2019 Whitby Silver Stick: The Top-15 Performers

With the 2019 Whitby Silver Stick Tournament in the books, we’ve highlighted our top-15 performers from the annual event. In short, prospects eligible for the 2020 OHL Priority Selection did not disappoint.

Ahead of the 2019 Whitby Silver Stick Tournament there were a plethora of teams who held legitimate championship aspirations. However, for most clubs those hopes and dreams were crushed almost immediately, as a quadruple of American teams travelled north of the border and dominated each and every one of their games in a resounding fashion. Although a handful of teams from Ontario faired well — namely the London Jr. Knights, Quinte Red Devils, and the Toronto Marlboros — they proved to be no match for their counterparts from the United States, as the tournament saw its first all-American final in its history.

With this being said, it should come as no surprise to learn that the majority of our top performers from the 2019 Whitby Silver Stick skate for teams based in the United States. In fact, of the 15 players which we have highlighted below, ten competed for teams based south of the border during the tournament — an incredible ratio which accurately reflects the ever-growing strength of hockey and player development in the U.S.A. Now, this is not to say that teams from throughout Canada and its players performed badly, but rather that this year’s OHL Draft class is more heavily laden with American talent than previously thought.

The Top-15 Performers

Now, with this being said, let’s take a look at 15 of the top performers from the 2019 Whitby Silver Stick Tournament. As mentioned above, 10 of these players compete for teams based in the United States — two of which being goaltenders who were downright dominant throughout the event.

Sam Alfano

2019-20 Team: Southern Tier Admirals

Tournament Statistics: 4GP: 4G, 9PTS

All throughout the Whitby Silver Stick, Sam Alfano continued to play at the level which has made him one of the top players in the SCTA this season. A towering force given his 6-foot-3 frame, Alfano routinely outworked his opposition and was able to drive puck possession for his team as a direct result. Moreover, Alfano didn’t hesitate to fire his hard and accurate shot on goal — a tendency which allowed him to score at a goal per game pace while collecting a slew of assists to boot.

Aaron Andrade

2019-20 Team: Toronto Titans

Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 3G, 8PTS

Aaron Andrade pushes the pace of play for the Toronto Titans whenever he takes to the ice, and such was exactly the case throughout the Whitby Silver Stick. Blessed with terrific size and an insatiable work ethic, Andrade fore-checked tirelessly and regularly forced turnovers which led to offensive opportunities for his teammates. Moreover, Andrade continued to prove that he isn’t afraid to go hard to the net by any means — a mentality which allowed Andrade to score three goals and finish in a tie for point-scoring on his team during the tournament.

Matthew Dimarsico

2019-20 Team: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite

Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 5G, 12PTS

The Pittsburgh Penguins Elite battled their way to a quarter-finals appearance in the 2019 Whitby Silver Stick, only to be defeated by the eventual tournament champion. However, reaching the quarter-finals surely would not have been made possible if not for the contributions put forth by Matthew Dimarsico — a wildly talented playmaker who can score his fair share of goals as well. This is exactly what Dimarsico did for the Penguins during the Whitby Silver Stick, as his excellent skating abilities and vision with the puck allowed him to pace his team’s offence while fuelling his teammates as well.

Evan Konyen

2019-20 Team: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite

Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 4G, 11PTS

Helping drive the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite to the quarter-finals of the Whitby Silver Stick alongside Matthew Dimarsico was Evan Konyen — an incredibly competitive forward who loves to score goals. And, Konyen did exactly that this tournament, bulging the twine one four different occasions for his club while factoring in another seven assists. Perhaps the most notable aspect of Konyen’s game aside from his offensive exploits was the youngster’s raw determination, as Konyen is a battler in every sense of the word who plays a team-oriented style of game.

Austin McNicholas

2019-20 Team: Buffalo Jr. Sabres

Tournament Statistics: 4GP: 1.88 G.A.A., 1SO

Austin McNicholas shut the door for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres throughout the 2019 Whitby Silver Stick, leading his team to a berth in the semi-finals in the process. Although he isn’t a towering goaltender by any means, McNicholas displayed a refined level of technicality and predictive thinking which allowed to him piece together a sparkling 1.88 G.A.A. over his four games played. Perhaps his most impressive performance came in a round-robin contest against the Southern-Tier Admirals, where McNicholas was absolutely stellar en route to a 1-0 shutout victory.

Max Namestnikov

2019-20 Team: Detroit Honeybaked

Tournament Statistics: 7GP: 6G, 13PTS

It’s quite clear that elite talent flows in the Namestnikov family bloodlines, as like his older brother Vladislav Namestnikov of the Ottawa Senators, Max is incredibly gifted and lethal when the puck is on his stick. All throughout the Whitby Silver Stick Namestnikov displayed a level of composure and tact typically reserved for a veteran of the game, routinely creating high-percentage scoring plays with ease while looking even more comfortable capitalizing upon those devised by himself or his fellow teammates. In short, despite his lack of size, Namestnikov established himself as a premier offensive player eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft.

Frank Nazar

2019-20 Team: Detroit Honeybaked

Tournament Statistics: 7GP: 8G, 15PTS

Frank Nazar of Detroit Honeybaked led the 2019 Whitby Silver Stick in both goal scoring and points, so his inclusion within our list of top performers goes without question. However, Nazar was far more than a deadly offensive force for his team, as the youngster played each and every game with passion and pace while putting forth a consistent effort in the process. With solid size and as an agile skater, Nazar solidified his status as a top prospect eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft through his effort in the Whitby Silver Stick tournament.

Andrew Oke – G

2019-20 Team: Detroit Honeybaked

Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 1.50 G.A.A.

To win any major tournament at the Minor Midget level requires stellar offensive play, steady defending and consistent goaltending. Fortunately for Detroit Honeybaked, they checked all three boxes with ease as they were backstopped by a composed and competent netminder in Andrew Oke. Boasting solid size, quick lateral movements and the ability to find the puck through traffic, Oke posted a 1.50 G.A.A. through his five games played — all of which were integral on Honeybaked’s route to the tournament championship.

Chase Pietila – D

2019-20 Team: Detroit Honeybaked

Tournament Statistics: 7GP: 1G, 8PTS

Championship teams are built from the crease outwards, and in addition to Andrew Oke in goal Detroit Honeybaked boasted one of the tournament’s most prolific offensive defencemen in Chase Pietila. Of solid stand given his 6-foot, 170-pound frame, Pietila displayed innate two-way abilities throughout the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament, regularly securing his own zone before making crisp outlet passes to his fellow teammates. Once on the move up ice, Pietila regularly jumped into the rush and positioned himself tactfully in order to supplement his team’s attach — a reason behind his eight points in just seven games played.

Lucas Ross

2019-20 Team: Pittsburgh Penguins Elite

Tournament Statistics: 5GP: 6G, 10PTS

Lucas Ross is a highly competitive and lethal offensive player who brings his A-game each an every time he takes to the ice. And, during the Whitby Silver Stick, such was once again exactly the case — Ross displayed tremendous work-ethic and was rewarded for his efforts with six goals and ten points come to the end of the tournament. Known for his ability to bulge the twine, Ross ripped his shot on goal with authority and proved that he isn’t afraid to go hard to the net in search of rebounds.

Cole Sheffield – G

2019-20 Team: London Jr. Knights

Tournament Statistics: 2GP: 2W, 2SO

The London Jr. Knights fought their way to the quarter-finals of the 2019 Whitby Silver Stick, and goaltender Cole Sheffield was nothing other than perfect along the way. In his two games played, Sheffield shut the door with back to back shutouts — outcomes which gave the Jr. Knights shutout performances in three of their five total games played. However, it was the manner in which Sheffield stifled his opponents which was the most impressive, as the youngster proved himself as a technically sound netminder who remains calm and composed under pressure.

Spencer Sova – D

2019-20 Team: Detroit Honeybaked

Tournament Statistics: 7GP: 6G, 9PTS

Complete, well-rounded defencemen don’t come around often, but Spencer Sova could be exactly that. During the 2019 Whitby Silver Stick, Sova dominated at both ends of the ice. Not only was he able to dismantle plays devised by his opposition owing to his agility and strength defensively, but Sova also stood as a dynamic offensive force on the blue line as well. Boasting a booming shot and one which he can force through traffic, Sova slammed home a whopping six goals and nine points from his perch on the point — a total which dwarfed his fellow defenders by a substantial margin.

Brady Stonehouse

2019-20 Team: Elgin Middlesex Chiefs

Tournament Statistics: 4GP: 4G, 7PTS

Despite a stunning start by he and his fellow teammates, Brady Stonehouse and the Elgin Middlesex Chiefs were unable to advance past the round-robin. Although this outcome was surely a disappointing one for the Chiefs, Stonehouse’s personal performance was nothing other than impressive. In addition to leading his team in goal and point scoring during the Whitby Silver Stick, Stonehouse also lead his team in penalty minutes by a wide margin — a total which displayed his willingness to play up to the line and sometimes beyond it.

Trent Swick

2019-20 Team: Southern Tier Admirals

Tournament Statistics: 4GP: 2G, 7PTS

Alongside Sam Alfano, Trent Swick was a force for the Southern Tier Admirals. Although his team didn’t advance past the round-robin, Swick did everything in his power to prolong his team’s play. As a well-rounded and reliable two way player, Swick regularly safe-guarded his own zone and was sure that his team was in possession of the puck before departing his defensive zone. Once established in the attacking end of the ice, Swick displayed his ample agility and on-ice intelligence, routinely making calculated passes to his teammates before moving himself to high-percentage goal-scoring locations — a reason behind his two goals and seven assists during the event.

Cam Vansickle

2019-20 Team: Detroit Honeybaked

Tournament Statistics: 7GP: 6G, 12PTS

To say that Camron VanSickle is a force on the ice would be a dramatic understatement. At the age of 15-years, VanSickle already weighs in at a jaw-dropping 195-pounds and stands 6-foot-1 tall. As a direct result, VanSickle doesn’t hesitate to through his weight around on the ice — a reality which was on full display throughout the 2019 Whitby Silver Stick. However, VanSickle proved himself as far more than an intimidating force, as the youngster also boasts refined skill — he posted six goals and 12 assists in his seven contests for Honeybaked.

Five Honourable Mentions

Because there were too many impressive performances from the Whitby Silver Stick to detail above, here are an additional five players who caught our eye throughout the event who should be watched closely ahead of the 2020 OHL Draft.

  • Owen Baker (Detroit HoneyBaked – 7GP: 6G, 9PTS)
  • Isaiah George (Toronto Marlboros – 5GP: 2G, 6PTS)
  • Mikael Kingo (Vaughan Kings – 2W, 2SO)
  • Ty Nelson (Toronto Jr. Canadiens – 4GP: 1G, 4PTS)
  • Dalyn Wakely (Quinte Red Devils – 6GP: 2G, 6PTS)

2019 Whitby Silver Stick: Tournament Preview

With the 2019-20 Whitby Silver Stick Tournament set to begin, we’ve taken a moment to preview one of the biggest minor midget tournaments of the season. With so many top 2020 OHL Draft prospects set to compete, get the full scoop before heading to the rink, here.

The 2019 Whitby Silver Stick Tournament is upon us, and this year’s edition is shaping up to be just as exciting if not more so than ever before. Unlike in 2018-19, this year’s tournament does not feature a clear-cut favourite to take home the championship, as a slew of incredibly skilled and capable teams will undoubtedly battle hard until the bitter end. Moreover, this season’s prospect class eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft continues to slowly define itself — the annual Whitby Silver Stick now stands as the perfect opportunity for prospects to impress scouts and fans alike.

– Related: 2020 OHL Cup Ranking

– Related: 2020 OHL Draft Prospect Profiles 

With this being said, let’s take a moment to meet the teams set to compete within this year’s Whitby Silver Stick Tournament as well as the players poised to grace the ice. While some teams will understandably draw greater attention than others, all 30 clubs are certainly worth catching in action from November 28th to December 1st as we head into the final month of 2019.

*Teams ranked within our 2020 OHL Cup Ranking for the month of November are denoted in parenthesis.*

Pool A

  • Detroit Little Caesars
  • London Jr. Knights
  • Northeast Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers
  • Vaughan Kings
  • Whitby Wildcats

Who to Watch, and Why:

Pool A within this year’s Whitby Silver Stick Tournament is an extremely deep and talented one, as there is no clear cut favourite to emerge from the group. As always, Detroit Little Caesers will pack as serious punch as they boast a solid combination of size and skill both at forward an on defence. Much is the same when it comes to the London Jr. Knights, as star-forward Bryce McConnell-Barker will look to use the tournament as a proving grounds for his team given their mediocre start to their season.

One interesting addition to this year’s tournament are the Northeast Wisconsin Jr. Gamblers. While they will stand as somewhat of an unknown in this tournament, the Jr. Gamblers feature two highly skilled players in Quinn Finley and Braydon Beahm who are nothing short of game-changers. With this being said, let’s not forget about the Vaughan Kings or the Whitby Wildcats. In Vaughan, the Kings boast two stellar young goaltenders in Mikael Kingo and Dominic DiVincentiis who have the ability to steal wins on a nightly basis, while the Wildcats boast a deep attack capable of picking apart opposing defences.

Pool B

  • Buffalo Jr. Sabres
  • Chicago Mission
  • Kelowna POE Hockey Academy
  • Mississauga Reps
  • Southern Tier Admirals (#9)

Who to Watch, and Why:

This year’s edition of Pool B is laden with a handful of extremely talented and dangerous teams. Perhaps the most lethal of which will be the Chicago Mission, Mississauga Reps, and Southern Tier Admirals. All three of these teams feature deep rosters which can scratch out victories in a variety of ways and are remarkably consistent in their abilities to do so. Where the Mission are sizeable and quick, the Reps excel from the blue line out and the Admirals boast a ferocious attack.

On the other hand, the Buffalo Jr. Sabres and the Kelowna POE Hockey Academy could certainly surprise a number of teams. Although very little is known about the POE Academy, it is virtually guaranteed that both they and the Jr. Sabres will put forth a considered and concise effort in all of the games in which they play. While both teams may fail to advance, they will surely force their opposition to bring their respective “A” games.

Pool C

  • Detroit Compuware
  • Edmonton SSAC
  • Elgin Middlesex Chiefs
  • South Kent Select Academy
  • Toronto Nationals (#3)

Who to Watch, and Why:

Again, as will be a common theme within this year’s Whitby Silver Stick Tournament, Pool C is loaded with undeniable and competitive teams. While Detroit Compuware may not be able to repeat as Tournament Champions this year, their roster remains flush with talented young players — namely Ryan Abraham and Gavin Hayes — who should give their competition a serious run for their money. Then there is the Edmonton South Side Athletic Club — another newcomer to the Whitby Silver Stick whose top players in Mason Franz and Kayden Rawji will be eager to establish themselves as top 2004-born prospects.

Up next are the Elgin Middlesex Chiefs — a team which has yet to lose a game in Alliance competition this season and are led by Owen Van Steensel and Zander Veccia, two players who can score as well as mix things up physically. Not only do the Chiefs hold a serious chance of emerging from Pool C, but so too does the South Kent Selects Academy and the Toronto Nationals — a pair of teams led by star players such as David Goyette and Zak Lavoie who will make serious waves throughout the tournament.

Pool D

  • Detroit HoneyBaked
  • Guelph Gryphons
  • Kingston Jr. Gaels
  • Thunder Bay Kings
  • Toronto Titans (#7)

Who to Watch, and Why: Unlike many of the other pools within this year’s Whitby Silver Stick Tournament, Pool D is relatively thin in terms of teams who could legitimately challenge for the championship. Of the five teams within Pool D, it is Detroit Honeybaked and the Toronto Titans who hold the best odds of advancing deep into this year’s event. Once again Honeybaked is a powerhouse, and this time around they are led by Justin Varner and Max Namestnikov — the younger brother of Ottawa Senators forward Vladislav Namestnikov. Meanwhile, the Titans boast a roster deep in both skill and capability which could push them deep into the elimination rounds — of their lot, Kocha Delic is surely the most enthralling of which. 

On the other hand there are the Guelph Gryphons, Kingston Jr. Gaels and the Thunder Bay Kings — three teams whose seasons have started slowly yet steadily. Although these three teams may not have the overall skill necessary to advance deep into this year’s tournament, all of which are extremely hard-working and determined to establish themselves as top teams in the minor midget circuit.

Pool E

  • North Bay Trappers
  • Oshawa Generals
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Richmond Hill Coyotes
  • Toronto Marlboros (#4)

Who to Watch, and Why:

Pool E provides us with yet another five teams who will compete tirelessly to move on within this year’s Whitby Silver Stick Tournament. Although there is no clear cut favourite to dominate this pool, expect both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Marlboros to push themselves towards the top of the Pool E standings. For the Penguins, size plays an integral role within their attack —  a reality which makes them a difficult force to stop. Such is also the case with the Marlboros, as the team is an intimidating one led by the likes of Isaiah George and Paul Ludwinski.

With this being said, don’t count out the likes of the North Bay Trappers, Oshawa Generals or the Richmond Hill Coyotes. While the Trappers and Generals have endured somewhat slow starts to their respective 2019-20 campaigns, both teams feature highly skilled and game-breaking players ready to impress. On the other hand, the Coyotes have enjoyed a strong start to their ETA season and stand amongst the top teams in their league — Julian Fantino and Jared Coccimiglio are two of the ones to watch for Richmond Hill.

Pool F

  • Ajax Pickering Raiders
  • Don Mills Flyers
  • Hamilton Huskies
  • Quinte Red Devils (#8)
  • Toronto Jr. Canadiens (#1)

Who to Watch, and Why: As far as Pool F is concerned there are two dynamite teams, one legitimate contender, and two clubs who will be hard-challenged to advance past the round robin. These two dynamite teams are, of course, the Quinte Red Devils and the Toronto Jr. Canadiens — the eighth and first-ranked teams in our 2020 OHL Cup Ranking for the month of November. The Red Devils feature a handful of devastating forwards and defencemen who will be highly sought after come the 2020 OHL Draft such as Dalyn Wakely and Aaron Brown, while the Jr. Canadiens feature one of the top 2004-born defencemen eligible in the form of Ty Nelson. 


One team to watch within this Pool will be the Hamilton Huskies, as they are off to a stellar start in Alliance Hockey and currently stand as the third-best team within their league — a standing highlighted by a recent seven-game winning streak. Unfortunately for the Don Mills Flyer and Ajax Pickering Raiders, they will be in tough to emerge for their Pool, as their competition may prove to be far too dominant to overcome.

Whitby Silver Stick Tournament: 3 Important Impressions

The 2018 Whitby Silver Stick Tournament was a wildly entertaining event, and generated a few crucial talking points worth discussing.

The 2018 Whitby Silver Stick Tournament has come and gone, and what an electrifying four days of hockey it was.

Following hundreds of games and a number of outrageous outcomes, Detroit Compuware claimed the championship through a hard-fought battle against the Don Mills Flyers. In handing the Flyers their first loss of the season, Compuware proved to the hockey world that the Flyers are human and are capable of being overcome through a poised and concerted team effort.

Related: 2018 Whitby Silver Stick Top-20 Performers

Although this wildly entertaining game was undoubtedly the highlight of the tournament, a number of other storylines also developed over the weekend in Whitby which are worth discussing in greater detail.

Given the immense amount of success and struggles endured by arguably the 30-best minor midget teams in North America throughout the tournament, here are three specific talking points worth discussing.

1: “The Don Mills Flyers are Human”

Well, it happened.

Despite posting a sparkling perfect record in league and tournament play to begin their 2018-19 campaign, the Don Mills Flyers finally lost a game — and what a game it was. Despite trailing Detroit Compuware late in the final of the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament, the Flyers battled hard to maintain their perfect season — forcing a wildly entertaining overtime period before eventually falling by a score of 5-4.

Now, although Don Mills is no longer perfect, it goes without saying that the Flyers remain as the minor midget team to beat within Ontario this season. Sure, the club has one loss and one tie on their overall record, however, this won’t stop opposing teams from competing at their highest level each and every time a clash with Don Mills surfaces within their schedule.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Rankings

Yet, with this being said, Compuware’s destruction of the Flyers’ perfect record could wind up fuelling a much stronger level of play on behalf of Don Mills. No longer playing under the pressure of a perfect season, the Flyers’ sudden humanity should allow the team’s roster to relax and play a stress free game — a reality which could lead to greater confidence and creativity within an already devastating roster.

So, although beatable, the Flyers’ first loss of the season could simply spearhead the beginning of another impressive winning streak.

2: “Despite Struggles, York Simcoe Express Are Legitimate”

Following an explosive start to their 2018-19 ETA campaign, the York Simcoe Express have fallen upon tough times.

In their last 10 games played in all competitions prior to the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament, the Express had battled to a 3-5-2 record. Then, come the tournament itself, York Simcoe tussled to an 0-2-2 record — a level of success which saw the Express fall to last place within their somewhat deep pool.

One particular issue which plagued York Simcoe throughout the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament was the team’s inability to receive consistent scoring from throughout their entire lineup. In fact, of the Express’ eight total goals scored, six of which came from just three players while a whopping eight skaters were held off of the scoresheet entirely in their four games played.

Related: 2019 OHL Draft Profiles

Now, this is not to say that York Simcoe is a below average team — rather, that the Express must focus upon putting forth a comprehensive team effort with a greater level of consistency in their games ahead. In fact, the Express boast a number of highly promising young prospects, as the likes of Kaleb Nelson, Ryan Cuter, Jordan Fuller, and Thomas Sirman — amongst others — have continued to prove themselves as elite young players this season.

As York Simcoe resumes its 2018-19 ETA season, expect the team’s struggles during the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament to fuel the club’s second-half dominance. Simply too strong and too skilled to under-perform, the Express will undoubtedly embark upon their second-half with the mind-set of re-establishing their standing as a true contender.

3: “Don’t Count out the Mississauga Rebels”

The Mississauga Rebels have struggled of late within the GTHL — the team posted a dismal 4-6 record in their ten contests immediately preceding the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament.

However, despite competing within a strong tournament group, the Rebels came to Whitby and re-established themselves as a premier team within Ontario. In their four round-robin games, the Rebels cruised to an impressive 3-0-1 record while allowing a mere six goals against. Perhaps the most inspiring victory achieved by the Rebels came in a 3-1 victory over Detroit Little Caesars — a team widely expected to do serious damage throughout the tournament.

Related: 2019 GTHL Prospect Profiles

Although Mississauga’s strong run came to an end in the round-of-16 against the eventual tournament champions in Detroit Compuware, the Rebels’ stellar play should serve as a significant motivator as the team resumes it’s 2018-19 GTHL campaign. Sure, Mississauga sat in sixth-place in the GTHL at the time of the tournament, however, the Rebels’ recent performances should serve as a serious reminder to their opposition that they must not be taken lightly despite enduring bouts of inconsistency.

2018 Whitby International Silver Stick – Top 20 Performers

The 2018 Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament featured a number of elite 2019 OHL Priority Selection-eligible prospects. Meet the tournament’s top-20 performers, here.

The third major tournament of the 2018-19 hockey season is now complete, and the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament was nothing short of a proving ground for this year’s top minor midget teams.

In all, 30 elite squads competed at the four-day long tournament, which saw a handful of clubs battle in an exhausting seven games from Thursday Nov. 23rd to Sunday, Nov. 26th. By the time the final buzzer had sounded, it was Detroit Compuware who had claimed the championship owing to a hard-fought 5-4 overtime contest against the previously unbeaten Don Mills Flyers.

In this final game — and throughout the entire tournament, in fact — Compuware forward Sasha Pastujov established himself as one of the very best 2003-born prospects competing within North America. Named as tournament MVP, Pastujov’s contributions — alongside those of teammate Dylan Duke — were essential to Compuware’s dominant play and ultimately historic win.

However, a great deal of other young prospects also enjoyed terrific tournament’s in Whitby, and proved to be crucial to the success of their respective teams throughout the event. Although Pastujov’s presence atop this list should come as no surprise, take a moment to learn the names of a whack of other players who were downright unstoppable — and impressive — throughout the event.

The Top-20 Performers

With this being said, here are the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament’s top-20 performers in 2018.

20. Christian Catalano – Mississauga Rebels

Despite struggling within the GTHL ahead of this event, the Mississauga Rebels entered the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament and exited with a wealth of success and confidence. One major driving force behind the Rebels’ startling 3-0-1 record within a challenging pool was Christian Catalano — a smooth skating forward who recorded one goal and six assists across his five games played.

With Mississauga scoring 11 total goals in the tournament, Catalano factored into more than half of his team’s tallies and stood as a persistent presence at both ends of the ice. Purposeful in his skating and in possession of a stellar shot, Catalano’s blasts on-goal produced rebounds for his teammates throughout the tournament, while his commitment to two-way play helped hold the Rebels to a mere six goals against.

19. Francesco Pinelli – Toronto Red Wings

Although the Toronto Red Wings did not enjoy a great deal of success throughout the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament given their 1-2-1 record, Francesco Pinelli continued to build his case as one of the 2019 OHL Priority Selection’s most underrated prospects. A driving force behind the Red Wings’ offence, Pinelli plays a professional style of hockey and can be counted upon to lead his team at both ends of the ice.

Across Toronto’s four games played, the team scored six goals. Of these six goals, Pinelli was involved in five, scoring two of which while adding three assists on the others — an indication of his undeniable value to the Red Wings’ on-ice success. A sturdy and strong skater who is a versatile threat on offence, Pinelli is a natural leader whose play has been vastly overlooked to date in the 2018-19 season. In short, expect Pinelli’s performance at this event to fuel his success in the GTHL.

18. Luke Hughes – Detroit Little Caesars

Luke Hughes is as slippery and calculated as they come, thinking through each and every decision he makes on the ice with not only haste but purpose. It is this ability to process the game at a rapid pace which has come to fuel Hughes’ on-ice success, as the undersized defenceman is remarkably lethal and productive from his perch on the blue line.

Throughout the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament, Hughes continued to put his awe-inspiring skill-set on display. In his five games played for Detroit Little Caesars at the event, Hughes recorded two goals and three assists for a total of five points — a total which placed him in a tie for the highest sum on his team. Like his older brother Quinn, Hughes as a smooth-skater who thinks before he acts. Not afraid to takes risks in order to generate offence, Hughes utilizes his creativity well and can act as a rover if not adequately protected.

17. Zachary Dean – Toronto Nationals

Zachary Dean is an electrifying center who can dictate the pace and momentum of the game. With tremendous agility and acceleration, Dean pulls off moves that will make you double-clutch. A QMJHL prospect due to his birthplace, Dean is the heart and soul of the Toronto Nationals, and pushed them as far as he could in the round robin before losing a deciding game to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

However, Dean was utterly dynamic and electrifying in those four games. En route to adding two goals and five points, he was a constant force at both ends of the ice, leading his team at both five-on-five and on the powerplay. Dean is an ultra smooth skater who can make high-end moves at top speed, and should be considered a top-end prospect regardless of his draft eligibility.

16. Cole Hipkin – Brantford 99ers

The Brantford 99ers endured an interesting tournament, to say the least. In their four round-robin games played, the 99ers tied all four contests while scoring 11 goals and allowing 11 against. Of these four ties, one came against the high-powered Don Mills Flyers and served as the Flyers’ first result other than a win all season.

Instrumental to the 99ers’ relative success during the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament was Cole Hipkin, a stellar puck-moving defender who plays the game with remarkable energy as well as poise and composure. In his team’s four games played, Hipkin led the 99ers in scoring with five assists while standing as a competent defenceman within his own zone. Next to Brandt Clarke of Don Mills, argubly no defender eligible for the 2019 OHL Priority Selection boasts greater playmaking and vision than Hipkin.

15. Jack Devine – Chicago Mission

The Chicago Mission enjoyed a promising Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament, rolling to a 3-0-1 record in the round-robin alongside two shutout victories. Crucial to the high-powered offence put forth by the Mission was Jack Devine — a scrappy forward who is as lethal offensively as he is driven to succeed and irritate his opposition. In fact, in addition to scoring two goals and seven points in five games played, Devine added ten penalty minutes to the mix as well.

Ultimately, Chicago fell to Don Mills in the quarter-finals. However, Devine’s performance helped to once again establish the native of Illinois as one of the USA’s top 2003-born prospects. Committed to the University of Denver, Devine will undoubtedly become a tremendous NCAA player owing to his innate offensive abilities as well as willing to mix things up physically, too.

14. Marc Boudreau – Toronto Marlboros

Much like the Toronto Marlboros themselves this season, Marc Boudreau’s game continues to grow and impress. A sizeable and smooth-skating forward who isn’t afraid to play a physical game, Boudreau’s offensive play has grown dramatically this season alongside his responsibilities as a two-way player.

In his six games played at the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament, Boudreau tallied one goal while adding five assists for a total of six points. Although eliminated by Detroit Compuware in the semi-finals, Boudreau’s quick-hands and creativity were on display all tournament long and were critical to the Marlboros’ dynamic offensive game. Boasting size, speed, and a lethal skill-set, Boudreau’s growing game continues to draw a great deal of attention, and deservedly so.

13. Redmond Savage – Detroit Compuware

Playing on Compuware’s dynamic top line, Red Savage has consistently upheld his production to match that of Sasha Pastujov and Dylan Duke. While he wasn’t as much of a game breaking player as the two in this tournament, Savage was still a dominant force who played a huge role in Compuware’s run to the title.

Savage displays a heavy shot and the courage to drive the net to create scoring chances, using a strong lower-half to protect the puck or to battle for position in front of the net. He shows an uncanny ability to follow up on rushes in order to arrive just in time to be able to scoop up loose pucks. Savage wrapped up the tournament with five goals and six points.

12. Ty Voit – Pittsburgh Penguins Elite

One of the more surprising names that was consistently coming up at this year’s tournament was Ty Voit, who enjoyed a breakout of sorts in many eyes. A defensively strong team, the Pittsburgh Penguins were narrowly ousted at the quarterfinals, but may not have been there without the help of Voit, who tallied five goals in five games.

Voit displayed excellent sense of his positioning on the ice, as well as an understanding of developing plays. This ability allowed him to be in the right place at the right time in many occasions, slipping into the play just as the opportunity presented itself. A performance like this is a huge confidence builder for a player still looking to prove himself to the hockey world.

11. Cole Eichler – Don Mills Flyers

Cole Eichler may not be as flashy as some of his teammates, but he is just as consistent with his offensive production. Eichler is a beast in front of the net, whether that be in deflecting pucks, hunting rebounds, or slipping into a soft spot for a cross-crease tap-in. The majority of Eichler’s goals come within five feet of the crease.

Away from the net-front, Eichler is also a very talented playmaker who can dish impressive saucer passes on the tape over long distances. A grinder with excellent vision, Eichler’s hockey sense allows him to thrive on Don Mills’ top line with Shane Wright and Brennan Othmann. Eichler tallied five goals and nine points in the Whitby International Silver Stick Tournament, which was good for seventh-best overall.

10. Justin O’Donnell – Toronto Marlboros

When it counted, O’Donnell brought out his best game. A strong skater with somewhat of a grinder mentality, O’Donnell is tough to defend due to his heavy forecheck and ability to turn defenders inside-out. Of note, O’Donnell added a hat-trick in the quarterfinal, the tying goal and game-winner in overtime, as well as the Marlboros’ lone goal in the semifinal.

O’Donnell plays a style that is very translatable to the OHL level, with the size and strength to overwhelm his opponents as well as a powerful release on his wrist shot. He finished the tournament with five goals and eight points. O’Donnell has continuously improved his skating over the course of the year and is becoming a very intriguing prospect for the 2019 OHL Draft.

9. Liam Arnsby – Don Mills Flyers

Coming back from a recent stint on the injured list, Liam Arnsby is quickly reasserting himself as a top-tier prospect for the 2019 OHL Draft. Generally lining up on the Flyers’ second line, Arnsby plays a skilled yet heavy game. He displays high-end vision of the ice as well as a powerful wrist shot.

Arnsby routinely finishes his checks, often separating opponents from the puck and drawing the ire of the crowd. In the offensive zone, Arnsby isn’t afraid to battle for pucks along the wall, and shows impressive vision with passes through skates and sticks to teammates across the ice. Arnsby totalled four goals and 11 points, which ranked fourth in tournament scoring.

8. Davis Burnside – Chicago Mission

The second of the dynamic duo that the Chicago Mission boast, Burnside continued to showcase his ability to thrive amongst the strongest of competition. An Ohio State commit, Burnside was a constant force at both ends of the ice, hounding the puck, creating turnovers to capitalize on, and distributing the puck to dangerous areas in the offensive zone.

Alongside a strong and accurate shot, Burnside is a smart playmaker too, with the ability to find teammates cross-ice. Strong on his feet, Burnside carries the puck with poise and authority, changing gears and distributing the puck at top speeds. He concluded the tournament with four goals and seven points, finishing top ten in points-per-game.

7. Brennan Othmann – Don Mills Flyers

A prolific sniper for the powerhouse Flyers, Brennan Othmann continued his trend as a natural goal-scorer. With an electric release and pin-point accuracy, Othmann can find the smallest of holes and pick them with ease. He gets the puck on and off his blade in an instant, giving opposing goaltenders no time to transition and adjust their positioning.

Playing the wing on Don Mills’ top line and first powerplay unit, Othmann displayed impressive puck movement along the wall and behind the net, effectively spreading out the opposition to create time and space for his teammates. Othmann finished the tournament with five goals and 10 points, good for fifth in tournament scoring.

6. Ty Gallagher – Detroit Compuware

A big, two-way defenceman with great strength on his feet, Ty Gallagher proved to be one of the top defencemen in this year’s Silver Stick. Impressive skating abilities accompanied by an excellent understanding of his position make Gallagher a defenceman that can be relied upon under any circumstances. Showing the capability to join and lead the rush, Gallagher exhibits high-end offensive potential.

A Miami University of Ohio commit, Gallagher plays a mature game with good sense of his surroundings. He maintains tight gaps and directs opponents into the corners and away from danger areas. He shows the talent to not only force turnovers, but to take advantage of them by creating offensive opportunities as well.

5. Brenden Sirizzotti – Whitby Wildacts

Brenden Sirizzotti has continued to improve his draft stock over the course of this season. He has put up elite offensive numbers in the ETA through half of the season, playing at nearly a three points per game clip. Sirizzotti was able to further cement his status as a potential first-round pick with a spectacular performance at the Silver Stick which included eight goals — a total which ranked as the second-best in the tournament.

Showcasing dynamic speed and puck skills, he made plenty of defencemen and goaltenders look silly on his way to potting eight goals. Simply put, Sirizzotti is a high-skilled, offensive-minded winger who can put his team on his back. With excellent vision and instincts, he can go coast-to-coast with relative ease.

4. Dylan Duke – Detroit Compuware

On a strong, mature, and hard-working Detroit Compuware squad, Dylan Duke is the leader. As the team’s first line centre, Duke shows off impressive instincts and positioning at both ends of the ice. He is a workhorse, applying an aggressive forecheck to force turnovers and making the players around him better.

Duke displayed a heavy and accurate shot, as well as elite playmaking skills. A testament to his innate sense and vision of the ice, Duke and Sasha Pastujov teamed up to become a dynamic duo, and one which teams including the Don Mills Flyers simply could not contain. Duke rapped up the tournament with six goals and 14 points, good for fourth in goals and second in points.

3. Brandt Clarke – Don Mills Flyers

Brandt Clarke continued to separate himself from the pack of 2019 OHL Draft eligible defencemen. A workhorse on the Don Mills blue line, Clarke is one of the most intelligent defenders we’ve seen in a long time. He plays an incredibly poised game and constantly makes effective plays under immense pressure, very rarely giving away the puck. Quarterbacking the Flyers’ power play, Clarke has very intriguing offensive upside, as shown by his four goals and seven points.

Along with impressive hockey sense, Clarke is as smooth of a skater as they come. He combines a strong lower-body with excellent edge-work to protect with puck with ease, and is able to quickly pick up speed and blow through the neutral zone. A fantastic two-way defender, Clarke remains reliable in his own end by boxing out opponents and forcing turnovers along the wall with impeccable gap control and stick work.

2. Shane Wright – Don Mills Flyers

By now, everyone knows the story behind Shane Wright. An ’04-born center, Wright will likely apply for Exceptional Status in order to join the OHL as a 15-year-old. At this year’s Silver Stick, he continued to solidify his application. After missing game one of the tournament, Wright quickly climbed the leaderboard en route to finishing with seven goals and 12 points. Wright consistently proves to be above the class in nearly every aspect of the game, specifically with his skating, speed, and smarts.

An offensive dynamo, Wright is the catalyst for Don Mills’ offence. He protects the puck as well as anyone and is incredibly strong on his stick. He is tremendous from the half wall, effectively moving the puck north-south and east-west. Combined with great instincts, Wright is an offensive threat each time he takes the ice, and should almost certainly be in the OHL for the 2019-20 season.

1. Sasha Pastujov – Detroit Compuware

Well, the kid is alright. After weeks of speculation as to whether or not Sasha Pastujov and Duke would be included in Detroit Compuware’s roster, the duo came into Whitby and stole the show. Particularly, Pastujov really caught the eyes of everyone in attendance and brought forth a conversation comparing he and Wright for the 1st overall pick at the 2019 OHL Draft.

By tournament’s end, Pastujov had nine goals and 16 points to show for his efforts, good for MVP honours. What sets him apart from the competition is his ability to read the play and make instantaneous decisions with the puck. He displays tremendous vision and has incredible puck skills which churn out highlight reel goals with regularity. Pastujov is committed to the University of Notre Dame, a reality which makes his future in the OHL questionable.

Compuware Defeats Don Mills to Claim Silver Stick Championship

The 2018 Gloria Hints Memorial Silver Stick Tournament has come to a close, with Detroit Compuware claiming the championship over the Don Mills Flyers — their first loss of the season.

The 2018 Gloria Rints Memorial International Silver Stick Tournament has officially come to a close, and what a weekend of hockey it was.

In the minor midget age group, 30 of the world’s best teams gathered to do battle in what proved to be a highly competitive and entertaining tournament. Over the course of the four day event a number of highly skilled teams fell early, while others not expected to legitimately compete pushed their way into the elimination rounds through tactile team play.

Related: 2019 OHL Priority Selection Prospect Profiles

However, come the final game of the tournament, the two teams left standing were the clubs which everyone had travelled to Whitby, Ontario to see: Detroit Compuware of the HPHL and the Don Mills Flyers of the GTHL.

Led by two dynamic scorers and an arsenal of reliable defenders, Compuware’s roster presented a significant challenge for the Flyers from the outset of the tournament given its remarkable depth and offensive potency. On the other hand, Don Mills arrived in Whitby in possession of a perfect record, having yet to lose a single game in league or tournament play in 2018-19.

Unfortunately for the Flyers, their sparkling record would be dinged by Compuware.

The Championship Game

Although they had suffered a tie to the Brantford 99ers in round-robin play, Don Mills’ perfect record was technically intact given the lack of a loss within their record. However, Compuware stood determined to hand the Flyers their first defeat of the season, and relied upon each and every member of their roster in order to do so.

The First Period:

The championship game of the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament began well for Compuware, who netted the game’s opening goal as the direct result of a stellar rush put forth by MVP Sasha Pastujov — the tournament’s leading scorer with nine goals and 16 points in seven games played.

However, the Flyers responded quickly, scoring a goal on the very next shift of the game which reinforced their standing as arguably the top minor midget team in the world.

The Second Period:

Deadlocked at one goal apiece, penalty trouble began to brew for both teams to begin the second period — a reality which ignited both electrifying offences.

The first to strike was Compuware, as lethal goal-scorer Redmond Savage blasted home a power play goal from the slot to create a 2-1 advantage for his squad. Then, after killing a long 5-3 penalty kill, yet another penalty — this time a double-minor — opened the door for Don Mills to pounce, and pounce they did as Cole Eichler fired home his fifth goal of the tournament to knot the game at 2-2.

Shane Wright
A second period goal by top 2019 OHL Draft prospect Shane Wright afforded Don Mills with a 3-2 lead. (Photo Credit: Max Lewis)

With momentum swinging in favour of the Flyers and their offence operating at full capacity, Shane Wright fired the puck five-hole on goaltender Will Fox to regain a 3-2 lead for his team. Dominating Compuware in the offensive zone and limiting scoring opportunities against, Don Mills appeared to be in excellent shape to secure the Championship as both teams headed to the locker room.

The Third Period

The final stanza of the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament proved to be a wildly entertaining 15 minutes of hockey.

Slow out of the gate to start the period, the Flyers were ambushed by an energetic and determined Compuware team. Seemingly exhausted from the expectations placed upon them this season, Don Mills endured a rough period of hockey mired by moments which lacked both confidence and creativity. As a result, Compuware blasted home two quick goals to seize a 4-3 lead — one of which Flyers goaltender Anson Thornton would surely love to have back.

Related: 2019 OHL Priority Selection Rankings

Trailing for one of the very few times this season, Don Mills put their heads down and went to work. Although it was extremely difficult for the Flyers to generate lethal scoring opportunities given the stellar defending of Tyler Duke and Ty Gallagher, Don Mills drew even owing to a rebound goal from Brennan Othmann with a mere 19 seconds remaining — a tally which brought the Iroquois Park Sports Centre to its feet.

Having forced overtime despite being outplayed for portions of the third period, it appeared as though the Flyers might be able to maintain their impressive perfect record after all.


It didn’t take long for Compuware to re-establish its tenacious forecheck in overtime, as the team’s fleet-footed and highly competitive forwards set to work in their attacking zone.

Forcing turnovers while dominating puck possession, Compuware drove the Flyers to make a number of uncharacteristic mistakes which resulted in excellent yet unproductive scoring opportunities. However, it would prove to be only a matter of time for Compuware, who cliched the Whitby Silver Stick Tournament championship on a goal from Noah Laba — a strong two-way player who blasted home a loose puck from the slot.

In short, the championship game between Don Mills and Compuware was one for the ages.

Riddled with exciting moments and jaw-dropping displays of skill, both teams put forth a tremendous effort — and especially so given it was each squad’s seventh game played in a four-day span. Saturated with elite young prospects and immensely promising youngster, the championship game displayed the very best which the 2003 and 2004 age groups have to offer.