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- Created: Monday, 13 March 2017 01:51
The OHL Cup is the most coveted showcase tournament of the season for AAA minor midget programs across Ontario. With twenty of the best teams converging on North Toronto for the week-long event, the OHL Cup provides a platform for aspiring OHL players to showcase their talents to scouts packing the Scotiabank Pond facility.
Champions and runner ups from Ontario’s respective regions – OMHA, GTHL and ALLIANCE – are joined from all-star squads from Total Package Hockey (TPH Thunder), Elite Hockey Group (EHG), Team NOHA (Northern Ontario), Thunder Bay Kings (HNO representative) and Team HEO (represented by Eastern Ontario Wild ’01 Bantam squad). Additionally, ten top teams from across the remaining regions have solidified spots in the Wildcard play-in games Tuesday in hopes of advancing into the main tournament Tuesday through Monday.
Here at TheScout.ca we are taking a break from compiling our final 2017 OHL Draft Rankings (to be released to subscribers prior to the 2017 Priority Selection) to preview the teams and players to watch at the OHL Cup.
Part 1 – Nash Division Preview
Part 2 – Subban Division Preview
Part 3 – Shanahan Division Preview
Part 4 - Lindros Division Preview
Our focus for the third installment features the Shanahan Division.
Toronto Marlboros (GTHL Finalist)
Ajax-Pickering Raiders (OMHA Semi-Finalist)
Eastern Ontario Wild (HEO Rep)
Thunder Bay Kings (HNO Rep)
Wildcard 3 (Winner of Mississauga Reps vs. Halton Hurricanes)
The Marlies are always a heavily tracked team at the OHL Cup, especially as fans of OHL teams arrive at Scotiabank Pond to see the future players of their teams compete. This year, Jack Hughes, Graeme Clarke and defenseman Billy Constantinou will be the draw but the Marlboros’ depth goes far beyond those three names.
Players to Watch:
#86 Jack Hughes, C – Throughout the month of March, “Jack Hughes” will be a name heard often as the top draft prospect gears up for next month’s selection process. Additionally, it’s expected that Hughes’ name will be part of USA NTDP Camp roster when it gets released sometime in the next month. A dynamic and ultra-skilled pivot, Hughes is a franchise type of pivot who brings lots of creativity, elusiveness and dazzling puck handling ability to the rink. It has not been stated publicly yet whether he will go the OHL route or choose to attend the NTDP program like his older brother Quinn did two years ago. Regardless of his final decision, the OHL Cup will be the stage that Hughes showcases his elite game on and that is worth the price of admission.
#92 Graeme Clarke, RW – Playing his second season in the GTHL after dominating his home Ottawa loop in Bantam, Clarke’s game is trending in the right direction and he should hear his name called early come the April Priority Selection. He’s the top shooting winger in the draft and with his scoring skill and ability to change the game with one shot, it’s almost a guarantee that he’ll be among the tournament scoring leaders at the OHL Cup. Watch Clarke closely as he could rise into Top 3 discussion if he dominates the competition like he has in flashes before.
#12 Jacob Harris, C – Harris is a smooth skating, quick two-way centerman with smart instincts and an admirable work ethic. Overshadowed on the Marlies at times by ‘bigger names’, Harris is a player who shows up to play every shift and just gets things done. He takes no shortcuts and that earns him loads of ice time in all situations and, at times, his offensive ability, doesn’t receive the recognition that it deserves. There’s no doubt that Harris will be an excellent selection near the end of the first round or in the second round. He’s a coaches type of player who will be vital in winning important games.
#27 Nicholas Zabaneh, C/LW – Those not familiar with Zabaneh’s game will be blown away with his skating ability – ranks among the best in the draft – as he is extremely quick and agile. He’s most effective using his speed on the rush to blast past defenders but has added more creativity in his attacks during the latter parts of the season and that will bode well in his value.
#89 Daniel D’Amico, C/W – A cerebral attacker with a great feel for the game, D’Amico impresses when he’s in possession, allowing him to adjust on the fly and find prime targets as he draws defenders in towards him. Neither big or advantageously strong, D’Amico relies on his smarts to pick apart defences and with his playmaking vision and touch, he can make teams pay quickly.
#4 Christian DeGiorgis, LD.....