Just a couple days out from the OHL Priority Selection Draft and so much is still happening. The excitement for players, parents and coaches starts to hit its peak as the anticipation grows.
Plenty is still happening on the team front as it was announced today that the #3 overall pick was going to be forfeited by the Flint Firebirds due to the abomination that was their ownerships first season. With that news, there is even more talk about plenty of possibilities on who could fall where.
A lot of the talk includes Alliance Player of the Year Owen Lalonde. The Windsor defenseman seems to be a lock to be selected in the top 10 with some mock drafts placing him top five or in a couple cases top three. High praise for the young man, but that leads us into the final player rankings.
The top 25 saw some changes from its predecessor as playoff performances had some players jump while other players took a step back. Although a player does not make the top 25, that most certainly won’t exclude them from possibly hearing their name on Saturday. On average, the Alliance produces upwards of 45 picks every year. Look for a more in depth look at those stats before Saturday.
With that said, let’s begin the countdown and there is only one place to begin.
- Owen Lalonde (Windsor Jr. Spitfires) – Talented player who shows huge upside. His play with LaSalle Vipers showcased that on a larger level.
- Eric Guest (London Jr. Knights) – Smart forward who come feel would be an even better player on defense. Was top player in multiple tests at OHL Combine.
- Brady Hinz (Huron-Perth Lakers) – Quick, creative and smart are just some of the characteristics that make Hinz a potential pick early in the 2nd round.
- Owen Gilhula (Huron-Perth Lakers) – Gilhula showed what he could do with 25 points in 9 playoff games. Injuries may concern some, but boatloads of talent evident.
- Alex Gritz (Waterloo Wolves) – Determined forward who can beat you with his hands or a quick shot. A nose for the puck keeps him high on the list.
- Nathan Torchia (Waterloo Wolves) – By far the best goaltender in the Alliance, Torchia’s strong play throughout the season should make him one of the first goaltenders to hear their name Saturday.
- Jake Murray (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs) – Health issues aside, Murray is a top notch player. Should teams pass due to his health, he will be a steal for whomever chooses him.
- Kyle Fisher (London Jr. Knights) – Maybe London’s best forward through the playoffs, Fisher is a terrific passer with good vision of the ice. Improved leaps and bounds from beginning of the season.
- Mitch Hoelscher (Waterloo Wolves) – Hoelscher had some highlight reel goals this year and that creativity mixed with his skill makes him an intriguing player heading into next season.
- Derek Seguin (Hamilton Huskies) – The best pure scorer in the Alliance, Seguin can pick any corner he feels fit and his defensive play really shined in their opening series against Waterloo.
- Joel Mazzilli (London Jr. Knights) – Mazzilli didn’t light the world on fire in the playoffs, but he can score and score often which will make him attractive in the middle rounds.
- Chris Playfair (Waterloo Wolves) – The size of Playfair was used effectively against London in the finals and that size mixed with his speed will keep him on the minds of many.
- Isaac Taylor (Hamilton Huskies) – Taylor has dropped since last rankings, but he still remains a solid power forward. Sticking with his game will keep him at his peak effectiveness.
- Grant Spence (Chatham-Kent Cyclones) – Spence is fairly underrated by many, but is right behind Seguin in terms of goal scoring. A sleeper in my eyes.
- Tristan De Jong (Waterloo Wolves) – De Jong is a big physical defender who also ran the PP for the top Wolves unit. A good point shot goes well with his willingness to dig in the corners.
- Tyler McBay (Waterloo Wolves) – Unlike De Jong, McBay uses his positioning to eliminate forwards and his speed to break out and sometimes even lead the rush up the ice.
- Kory Silverio (Windsor Jr. Spitfires) – Silverio wasn’t on the original rankings, but being the best forward during Windsor’s run to the OHL Cup will get you on this list very quickly.
- Evan Ferguson (Windsor Jr. Spitfires) – Windsor missed Ferguson in their final game against champion York-Simcoe. A physical forward with speed and a solid shot.
- Holden Wale (Brantford 99ers) – A smooth skating defenseman who has a knack on offense, Wale quietly had a great season on the back end of a disappointing Brantford team.
- Aidan Reid (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs) – Always one who ends up with the puck on his stick, Reid still has time to improve his skating, which could make him a late bloomer.
- Brady MacDonald (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs) – A tall defender, MacDonald plays with intelligence both on and off the puck. A good showing at the OHL Combine could see him climb even higher.
- Eric Uba (Kitchener Jr. Rangers) – A player who could encompass a power forward role, Uba will use his slick moves and quick release to put pucks in the net. One of the best at picking the smallest top corners.
- Spencer Lapointe (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs) – Lapointe isn’t the biggest player, but he plays a big game. Also a defender who makes very few mistakes and difficult to beat on the outside.
- Spencer Kersten (Waterloo Wolves) – Speed and stick handling are the name of Kersten’s game. A nightmare for defenders when given room to move.
- Duncan Core (Lambton Jr. Sting) – A personal favourite of mine, Core does several things very well. A smart player in his own zone, eliminating the forecheck seems to come naturally to him.
Be sure to visit AllianceHockeyScout.com on Saturday as we will have full, live coverage of the OHL Priority Selection draft from an Alliance perspective.