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- Created: Friday, 30 March 2018 14:18
The scouting season for any draft is a long and ever-changing process, and that notion was certainly prevalent this year in the Minor Midget AAA loop. A draft class with great depth, the 2002 age group kept us on our toes from start to finish with a large number of players impressing greatly to result in constant shuffling.
The process has been as such. Through all of the tournaments, showcases, league play, and playoffs, our staff has formed opinions, changed those opinions, and have now reached a point where we have confidently solidified those opinions.
The recently completed OHL Cup, while just one tournament, really helped to solidify thoughts that had been set in motion since our Mid-Season Rankings in December. More so than in recent years, the tournament saw the best of the best playing at their highest level of any point of the season, and it really helped to paint a clear picture as these Final Rankings were debated.
At the very top, nothing has changed. As we predicted way back in our Initial Ranking, Quinton Byfield of the York-Simcoe Express has gone to wire-to-wire as our top ranked player due to his unique and unmatched skill-set packaged into an athletic 6’4” frame.
Vaughan Kings centre Cole Perfetti, a player we held back a bit because of his NCAA commitment, proved through his consistent display of offensive dominance all season that he deserved the #2 spot regardless of the questions surrounding his intentions to play in the OHL.
Like Byfield, Jamie Drysdale of the Toronto Marlboros also went wire-to-wire by being our top ranked defenseman in all three rankings. The smooth-skating Drysdale held off the likes of teammate Lleyton Moore (#10) and Russian rearguard Daniil Chayka (#7) of the OHL Cup Champion Toronto Jr. Canadiens.
The rest of the names in our top 10 include winger Antonio Stranges of Little Caesars 16U, Oakville Rangers centre Cameron Tolnai, Marlboros forward Will Cuylle, dual-citizen Dylan Peterson from CIHA, and the silky Evan Vierling from the York-Simcoe Express. Cuylle in particular is a name that readers may recognize as having made a big jump. 20th in our Mid-Season Rankings, he was arguably the most dominant player in the age group over the last four months of the season, steamrolling opponents on almost a nightly basis with his advanced physical tools, abrasive physicality, and exceptional shot.
Between the pipes, we’ve decided to keep things separate as it is a difficult task trying to place the goaltenders with the skaters. The theme of the year has been the three-horse race out of the GTHL and their positions remain unchanged for the third straight ranking. Tristan Lennox of the Mississauga Reps takes the top spot while Joe Vrbetic of the Don Mills Flyers and Marco Constantini of the Vaughan Kings come in at #2 and #3 respectively.
We have extended our skater ranking from a Top 100 to 200 and our goalie ranking from a Top 10 to 20 with a group of honourable mentions for both.
Director of Scouting Andrew Sykes along with area scouts Matt Stewart, Matt Grainda, Brent Craswell, Chris Bowen, Jason Gray, Mitch Avis, Ryan Stacey, Trevor Revoy and Branden Scott all helped work towards these 2018 Final OHL Draft Rankings which the Scout.ca is very proud to present.