Created: Friday, 08 December 2017 18:15
For the first time, the Alliance decided to have two separate Minor Midget AAA showcase weekends. The first one was held early in the season in Windsor, while this one was held in Woodstock to also tie in with the Alliance Minor Midget AAA All-Star game.
The two showcases have provided a good barometer from the beginning of the season to this point, showing who has continued to play well and who has elevated their play over that time fame. Area scout Mitch Avis was on hand to once again check out the best that the Alliance has to offer among the 2002 age group and filed the following report:
His top performer over the weekend was Cambridge centre Joe Serpa who has impressed all season long with his nifty playmaking ability, staking his claim as the top prospect out of the Alliance this season in the process.
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Created: Saturday, 02 December 2017 16:30
Arguably the most exciting tournament of the Minor Midget AAA scouting season, The Whitby Silver Stick Tournament always provides a good measuring stick for scouts on players eligible for the OHL Priority Selection. There is a different feel in most every Silver Stick game as the intensity and calibre of play reaches a higher level than at any other time up to this point in the season. With almost three months under their belts, players are in mid-season form with all of the rust knocked off of their game. The tournament field is loaded with highly talented teams from across the province and Michigan, and there is a heightened familiarity with their own team as well as their opponents.
The Toronto Marlboros, who are one of the most impressive teams we have seen at the minor midget level steamrolled their way through the competition and took the title with a victory over the Oakville Rangers in the final.
TheScout.ca was in Whitby from start to finish with Director of Scouting Andrew Sykes being joined by area scouts Matt Stewart, Ryan Stacey, Chris Bowen, Mitch Avis, Jason Gray and Matt Grainda who combined to put together the following report.
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Created: Sunday, 19 November 2017 14:58
In what was a busy scouting weekend, the 2017 Dale Parker Memorial Tournament in Brantford provided a much different take than it’s counterpart of the weekend, the Battle of the Border in Windsor. While the latter was known to have marquee teams with some of the elite prospects in the 2002 age group, the former provided a great chance for different teams and players who may have been a little off the radar up to this point of the season.
The 13-team field offered a chance for squads who hadn’t yet enjoyed much in the way of tournament success to do just that, while at the same time allowing for more exposure for talented players to shine through. In the end, the Whitby Wildcats claimed the tournament championship with a 5-1 over the host Brantford 99ers. Led by the likes of Christian Stevens and Ben VanWaterschoot, the soon-to-be Silver Stick host were too much for the 99ers who continued to receive major contributions from two underage players, forward Maddox Callens and defenseman Cole Hipkin.
Area scouts Matt Stewart (SCTA) and Mitch Avis (Alliance) took in the action and contributed to the following report, including combining their selections for the Top 10 Performers of the event.
Created: Friday, 17 November 2017 14:48
From November 10-12, Windsor played host to the 2017 Battle of the Border, an OHL showcase event that pitted six of the top 16U programs from the HPHL against six of Ontario’s top minor midget teams. Team managements from across North America packed the WFCU Centre for a look at elite talent from both sides of the border and were treated with some very entertaining hockey. The event was also highlighted by seminars and information sessions on what to expect if the Ontario Hockey League becomes their hockey path.
TheScout.ca had eyes on this marquee event with Director of Scouting Andrew Sykes covering it from start to finish. U.S. scout Matt Grainda also took in some of the action and they contributed to the following report.
The Battle of the Border, along with the upcoming Silver Stick tournament in Whitby, will factor largely in our Mid-Season Rankings which will be released in December.
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Created: Saturday, 04 November 2017 14:43
Now two months into the 2017-18 minor-midget season, we have learned that the 2002 age group is one with great high-end talent and the depth to match. TheScout.ca team has worked feverously in the early stages of the year to get comfortable with each region in order to begin sorting out rankings. The process is a challenge and near impossible to get right this early, but that is the beauty of it. Things are certain to change considerably as we move past big events such as the Border Battle and Silver Stick in November, league playoffs, and culminating with the OHL Cup.
2017-18 Minor Midget Season Outlook
One factor that has thrown more of a wrench into the mix this year than others is how so many of the top American players committed to NCAA schools very early, leaving their status in terms of the OHL in question. Our top ranked skater playing south of the border is Antonio Stranges of the Little Caesars U16 club. Stranges is a University of Michigan commit, and while his hold on being the top U.S. player is firm, he will be challenged by the likes of New Jersey native Jason Siedem, Honeybaked teammates Sahil Panwar and Tanner Latsch, Wyatt Shingoethe from the Chicago Mission, and Jacob Truscott who suits up for Little Caesars U15 team.
In Ontario, what was thought to be a two-horse race for the top spot coming in has been quickly put to rest because of the incredible play of Quinton Byfield. A special player on a dominant York-Simcoe team, Byfield has been the story of the season thus far with many believing that he is the best minor midget AAA prospect since Connor McDavid. Thought to be his challenger, Dylan Peterson has gotten off to a slow start with CIHA in Ottawa and starts as our #3 ranked player. Our top-ranked defenseman, Jamie Drysdale grabs the #2 spot thanks to his flawless skating and ability to control and dictate a game in any way he wants.
Another storyline that needs mention is the dominance of a group of teams in Ontario that many of the players at the top of this year’s draft will come from. The Toronto Marlboros, York-Simcoe Express, Vaughan Kings, Mississauga Reps and Oakville Rangers are all stacked squads and a massive chunk of the first two rounds should come from these teams.
For our subscribers, stay tuned for our coverage of the Battle of the Border HPHL Showcase event and Whitby Silver Stick Tournament. Upon the completion of the Silver Stick tournament, our scouts will collaborate and introduce a NEW Ranking in early December with expanded names. There is sure to be plenty of movement.
With that, TheScout.ca is proud to announce our Initial 2018 OHL Draft Ranking, featuring a Top 50 skater ranking and some honourable mentions that have proven to be worthy talents as top players to watch and will surely challenge this Top 50 group as the year develops. Also included is a Top 10 goalie ranking which will be expanded to Top 20 in the next ranking.
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Stay tuned for a lot more content as we cotinue to add Player Profiles, Game Reports, and more!!