It is the final edition of the Alliance Scout team rankings. The next time we are due to put out some rankings, the regular season will be over and the postseason gearing up to begin. At that point, we will replace the team rankings with series previews going forward.
As we currently stand, the postseason picture is still very murky. There is the top tier of Elgin, Hamilton and Waterloo that are all battling for positioning. Then there is the middle of the standings where four points separates fourth from seventh. It will come down to the very last weekend before we can positively say who will match up with who in the opening round.
The following rankings include some season play but with the holiday break squeezed in there, some teams did not have a plethora of games. We also did see four Alliance teams make it out of round robin play at the Marlies Holiday tournament with the Huskies losing in overtime in the quarter-finals. Continue reading →
We only have one month to go in the regular season and it should be a busy one. Not only are 10 of the 12 Alliance teams making the trip for the Toronto Marlboros Holiday tournament beginning today, but the standings in the Alliance are super tight.
Heading into 2020, there is a three point separation between Elgin, Hamilton and Waterloo for the top three spots in the league. Following those teams, only four points separates 4th from 8th place with the Cambridge Hawks and Kitchener Jr. Rangers still clinging to life for that final playdown spot.
As we are looking at player rankings this time around, below is the December edition of the rankings as I once again have players slotted in A, B and C categories.
After a couple week hiatus, the Alliance Scout team rankings are back for their third edition.
Lots has happened since we ran through each team in the loop. The Alliance All-Star Weekend Showcase went down in Woodstock with another successful weekend. Some Alliance teams then headed on down to Whitby for the Silver Stick tournament (still my favourite tournament of the year). And then this past weekend the Waterloo Wolves hosted the Gold Puck tournament which housed a good chunk of Alliance teams.
As we head into the holiday season, a fair number of teams will be heading down to Toronto for the Marlboros Classic tournament. Once the holiday break hits, most teams will only have a handful of games remaining in their regular season play. Looking at the standings, there is still lots to be decided in terms of seeding and who the eight teams advancing to playdowns will be.
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty and see where each team sits with a month to go in the season.
While teams are starting to take shape in terms of expectations and where they may finish at the end of the season, it’s a big weekend that could see some of the landscape shift one way or the other for teams.
It is the All-Star Showcase weekend in Woodstock for the third consecutive year. The weekend, which sees teams play three games on Friday and Saturday caps off with the Bantam, Minor Midget and Midget all-star games on Sunday. Personally, I think this format is fantastic and a big improvement from a few years back when All-Star weekend consisted of four teams and a mini-tournament amongst those four teams. I found that during those events, the final day seemed to drag, and the games weren’t as fluid as players were still trying to figure out playing with one another.
As promised, this is the second edition of the Alliance Scout Team Rankings. While the top four in the league seems to have separated themselves from the pack, there are five teams that seem to be competing for what should be four playdown spots. There are some matchups this weekend that could become even more relevant when late January arrives.
A new year leads us to a new format for the Alliance Scout player rankings. In previous years, the site would release a top 25 player list during the Toronto Marlboros tournament and then a final list prior to the OHL Priority Selection.
This year, we are changing things up. Rather than just having two rankings, we will be releasing a new ranking every month. And rather than just doing the top 25, we will be modeling the list after how OHL and NHL Central Scouting does their lists. Doing these lists monthly will allow for a more accurate representation and also can allow for players who have been having strong months to make their way onto the lists.
Prospects have been split into three different categories. Those in the “A Prospect” pool are players who I see as the cream of the crop and those who could be hearing their name called in the opening four rounds of the OHL Draft. A player under the “B Prospect” heading I believe could be going in rounds 5-10 while players in the C category could be going in rounds 11-15. Players names are all listed alphabetically and not in any ranking order.
So without any further delay, here is our initial list.
As the calendar turns to November, the standings in the Alliance are starting to shape up more and more. Trends are starting to emerge, and we are getting close to the point where playdown matchups are being discussed according to who is in what position.
While the Alliance has now been putting out their bi-weekly top five rankings for the teams over the past month, I will begin bi-weekly league wide rankings for those weeks where the league focuses on the bantams.
Here we go with the first edition of the Alliance Scout Team Rankings, which I hope to put out every two weeks.
2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 13-14-6 (7th Overall)
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Lost in quarter-finals to Waterloo
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 20-8-4 (3rd Overall)
2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Won Alliance Championship over London (2-3-1 at OHF Championships)
Coming off an Alliance championship and an appearance at the OHF championships, the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs have loaded up for a run at a Minor Midget Alliance Championship and an OHL Cup appearance.
The 2003 born Chiefs had one of the best runs in the league last year. At the All-Star weekend showcase in Woodstock, the Chiefs went 0-2-1 and it seemed like they were destined to miss the playdowns. Fast forward to the end of January and the Chiefs went on a 6-2-1 run to surge their way into the 7th seed in the postseason. Led up front by sniper Ryan Burke and speedy Eric Bertelsen, the Chiefs pushed Waterloo to the brink before falling in the deciding sixth game.
2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 7-21-5 (10th Overall)
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Did not qualify for playdowns
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 11-16-5 (9th Overall)
2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost in quarter-finals to Elgin-Middlesex
After a string of strong seasons was snapped last year, the Sun County Panthers hope momentum from the end of last season will carry forward to this year.
The minor midget season last year could have gone better for the Sun County Panthers. Lacking significant impact players up front, the Panthers tried to play tight games and win more with defense than offense. SCP scored the fewest goals in the league last season with just 61 tallies in 33 games. While there was some strong play to close out the regular season, Sun County wasn’t able to compete with those near the top of the standings.
2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 5-25-3 (11th Overall)
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Did not qualify for playdowns
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 14-15-3 (6th Overall)
2019/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost in preliminary round to Chatham-Kent
Ever since I started this website, the Lambton Jr. Sting are the only team that has not played a playdown game. If I’m correct in my thinking, that streak should end in the upcoming season.
Last year was a tough year for the minor midgets. The struggles were there on both sides of the ice was the Jr. Sting were second to last in the loop in both goals for and goals against. There were some bright spots to the season. Carson Peer emerged early on as a player who could be relied on offensively while Ethan Mathews was a steady defender on a very physical blue line. At the end of things, Lambton missed out on the playdowns for the 4th consecutive year.
2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 16-13-4 (6th Overall)
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Lost in quarter-finals to Kitchener
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 14-15-3 (7th Overall)
2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost in quarter-finals to Hamilton
After a third consecutive year in the postseason, the Cambridge Hawks will need their defensive play to increase that streak to four year running.
There were some significant improvements for the 03 born team from bantam to minor midget. The team went from six wins the previous year to 16 at minor midget, which was good for sixth spot in the league. While not chalked full of offensive firepower, Mateo Amaral and Matthew Dimaline came up with timely goals while Kai Greaves improved leaps and bounds on defense. Ben Bates also emerged as one of the best goaltenders in the league. Injuries hurt the Hawks come playdown season, but it’s hard to not classify the year as a success.