A new year leads us to a new format for the Alliance Scout player rankings. In previous years, the site would release a top 25 player list during the Toronto Marlboros tournament and then a final list prior to the OHL Priority Selection.
This year, we are changing things up. Rather than just having two rankings, we will be releasing a new ranking every month. And rather than just doing the top 25, we will be modeling the list after how OHL and NHL Central Scouting does their lists. Doing these lists monthly will allow for a more accurate representation and also can allow for players who have been having strong months to make their way onto the lists.
Prospects have been split into three different categories. Those in the “A Prospect” pool are players who I see as the cream of the crop and those who could be hearing their name called in the opening four rounds of the OHL Draft. A player under the “B Prospect” heading I believe could be going in rounds 5-10 while players in the C category could be going in rounds 11-15. Players names are all listed alphabetically and not in any ranking order.
So without any further delay, here is our initial list.
As the calendar turns to November, the standings in the Alliance are starting to shape up more and more. Trends are starting to emerge, and we are getting close to the point where playdown matchups are being discussed according to who is in what position.
While the Alliance has now been putting out their bi-weekly top five rankings for the teams over the past month, I will begin bi-weekly league wide rankings for those weeks where the league focuses on the bantams.
Here we go with the first edition of the Alliance Scout Team Rankings, which I hope to put out every two weeks.
2018/19 Minor Midget Record: 16-13-4 (6th Overall)
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Lost in quarter-finals to Kitchener
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 14-15-3 (7th Overall)
2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost in quarter-finals to Hamilton
After a third consecutive year in the postseason, the Cambridge Hawks will need their defensive play to increase that streak to four year running.
There were some significant improvements for the 03 born team from bantam to minor midget. The team went from six wins the previous year to 16 at minor midget, which was good for sixth spot in the league. While not chalked full of offensive firepower, Mateo Amaral and Matthew Dimaline came up with timely goals while Kai Greaves improved leaps and bounds on defense. Ben Bates also emerged as one of the best goaltenders in the league. Injuries hurt the Hawks come playdown season, but it’s hard to not classify the year as a success.
The 2019 OHL Priority Selection has come and gone and although we still do have the U18 draft to look forward to tomorrow evening, it’s time to put a nice tidy little bow on the events from this past Saturday.
In total, 40 players from the Alliance were selected on Saturday morning/afternoon. That included 25 forwards, 12 defense and 3 goaltenders. The 40 player mark is right around the average of where the Alliance normally is in terms of players selected. Since the 2015 OHL Priority Selection, the average number of players is 40.4.
In terms of Alliance teams, it was the London Jr. Knights who led the way with eight players selected. The Jr. Knights continue their trend of having the most players selected from their teams of all Alliance centres.
The day has finally come that so many minor midget hockey players have been looking forwar to. OHL teams will run down their lists and select 303 players to join their clubs with a chance at realizing that OHL dream.
Below you can catch up to the minute updates on all the Alliance players selected in today’s draft. After 37 players were taken from the Alliance last season, I would expect this year to be similar to the 2001 born draft. That selection saw 46 players taken with 10 players going in the first three rounds.
While we may not hit that mark, I do expect a big contingent of Alliance players to go in the first few rounds.
Join us for all the action as we track how the Alliance fares in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.
We have finally made it to the holiday break, which actually isn’t much of a break for many teams. 10 of the 12 Alliance squads will be participating in the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, with just the Chatham-Kent Cyclones and the Lambton Jr. Sting skipping out on the tournament.
The new year will bring plenty of battles and lots of exciting play in the Alliance loop. While the eight teams that will be advancing to the playdowns seems to get clearer and clearer every day, it is the battle for positioning that should take us down to the wire. Add in the new postseasons twist of the “consolation” playoff winner having a shot at an OHL Cup Wildcard spot and there is lots of meaningful hockey ahead.
With only a month left to play, here is what I think the opening round of the playdowns will look like.
Brantford vs Huron-Perth
London vs Chatham-Kent
Windsor vs Cambridge
Kitchener vs Waterloo
Now here is the final team rankings for the year of 2018.
The Alliance All-Star Showcase in Woodstock this past weekend gave everyone a great opportunity to see all the Alliance teams in action in one spot. It also provided some fantastic games and top matchups between the best teams in the association.
The game between Chatham and Cambridge on Friday night probably stands as my favourite game of the year thus far. While it ended without a single goal being scored, the chances along with the high intensity and physical play made for a great couple hours of entertainment.
The Saturday afternoon tilt between Brantford and Windsor was a battle between the top ranked teams in my inaugural rankings. Several players shined bright in that game and it was a great showing for a Windsor team that I don’t think really gets the respect they deserve around the league.
The next couple of weeks are busy for Alliance teams. We have the Gold Puck tournament in Waterloo this weekend and teams are getting set for the holidays which means the Marlies Holiday Classic for many.
I said last week that the rankings were very close and lots could be argued. As you will see by this weeks edition, plenty can change in a couple of weeks and it shows just how tight the teams at the top of the standings are to one another. Continue reading →
Feels good to finally be back with some time to bring written content to the site. I know I’ve been absent for quite a long time but things have been a bit busy on my end. I’d like to thank everyone for their kind words and support during the last couple of months.
While I’m unable to attend the vast amount of Alliance games as I’m used to over the past couple of months, I’ve still been keeping a keen eye on things. Now that most teams have completed over half of their regular season schedule, the playdown picture is starting to take shape all the upcoming battles for positioning are sure to be incredible as well.
For the first edition of these rankings, it shouldn’t be a surprise who is occupying the top spot. It is the next five spots where there can be lots of debate as to who seeds where. It is those debates that is going to make the final two months of the regular season a real treat.
Follow along and let me know where I’ve gone wrong. Don’t worry, I’ve got thick skin. Continue reading →
2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Lost in semi-finals to Brantford 99ers in 5 games (2-2 at OHL Cup)
2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 6-22-4 (11th Place)
2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1st round to Waterloo Wolves in 5 games
After consecutive appearances in the OHL Cup, the Cambridge Hawks come into the 2018/19 season needing some improvements to see the postseason for a third straight season.
At the Minor Midget level last season, the Hawks were the creme de la creme of the Alliance during the regular season. A balanced offense mixed with strong defense and a solid goaltending duo, Cambridge cruised throughout the year to claim top spot in the league. Led up front by Ben McFarlane and Joseph Serpa, Cambridge struggled in the postseason with head coach Scott Walker missing due to his Olympic commitment. A five game series win over Chatham was followed by a five game series loss to the eventual champion 99ers. A disappointing end to what was a promising season. Continue reading →