 1st round of the 2014 OHL Priority Selection, helped the Marlboros capture the 2014 OHL Cup Championship (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Ryan McLeod, LC – Elite skater who has shown a good ability to create using his feet and strong puck skills..production has been fairly inconsistent this season but McLeod has improved that area tremendously in the final rounds of the GTHL playoffs and during his performance at the Canada Winter Games.

Quinton Hughes, LD – Smooth skating defenseman who controls the pace of the game from the blueline..blessed with outstanding vision and poise, Hughes never panics under pressure often relying on his skating ability and confident puck skills to escape pressure…gamebreaker from the blue line who’s committed to the University of Michigan..son of Toronto Maple Leafs Director of Player Development – Jim Hughes.

Ben Jones, LC – Smart and instinctive centerman who plays both sides of the puck very well...great shooting arsenal who can unleash it very quickly, often coming off the half-boards or from the corner .. top six forward with untapped offensive upside.

Matthew Strome, LW – Yes, Matt is the younger brother to Ryan Strome (NY Islanders) and Dylan Strome (projected Top 5 selection for the 2015 NHL Draft)…similar to his brothers in the way that he sees and reads the ice…very talented playmaker who relies on his astute vision to set up teammates…skating is a work-in-progress but he may be worth a first round selection.

Other Marlboros to Watch: Mackenzie Entwhistle, Elijah Roberts, CJ Clarke, Jaden Peca, Jonathan Duchesne


Don Mills Flyers (GTHL Finalist)

David Levin, LW – Top candidate to be selected 1st overall owns dazzling puck skills and is a true game-breaker…elite level vision and anticipation sets Levin up with an ability to find teammates well before defenders can mark them ..elevates linemates play simply because he processes the game quicker than his peers ..developing skater who’s offensive creativity is entirely unpredicatable…entertaining player to watch…born in Israel and recently deemed eligible for the draft.

Brett Neumann, RC – One of the GTHL’s top pivots …intuitive forward who excels in the possession game, moving it quickly and then timing his arrival into scoring areas perfectly…neither big nor strong, Neumann’s best attributes are his hockey sense allowing him to survive by out-smarting the opposition…top 10 candidate.

Jacob Tortora, RC – Slight forward who plays as though he’s 6-foot-2, engaging himself physically and heading into the gritty areas without fear…slick possession forward who loves to create on the rush …tends to operate as a playmaker more than a shooter (almost to a fault) ..willing to contest larger opponents in the physical game and often succeeds ..committed to Boston College.

Jason Robertson, RW -  Big powerful winger with a high-end shot makes life difficult for opposing defenders…bull in a china shop mentality during battles .. skating is a work in progress but he’s very difficult to contain in the cycle and sets up well as a net front presence.

Other Flyers to Watch: Matthew Woroniuk, Brad Cocca, Noel Hoefenmayer, Bryce Misley, Liam Dennison


Toronto Titans (GTHL Semi-Finalist)

Markus Phillips, LD – Athletic and confident defenseman capable of playing multiple roles…Phillips is a strong rearguard who displays a great competitive edge, engaging physically and demanding the puck for scoring opportunities…end-to-end rushing ability but he can also stifle attacks with a dedicated defensive game… Top 10 candidate.

Joseph Garreffa, LC – Small dynamic pivot who excels with the puck, never relinquishing possessing unless all other options are exhausted…outstanding poise and confidence with the puck on his stick, Garreffa’s ability to create is his best attribute…elusive and quick skating skills allows him to excel as an undersized forward…potential first round selection.

Reilly Webb, RD – Blue-collared defender willing to adapt his game to whatever role is needed…projects as a two-way defenseman who will log big defensive minutes…enjoys engaging in the physical game …good mobility and solid offensive instincts but he’s still rounding out his decision making at times…Projected top 40 selection.

Robert Proner, LD – Minute munching shutdown defenseman who’s very difficult to play against with his suffocating defensive play…intimidating physical presence at times with his ability to cue a mean streak..,prone to taking himself out of plays looking for the big body-check and has some work to do containing outside speed…very strong defensive game when he has his opposition in check and in tight quarters, relying on his physical strength to contain. Projected top 40 selection.

Brendan Bonello, G – Battling to be the top selected goaltender in the 2015 OHL Draft…intimidating size and presence in his net eliminates shooting options…sound technical movements in a fluid and mobile butterfly style…prone to losing his net at times and overplaying pucks…projected starting OHL goaltender.

Other Titans to Watch: Zachary Jackson, Nicholas Grima, Regan Kimens, Zachary Sheedy


Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL Semi-Finalists)

Kirill Maksimov, RW – High potential forward with the size, shooting arsenal and playmaking abilities to excel as a top-six forward…struggled with game-to-game consistency but when he’s ‘on’, he’s among the best of the draft…most effective when moving his feet … struggles with physicality for a big winger…features an outstanding array of shooting options…one of the draft’s true wildcards .

Simon Boyko, RW – Undersized sniper who played his second year of minor midget hockey…lethal release on his shot finds the net with regularity…slippery in motion with his slick hands and elusive skating abilities…lacks strength and is prone to forcing shots…could show more patience in possession…projected Top 40 selection.

Scott Del Zotto, RC – Energetic pivot with an outstanding motor, showing tons of resilience in puck pursuit…doesn’t shy away from the dirty areas and thrives in traffic because of his overall compete level, deliberate puck handling ability and quick processor…strength and durability will be concerns moving forward because he’s not overly large but he’s got the necessary tools to survive and succeed.

Other Jr Canadiens to Watch:  Nick Celotti, Kristian Hufsky, Nick Campoli, Jack Lyons



Quinte Red Devils (OMHA Champions- Gold medalist)

Brady Gilmour, LC – Skilled, high-character pivot who has all the makings of a player that coaches will lean on …high-end hockey sense and impressive work ethic are his best attributes…resourceful forward who can be trusted in all situations…lacks a dynamic offensive game but he’s always around the puck with great positioning and good touch in possession…future leader and a lock for a Top 10 selection (potentially as high as 1st overall).

Jakob Brahaney, LD –Offensive defenseman with admirable four-way mobility…jumps into the rush as a fourth forward and operates the powerplay well as a quarterback…walks the blue line with his head up surveying options with his above-average vision…showing improvements in his defensive responsibilities but they’re certainly up-to-par…prone to over-complicating decisions with the puck…projected Top 30 selection.

Aiden McFarland, LW – Sturdy hard-nosed winger with strong scoring abilities from his off-wing…operates more as a finisher than a playmaker…heavy footed skating stride will need to improve to reach a top-six level…excels on the forecheck and during board battles, using his strength and soft stick skills to force turnovers…forms a dangerous duo with Brady Gilmour.

Other Red Devils to Watch: Keegan Ferguson, Mackenzie Warren, Scoley Dow, Anthony Bertucca, Shelby Rienstra


York Simcoe Express (OMHA Finalist- Silver medalist)

Corey Andonovski, LC – Two-way forward with intriguing upside…untapped potential pegs him as a potential sleeper to watch…displays strong offensive instincts in the offensive zone with an ability to quickly identify options and exploiting them…impressive touch and patience around the net and in traffic … big fan of his game and think the best is yet to come.

Luke Wyatt, LW – Speedy north-south hard-working winger with good tools for a rangy forward…at his best when using his speed to get in on pucks and keeping things simple in possession…shows good hand-eye coordination in and around the physicality.

Robert Thomas, RC – Smart undersized pivot who served as the leader for the Express …slashing skater who plays at a high pace…creative puck skills and one-on-one abilities make him a offensive threat but he will need to work on his shot moving forward.

Other Express to Watch: Aidan Brown, Liam Ham, Grady Noonan, Connor smart, Josh Battistella


Halton Hurricanes (OMHA – Bronze medalist)

Nick Deakin-Poot, LC – Big powerful pivot with an impressive north-south attacking game…good possession tools including the ability to maintain control and outpower defenders using his length, power and strength…doesn’t project as a dangler or creative playmaker but rather appears to be an opportunistic shooter who can complement those types of players…needs to better utilize his size and strength advantage, specifically in the physical game.

Matthew Struthers, RC – Versatile industrial middle-man who uses his reach and strong feet to drive wide and to the net…understands what his best skills are and utilizes them accordingly…projects as a support player who makes smart decisions and competes hard on both sides of the puck…must continue to play at a high-intensity to carve out an impact role…projects as a middle-six forward…struggled with injuries this season.

Kyle Waters, RW – Another north-south forward competing on the Hurricanes…determined big winger with the will to succeed…lacks finesse but should be applauded for his work ethic and ability to impact the game…pursues the puck hard and can strike fear burling into the corners for loose pucks…packs a heavy shot …skating is a work in progress as it lacks refinement and fluidness…projects as a bottom six power winger.

Other Hurricanes to Watch: John Vezina, Christian Propp, Zach Snow, Cameron Lavoie, Evan Stull, Matt Pigat


Oakville Rangers (OMHA – 4th place)

Evan Bouchard, LD – Lead the Rangers’ offense from the blueline…strong possession defenseman with good vision and puck moving abilities…unconventional upright skating stride limits his power in explosiveness and puck readiness … despite awkward skating stride, Bouchard manages getting around the ice fine .. appears to lack the urgency that top pairing defensemen possess…with refinements to his skating and attention to detail, Bouchard could develop into one of the better ’99 defensemen.

Derek McVey, RW – Lengthy forward with good skating ability – featured around a long, fluid stride…imposing outside speed can create space for linemates…lacks the control, vision and creativity to pose as a one-on-one threat…operates well as a support forward who moves the puck quickly and then sets up as a shooting or tipping option.

Other Rangers to Watch: Jack Ricketts, Josh Hiebert, Jaden Luik



Ottawa Valley Titans (OEMHL Champions)

Liam Hawel, RC – Big lanky rangy pivot who flashes both creativity and power in his game, but has not perfectly blended the two...good two-way awareness…enters the zone and draws defenders in before using his length and puck protection skills to shield them off and find open linemates..naturally identifies open areas in tight quarters and stickhandles too them, buying himself extra time..prone to over-handling the puck, leading to turnovers…owns a very deceptive release point ..first round potential forward.

Cole Fraser, RD – Nasty physical defenseman who intimidates every time he steps onto the ice…feared checker capable of bone-crushing hits at centre ice…moves the puck well up ice hitting teammates in stride…owns a outstanding point shot that is heavy and very efficient at finding its way through traffic…great gap control and support in the defensive zone…forces turnovers and then quickly turns the play up ice…big minute top-4 defenseman.

Ryan Horvath, LC – Smaller pivot with impressive determination…blessed with good skating ability and his creativity with the puck is underrated…challenges defenders one-on-one and has a pretty good success rate …uses change in pace to shake off defenders and set up in the offensive zone…projects as an early-to-mid round pick and a team may get great value with his offensive upside.

Taylor Carlson, LD – Smaller puck-moving defenseman with good mobility and smart possession skills…dictates the pace of the game with confident puck abilities…prefers to draw checkers to him before eluding them and kickstarting the breakout with his feet/outlet pass…attacks the middle of the ice particularly well and gaining entry to the zone…defensive game is still a work in progress as he continues to work on positioning, necessary for a player of his size.

Other Titans to Watch: Kris Lalonde, Logan Buchanan, Eric Sutherland, Jacob Smith, Matthew Titus, Cameron Bisson


Current Plymouth Whaler rookie, William Bitten, was a product of the Ottawa 67's program (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)
Current Plymouth Whaler rookie, William Bitten, was a product of the Ottawa 67's program (Aaron Bell/OHL Images)

Ottawa Jr. 67’s (OEMHL Finalist)

Greg Meireles, RC – One of the draft’s top forwards plays the game at an extremely quick pace…elite skating ability features top-end speed created through quick crisp crossovers.. attacks at full speed using outside speed almost impossible to contain…improving puck creativity and patience in possession has added another layer of attack…previously, resorted to a perimeter attack where he’d finish with an outside shot…quick hands and capable of receiving passes in all positions in full flight…needs to focus on becoming more predictable at the next level…good overall two-way compete. Top 10 talent.

Erik Ross, RD – Big physical and, sometimes, nasty defenseman who’s been in and out of the lineup this season…played with the ’98 squad in 2013-14 and entered the season as a OEMHL defenseman to watch…owns some decent offensive ability but likely projects as a shutdown physical defenseman at the next level…plays his best hockey when he keeps decisions simple and moves the puck quickly.

Other  67’s to Watch: Thomas Stevenson, Darcy Walsh, Nicholas McHugh, Declan Hilton, Oliver Castleman, Ryan O’Connell



Thunder Bay Kings (HNO)

Cole Tymkin, RW – Competitive two-way forward who will skate through a wall for his team…Thunder Bay Kings offensive leader…outstanding puck pursuit and physicality make him difficult to play against and a welcomed addition on any team…understands how to use his size advantage to get into prime shooting position, shielding off defenders…effective wrist shot…needs to improve his skating technique, specifically his edge work.

Other Kings to Watch: Kyle Auger, Maxime Fortin, Alex Peterson, Jacob Brown, Jake Robinson




Bradley Chenier, LW – Playing with the Sudbury Wolves this season, Chenier is one of the more underrated two-way forwards in the draft…great compete level and two-way awareness…not overly flashy in possession, Chenier uses clever puck placement, chips, give-and-gos (similar to Bulitka) to attack and free up space…good net drive and overall hunger to make an impact…should be one of NOHA’s better forwards.

Lucas Stefano, LW – Small winger with a non-stop motor played with the Soo Greyhounds AAA program…younger brother of Windsor Spitfires forward Anthony Stefano, an undersized pivot in his second OHL season…Lucas doesn’t possess the blazing speed that’s ideal in smaller forwards and he isn’t overly creative but he’s willing to grind in the tough areas.

Mark Tassone, LW – Another Soo Greyhounds product, Tassone blends hockey sense and solid playmaking skills to operate as the team’s best offensive catalyst…uses misdirection and disguises intentions well to gain more space and time…long term investment type of prospect.  

Other NOHA players to Watch: Brandon Clavelle, Max Khull, Steven Khull, Karter Renouf, Keegan Gillis-McAnulty, Ryan O’Bonsawin


Elite Hockey Group (USA)

Cayden Primeau, G – Big 6-foot-1 puck stopper who excels in positioning…son of former NHLer Keith Primeau…employs a butterfly style and uses his lengthy range and good athleticism to make reflex saves… rebound control is a work in progress for the Philadelphia Revolution goaltender…committed to Northeastern University and will challenge for a roster spot on USA’s NTDP U17 program.

Anthony DeMeo, LD – Dubbed a skilled defenseman with high-end skating ability, DeMeo is a possession defenseman who  dictates the pace from the backend…gifted skater with an effortless stride and elite four-way mobility, DeMeo does have a tendency to overskate plays at times, drawing out of position…projects as an offensive defenseman capable of running a powerplay but his future may lie south of the border.

Colton McKenna, LC – Buffalo Regals forward blends size, speed and a strong possession game very well…length in his stride works to his advantage in north-south attacks and also in puck protection, as he boxes out defenders extending possession time…meat and potatoes type of player with the puck excelling in the tough areas and employing a power net drive attack.

Steven Agriogianis, RW – New Jersey native playing with Delbarton’s prep school is an energetic smaller forward with some dazzling puck skills…very elusive with his puck handling abilities and slashing skating style…prone to settling into a perimeter attack at times…no NCAA commitment.

Other Elite Hockey Group Players to Watch: Chris Garbe, Kyle MacLean, Tyler Gratton, Ty Shafer,


TPH Thunder (USA)

Jack Studnicka, RC - One of the OHL Draft’s true sleepers playing out of the Detroit Belle Tire program, Windsor native Jack Studnicka plays an OHL-style of game….younger brother of Ottawa 67’s forward Sam Studnicka…Jack is a power pivot who displays a methodical stick handling attack, using subtle puck placement over dangling options…very good at exiting traffic and unleashing a quick accurate shot…strong two-way player with good possession tools… Ranked outside of the first round by most, Studnicka is a 1st rounder in my books.

Blade Jenkins, LC – Born with arguably the best name in hockey, underage Blade Jenkins (born in 2000) will suit up with TPH at the OHL Cup, allowing many of us scouts to get our first viewings of the University of Michigan commit…known for his great hands, good anticipation and hockey sense, Jenkins will be one of the attractions of the week.

Nick Donofrio, G – Compuware U15 netminder, Nick Donofrio, is a sizeable (6-2, 175) butterfly goaltender who displays sound positioning…relies on good technique over athleticism and desperate reflexes to block shots...expected to receive strong American interest, hindering his OHL draft stock.

Other Thunder to Watch: Skyler Brind’Amour (yes, Rod Brind’Amour’s son), Jonathan Lakhani, Brenden Stanko,


OHL Cup Wild Card Play-In Game Participants

Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs (ALLIANCE Semi-Finalists)

Shane Bulitka, LW – Skilled winger who’s risen more than any prospect out of the Alliance this season…teams seeking possession players will covet Bulitka as he dominates puck time, manipulating space with the best of them…lacking ideal quickness, Bulitka uses smart puck movement to get defenders moving, exploiting them in pivots and transitions to gain personal space…effective coming off the half-wall and identifying options low or back door…strong control of the puck and effective (not dazzling) puck handling, again, using placement rather than flashy moves. Projects as a Top 30-40 selection.

Donovan Cowan, RD – Right-shot defenseman with intriguing upside as a two-way  steady blue liner…despite not being the most refined skater, Cowan is extremely poised and confident as a puck mover…skating is coming along and work in transitions/pivots will eventually complement his power well..uses smart positioning to contain attacking forwards…reminiscent of Guelph’s Levi Tetrault selection in 2014.

Carter Pearen, G – Athletic goaltender who posted some very strong numbers in the Alliance…displays strong mental focus with an ability to come up with a big saves in between long lapses of action…employs a quick butterfly stance and shows good lateral agility…prone to allowing the odd “bad goal” in but overall, provides a calming influence to his teammates.

Other Chiefs to Watch: Nathan Langlois, Kenneth Chisholm, Jeff Clarke, Carson Pearce, Curtis Abbott, Matthew Philip, Tim Fallowfield



Mississauga Rebels (GTHL Wild Card Invite)

Zach Gallant, LC - Oakville’s Zach Gallant is a centerman who can play up and down the lineup because of his advanced two-way game… long powerful skater with good four-way agility …always hounding down the puck, showing outstanding pursuit….projects as an all-situations forward who will be leaned on by his OHL coach…there’s some intriguing offensive upside too.

Finn Evans, RW – Skilled two-way winger with a blue-collared worth ethic…experienced a lot of growth in his game this season, adding more and more offensive tools…thrives in the physical contact game…provides defensive back pressure and never cheats when teams push back...projects as a middle-six winger who can complement the skilled guys well with his in-tight puck skills and burly physical game.

Colton Incze, G – Underrated goaltender who’s shown a flair during big games…calm and poised regardless of the onslaught of shots he’s facing…lacks ideal size but makes up for it in his natural athleticism and quick reflexes…flexibility allows for Incze to make the reactionary and desperation saves when called upon…very good lower coverage using a fluid side-to-side slide.

Alex Formenton, LC – Rebels pivot Formenton is one of the true sleepers for the draft…extremely intelligent and slippery in possession, Formenton owns a confidence about him that can’t be taught…understands his opponents and envisions plays unfolding well in advanced, Formenton can react quickly…moves the puck effortless under pressure and owns real touch…slight in his build, he might be the one true hidden star in a few years’ time.

Robbie Burt, RW – Outstanding skater with some jaw-dropping puck skills …featured around a strong north-south attacking game, Burt has the ability to ramp up his play and dominate…struggled with game-to-game and shift-to-shift consistency but he has the tools to be a star if he can find his comfort zone.

Other Rebels to Watch: Cole Purboo, Noah Lugli, Jacob Golden, Nick Kiriakos


Mississauga Reps (GTHL Wild Card Invite)

Nicholas Isaacson, LC – Big two-way industrial winger capable of providing hounding puck pursuit and good net front touch to go with his noteworthy physical presence…lacks finesse in his puck skills and there’s work to be done in his acceleration and agility but his overall impact is well-suited as a middle-six forward…type of player that coaches are comfortable throwing out to provide an impact in all three zones.

Other Reps to Watch: Jesse Burger, Mario Peccia, Jacob Rayner


North Central Predators (OMHA – 5th Place)

Luke Richardson, G – Composed and confident goaltender was the back bone of the North Central Predators…appears unfathomable at times in the crease sucking in pucks at will…tall goaltender with sound positioning and well-established technique is the basis for his success…can often get stuck playing too deep in his crease…Richardson is one of the better Ontario ’99 goaltenders.

Matthew Prucha, LD – North Central’s pace setter from the blueline…Prucha is a two-way defensive with solid offensive instincts…lacks fluidity, speed and agility in his stride to become a true “puck-rusher”…concerns with his skating potential, lack of size and no true standout quality may limit his OHL potential but he’s been among the better defensemen in the OMHA-ETA.

Other Predators to Watch: Kole Scott, Kyle Heitzner, Andy Baker, Parker Bowman, Kyle Chiallis


Toronto Red Wings (GTHL Wild Card Invite)

Owen Tippett, RW – The Red Wings may be in tough as it appears Tippett will miss the must win play-in game as he nurses an injury…dynamic scoring winger with game-breaking ability…outstanding offensive ability with the puck on his stick but he lacks the same determination without the puck…increasing shift-to-shift intensity would go a long way in improving his draft stock …potential 1st overall selection.

Fedor Gordeev, LD – Big 6-foot-4 defender with tantalizing OHL upside…shows flashes of brilliance on both sides of the puck but hasn’t truly settled into his role…projects best as a two-way defender who takes care of his defensive end first, mixing in some howitzers from the point and jumping into the rush , when it presents itself safely…good mobility …struggles under pressure and when he attempts to do too much…Gordeev is one of the more interesting prospects because of his array of abilities.

Other Red Wigs to Watch: Griffin Lewicki, Daniel Lowe, Gianfranco Cassaro, Sean Josling, Matteo DiGiulio


Whitby Wildcats (OMHAWild Card Invite)

Joseph Franzin, LD – Physical shutdown defenseman that leaves it all on the ice…unrefined skater who lacks lateral mobility …clunky stride might limit his abilities at the next level…bruising hitter who contains well in tight quarters but struggles as attackers separate from him…punishing defender in front of the crease where he makes attackers earn their spot…projects as a ‘project’ shutdown defenseman and will require some seasoning.

Other Wildcats to Watch: Andrew Poulias, Mathew Rogowski, Stefan Palatsids, Justin Kyle, Jacob Sutton, Alex Wisco


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