The second major tournament of the 2019-20 Minor Midget hockey season has officially come and gone, as the Oakland Grizzlies defeated the London Jr. Knights to claim the annual Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament. The championship game, which was decided by a score of 4-2, featured a pair of high-powered prospects in Rutger McGroarty and Nolan Burnside — two players who will be highly sought after come the 2020 OHL Draft this coming April.
– Related: Wendy Dufton Tournament – Player Statistics –
However, this year’s edition of the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament featured far more talent than McGroarty and Burnside alone, as a slew of other notable players played with poise and passion on the big stage. Of which, perhaps no one was more tantalizing than David Goyette of the South Kent Academy. Goyette, an incredibly shifty and agile forward of impeccable two-way abilities, netted a jaw-dropping four goals and nine assists in his five games played during the tournament — a 2.60 point-per-game average which led the event by a wide margin.
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As such, it goes without saying that Goyette — in addition to McGroarty and Burnside — was amongst the top performers during the 2019-20 Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament. However, which other players impressed throughout the tournament and improved their respective draft stocks in the process? Well, let’s take a moment to analyze the play of ten prospects whose efforts drew the attention of fans and scouts alike over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The Top-10 Performers
Here are our top-ten performers from this year’s edition of the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament.
Of the ten prospects listed below, seven are forwards, three are defencemen, and one is a goaltender. If each of the players profiled below can continue to play and produce at a high-level, they will undoubtedly garner a great deal of attention come the 2020 OHL Priority Selection.
Tyler Bouck – G
2019-20 Team: Brantford 99ers (Alliance)
Tournament Statistics: 2GP: 2W, 2SO
The lone goaltender within our list of the tournament’s top-ten performers, Tyler Bouck helped propel the Brantford 99ers to a berth in the round-of-16 owing to his performances in the round-robin. In his two games played ahead of the elimination round, Bouck posted back-to-back shutouts — an outcome which helped lead to his team to four consecutive shutouts despite facing fierce competition. However, it was the manner in which Bouck earned his shutouts that impressed the most, as the youngster used his towering 6-foot-3 frame to his advantage in order to regularly eliminate shooting angles while standing as an intimidating presence in goal.
Hunter Brzustewicz – D
2019-20 Team: Oakland Grizzlies (HPHL)
Tournament Statistics: 8GP: 4G, 5A – 9PTS
Hunter Brzustewicz is rising dramatically within our 2020 OHL Draft rankings, and for good reason. Despite manning the Grizzlies’ blue-line, Brzustewicz is a crafty offensive player who can play and dominate both ends of the ice with relative ease. As a tremendous skater, Brzustewicz can smother opposing forwards in his defending zone before securing the puck and charging up ice. Once in the offensive zone, Brzustewicz is incredibly poised and features impressive vision — a reality which allows him to see the ice well and operate within it with little issue. These traits led directly to Brzustewicz’s stellar performance during the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament, as the youngster tallied four goals and nine points — an offensive output which led all defenders.
Nolan Burnside – RW
2019-20 Team: London Jr. Knights (Alliance)
Tournament Statistics: 8GP: 5G, 6A – 11PTS
The host London Jr. Knights fought and clawed their way to the championship game of the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament — a result which would have surely been difficult to come by without the contributions put forth by Nolan Burnside. Although the Jr. Knights ultimately fell to the Grizzlies in the championship game, a number of the team’s players placed their electrifying skill sets on display with regularity — none more so than Burnside. All throughout the event, Burnside propelled the Jr. Knights forward owing to his speed, tenacity, and unwavering work-ethic. Come the end of the tournament, Burnside had netted five goals and 11 points — an output which paced his team.
Alex Campbell – F
2019-20 Team: Mississauga Rebels (GTHL)
Tournament Statistics: 7GP: 3G, 7A – 10PTS
Despite a slow start to their 2019-20 GTHL campaign, the Mississauga Rebels enjoyed a tremendous showing at the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament — a showing which could very well kick-start success within their regular season league play. After breezing through the round-robin on the heels of a 4-0 record, the Rebels clashed with the Grizzlies in the semi-finals — a contest which the Rebels would lose by a score of 5-2. Yet, despite the loss, Alex Campbell stood as a bright spot for Mississauga within an already impressive tournament showing. In all, Campbell recorded ten points in his seven games played — a level of production which placed him in a tie for the fifth-most point in the event. However, it was Campbell’s responsibility in his defensive zone in addition to his offensive exploits which drew the greatest attention.
George Fegaras – D
2019-20 Team: Richmond Hill Coyotes (ETA)
Tournament Statistics: 4GP: 1G, 5A – 6PTS
Although the Richmond Hill Coyotes failed to advance past the round-robin in the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament, defenceman George Fegaras turned heads owing to his responsible yet explosive style of play. A physical force within his own zone who loves to play a rough brand of hockey, Fegaras is an intimidating defender who won’t hesitate to dish out thundering body-checks whenever the opportunity presents. However, Fegaras is far more than just a quality stay-at-home defender, as the youngster frequently displays the ability to join the rush and pose a threat while straddling the opposing blue line. This aggressive mind-set allowed Fegaras to collect six points in his four games played during the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament — an output which highlighted his ability to play a sound game at both ends of the ice.
David Goyette – C/LW
2019-20 Team: South Kent Academy (USHS-Prep)
Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 4G, 9A – 13PTS
South Kent Academy fell to the Oakland Grizzlies in the round-of-16 of the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament — a hard-fought 4-3 decision which limited David Goyette to just five games played. However, in those five tournament games played, Goyette proved why he is widely considered as one of the most talented players eligible for the upcoming 2020 OHL Draft. Despite limited exposure, Goyette wowed each and every fan and scout alike in attendance at South Kent Academy’s games — blasting home four goals and 13 points in a mere five contests. An incredibly shifty and unpredictable skater, Goyette regularly kept his opponents on their heels and was quick to pounce time and time again when afforded with far too much time and space to operate.
Zak Lavoie – C/RW
2019-20 Team: Toronto Nationals (GTHL)
Tournament Statistics: 6GP: 6G, 1A – 7PTS
Zak Lavoie scored ten goals in his seven games played during the Toronto Titans Tournament in September — an output which quickly solidified his status as one of the top goal-scorers eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft. However, as if his initial showing was not strong enough, Lavoie felt the need to blast home six goals in his six games played during the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament — a level of lethality which has further cemented the youngster as one of the top prospects competing within the Minor Midget circuit this season. A strong and sturdy skater with the innate ability to bulge the twine in the toughest of situations, Lavoie proved himself as a dangerous threat yet again — a reality which we should all get used to.
Andrew Leblanc – F
2019-20 Team: Southern Tier Admirals (SCTA)
Tournament Statistics: 6GP: 5G, 5A – 10PTS
While the Southern Tier Admirals made quite the impression on the ice as a team by advancing to the quarter-finals of the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament, so too did one of their top forwards. All throughout the tournament Andrew Leblanc was an unstoppable force, as he played a consistently physical role for his team while also contributing a great deal on the scoreboard. In addition to the 14 PIM he incurred across his six tournament games played, Leblanc totalled five goals and ten points, too — a total which placed him into a tie with Sam Alfano for the most on his team.
Rutger McGroarty – C
2019-20 Team: Oakland Grizzlies (HPHL)
Tournament Statistics: 8GP: 11G, 2A – 13PTS
After a somewhat slow start offensively to his Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament, Rutger McGroarty shifted to a higher gear and wound up leading the event in goal-scoring with 11 tallies across his eight games played. In fact, his competition weren’t close in the goal-scoring department, as Goyette was the next most lethal sniper with a mere six goals. As far as his personal skill-set is concerned, McGroarty displayed it all throughout the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament — he boasts great size, incredible skill, and the innate ability to take control of each and every game in which he competes. Once his first-step acceleration improves, it was abundantly clear that McGroarty will be an unstoppable force for years to come.
Shawn Ramsey – D
2019-20 Team: Toronto Nationals (GHTL)
Tournament Statistics: 6GP: 2G, 5A – 7PTS
The Toronto Nationals have proven that they’ll be a team to contend with all throughout the 2019-20 season — a reality which would be difficult to maintain if not for the presence of Shawn Ramsey on the team’s blue line. Throughout the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament, Ramsey stood as a calm and cool pillar on the Nationals’ backend — regularly stripping opponents of the puck before distributing crisp breakout passes to his forwards. What’s more is that Ramsey also displayed the ability and willingness to join the rush, a commitment to two-way play which allowed Ramsey to collect a staggering seven points across his team’s six games played during the event.