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12/04/2013, 4:45pm EST
By Ontario Minor Hockey Association

Top Young Hockey Prospects Hit the Ice This Weekend in Barrie

The top young hockey prospects will hit the ice in Barrie, Ontario this weekend!

The great ones – like Steven Stamkos played in the OMHA – and the next ones like Markham Waxers Forward, Jonathan Ang and Central Ontario Wolves Defenseman, Sam Dunn will take to the ice at the OMHA ETA Showcase in Barrie December 6 and 7.

Thirteen teams from the Eastern AAA (ETA) Minor Midget League along with the Gold Cup team from the Northern Ontario Hockey Association (NOHA) will battle head-to-head in a series of games in front of pro, junior and university scouts at Holly Community Centre. The event is a preview of the top picks in next spring’s Ontario Hockey League and, in a few short years, the National Hockey League draft. The OMHA is a premier development league; recent grads now in the NHL include Steven Stamkos, Matt Duchene, Corey Perry and Cody Hodgson.

A list of players to watch, including Ang is listed below with comments from OHL Central Scouting.

OMHA AAA Showcase

The weekend will also include the ETA Midget All-Star Game and Skills Competition. The ETA initiated the Midget All-Star game in 1993 to acknowledge and recognize the hockey skills of Midget AAA players while providing a venue where these players could demonstrate their abilities.

"The ETA has consistently developed bonafide prospects for the OHL year in and year out.” said Jason Ford, Barrie Colts General Manager.  “This type of setting with all of the teams in the league playing in one place allows us to evaluate the league as a whole, and saves us a lot of time moving forward.   This Showcase provides us with more information on players we are interesting in pursuing, and helps us pinpoint who we want to pay more attention to as the season goes on."

The participating clubs are the Whitby Wildcats, Clarington Toros, Peterborough Petes, Kingston Jr. Frontenacs, Central Ontario Wolves, Quinte Red Devils, Oshawa Generals, York Simcoe Express, South Central Coyotes, Barrie Jr. Colts, Ajax/Pickering Raiders, Markham Waxers, North Central Predators and NOHA.

The event is projected to draw 1,000 and provide a boost to the Barrie economy.

“Profiling our AAA athletes at the Showcase events is an excellent way for scouts and universities to see all players,” said OMHA President Rob Ring. “The OMHA is proud of every player and wants to do the best job possible to support them and their families by hosting such events as this.”
The OMHA’s Showcase is also used to promote a path to post-secondary education for the athletes. Many OMHA graduates move on to attend and play at Ontario universities.

“The Ontario Hockey League offers student-athletes the best of both worlds when it comes to on ice development and opportunities in education,” said OHL Commissioner David Branch. “We look forward to the opportunity to meet so many of the OMHA’s great student-athletes and future stars of the OHL at these events.”

The OUA and OHL will host information sessions at the tournament to explain the pathways to junior hockey and university life. OUA hockey is filled with OMHA grads, many who enjoyed OHL careers including David Searle [Peterborough], Tony Rizzi, Anthony and Kaine Geldart [Kingston] and Steve Ferry [Richmond Hill].

“Ontario University Athletics would like to welcome all players to the OMHA AAA Showcase event.  This is an opportunity for these exceptional athletes to showcase their talents while learning about the opportunities that exist for them beyond their junior playing careers.  Ontario University Athletics would like to wish all players the utmost success as they pursue their academic and athletic goals,” said OUA Executive Director Bryan Crawford.

Partners for the 2013 OMHA ETA Showcase include Under Armour, Barrie Colts, Ontario University Athletics [OUA], Ontario Hockey League [OHL], Gatorade, Panera Bread, Pro Hockey Life, City of Barrie and Rogers TV.

Players to Watch

Bryce Keats is a player that competes hard every shift, is always around the puck and creates a lot of offense for his team, a go to player.

Matthew Barnes is a very mobile defenseman that has the ability to beat a fore check with his skating. Quarterbacks the power play and does a good job of distributing the puck.

Sam Dunn is the leader of his team in every aspect.  Plays in every situation, PP, PK and even strength.  Has very good puck skills and sees the ice very well.  

Christopher Paquette is a big Power Forward that uses his size to his advantage.  Creates a lot of his team’s offense, is tied for his team lead with 31 points.

Jake O’Donnell is a big smooth skating defender that has very good puck skills which allow him to make very good plays in all three zones of the ice.

Jonathan Ang- Is a very skilled offensive player that has the ability to change a game in a single shift.  He has great speed and can beat a defender with his speed and puck skills.

Joey Tascona is a mobile puck moving defenseman that does a good job on the offensive blue line during the power play.  He has a good hard accurate shot from the point.

Bruce Knapp is an athletic goalie that battles in the net and limits his second change opportunities.

Riley Stillman is a versatile defenseman that plays well in all areas of his game.  He has very good offensive instincts that allow him to be one of his team’s top point producers.

Greg Thomas is a very versatile player as he has the ability to play both defense and forward.  He has a very good understanding of the game which allows him to play in every situation.

Greg Smith is a player with great speed and offensive ability.  He has a very good shot, it’s accurate and he has a very quick release.

Matthew Hotchkiss is a big, smooth skating forward with great skills. With his size and skills he has the ability to dominate whenever he wants to.

Jonah Gadjovich is a big Power Forward that has been steadily improving over the course of the season.  He has all the tools to be a very effective and productive player at the next level.

Olivier Lafreniere is a good sized goalie that plays a controlled composed game. He challenges well and does a good job at controlling his rebounds.

Cameron Morrison is his team’s top offensive player, he generates offense in numerous ways.  He is a big bodied winger that fore checks hard and takes the body whenever he can.

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