OHL Prospect Profile: Alec Leonard

Alec Leonard of the GTHL’s Mississauga Reps is a dynamic two-way defender who hits as hard as he plays. In all, he’s a top prospect eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft.

– Alec Leonard –

Mississauga Reps (GTHL) | Defence | 2020 OHL Draft Eligible

Toronto, Ontario | 5-foot-11, 170-pounds | May 13th, 2004

The Mississauga Reps have come to be regarded as one of the stingiest defensive squads in the GTHL in 2019-20, a reality which surely would not have been made possible if not for the presence of Alec Leonard. After competing for the Toronto Marlboros and Jr. Canadiens in recent years, Leonard has jumped to the Reps in his Minor Midget campaign and hasn’t looked back — playing shutdown defence on a nightly basis while making his opponents painfully aware of his presence.

Related: All OHL Draft Rankings

Although he is of relatively average size, Leonard is strong on his skates and loves to throw his weight about. When opposing forwards attempt to rush the puck down the left-wing of the ice, Leonard will read the play as it develops and — when the situation permits — he will lower the boom in order to separate his man from the puck and ensure possession for his team. Leonard’s physical abilities — amongst his other talents — combine to make him one of the more intriguing players eligible for the upcoming 2020 OHL Entry Draft.

Strengths:

  • Skating Strength, Agility and Speed
  • Innate Offensive Instincts
  • Playmaking and Passing Abilities
  • Physicality and Intimidation

The foundation of Leonard’s game lays in his skating strength, agility and speed — the youngster can traverse the ice with ease and a purpose regardless of the foes in his path. Capable of rushing the puck into the opposing zone in addition to his ability to smother attacking forwards owing to his quick feet, Leonard’s mobility fuels his game and, in turn, his lethality. It is Leonard’s lethality at both ends of the ice which makes him a truly outstanding young prospect to watch, as his ability to dismantle plays devised by his opposition before transitioning or rushing the puck up ice fuels his ever growing offensive game.

One crucial aspect of Leonard’s offensive game — and his play as a whole — is his ability to move the puck quickly and with consistent precision. Whether he is holding the puck in his defensive zone or skating through neutral territory, Leonard regularly fires crisp and effective passes to his fellow teammates which allows his squad to gain ground and develop quality scoring chances. In addition to his strong skating, innate offensive instincts, and ability to see the ice and move the puck, there is Leonard’s electrifying physicality. As it stands, Leonard is one of the premier open-ice hitters eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft — not only are his hits clean, but he effectively separates his man from the puck without compromising his team’s stance defensively.

Areas of Improvement:

  • Shot Penetration
  • Teammate Utilization

While Leonard is unquestionably one of the top prospects eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft, he isn’t without room for improvement. Firstly, there is Leonard’s ability to fire the puck on net from the blue line. While his shot strength is certainly adequate, we’d like to see Leonard push the puck through traffic and on to the goal with a greater degree of consistency — the ability to do so will generate rebounds and further offensive opportunities for his team.

Related: GTHL Player Profiles

Secondly, there is Leonard’s utilization of his fellow teammates. Now, while Leonard is certainly a strong team player, he can — at times — attempt to do too much on his own. While Leonard’s ability to generate offence is one of his strong suits, he will need to be careful as he ascends to higher levels of play — opposing players will read his rushes and force turnovers with a greater degree of frequency, too.

Future Projection:

At the end of the day, Leonard stands as one of the top defenders eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft. Of great size, strength and two-way abilities, Leonard has the ability to influence the outcome of any given game with a startling level of consistency. In the near future, expect Leonard to develop into a top-pairing defenceman at the OHL-level and beyond — and one capable of stabilizing his team’s effort at both ends of the ice.

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OHL Prospect Profile: Bradley Banach

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

– Bradley Banach –

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

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

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

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

Strengths:

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

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

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

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

Related: 2019 OHL Draft – Prospect Profiles

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

Areas of Improvement:

  • Assertiveness Offensively
  • Defensive Physicality

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

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

Related: Mississauga Reps – Prospect Profiles

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

Future Potential:

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

 

OHL Prospect Profile: Jack Budd

Jack Budd of the Mississauga Reps is a sound, two-way defender well-known for his booming slapshot. Boasting a strong defensive game, Budd is an intriguing prospect eligible for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.

– Jack Budd –

Mississauga Reps (GTHL) | Defence | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

Toronto, Ontario | 6-foot, 161-pounds | 2003-Born

Although the Mississauga Reps aren’t the strongest team competing within the GTHL this season, they are fortunate to be led by a number of promising young players.

Backstopped by goaltender Robert Andreakos, the Reps boast a number of impressive forwards and defenders capable of impacting their team’s games on a nightly basis. Of the lot, defenceman Jack Budd has come to stand above the crowd owing to his sound two-way play on the blue line.

Capable of shutting down opposing forwards in his own zone before transitioning the puck up ice, Budd uses his size to his advantage and boasts an emerging offensive game. Well-known for his booming shot and playmaking abilities, Budd could very well develop into a valuable OHL defender if able to fine tune particular aspects of his growing game.

Strengths:

  • Defensive Play
  • Skating
  • Shot Power

For Budd, his game begins in his own zone.

As a strong defensive player who utilizes a quick and active stick, Budd regularly disrupts plays devised by his opposition and is remarkably consistent in doing so. What’s more is that Budd uses his size well where his stick fails, smothering attacking players before jostling the puck loose.

Related: October’s 2019 OHL Cup Ranking

Once in possession, Budd is capable of making crisp and accurate breakout passes to his teammates. However, if no option exists, Budd is more than capable of skating the puck out of his own zone and initiating the rush himself. Boasting improving speed and a sturdy stride, Budd can drive the puck up ice with confidence while assessing his options en route to the opposing zone.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

Once established in the attacking zone, Budd stands as a mobile threat on the blue line. Capable of running his team’s power play, Budd moves the puck with ease and features a booming slap shot — one which he can push through traffic and generate rebounds for his teammates.

Areas of Improvement:

  • Foot Speed
  • Shot Accuracy
  • Predicability

While Budd is certainly a strong skater, the youngster would do well to improve his foot speed and lateral mobility. Although he features a confident stride, Budd could become a much more lethal offensive force if able to improve his acceleration as well as top end speed — doing so would afford Budd with even greater time and space on the rush as well as in the offensive zone.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Profiles

Further to Budd’s skating is his powerful shot — arguably the defining feature of his game. While his shot is strong and heavy, Budd would do well to focus on improving its accuracy. Often missing the net wide from the point, Budd would generate greater offence for his team if able to pound the puck on goal with greater consistency.

Related: Toronto Titans Tournament Top Performers

Lastly, there is Budd’s on-ice vision. Now, while he is able to see the ice extremely well, Budd’s ability to predict the plays devised by his opposition before they are executed would serve him extremely well on the defensive side of the puck. Once able to predict and shutdown his attackers — a trait which will come with greater experience — Budd could become one of the most underrated defenders available in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.

Future Potential:

Although somewhat overlooked given the status of the Reps this season, Budd is unquestionably a highly promising defender eligible for the coming 2019 OHL Priority Selection.

Sure, there is room for improvement within Budd’s game like all players of his age, yet this should not detract from the youngster’s clear potential and high-level of on-ice ability. Come the 2019 OHL Priority Selection in April of 2019, expect Budd to be made a mid-round draft choice by an eager OHL franchise.

With a great deal of room for improvement present within his game, Budd could very well develop into a minute-munching defender at the OHL-level in the coming years.

OHL Prospect Profile: Robert Andreakos

Robert Andreakos of the Mississauga Reps is a towering and intimidating force in-goal. Although his game needs fine-tuning, he stands as one of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection’s most promising goaltenders.

– Robert Andreakos –

Mississauga Reps (GTHL) | Goaltender | 2019 OHL Draft Eligible

North York, Ontario | 6-foot-2, 170-pounds | 2003-Born

Although the Mississauga Reps aren’t the strongest team competing in the Greater Toronto Hockey League this season, they are fortunate to be backed by one of its strongest goaltenders.

Related: 2018-19 GTHL Season Preview

Robert Andreakos, a towering goaltender and native of North York, is a stabilizing presence in goal for the Reps. Despite being peppered with shots on a nightly basis, Andreakos’ size and raw athleticism make him a brick wall in Mississauga’s crease. And, while his game certainly boasts room for improvement, it goes without saying that Andreakos’ play is bursting with promising potential.

Strengths:

  • Size
  • Positioning
  • Athleticism

Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 170-pounds, Andreakos is an intimidating presence in between the pipes considering his age. As one of the GTHL’s largest goaltenders, Andreakos can easily limit opportunities for opposing shooters and can cut down shooting angles with relative ease.

31 Andreakos
Andreakos is an intimidating netminder who uses his size to his advantage. (Photo Credit: Courtesy of Bob Andreakos, Mississauga Reps)

However, perhaps the most impressive facet of Andreakos’ game is his ability to seamlessly combine his size and athleticism. Unlike most goaltenders of a similar size, Andreakos is flexible and agile within his crease and can battle to maintain vision of opposing shooters through thick traffic in front of his goal.

Related: Toronto Titans Tournament Top-20 Performers

What’s more is the fact that Andreakos boasts lightning-quick reflexes and the ability to make highlight-reel, desperation saves. Sure to face a great deal of shots throughout the 2018-19 GTHL season, Andreakos will undoubtedly continue to polish and improve these particular facets of his game against high-powered competition.

Area of Improvement:

  • Lateral Mobility

One area of Andreakos’ game which must improve over the course of the current season and ahead of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection, however, is his lateral mobility.

Although he moves well for a goaltender of his size and is fairly athletic, Andreakos would do well to improve the power behind his mobility. If able to move post to post in a more explosive manner, Andreakos would be able to position himself better when facing odd mans rushes or played devised by his opposition while on the man advantage.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

Once improved, Andreakos will seemingly be able to move, anchor himself, and prepare to face shots from opposing shooters with greater poise and confidence. Outside of this one area in need of improvement, Andreakos’ all-around game is relatively sound and stable given his young age.

Future Potential:

Given his strong all-around play and stability within the crease, Andreakos stands as one of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection’s more promising goaltenders. Strong, athletic, and of great size, Andreakos affords his opposition with very few opportunities to bulge the twine and is remarkably consistent in his ability to do so.

Sure, like most goaltenders, there is room for improvement within Andreakos’ game. However, this likely won’t deter the interest of OHL organizations next April, when Andreakos will be made a mid-round pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection.