One month further into the 2019-20 Minor Midget campaign, and we find ourselves gaining a much better hold of this year’s top prospects for the 2020 OHL Draft.
The month of October gave us two more major showcases to witness, and offered yet another look into the depth and talent of this year’s Priority Selection. The prospects at the top of the rankings thus far have been playing consistently dominant hockey to hold their positions, while several prospects who are off to blazing hot starts have quickly shot up the rankings as well.
- Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament
The London Jr. Knights hosted the annual Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament, and rode their momentum all the way to the Final, where they eventually fell to the star-studded Oakland Jr. Grizzles.
Led by the likes of Rutger McGroarty and Hunter Brzustewicz, the Grizzlies rolled to a 7-0-1 record, defeating some major OHL Cup contenders along the way. Other notable performances came from David Goyette and the South Kent Academy and Nolan Burnside of the host Knights.
- Beast Battle Showcase
The following weekend, the Beast Border Showcase took place, featuring some of the top teams from Canada and the United States. Although not your typical tournament format, the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite were undoubtedly the most dominant team, finishing with a 4-0-0 record, led by Matthew DiMarsico and Evan Konyen.
Meanwhile, McGroarty took home his second straight scoring title, adding a combined 18 goals and 21 points in 12 games over the two weekends. The Toronto Jr. Canadiens were the top Canadian team, finishing 3-1-0, led by Pano Fimis and Ty Nelson, who led all defencemen in tournament scoring.
- League Action
In the GTHL, the playoff teams are beginning to take hold of their positions. At the top, the Jr. Canadiens (11-1-1) remain the team to beat despite to absence of Adam Fantilli, as Fimis has taken over the captain’s role with authority. Down the line, the Toronto Nationals (9-1-3), Toronto Marlboros (8-2-3), and Toronto Titans (8-4-2) all remain high-end contenders as well.
In the ETA, the Quinte Red Devils (12-1-0) continue to be the favourites, although the York Simcoe Express (14-1-3) are proving to be much closer in competition than expected, and handed them their only loss this year, by a score of 4-3. Further, the Oshawa Jr. Generals (8-4-3) and Whitby Wildcats (6-3-1) also remain strong squads.
The SCTA is being paced by the Southern Tier Admirals (12-1-1) as expected, but the Burlington Eagles (9-3-2) have remained hot on their tails thanks to a hot offence. The Guelph Gryphons (8-2-2) handed the Admirals their only loss and could be a potential dark horse as well.
The Alliance remains in a tight race at the top of the standings between the Elgin-Middlesex Chiefs (11-0-4) and the Waterloo Wolves (13-1-2), who have yet to give up any ground. The Huron-Perth Lakers (9-5-1) and Hamilton Huskies (9-4-1) also remain within striking distance.
Three Players to Watch
If you hadn’t heard of Rutger McGroarty before October, you certainly have now. Regarded as one of the top prospects for not only the 2020 OHL Draft, but for the 2022 NHL Draft as well, McGroarty took Ontario by storm this past month.
With his Oakland Jr. Grizzlies participating in two tournaments which involved Ontario teams, McGroarty put his uncanny scoring touch on display. Pitching in 18 goals in just 12 games, McGroarty led both the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament and the Beast Border Showcase in scoring.
Playing against some of Ontario’s top Minor Midget teams, McGroarty showcased his elite hands, IQ, and wicked release. A University of Notre Dame commit, it’s uncertain whether he will ever play in the OHL. Regardless, McGroarty remains one of the most talented 2004-born prospects in North America.
A superstar with the Eastern Ontario Wild in 2018-19, Goyette has made a seamless transition into South Kent Selects Academy this year. A wizard with the puck, Goyette can torment teams with his ability to play both a sniper and a playmaker role.
Much like McGroarty, Goyette made his first Ontario appearances in October. Night in, night out, Goyette was the driving force behind South Kent’s unforgiving offence, racking up a combined 7 goals and 12 assists for 19 points in just 9 games of tournament action.
Goyette is a notoriously smart player with unbridled skill and elite skating strength. With speed to burn and edge work that keeps defenders on their toes, Goyette is the type of player that you lean on to produce in key situations, one of many reasons that makes Goyette a can’t-miss prospect for the 2020 OHL Draft.
- Pano Fimis
Heading into the 2019-20 campaign, Pano Fimis wasn’t necessarily considered as a top prospect to watch on the high-flying Toronto Jr. Canadiens. Flash forward two months, and Fimis is one of the main reasons why scouts flock to JRC games.
After the departure of Adam Fantilli, Fimis promptly took over the captaincy and hasn’t looked back. Now one of the team’s most consistent and lethal forwards, Fimis has moved up into a first line center position and provides a constant level of effort and leadership.
Playing a responsible 200-foot game, Fimis has a positive impact on all zones of the game. He showcases quick hands and can turn defenders inside out on a regular basis. With an accurate snap shot and strong vision of the ice, Fimis has become a go-to player for the Jr. Canadiens in all situations.
Without further ado, here are the top-60 prospects for the 2020 OHL Draft as of November. One trend that has developed so far this year is the emergence of a strong draft class from the U.S., with several first-round talents available. Whether they choose to play in the OHL or not will have huge impacts on how the draft unfolds come April. As the 2019-20 season progresses, we’ll continue to hyperlink personal player profiles to our monthly rankings, so be sure to follow along as the campaign unwinds.
|1||Adam Fantilli||C||Kimball Union Academy (Prep)|
|2||Rutger McGroarty*||C||Oakland Jr. Grizzlies (HPHL)|
|3||Ty Nelson||D||Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)|
|4||Lane Hutson*||D||North Jersey Avalanche U16 (AYHL)|
|5||David Goyette||C||Selects Hockey Academy 15U (Prep)|
|6||Kocha Delic||C||Toronto Titans (GTHL)|
|7||Devin Kaplan*||C||North Jersey Avalanche U16 (T1EHL)|
|8||Cedrick Guindon||C||Rockland Nationals (HEO)|
|9||Paul Ludwinski||C||Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)|
|10||Tyler Duke*||D||Detroit Compuware U16 (T1EHL)|
|11||Dalyn Wakely||C||Quinte Red Devils (ETA)|
|12||Pano Fimis||C||Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)|
|13||Seamus Casey*||D||Florida Alliance U16 (NAPHL)|
|14||Isaiah George||D||Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)|
|15||Carson Christy||C||Oshawa Jr. Generals (ETA)|
|16||Cutter Gauthier||C||Detroit Compuware U16 (T1EHL)|
|17||Sam Alfano||RW||Southern Tier Admirals (SCTA)|
|18||Evan Konyen||C||Pittsburgh Penguins Elite (T1EHL)|
|19||Zak Lavoie||C||Toronto Young Nationals (GTHL)|
|20||Aidan Castle||RW||Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)|
|21||Jonathan Melee||C/LW||Rockland Nationals (HEO)|
|22||Hunter Brzustewicz*||D||Oakland Jr. Grizzlies (HPHL)|
|23||Nicholas Moldenhauer||RW||Toronto Titans (GTHL)|
|24||Devin Mauro||C||Soo Greyhounds (GNML)|
|25||Thomas Sirman||D||Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)|
|26||Donovan McCoy||D||Quinte Red Devils (ETA)|
|27||Andrew LeBlanc||C||Southern Tier Admirals (SCTA)|
|28||Bryce McConnell-Barker||C||London Jr. Knights (Alliance)|
|29||Alec Leonard||D||Mississauga Reps (GTHL)|
|30||Zach Filak*||C||Detroit Compuware U16 (T1EHL)|
|31||Nathan Poole||C||Oshawa Jr. Generals (ETA)|
|32||Michael Buchinger||D||Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)|
|33||Isaac Howard*||C||Shattuck St. Mary’s U16 (Prep)|
|34||Jackson Edward||D||York Simcoe Express (ETA)|
|35||Owen Van Steensel||LW||Elgin Middlesex Chiefs (Alliance)|
|36||Ryan McGuire||LW||Burlington Eagles (SCTA)|
|37||Hayden Simpson||C||Toronto Titans (GTHL)|
|38||Frank Nazar*||C||Honeybaked U15 (HPHL)|
|39||Noah Van Vliet||D||Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)|
|40||Hunter Haight||C||Elgin Middlesex Chiefs (Alliance)|
|41||Harrison Ballard||C||York Simcoe Express (ETA)|
|42||Aidan Puley||LW||Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)|
|43||Lorenzo Bonaiuto||LW||Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)|
|44||Cole Bianchin||LW||Pittsburgh Penguins Elite (T1EHL)|
|45||Kyan Haldenby||LW||Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)|
|46||Shawn Ramsey||D||Toronto Young Nationals (GTHL)|
|47||Michael Podolioukh||LW||Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)|
|48||Cooper Matthews||RW||Quinte Red Devils (ETA)|
|49||Brody Crane*||C||Buffalo Jr. Sabres 16U|
|50||Jake Karabela||F||Guelph Jr. Gryphons (SCTA)|
|51||Lane Hinkley||D||Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)|
|52||Aaron Andrade||RW||Toronto Titans (GTHL)|
|53||Aaron Brown||D||Quinte Red Devils (ETA)|
|54||Zion Green||LW||Oakland Jr. Grizzlies (HPHL)|
|55||George Fegaras||D||Richmond Hill Coyotes (ETA)|
|56||Jake Sederoff||LW||Toronto Titans (GTHL)|
|57||Owen Mehlenbacher||C||Buffalo Jr. Sabres U15 (T1EHL)|
|58||Gavin Brindley||LW||Florida Alliance U16 (NAPHL)|
|59||Madden Steen||D||Guelph Jr. Gryphons (SCTA)|
|60||Evan Klein||C||Waterloo Wolves (Alliance)|
*- Indicates that the player is currently committed to an NCAA program.