2017/18 Minor Midget Record: 20-9-4 (2nd Place)
2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Lost in Alliance Championship to Brantford 99ers in 5 games (0-4 at OHL Cup)
2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 19-10-3 (3rd Place)
2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in semi-finals to Waterloo Wolves in 5 games
Year after year the London Jr. Knights find themselves near the top of the Alliance and en route to the OHL Cup. With the 2003 group set to get their season underway, I don’t see any reason why this team would be any different.
The minor midget team last season was fairly under rated in my mind. Those Jr. Knights had depth at forward and ran three lines that could put the puck in the net. Defensively they weren’t flashy but they were effective. Led by the likes of George Diaco, Sheldon Serraglio, Brendan Mairs and Quinton Pepper, the Jr. Knights were an overtime goal away from their second straight Alliance title. Although the OHL Cup didn’t go as planned, the season did showcase plenty of player talent.
The bantam team had similar success last season. Finishing first in the west division, the Jr. Knights were led by a strong offense that finished second in the Alliance in scoring. Unfortunately, London failed to reach their goal of an Alliance championship and the OHF championships as they lost two series clinching games to the eventual champion Waterloo Wolves.
Heading into this season, the core of the Jr. Knights team from a year ago is back for another run. 14 players return with all of the key pieces included. Up front, Brett Harrison will be a key player to watch. Harrison, who played with the 02’s at the OHL Cup, is smooth skater with immense scoring potential. Last year saw him manage the power play and was a key player other teams game planned for. In addition to Harrison, the likes of Kieran Black, Riley Wood and Jordan D’Intino will also be focal points of the offense.
On the defensive side of the game, London will sport one of the deepest cores in the league. Jarett Dewbury and Alex Laszlo will lead the pack while Justin McClelland is another player who showed promise at bantam from the blue line. Michael Simpson will return as the top dog in net, but this year will be joined by former Chatham goaltender Josh Kirton, a move that really solidifies London’s game between the pipes.
Aside from Kirton, London brought over three new faces, all from the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs. Matthew Dixon joins the team on defense while Carson Smith and Matthew Pimentel should transition well and add even further depth to the forward group of the team.
It may sound like a broken record, but London is once again in the top tier of the Alliance. The amount of offensive potential with the depth on defense and in goal puts London on the same plateau as Brantford and to a lesser extent Kitchener in the ranks of the Alliance. Viewings will need to wait though as London doesn’t open their season until the Alliance Showcase on September 21st.