2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 20-8-5 (4th Overall)
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Lost in quarter-finals to Windsor (2-4 in OHL Cup as Wildcard team)
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 20-6-6 (1st Overall)
2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost in finals to Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs
A contender for as long as I can remember, the London Jr. Knights have their sights set on an Alliance championship and redemption against a local rival.
Last year was an odd year for the Minor Midget Jr. Knights. For the first time since the 1998 birth year where the Jr. Knights were not playing for the Alliance championship. The team, led by the likes of Brett Harrison, Jordan D’Intino and Riley Wood, were bounced in the opening round by a strong Windsor team. Although London ended up making the OHL Cup through the wild card process, there does seem to be a sense of unfinished business heading into this year.
For the 2004 age group, there are a lot of familiar faces from the bantam team that fell to EMC last season. 16 of the 18 players on this team returned from last years squad. Most notably, or the names you will hear most frequent, will be forwards Dylan Roobrocek and Bryce McConnell-Barker. Roobrocek is a big forward up front who has deceptive speed but also a really good shot. A trait not always seen at this age, but Roobrocek is already very good at using his size to beat defenders.
McConnell-Barker is another smart forward who impresses most when he has the puck and the things he does to keep possession. McConnell-Barker can burn you with his own shot but can also thread the needle with tight passes. Both her and Roobrocek will be the focal points of what is a very deep forward group. Wesley Wilding and Jacob Couchie are both very productive players while Ripkin Weber’s speed will be something teams struggle to contain.
While deep up front, the defense and goaltending for the Jr. Knights shouldn’t lag far behind. Led on defense by Owen Kindree, London lots of size and physicality to the back end. Jack Uniac stands over six feet with a long reach to provide size while Brady Collins is one player who shines in the offensive end. The tandem of Josh Hannivan and Cole Sheffield should be just as solid as they have been in years past.
Much like has been the case since I began this site, I don’t doubt that London will be right in the thick of things come the Alliance Championship and the OHL Cup. While teams may focus on Roobrocek and McConnell-Barker, the depth up front and strong defensive play should be strong enough for when they do have off nights.