2018 OHL Priority Selection Draft Results

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.

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Final 2017/18 Alliance Scout Top 25 Rankings

After a six month period that felt like it took no time at all, we have finally reached the unofficial end to the 2017/18 campaign on April 7th with the OHL Priority Selection Draft.

As always, AllianceHockeyScout.com will be there for the entirety of the draft, giving updates and keeping tabs on those Alliance players who find news home with OHL clubs. The Alliance is coming off one of their best showings at the draft last year and it will be hard to duplicate that success this year. In the 2017 Priority Selection Draft, the Alliance saw 46 players taken with all 12 teams being represented. While I can see all 12 teams having at least one player selected, it would be quite the surprise to see the 2002 born players reached the quantity of the 01’s.

With all of that said, here is the final set of rankings prior to the selection draft. There are definitely some changes from the midseason rankings with some new faces also making appearances.
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Series Preview: (1) Cambridge Hawks vs. (8) Chatham-Kent Cyclones

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.

Season Series:

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)

Leading Scorers:

Cambridge                                                 Chatham-Kent

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

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2017/18 Alliance Player Rankings Top 5

Apologies for the long and lengthy delay, but the Alliance Scout Top 5 rankings are finally here. Unlike previous years, there is some competition for the top spot in the association. The gap between spots three and five is incredibly thin while the top two spots are a toss-up on a daily basis. The tight nature of these rankings makes the final month of the regular season and the playdowns all the more exciting for all these players.

5. George Diaco (London Jr. Knights)

Diaco is the engine that keeps the Jr. Knights offense rolling. Not only does he take charge of the forwards, but Diaco is the quarterback for their powerplay. An undersized forward, Diaco uses his speed to create space and blow past defenders. Many will compare Diaco to Hawks forward Joseph Serpa. The difference I see is that Diaco is a finisher. A fantastic shot and quick dekes is one reason Diaco is a top scorer in the league. Diaco could up his stock with an extended run by London in the post season.

4. Matt Maggio (Sun County Panthers)

The best pure goal scorer in the league this season, Maggio began this year like a bat out of hell. The first showcase of the year in Windsor hadn’t even started and we knew that Maggio was going to wreck havoc this season. Armed with a tendency to shoot for any angle possible, Maggio has shown repeatedly that he can score from these odd angles as well. Maggio has quick acceleration which allows him to deceptively get past defenders. Like Diaco, Maggio could vault himself higher with a strong run deep this season with Sun County.

3. Sheldon Serraglio (London Jr. Knights)

A calm defender at all times, Serraglio is criminally underrated in what he can create on the ice. Serraglio isn’t flashy nor does he have the size one would expect from a top defender, Serraglio is as effective as anyone along the boards. On the offensive size of things, Serraglio has the perfect low point shot you want on a powerplay and has the vision and ability to thread the needle for scoring chances. The more I see Serraglio, I see him as being similar to Owen Lalonde when he was with Windsor. As long as he stays healthy, Serraglio should see his name mentioned more often with the other top players in the Alliance.

2. Blake Butler (Lambton Jr. Sting)

An argument could be made for Butler to be number one on this list and that debate happened in my mind over and over again. Butler was the preseason top choice in the Alliance for his combination of size, speed and skill. There is no doub that Butler has an OHL calibre shot. He has scored some OHL level goals with one that sticks in my mind is his game winner against Hamilton at the Showcase in Woodstock in early December. Butler has taken Lambton on his back this year and has brought them into contention of a playdown spot. Don’t be surprised to hear Butler’s name called in the first couple of rounds come April’s OHL Draft.

1  Ben McFarlane (Cambridge Hawks)

McFarlane nabs the top spot in my initial rankings and as mentioned above, it wasn’t an easy decision by any means. McFarlane brings a big game in a small frame. A small player at the minor midget level, McFarlane has a lightning quick shot to go along with very good speed. Despite his small size, McFarlane plays a highly physical game and throws hits like he’s been shot out of a rocket launcher. Although on a team with loads of talent, McFarlane has been the one to take games over when the Hawks are in need of a boost. McFarlane has all the tools to be a great player at the next level, especially in this new age of hockey where size isn’t the be all end all.

Alliance Showcase Day Two Recap

It was a quick day of games at the second day of the Alliance Showcase. While it was a shorter day for those watching in attendance, it was a busy day for the players as they went through both on and off ice seminars.

Back at Central Park for the games today, I do have one complaint about the venue. This may be splitting hairs, but I’ve found over the past couple of days that the sightlines at both rinks leave much to be desired. There are few places to watch the games with an unobstructed view so the lesson was learned during day one that early entrance is neccessary.

There were some real solid games on Saturday afternoon. Let’s go through some of the action.

Sun County Panthers hold on against Huron-Perth to remain undefeated

Sun County got out to an early lead and extended it with a couple of quick goals. Penalty trouble for the Panthers allowed Huron-Perth to get back into the game but the Panthers held on and remain undefeated to begin the season.

Davis Edmunds really had a good showing for Sun County. Whether it was on defense or when he was situated up front and attacking as a forward, his quick shot release gave the Lakers and goaltender Garrett Golley some issues. John Ulicny had another good game for Sun County, using his speed and shot to cause havoc. For the Lakers, Sheldon Pryce was all over the offensive zone and played his best game I’ve seen through the early point of the season. Carter Schoonderwoerd also had a great game and had a sweet goal to make it 4-3. This was also the first time I’d seen Schoonderwoerd play a physical game away from the puck which was nice to see finally.
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2017/18 Cambridge Hawks Season Preview

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Minor Midget Record: 17-11-5 (4th Place)

Minor Midget Result: Lost in semi-finals to London in 4 games (Advanced to OHL Cup)

Major Bantam Record: 21-7-4 (1st Place)

Major Bantam Result: Won Alliance Championship over London in 4 games

Following a season where Cambridge had their minor midgets return to the OHL Cup and their major bantams go undefeated in postseason play, the Hawks have their sights set on an Alliance Championship.

After some disappointing seasons at minor midget, it was a great breathe of fresh air when the 2001 born Hawks were able to compete with the best in the league and advance to the OHL Cup. It had been a long time since Cambridge had such a combination of elite scoring, shutdown defense and clutch goaltending. While we waited a long time for the Hawks to ice a competitive squad, the 2002 team looks to be even better.

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