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.
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Created: Monday, 26 March 2018 14:43
The 2018 OHL Cup lived up to its billing and then some as the top tournament of the year in Minor Midget AAA hockey in Ontario. Always a great event put on by the Ontario Hockey League, this year’s tournament had everything you could possibly want to see.
This year, perhaps more so than in recent years, mostly all of the top players in the age group really seemed to elevate their game to the highest level of the season. This resulted in all of the team managements and fans in attendance getting to see what everyone hopes to see- big players making big plays in big games. That seemed to be the theme of the week as top draft prospects such as Quinton Byfield, Will Cuylle, Dylan Robinson, Evan Vierling, Jamie Drysdale, Cole Perfetti and Cameron Tolnai all routinely coming up big for their respective teams during their tournament runs.
An exciting playoff round saw some surprises with the Toronto Marlboros being ousted in the semifinals by their GTHL rival Toronto Jr. Canadiens. The Jr. Canadiens then used that momentum in the Final against another GTHL foe in the Vaughan Kings in a convincing win to claim the OHL Cup with the aforementioned Dylan Robinson being named Tournament MVP.
TheScout.ca had full coverage of the tournament with Director of Scouting Andrew Sykes being showed by area scouts Ryan Stacey, Mitch Avis, Jason Gray, Brent Craswell, Chris Bowen, Trevor Revoy and Matt Stewart all taking in the action.
The following report includes our picks for the Top 20 performers of the 2018 OHL Cup along with comments on numerous more players.
Our staff has also been working hard at putting the finishing touches on our Final 2018 OHL Draft Rankings and we expect to have those completed and available on Thursday, March 29.
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Created: Monday, 12 March 2018 15:45
The OHL Cup is the most coveted showcase tournament of the season for AAA minor midget programs across Ontario and the OHL U.S. region. With 24 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), and Thunder Bay Kings (HNO representative) Additionally, ten teams from across the regions have solidified spots in the wildcard play-in games on Tuesday in hopes of advancing into the main tournament which runs from Tuesday March 13 through Monday March 19.
Toronto Marlboros (GTHL Champion)
Guelph Gryphons (OMHA Silver)
Cambridge Hawks (Alliance Play-In Winner)
Elite Hockey Group (USA Invite)
Sun County Panthers or Toronto Titans
10 Players To Watch:
#4 Jamie Drysdale, D, Toronto Marlboros
#9 Lleyton Moore, D, Toronto Marlboros
#25 Will Cuylle, LW, Toronto Marlboros
#27 Cam Peters, C, Toronto Marlboros
#9 Logan Morrison, C, Guelph Gryphons
#86 Jean-Luc Foudy, C, Toronto Titans
Christian Jimenez, D, Elite Hockey Group
Dane Dowiak, C, Elite Hockey Group
#81 Matt Maggio, RW, Sun County Panthers
#11 Ben McFarlane, RW, Cambridge Hawks
Key Game: Guelph vs. Elite Hockey Group
- this game may go a long way in deciding who joins the Marlies in the quarterfinals
Who Will Advance: Toronto Marlboros and Guelph Gryphons
Don’t Sleep On: Toronto Titans
Read more: 2018 OHL Cup Preview
Created: Wednesday, 07 March 2018 16:01
With a month to go until the 2018 OHL Priority Selection, what better time than now for us here at TheScout.ca to take a crack at a Mock Draft. Having covered the 2002 Minor Midget AAA age group for the past six months, we feel that we have a good enough handle on who the potential top picks in this year’s draft will be.
This will be the first of two mock drafts we will release, with the second coming following the OHL Cup as a part of our OHL Draft Guide.
About the Mock Draft:
The selections were made by nine of our scouts who alternated with his each pick and acted as the GM/management of the OHL team they were picking for. Taking part are: Director of Scouting Andrew Sykes along with area scouts Matt Stewart (SCTA, Matt Grainda (USA), Brent Craswell (HEO), Mitch Avis (Alliance), Chris Bowen (GTHL), Jason Gray (GTHL), Trevor Revoy (ETA), and Ryan Stacey (SCTA)
Selections were based primarily off who we felt the respective team SHOULD take, meaning, we did not factor in situational aspects such as trying to decipher who would and wouldn’t report to a team. **Some discretion however was used on players who have NCAA commitments which could affect their status with OHL teams.**
Please keep in mind that this is more of an opinion of who we think the certain team SHOULD take, as opposed to a prediction. We can not pretend to know what the teams are thinking or who they might be leaning towards. Also, unlike professional sports, there are so many different factors at play with the OHL Draft, and we can’t pretend to have a crystal ball that would get us even close to accurately predicting what is going on behind the scenes. Thus, we feel it is best to simply make these mock selections of who WE would take, rather than predict who THEY will take.
- Danill Chayka (Toronto Jr. Canadiens) and Andrei Bakanov (Oakland Grizzlies 16U) are two Russian players who would be highly considered for the 1st-round, but have not yet been granted eligiblity
- Draft order as of Sunday, March 4
Without further ado, TheScout.ca is glad to offer this initial look at the first-round of 2018 OHL Priority Selection
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Created: Tuesday, 06 March 2018 16:29
The finalists from the SCTA, the Oakville Rangers and Guelph Gryphons, ETA finalists York-Simcoe Express and Barrie Jr. Colts, along with a wild-card in the Quinte Red Devils gathered in Aurora at the St. Andrew’s College Arena for the OMHA Minor Midget AAA Championships on March 2-4.
Led by likely first-overall pick Quinton Byfield, the York-Simcoe Express proved to be the class of the field, going 3-1 in the round-robin portion and then defeating the Guelph Gryphons 3-1 in the Gold Medal game.
With the top four teams automatically advancing to the 2018 OHL Cup, the Express will be joined by the Gryphons, Barrie Colts and Oakville Rangers, while the Quinte Red Devils will have a chance to book their spot in a wild-card game.
GTHL area scout Jason Gray was close by and dipped into the OMHA to file the following report of the weekend action.
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