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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Alliance Series Preview: (2) London Jr. Knights vs. (7) Huron-Perth Lakers

The first series preview comes to us with perennial contenders London taking on a Huron-Perth team that began the year as a top team but found themselves struggling near the end of the season. We will look at a few aspects of the teams and see where how they match up before they get their series underway on Wednesday evening at Western Fair.

Season Series:

London defeated Huron-Perth 10-2 on October 2nd

London defeated Huron-Perth 3-1 on December 2nd (All-Star Showcase Weekend)

London defeated Huron-Perth 5-0 on January 20th

Leading Scorers:

London                                                         Huron-Perth Lakers

George Diaco 23-29-52                                 Carter Schoonderwoerd 18-12-30

Brendan Mairs 20-24-44                              Sheldon Pryce 14-11-25

Quinton Pepper 14-21-35                             Blake Wideman 12-5-17

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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 One Recap

It was a long trek to get to the Central Park Athletic Centre in Windsor, Ontario. Windsor is playing host to the 2017 Alliance Minor Midget Showcase event after two years of the event taking place in St. Mary’s under the Huron-Perth Lakers banner.

The September showcase is a little bit different than years past. Due to the Alliance running a second showcase weekend in December around their All-Star weekend, all teams will play just three games this weekend as opposed to the four they had previously played.

Here is a brief recap of some of the action that I was able to catch.

Sun County’s Offensive Prowess Powers Past Brantford

In my first viewing of this season’s Sun County Panthers squad, it did not take long to see why the offense has been so successful in the early part of the season. The Panthers used their speed and puck movement to get out in front early and despite a strong third period from the 99ers, held on for the win.

Matthew Maggio, John Ulicny, Ryan Gagnier and Zane Dalpe were all stellar in the contest. Ulicny’s shot and Maggio’s speed were on display in full force as Sun County improved to 3-0. For Brantford, their best players in the game were probably their youngest in Cole Hipkin and Maddox Callens. Hipkin showed he belongs as one of the top defenders in the Alliance while Callens had some of the best chances for the 99ers all day.
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2017/18 London Jr. Knights Season Preview

Minor Midget Record: 27-2-4 (1st Place)

Minor Midget Result: Won Alliance Championship over Waterloo in 4 games (OHL Cup Semi-Finalist)

Major Bantam Record: 19-7-6 (2nd Place)

Major Bantam Result: Lost in Alliance Championship to Cambridge in 4 games

After a stellar season that saw the London Jr. Knights reign as the top Ontario team for the majority of the season, the 2002 crop comes up with loads of talent and a shot at another Alliance championship.

The Minor Midget Jr. Knights were probably the best team in minor hockey last season. Even though they didn’t win the OHL Cup, the amount of talent that was on that team to go along with how well they played together made it a treat to watch them every single game. Led by Ryan Suzuki, the first overall pick in the OHL Draft, the Jr. Knights had a laundry list of guys who you will probably see playing in the OHL either this year or next. Names like Prueter, Burridge, Van Loon, Drewitt and Say are just some of the guys you could see in the OHL shortly.
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