We only have one month to go in the regular season and it should be a busy one. Not only are 10 of the 12 Alliance teams making the trip for the Toronto Marlboros Holiday tournament beginning today, but the standings in the Alliance are super tight.
Heading into 2020, there is a three point separation between Elgin, Hamilton and Waterloo for the top three spots in the league. Following those teams, only four points separates 4th from 8th place with the Cambridge Hawks and Kitchener Jr. Rangers still clinging to life for that final playdown spot.
As we are looking at player rankings this time around, below is the December edition of the rankings as I once again have players slotted in A, B and C categories.
2018/19 Minor Midget Result: Won Alliance Championship over Kitchener (1-3 OHL Cup Record)
2018/19 Major Bantam Record: 6-20-6 (11th Overall)
2018/19 Major Bantam Result: Lost to Cambridge in preliminary round
The winner of back to back Alliance championships, the Brantford 99ers will be in a tougher spot this season as they look to improve and snag a playdown position.
Following an unlikely Alliance championship in with the 2002 born group, the 99ers were favourites to repeat last season as the team was chalked full of talent. When you can puts the likes of Maddox Callens, Landon McCallum, Steven Laforme and Cole Hipkin in your lineup on a nightly basis, you’re in a good spot. Although injuries hampered their OHL Cup chances, it was the core group along with a stellar postseason from goalie Ben DiGiallonardo to secure the series win over Kitchener.
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.
2017/18 Minor Midget Result: Won Alliance Championship over London Jr. Knights in 5 games (1-3 at OHL Cup)
2017/18 Major Bantam Record: 25-2-5 (1st Place)
2017/18 Major Bantam Result: Lost in 1/4 finals to Waterloo Wolves in 4 games
Following a great postseason run that was capped off by an Alliance championship, the Brantford 99ers are poised for a possible repeat this year.
The 99ers went into the playdown season last year not playing their most consistent hockey. At no point after the Woodstock showcase did the 99ers reel off consecutive wins and they went into the postseason as a team I thought was capable of a first round loss. I can admit when I’m wrong and was I ever as the 99ers were as resilient as they come in the postseason, going 4-0 in elimination games to get past Waterloo, Cambridge and finally London and win the Alliance title. Led up front by Theo Hill and 03 Maddox Callens, the 99ers got timely scoring by their supporting players while Dylan Robinson and 03 Cole Hipkin led the way defensively. Continue reading →
The time has finally come. All the work over the past six months has led us to this date. An exciting date for some players as they will hear their names called and find out where the next step in their hockey career.
As always, this is not he be all and end all of your hockey career should your name be passed over today. I’ll always point towards someone like Mike Hoffman, who didn’t hear his name called in a draft until the Ottawa Senators called upon him in 2009. Don’t take today as the end of a career but rather another step in the journey.
As for today, we will have you completely covered from top to bottom with all the Alliance players selected. In 2017, the Alliance had a record 46 players selected with 10 players going in the first three rounds. It will also be interesting to see how many players from the Alliance Scout Top 25 rankings are taken as 24/25 were selected in 2017.
Stay tuned here all day for continuously updated coverage. It all gets underway at 9:00am.
The latest venture presented by AllianceHockeyScout.com. This podcast is something that I’ve thought of doing for a while now and the wheels are finally in motion.
In this debut episode, which I consider more of a rough trial run, looks back at the OHL Cup from an Alliance perspective. How some of the teams did and some of the players who stood out in my eyes.
Going forward, this is a project that I’m hoping to begin doing consistently once the 2018/19 season gets rolling. While there will be a lot of my voice, I’m also hopeful that I can get to talking with many involved in the Alliance community. Whether that be current players, past players and coaches, I’d like to bring those voices to the forefront.
As I said in the podcast, let me know what you think either in the comments below or on Twitter @Dave_Coulson. I’m free and open to suggestions on what you would like to hear or segments that may be of interest to you.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to this and I hope you continue to join me down this road. Look for an ITunes and Stitcher link to come in the fall.
The final series to get underway this season is the top ranked Cambridge Hawks taking on a Chatham-Kent team that battled hard at the end of the season to secure the eighth seed. The Hawks rolled through the Alliance regular season, falling just twice through 33 games Cambridge had a roster full of talent from offense to goaltending. Chatham got points in six of their final eight games to propel them into the postseason after a tough battle with Kitchener and Lambton.
Cambridge defeated Chatham-Kent 6-3 on September 30th
Cambridge defeated Chatham-Kent 4-0 on November 5th
Cambridge defeated Chatham-Kent 6-3 on December 1st (All-Star Showcase)
Joseph Serpa 14-26-40 Craig Spence 7-20-27
Ben McFarlane 21-16-37 Darby Lemieux 15-10-25
Tyler Healey 14-13-27 Adrian Stubberfield 13-12-25
The series between the Sun County Panthers and the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs may be the best series of the opening round. Both teams can lay claim to being the hottest team in the Alliance over the final month of the season. Sun County went on a great run to end the year, going 8-1-4 from the December showcase to the end of the year. The Chiefs were on the outside looking in before going on a run that saw them go undefeated in their final 11 games of the season. When looking ahead to this matchup, it is a classic offense versus defense battle.
Sun County defeated Elgin-Middlesex 8-5 on September 17th
Sun County defeated Elgin-Middlesex 4-3 on November 19th
Sun County defeated Elgin-Middlesex 4-0 on December 10th
It is finally that time of the year. The OHL Priority Selection draft is upon us and as always it is a very exciting day.
This draft will be different than in past years because of the fact that we now do have the Midget draft in play. Not to say that changes a whole lot but we still do not know what teams strategies will be, especially when it comes to goaltenders.
Looking back at 2016, the Alliance had 36 players taken in the priority selection draft. Of those 36, 22 were forwards, 11 defenseman and 3 goaltenders. Those 36 players represented all 12 teams in the Alliance. When we look at the draft this season, I would expect to see the number of players remain around the 35-40 mark with the possibility of surpassing 40.
Stay tuned at AllianceHockeyScout.com for all the up to date picks involving Alliance players. It’s going to be quite the day so come along for the ride beginning at 9am EST.
Another season has come and gone and now it is time to look ahead to one of the final chapters of the season, the 2017 OHL Priority Selection draft. Prior to any draft, you will see hundreds of different rankings for hundreds of different things.
There wasn’t much change in my rankings from when they were released earlier this year. A couple of newcomers have joined the list and there was some shuffling around, but the top of the list remained the same.
Ryan Suzuki (London Jr. Knights) – The reported favourite to go 1st overall come Saturday, Suzuki shows fantastic vision on the ice and pinpoint passing skills. A playmaker, Suzuki has shown the ability to light the lamp when needed.
Brett Budgell (London Jr. Knights) – Budgell was a huge addition to London this season and helped them secure an Alliance championship and a semi-final run at the OHL Cup. Destined for the QMJHL, Budgell could be selected in the top 10.
Grayson Ladd (Chatham-Kent Cyclones) – The best D in the Alliance this year, Ladd has fine tuned his play with the Chatham Maroons once his minor midget season ended.
Aidan Prueter (London Jr. Knights) – Prueter has jumped up the list thanks to an impressive postseason run. Prueter has a knack for getting to the open areas and his puck control and possession is top notch.
Keean Washkurak (Waterloo Wolves) – Washkurak’s speed is undeniable and the 110% he gives every shift is evident. His 200ft game will be coveted by many teams.
Nathan Allensen (Waterloo Wolves) – Allensen was a workhorse for the Wolves near the end of the year. He defended many of the top players in Ontario this year with success and his offensive upside is very apparent.
Stephane Crevier (Sun County Panthers) – Injuries slowed Crevier down a bit at the end of the year but the talented winger continued his strong play to the very end. A wicked shot from the slot and quick cuts allow him to create so many chances on the ice.
Justin McCombs (Kitchener Jr. Rangers) – McCombs season was short due to injuries, but he showed in the postseason his value on the ice. Speed, vision and a strong defensive game should see him be one of the early Alliance picks.
Jeffrey Burridge (London Jr. Knights) – The big winger was a hit at the OHL Cup due to his outstanding play. Burridge is a smooth skater with deceptive speed. Has the potential to develop into a strong power forward.
Cole Mackay (Kitchener Jr. Rangers) – The Alliance leader in goals with arguably the best shot in the league, MacKay’s offensive upside could translate well to major junior hockey. His breakaway speed burned many teams this year.
David Anderson (Cambridge Hawks) – Anderson really developed into a two way player through his minor midget season. A lethal scorer, his defensive skills were on display during the OHL Cup.
Ryan Campbell (Cambridge Hawks) – Campbell had one of the best showings at the OHL Combine and that should boost his stock. Campbell’s play with the Winterhawks has also showed strong possibilities.
Aidan Pitre (Sun County Panthers) – The top and only goalie in the rankings, Pitre helped carry Sun County to a playoff win over Elgin-Middlesex. Pitre has size and has great poise under pressure.
Cole Schwindt (Kitchener Jr. Rangers) – Schwindt is a player many would enjoy on their roster as a strong defensive forward. Schwindt did a great job this season filling in as the top centre with McCombs out due to injury and impressed many onlookers.
Jordan Stock (Hamilton Huskies) – One of my personal favourites in the Alliance this year, Stock is a smooth forward who was a nightmare for defenders down low.
Navrin Mutter (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs) – Mutter joins the list after just missing out earlier this year. Mutter is a physical force combined with offensive prowess.
Liam Van Loon (London Jr. Knights) – Many were raving about Van Loon at the OHL Cup and for good reason. The overtime hero for London in their Alliance clinching game, Van Loon gives it his all every second on the ice. He has an underrated shot that surprises many defenders.
Mark Woolley (Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs) – One of the best showings at the OHL Combine went to the Chief’s Woolley. Has speed and a bullet from the backend that compliments his physical style. Some added size will help propel him further.
Mason Howard (London Jr. Knights) – Another physical defenseman, Howard uses his great hockey IQ to always put himself in a spot for success. With some of the biggest hits I saw all season, Howard could be a force at the Jr. B level next season.
Nolan DeGurse (Lambton Jr. Sting) – DeGurse was the main offensive option for the Jr. Sting this season. A centre on the smaller end of the size chart, DeGurse uses his quick cuts and even quicker release to capitalize on small chances.
Jagger O’Toole (Cambridge Hawks) – O’Toole played some major minutes for the Hawks this year which included time up with the Winterhawks. A two-way defender, O’Toole’s stick handling is vastly understated.
Gavin Wood (Waterloo Wolves) – Wood showed a lot of improvement in multiple aspects of his game this season. He began the year as a solid defensive option and turned into an offensive threat, leading the offensive rush on several occasions.
Brayden Krieger (Waterloo Wolves) – Krieger was a great secondary scoring option for the Wolves this season. Krieger has good speed and smooth puck skills that allow him to get solid shooting options.
Aaron Shaw (Windsor Jr. Spitfires) – Shaw was a focal point of the Windsor offense this season playing alongside Tyler Tullio and Adam Jeffery. Shaw is underrated in my mind and could turn into a solid value pick for one lucky club.
Jacob Bloomfield (Brantford 99ers) – Rounding out the list is Bloomfield, the shifty 99er forward. Bloomfield has speed and skill that can create ample amounts of chances, which was displayed during All-Star weekend. Small in size now, Bloomfield has loads of potential should a growth spurt occur.
That does it for the Alliance Scout Top 25 player rankings. This was not an easy list to compile and there were a lot of players that just missed out. During the 2016 OHL Priority Selection draft, 22 out of the 25 players listed in the final top 25 rankings were taken.
Follow all the action right here at AllianceHockeyScout.com beginning at 9am on Saturday. We will be keeping you up to date on all Alliance players and goalies selected by OHL clubs.