Quickly, we find ourselves nearly a third of the way through the Minor Midget regular season. Over this past month, we’ve gained an invaluable look into the top teams across the province, specifically those who have been able to play at a consistently high level and separate themselves amongst this year’s group of true contenders.
Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s Top 2019 OHL Draft Prospect Profiles
As well, another major tournament has been checked off the list; the 2018 Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament, hosted by the London Jr. Knights. It was a familiar result, with the Don Mills Flyers rolling their way to another tournament championship, this time on a combined 8-0-0 record, with a remarkable 51 goals for and just 4 goals against.
The Flyers continue to dominate the GTHL as well, boasting a perfect 13-0-0 record, with only the Toronto Young Nationals on their tails, with an 12-1-0 record. The Alliance has been much more competitive at the top of the standings, with the Brantford 99ers and Windsor Jr. Spitfires leading in terms of points percentage at the time of writing. However, there are seven teams within six points of the league lead.
Related: Look ahead to March, with our 2019 OHL Cup Ranking – October Edition
In the ETA, the Whitby Wildcats have established themselves as a true force to be reckoned with, boasting a league-best 11-1-3 record. On their tails remain the York Simcoe Express and North Central Predators, who should both be considered threats for the OHL Cup. In the SCTA, the Niagara North Stars are earning some separation, but the Halton Hurricanes, Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs, Guelph Jr. Gryphons, and Burlington Eagles remain in a tight battle for the second seed.
3 Prospects on the Rise
Over the past month, a few prospects have been able to overcome sluggish starts and begin to show their true colours amongst this year’s crop of top prospects. Three players in specific have utilized a massive month of October to soar up the ranking.
While Othmann was already a highly touted prospect for the 2019 OHL Draft, October may have been enough to lock him down as a first rounder. At the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament, Othmann was unstoppable, piling up a ridiculous 16 goals and 25 points over just eight games.
One of the premier snipers in this year’s draft class, he boasts a pro-level release and precision accuracy. Othmann can get his shot off in tight spaces and changes up shooting angles with effectiveness. His recent play has been impressive enough to push him into consideration as a top-10 pick.
Lawrence has fallen into the shadows of the likes of Mason McTavish and Connor Lockhart for much of his minor hockey career. However, a blazing start to the 2018-19 campaign has brought his name forth in plenty of discussions. His 12 goals and 21 points in 14 games of HEO Midget action place him first among 2019 OHL Draft eligibles in points-per-game, with 1.50.
Further, his goals-per-game rate also places him second amongst the same group. Lawrence is an intelligent forward who processes the game at impressive rates. He can truly be a game-changer, and could push for the first round by year’s end.
When Pasquale Zito went down with an upper-body injury for parts of October, Fishman stepped up in a big way for the Rebels. Taking over the first line centre role, Fishman became an offensive catalyst for his team, proving that he has what it takes to be a leader of a top-tier squad.
A slick skater with impressive top speed, Fishman handles the puck with ease on the rush and is an intelligent playmaker with excellent vision, frequently dishing cross-crease passes. He has honed his shot as well, an accurate snap shot with a quick release, Fishman has been consistently improving his draft stock since game one.
Now five months away from the 2019 OHL Draft, we are beginning to get a feel for a consensus top-tier of prospects. Consistency is starting to show through for the best of players, who showcase an impressive compete level night in, night out. With that said, there’s still plenty of time for movement amongst the draft rankings as the 2003-born draft class continues to grow, mature, and develop.
Related: Look back and compare to our 2019 OHL Draft Ranking: October’s Top-20
A large theme in this year’s OHL Draft appears to be NCAA commitments. Among the top-20 prospects, six are currently committed to an NCAA program, with another four in the remainder of the list. Of course, these verbal commitments have a significant impact on the outcome of the draft. See Antonio Stranges, Owen Power, Stephen Halliday, and many more from the 2018 OHL Draft. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues throughout the year, or if some of those committed prospects end up in the OHL after all.
Note: This list compiles the Top-60 skaters available for the 2019 OHL Draft, as well as 10 honourable mentions (HM). The list does not include goaltenders, and is not a mock draft.
|1||Shane Wright||Don Mills Flyers||Centre|
|2||Brandt Clarke||Don Mills Flyers||Right Defence|
|3||Mason McTavish||Pembroke Lumber Kings||Centre|
|4||Roman Schmidt*||Don Mills Flyers||Right Defence|
|5||Maddox Callens||Brantford 99ers||Centre|
|7||Francesco Arcuri||Don Mills Flyers||Centre|
|8||Connor Lockhart||Kanata Lasers||Centre|
|9||Danil Zhilkin*||Toronto Marlboros||Left Wing/Centre|
|10||Francesco Pinelli||Toronto Red Wings||Centre|
|11||Luke Hughes*||Little Caesars||Left Defence|
|12||Brennan Othmann||Don Mills Flyers||Left Wing|
|13||Cole Hipkin||Brantford 99ers||Right Defence|
|14||Sasha Pastujov*||Compuware||Right Wing|
|15||Braeden Kressler||Mississauga Senators||Right Wing/Centre|
|16||Ryan Winterton||Whitby Wildcats||Centre|
|17||Pasquale Zito||Mississauga Rebels||Centre|
|18||Dylan Gratton*||North Jersey Avalanche||Left Defence|
|19||Daniel Michaud||Quinte Red Devils||Centre|
|20||Deni Goure||Chatham-Kent Cyclones||Centre|
|21||Artem Guryev||Toronto Marlboros||Left Defence|
|22||Colby Saganiuk||Pittsburgh Penguins Elite||Centre|
|23||Wyatt Johnston||Toronto Marlboros||Centre|
|24||Owen Watson||Smiths Falls Bears||Left Wing|
|25||Brett Harrison||London Jr. Knights||Centre|
|26||Ryan Del Monte*||Toronto Young Nationals||Centre|
|27||Cole Eichler||Don Mills Flyers||Centre|
|28||Kaleb Lawrence||OHA Maroon||Centre|
|29||Ethan Del Mastro||Toronto Marlboros||Left Defence|
|30||Cooper Way||Waterloo Wolves||Centre/Left Wing|
|31||Jeremy Wilmer*||North Jersey Avalanche||Centre|
|32||Jack Devine*||Chicago Mission||Centre|
|33||Marc Boudreau||Toronto Marlboros||Left Wing|
|34||Jesse Fishman||Mississauga Rebels||Centre/Right Wing|
|35||Liam Arnsby||Don Mills Flyers||Centre|
|36||Ranvir Gill||Ottawa Jr. Senators||Right Defence|
|37||Stuart Rolofs||Kanata Lasers||Left Wing|
|38||Davis Burnside*||Chicago Mission||Left Wing|
|39||Paul Christopoulos||Don Mills Flyers||Right Defence|
|40||Zacharie Giroux||Sudbury Wolves||Right Wing|
|41||Brenden Sirizzotti||Whitby Wildcats||Right Wing|
|42||Alex Christopoulos||Don Mills Flyers||Right Wing|
|43||Jordan Adams||Halton Hurricanes||Left Wing/Centre|
|44||Josh Bloom||Toronto Young Nationals||Left Wing|
|45||Vitaly Levyy||Long Island Gulls||Right Wing|
|46||Ryan Burke||Elgin Middlesex Chiefs||Centre|
|47||Wil Murphy||Kingston Jr. Frontenacs||Left Defence|
|48||Nathan Zadorozny||Niagara North Stars||Left Wing/Centre|
|49||Deven Nagra||Toronto Young Nationals||Left Defence|
|50||Jack Beck||Toronto Marlboros||Left Wing|
|51||William Gourgouvelis||Whitby Wildcats||Left Defence|
|52||Steven Laforme||Brantford 99ers||Right Wing|
|53||Camden Daigle||Huron Perth Lakers||Left Wing|
|54||Tucker Robertson||Toronto Marlboros||Left Wing|
|55||Braden Hache||York-Simcoe Express||Left Defence|
|56||Jack Matier||Soo Thunderbirds||Right Defence|
|57||Christian Catalano||Mississauga Rebels||Left Wing|
|58||Ethan Larmand||North Central Predators||Right Wing|
|59||Jake Coleman||Pembroke Lumber Kings||Left Wing|
|60||Chase Stillman*||Sudbury Wolves||Centre|
|HM||Ryan Gillespie||Toronto Red Wings||Centre|
|HM||Christian Campanelli||North York Rangers||Centre|
|HM||Kyle Maloney||Waterloo Wolves||Centre|
|HM||Justin O’Donnell||Toronto Marlboros||Centre/Right Wing|
|HM||Ethan Gore||Guelph Jr. Gryphons||Centre|
|HM||Ethan MacKinnon||Elgin Middlesex Chiefs||Left Defence|
|HM||Logan Mailloux||Toronto Marlboros||Left Defence|
|HM||Therien Thiesing||Chicago Mission||Left Defence|
|HM||Sam Sedley||Huron Perth Lakers||Right Defence|
|HM||Josh Kavanagh||Sudbury Wolves||Right Defence|
* – Indicates the prospect is currently committed to an NCAA program.