2019 OHL Cup: The Top-20 Performers

The 2019 OHL Cup has come to a close, and what a tournament it proved to be! Re-live all of the action by meeting the top-20 performers from the tournament, here.

The Don Mills Flyers are your 2019 OHL Cup champions.

However, claiming the trophy proved to be anything but a walk in the park for the Flyers, who were strongly tested in virtually each and every game they played throughout the tournament. Yet, come overtime of the Championship Game, the Flyers once again found a way to get the job done — overcoming a 4-1 deficit to defeat the Toronto Red Wings by final score of 6-5.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

And, while the usual suspects rowed the boat for the Flyers, a number of wrongly overlooked prospects seized the opportunity to impress on the big stage — scoring timely goals or producing offence at a remarkably consistent pace. Once of which for Don Mills was Edward Moskowitz — a hard-working and tireless skater who put his scoring abilities and playmaking touch on full display throughout the tournament.

In fact, there were a whack of incredibly impressive performances pieced together by a number of highly touted prospects throughout the 2019 OHL Cup. And, despite a number of which being eliminated relatively early on in the tournament, each and every prospect who impressed deserves to be recognized on a more substantial level.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft — Player Profiles

With this being said, we’ve take a moment to list our top-20 performers from the 2019 OHL Cup. While many names will sound familiar to most, a number of other prospects assessed below are relative newcomers to the hockey prospect world yet are deserving of their distinction nonetheless.

The Top-20 Performers

Listed below, in alphabetical order, are our top-20 performers from the 2019 OHL Cup. Although these 20 players vary in position, team, and nationality, all of which deserve substantial recognition given their efforts throughout this year’s tournament.

Zak Brice (G) – Detroit Little Caesars

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 4-2-0, 2.34 GAA, .893 SV%

Zak Brice didn’t receive the same recognition as some of his teammates, but he was just as important with his consistent and timely goaltending. Sporting a 4-1-0 record with a 1.41 GAA and .934 SV% before heading into the Semi-Final matchup against Don Mills, Brice’s numbers were significantly skewed from that 7-1 loss.

Another goalie of somewhat smaller stature, Brice showed off excellent rebound control and a never give up attitude in the crease, making several spectacular saves across the course of the tournament. Playing every minute of his team’s six contests, it’s hard to imagine Little Caesars cracking the Semi-Finals without him on their side.

Paul Christopoulos (D) – Don Mills Flyers

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 4 G, 2 A, 6 PTS

A reliable defender with tremendous gap control and very intriguing offensive upside, Paul Christpoulos has fallen into the shadows of fellow Don Mills’ defencemen, Brandt Clarke and Roman Schmidt, at times this season. However, he utilized the OHL Cup to solidify his potential as a smooth skating, two-way defenceman at the OHL level.

Protecting the blue line with authority, Christopoulos matches his opponents speed on the rush and is assertive in pressuring them to the outside. With an active stick, he is effective at disrupting teams on the cycle. Further, Christopoulos has consistently showcased an elite transition game, in which he is confident to join the rush himself when available.

Brandt Clarke (D) – Don Mills Flyers

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 2 G, 8 A, 10 PTS

The consensus top defenceman available for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, Brandt Clarke only solidified his status for the upcoming OHL Draft this week. While his offensive upside is what sticks out to most, and for good reason, it’s his defensive abilities that really put himself into an elite category of minor midget defencemen over the past decade.

Clarke’s agility and elusiveness are second to none, as he is calm under pressure and can create time and space for himself with the puck like it’s nothing. That agility, combined with the most effective stick in recent memory, makes him virtually impossible to get by on the rush. Clarke boasts a complete game with exceptional talent at both ends of the ice.

Luca Del Bel Belluz (LW) – Toronto Red Wings

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 6 G, 2 A, 8 PTS

Often flying under the radar of his teammates, Francesco Pinelli and Adam Fantilli, Luca Del Bel Belluz displayed some elite puck skills throughout the course of the OHL Cup. He has contributed some highlight reel goals on occasion this season, but has struggled to put together a consistent, all-around game.

However, Del Bel Belluz managed to put together a string of impressive performances at the tournament, tallying six goals in six games and providing some serious skill on the wing of the Red Wings’ second line. Although he will need to refine his skating and strength for the OHL, Del Bel Belluz displayed oodles of natural talent this past week, catching the eyes of everyone in the building.

Maxwell Donohoe (RW) – Mississauga Rebels

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 4 G, 6 A, 10 PTS

Although somewhat inconsistent in his offensive production throughout the 2018-19 GTHL regular season, Maxwell Donohoe pieced together a tremendous showing at the 2019 OHL Cup. Using his size and speed to his advantage, Donohoe regularly attacked his opposition with a purpose and was able to generate a great deal of scoring chances as a result.

In fact, Donohoe was able to produce when needed the most, as the youngster recorded multiple points against all of the Whitby Wildcats, Team NOHA, and the Toronto Marlboros — the Rebels’ three most critical games of the OHL Cup. Sure, losing in the semi-finals was not the result which the Rebels wanted, however, both Donohoe and the Rebels turned heads with their impressive play throughout the tournament.

Benjamin Gaudreau (G) – Team NOHA

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 1-2-0, 2.03 GAA, .936 SV%

The renowned North Bay Trappers and Team Ontario goaltender put on yet another display of elite play at the OHL Cup. Going up against three high-end offensive forces in his games, Benjamin Gaudreau held Team NOHA in their games and was the back bone for a team which had higher hopes for their result.

Showcasing excellent size, positioning, lateral movements, and ability to track the puck through traffic, Gaudreau was cool under pressure and clocked in some impressive numbers despite being very busy in the crease. Unfortunately, being placed in the tournament’s toughest division proved to be too much for the North, but Gaudreau was able to pad his OHL Draft stock in the meantime with some incredible performances.

Luke Hughes (D) – Detroit Little Caesars

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 3 G, 1 A, 4 PTS

The Detroit Little Caesars were a dominant force throughout the 2019 OHL Cup before ultimately falling to the Don Mills Flyers. Offence proved to be the name of the game for Little Caesars, who out-scored their opposition by a wide-margin prior to their 7-1 defeat at the hands of the Flyers. One player who played a significant role in his team’s offensive outburst was defender Luke Hughes — a stellar puck-moving defenceman who can think the game at an electrifying-level.

Come to the end of the 2019 OHL Cup, Hughes had blasted home three goals and added one assist for the Little Caesars — providing a much-needed punch from the blue line while taking pressure off of his consistently productive forwards. Decisive and purposeful in his skating and not afraid to take risks owing to his intelligence, Hughes’s play helped solidify him as a top prospect eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft — although he may not choose the major-junior route owing to his University of Michigan commitment.

Ryan Humphrey (C) – Total Package Hockey

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 4 G, 3 A, 7 PTS

Despite being eliminated by the Don Mills Flyers in their quarter-final clash, TPH Hockey and Ryan Humphrey enjoyed an impressive showing at the 2019 OHL Cup. Playing to a 3-1 record in round robin competition, TPH Hockey proved to be a formidable foe throughout the entirety of the tournament. One force behind TPH’s persistent play was the presence of Ryan Humphrey — a hard-working centre who can be utilized in a variety of situations.

In the OHL Cup in particular, Humphrey was a notable threat on his team’s power play. A creative playmaker who can shoot the puck as well, Humphrey tallied three power play goals for his club and kept his opponents on their heels owing to his shifty and decisive play while in possession of the puck.

Wyatt Johnston (C) – Toronto Marlboros

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 5 G, 8 A, 13 PTS

Wyatt Johnston concluded the 2019 OHL Cup as one of the tournament’s top scorers — a reality which should come as little surprise to those who have tracked his progression throughout the 2018-19 campaign. A shifty and nimble skater, Johnston can navigate the offensive zone with ease and relies upon his intelligence and awareness to create lethal scoring opportunities for his team.

In his five games played during the OHL Cup, Johnston displayed elite-level analytical skills which could make him a first-round selection come the 2019 OHL Draft. Always aware of the location of his teammates but not afraid to drive the puck to the net himself, Johnston routinely displayed his smarts and was able to lead his team’s attacking game as a direct result.

Griffen Jurecki (C) – Detroit Little Caesars

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 4 G, 6 A, 10 PTS

Although of a slightly smaller stature, Griffin Jurecki played a substantial role in his team’s charge to the semi-final round. A threat in all three zones of the ice who proved himself capable of being utilized in a variety of situations, Jurecki paced his team offensively and was incredibly consistent in his ability to do so.

As a player who can both pass and shoot the puck, Jurecki stood as an unpredictable threat for Detroit Little Caesars capable of capitalizing on each and every mistake committed by his opponents. An incredibly hard-working player who strives to possess the puck each and every shift, Jurecki’s energy and persistence served as motivation for he and his teammates as they pushed deep into the elimination rounds.

Logan Mailloux (D) – Toronto Marlboros

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 1 G, 8 A, 9 PTS

Logan Mailloux has developed rapidly over the course of the 2018-19 season, and was quick to put his incredibly mature skill-set on display throughout the 2019 OHL Cup. A tower of power on the Marlboros’ blue line owing to his 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame, Mailloux can dominate and dis-possess attackers in his own zone with ease before transitioning the puck up ice or joining the rush.

Once in the offensive zone, Mailloux stands as a dynamic presence on the blue line. A tremendous skater considering his impressive size and strength, Mailloux features the proven ability to anchor his team’s blue line in a variety of situations and can create plays or fire the puck on-goal as well as any defender eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft — the reason behind his nine total points in this year’s tournament.

Daniel Michaud (C) – Quinte Red Devils

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 5 G, 2 A, 7 PTS

Daniel Michaud is an intimidating player owing to his 6-foot-2 frame and 180-pound weight. However, in addition to his size, Michaud has proven time and time again to be a lethal offensive force capable of leading his team’s attack on a nightly basis. And, in the 2019 OHL Cup, such was once exactly the case — Michaud paced his team offensively while standing as a responsible presence at both ends of the ice.

This highly skilled and aware two-way game led to a great amount of success for Michaud in this year’s tournament despite his team’s early exit, as the youngster blasted home five goals and seven points in his five games played.

Jack O’Brien (LW) – Detroit Little Caesars

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 2 G, 6 A, 8 PTS

As a player of impeccable on-ice vision and creativity, it should come as no surprise to learn that Jack O’Brien led his team in assists in the 2019 OHL Cup. A natural playmaker with the uncanny ability to hit his teammates with crisp and creative cross-ice passes, O’Brien continued to prove himself as a shifty skater who can keep opposing defenders guessing owing to his slick puck-handling skills.

While his goal-scoring abilities are undoubtedly improving, O’Brien will stand as a far more lethal offensive player once he can bulge the twine in addition to create and implement high-percentage scoring plays as a result of his vision. Ultimately, the 2019 OHL Cup was a tremendous showing for O’Brien, who proved himself capable of competing and succeeding against incredibly stern competition

Brennan Othmann (LW) – Don Mills Flyers

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 8 G, 6 A, 14 PTS

Brennan Othmann continues to electrify scouts and fans alike, as the youngster boasts a devastating shot and the consistency necessary to become an elite-player at the OHL-level. And, all throughout the 2019 OHL Cup, Othmann’s play was no different — the dynamic winger continued to blast the puck into the back of the net with authority and was a driving force behind his team’s success at both ends of the ice.

Further, Othmann displayed his unique ability to contribute offensively when needed the most — putting up significant point totals towards the end of the round robin and into his team’s elimination games. Sure, his play away from the puck could use a little work in the years ahead, however, the fact remains that Othmann is a deadly talent and one of the top prospects eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft — don’t be surprised if he is one of the first five players selected on draft day.

Francesco Pinelli (C) – Toronto Red Wings

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 7 G, 7 A, 14 PTS

Francesco Pinelli has pushed the pace for the Toronto Red Wings all season long, and didn’t hesitate to do the same once the OHL Cup rolled around. A tremendous and consistent two-way player for the Red Wings, Pinelli continued to display his strong all-around game throughout the OHL Cup — regularly supporting and defending his own zone before charging up ice and generating offensive opportunities.

Alongside the likes of Adam Fantilli and Nolan Dann, Pinelli helped to push the Red Wings into the OHL Cup final, where his team-oriented play and dedication to success was once again on full display. A potential first-round choice ahead of the 2019 OHL Draft, Pinelli’s commitment to team success and all-around play should make him an overnight fan-favourite when he steps onto OHL ice next season.

Lawson Sherk (C) – Halton Hurricanes

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 4 G, 4 A, 8 PTS

Although his Halton Hurricanes were bounced from the 2019 OHL Cup by Detroit Little Caesars in the quarter-finals, Lawson Sherk enjoyed a stellar showing — and one which will undoubtedly improve his stock ahead of the 2019 OHL Draft. Of solid size given his 6-foot-1 frame, Sherk stood as an immovable force in his offensive zone and was virtually impossible to knock off of the puck.

Once in possession, Sherk was a lethal and versatile threat considering his proven ability to both shoot and pass the puck with absolute authority. Moreover, when unable to create a devastating offensive play, Sherk displayed the mature ability to shield and protect the puck while his teammates moved into more feasible positions to generate opportunities. In the end, Sherk walked away from the OHL Cup with four goals and four assists in-hand — a total which led his team.

Brenden Sirizzotti (RW) – Whitby Wildcats

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 4 G, 3 A, 7 PTS

A virtual lock to be selected within the first round of the 2019 OHL Draft, Brenden Sirizzotti continued to display his torrent offensive abilities for the Whitby Wildcats in the OHL Cup. A stellar skater of tremendous speed an agility, Sirizzotti regularly drove his team’s offensive game and kept his opponents on their heels all tournament long owing to his elite-level puck-skills and shooting ability.

A member of one of the most dangerous lines in all of minor midget hockey this past season, Sirizzotti proved himself capable of succeeding on his own throughout the OHL Cup — regularly seeing ice time in a variety of situations and succeeding nonetheless. Sure to enjoy a seamless transition to the OHL-level given his impressive skating abilities and solid size, Sirizzotti’s OHL Cup performance did nothing other than solidify his presence as one of the OHL’s top young prospects.

Shane Wright (C) – Don Mills Flyers

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 8 G, 10 A, 18 PTS

Surprise, surprise — Shane Wright listed as one of the top performers in a tournament.

In fact, Wright’s been doing it all season long, and he certainly wasn’t going to take his foot off of the gas pedal in the OHL Cup. As dynamic and creative as ever, Wright once again played a starring role for his Don Mills Flyers — leading the tournament in scoring owing to his jaw-dropping eight goals and 18 points in a mere seven games played.

Utilized in all situations and a fixture on his team’s penalty-kill, Wright’s superb all-around game was on full display as he consistently displayed the skill-set and maturity which earned him Exceptional Status ahead of the 2019 OHL Draft. Sure to be a star in the OHL next season, Wright not only led his team but stood high above his competition throughout his first and final OHL Cup — a performance which will go down in history as one of the best of all-time.

Justin Wu (G) – Mississauga Rebels

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 4-2-0, 1.84 GAA, .925 SV%

A goaltender who makes up for his lack of size with incredible athleticism and compete between the pipes, Justin Wu almost single-handedly carried the Rebels from the Wild Card series into the OHL Cup Semi-Finals. The Rebels were an up and down team all year, and were placed in hands down the strongest division of the tournament.

However, with huge wins against top ranked teams in Whitby and NOHA, the Rebels found themselves in the playoff bracket. Another massive upset against the Marlboros, where Wu stopped 39 of 40 shots, and Mississauga was onto the semis. Wu significantly increased his OHL Draft stock this week, showing off his true potential and composed style of play that made the Rebels the biggest surprise of the tournament.

Pasquale Zito (C) – Mississauga Rebels

  • 2019 OHL Cup: 4 G, 6 A, 10 PTS

Pasquale Zito appears to have saved his best for last, as the smooth-skating power-forward came alive for the Mississauga Rebels in the 2019 OHL Cup. Somewhat inconsistent in his offensive production throughout the 2018-19 GTHL regular season, Zito played a starring role in his Rebels’ charge to the semi-finals.

In fact, across just six tournament games played, Zito was able to fire home four goals and ten points — a total which placed him in a tie with Donohoe for the most on his team. Determined when in possession of the puck and more persistent than ever before, Zito displayed the high-end skill and ability which has long made him a premier prospect eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft.

Five Honourable Mentions

Listed below, in alphabetical order, are five prospects who also enjoyed tremendous showings at the 2019 OHL Cup. Unfortunately, due to the play of those listed above, these five wildly talented players just missed being ranked as one of the tournament’s top-20 players.

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2019 OHL Cup: 50 Players to Watch

The 2019 OHL Cup is officially underway, so we’ve listed and profiled the top-50 prospects to keep a close eye on throughout the tournament. In short, you’ll want to keep this list handy as the OHL Cup unwinds.

The 2019 OHL Cup is officially underway!

This year’s tournament is shaping up to be one of the most competitive and entertaining in recent history, as a number of clubs hold a legitimate chance to claim this year’s crown. Although the Don Mills Flyers stand as the favourite to lift the Cup, a number of other squads feature rosters beaming with talented young players capable of pulling off the impossible.

Who are these players in particular, you ask?

Well, whether you’re fortunate enough to attend the 2019 OHL Cup in person or will be watching online, you’ll want to keep tabs on the 50 players which we have identified and profiled below. And, while there are plenty of other talented prospects to watch in this year’s tournament, the 50 listed below stand as the cream of the crop within their respective rosters and the minor midget circuit as a whole.

In short, keep this list handy throughout this year’s tournament. You’ll want to watch these 50 prospects play when their team’s grace the ice at Scotiabank Pond.

The Top-50 Players to Watch

Here are the top-50 prospects to watch in the 2019 OHL Cup. While some names will sound familiar, others are not as recognizable yet will surely be worth knowing as the OHL Cup unwinds over the course of March.

For simplicity and organization, this list will organized alphabetically by league and association.

Alliance Hockey:

Brantford 99ers:

Consistency is one of the leading qualities of Maddox Callens’ game, as the energetic young forward features an accurate shot of ample velocity. However, when his shot doesn’t beat an opposing goaltender, it creates rebounds for his teammates to gobble up. Although somewhat prone to penalties, Callens’ offensive abilities will see him selected in the opening round of the 2019 OHL Draft.

As one of the the top defenders eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft, don’t be surprised to see Cole Hipkin lead the Brantford 99ers at both ends of the ice. A tremendous and fluid skater, Hipkin can play a decisive role at both ends of the ice owing to his maneuverability and can generate substantial offence from his perch on the blue line as well.

  • Landon McCallum

A dynamic forward of solid size and natural offensive instincts, Landon McCallum was one of the most potent players in Alliance hockey this past season. A pass-first player, McCallum can also blast the puck on-goal or protect it down low in order to generate considerable possession time for his squad.

Kitchener Jr. Rangers:

Marko Sikic has quickly developed into a lethal offensive force, and a consistent one at that. Featuring intimidating size and a smooth skating stride, Sikic can traverse the ice well for a forward of his size and has no trouble filling the back of the net. To boot, Sikic features a heavy shot with a crisp release.

  • Matthew Sop

A versatile offensive player, Matthew Sop can do it all on the ice. A strong three-zone player, Sop can initiate breakouts from his own zone and is a beast in the attacking zone. A shooter who also happens to be a natural playmaker, Sop can dismantle his opposition in a number of ways and is increasingly intelligent in the use of his teammates.

  • Braeden Bowman

Of solid size, Braeden Bowman is a difficult player to handle. Capable of securing the puck and protecting it within the offensive zone, Bowman boasts stellar vision and can create high-percentage scoring plays despite the heavy defensive presence in front of him. Moreover, Bowman features a heavy shot which has the ability to surprise and sneak through goaltenders if not respected.

Waterloo Wolves: 

  • Owen Parsons

A natural goal-scorer, Owen Parsons is a dynamic and lethal offensive force for the Waterloo Wolves. A 28-goal scorer during his regular season campaign, Parsons is a shifty skater who can score goals in a variety of ways. Whether he be crashing the net, picking up rebounds, or blasting his stellar shot on goal from a distance, Parsons is a threat to light the lamp each time he takes to the ice.

Windsor Jr. Spitfires:

  • Ray Hamlin

A tenacious force for the Jr. Spitfires in 2018-19, Ray Hamlin brings a mixture of offensive ability and physical force to the ice on a nightly basis. Not afraid to stick up for his teammates or throw a well-placed body-check, Hamlin can contribute offensively to boot and has become rather consistent and deadly in his ability to do so.

  • Cayden Faust

Although he didn’t obliterate the scoresheet this past season, Cayden Faust is a consistent offensive contributor who brings energy and creativity to the ice. A key component of the Jr. Spitfires’ roster, Faust boasts quick hands and the ability to process the play in front of his at a rapid pace.

Widely regarded as one of the top goaltenders eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft, Max Donoso is an electrifying netminder who is not only explosive in his movements but also calm and composed in the crease. Founded upon strong positioning and lightning-quick reflexes, Donoso can turn away the hottest of shooters with ease and was a fixture within the Windsor Jr. Spitfires’ roster this season.

London Jr. Knights:

Brett Harrison absolutely dominated Alliance hockey in 2018-19, blasting home 42 goals and 63 points over the course of the regular season. In fact, both of these totals stood as the best in his league — a clear indication of Harrison’s dominance and ability to bring his devastating offensive abilities to the ice on a nightly basis. Come the 2019 OHL Draft, Harrison should hear is name called in the opening round considering he stands as one of the top goal-scorers in this year’s class.

Eastern AAA Hockey:

Whitby Wildcats:

As the ETA’s highest scoring player in the 2018-19 season, Brennan Sirizzotti is an explosive skater who can pick apart opposing defences with relative ease. A pass-first player as evidenced by his 61 assists in 36 games played for the Wildcats, Sirizzotti is also a lethal shooter who can release the puck in the blink-of-an-eye with both accuracy and velocity.

A linemate of Sirizzotti throughout the 2018-19 regular season for the Wildcats, Ryan Winterton is one of the top goal-scorers eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft. In fact, across his 36 regular season contests, Winterton blasted home a league-best 38 goals — a testament to his nose for the net, creativity, and raw consistency on the ice.

  • Douglas Carr

An intimidating defender for the Wildcats, Carr is an extremely physical player who isn’t afraid to stick up for teammates — hence his 106 PIM in 36 regular season games played. However, Carr is far more than a devastating blueliner, as the youngster stands as an offensive threat on the back end and can contribute to his team’s success in all three zones of the ice.

York Simcoe Express:

Kaleb Nelson is an intelligent centre who plays a very impressive, 200-foot game. Showcasing above-average skating and puck skills, Nelson demonstrates all the traits of a natural goal scorer. He has consistently led his team as an offensive catalyst in both regular season and tournament action this season.

A standout for Team Ontario in the 2019 Canada Winter Games, Jacob Holmes is a versatile blueliner who can contribute at both ends of the ice. A pesky defender who loves to irritate and dis-possess his opponents, Holmes can join the rush and features a booming shot from the point alongside his steadily growing playmaking abilities.

Quinte Red Devils:

An electric power forward with speed and strength to kill, Daniel Michaud is the type of player who can take control of a game all on his game. Heating up at the right time, Michaud has been almost unstoppable for the last part of the season and playoffs, and nearly single-handedly carried Quinte into the OMHA Championships.

  • Connor Brooks

A sturdy and consistent defenceman for the Quinte Red Devils throughout the 2018-19 campaign, Connor Brooks is a poised prospect who can play a starring role at both ends of the ice. Strongest in his defensive zone and in his ability to dismantle plays devised by his opposition, Brooks also features an intriguing offensive game which has continued to grow and develop of late.

North Central Predators:

Cole Patey is one of the top two-way players eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft, as the youngster can hound his opponents in the defensive zone owing to his physicality before creating high-percentage scoring chances in his attacking end. A natural goal-scorer with an above-average shot, Patey is no stranger to devising plays and is more than willing to lay thundering body-checks when the opportunity arises.

Connor Punnett has quietly put his name on the map as one of the top puck-moving defencemen available for this year’s OHL Draft. His skills at both ends of the ice, as well as upper-level strength and physicality, were two leading reasons for his inclusion on Team Ontario for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Greater Toronto Hockey League:

Don Mills Flyers:

Speed and skill are the name of the game for Francesco Arcuri, who was wrongfully overlooked at times this season within a deep Don Mills Flyers roster. A terrific skater who brings both flair and pace to the ice, Arcuri has the ability to single-handedly drive his team’s offence and is fairly consistent in his ability to do so. Of solid size to boot, Arcuri’s game should translate well to the OHL-level.

A skilled and strong player, Liam Arnsby regularly makes a difference at both ends of the ice. He’s displayed the strength to consistently separate opponents from the puck with powerful body checks, but also possesses high-end skill and sense of the ice which allow him to be a crucial contributor for the Don Mills Flyers. Arnsby is a spark plug for the Flyers, and was also extremely impactful for Team Ontario at the Canada Winter Games.

Arguably the top defenceman eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft, Brandt Clarke brings poise, composure, and high-end skill and ability to the ice. Of solid size and strength, he has consistently displayed a ridiculous level of elusiveness while both breaking out of his zone and while patrolling the blue line. Never afraid to join the rush, Clarke has shown high-end offensive upside while maintaining excellent defensive awareness, with incredible stick and body positioning.

Perhaps the most dynamic scorer in the 2019 OHL Draft class, Brennan Othmann has earned a reputation as one of the most potent shooters in the province. Showcasing high-end puck skills at top speed and in traffic, Othmann has a nose for the net and a knack for being in the right place at the right time. He has an incredibly quick release and can pick the smallest of holes in opposing goaltenders.

Fresh off of being granted Exceptional Status by Hockey Canada and the OHL, Shane Wright is the consensus top prospect in this year’s draft. With otherworldly hockey sense and an innate talent to escape high pressure situations with possession, Wright is nearly impossible to steal the puck from. He can burn opponents as both a dynamic playmaker and as a sniper, and is very reliable in the faceoff circle as well.

North York Rangers:

  • Luca Rea

Luca Rea of the North York Rangers is a feisty forward who brings skill, speed, and physicality to the ice on a nightly basis. A crafty offensive player, Rea boasts quick hands and has the raw talent necessary to drive his team’s offensive game each time he takes to the ice.

  • Patrick Saini

A tireless engine defines the play of Patrick Saini, as the youngster is a hand-full on the forecheck and loves to force his opponents into turnovers. Once in control of the puck is when Saini is the most deadly, as he features an innate ability to protect possession and can make quick and effective decisions in order to benefit his team on the scoreboard.

Toronto Marlboros:

One of the most composed defenders you will find at this age level, Ethan Del Mastro plays a quiet but effective game. A fluid skater with great size and strength, Del Mastro is as reliable as they come, holding tight gaps on the rush, forcing plenty of turnovers, and moving the puck up ice with authority. As he continues to find his confidence, Del Mastro is exhibiting a higher and higher offensive ceiling as well.

Arguably the hardest hitter in Ontario’s minor midget circuit, Artem Guryev is simply no fun to go up against. He excels as matches his opponents speed on the rush, and can instantly cut off space along the wall with booming body checks. He shows promising offensive upside as well, often gaining zone entries with possession and using a strong shot from the blueline to create scoring chances.

A Boston University commit, Danil Zhilkin’s game revolves around his skating and sense of the ice. With an extremely efficient stride and great agility, he can blow wide by defenders or also use his slick mitts to cut into the middle and make his opponents look silly. With a quick and accurate release, Zhilkin has consistently demonstrated a sniper’s mentality.

Toronto Nationals:

A smooth skater and talented puck-handler, Josh Bloom is a gifted offensive player who can single-handedly drive his team’s offensive game. Known for his great vision and ability to process the game at a rapid pace, Bloom can distribute the puck to his teammates with ease and also features a strong shot. In short, Bloom is a well-rounded and stable all-around player.

  • Zachary Dean

Although he isn’t eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft, Zachary Dean will unquestionably be one of the top players competing in the 2019 OHL Cup. A determined and agile skater defined by his above-average speed, Dean can meander through opposing defences before driving the puck hard to the goal. A tremendous playmaker with incredible hands and vision, Dean can also shoot the puck — a reality which keeps his opponents off balance at all times.

Despite his smaller stature, Samuel Moncada is unquestionably one of the top goaltenders eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft and competing in the 2019 OHL Cup. Eerily similar in playing style to Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, Moncada is extremely flexible and agile in his crease and has a knack for making game-saving, highlight-reel saves with remarkable frequency.

Toronto Red Wings:

One of the youngest players set to compete in the 2019 OHL Cup given his 2004-birth year, Adam Fantilli is also one of the most promising. Despite his age, Fantilli features excellent size, strength, and skating abilities. Sure to be a top-five pick in the 2020 OHL Draft, Fantilli is as dynamic as they come and isn’t afraid to mix things up physically either.

Francesco Pinelli has been a model of consistency for the Toronto Red Wings this season, captaining his squad to an impressive regular season record and notable postseason success. A strong centre, Pinelli plays a solid two-way game and can influence any given contest in all three zones of the ice. Further, in addition to his natural playmaking abilities, Pinelli features a strong and accurate shot.

One of the top goaltenders eligible of the 2019 OHL Draft, Joshua Rosenzweig is a tireless competitor who brings his A-game to the ice each and every time he stands between the the pipes. Of solid size given his age, Rosenzweig is an excellent puck-tracker who allows puck to simply hit him before gobbling up rebounds — if any. A left-handed catcher, Rosenzweig features lightning-quick reflexes and the ability to keep his team in games which they don’t necessarily deserve to win.

Mississauga Rebels:

A feisty forward who brings speed and skill to the ice, Jesse Fishman is a tireless skater who can be relied upon to play a key role for his team at both ends of the ice. Not afraid to deliver bone-rattling body-checks, Fishman drives puck possession for his team and stands as a threat to pass or shoot once in control.

  • Judd Katz

A steady riser within this year’s 2019 OHL Draft class, Judd Katz is making waves as a result of his size, on-ice intelligence, and steady defensive play. Although he features a heavy shot from the point, Katz’s main strengths lay in his defensive play — the youngster can shot down opposing forwards with ease and moves surprisingly well for a defender of his size and strength.

Northern Ontario Hockey:

Team NOHA:

A Providence College commit, Chase Stillman is a consistent offensive player defined by his stellar playmaking abilities and nose for the nest. Although a pass-first player, Stillman isn’t afraid to drive hard to the next in order to create rebounds and general offensive opportunities for his team. As hard working as they come, Stillman’s professional style of play makes him a well-rounded and highly valuable prospect.

  • Zacharie Giroux

A consistent offensive producer, Zacharie Giroux is a pure goal scorer with a nose for the net. With the ability to score in a multitude of ways, Giroux is able to double as a playmaker with the opportunity presents itself. A quick skater with impressive agility, Giroux is everything you want in a first line scoring winger.

A tower of power on the blue line, Joshua Kavanagh is an incredibly successful and potent two-way defender founded upon his incredible on-ice intelligence and decision-making with the puck. Of a growing offensive game, Kavanagh continues to grow his game at both ends of the ice and is a strong and sturdy skater capable of diffusing any and all plays devised by his opposition.

Thunder Bay Kings:

  • Jack Michaelis

Although he isn’t the biggest player on the ice, Jack Michaelis is a tenacious fore-checker who plays a strong all-around game in all three zones of the ice. A natural goal-scorer, Michaelis features a strong and accurate shot and has the ability to distribute the puck effectively to his teammates as well.

South Central AAA Hockey:

Halton Hurricanes:

A lethal offensive machine, Ethan Burroughs can turn a dull play into a legitimate scoring chance within seconds. He has showcases impressive agility and explosiveness over the course of the season and is a wizard with the puck. He can use his hands and creativity to make defenders look silly, and use his accurate shot to find the back of the net with ease.

  • Lawson Sherk

A fluid skater with tremendous playmaking talents, Lawson Sherk has formed a lethal 1-2 punch alongside Burroughs. With creative hands and a knack for finding minuscule passing lanes, he can often find teammates in unlikely positions. With that said, his shot is fairly strong as well, giving himself plenty of options with the puck.

  • Calum Chau

A fleet-footed, puck moving defenceman, Calum Chau has seemed to only improve with each passing game. A tremendous transition player, Chau can make all kinds of stretch passes from the defensive zone. An agile and elusive skater, Chau can get himself out of trouble in even the most dangerous of situations.

USA Representatives:

Little Caesars:

Like his brothers Jack and Quinn, Hughes is far from the biggest player on the ice. However, like his two superstar brothers, Hughes more than compensates for this perceived deficiency through tactile defensive play and lethal capabilities in the offensive zone. A smooth and creative skater, Hughes loves to rush the puck up ice and can make decisions, pass the puck, or fire it on-goal all at a high-rate of speed.

  • Griffin Jurecki

The captain of Little Caesars, Griffin Jurecki leads by example with a tremendous work ethic at both ends of the ice. With a strong sense for the game, he is able to utilize his combination of skating, skills, and shot to be a lethal threat for opponents. With good strength, he can also engage in the physical aspect of the game.

  • Max Smolinski

A fleet-footed and agile defenceman, Max Smolinski is a strong and stable force on the back-end who can shutdown plays devised by his opposition before transitioning the puck up the ice. Once established in the attacking zone, Smolinski is a composed threat on the blue-line who can move the puck to his forwards or force the puck on goal owing to his intelligence and crisp release.

TPH Hockey:

  • Connor Miller

Connor Miller led the way offensively for Honeybaked U15 in 2018-19, posting nine goals and 25 points across his 18 regular season games played. An innate offensive player, Brooks is a sturdy skater with a nose for the net who knows how to generate lethal scoring opportunities for he and his teammates.

  • Joseph Blackley

A highly promising two-way defender who competed for the Buffalo Regals in the SCTA this past season, Joseph Blackley is a well-rounded prospect who will represent Team TPH in the 2019 OHL Cup. Strong in his own zone and capable of transitioning the puck to his forwards, Blackley features a steadily improving offensive game and stands as a threat to either pass or shoot the puck from his perch on the blue line.

 

2019 OHL Cup Ranking: The Final Edition

With the 2019 OHL Cup ready to roll, be sure to check out our final tournament ranking for the 2018-19 season! Although the Don Mills Flyers are the favourite, a number of team’s could take home the trophy in what will surely be an entertaining event.

The 2019 OHL Cup is mere days away, meaning that the time has come to unveil our final tournament ranking for the 2018-19 campaign.

Since we last met to discuss the 2019 OHL Cup in February, there has been a great deal of change with respect to the top-10 teams set to compete in this year’s tournament. In fact, two teams which were ranked in February no longer remain on our list, and have since been replaced by a pair of competitors who hold the potential to do serious damage within this year’s OHL Cup.

As far as the remaining teams go, they are the usual suspects and remain largely unchanged since February. At the top of the list are the Don Mills Flyers, Toronto Marlboros, and Detroit Compuware — the latter of which a newcomer to the top-10 following their nomination by the Tournament Selection Committee. Champions of the HPHL this season, Compuware should be viewed as a serious threat considering they were the only team to defeat Don Mills over the course of the 2018-19 season.

New Project (1)

Outside of the top-three overall are the relentless Toronto Nationals, the electrifying Whitby Wildcats, and Team NOHA. Making their first appearance within our ranking is Team NOHA — a tournament team comprised of the top talent home to the NOHA who should pose a major threat to the elite teams competing within this year’s tournament.

Rounding out the top-10 teams within our final OHL Cup Ranking of the season are the Toronto Red Wings, York-Simcoe Express, Halton Hurricanes, and Kitchener Jr. Rangers. Although all of which hold an outside shot at securing the 2019 OHL Cup, none of the above teams should be taken lightly considering their excellent track-records and playoff performances over the past year of play.

With this being said, let’s take a closer look at the top-10 contenders ready to battle for the 2019 OHL Cup. Although these ten will undoubtedly be the top teams to watch, don’t count out the other competing clubs not mentioned within our ranking below.

10. Kitchener Jr. Rangersphoto

  • Months Ranked: 4
  • 2018-19 League Record: 18-6-9; 133GF & 78GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-6-2
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16
  • Alliance Playoffs: Finalist

The Kitchener Jr. Rangers have suddenly become the team to beat in the Alliance. With a strong second half, the Rangers have fought their way to the Alliance Final on the back of tremendous scoring depth along with a solid and reliable blue line. Despite limited success in tournament action, the Rangers have proven their ability to compete with the province’s top teams, and remain a team to watch at the OHL Cup.

Led on offence by the trio of Marko Sikic, Matthew Sop, and Braeden Bowman, the Rangers boast one of the more potent top lines in the Alliance. The team features a whopping seven players with double-digit goals, a testament to their scoring depth. Angelo Duscio and Lucas Brzustowki are the leaders along the blue line, each of whom play a strong two-way game. Kitchener’s scoring depth will be their asset that they need to lean on to find success in the OHL Cup.

9. Halton HurricanesHalton Hurricanes logo

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • 2018-19 League Record: 23-6-3; 127GF & 73GA
  • Tournament Record: 9-7
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Quarterfinalist
  • OMHA Championship: Silver

The Halton Hurricanes significantly raised their level of play throughout the second half of the season, en route to finishing as the SCTA’s top team and OMHA silver medalist. After going 10-0-1 in SCTA playoff action, the Hurricanes have begun to establish themselves as a true contender for the OHL Cup, despite their lack of success in tournament action this year.

Halton is led by SCTA leading scorer, Ethan Burroughs, who has compiled 44 goals in 43 combined regular season and playoff contests. His supporting cast includes the likes of Lawson Sherk and Jordan Adams, two highly skilled forwards who create havoc for opponents with their combination of speed and aggression. On the blue line, Calum Chau has displayed high-end puck moving abilities, making him dangerous at both ends of the ice. The Hurricanes will need to play a structured and composed game to make a run at the OHL Cup.

8. York Simcoe Express York-Simcoe-Express-Logo

  • Months Ranked: 4
  • 2018-19 League Record: 17-8-8; 129GF & 83GA
  • Tournament Record: 10-6-2
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Quarterfinalist
  • OMHA Championship: Bronze

A tremendously skilled team which unfortunately struggled with consistency at times, the York Simcoe Express seem to be finding their groove at just the right time. As heavy underdogs against the Whitby Wildcats in the ETA Semi-Finals, the Express utilized their physicality and resiliency to upset the Wildcats in just four games, before finishing third at the OMHA Championships.

Leading the way offensively more often than not is Kaleb Nelson, who plays a consistent game with an admirable compete level and top-level skills on the fly. The likes of Ryan Cutler and Jordan Fuller provide reliable depth scoring as well. On the back end, Jacob Holmes has become increasingly effective throughout the course of the year, and was one of the most heavily relied on defencemen for Team Ontario at the Canada Winter Games. The Express will need to play with tremendous urgency if they hope to take down some of the tournament’s top contenders.

7. Toronto Red Wings

  • Months Ranked: 5
  • 2018-19 League Record: 23-5-5; 135GF & 64GA
  • Tournament Record: 8-8-2
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Sweet 16
  • GTHL Playoffs: Semi-Finalist

Despite a slow start to their 2018-19 regular season campaign, the Toronto Red Wings rebounded and became one of the GTHL’s most prolific teams in the process. Founded upon a strong goaltending duo, the Red Wings feature steadily improving defenders alongside a mass of wildly skilled forwards capable of influencing the outcome of a game on any given night.

Leading the way for the Red Wings this season and into the OHL Cup will undoubtedly be the likes of Francesco Pinelli, Adam Fantilli, Nolan Dann, Josh Orrico, and Joshua Rosenzweig — five players of varying position who have critical to the team’s success in 2018-19. If the Red Wings can receive consistent contributions from these players while drawing productivity from the remainder of their roster, Toronto could be a dark-horse threat come the tournament.

6. Whitby Wildcats

  • Months Ranked: 6
  • 2018-19 League Record: 30-1-5; 178GF & 62GA
  • Tournament Record: 19-4-0
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16
  • International Silver Stick: Semi-Finalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Semi-Finalist
  • OMHA Championship: Gold

The OMHA’s top team all year long got a bit of a scare from the York Simcoe Express when they were upset in the ETA Semi-Finals. Luckily, the Whitby Wildcats played host to the OMHA Championships, where they rolled to a combined 5-0 record on their way to successfully defending their OMHA title.

The Wildcats greatest asset undoubtedly comes from their offence. Their top line of Brenden Sirizzotti, Ryan Winterton, and Thomas Johnston has been absolutely stellar all year long and often steals games independently for Whitby. They play a high paced, team-first approach that usually overwhelms their opponents with speed, skill, and excellent structure. Whitby should be considered a true threat in the loaded Lindros Division.

5. Team NOHA

  • Months Ranked: 1

One of the more intriguing teams for the OHL Cup will be Team NOHA. The team features 15 players from the Sudbury Minor Midget Wolves, a team which made a significant run in a few of this year’s major tournaments. This year’s edition of Team NOHA may just prove to be the strongest in their history.

Boasting a ton of speed and skill throughout the entire lineup, the NOHA will be led offensively by the likes of Chase Stillman and Zacharie Giroux, two high-scoring forwards who each added 55 points in 24 GNML games this year. Their backend is loaded as well, with high-end defenders Josh Kavanagh and Jack Matier, as well as top goaltending prospect, Benjamin Gaudreau, who backstopped Team Ontario to a silver medal at the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

4. Toronto Young Nationals

  • Months Ranked: 6
  • 2018-19 League Record: 24-5-4; 139GF & 72GA
  • Tournament Record: 13-5-0
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Finalist
  • GTHL Playoffs: Semi-Finalist

Although the Toronto Nationals fell to the Marlboros in the semi-finals of the GTHL playoffs, the club continues to stand as a legitimate contender for the 2019 OHL Cup. Boasting two of the top 2003-born goaltenders in all of minor midget, the Nationals feature an incredibly deep team which is tough to play against in all three zones of the ice.

As a physically intimidating club, the Nationals can punish their opposition physically or pick them apart owing to their high-end skill and offensive creativity. However, if the Nationals wish to legitimately compete in this year’s OHL Cup, they’ll need to play a calculated and penalty-free style of game — undisciplined penalties can force the Nationals into considerable penalty kills and excess time within their own zone.

3. Detroit CompuwareDetroit Compuware Logo

  • Months Ranked: 1
  • 2018-19 League Record
  • International Silver Stick: Champions
  • HPHL Playoffs: Champions

The only team successful in defeating the Don Mills Flyers all year long, Detroit Compuware should be considered as a legitimate contender for the 2019 OHL Cup. They came away as the 16U HPHL Champions despite icing a team one year younger than the competition. They’ve also beat three other top GTHL teams in the Marlboros, Nationals, and Rebels.

Compuware is led by two of the top 2003-born skaters in North America in Dylan Duke and Sasha Pastujov, both of whom are committed to NCAA programs. Rounding out a high-powered first line is Red Savage, another NCAA commit with speed and skill to spare. Ty Gallagher is their go-to defender, with significant offensive upside and great range on the ice — he consistently makes a difference in all three zones. Although there was debate with regards to the strength of Compuware’s roster ahead of the tournament, expect the team to contend nonetheless.

2. Toronto Marlboros

  • Months Ranked: 6
  • 2018-19 League Record: 24-6-3; 134GF & 63GA
  • Tournament Record: 18-4-3
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Finalist
  • International Silver Stick: Semi-Finalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Quarterfinalist
  • GTHL Playoffs: Finalist

The Toronto Marlboros are a perennial powerhouse in the GTHL and minor midget circuit as a whole — a fact which hasn’t changed ahead of the 2019 OHL Cup. After yet another dominant regular season and playoffs, the Marlboros stand poised to battle Don Mills for the GTHL championship later this month.

Much like the Flyers, the Marlboros boast a highly talented and deep offensive-core alongside a slew of competent blueliners on the back-end. Moreover, the Marlboros hold a strong netminder in Ben West whose play could help propel Toronto to considerable success in the OHL Cup. However, if the Marlboros wish to contend for the OHL Cup, they’ll need their best players to play with consistency on a nightly basis.

1. Don Mills Flyers

  • Months Ranked: 6
  • 2018-19 League Record: 30-0-3; 208GF & 43GA
  • Tournament Record: 29-1-1
  • Titans Early Bird: Champions
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Champions
  • International Silver Stick: Finalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Champions
  • GTHL Playoffs: Finalist

The Don Mills Flyers lost one single game this season. One.

As the consensus team to beat in this year’s OHL Cup, knocking off the Flyers will not be an easy task. Founded upon their stellar puck-moving blue line and numerous threats offensively, Don Mills continues to stand as an overwhelming force capable of defeating their opposition in variety of different ways.

One major road block for the Flyers, however, could be the presence of Detroit Compuware within this year’s tournament. Despite their seemingly endless skill and ability, the Flyers’ only loss this season came to Compuware — a fact which could lead to a dramatic final game should the two teams once again meet with a championship on the line. Ultimately, although Don Mills can be beat, don’t expect them to be in the 2019 OHL Cup.

2019 OHL Cup Ranking: February’s Top-10

The 2019 OHL Cup is less than 30 days away, meaning it’s time to unveil our top-10 tournament challengers as of the month of February. In this month’s edition the top-six remain unchanged, while a newcomer has claimed the 10th spot.

The 2018-19 hockey season if flying by, as the 2019 OHL Cup now stands less than a month away. Scheduled to begin on the 12th of March, the OHL Cup will once again showcase the top-20 minor midget teams in Canada and the USA — all of which vying to capture one of the most prestigious tournaments in all of minor hockey.

With the tournament less than 30 days away, the majority of teams viewed as legitimate contenders have begun to solidify their respective positions within our monthly OHL cup rankings. To none one’s surprise, the Don Mills Flyers continue to lock-down the top spot overall owing to their sensational team play and unparalleled team depth. Meanwhile, the Toronto Nationals and Toronto Marlboros continue to battle for the second spot, as both teams are evenly matched and incredibly competitive.

Outside of the top-six overall is where the majority of change took place over the past month, as the York Simcoe Express have leapfrogged the Kitchener Jr. Rangers while the Halton Hurricanes have bumped the London Jr. Knights from the top-10. Of these teams, it is the Hurricanes who should be considered as a legitimate threat ahead of the 2019 OHL Cup — Halton has been extremely consistent this season and have been red-hot to begin their playoff push.

One team which should also be viewed as a lethal threat in the upcoming OHL Cup is Team NOHA, whose roster was recently announced. Led by two excellent goaltenders, a blue line defined by its two-way play, and abundant talent up-front, Team NOHA should pose a significant threat throughout the tournament and more so than ever before.

February’s Top-10 Teams

With the OHL Cup looming, let’s take a closer look at February’s top-10 teams set to compete in the tournament.

New Project (1)

To simplify our ranking process, Team NOHA has not been included due to the fact that they are a tournament team and have not competed with any of the clubs listed above. Also, be sure to read our team-specific reports below, as the contain comprehensive statistics, prospect profiles, and in-depth information regarding each club.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to catch up on our past rankings in order to understand how each and every team listed above has altered and improved throughout the 2018-19 season.

Note: All team records and goal totals are up-to-date as of Thursday, February 14th. Playoff results will be included once a decisive team result has been reached.

10. Halton HurricanesHalton Hurricanes logo

  • Months Ranked: 2
  • 2018-19 League Record: 23-6-3; 127GF & 73GA
  • Tournament Record: 9-7
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Quarterfinalist

The Halton Hurricanes have been a model of consistency all throughout the 2018-19 campaign, skating to a dominant 23-6-3 record and an SCTA-best 49 points. And, come the postseason, the Hurricanes have shown no signs of slowing down. In their eight games of action within Playoff Group A, Halton skated to a 7-0-1 record and outscored their opposition 41-18 in the process — an effort which ensured their presence in the semi-finals agains the Southern Tier Admirals.

Leading the way offensively for the Hurricanes in the postseason have been the likes of Ethan Burroughs, Brennan Kennedy, and Lawson Sherk — three highly talented youngsters who blazed the way for Halton during the regular season as well. One player in particular whose play has been impressive of late is Nolan Milne, a forward of smaller stature who is proving he owns the abilities necessary to stand as an offensive threat on a nightly basis. In the weeks ahead, expect to see the Hurricanes face off against either Guelph or Niagara in the SCTA championship.

9. Kitchener Jr. Rangersphoto

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • 2018-19 League Record: 18-6-9; 133GF & 78GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-6-2
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16

The Kitchener Jr. Rangers are a force to be reckoned with in the Alliance playoffs, as the team downed the Cambridge Hawks in three consecutive games in order to reach their semi-final showdown with the Waterloo Wolves. However, staring down this intriguing matchup is exactly where the Jr. Rangers deserve to be, as Kitchener rolled to a 18-6-9 regular season record and wound up just one point shy of first place in the league standings.

If the Jr. Rangers hope to cast aside an extremely competitive Waterloo squad, they’ll need their best players to be their best players on a game-by-game basis. And, for Marko Sikic, Braeden Bowman, and Matthew Sop, this will mean bringing their very best every single night. Further, Kitchener will need to receive solid goaltending in order to stifle the Wolves attack — fortunately for the Jr. Rangers, they boast two solid netminders capable of securing the crease in Brandon Abbott and Dawson Rowe.

8. York Simcoe Express York-Simcoe-Express-Logo

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • 2018-19 League Record: 17-8-8; 129GF & 83GA
  • Tournament Record: 10-6-2
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Quarterfinalist

The York Simcoe Express are a hard-charging team defined by their impressive scoring depth, ample defending, and quality goaltenders in the crease. This broad team approach afforded the Express with a 17-8-8 record in regular season play — a mark good for 42 points and fourth-overall in the 2018-19 ETA standings.

This level of success also pushed the Express into a first-round playoff matchup with the talented Barrie Jr. Colts — a series which York Simcoe claimed in decisive fashion while outscoring the Jr. Colts 11-3 in the process. Now, the Express will head into semi-finals against the ETA-best Whitby Wildcats, a team defined by its devastating first-line trio. Ultimately, if York Simcoe hopes to knock off the Wildcats and claim a place in the OMHA Championship, they’ll need to stifle Whitby’s top-line while securing depth scoring and dynamic defending from their roster.

7. North Central Predators

  • Months Ranked: 4
  • 2018-19 League Record: 21-8-5; 133GF & 94GA
  • Tournament Record: 8-5-1
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Sweet 16

The North Central Predators skated to a 21-8-5 record during the ETA’s regular season, a mark which afforded them with 47 points and second overall in the league’s standings. Unlike some teams in the ETA and minor midget hockey as a whole, the Predators rely upon scoring depth rather than a slew of superstars in order to achieve success on the ice. Yes, Ethan Larmand and Cole Patey were by and far North Central’s top offensive players during the regular season, however, contributions from the likes Nicholas Dowling, Jacob Ventrella, Connor Punnett, and Ian Phillips proved crucial to the Predators’ success and will be essential to the team’s playoff push.

To open their 2018-19 postseason campaign, North Central faced off against the Ajax-Pickering Raiders in what proved to be a competitive and surprisingly close series. In the end, the Predators knocked off the Raiders six points to four in a five game series which saw North Central outscore Ajax-Pickering by a slim margin of 16-14. Although no stranger to close one-goal games, the Predators will need to play a much sharper game if they hope to cast aside the Quinte Red Devils in semi-finals action.

6. Mississauga Rebels

  • Months Ranked: 4
  • 2018-19 League Record: 19-12-2; 87GF & 58GA
  • 2018-19 Playoff Outcome: Eliminated in Round 1
  • Tournament Record: 17-4-1
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16
  • International Silver Stick: Quarterfinalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Quarterfinalist

Despite enduring a mini-slump half-way through the 2018-19 GTHL season, the Mississauga Rebels re-gained their composure en-route to a fifth-place finish in an extremely competitive league standings. Along the way, the Rebels played incredibly successful tournament hockey, rolling to a 17-4-1 record and a trio of quarterfinal appearances which solidified their status as a legitimate OHL Cup contender. Sure, they’ll need to win a GTHL Wild Card Game in order to reach the OHL Cup, however, overcoming adversity is something which the Rebels are no stranger to.

If the Rebels hope to overcome their opening round playoff loss to the Toronto Red Wings and reach the OHL Cup, they’ll need to receive consistent contributions from throughout their lineup. Jesse Fishman, Pasquale Zito, Christian Catalano, and Justin Wu have been relatively consistent all season, but the Rebels will need others such as Joshua Cini, Jake Barkley, Maxwell Donohoe, and Jack Guvenal to achieve new levels of consistency if Mississauga wishes to transform into a lethal offensive team capable of going on a legitimate OHL Cup run.

5. Toronto Red Wings

  • Months Ranked: 4
  • 2018-19 League Record: 23-5-5; 135GF & 64GA
  • Tournament Record: 8-8-2
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Sweet 16
  • OHL Cup Berth Officially Clinched

After cruising through the second half of their GTHL season owing to overwhelming offence, solid defending, and lights-out goaltending, the Red Wings faced a significant test in the opening round of their postseason push. Tasked with handling a hard-working Mississauga Rebels squad, it took the Red Wings a full seven games to defeat the Rebels — a testament to Mississauga’s work-ethic and competitiveness.

Now slated to battle the Don Mills Flyers in the semi-finals, the Red Wings will face their biggest test of the season as they look to knock-off this year’s powerhouse squad. If the Red Wings hope to defeat the Flyers — who failed to lose a single GTHL this campaign — they will need to hem Don Mills in their own zone and expose a goaltending duo which has been average at times this year. If the Red Wings can receive consistent contributions from Francesco Pinelli, Nolan Dann, Ryan Gillespie, and Adam Fantilli, the team could pull off a major upset. If not, the team’s place in the OHL Cup is secure regardless.

4. Whitby Wildcats

  • Months Ranked: 5
  • 2018-19 League Record: 30-1-5; 178GF & 62GA
  • Tournament Record: 19-4-0
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16
  • International Silver Stick: Semi-Finalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Semi-Finalist

The Whitby Wildcats lost just one ETA contest this season, posting a sparkling 30-1-5 record in their 36 league games alongside a whack of success in various tournaments. The driving force behind the Wildcats’ continued success has been the play of the team’s first line — a trio comprised of Brenden Sirizzotti, Ryan Winterton, and Thomas Johnston which has been downright unstoppable on the offensive side of the puck.

Now in the midst of the ETA playoffs, the Wildcats knocked off the Kingston Jr. Frontenacs in their opening round and are slated to battle the York Simcoe Express in the semi-finals. However, as the top team in the ETA, Whitby already holds a place in the OMHA Championship and will stand as a lethal force once their ticket to the OHL Cup has been officially punched. In short, Whitby could prove to be one of the only teams outside of the GTHL capable of knocking off one of the top-three teams in our ranking.

3. Toronto Marlboros

  • Months Ranked: 5
  • 2018-19 League Record: 24-6-3; 134GF & 63GA
  • Tournament Record: 18-4-3
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Finalist
  • International Silver Stick: Semi-Finalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Quarterfinalist
  • OHL Cup Berth Officially Clinched

The Toronto Marlboros are a perennial powerhouse in the GTHL, and this year’s minor midget team has proved to be no different. Although they didn’t dominate the GTHL like they did during the 2017-18 season, this year’s edition of the Marlboros have been promising — skating to a spectacular 24-6-3 record during the regular season in addition to numerous high-end tournament results.

Unlike in seasons passed, this year’s Marlboros were defined by their depth rather than the outstanding play of a select few prospects. Sure, Danil Zhilkin and Wyatt Johnston were stellar up-front, but so too were the likes of Marc Boudreau, Jack Beck, and Tucker Robertson. Moreover, the Marlboros’ intimidating defence-core was as solid as any within the GTHL, as the hard-hitting Artem Guryev and puck-moving Ethan Del Mastro stood as towers of power all season long. With a berth in the OHL Cup already secured, the Marlboros will take on the Toronto Nationals in what should be a wildly entertaining semi-final series — a fiery matchup which will likely not be the last between the two.

2. Toronto Young Nationals

  • Months Ranked: 5
  • 2018-19 League Record: 24-5-4; 139GF & 72GA
  • Tournament Record: 13-5-0
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Finalist
  • OHL Cup Berth Officially Clinched

The Toronto Nationals could be the Don Mills Flyers’ stiffest competition come the 2019 OHL Cup. Although the Nationals played the Flyers to a 0-2-1 record during regular season GTHL play, Toronto appears to be one of a slim few teams capable of playing with the same pace and physicality as the Flyers. What’s more is that the Nationals’ roster matches up extremely well with that of Don Mills’, as the Nationals boast stellar depth up-front, on defence, and in-goal.

Before the Nationals and Flyers meet in the OHL Cup, however, they very could meet with the GTHL championship on the line. As of the semi-final round, the Nationals faced the Marlboros in one half of the playoff tree, while the Flyers faced the Red Wings in the other. Although overcoming the Marlboros will be no easy chore, the Nationals’ ability to do so could set up one of the most thrilling series’ of minor midget hockey in recent history. In late December, an injury-depleted Nationals’ squad faced the Flyers in the championship game of the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, with the latter of which scraping by on an overtime goal by Shane Wright.

1. Don Mills Flyers

  • Months Ranked: 5
  • 2018-19 League Record: 30-0-3; 208GF & 43GA
  • Tournament Record: 29-1-1
  • Titans Early Bird: Champions
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Champions
  • International Silver Stick: Finalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Champions
  • OHL Cup Berth Officially Clinched

For the fifth-consecutive month, the Don Mills Flyers stand as the team beat and most dangerous club set to compete in the 2019 OHL Cup. Boasting oodles of depth, plenty of offensive flair, and a dynamic blue line to boot, the Flyers are an overwhelming force who have the unique ability to win extremely close games — including those in which they trail with seconds remaining on the clock.

Although they have already clinched a berth in the 2019 OHL Cup, the Flyers’ focus undoubtedly remains on the GTHL playoffs. Set to clash with the upstart Toronto Red Wings in the semi-finals, the Flyers must not take Toronto lightly — the two teams played to a thrilling 3-3 draw in mid-December, a game in which the Flyers trailed on multiple occasions. If Don Mills hopes to claim the GTHL championship and 2019 OHL Cup, contributions from their second and third lines as well as the blue line will be critical. One potential game-changer in the months ahead will be Roman Schmidt — a dynamic and sizeable defender who needs to play to his strengths, being his heavy shot and gifted physicality.

2019 OHL Cup Ranking: January’s Top-10

Unbelievably, Ontario’s minor midget regular seasons are just about wrapped up, as we prepare for the playoff season that’s just around the corner. And with playoffs come the all important implications for the 2019 OHL Cup. Before we know it, teams will be punching their tickets into the year’s biggest showcase, making January’s OHL Cup Ranking all the more crucial.

Unbelievably, Ontario’s minor midget regular seasons are just about wrapped up, as we prepare for the playoff season that’s just around the corner. And with playoffs come the all important implications for the 2019 OHL Cup. Before we know it, teams will be punching their tickets into the year’s biggest showcase, making January’s OHL Cup Ranking all the more crucial.

Since last month’s ranking, we have witnessed some truly valuable showings, namely at the Marlboros Holiday Classic. Perhaps most notably was the strong showing put on by the HEO’s two teams comprised of 2019 OHL Draft eligible players. Both teams displayed impressive depth and high-end talent, which drove them through the round robin.

Related: Check out the Top-20 Performers from the Marlboros Holiday Classic

In the end however, it was once again the Don Mills Flyers who powered their way to the team’s third tournament championship on the campaign. Another perfect 8-0-0 record combined with 41 goals for versus just seven goals against provided a true testament to the Flyers’ consistent dominance.

In league play, Don Mills continues to push the pace of the GTHL, recently clinching their fourth straight GTHL Pro Hockey Life Cup, which is awarded to the top team in the regular season. Meanwhile, the trio of the Toronto Marlboros, Nationals, and Red Wings continue to play a fast-paced, high octane style which have them in a tight competition for seeds two through four.

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

In the ETA, the Whitby Wildcats continue to be the team to beat, building a massive lead in the standings which can’t be overcome. While York-Simcoe and North Central remain the other prominent figured in the league, the Quinte Red Devils can’t be forgotten either, as they boast an 8-1-2 record over their past 11 games played.

In SCTA action, the Halton Hurricanes have caught and surpassed the Niagara North Stars as the league’s first seed, while the Guelph Gryphons continue to stick around as a strong third seed. Out in the Alliance, there is a dogfight for seeds one through five, with all teams separated by less than 4% in terms of winning percentages.

Related: January’s OHL Draft Rankings – Top-160 Skaters and Top-20 Goaltenders

In all, the past four weeks have offered a deeper and further consistent look into the trends of the top teams eligible for the OHL Cup. However, it is crucial to remember that all 10 teams, and even a few teams outside the top-10, should be considered legitimate threats to come out as champions.

January’s Top-10 Teams

Well, here they are, January’s top-10 minor midget teams eligible for the 2019 OHL Cup.

This month’s ranking remains relatively consistent with December’s edition. In fact, of last month’s top-10 teams, eight of them remain within January’s top-10 — with all teams in the top-six positions in that tier. For the first time this year, the Brantford 99ers are out of the top-10, as well are the SCTA’s Niagara North Stars. Taking their places in January’s ranking are the London Jr. Knights and the York-Simcoe Express.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

With this being said, let’s dive into this month’s ranking. Please find all three of our previous rankings below, as well as in-depth team reports regarding this month’s top clubs.

Note: All team records and goal totals are up-to-date as of Saturday, January 12th.

10. London Jr. Knights

  • Months Ranked: 2
  • League Record: 19-8-5; 140GF & 93GA
  • Tournament Record: 9-7-1
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16

A deep and dynamic roster filled with high-octane offensive players, the Jr. Knights have led the Alliance in scoring all year long. Playing strong hockey of late, with a 5-0-1 record since our last ranking, the Knights have consistently been soaring up the standings just in time for the playoff season. At the Marlboros Holiday Classic, London was able to show their ability to compete and succeed against some of Ontario’s team, playing to a 3-1-0 round robin record, with their only loss coming to the Mississauga Rebels. Unfortunately, the team’s goal differential came up just short from advancing them to the round of 16.

London has been led up front all season by Brett Harrison, the Alliance’s leading goal and point scorer by a wide margin. A strong skater with high-end puck skills, Harrison has a lethal shot and is as dangerous of an offensive producer as they come. The Knights depth offers the team two prominent lines which can generate offence on a nightly basis. With secondary scoring coming from Riley Wood, Tyler Hotson, Jordan D’Intino, Cole Watson, and William German, London’s matchups are consistently high scoring affairs, by an average score of 4.375 goals for to 2.9 goals against per game.

9. York-Simcoe Express

  • Months Ranked: 2
  • League Record: 16-7-7; 109GF & 67GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-6-2
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16

York-Simcoe’s campaign has been inconsistent at times, battling through their fair share of ups and downs, the team remains third in the ETA behind only Whitby and North Central. In any case, the team is trending up of late, sporting a 4-1-2 record since December’s ranking. The Express have also maintained a very impressive goals for percentage, a showing of their true capabilities to produce offence and limit opposing team’s forecheck. Unfortunately, the Express did not participate in the Marlboros Holiday Classic, missing out on a huge opportunity to prove their talent against Ontario’s top teams.

York-Simcoe boasts high-end talent on both ends of the ice, but are generally led by Kaleb Nelson, a swift skating centre and lethal shooter. The Express receive solid depth scoring as well, getting consistent offence from the likes of Ryan Cutler, Jordan Fuller, and Cole Turcotte. Further, the squad has become one of the top defensive teams in the league through a combination of an effective blue line and solid goaltending. Sound defensive leaders, Jacob Holmes and Braden Haché provide stability on the back end, while the underaged Thomas Sirman has had a dynamic year, adding plenty of offence from the blue line.

8. Kitchener Jr. Rangers

  • Months Ranked: 2
  • League Record: 18-6-7; 130GF & 75GA
  • Tournament Record: 10-6-2
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Quarterfinalist

Without a doubt, the hottest team in the Alliance right now is the Kitchener Jr. Rangers. Boasting a record of 5-0-1 over the last month, and 12-1-2 over their last 15, the Rangers have quickly shot up the rankings and are now challenging for the number one seed heading into the playoffs. At the recent Marlboros Holiday Classic, Kitchener put on an impressive showing, putting up a 3-1-0 record in the round robin before being narrowly eliminated by a goals for percentage tie-breaker. The team’s only defeat of the tournament came to the highly-touted Whitby Wildcats by a score of 3-1.

Kitchener has constantly proven to be an offensive dynamo along with a strangling defensive game. Up front, Marko Sikic continues to be the team’s leader, on and off the ice. However, the Rangers receive impressive scoring up and down the lineup, with seven players boasting double-digit goal totals. Notably, the likes of Matthew Sop, Logan Crans, and Braeden Bowman have done well to improve their OHL Draft stocks. On the back end, Luc Brzustowski has shown the ability to shut own opposing rushes as well as to move the puck up ice effectively. Goaltender, Brandon Abbott, has also kept the team in close games all year long.

7. North Central Predators

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • League Record: 17-7-5; 106GF & 78GA
  • Tournament Record: 8-5-1
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Sweet 16

The North Central Predators have been a tough team to keep track of this year. At times, they appear set for a major breakthrough on the biggest stage, while at other times, they can look modest in league play. The past four weeks of ETA action have been tough for the Predators, going 1-3-3 over that time and missing out on an opportunity to seize control of their division over York-Simcoe. However, they looked tremendous at the Marlboros Holiday Classic, riding into the round of 16 after going 3-0-1 in round robin action, including an impressive victory over the Sudbury Wolves.

North Central features a slew of highly-talented prospects, led by a fantastic trio up front of Ethan Larmand, Cole Patey, and Nicolas Dowling, the three have competed and improved to become one of the ETA’s top lines. Along the blue line, Connor Punnett should be considered one of the most improved players amongst the 2019 OHL Draft class, adding an elite offensive side to his game while remaining reliable in his own zone. In the crease, Wade Monague has been one of the league’s most consistent keepers, providing a reliable last line of defence for the Predators.

6. Mississauga Rebels

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • League Record: 17-11-2; 79GF & 56GA
  • Tournament Record: 17-4-1
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16
  • International Silver Stick: Quarterfinalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Quarterfinalist

The Mississauga Rebels are another team that have been tough to get a true feeling for this season. In the GTHL, they’ve been dominant at times, and modestly average at others. Their season has gone like this: 5-2-1 in their first eight games, 0-5-0 over the next five, and now 9-3-1 since. They’re locked into the fifth seed for playoffs, meaning they’ll be in tough for the first round against one of the Marlboros, Nationals, or Red Wings. However, the Rebels have been consistently impressive in tournament action, posting undefeated round robin records at all four of the year’s major tournaments, and making it to the final eight at three of them.

From start to finish, the Rebels have succeeded when their defensive play has been on point from all positions. Boasting the third best goal against average in the GTHL, Mississauga shuts own the neutral zone with authority. On offence, the likes of Jesse Fishman, Pasquale Zito, and Christian Catalano has consistently led the charge this year with speed, skill, and grit. On defence, Owain Johnston and Judd Katz offer intriguing two-way potential and can consistently rush the puck through the neutral zone. Sometimes taken for granted, their tournament record is amongst the best of all Ontario teams.

5. Toronto Red Wings

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • League Record: 21-5-5; 130GF & 63GA
  • Tournament Record: 8-8-2
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Sweet 16

By know, we all know the story. The Toronto Red Wings started slow out of the gate and didn’t look like they had any chance of becoming a contender in the GTHL. However, after starting the year 0-3-3, the Red Wings have gone 21-2-2 since, including a current 16-0-2 run, cementing themselves amongst the top four teams in the league. Despite their marvelous play in league action, the Red Wings have been unable to translate that success into a long tournament run. At the recent Marlboros Holiday Classic, they rode a 3-1-0 record in the round robin into an unfortunate matchup against the Don Mills Flyers. Ultimately, they were ousted 2-0 in a game that could’ve gone either way.

The Red Wings are the second highest scoring team in the GTHL, and also boast the fourth-best goals against average. A lineup loaded with talented forwards, the team has three lines capable of generating offence. With that said, Francesco Pinelli leads the way on and off the ice, centering the top line alongside Ryan Gillespie and the underaged superstar, Adam Fantilli. Nolan Dann is another prospect who has taken great strides this year to become a potent goal scorer. On defence, Chandler Romeo and Joshua Orrico have become reliable in all three zones, while Josh Rosenzweig has drawn praise as one of Ontario’s top goaltenders.

4. Whitby Wildcats

  • Months Ranked: 4
  • League Record: 26-1-5; 161GF & 55GA
  • Tournament Record: 19-4-0
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16
  • International Silver Stick: Semi-Finalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Semi-Finalist

The ETA’s runaway regular season champions, the Whitby Wildcats have dominated their competition from start to finish this year. With the league’s best offence and defence, the Wildcats will head into the playoffs as undisputed favourites. Whitby as even been improving in their tournament performances of late, pushing to the semi-finals of both the Silver Stick and the Marlboros Holiday Classic. After going 4-0-0 in the round robin, the Wildcats defeating the Mississauga Senators and Rebels before finally being ousted in a tight 4-2 contest against the Toronto Nationals.

Whitby is backed by one of the most dynamic lines in Ontario, centred by Ryan Winterton with Brenden Sirizzotti and Thomas Johnston on the wings, the trio represent the top three scorers in the ETA. Their scoring depth is unparalleled, with none of their forwards scoring at a rate lower than half a point per game. On the back end, Douglas Carr and Josh Simpson thrive in the transition game, while Owen Brady and his battle remain the driving force behind the team’s passion to win. In net, Sebastian Resar has held the fort with control and poise, allowing the team to take more risks.

3. Toronto Marlboros

  • Months Ranked: 4
  • League Record: 23-5-3; 127GF & 57GA
  • Tournament Record: 18-4-3
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Finalist
  • International Silver Stick: Semi-Finalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Quarterfinalist

A perennial powerhouse, the Toronto Marlboros are one of the greatest threats for the OHL Cup once again in 2019. Playing their best hockey of the year at the most imperative time, the Marlboros have rode an eight-game winning streak to take ahold of the GTHL’s second seed. They’ve been just as dominant in tournament action all year – going undefeated in all round robin games – and were only defeated by the top notch Gentry Galaxy in the quarterfinals at their own Holiday Classic. As the Marlies continue to mesh together and grow as individuals, they become more and more of a serious threat heading into the OHL Cup.

One of the most balanced attacks in Ontario, the Marlboros ice three lines that all capable of making opponents pay. Playing a fast and heavy style, Toronto has the ability to plow through opponents if they aren’t wiling to play up to their weight. On offence, Danil Zhilkin, Wyatt Johnston, and Marc Boudreau tend to lead the charge, while all six other forwards are capable of finding the net as well. Along the blue line, Ethan Del Mastro has developed into one of the top defenceman in the 2019 OHL Draft class, while Artem Guryev and Logan Mailloux aren’t afraid to lay booming checks or fire cannons on net from the point.

2. Toronto Young Nationals

  • Months Ranked: 4
  • League Record: 21-5-4; 118GF & 64GA
  • Tournament Record: 13-5-0
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Finalist

The Toronto Nationals finally had a minor breakthrough in tournament action in December by battling their way to the final of the Marlboros Holiday Classic. With a depleted lineup, the Nats played a strong team game and held a 1-0 lead until midway through the third period against a stacked Don Mills Flyers squad. Despite limited results to show for it, the Nats’ tournament record remains reminiscent of Ontario’s top teams. In GTHL action, the Nationals have fallen to fourth in the standings, although they still hold a strong shot at finishing second by the time the season wraps up.

Like most great teams, the Nationals remain so successful as a result of their incredible depth all over the ice. There are no holes in their lineup, with three tremendous lines of offence and defence, as well as two of the league’s premier goaltenders in Samuel Moncada and Forbes Anderson. Leading the team’s offence has consistently been the trio of Zachary Dean, Ryan Del Monte, and Josh Bloom. On the back end, Deven Nagra and Landon Cato provide a stable presence with offensive upside, while Declan Ride has made great strides to becoming one of their most relied upon defender’s.

1. Don Mills Flyers

  • Months Ranked: 4
  • League Record: 28-0-3; 191GF & 41GA
  • Tournament Record: 29-1-1
  • Titans Early Bird: Champions
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Champions
  • International Silver Stick: Finalist
  • Marlboros Holiday Classic: Champions

Well, here we are in our fourth version of the 2019 OHL Cup Rankings, and for the fourth consecutive month, it’s the Don Mills Flyers who remain a step ahead of the competition. With a combined record of 57-1-4 in the 2018-19 season, there’s not denying that the Flyers will head into the OHL Cup as unanimous favourites. With their only loss of the season coming in overtime of the Silver Stick final, Don Mills has seemed virtually unbeatable this year. And they flashed their strength once again at the Marlboros Holiday Classic, taking down a handful of North America’s top U16 teams.

As could be expected, the Flyers boast a solid lineup from top to bottom. While there remain a few undeniable leaders on this otherworldly squad, it’s important to recognize the players lower in the lineup who never fail to have a positive impact on the game. Specifically, Edward Moskowitz has been playing on another level of late, showing an admirable compete level and strong skills in tight and under pressure, as well as a dominant cycle game. Further, Payton Robinson is a defenceman who doesn’t receive enough praise. A smooth skater with good sense of the ice, Robinson makes reliable breakout passes and is beginning to rush the puck up ice more often as well.

Perhaps one of the most impressive traits of the ’03 Don Mills Flyers is their uncanny ability to battle in tight games and come out with one-goal victories. Sometimes down, but never out, this is one of the best minor midget teams we’ve seen in Ontario in recent memory.

2019 OHL Cup Ranking: December’s Top-10

We’re half way through the month of December, which means it’s time to unveil our 2019 OHL Cup Ranking for the month. Although this month’s edition doesn’t feature a ton of change, you’ll want to know how this year’s top teams have preformed of late.

We’re now less than four months away from the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, and this season’s top minor midget teams are gearing up for what will surely be an exciting conclusion to the 2018-19 campaign.

Since we last convened, each of North America’s best teams have played a whack of games — and have formulated a number of intriguing storylines in the process. Perhaps the most interesting case of all this season is the Don Mills Flyers, a GTHL team who began their year on an absolute tear yet have been humbled multiple times of late. The first — and most entertaining — instance of which came at the 2018 Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament, where the Flyers were handed their first loss of the season in dramatic overtime fashion by a deep and highly skilled Detroit Compuware team.

Since being handed with this defeat, Don Mills has appeared to be human — collecting three ties in league action to each of the Toronto Nationals, Toronto Marlboros, and Toronto Red Wings, a trio of dominant teams on the rise. Of the three, it is the Red Wings who are undoubtedly the most intriguing of which. Despite stumbling out of the gate early, the Red Wings have been on fire of late and posted a sparkling 9-0-2 record in their 11 games preceding this ranking.

New Project (1)
Meanwhile, in the ETA, the Whitby Wildcats have continued their absolute dominance and could stand as a legitimate threat to the GTHL’s top-four teams come the OHL Cup. Although the North Central Predators have made a push of late, the Wildcats are flush with skilled forwards, a deep defence, and consistent goaltending — in other words, the Wildcats’ overall record of 33-4-3 should come as no surprise. Then, in the SCTA, the Niagara North Stars have continued to impress owing to their balanced attack, yet will surely have to fend off the hard charging Halton Hurricanes in the month ahead.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Player Profiles

All in all, the month of November was a wildly exciting month of hockey in the minor midget world. And, although this ranking will surely generate a great deal of discussion, plenty of time remains for those teams on the outside looking in to seize a permanent place in our OHL Cup Ranking.

December’s Top-10 Teams

Well, here they are, December’s top-10 minor midget teams eligible for the 2019 OHL Cup.

In short, this month’s ranking is not wildly different than November’s edition. In fact, of last month’s top-10 teams, eight of which remain within December’s top-10 — with one familiar foe returning to the mix owing to a stellar run in November and superb showing at the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

With this being said, let’s dive into this month’s ranking. Please find both of our October and November Rankings below, as well as in-depth team reports regarding this month’s top clubs.

10. Niagara North Stars

  • Months Ranked: 2
  • League Record: 17-3-6; 93GF & 50GA
  • Tournament Record: 4-4-4

Despite a mediocre tournament record thus far this season, the Niagara North Stars have continued to dominate the SCTA circuit with both consistency and lethality. Since we last convened on Nov. 14th, the Stars put together a sparkling 6-1-2 record in league play alongside a whopping 35 goals scored for — or, in other words, 3.8 tallies per game. Now, although their early exit from the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament was less than ideal, Niagara North’s competition within Pool D was not only deep but remarkably skilled.

Leading the charge for the Stars has continued to be both of Matteo Giampa and Liam Shwedyk, as the two forwards have come together to act as dynamic pillars within the Stars’ offensive attack. Further, there has been the increasingly impressive contributions put forth by defenceman Trent Swick. Although born in 2004, the young defender has shown remarkable poise and maturity in his game — a major reason why he has averaged over a half a point-per-game thus far in 2018-19.

Niagara North’s next significant challenge? The Toronto Marlies Holiday Classic, slated to begin on Dec. 27th.

9. North Central Predators

  • Months Ranked: 2
  • League Record: 16-5-2; 91GF & 62GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-4-0
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16

Although the Whitby Wildcats stand high atop the ETA standings, the North Central Predators aren’t ready to surrender the title without a fight. Battling neck and neck with the York Simcoe Express all season for the top spot in the West Division, the Predators have finally gained some separation owing to their impressive play over the past month. In fact, North Central played to a 6-2-1 record in ETA play since November’s OHL Cup Ranking was released — defined by hard-fought victories over the Central Ontario Wolves and Ajax-Pickering Raiders.

In the midst of this success was the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament, a gathering which saw the Predators put forth two stellar games of shutout hockey before dropping their final two contests of the tournament.

One major reason for North Central’s continued success this campaign has been the significant contributions which the club has received from throughout its lineup. Sure, the likes of Cole Patey, Ethan Larmand, and Nicholas Dowling have led the charge offensively, but other assets such as Connor Punnett and Brett Bressette have proven crucial to the on-going success of the Predators. Further, mix in a rock-solid goaltender in Wade Monague, and North Central suddenly stands as one of the ETA’s deepest and most capable teams.

8. Kitchener Jr. Rangers

  • Months Ranked: 1
  • League Record: 14-6-6; 107GF & 64GA
  • Tournament Record: 7-5-2
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Quarterfinalist

The Rangers are a fast-paced squad with high-octane offence. Over the past month, Kitchener has played to a 6-1-1 record in Alliance, driving themselves up to second in the league standings, only three points behind the Brantford 99ers. At the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament, the Rangers were placed in what was arguably the toughest pool and battled to a 1-2-1 record. However, the team has continued along on a roll since their return to league action, piling up the goals while maintaining a solid defensive mindset as well.

The Jr. Rangers boast two strong lines of offence, led by Marko Sikic — a dynamic playmaker with tremendous vision and hockey sense. A player who can make those around him better, Sikic has been Kitchener’s go-to offensive catalyst, while the likes of Matthew Sop, Braedon Bowman, Logan Crans, and Patrick Brown have also contributed consistent offence to the team. On the back end, Lucas Brzustowski and Angelo Duscio have led a two-way defensive mindset which sees Kitchener’s defencemen jump into the rush whenever possible.

7. Brantford 99ers

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • League Record: 17-6-3; 105GF & 61GA
  • Tournament Record: 6-3-6
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Quarterfinalist

Despite somewhat slowing down from their early season pace, the Brantford 99ers remain the team to beat in Alliance, maintaining the top position in the standings despite a modest 5-4-1 record over their past 10 games. At the recent Silver Stick Tournament, the 99ers were placed in the rough Pool B alongside their Alliance rival the Jr. Rangers. Brantford fared a little better, but not by much — riding to a 0-0-4 record and bowing out after the round robin. Despite holding the league lead, the gap is thinning quickly as Kitchener, Waterloo, and Windsor are all within striking distance.

Brantford is an offensive-minded team who is led by one of the most dynamic first line’s in the league, perhaps even in the province. The trio of Maddox Callens, Landon McCallum, and Steven LaForme have been giving teams fits all year long, accounting for 50% of the 99ers goals this season. But, stud defenceman Cole Hipkin might be the best of the bunch. With excellent strength, an intelligent shot, and smooth skating, Hipkin regularly stands outs as a notable prospect.

6. Mississauga Rebels

  • Months Ranked: 2
  • League Record: 13-9-2; 62GF & 43GA
  • Tournament Record: 12-3-1
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16
  • International Silver Stick: Quarterfinalist

The Mississauga Rebels have been wildly inconsistent in GTHL action this year, falling from as high as the 3rd seed all the way down to 8th, and now back up to 5th overall. However, the roller coaster ride has always seemed to come together just in time for the major tournaments. At last month’s Silver Stick Tournament, the Rebels cruised to the quarterfinals, where they were narrowly defeated by the eventual champion, Detroit Compuware, by a score of 3-2. Playing to an 8-2-1 record over their past 11 games, the Rebels have reinstated themselves as a true contender.

The Rebels play a sound all-around game, playing to relatively low scores and finding ways to win tights games. Up front, the trio of Pasquale Zito, Jesse Fishman, and Christian Catalano continue to provide most of the team’s offence, while goaltender Justin Wu may be one of this year’s most underrated goaltenders. Defenceman Judd Katz has also been one of the most improved players over the course of this season, using his size and strength to his advantage while finding the confidence to rush pucks up ice himself to generate offence.

5. Toronto Red Wings

  • Months Ranked: 2
  • League Record: 14-5-5; 95GF & 53GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-6-2
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16

One of the hottest team’s in the province, the Red Wings have overcome a slow start to the season — reeling off an impressive 9-0-2 record in their past 11 GTHL games to solidify their standing as a top-four seed. Unfortunately, that success didn’t translate to the Silver Stick Tournament, where the team went 1-2-1 in the round robin. However, upon their return to league play, the Red Wings upset the Toronto Marlboros before playing to ties against the Toronto Nationals and Don Mills Flyers — legitimizing their position as a true contender in the GTHL.

An explosive offence is led by a dynamic top line for the Red Wings. Potential 2019 OHL first-rounder Francesco Pinelli centres Ryan Gillespie and Adam Fantilli — an ’04-born prospect who will likely be a top-three pick for the 2020 OHL Draft. Tending the twine, Joshua Rosenzweig has established himself as one of the GTHL’s top goaltenders, utilizing excellent rebound control and coverage of the bottom-half of the net, as well as spectacular desperation saves to keep his team in the game each night. Defenders Chandler Romeo and Joshua Orrico have also improved to stabilize the Red Wings backend.

4. Toronto Young Nationals

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • League Record: 19-3-3; 104GF & 52GA
  • Tournament Record: 7-3-0
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist

The Toronto Young Nationals continue to be a major presence amongst the top tier of GTHL teams, playing to a 6-0-3 record since November’s OHL Cup Ranking to hold onto the second seed, with a four point gap ahead of the Marlies. Unfortunately, their opportunity to make an impression on the big stage went for not, as they fought for a 2-2-0 record in the round robin of the Silver Stick Tournament before heading home.

In any case, there’s no denying the talent and potential that the Nationals offer each night. With no true holes in their lineup from top to bottom, the Nationals boast three lines that can find the back of the net on any given night. Led offensively by Zach Dean, Ryan Del Monte, and Josh Bloom, the Nationals can dominate the possession game against any opponent. With Deven Nagra, Landon Cato, and Declan Ride leading their blue line, the Nationals’ line of defence can shut down high-powered offences with relative ease. Not to mention the duo of Samuel Moncada and Forbes Andersen in between the pipes, the Nationals are destined to be a force until the end.

3. Whitby Wildcats

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • League Record: 20-1-3; 111GF & 39GA
  • Tournament Record: 13-3-0
  • Titans Early Bird: Sweet 16
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Sweet 16
  • International Silver Stick: Semi-Finalist

Whitby has continued their run as the ETA’s most dominant team with consistency through two-thirds of the regular season. On pace to best their impressive 27-5-4 record from Bantam, the Wildcats have been a notable team at each of this year’s major tournaments thus far. Most recently, the team put an impressive performance on display at the International Silver Stick, a tournament which they hosted. The team rolled into the quarterfinals with relative ease before losing a battle to Don Mills in a game that was much closer than the 4-1 score indicated.

As the Wildcats continue along in ETA action, they have posted a 7-0-0 record since our last ranking, further legitimizing themselves as the top team in OMHA. Featuring a deep attack highlighted by a superstar top line of Brenden Sirizzotti, Ryan Winterton, and Thomas Johnston, the Wildcats boast a high-scoring lineup from top to bottom. Not to mention a solid group of defenders, most of whom are able to contribute at both ends of the ice, and you get a tremendously balanced team who has played to a combined 33-4-3 record this year.

2. Toronto Marlboros

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • League Record: 17-5-3; 96GF & 44GA
  • Tournament Record: 13-3-3
  • Titans Early Bird: Quarterfinalist
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Finalist
  • International Silver Stick: Semi-Finalist

A perennial powerhouse in the GTHL, the Toronto Marlboros may not be the favourite this year, but they must be taken seriously nonetheless. Cruising along in GTHL action, the Marlies posted a 5-2-1 record over the past month, maintaining their position in the third seed. Putting forth an impressive performance at each major tournament this season, the Marlies made their mark once again at the Whitby International Silver Stick. After cruising to the top seed in Pool E, the Marlies battled through the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite squad before finally falling to the eventual champion Detroit Compuware in semi-final action.

As usual, the Marlies display a deep group of talented youngsters at both ends of the ice. With two dynamic scoring lines, notably led by the likes of Danil Zhilkin, Wyatt Johnston, and Jack Beck, the Marlies are able to run their opponents out of the game quickly on some nights. On the back end, studs in Artem Guryev and Ethan Del Mastro lead a blue line which can throw their weight around and also contribute offensively by rushing the puck up ice and getting heavy shots on net from the blue line.

1. Don Mills Flyers

  • Months Ranked: 3
  • League Record: 21-0-3; 144GF & 34GA
  • Tournament Record: 21-1-1
  • Titans Early Bird: Champions
  • Wendy Dufton Memorial: Champions
  • International Silver Stick: Finalist

Although the Don Mills Flyers no longer hold a perfect record this season, the club remains as the minor midget team to beat in 2018-19. The first and only dent in the Flyers’ seemingly impenetrable armour thus far came against Detroit Compuware, who managed to defeat Don Mills in an electrifying clash at the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament. Despite tying the championship game in the dying seconds, the likes of Sasha Pastujov and Dylan Duke were simply too powerful to overcome for the Flyers.

Outside of this loss, however, Don Mills has continued to roll.

Although the team picked up ties against the Marlboros, Nationals, and Red Wings in GTHL action, the Flyers continue to stand as a runaway train capable of dominating their competition on a nightly basis. Averaging six goals for per game, Don Mills boasts a deep offensive attack supplemented by its potency on the blue line. And, while Shane Wright and the Flyers’ top line continues to lead the way, the breakout play of Edward Moskowitz and Paul Christopoulos has added yet another dimension of lethality to Don Mills’ devastating attack.

2019 OHL Cup Ranking: November’s Top-10

It’s the middle of November and time to unveil our second OHL Cup Ranking of the 2018-19 season. In this month’s edition, four new teams have cracked the top-10 overall while a handful of contenders have fallen off dramatically.

Although it’s been a mere month since we published our inaugural OHL Cup Ranking of the 2018-19 season, there has been an overwhelming amount of change throughout the current standings owing to outstanding regular season and tournament play.

Truthfully, it’s incredibly difficult to believe that this year’s minor midget campaign is already nearing its half-way mark. Sure, there are a bevy of tournaments and crucial games yet to be played, however, the 2018-19 regular season is unfolding before our eyes and the campaign’s more notable teams have been quick to establish themselves as legitimate contenders.

Related: 2019 OHL Prospect Profiles

Since we last convened, the Don Mills Flyers have refused to lose a single game and continue to stand as the beast within this year’s field of competitors. And, while the Toronto Young Nationals and Toronto Marlboros have retained their standing within the top-10, the highly touted Mississauga Rebels have fallen off dramatically, going 2-5-0 over the past month.

Meanwhile, in the ETA, the York-Simcoe Express have hit a bit of a rough patch, sporting a 2-3-2 record since October’s ranking. At the same time, the North Central Predators have taken advantage, now tied with the Express for the West Division lead with two games in hand.

 

The SCTA remains highly competitive at the top of the standings. While the Niagara North Stars have maintained the league lead, the Halton Hurricanes and Guelph Gryphons are hot on their tail. The Gryphons, specifically, have found their stride of late, winning seven straight and nine of their last 10.

The Alliance has seen perhaps the most movement over the past month, specifically with the Waterloo Wolves falling from first to sixth in the league standings due to a 0-4-1 record since last month’s ranking. As a result, the London Jr. Knights have climbed up to second in the standings with the league’s most potent offence, averaging 4.7 goals per game.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

Owing to the embattled performances of four particular teams, a new and highly competitive slew of clubs have cracked this month’s top-10. And, although their places are anything but secure, consistent and overwhelming play in the coming months could very well cement their respective places as legitimate contenders for the OHL Cup.

Now, if you’ve already met October’s top-10 teams, dive head-first into this month’s OHL Cup Ranking:

10. Niagara North Stars

  • League Record: 11-2-4; 58GF & 29GA
  • Tournament Record: 3-3-2
  • October Ranking: Not Ranked

The Niagara North Stars have surpassed Halton and maintained their lead among the SCTA standings for several weeks now. Despite lacklustre results at the Titans Early Bird and Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament, the North Stars boast a deep forward corps that allows them to roll three lines all game, led by the likes of Liam Shwedyk, Parker Hendsbee, Matteo Giampa, and Nathan Zadorozny.

But, the key to their success is owed to tremendous defensive play by all involved, displaying a culture that has bought into a team-first approach. The North Stars have developed a reputation for their dedicated work ethic in all three zones, especially in supporting each other and the puck in the defensive zone. Niagara has been consistent throughout the season, and their 66.7 GF% goes to show that, a rate which is 10% greater than any other SCTA team.

9. North Central Predators

  • League Record: 10-3-1; 53GF & 38GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-4-1; Sweet 16 at Titans Early Bird and Wendy Dufton
  • October Ranking: Not Ranked

The North Central Predators remain one of the hottest teams in the ETA, riding a 5-1-1 record over the past month. A hard-working and grinding squad, the Predators have a knack for finding a way to win tight games. Led by the dynamic trio of Ethan Larmand, Cole Patey, and Nicholas Dowling, the Predators feature a high-skill and blazing-fast top line. We also encourage scouts, OHL teams, parents, and fellow players to not forget about Brett Bressette. A tremendously talented forward, Bressette is currently recovering from an injury and hopes to return this season.

On the other side of the puck, North Central plays a responsible and intelligent style that limits opponent scoring chances and moves the puck back up ice with consistency. In particular, Chas Sharpe has shown an excellent ability to keep opponents to the outside while also joining the rush to create offensive opportunities for his team. In goal, Wade Monague has shown supreme talent to hold the Predators lead through impressive lateral movement and a calm demeanour between the pipes.

8. London Jr. Knights

  • League Record: 10-4-3; 80GF & 49GA
  • Tournament Record: 4-4-1; Sweet 16 at Wendy Dufton
  • October Ranking: Not Ranked

The London Jr. Knights crack the top-10 for the first time this season on the back of a 4-1-3 record in the past four weeks. Led by an explosive offensive attack, the Knights utilize three lines that can all find the back of the net. Led specifically by the trio of Brett Harrison, Riley Wood, and Jordan D’Intino, London unsurprisingly leads the Alliance in goals for.

Unable to put together a notable showing at either of this year’s major tournaments thus far, the Jr. Knights will be a motivated and dangerous squad to watch in the coming months, as they continue to gel as a team and grow in the potency. Further, London’s defensive corps plays a hard-checking and in-your-face style that makes them a nuisance to go up against. With an efficient transition game, the Jr. Knights can make opposing teams pay for their mistakes in a matter of seconds.

7. Toronto Red Wings

  • League Record: 8-5-3; 58GF & 30GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-2-2; Sweet 16 at Wendy Dufton
  • October Ranking: Not Ranked

An up-and-coming team that is just starting to scratch the surface of their potential, the Toronto Red Wings have established themselves as a true threat in the GTHL. Winners of seven of their past nine games, the Red Wings feature a potent offence that is led by Francesco Pinelli, Ryan Gillespie, and ’04-born Adam Fantilli. Playing a high-paced game with impressive puck movement, the Wings can turn momentum on its head in a matter of moments.

On the back end, goaltender Joshua Rozenweig has slowly but surely grown stronger as the year has worn on, a testament to the play of the team’s defensive corps as well. Despite the slow start, the Red Wings goal output now rivals the likes of the Flyers, Nationals, and Marlboros. Their growth was put on display at the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament, where they cruised to a 4-0-0 round robin record.

6. Chicago Mission

  • League Record: 9-0-0; 54GF & 15GA
  • Tournament Record: 10-2-1; Final at Titans Early Bird; Sweet 16 at Wendy Dufton
  • October Ranking: 8th

It’s been a perfect past month of play for the Chicago Mission, who have ascended to sixth-overall within this month’s OHL Cup Ranking. Alongside a 6-0 record since we last met, the Mission put forth 34 goals for against a mere 14 against in dominating their opponents with both consistency and force. Owing to their stellar play, the Mission now boast a perfect 9-0 record this season and stand high atop the HPHL standings.

Leading the charge for the Mission has continued to be highly touted prospect Jack Devine, who blasted home five goals and 11 points in his past six games played. Further supplementing the team’s attack has been the likes of Davis Burnside, Alexander Babich, and Jonah Copre — who alongside goaltender Nick Larrabee have been essential in fuelling the Mission’s impressive play to date.

5. Brantford 99ers

  • League Record: 12-3-2; 78GF & 42GA
  • Tournament Record: 9-2-1; Quarterfinals at Wendy Dufton; Champions at Dale Parker
  • October Ranking: 7th

Expected to be the team-to-beat in the Alliance, the Brantofrd 99ers are living up to their reputation through their first two months of action. After riding an 11-0-1 run, the 99ers finally proved to be human in a 6-1 defeat to the Jr. Knights, their second loss to the team this season. Regardless, Brantford remains the favourite in their league and has begun to earn some separation at the top of the standings.

Led by top 2019 OHL Draft prospect Maddox Callens, the 99ers boast three of the top five scorers in the league, along with Landom McCallum and Steven LaForme. On the blue line, Cole Hipkin is another name to know and a regular contributor towards Brantford’s success. Overall, the 99ers display a mixture of prominent stars along with effective role players to combine as an all-around force and one of the toughest teams to face in Ontario.

4. Whitby Wildcats

  • League Record: 13-1-3; 85GF & 29GA
  • Tournament Record: 8-2-0; Sweet 16 at Titans Early Bird; Sweet 16 at Wendy Dufton
  • October Ranking: 6th

The Whitby Wildcats continue to pose a real threat for opponents, continuing to roll along with a 6-0-1 record since their sole loss on the season, a 3-2 defeat at the hands of the Peterborough Petes. The Wildcats pace the ETA in both goals for, with 85, and goals against, with 29, roughly halfway through the regular season. Their 74.6 GF% ranks second among Ontario’s four Minor Midget leagues to only the Don Mills Flyers, who boast a 82.4 GF%.

The Wildcats are led by their top line of Brenden Sirizzotti, Ryan Winterton, and Thomas Johnston, who make up the ETA’s top three point producers and have combined for a whopping 54.1% of Whitby goals scored this year. Along the blue line, all three Wildcat pairings can chip in offensively as well, all while remaining diligent and efficient in their own end. This team is a well-oiled machine that will force opponents to play their style of game and pick them apart in all three zones.

3. Toronto Marlboros

  • League Record: 12-2-2; 65GF & 28GA
  • Tournament Record: 9-2-2; Quarterfinals at Titans Early Bird; Final at Wendy Dufton
  • October Ranking: 3rd

Despite a loss to Don Mills and a tie against the pesky Vaughan Kings to close out their month of October, the Toronto Marlboros have rebounded of late with six consecutive and convincing wins. And, although Don Mills may be out of reach, the perennial powerhouse once again finds itself battling for position atop this season’s standings.

As has been the case in many previous campaigns, the Marlboros are a team defined by their exceptional depth. Although lacking a ‘star player’ per se, Toronto has come to dominate its opposition of late through committed team play and a dedication to consistency.

Since we last convened, the trio of Danil Zhilkin, Wyatt Johnston, and Artem Guryev have been superb. However, the contributions put forth by Tucker Robertson, Marc Boudreau, Justin O’Donnell, and Ethan Del Mastro have been equally crucial and have propelled the team to sustained success. Fuelled by the strong goaltending provided by both Domenic Rollo and Ben West, the Marlboros have become increasingly dominant and could very well leapfrog the Nationals come December’s ranking.

2. Toronto Young Nationals

  • League Record: 13-3-0; 71GF & 35GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-1-0; Quarterfinals at Titans Early Bird
  • October Ranking: 2nd

Although the Toronto Young Nationals stand as a team capable of legitimately competing against Ontario’s best this season, they have proven to be human of late. After a scorching hot start to their past month of play owing to a 4-0 record, the Nationals have dropped two consecutive contests to teams competing within the GTHL. While the first of which came against the upstart Red Wings, the Nationals’ loss to the Markham Majors made a serious dent to the team’s momentum.

However, these two recent losses should not take way from the Nationals’ success to date, as the team has been one of the GTHL’s most consistent and lethal thus far this season.

Led by a growing star in Zachary Dean, the Nationals have received excellent scoring owing to the presences of Ryan Del Monte and Josh Bloom, as well as superb defending in the forms of Deven Nagra and Landon Cato. Backstopped by a Jonathan Quick-like goaltender in Samuel Moncada, the breakout performances of Ikky Kogawa, Owen Forester, and Declan Ride have come to afford the Nationals with depth rivalled only by the high-flying Flyers.

1. Don Mills Flyers

  • League Record: 17-0-0; 112GF & 24GA
  • Tournament Record: 16-0-0; Champions of Titans Early Bird and Wendy Dufton
  • October Ranking: 1st

Don Mills is a runaway train which can’t be stopped.

Not only have the Flyers played to a perfect regular season record thus far this season, but the team also remains flawless in tournament play — affording the powerhouse team a combined 33-0 record to date. For Don Mills, their success has come as the direct result of exemplary team play — each and every player has contributed to the Flyers’ dominance on consistent basis.

Since our October ranking, Shane Wright has continued to lead the charge for Don Mills. However, Wright has been aided increasingly by outstanding performances from his fellow teammates, as the Flyers’ forwards, defence, and goaltenders have all competed with a remarkable level of consistency and determination. In particular, the games of Francesco Arcuri, Cole Eichler, Brennan Othmann, and Edward Moskowitz — to name a few — have continued to grow and afford Don Mills with unparalleled depth.

As we move later into November and the beginning of December, the most significant question facing the Flyers is whether or not they will lose a game this season. Although they have certainly had their close calls, Don Mills stands as the most complete minor midget team in contention this campaign and have shown no signs of slowing down.

* All team records are as of November 13th, 2018*

2019 OHL Cup Ranking: October’s Top-10 Teams

The 2018-19 hockey season is well underway, meaning it’s time to unleash our first OHL Cup Ranking of the season — a ranking which looks at Ontario’s top-10 minor midget AAA teams.

The 2018-19 Ontario Minor Midget Season is now well underway, with two of the year’s major tournaments already completed. With each respective league roughly a quarter of the way through the regular season, the approximate standings are beginning to take shape. We’ve witnessed a few early season surprises as well as a couple of letdowns, but overall it’s been a very strong start to the campaign and a promising look into the class of the 2019 OHL Draft.

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

As the unofficial start to the ’18-19 campaign, the Toronto Titans Early Bird Tournament provided a fresh glimpse into what is a very deep ’03 prospect class. After a tightly contested round robin, it was the Chicago Mission, Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, Sudbury Wolves, and Don Mills Flyers who clinched a berth at the semi-finals. In the end, the Flyers capped off a dominant performance with a championship that featured 48 goals for and just seven goals against.

Shane Wright (’04) has been the main leader for the Don Mills Flyers, who are a combined 24-0-0 in ’18-19. (Photo Credit: Max Lewis)

The team was led by Shane Wright, Alex Christopolous, and Cole Eichler up front, as well as Roman Schmidt and Brandt Clarke on the blue line. Other leaders in the tournament included Danil Zhilkin of the Toronto Marlboros, Jack Devine of the Mission, and Sean Clarke of the Vaughan Kings.

Related: Check out Prospect Pipeline’s 2019 OHL Draft Player Profiles

Later in October, the Wendy Dufton Memorial Tournament provided a early look into the development and improvements made by the top teams in the province. This time around, the Marlboros and Little Caesars cracked the semi-final, while Sudbury and Don Mills returned to the final four once again. Once more, the Flyers proved far too much for their opponents to handle, running away to an undefeated championship with 51 goals for and just four goals against.

This time around it was Wright along with Francesco Arcuri and Brennan Othmann leading the charge, combining to compile a ridiculous 16 goals and 25 points for Don Mills. Elsewhere, Justin Ertel of the Toronto Red Wings and Jordan Fuller of the York-Simcoe Express provided an impressive look into their offensive potential.

Without further ado, let’s delve deeper into Prospect Pipeline’s October OHL Cup Ranking.

October’s Top-10 Teams

10. Halton Hurricanes

  • League Record: 6-0-1; 29GF & 13GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-5-0; Quarterfinals at Wendy Dufton

The Halton Hurricanes got off to a rather slow start at the Titans Early Bird, but have quickly turned things around to reflect their true potential as a top team in Ontario. Holding the top points percentage in the SCTA, the Hurricanes have utilized a deep and responsible roster that have bought into a strong two-way game.

That style of play has been on display throughout their SCTA games as well as at the Wendy Dufton Memorial, where Halton consistently played a hard-fought game and ground out wins on their way to a quarterfinal appearance. Jordan Adams and Ethan Burroughs often lead the team’s offence which will cycle their way around the O-zone and keep their feet moving to generate scoring chances.

9. York-Simcoe Express

  • League Record: 7-1-1; 42GF & 20GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-3-1; Sweet 16 at Wendy Dufton

Seemingly a perennial contender, the York-Simcoe Express are proving to be a serious threat again in ’18-19. Off to a strong start in ETA action, where they place second behind only the Whitby Wildcats in points percentage, the Express have combined an underrated offence and stingy defence to become a brutal opponent to face.

Despite not showing their true potential at this year’s tournament thus far, York-Simcoe boasts a deep forward corps with three potent lines. Up front, Kaleb Nelson and Jordan Fuller often drive the Express offence with high-danger speed and skill. Along the blue line, captain Braden Haché and ’04 Thomas Sirman have consistently provided a lethal one-two punch of size and strength beside speed and skill, ultimately creating an impressive transition game.

8. Chicago Mission

  • League Record: 17-5-3; 132GF & 45GA
  • Tournament Record: 9-2-2; Final at Titans Early Bird; Sweet 16 at Wendy Dufton

One of this year’s top teams from the USA, Chicago Mission showcases a dynamic offence which can spread out the goals among all three lines. Running all the way to the final of the Titans Early Bird, the Mission were only defeated by Don Mills 3-0, impressive by the calibre of the Flyers. Chicago will likely battle Little Caesars all year long for the title of the top U15 USA team.

This is a team that finds success in its offence, and it’s distributing very well. Between Jack Devine, Davis Burnside, and Jack Silich, the Mission can turn a game on its head quickly. On the back end, Therien Thiesing has shown tremendous potential as a dynamic two-way defender, providing Chicago with difference makers at both ends of the ice.

7. Brantford 99ers

  • League Record: 7-2-1; 53GF & 29GA
  • Tournament Record: 6-3-2; Quarterfinals at Wendy Dufton

A highly touted roster, the Brantford 99ers got off to a slower than expected start before finding their groove after just a few short games. Quickly, Brantford has begun their ascent up the Alliance standings. Featuring a high-powered offence, this is a team that can defeat the best of lineups when they’re on their game. Unfortunately, they have shown a tendency to be somewhat inconsistent in their efforts.

Empowering their offence are forwards Maddox Callens and Steven LaForme, along with dynamic two-way defenceman, Cole Hipkin. Together, this trio can dictate the pace of the game and turn momentum on its head in an instant. If the 99ers are able to get their defensive woes under control and perform more consistently, they should be a force to reckon wit all year long.

6. Whitby Wildcats

  • League Record: 7-0-2; 53GF & 19GA
  • Tournament Record: 8-2-0; Sweet 16 at Titans Early Bird; Sweet 16 at Wendy Dufton

One of the most gifted teams in all of Ontario, the Wildcats have only missed out in the games that count most thus far. At both major tournaments in 2018, Whitby has gone undefeated in the round robin before bowing out in the round of 16, making up for the team’s only two losses of the ’18-19 season. Other than those few blemishes, the Wildcats have been virtually perfect, racking up an impressive goal differential.

Whitby boasts a deep and potent lineup, led largely in part by Ryan Winterton, Brenden Sirizzotti, and Tommy Johnston up front, who create three lines of offence that can cause havoc for opponents. On the back end, William Gourgouvelis and Owen Brady make up a quick and smart blue line who can transition the game with ease and strange the creativity out of their opponents.

5. Mississauga Rebels

  • League Record: 4-2-1; 24GF & 10GA
  • Tournament Record: 9-2-0; Quarterfinals at Titans Early Bird; Sweet 16 at Wendy Dufton

Although they don’t boast an elite young player, per se, the Mississauga Rebels have quickly established themselves a ferocious force within the GTHL this season. Scoring and defending by committee, the Rebels’ success to date has been driven by the team’s excellent depth, as Mississauga has received substantial contributions from throughout their entire lineup.

Leading the attack thus far for the Rebels has been Pasquale Zito, Christian Catalano, and Jesse Fishman — three extremely competitive forwards who play strong, two-way games. Further, the Rebels have been stabilized on the blue line by Jack Guvenal and Anthony Russo — two puck-moving defenders who pose a threat in all three zones of the ice. If the Rebels can continue to receive significant contributions from throughout their lineup, the team’s impressive tournament and league showings to date could be an indication of greater success this season.

4. Waterloo Wolves

  • League Record: 8-1-2; 40GF & 23GA
  • Tournament Record: 4-4-1; Sweet 16 at Titans Early Bird

A well-rounded and well-coached roster, the Waterloo Wolves consistently bring an unparalleled work ethic to the rink and have bought-in to a team-first approach. However, despite their nearly flawless record in Alliance, the Wolves have been unable to translate that success into tournament action so far. Nonetheless, this is a team to be reckoned with, and one which prides itself on finding ways to win tight games.

Led up front by a trio uber-talented forwards, the Wolves have received over half of their offence from the combination of Cooper Way, Kyle Maloney, and Owen Parsons. These three are the game-breakers for Waterloo and have proven to be virtually unstoppable on any given night.

3. Toronto Marlboros

  • League Record: 5-1-1; 21GF & 11GA
  • Tournament Record: 9-2-2; Quarterfinals at Titans Early Bird; Final at Wendy Dufton

The Toronto Marlboros are a perennial powerhouse in the GTHL, and the 2018-19 season in quickly proving to be no exception. With a slew of immensely talented forwards and defencemen within their roster, the Marlboros once again boast a deep and intimidating attack capable of overwhelming their opponents on a nightly basis. Bringing speed, size, and elite skill to the table, the Marlboros’ impressive showings at the Toronto Titans Tournament and Wendy Dufton Memorial should come as little surprise.

Like most successful teams, the Marlboros are defined by their depth.

Although the likes of Danil Zhilkin, Wyatt Johnston, and Jack Beck have regularly led the team offensively, contributions from other notable players such as Tucker Roberston, Marc Boudreau, Ethan Del Mastro, and Artem Guryev have helped to push the Marlboros into elite territory. Backstopped by an impressive duo in goal to boot, the Marlboros are a team not to be taken likely.

2. Toronto Young Nationals

  • League Record: 9-1-0; 38GF & 18GA
  • Tournament Record: 5-1-0; Quarterfinals at Titans Early Bird

Depth is the name of the game for the Toronto Nationals, who arguably boast one of the deepest and strongest rosters within the GTHL this season. Spearheaded by a relentless offence and stabilized by a sizeable yet mobile blue line, the Nationals stand as a tireless force capable of defending and attacking at will.

Perhaps the most overlooked asset — no pun intended — within the Nationals’ locker-room is goaltender Samuel Moncada. Although he is somewhat undersized for a goaltender given his 5-foot-9 frame, Moncada has compensated for his perceived deficiency through extremely tactile and athletic play. Eerily similar in playing style to Jonathan Quick of the Los Angeles Kings, Moncada is an sensational young goaltender whose game should lead the Nationals to a wealth of success this season.

1. Don Mills Flyers

  • League Record: 9-0-0; 46GF & 10GA
  • Tournament Record: 16-0-0; Champions of Titans Early Bird and Wendy Dufton

There’s no surprise here.

Throughout the 2018-19 season to date, the Don Mills Flyers have stood as a dominant and unrelenting force. Sure, they have faced their fair share of legitimate challengers, however, the Flyers had yet to lose a game this campaign as of mid-October and boast the roster necessary to embark upon a long and fruitful run.

What separates the Flyers from their competition this season is the team’s unique combination of elite skill as well as depth. Unlike other teams who boast one of these qualities or the other, the Flyers are fortunate to feature a whack of elite young talent throughout their roster and at all positions of the ice.

Leading the way offensively for the Flyers thus far has been Shane Wright, Liam Arnsby, and Brennan Othmann — three immensely talented and consistent players who can single-handedly drive Don Mills’ offence. However, it would be wrong not to mention the contributions of Cole Eichler, Alex Christopoulos, Brandt Clarke, and Roman Schmidt — four players who have been remarkably lethal in addition to playing strong, all-around games.

In short, it will take a massive effort on the part of an other team on this list to dislodge Don Mills from their standing atop October’s OHL Cup Ranking.

* All team records are as of October 16th, 2018*