Just one day after releasing our first round of Alliance Scout player rankings, we are back at it again as we get closer and closer to the top of the list. This group of players, which counts down to the top five, features some skaters who I probably would have had in the top five had I done a preseason rankings.
That isn’t to say that their game has regressed by any means, but that some others players have seen immense improvements in their game. To repeat something that I talked about yesterday, the difference between some of these players is incredibly miniscule. After making the tough decision of getting down to 25 players, placing them in a specific order was even more of a challenge.
With the players from 6-15 now released, look for the top five Alliance Scout rankings to come out very soon.
15. Nolan DeGurse (Lambton Jr. Sting) – After not playing AAA last season due to Lambton disbanding their squad, I was alerted early this season to keep an eye on DeGurse and he has not disappointed. The clear cut number one for the Jr. Sting, DeGurse is a speedy centre who seems to create chances out of apparent dead plays. A bit on the small size, his growth could see him reach new heights in his game.
14. Jordan Stock (Hamilton Huskies) – Another personal favourite of mine, Stock has been the ultimate leader for the Huskies this season. Always directing traffic relaying plays, Stock is arguably the biggest leader in the league. Stock is the opposite of DeGurse as he is a big centre who uses his size effectively to hold defenders off. Stock has the size to transition well to the next level, as has been seen in his few appearances with the Jr. B Brantford 99ers.
13. Aidan Pitre (Sun County Panthers) – The lone goaltender on the list, Pitre is in a class of his own in goal this season. Pitre is large in size but his lateral movement looks like that of a smaller goaltender. Pitre is very strong positionally his glove hand is top notch. As of late, the Panthers have been riding Pitre and will go as far as he can take them. His play at the SIlver Stick tournament was a key reason for Sun County’s success.
12. Mason Howard (London Jr. Knights) – I don’t think I’ve seen a Jr. Knights game this season where Howard hasn’t made a huge hit in open ice. A clear physical precense on the blue line, Howard is another player that isn’t flashy but incredibly effective. Not a huge factor on the offensive side of the puck, Howard has seen a few games at the Jr. B level this season and not looked out of place. Howard has the makings of a steady junior defenseman in his future.
11. Ryan Campbell (Cambridge Hawks) – A conensus top five Alliance player prior to the season beginning, Campbell has been effective this year, but hasn’t been able to take over games like he did at the Bantam level. Despite this, Campbell has continued to show top level speed to go along with very good stick handling through traffic. If Campbell can turn his game up a notch in the final month of the season, Cambridge will be a scary team come play down time.
10. David Anderson (Cambridge Hawks) – Prior to the season, I predicted that Anderson would lead the Alliance in goals this season. While not at the top, Anderson is near the top of the list and a lot of credit can go to his lethal shot and the fact that he is willing to shoot from anywhere and has scored from many angles. To go along with his shot, Anderson does possess some speed and good stick handling. Defensive play has improved this year, but there is still room to develop.
9. Justin McCombs (Kitchener Jr. Rangers) – Injuries have slowed McCombs down this season but there is still no doubt that he has immense potential. McCombs, in his second season at the Minor Midget level, has superior speed and is on the ice in every scenario. His stick handling is top notch and McCombs also has a quick, accurate shot at his disposal. Some may shy away due to the injuries, but McCombs will show his is a top tier talent when he returns to the ice.
8. Nathan Allensen (Waterloo Wolves) – Allensen is another top notch defender in the Alliance this season, but Allensen may have the most upside when it comes to the offensive side of the game. Seemingly always involved or leading the rush, Allensen has the speed to bring the puck deep into the zone and still get back in position quickly. Allensen has a great slap shot from the point, but also a quick wrist shot when in close. Allensen also adds physicality to his game. While not the top defender in the league, his play is closing the gap every game.
7. Aidan Preuter (London Jr. Knights) – Preuter is another forward who could be considered as a pure goal scorer and just one of the options London has on offense. A dangerous shot with good hands, Preuter has also showed his vision and play making abilities while playing on a line with Ryan Suzuki and Brett Budgell. Still with some room to grow in size, Preuter remains a versatile, high potential forward.
6. Cole MacKay (Kitchener Jr. Rangers) – Coming down from the Soo, MacKay made an immediate impact on the Alliance with six goals in his first two games. MacKay is a strong winger with a knack for putting the puck in the net. Despite defenders playing tight against him, MacKay uses quick turns to get into high quality scoring chances and doesn’t miss often. MacKay has been one of the key reasons for Kitchener’s strong season and his stock will continue to rise with every goal he scores.
Check out the Alliance Scout Player Rankings 16-25 here