2020 OHL Prospect Profile: Aidan Castle

Aidan Castle of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens is projected to be an offensive leader in the GTHL this season. With a keen sense of the ice and an admirable compete level, Castle should be considered one of the top prospects for the 2020 OHL Draft.

– Aidan Castle –

Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL) | Right Wing | 2020 OHL Draft Eligible

Toronto, Ontario | 5’11”, 165-pounds | January 8, 2004

A veteran of the 2004-born Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Aidan Castle is not only looked upon to drive the offence for his team, but to shut down the opposition in key defensive moments as well. Although JRC boasts an incredibly deep lineup full of offensively-capable forwards, Castle consistently sticks out with his compete level and play away from the puck.

Related: Don’t miss any of our 2020 OHL Draft Prospect Profiles

A leader by example, Castle is a hound on the puck and doesn’t change his skating level whether he’s in possession of the puck or chasing it down. In spite of the fact that Castle doesn’t tower over his opponents, he’ll never be one to shy away from engaging in the physical aspect of the game.

With this being said, let’s break down the components of Castle’s game.

Strengths:

  • Sense and Vision
  • Shot Release and Accuracy
  • Two-Way Awareness

Aidan Castle is the type of player you can rely on in any situation. He shows a consistent and admirable compete level in all three zones and is constantly hounding opponents to force key turnovers. Although he doesn’t have the biggest or strongest frame, he often uses his body and momentum to knock players off of the puck and to win loose puck battles.

Castle isn’t afraid to backcheck deep into the defensive zone in order to offer support for his defencemen and provide a safer outlet to get the breakout started. With the puck, Castle consistently showcases an impressive skill-set and a high level of hockey sense. Often playing the wing, Castle excels at finding himself open space to make himself a dangerous passing option.

Whether that’s accomplished by drifting in behind his line mates on the rush, or by curling out into the slot from the half-wall, Castle is a player who ends up in the right places at the right times thanks to his ability to scan developing plays. With a heavy and accurate snap shot, Castle’s quick release allows him to beat goaltenders in transition or on clean looks. But, he can set his teammates up just as well.

Weaknesses:

  • Acceleration and Top Speed

To be able grow into a more consistent and multi-dimensional threat on the ice, Castle could use some more explosive skating. While by no means a poor skater, Castle has yet to demonstrate separation speed with the puck, which would allow him to blow by defenders on the outside and drive the net with greater effectiveness.

As Castle continues to grow and fill out his frame, this aspect of his game may come naturally with greater lower-body strength. If it does, beware, because Castle has all the attributes to become a dynamic offensive force in the OHL and beyond.

Future Potential:

In all, Aidan Castle should be considered one of the top prospects to keep an eye on this season. As a key member of the powerhouse Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Castle will be looked upon to be an offensive leader and a reliable, all situation winger.

He has proven that he has the ability to excel under pressure, and now Castle simply needs to put that offensive upside on display throughout a consistent season. If he can accomplish that, he won’t have to wait long to hear his name called at the 2020 OHL Draft.

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2020 OHL Prospect Profile: Zak Lavoie

Zakary Lavoie of the GTHL’s Toronto Nationals is a stellar young prospect eligible for the 2020 OHL Priority Selection. A sure-footed sniper who loves to score goals, Lavoie is a lethal offensive player of considerable upside.

– Zak Lavoie –

Toronto Nationals (GTHL) | C/RW | 2020 OHL Draft Eligible

Toronto, Ontario | 5-foot-9, 165lbs | Mar. 13th, 2004

Ever since making the transition from hockey in the Ottawa region to the Greater Toronto Hockey League, Zakary Lavoie has been more dominant than ever before. Although the quality of competition which he now faces on a nightly basis is at an all-time high, Lavoie has acclimated to the GTHL extremely well over the past two seasons and has shown no signs of slowing down ahead of the 2020 OHL Draft.

In fact, Lavoie’s 2019-20 campaign began with a bang — the Toronto Nationals claimed the championship at the annual Toronto Titans Tournament in September. En route to his team’s championship, Lavoie was absolutely stellar — showcasing his lethal goal-scoring abilities by firing home a tournament-leading ten goals in just seven games played. While areas for improvement do exist within Lavoie’ game, his decisively offensive nature on the ice — as you’ll read — will surely make the native of Ottawa, Ontario a highly sought after prospect come the 2020 OHL Priority Selection.

Strengths:

  • Skating Strength and Stability
  • Shot Velocity and Release
  • Confidence and Composure
  • Offensive Creativity

Like most elite prospects his age, Lavoie’s most significant strength lays in his ability to traverse the ice without any hindrance whatsoever. Easily identifiable by his low yet powerful strides on the ice, Lavoie naturally lowers his centre of gravity while in possession of the puck and is nearly impossible to dispossess as a direct result. This raw strength and stability allows Lavoie to forecheck with persistence while also playing a shutdown role in his own zone when the situation demands.

Complimenting Lavoie’s stable stride is his shot — a quick wrister which features the proven ability to best opposing netminders even if they are able to view the shot cleanly. This ability is made possible by Lavoie’s impressive shot velocity as well as by the release which has come to define his shot. Capable of firing the puck on-goal in a split-second, Lavoie can release the puck incredibly quickly and uses his strong frame and lower body to put a great deal of force behind his attempts on net. Even if faced with a considerable deal of traffic in front of the goal, Lavoie can force his shot through and pick the smallest of corners available.

To wrap up our discussion on Lavoie’s strengths, let’s take a moment to discuss his on-ice composure as well as offensive creativity — the two are directly linked. Unlike most players his age, Lavoie is incredibly calm and poised when in possession of the puck — a reality which allows him to take the time to assess his options in order to make calculated decisions in all three zones on the ice. This ability to think, process, and play the game at a high rate of speed fuels Lavoie’s creativity, as the youngster is willing to take calculated risks in order to generate scoring opportunities for his team.

Weaknesses:

  • Skating Speed
  • Playmaking Frequency

While Lavoie is — without question — a dynamic young player and top prospect eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft, he is not without room for improvement. Having watched Lavoie play on numerous occasions, two particular areas in need of improvement have risen to the forefront. Firstly, there is Lavoie’s skating speed — although a terrific skater capable of driving the puck to the net should he decide to do so, greater overall speed would allow Lavoie to gain greater separation from opposing players and thus increased time to think and devise scoring plays.

Secondly, there is Lavoie’s tendency to pass the puck and devise scoring plays in which a fellow teammate is afforded with the opportunity to bulge the twine. Although a solid playmaker in years passed, Lavoie loves to blast his shot on-goal — understandably so given its strength and lethality. However, in the future, we’d like to see Lavoie utilize his teammates on a more regular basis — after all, Lavoie is a tremendous playmaker of ample vision who is a crafty as they come.

Future Potential:

Ultimately, Lavoie has the skill set and potential necessary to evolve into an impact player at the OHL-level and beyond. A terrific skater and deadly sniper, Lavoie holds the ability to influence the outcome of any given game in which he competes. Once faster and slightly more versatile, Lavoie will stand as a potent and diverse threat capable of intimidating his opposition.

In short, Lavoie is an excellent young player and unquestionably one of the top prospects eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft. Although he — like all other players his age — still has room to grow, Lavoie is on track to play an impactful role at the OHL-level in the near future.

2020 OHL Prospect Profile: Ty Nelson

Ty Nelson of the GTHL’s Toronto Jr. Canadiens is a superb two-way defender of ample upside. Come the 2020 OHL Priority Selection, he will undoubtedly be regarded as one of the top prospects eligible for selection.

– Ty Nelson –

Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL) | Defense | 2020 OHL Draft Eligible

Toronto, Ontario | 2004-born

The 2019-20 GTHL season marks Ty Nelson’s second campaign at the Minor Midget level, a league within which he has continued to develop and hone his consistently growing game. A star defenceman for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, Nelson has become a premier two-way player capable of dominating his opposition at both ends of the ice.

In the defensive zone, Nelson’s acceleration and lateral agility allow him to contain and smother attacking forwards before dispossessing them with relative ease — Nelson boasts a quick and active stick. Once in possession of the puck, Nelson fuels his team’s stellar transition game by making quick and accurate passes to his forwards as the begin to exit the zone. These abilities lead to dramatic puck possession for Nelson and the Jr. Canadiens, a reality which propels the team’s lethal offensive attack.

Related: OHL Draft Rankings –

Speaking of offence, Nelson is no slouch when it comes to the attacking zone. Incredibly confident when in possession of the puck and not afraid to take risks to create offence, Nelson can devise scoring chances for his team in the opposing zone and features the ability to quarter-back his team’s power-play to boot. In short, Nelson is a staple within the Jr. Canadiens’ roster and arguably his team’s most effective and valuable player.

With this being said, let’s assess some of Nelson’s strengths.

Strengths:

  • Skating Speed and Acceleration
  • Puck Poise and Vision
  • Playmaking Ability
  • Confidence and Composure

When it comes to Nelson’s strengths on the ice, there are plenty.

First and foremost there are Nelson’s skating abilities, a trait which we touched on above. As soon as Nelson hops the bench and heads onto the ice, it’s hard not to notice him. Whether he is in possession of the puck or not, Nelson is always moving with speed and a purpose — if not in possession, Nelson will use his blistering speed and edge-work to make himself open for a pass or to support his team’s rush up ice.

When in possession, Nelson can absolutely fly and has the ability to weave around opposing players at will. All the while, however, Nelson remains incredibly composed and calm — a facet of his game which allows him to view and assess the ice before making informed decisions at a high rate of speed. This remarkable level of poise allows Nelson to create and implement scoring plays and chances at an impressive rate, as the youngster can sense the positioning of his teammates and move the puck to them in the blink-of-an-eye.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, there is Nelson’s general confidence on the ice. As mentioned earlier, Nelson is not afraid to take risks in order to generate offence for his team. However, when Nelson does takes risks, his decisions are calculated based on the on-ice information which he receives — a reality which allows Nelson to take risks and succeed on an over-whelming basis.

Weaknesses:

  • Strength and Stability

When it comes to weaknesses within Nelson’s game, there aren’t any that detract from his overall play whatsoever. If one was to nitpick — like we’ll do now — they would likely discuss Nelson’s general strength and skating stability. Yet, it is crucial to remember that Nelson — like all of the Minor Midget hockey world — is just 15 years-of-age, meaning that he will only continue to add greater strength to his frame in the coming years.

So, while Nelson would surely benefit from greater size and strength — like all players his age — these traits will surely come in time.

Future Potential:

Ultimately, Nelson has the skill-set and potential necessary to develop into a premier two-way defenceman at the OHL-level and beyond. As a stellar skater who sees the ice well and can operate within it without issue, Nelson will surely be selected very early come the 2020 OHL Priority Selection.

If he can continue to strengthen his existing skill-set while improving his all-around game, there’s no telling how dominant Nelson could become.

OHL Prospect Profile: Nolan Dann

Nolan Dann of the GTHL’s Toronto Red Wings is a highly energetic and well-rounded prospect eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft. As hard-working as they come, Dann has all the makings of an invaluable player at the next-level.

– Nolan Dann –

Toronto Red Wings (GTHL) | Left-Wing | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Cambridge, Ontario | 5-foot-10, 176-pounds | May 21, 2003

Despite a somewhat slow start to their 2018-19 GTHL campaign, the Toronto Red Wings rebounded and quickly became one of the league’s most competitive teams. Although led offensively by the likes of Francesco Pinelli and Adam Fantilli, scoring depth proved to be crucial to the Red Wings’ success throughout the season.

One player in particular who developed into a consistent offensive force for the Red Wings was left-winger Nolan Dann — an energetic player whose two-way game allowed Toronto to thrive at both ends of the ice. What’s more is that Dann’s play throughout the year not only improved dramatically but was also incredibly consistent — two qualities which will make him a highly valued prospect come the 2019 OHL Draft.

Strengths:

  • Skating Speed and Strength
  • Offensive Creativity
  • Two-Way Play
  • Work-Ethic

As mentioned above, Dann developed into a consistent offensive producer for the Red Wings as their 2018-19 season progressed. Driving Dann’s offensive output were his stellar skating abilities and strength on his feet — two qualities which allowed him to drive the pace of play for his team. Capable of beating opposing defenders wide while creating space as a result of his speed, Dann devised or scored a number of timely goals throughout the campaign and was consistent in his ability to do so.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

Another direct benefit of Dann’s speed and skating abilities is the youngster’s willingness and dedication to playing a well-round, two-way game. As a player who prioritizes his own zone first, Dann will use his skating strength to force turnovers and dis-possess opposing players before leading the rush up ice. Boasting an active stick and innate defensive qualities, Dann’s versatility makes him a truly valuable prospect with a substantial amount of upside.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Prospect Profiles

Rounding out Dann’s impressive skill-set is his unwavering work-ethic on the ice. Regardless of his position at any given time, Dann will work endlessly to put himself in a position to benefit his team whether it be in the offensive or defensive zone. As hard-working and dedicated to team success as any prospect eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft, Dann has the makings of a stellar two-way player who can contribute offensively to boot.

Area of Improvement:

  • Lower-Body Strength
  • Shot Velocity

Like many players of his age, Dann will do well in the years ahead to add greater strength to his lower-body. Although he already stands as a strong skater, adding greater strength will allow Dann to protect the puck far more easily while continuing to improve arguably his best asset on the ice — his electrifying skating abilities.

One other aspect of Dann’s game which he could look to strengthen this coming off-season is his shot velocity. While his shot is accurate, adding greater velocity to his shot and release would allow Dann to stand as a more versatile threat in the offensive zone — one who can beat goaltenders clean from a distance in addition to his natural playmaking abilities.

With this being said, these are simply areas in which Dann could stand to improve — they are not areas of weakness by any means.

Future Potential:

Ultimately, Dann holds the potential to become an extremely valuable player at the next-level. As a strong skater known for his well-rounded play, Dann’s skill-set should allow him to contribute at both ends of the ice long into the future alongside a level of consistency highly sought after by his peers.

Come the 2019 OHL Draft, expect Dann’s name to be called in the fourth-to-sixth round of the event. As an incredibly talented and determined player, Dann will undoubtedly push hard for — and potentially secure — a roster spot with an OHL team to begin the 2019-20 season. After all, his outstanding performance in the 2019 OHL Cup did not go unnoticed.

OHL Prospect Profile: Bradley Banach

Bradley Banach of the Mississauga Reps is a stable two-way player whose skill-set could make him somewhat of a hidden gem in the 2019 OHL Draft.

– Bradley Banach –

Mississauga Reps (GTHL) | Left-Wing | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Ontario, Canada | 6-foot, 155-pounds | 2003-born

Despite a furious push to conclude the 2018-19 GTHL campaign, the Mississauga Reps fell just short of the postseason. However, the Reps’ season was not a lost one by any means, as a number of the team’s players progressed significantly and have become well-rounded and highly valuable prospects ahead of the 2019 OHL Draft.

Of the lot, Bradley Banach is one youngster whose game continued to impress as the regular season unravelled. A stable and decisive skater who plays a strong and knowledgable two-way game, Banach could prove to be a steal in the upcoming OHL Draft given his projection as a mid-to-late round selection.

Strengths:

  • Skating Speed and Stability
  • Playmaking Skills
  • Shot Release
  • Two-Way Abilities

As mentioned above, Banach is a sturdy skater who has no issue traversing the ice in all three zones. Difficult to knock off of the puck and able to separate from his attackers owing to his speed, Banach can push the pace of the game offensively and is fairly consistent in his ability to do so.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

Further, there are Banach’s individual abilities on the ice. Although a pass-first player who loves to move the puck to his teammates, Banach also features a deceptive shot which has the ability to surprise and cleanly beat opposing netminders. Not afraid to drive hard to the net either, Banach will do whatever it takes to contribute to his team’s success.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft – Prospect Profiles

This drive to win is where the true value lays in Banach’s game. Willing to block shots, stick up for his teammates, and play in a variety of roles, Banach stands as a well-rounded player at both ends of the ice who logs a substantial amount of playing time as a direct result.

Areas of Improvement:

  • Assertiveness Offensively
  • Defensive Physicality

When it comes to Banach’s game, there are areas for improvement in the years ahead.

Firstly, there is Banach’s assertiveness within the attacking zone. Although he is a strong playmaker of solid vision, Banach would do well to be slightly more selfish at times and utilize his heavy shot on a more frequent basis. Even if unable to beat a goaltender, Banach’s shot has the ability to generate rebounds and create a greater number of offensive opportunities for he and his teammates.

Related: Mississauga Reps – Prospect Profiles

Secondly, and lastly, there is Banach’s physicality within his defensive zone. Given his solid frame, Banach would do well to use his size in order to bump and dispossess his opponents. At times too reliant on the use of his stick, a combination of physicality and a well-placed poke-check would serve Banach well as he pesters and diffuses his attackers.

Future Potential:

Ultimately, Banach has the skill-set necessary to develop into a capable two-way player at the next-level. Although there is certainly room for improvement within his game, Banach holds a great deal of skill and talent which should translate well in the years ahead.

 

OHL Prospect Profile: Declan Ride

Declan Ride of the GTHL’s Toronto Nationals is one of the top defenders eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft. Of immense size, Ride is a strong skater defined by his steadily improving two-way game.

– Declan Ride –

Toronto Nationals (GTHL) | Defence | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Toronto, Ontario | 6-foot-4, 195-pounds | March 1st, 2003

The Toronto Nationals will be a force to be reckoned with come the 2019 OHL Cup, and for good reason.

Led by a devastating offence and stabilized by outstanding goaltending, the Nationals pose a significant threat to any opponent owing to their incredible team play and consistency. However, the strongest facet of the Nationals’ roster could very well stand on the blue line, as the club holds an arsenal of extremely talented and capable blueliners.

In addition to standout defenders in Deven Nagra, Landon Cato, and Owen Forester, the Nationals also feature one of the 2019 OHL Draft’s most intriguing prospects in Declan Ride. A tower of power on the back-end, Ride is a sizeable defender who is quickly becoming more confident in his abilities on the blue line. In fact, over the course of the 2018-19 season, Ride has progressed into one of the GTHL’s most potent players at both ends of the ice.

Strengths:

  • Size and Strength
  • Defensive Positioning and Gap Control
  • Hockey Sense and Vision
  • Playmaking Abilities
  • Shot Power
  • Technical Abilities

As mentioned above, size and strength stand as the foundation of Ride’s game. Tipping the scale at 195-pounds and standing a towering 6-foot-4 in height, Ride is an intimidating presence on the blue line who knows how to utilize his size to his advantage. However, unlike others players of his stature, Ride won’t run around the ice looking to inflict damage — rather, he combines his size with his stick in order to pin, dominate, and dispossess his opponents.

These abilities defensively have come to stand as the foundation of Ride’s game. Well positioned when defending the rush and consistent in his ability to maintain the gap between he and attacking players, Ride forces opponents to the boards in order to stifle their progress and transition the puck to his wildly lethal forwards.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

Ride’s ability to transition the puck to his teammates and, in particular, his forwards is also one of the youngster’s glaring strengths. Calm and composed when in possession of the puck and rarely forced into committing turnovers, Ride distributes the puck with poise and has the ability to make crisp, accurate passes with relative ease.

These playmaking abilities have come to fuel Ride’s growing offensive game — a facet of his skill-set which has improved dramatically over the course of the 2018-19 campaign. Focused upon his defensive play to begin the season, Ride’s offensive approach has improved dramatically during his time with the Nationals — once strictly a passer, Ride no longer hesitates to fire his hard and heavy shot on goal.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft – Prospect Profiles

What’s more is that, despite his size and the common misconceptions associated with larger players, Ride is a smooth and highly technical skater who can traverse the blue line with ease. This ability to control the puck while maneuvering the blue line allows Ride to assess potential outlets while affording himself time and space for his opponents.

Areas of Improvement:

  • Agility
  • Foot Speed

Although Ride is an incredibly promising young player, areas for improvement do exist within his game. In particular there is Ride’s skating abilities. Although he is a smooth and purposeful skater, Ride would do well to improve his lateral agility and foot speed in the years ahead, as maneuverability is the key for defenders at the next-level.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft – Toronto Nationals’ Prospect Profiles

Now, this is not to say that Ride is a poor skater by any means — in fact, his smooth skating is one of the strongest facets of his game. Rather, this is to say that with improved agility and mobility in the near future, Ride can maximize his existing abilities and become a premier defender at either the OHL or NCAA-level.

Future Potential:

Ultimately, Ride has the potential to develop into a top-four defender at the next-level, wherever that may be.

At the moment, Ride is committed to Miami University at Ohio and stands as one of the program’s most valuable commitments. However, if Ride decides to opt for the OHL route instead, it goes without saying that the youngster would be selected within the opening-three rounds of the 2019 Priority Selection. With his size alongside improvements to his skating, Ride holds the potential to open the 2019-20 season with an OHL franchise — he is simply that good.

OHL Prospect Profile: Landon Cato

Landon Cato of the GTHL’s Toronto Nationals is one of the top defenders eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft. Of solid size and offensive abilities, Cato won’t last long come draft day.

– Landon Cato –

Toronto Nationals (GTHL) | Defence | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Toronto, Ontario | 6-foot-2, 180-pounds | March 31st, 2003

The Toronto Nationals of the GTHL are one of the top minor midget teams in North America this season, and are founded upon stellar goaltending, terrific defensive depth, and high-end talent up-front.

Backstopped by both Samuel Moncada and Forbes Anderson, the Nationals are a team which can generate offensive from its blue line in addition to boasting elite-level forwards in Zachary Dean and Josh Bloom. However, while the team’s overall depth is impressive, there is arguably no stronger department within the Nationals’ roster than their blue line.

Featuring Declan Ride, Devan Nagra, Landon Cato, and Owen Forester, the Nationals boast the blue line necessary to embark upon a meaningful 2019 OHL Cup run. One defender in particular who has been leading the way for the Nationals throughout the 2018-19 season is Cato — an intimidating defenceman who plays the game with an edge alongside a highly promising two-way game.

With this being said, let’s take a closer look at Cato’s abilities ahead of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.

Strengths:

  • Skating and Agility
  • Two-Way Play
  • Physicality and Competitive Edge
  • Defensive Play

Skating and agility stand as the foundation of Cato’s growing game, as the sizeable defender uses his quick feet to navigate the ice with relative ease. Of solid speed, Cato will use his wheels to track and pin opposing forwards in his defensive end or charge up the ice in order to join a developing offensive attack.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

This desire and ability to join the rush has allowed Cato to garner impressive offensive totals for the Nationals this season, as the defender will regularly step up from his post on the blue line in order to sustain plays developed by his teammates. A crisp puck-mover to boot, Cato can distribute the puck well from the blue line and stands as a fixture on his team’s power play as a result.

Affording Cato with a strong overall game is the youngster’s willingness to play a physical style alongside his unwavering competitive edge. Not afraid to stand up for himself or a teammate, Cato can play an in-your-face style when the situation demands and will ramp up his intensity and effort with ease when battling stern competition.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Prospect Profiles

Rounding out Cato’s growing game is the young defender’s defensive abilities. Owing to his physicality and willingness to use it, Cato can punish attacking players below the goal line and uses his quick feet in order pester his opponents. Also known for his quick and accurate stick, Cato can surprise his attackers by dis-possessing them before quickly transitioning the puck to his forwards.

Areas of Improvement:

  • Discipline
  • Shooting Frequency

There aren’t many glaring areas for improvement within Cato’s game as of the 2018-19 season — a major reason why the Toronto, Ontario native earned a commitment to the NCAA’s UMass (Amherst) for the 2022-23 campaign.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft — GTHL Profiles

If we were to pinpoint areas for improvement, however, they would be with respect to Cato’s on-ice discipline as well as his tendency to fire the puck on-goal from the blue line. Resulting from his competitive edge, Cato can — at times — take undisciplined penalties which force his team to the penalty kill. Now, this is not to say that Cato is a reckless player by any means, but rather than greater composure would allow him to maximize his physicality and style of defensive play.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft — Toronto Nationals Profiles

Secondly, there is Cato’s willingness to shoot the puck from the blue line. In possession of a hard and heavy shot, Cato would do well to blast the puck on goal more often — doing so would create a whack of rebounds for the Nationals’ highly talented forwards to gobble up.

Future Potential:

Ultimately, Cato has the potential to develop into a sturdy top-four defenceman at the next-level — whether it be in the OHL or NCAA.

Of great size at 6-foot-2 and 180-pounds, Cato will have no trouble adapting to the physical demands of hockey at the next-level while his strong skating and competitiveness should allow him to excel relatively quickly. As a stable minute-muncher with the proven ability to succeed in all situations, Cato will be a highly sought-after player come the 2019 OHL Draft.

OHL Prospect Profile: Logan Mailloux

Logan Mailloux has displayed incredibly intriguing potential during the course of the 2018-19 season, consistently making improvements to become a better all-around defenceman. Showcasing excellent physicality as well as promising offensive upside, Mailloux’s game projects very well at the OHL level. A defenceman with tremendous size, strength, and awareness, Logan Mailloux is going to draw a ton of attention at the 2019 OHL Draft.

– Logan Mailloux –

Toronto Marlboros (GTHL) | Right Defence | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Belle River, Ontario | 6-foot-4, 225-pounds

Logan Mailloux is a towering and powerful defenceman with considerable offensive upside. One of many intimidating defenders along the Toronto Marlboros blue line, Mailloux’s overall game has grown leaps and bounds over the course of the 2018-19 season, namely in his skating and confidence to join the rush.

Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Rankings.

A prospect who could undoubtedly jump straight into the OHL for next season, Mailloux has lots to like in his game, boasting a stable defensive presence alongside an intriguing offensive game. Transitioning from the Sun County Panthers and the Alliance in his Bantam year, to the Marlboros and the GTHL for Minor Midget, Mailloux presents a bounty of opportunity and promise as he continues to round out his game.

Strengths:

  • Shot Power
  • Physicality
  • Instincts & Awareness

Mailloux has a ton to offer as he progresses forward towards an OHL career. He displays impressive awareness at both ends of the rink, whether it’s shutting down an opposing rush, eliminating time and space, or patrolling the offensive blue line. Further, he demonstrates excellent instincts by knowing when to join the rush to create odd-man opportunities as well as when to jump up and throw a booming, open-ice check.

Related: Don’t miss out on any of our 2019 OHL Prospect Profiles.

Mailloux consistently utilizes his size and strength to be a menacing force in his own zone. He controls gaps and uses his long reach to limit the opposition’s time and space. Below the dots, he effectively erases opponents along the wall and uses his stick to force turnovers. Up front, Mailloux has a cannon from the point with which he can effectively beat goaltenders with precision accuracy or create rebounds and deflections for his teammates.

Area of Improvement:

  • Mobility

While Mailloux has frequently shown his ability to rush the puck up ice himself, his mobility remains an area of improvement as he moves towards an OHL career. A prospect who can get up the ice with speed and patrol the blue line with authority, Mailloux’s improvements could come within the defensive zone.

As he continues to develop into his frame, Mailloux will need to become more agile in order to keep up with opponents who attempt to beat him on the outside. Further, when defending below the dots, some added agility would allow Mailloux to better protect the front of the net and eliminate opponents who try to beat him from behind the goal line.

Future Potential:

All in all, Mailloux has displayed incredibly intriguing potential during the course of the 2018-19 season, consistently making improvements to become a better all-around defenceman. Showcasing excellent physicality as well as promising offensive upside, Mailloux’s game projects very well at the OHL level. As long as he continues to refine his skating, as he’s been doing all year long, there should be no concerns in Mailloux’s ability to thrive at the next level.

A defenceman with tremendous size, strength, and awareness, Logan Mailloux is going to draw a ton of attention at the 2019 OHL Draft. One of the most improved prospects on the year, expect Mailloux to be an early third round pick, if not a late second.

OHL Prospect Profile: Josh Bloom

Josh Bloom consistently generates goals in multiple ways, including precision passes and top shelf snipes. An intelligent player, he sees the ice very well and shows excellent instincts through his positioning and sense of developing situations. Expect to hear his name called late in the second or early in the third round of the 2019 OHL Draft.

– Josh Bloom –

Toronto Nationals (GTHL) | Left Wing | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

6-feet, 161-pounds | June 6th, 2003

Josh Bloom is a talented winger who plays a high-paced game and consistently generates offence for one of Ontario’s top teams, the Toronto Nationals. Displaying high-end intelligence, Bloom is a tremendous decision-maker with impressive vision and sense of the ice. He excels in both the role of a sniper and a playmaker, making himself a dangerous offensive weapon in more ways than one.

Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Rankings.

Bringing his best game on the biggest stage, Bloom has consistently stood out in each of this year’s major tournaments. He further gained tremendous experience by making his Jr. A debut with the OJHL’s Oakville Blades on December 14th, 2018, where he picked up an assist and proved his ability to keep up with older and stronger competition.

Strengths:

  • Intelligence & Vision
  • Skating
  • Shot & Instincts

Bloom is an extremely versatile forward who can adjust and adapt his game to the given circumstances. Showcasing impressive vision, he can thread passes through minuscule lanes and creates time and space for teammates by drawing defenders towards him. An effortless skater, Bloom has shown strong acceleration and agility, allowing him to switch gears on the fly and keep defenders on their heels.

Related: Don’t miss out on any of our 2019 OHL Prospect Profiles.

On the attack, Bloom has also demonstrated a lethal wrist shot with a quick release and pin-point accuracy. A player who thrives on puck movement in the offensive zone, Bloom shows great instincts by slipping into soft spots or attacking the net at the right time for a deflection or rebound. Overall, Bloom is an above-average skating who has shown high-end playmaking and shooting talent.

Area of Improvement:

  • Strength & Stability

Bloom certainly has room to fill out his large frame with both some added upper and lower-body strength. A skater who is strong on his feet, Bloom will need to add muscle in order to succeed against the rigours of the OHL and be able to protect the puck down low as ell as he can in Minor Midget.

A prospect with very little not to like about his game, Bloom could find benefits from utilizing his edges and his size in a more effective way. For example, by leaning on his edges and using his entire body to shield the puck from opponents, Bloom would become an even more dangerous forward by becoming tougher to knock off of the puck.

Future Potential:

A prospect who can dictate the pace of play and carry one of the province’s top offences will undoubtedly garner plenty of interest come OHL Draft day. Bloom consistently generates goals in multiple ways, including precision passes and top shelf snipes. An intelligent player, he sees the ice very well and shows excellent instincts through his positioning and sense of developing situations.

As consistent a goal-scorer as they come, Josh Bloom’s talents will make him a hot commodity at the 2019 OHL Draft. Given his multitude of abilities, expect to hear Bloom’s name called late in the second or early in the third round.

OHL Prospect Profile: Joshua Orrico

Joshua Orrico of the GTHL’s Toronto Red Wings is a fluid skater and poised defender whose value ahead of the 2019 OHL Draft continues to grow. Come draft day, expect Orrico to be chosen quickly be an eager OHL franchise.

– Joshua Orrico –

Toronto Red Wings (GTHL) | Defence| 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Ontario, Canada | 5-foot-8, 150-pounds | June 15th, 2003

If the Toronto Red Wings hope to legitimately compete with the likes of the Don Mills Flyers, Toronto Nationals, and Toronto Marlboros during the 2018-19 GTHL season, they’ll need to receive contributions from throughout their lineup.

Fortunately for the Red Wings, their impressive team depth has quickly become one of the club’s defining features. Loaded offensively, stable on the blue line, and seemingly impenetrable in-goal, the Red Wings have to come present a significant challenge to the GTHL’s top teams and are only growing in strength.

One major component of the Red Wings’ torrent play throughout the 2018-19 campaign has been defenceman Joshua Orrico — a fluid skater and mobile defender whose game at both ends of the ice continues to grow with each passing game. Sure, Orrico missed time to begin his first year of OHL Draft eligibility, however, the defender has been absolutely dominant since his return.

Strengths:

  • Skating Ability
  • Playmaking and Vision
  • Offensive Instincts
  • Composure

Quick feet and stellar skating abilities stand as the foundation of Orrico’s game, as the young defender can move throughout the ice with ease and is of a purposeful and direct nature. Slippery within his own zone owing to his ample agility, Orrico can avoid opposing fore-checkers with impressive consistency and boasts the composure necessary to make crisp and accurate breakout passes in the face of overwhelming pressure.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

Orrico’s ability to move the puck with a purpose derives directly from his natural playmaking abilities, as the youngster features exceptional on-ice vision as well as the poise and creativity necessary to fire dangerous passes throughout the ice with apparent ease. Now, this isn’t to say that Orrico will become the next playmaking dynamo, but rather that his abilities can facilitate crisp puck movement at both ends of the ice.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Prospect Profiles

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Orrico’s growing game is his poise and composure when in possession of the puck. Although referred to above, Orrico’s patience cannot be understated, as his ability to out-wait his opponents in order to implement the best play possible has come to fuel the Red Wings’ offence while stabilizing their defensive zone in the process.

Area of Improvement:

  • Shot Power and Penetration
  • Physical Strength

Standing 5-foot-8 and 150-pounds, it goes without saying that Orrico is not the most physically intimidating player on the ice. However, this reality is of no fault of his own, as the youngster has simply yet to fill out his growing frame. With this being said, increasing his physical strength in the coming years must be Orrico’s primary focus — once of improved balance and stability, Orrico will become a truly dynamic defender.

Related: Toronto Red Wings Prospect Profiles

Tied directly to Orrico’s smaller stature is his shot power and its resulting penetration. At the moment, Orrico is largely a pass-first player given his tremendous vision and lack of shot strength. Once a more physically mature force, Orrico would do well to pound the puck on goal more often — as penetrative point shots have the ability to generate numerous rebounds and offensive opportunities.

Future Potential:

Ultimately, Orrico should develop into a stellar two-way defender at the next-level once he adds greater size and strength to his frame.

Boasting maturity beyond his years, Orrico features the confidence and poise of a seasoned veteran and the dynamic skill-set to match. Although he was not a major point producer as of the 2018-19 season, Orrico should develop into a lethal threat from the blue line in the coming seasons as he polishes and fine-tunes his overall game.

In short, there’s a great deal to like with respect to Orrico’s play. Come the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, expect Orrico to be chosen in the third-to-fifth round range — if not higher.