Created: Thursday, 25 April 2019 14:25
April 2019 update of the Top 10 Niagara IceDogs Prospects heading into the 2019-2020 season.
The IceDogs top spot sees our first non-2019 pick lead the way as top prospect. Niagara’s 3rd-round selection in 2018, Stephen Halliday fell there because of a commitment to the University of North Dakota which is still holding up after he played this past season in the USHL. Halliday features imposing power forward stature but comes with high-end skill and playmaking capabilities as well.
2019 first-round pick Isaac Enright waits on deck should it continue to look like Halliday won’t play in Niagara. Enright is a smart and industrious blueliner who can make the game look easy at times through his poise, awareness, and elusive agility that sees him never look panicked with the puck.
2002 birth-year forwards Cameron Snow and Ethan Sims are diminutive but skilled and dynamic players who are waiting in the wings. Sims saw four regular-season games with the IceDogs and figures to see full-time action next year, while it is interesting that the dynamo Snow remains unsigned and also without an NCAA commitment.
Niagara’s Top 10 features three goaltenders who will be battling to replace Stephen Dillon who incredibly played over 50 games in each of the past three seasons in the IceDogs net. Having been the backup this season, Christian Sbaraglia will have the inside track to be the new #1 guy, but will get a push from 2018 draft selection Joseph Tynan, and then down the road 2019 pick Josh Rosenzweig will challenge as well.
Landon Cato is another player the team was happy to sign quickly. The Toronto Nationals AAA product held a commitment to UMass-Amherst but quickly signed with the Dogs upon his third-round selection in this year’s draft. He is a defenseman with all the high-end athletic tools you can ask for and should be a mainstay on the team’s blueline for the years to come.
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Created: Wednesday, 24 April 2019 19:59
April 2019 update of the Top 10 Mississauga Steelheads Prospects heading into the 2019-2020 season.
2019 first-round pick Ethan Del Mastro headlines the Steelheads prospect pool. A Toronto Marlboros product, Del Mastro is a well-sized, agile defenseman who can make an imapact at both ends of the ice. He is a suffocating and physical defender who also adds an offensive threat with sharp instincts and a great shot.
Devlin O’Brien, an extremely intelligent and competitive forward, was one of our favourite picks from 2018 Priority Selection. He has an NCAA commitment to Merrimack College but we still have high hopes of seeing him in the OHL.
We are still trying to figure out why Drew Jeffers and Riley Rosenthal went where they did in the 2019 draft as we had them pegged much higher in our rankings. Both are big defensemen with great range and length in their game, both have serious potential and upside to be top 6 OHL defensemen, and neither have an NCAA commitment at this point.
Recent signings Luca Del Bel Belluz, Craig Spence and Max Dodig can be found in the Top 10, while a host of 2002 birth years drew consideration. Rylan Bowers and Myles Perry narrowly beat out the likes of Anthony Lamanna, Nathan Naves, Carson Whitson, and Brett Robertson, but the gap between those players is very minimal.
Another tough call was between 2019 selections Adam O’Marra and Josh Reid. As a third-round pick Reid will have the edge going into camp, but we favour O’Marra slightly at this point.
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Created: Wednesday, 24 April 2019 14:06
April 2019 update of the Top 10 London Knights Prospects heading into the 2019-2020 season.
Stuart Rolofs, the club’s first-round pick in 2019 leads a deep prospect pool that is heavy on players who have already seen significant success at the junior level. A big winger with a combination of power and finesse, Rolofs was able to showcase himself as much more than just a side-kick to linemate Connor Lockhart who was the third overall pick to the Erie Otters.
The 2018-19 season saw numerous Knights prospects thrive at the junior level. Sean McGurn, Ben Roger, Liam Whittaker, Brett Brochu, and Brayden Krieger all excelled and proved to be right on the cusp of the OHL. 2018 draft selections such as Brendan Mairs, Dario Beljo, Chase Strychaluk and Vincent Labelle fell short of this Top 10 but all showed considerable promise as well.
Avery Winslow is a player the Knights will certainly hope commits to playing in the league. The Florida native is an elite skating defenseman who would immediately jump into a top 6 role with the team.
2019 second-round picks Logan Mailloux and Max McCue will be given long looks at training camp, while fourth-round selection Liam Gilmartin would be higher on the list if not for his U.S. National U-17 commitment.
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Created: Tuesday, 23 April 2019 20:08
April 2019 update of the Top 10 Kitchener Rangers Prospects heading into the 2019-2020 season.
Francesco Pinelli was TheScout.ca’s 6th ranked player overall in the 2003 age group and surprisingly fell to the Rangers at 13th overall in the draft. The Toronto Red Wings product is a high-end 200 ft. center with elite skating and playmaking attributes. Pinelli leads the way as the Rangers top prospect, and while he just fell short of the top 10, his brother Anthony will also be in the mix to crack the roster next season.
2019 second-round pick Roman Schmidt is one of the most curious cases of all OHL eligible prospects. A towering 6’5” defenseman with outstanding puck-moving and two-way ability, Schmidt is a dual-citizen who holds a commitment to Boston University and also has a spot on the U.S. National U17 team should he choose that route. His second-round selection however gives confidence to Rangers fans that they will see him in a uniform.
Recent signing Simon Motew was an excellent pick in the fourth-round this year and projects to be a swift-skating, puck-moving rearguard in his career.The Rangers also have an older group of prospects who are narrowing in on roster spots with the likes of 2018 draft selections Joseph Serpa and Kyle Van Compernolle having put themselves in good position with strong follow up seasons.
Kitchener hasn’t been afraid to draft players with NCAA commitments the last couple of years and the likes of Caden Brown, Declan McDonnell, Simon Mack and Carter Schade would all be in this top 10 if they were indeed OHL bound. Brown, the son of Jeff Brown and brother of Logan, is the highest ranked of that group given his OHL bloodline ties.
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Created: Tuesday, 23 April 2019 13:25
April 2019 update of the Top 10 Kingston Frontenacs Prospects heading into the 2019-2020 season.
Shane Wright, arguably the best 15-year-old hockey player in the world, leads the way of course after being selected by the Frontenacs first-overall in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection as an exceptional status underage player. Wright is gifted in every aspect of the game and has the intelligence and driven nature that puts him on the short list of the most impressive individuals the sport has seen at his age.
2019 second round pick Francesco Arcuri follows his Don Mills Flyers teammate and adds to a strong draft class that includes the likes of Maddox Callens, Braden Hache, Owen Watson, Max Smolinski and Jake Coleman who all made the list. Smolinski is one who would cetainly be higher if his OHL intentions were more clear.
You don’t always see 16-year-old goalies starting for a team at any junior level, so what Matt Onuska has done in backstopping his Waterloo Siskins to the GOJHL Sutherland cup Finals has been nothing short of spectacular. Onuska was our 11th ranked goalie for the 2018 draft and has certainly taken the opportunity he was given and ran with it, to become one of the top goaltending prospects who played outside of the OHL this season.
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