We’re back once again to continue our trek towards the top of the Alliance talent pool. On this day, we are looking at the players ranked from 15 all the way up to six.
When we look at the players featured in this set of rankings, you will see a good variety of talent. There are a couple strong blue line forces, some power forwards, two gifted scorers and the top goaltender in the Alliance.
Many of the players listed here have incredible potential, including the opportunity to move even higher in the rankings and even possibly crack the top five.
If you missed the 16-25 rankings, they can be found here.
15. Chris Playfair (Waterloo Wolves) – The captain of the defending Alliance champions bring a lot of different skill sets to the table. In addition to being a clear leader, Playfair uses his speed and quick stick handling to open up the ice for his teammates. Playfair also holds the award for goal of the year in the Alliance, a slick between the legs marker against Cambridge in November.
14. Grant Spence (Chatham-Kent Cyclones) – Spence may have had the most impressive showing of any player at the Alliance All Star weekend. Spence was all over the ice and showed, while playing with the top players in the league, that he belonged in that conversation. Spence possesses one of the nicest and cleanest shots in the league. His game has improved immensely since the Alliance Showcase back in September.
13. Evan Ferguson (Windsor Jr. Spitfires) – Ferguson is another player who has shown strong and steady improvement throughout the season. Playing alongside Kory Silverio, Ferguson uses his size on the wing to force defenders into the middle and can also score like nobody else on the Windsor roster. His length on the ice will be his biggest asset going forward.
12. Tristan De Jong (Waterloo Wolves) – Yet another Waterloo skater makes the list and De Jong is one of the highest ranked defenseman on the list. De Jong is big, long and his speed to boot from the back end. De Jong has a booming slap shot that has become the clear focal point of the Wolves powerplay. De Jong’s physicality is second to none also, landing big hits every time out.
11. Kyle Fisher (London Jr. Knights) – Fisher has been every bit of fantastic for the Jr. Knights this season and even reminds me a bit of Max Vinogradov from last seasons London squad. Fisher always seems to find the puck and consistently puts himself in good positions to receive the puck with time to make a smart play. Fisher makes it difficult for teams to form a defensive gameplan as another key threat to put the puck away.
10. Owen Gilhula (Huron-Perth Lakers) – Gilhula was well on his way to a stellar campaign for the Lakers when injury slowed him down a touch. Kicker is, the injury happened when Gilhula was playing with the Jr. B squad in Stratford. Gilhula is a strong player who is difficult to knock off the puck. Gilhula is expected to return to the ice shortly and I full expect him to pick up where he left off.
9. Derek Seguin (Hamilton Huskies) – Probably the more pure goal scorer in the Alliance, Seguin is the ultimate threat when in the offensive zone. He is fast, he can get around defenders and he can pick corners like it’s nothing. To make another comparison, I see Seguin as a similar player to Sullivan Sparkes from the Wolves of last season. Seguin is a offensive juggernaut and if he can shore up his play defensively, up is the only direction he can go.
8. Joel Mazzilli (London Jr. Knights) – Mazzilli came over to London from Elgin-Middlesex and the Jr. Knights couldn’t ask for anything more from Joel. Mazzilli may not be the most high profile player London has, but the offense regularly runs through him. It’s never shocking to see Mazzilli show up on the game sheet and he makes those he plays with even better. Mazzilli absolutely has the potential to crack the top five and could be the Knights top prospect come years end.
7. Nathan Torchia (Waterloo Wolves) – The second and highest ranked goalie in the Alliance, Torchia has learned well from his father and is far and beyond above every other netminder in the league. Torchia’s strength has to be his lightning quick glove, but the other aspects of his game are also top notch. Torchia isn’t the biggest player between the pipes, but he has the fundamentals of goaltending down to a science. I expect Torchia to be one of the first goalies taken in the upcoming OHL Draft.
6. Isaac Taylor (Hamilton Huskies) – Closing out the section of the rankings is Taylor, who is the best power forward in the Alliance. Taylor stands at six feet tall and is listed at just above 200 pounds which gives him the size to immediately make a seamless jump to the next level. His puck control heading down the wing is a handful for any defender and he also has a soft touch close to the net. Playing alongside a player as talented as Seguin helps Taylor, but he has the ability to make everyone around him a better player.
Look for the final rankings of players 1-5 to come soon!
Once again, click here to view players 16-25.