2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 20-8-5 (2nd Overall)
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Lost to Kitchener in semi-finals (2-5 OHL Cup record as Wild Card winner)
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 18-11-3 (5th Overall)
2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost to Huron-Perth in quarter-finals
Always a threat at the top of the Alliance standings, this years Wolves team brings a physical style to the ice with speed and good play making abilities up front.
One year ago, the Wolves came into the league a very balanced squad. Led up front by the likes of Cooper Way, Owen Parsons and Kyle Maloney, the Wolves were able to go deep at forward and get contributions up and down the lineup. Although injuries hampered the team in the postseason, the Wolves were still able to secure an OHL Cup spot and took the long route to eventual get in by winning the Wild Card “tournament” as you could call it.
There are a lot of intriguing players wearing the gold and black this season but none have a higher upside in my mind than Liam Eveleigh. The defenseman played well when called upon with the 2003 born players and was one of the better D for Waterloo at the OHL Cup. A big defender who rarely gets beat wide, it’s Eveleigh’s offensive instincts that will be what people talk about. He has great puck control when rushing up the wing that he reminds me a lot of Nate Allensen in that sense.
Waterloo shored up their defense with a couple of good additions as well. Jesse English comes over from Kitchener. English is another big body defenseman who also spent some time with the 03 born class at the OHL Cup. The other add is Cedricson Okitundu, who comes over from a strong Eastern Ontario Wild club. Okitundu has a big physical presence on the ice and also seems to have an offensive mind to his game.
Up front, Waterloo will be led by their top line of Andy Reist, Lucas Carson and Evan Klein. Reist is a leader through and through and should be the leader of this club both on and off the ice. A former star baseball player, Reist spent this past summer focusing on the upcoming season and it’ll be interesting to see how that translates.
Klein is another player that many will be excited to see. Klein has an absolute rocket for a shot and will have one of the quickest releases in the league this season. I remember seeing Klein play house league hockey in Peewee and he had a AAA Minor Midget caliber shot at that age.
Tyler Ward has joined Waterloo from the Hamilton Huskies and his speed and vision will be a game changer in this lineup. I also think both Jake L’Heureux and Maclean Russell will be fun players to watch. L’Heureux is a smooth skater while Russell is going to set the physical tone very early in games.
Overall, I do once again expect Waterloo to be in contention for a spot at the OHL Cup. Their depth on the back end in addition to having a strong goaltender in Collin MacKenzie should keep pucks out of their night while the forwards continue to deposit it into their opponents.