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Are You the Next One?

01/25/2014, 12:00pm EST
By Ontario Minor Hockey Association

Top Young Hockey Prospects Hit the Ice This Weekend in St. Catharines

 The Ontario Minor Hockey Association [OMHA] is pleased to announce the OMHA AAA Showcase will occur from January 25-26 at the Seymour Hannah Sports Complex in St. Catharines. The event will feature every South Central AAA League [SCTA] Minor Midget team competing in regular season play along with a Midget All-Star game and a Bantam Prospects game. This the second of two OMHA AAA Showcases taking place this season.

The OMHA AAA Showcase events display the highest level of OMHA Minor Midget hockey players [15-16 years old] eligible for the OHL Priority Selection to scouts in a centralized location. Educational information sessions will be available for players and parents with a focus on opportunities in the sport beyond minor hockey.

Top prospects competing in the OMHA AAA Showcase include Brandon Saigeon (Hamilton), Rylee St. Onge (Niagara), Jake Lawr  (Halton) and Nicholas Prestia (Southern Tier).

Partners for the 2012-2013 OMHA AAA Showcase include Ontario University Athletics [OUA], Ontario Hockey League [OHL], Under Armour, Pro Hockey Life, Gatorade, and Rinknet Scouting Software.

“Profiling our AAA athletes in at the Showcase events is an excellent way for scouts and universities to see all players,” stated 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 events such as this.”

“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.”

"Ontario University Athletics has a shared interest with the Ontario Hockey League in helping prepare their athletes for life after their junior playing careers. The OMHA AAA Showcase is a great opportunity for hockey fans to celebrate the accomplishments of these exceptional athletes," explained OUA Executive Director Bryan Crawford.

Recent OMHA AAA Graduates include Corey Perry [Anaheim Ducks], Steven Stamkos [Tampa Bay Lightning], Matt Duchene [Colorado Avalanche], Cody Hodgson [Buffalo Sabres], Brendan Gaunce [2012 26th Overall Pick NHL Entry Draft], Cody Ceci [2012 15th Overall Pick NHL Entry Draft], Ryan Murphy [2011 12th Overall Pick NHL Entry Draft] and Dougie Hamilton [2011 9th Overall Pick NHL Entry Draft].

Players to Watch

The leading scorer on the team heading into the Showcase, Zac brings a huge upside, he has good size, a good skill level, and understands the game well. His understanding of the came allows him to find “quiet ice” in the Offensive Zone, as a result Zac has scored 17 goals in only 28 games this season.

Stephen has been one of the consistently best goalies in the SCTA all season long, combining excellent size with good technically ability, he is big in the net but also has the agility to go quickly post-to-post for chances in tight. His compete level and mental engagement is mature for his age.Stephen has been one of the consistently best goalies in the SCTA all season long, combining excellent size with good technically ability, he is big in the net but also has the agility to go quickly post-to-post for chances in tight. His compete level and mental engagement is mature for his age.

The younger brother of Kitchener Rangers defenceman Frank Hora, is having a great year on the backend for Buffalo. A prototypical offensive defense and, Hora has the ability to snaps passes or carry the puck up the ice in order to advance the play, his biggest assets are his smarts, skating ability, and skill level.

One of the most improved and underrated players in the SCTA, combines size with a good compete and skill levels, gets involved physically and battles for pucks.

One of the most skilled players in the SCTA, his hands are sublime and he is a player that can change the complex of a game with one play, he understands the game well and knows where to be in the offensive zone in order to generate scoring chances.

He is a defenseman with good size and mobility allowing him to move around the defensive zone with ease.  He is very powerful and strong making it hard for opposing attackers to gain ground in front of the net or win battles in corners.  Every team wants a player like Allen on their back end and he will be watched closely .

Connor is a big strong player that uses his size and strength to his advantage by driving the net and protecting the puck.  His battle and compete level in all three zones of the ice is very high and his hard work is very noticeable to scouts at Gryphons games.  Bunnaman is just under a point a game player this season and is the type of player that every coach wants on his team.

Lawr is a big athletic goaltender that shows very little to opposing shooters during games as he fills the net so well.  He gives his Hurricane teammates confidence when he plays as he is able to cover any mistakes they might make.  Pucks seem to stick to him as he allows very few second chances. He gives Halton a chance to win each time he plays.

Schultz is one of the best two way players in the SCTA this season.  He is a great skater with great hands and this combined with the work ethic he brings to the ice makes him a player for OHL scouts to watch this season.  Eddie does a very sound job of taking care of his own end and if Halton is up by a goal you want him on the ice late in games.  He is very strong on face-offs making him a valuable player for the Hurricanes.

Tyler is a big two way defenseman that makes himself very noticeable every time you see the Hurricanes play.  Measured at 6’4”, Tyler moves around the ice very well and uses his size and reach to shut down attacking players.  Nothers is used by his coaches in all situations and has contributed with four points in seven games while shutting down other teams top players.

Shackelton is one of the most physical d men in the SCTA and OHL draft this season.  He plays a shutdown role on the back end for this Bulldogs team, making it very hard to play against him if you are the opponent.  His compete level is very high and he brings this each time you see Hamilton play.  Dawson makes players aware when he is on the ice as he is always looking to take the body either on the wall or in open ice.  Shackelton also has the ability to move pucks up to wingers with a good first pass allowing them to spend less time in their end.

Saigeon has all the tools to be THE top power forward in the OMHA this season and he is undoubtedly an elite level OHL draft prospect. He has all the tools, size, skating, skill level, and smarts. On top of this, he has OHL ready size at 6.01 and 191 lbs.

As one OHL Scout said, “Timms is a guys I would pay to watch,” the entertainment level in his game is comparable to Michael Del Zotto at this age. Timms is a highly skilled puck moving defenseman that generates a lot of offense from the back end for the Bulldogs team. He uses his vision and smarts to make it easy on his wingers when breaking out of their own end.

Buch is a player that the more you watch play the more you appreciate how good of a player he is on this Bulldogs team.  He has a very high hockey IQ and plays a solid two way game in the middle of the ice.  Jacob is very strong on draws and shows a gritty side that scouts love.  He has a strong knack for drawing opposing players to him before dishing the puck to his team mates.

He comes to play every game, has a very high compete level and combines this with a solid physical game, as a result, he can be a hard player to play against, on top of this his skill level is solid and he has the ability to produce offence for his team.

Perhaps the best goalie in the SCTA this season, he is a big reason why his team continues to get better and can compete with any team in the SCTA. At 6.01 and 174 lbs. Wells is a great mix of size and athletic ability; on numerous occasions the opposing team will have thought they had a sure goal only to have Wells spring into place with his cat-like agility and save a goal.

Rylee is a highly skilled forward that you notice each time he is on the ice when you watch the Stars play.  His second gear allowing him to drive past unsuspecting defenders is one of the best of this year’s draft class. St. Onge is a player that makes the people on the ice with him better as well as his great vision and ability to not get knocked off pucks opens lanes for his team mates.  Has the ability to put the puck in the net in bunches as he has six two goal games this season.  Rylee is a player scouts come to watch play.

Great combination size, strength, physicality, and skill, hits very hard, you can actually hears is his hits well up in the bleachers, has deft hands and a touch around the net, keeps getting better and is one of the best Power Forwards in the SCTA.

Zachary has a good work ethic along with an ability to make plays and generate scoring opportunities, at 6.01 and 176 lbs. he has the size to win battles and can make plays with the puck once he gets it.

Mendonca is a highly skilled playmaker with great vision making him a threat for opposing teams from the offensive blue line in.  Mitchell has the ability to create plays for himself and for his team mates. His smarts allow him to anticipate the play and as a result he is usually in position to make plays.

Nicholas has great hands a strong accurate shot that he gets off very quickly.  This ability enables him to be a goal scoring threat off the wing for the Admirals.  He is very strong on pucks and uses his size and body to protect the puck well.  One of the best Power Forwards in the SCTA this season.

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