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.
Apologies for missing the rankings last week. The flu bug ran around the household and put myself out of capacity for some time.
Back and full of health, it was a busy and interesting weekend in the Alliance. Much like myself, a few teams have begun preparations for the Silver Stick tournament in Whitby coming up on Thursday.
Some teams shined as Waterloo and Kitchener both had successful weekends at home while others like Windsor and Sun County faltered a bit. Tomorrow will mark exactly two months until the Alliance regular season and while there aren’t a tonne of races, there is still plenty of time for teams to make a significant jump or stumble towards the end.
Coming up tomorrow afternoon is arguably my favourite weekend of the hockey schedule, the Alliance Minor Midget Showcase tournament. It’s always great to have all of the teams from the league in one building and able to showcase their talents for people around the province to see. Teams people may see once or twice a year are exposed to a wider audience.
The event, which is once again hosted by the Huron-Perth Lakers in St. Mary’s, Ontario, is full of great team matchups and interesting angles from an observers perspective. I will personally be in attendance for all of the Showcase, which also gives me the hard task of deciding which games to view as many run concurrently with others.
For those not fully aware of the schedule, here is what the weekend looks like.
Friday, September 23
1:45pm – Elgin-MIddlesex vs Cambridge
2:00pm – London vs Huron-Perth
3:45pm – Hamilton vs Lambton
4:00pm – Chatham-Kent vs Brantford
5:45pm – Sun County vs Kitchener
7:45pm – Waterloo vs Windsor
Saturday, September 24
8:00am – Huron-Perth vs Chatham-Kent
8:15am – London vs Brantford
10:00am – Elgin-Middlesex vs Kitchener
10:15am – Waterloo vs Lambton
12:00pm – Sun County vs Cambridge
12:15pm – Windsor vs Hamilton
4:00pm – Elgin-Middlesex vs Brantford
4:15pm – Waterloo vs Chatham-Kent
6:00pm – Lambton vs Cambridge
6:15pm – Huron-Perth vs Sun County
8:00pm – Kitchener vs Windsor
8:15pm – London vs Hamilton
Sunday, September 25
8:00am – Sun County vs Brantford
8:15am – Elgin-Middlesex vs Huron-Perth
10:00am – Kitchener vs Lambton
10:15am – Windsor vs Cambridge
12:00pm – Hamilton vs Chatham-Kent
12:15pm – London vs Waterloo
Lots of really great matchups on paper throughout the schedule. While the showcase isn’t the bench mark for how teams will do this season, it does give teams the chance to excel and build some momentum while also risking a tough weekend lingering on for some time.
With that said, I do have five story lines, players and teams that I am most looking forward to checking out. This isn’t all I’m excited for, but more what intrigues me heading into the weekend.
Andrew MacLean – By all accounts, MacLean was stellar in net for the Jr. Sting when they fell to Waterloo over the weekend. He also played strong in goal for Lambton during their play at the Titans tournament. It will be interesting to see if MacLean can vault himself into the conversation for top goalie in the Alliance alongside AIdan Petrie and Cy Martin.
Sun County Panthers – I have had the opportunity to see lots of Panthers action early in the season. The team played very well at the Titans tournament, but lost both their season opening games, albeit against tough competition in Cambridge and Waterloo. The Panthers have a decent schedule this weekend and it would be a big boost to the club to come out on a good streak.
Tyler Tulio – Tulio, along with Zane Dalpe, are the lone players in the Alliance born in 2002. Tulio was very impressive in viewings at Bantam but the size of players at Minor Midget is a big difference. Very curious if he will be able to dictate play as well as he did a year ago.
London vs Waterloo – A rematch of both the Bantam and Minor Midget championship from a year ago, the Jr. Knights and Wolves always have nail biting games. London had the advantage at bantam last season, but a new look Waterloo squad are hopeful the new additions will put them over the top.
Jacob Bloomfield – Finally, a player whose bantam play always left me waiting for more, Bloomfield has continued to be a force in the 99ers lineup. One of the top scorers in the Alliance at the Titans tournament, Bloomfield is a player all those in attendance will need to keep their eyes on.
Those are a few of the reason why I’m excited for this coming weekend. With that said, let’s hear from you.
2015/16 Minor Midget Standings: 10-18-5 (9th Place)
2015/16 Minor Midget Final Result: Did not qualify for playdowns
2015/16 Major Bantam Standings: No Team
Last season was not a stellar one for the Lambton organization. Not only did the Minor Midget’s just miss out on a playdown position, but the bantam team didn’t even exist. That is what makes this season one of redemption for the boys from Lambton.
The 2000 age group for the Lambton Jr. Sting was an incredibly strong defensive team. There were just on the cusp of being a top five defensive team thanks in part to the likes of Duncan Core on defense and Jakob Knowles in net. The problem for the team was on offense. While near the top on defense, Lambton was in the bottom three in goal scoring last season. Despite that, the Jr. Sting were well within striking distance of a playdown spot before going winless in their final 10 games, dropping to 9th spot. Click here for full article