Well, it’s finally here. After weeks of watching and observing Alliance games left, right and centre, I’ve finally compiled the top 25 players in the Alliance.
Needless to say, this was not the easiest task in the least. Even after sorting through all 12 rosters and doing my initial lists, I was still sitting at about 45-50 players that I then needed to cut in half to make up the inaugural Alliance Scout rankings.
It must be stated that this is the initial rankings based on play from the first few months of the season. This includes all regular season games, the Alliance Showcase and All Star Weekend as well as other tournaments such as the Whitby Silver Stick and Toronto Titans Early Bird Tournament.
For those players that did not make the initial 25, that does not mean they will not make the list in the future. There are still plenty of tournaments and the playdowns for players to make an impact and make that leap into the top 25.
For today, we will release the players ranked from 16 to 25. The following list will hold players six through 15 while the final list will be a look at the top five players in the Alliance in my opinion.
Here it goes:
25. Duncan Core (Lambton Jr. Sting) – We kick off our top 25 with defenseman Duncan Core out of Lambton. Core uses a combination of size and hockey sense to always make the correct choice when moving the puck out of the defensive zone.
24. Eric Uba (Kitchener Jr. Rangers) – The lone Ranger on the list (spoiler alert), Uba is on the path to becoming a very good power forward. While he is unable to get around some defenders, he has the stick handling and size to go right through them and he also possesses one of the quickest shots in the Alliance.
23. Keaghan Brett (London Jr. Knights) – The first goaltender on our list comes from the London program and Keaghan Brett. Brett has helped lead the Knights to top spot in the Alliance thus far and has done a fantastic job at directing his defense into the best situations. Positioning has been key also for Brett, who boasts some of the best statistics in the league this year.
22. Aidan Reid (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs) – Reid was a force to be reckoned with early on in the Alliance All Star weekend, which continued the trend he has shown in Elgin this season. An accurate shot mixed with size, the only thing keeping Reid out of a higher ranking is his skating ability, which still has plenty of time to improve.
21. Blake McConnell-Barker (London Jr. Knights) – One of the surprise players to come out of London this season has been McConnell-Barker. Barker has been a pleasant surprise on the scoring sheet when others are absent. Great shot, fantastic hands and a real sense of where to be on the ice gives Barker a spot in the top 25.
20. Spencer Lapointe (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs) – When you compare Lapointe to other top defenceman in the league, he does give up a fair amount of size, but that doesn’t inhibit his ability to manage a game. He’s been the main point man on the Chiefs powerplay all season and has lots of power in his checks. Even without the size, it is his mind for the game that will take him far.
19. Joey Ferrera (Lambton Jr. Sting) – Those who followed the Minor Midget scene got a glimpse of Ferrera last year with Lambton and he has continued to grow this year. His acceleration in the neutral zone creates nightmares for defenses. He makes his wingers much better by opening up the offensive zone and giving them great opportunities for clear cut shots on the net.
18. Holden Wale (Brantford 99ers) – The only Brantford player on the list is a player who is surging up my rankings. Many may overlook Wale because he’s in Brantford, but Wale is a top notch player on the back end. He can rush the puck better and more successful than any other defenseman. He has a rocket for a shot and also has some great stick handling.
17. Tyler McBay (Waterloo Wolves) – A player I’ve been high on since his days in Bantam last season, McBay has been a rock on the blue line for Waterloo. A smooth skater who, like Wale, can also lead a rush from behind the net. McBay has quick cuts on his skates and has one of the hardest, lowest shots in the league. McBay has all the tools to continue to climb these rankings and it would not shocked me to see him to crack the top 15 by the end of the season.
16. Mitch Hoelscher (Waterloo Wolves) – We end this list with another Waterloo player, this time it is goal scoring forward Mitch Hoelscher. Hoelscher is one of the top pure goal scorers in the Alliance, but he also possesses a bit of an edge in his game. Hoelscher isn’t afraid to get into the goalies face and agitate just a tiny bit. When Hoelscher is on the ice, he is always a threat to put one away.