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The Next Ones Showcase Their Talents this Weekend

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 11/29/17, 2:30PM EST

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OMHA Minor Midget AAA Showcase powered by Under Armour

omha minor midget aaa showcase

The great ones that grew up playing Ontario Minor Hockey Association have taken their places at the next level of hockey. Now, the next wave of talent like York-Simcoe Express forward Quinton Byfield and Jack Thompson of the Clarington Toros will take to the ice at the Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s Minor Midget AAA Showcase powered by Under Armour in Aurora on December 2-3.

Thirteen Ontario Minor Hockey Association teams from the Eastern AAA Minor Midget League will battle head-to-head in a series of games in front of hundreds of pro, junior and university scouts at the Aurora Community Centre. This is one of the few times a year that all the league teams will be under one roof competing at the same time. This will be an action-packed weekend with high quality Minor Midget hockey. These players are some of the best that the OMHA has to offer.

A list of players to watch, including Byfield and Thompson, are listed below. The weekend will also include the OMHA Eastern AAA Midget All-Star Game and the rosters can be found at the bottom of the page.

The event is a preview of the top picks in next spring’s Ontario Hockey League draft and, in a few short years, the National Hockey League draft. The OMHA is a premier development league with 83 players drafted from 22 different teams at the 2017 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection, including six first round picks.

"The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has consistently developed bonafide prospects for the OHL year in and year out,” said Jason Ford, Barrie Colts General Manager and Head Scout. “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 Minor Petes, Kingston Jr. Frontenacs, Central Ontario Wolves, Quinte Red Devils, Oshawa Minor Generals, York-Simcoe Express, Richmond Hill Coyotes, Barrie Jr. Colts, Ajax-Pickering Raiders, Markham Waxers, North Central Predators and two teams representing the Northern Ontario Hockey Association.

“The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has a long and proud tradition of developing some of the top hockey talent in the world,” said OMHA President Rob Ring. “This event will be a step in identifying and developing the next crop of elite players in Ontario.”

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 OHL and U Sports will host information seminars at the tournament to explain the pathways to junior hockey and university life.

Partners for the OMHA AAA Showcase include Under Armour, Gatorade, Axe, Muscle MLK, Ontario Hockey League (OHL), U Sports and Ontario Hockey Association (OHA).


Players to Watch

Not overly big, Lammana makes up for it in spades with his skill level and hockey smarts. He has magic hands and can do things with the puck most in his peer group can only dream of. He anticipates well and goes to where the puck is going as opposed to where it is now.

Hardie is a very exciting player to watch. From the blueline in, he is one of the best in the OMHA this season. He has elite-level skill, good instincts, and good shot with a quick release. He is a big reason why his team has the best record in their league this season.

Belanger is one of the best offensive defencemen in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. He has excellent puck skills, distributes the puck with hard and crisp passes on the tape in a consistent manner, and has a cannon of a point shot. In addition, he is very mobile, which allows him the ability to join the rush and chase down loose pucks.

Shier is a solid two-way defenceman. Possessing size and mobility, he’s a smart player and makes few mistakes. He is strong on the puck and employs a sound physical game. The backbone of his team, Shier will be called on to log a lot quality minutes down the stretch.

A smooth skating defenceman with an excellent skill set, Thompson is one of the best defencemen available in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. He’s a smart player, positionally sound and can be trusted in a variety of situations on the ice. He does a great job of finding open shooting lanes and getting his shot through, especially while on a powerplay. Defensively, he is poised and efficient; he is able to read his pressure and make a safe play.  

Morton is not easy to play against; a physically punishing defender that opposition forwards want to avoid. In addition to his physical play, he is good at using his big body to battle for pucks and is good at removing pucks from opponents. He moves pucks consistently and possesses a hard shot. 

Strickland is an early-season candidate for the Cy Young award at 14 goals and 2 assists. A flashy forward with good skating ability and great hands, he has the ability to generate offence whenever he gets the puck no matter where he is on the ice. He has a great shot and gets it off quickly. He is especially dangerous when given time to generate speed through the neutral zone and attack defenders one-on-one.

Watson isn’t the biggest player on the ice, so he relies on smart positional play and shows a good ability to anticipate the game. With this anticipation, he is able to pick-off passes and create turnovers. When he is in the offensive zone, a defender has to close out his space; otherwise he will put himself in a position to use his excellent shot that goalies have trouble reacting to. With his work ethic and mobility, he is slippery and tough to contain.

Stoop is the offensive catalyst on a hard working Oshawa team. He has good skills, generates offence for his team and has a good shot that he can release quickly. He is good at anticipating the play and limits his mistakes.

Burke has good hands and doesn't seem to lose a step when carrying the puck. He can change directions quickly and keeps defenders on their toes. Without the puck, he has a sneaky stick, creating turnovers which lead to quick strike opportunities the other way. When he has the puck on his stick, he can skate around the perimeter looking for a pass that will slice through defenders. When he finds himself in alone on a goalie, he can finish, making him a priority for other teams to defend.

Langdon is one of the best two-way centremen in the OMHA this season. A big body that skates well with a long stride, he is as a very effective player on both sides of the puck. He has good hands and can finish when he is in tight. On defence, he can be usually found on the right side of the puck and he is really good at eliminating time and space from the opposition.

Sirmakesyan is the straw that stirs the drink for a solid Richmond Hill Coyotes team. An effective two-way defenceman, he is strong for his size, plays a sound physical game and doesn’t give up much on the d-side of the puck. He has a good transition game, advancing the puck consistently as his team goes on the attack.

Similar to his team, Perry has got better as the season has progressed. He is dangerous offensively, creative with the puck, has really good hands, and has a quick and accurate shot. Light on his skates, he has some physicality to his game and battles for pucks. As he gets bigger and stronger, his game will continue to improve.

Vierling is one of the best two-way forwards in his age group. Blessed with elite-level hockey sense and skill, when the puck is on his stick in the offensive zone a scoring chance usually ensues. His attention to detail is outstanding; defensively he takes away time and space from the opposition and creates turnovers. He has a high compete level and wants to make a difference every time he is on the ice.

Size, skating, and elite-level skill, Byfield possess all the attributes that make him the best power-forward available in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection. He uses his size to his advantage by using his big body and reach to protect the puck. This buys him time and space where his tremendous puck skills take over. In the offensive zone, he puts himself in high percentage areas allowing him to show off his finishing ability.


Midget All-Star Game Rosters

East All-Stars (Red)

# Name Position Height Weight 2017-18 Team
1 Kyle Burnett G 5'10" 160 Central Ontario Wolves
30 Damon Beaver G 5'10" 153 Whitby Wildcats
2 Jordan Jacobs F 6'1" 178 Central Ontario Wolves
3 Brett Benham F 5'11" 160 Central Ontario Wolves
4 Alex Bourre F 6' 190 Central Ontario Wolves
5 Patrick Goan F 5'10" 180 Central Ontario Wolves
6 Brendan Benham D 5'11" 160 Central Ontario Wolves
7 Ben Addison D 5'10" 165 Central Ontario Wolves
8 Matt Poole F 5'11" 173 Quinte Red Devils
9 Evan Barr F 6' 170 Clarington Toros
10 Bailey Nesbitt F 5'10" 165 Oshawa Minor Generals
11 Dakota Betts D 6'1" 185 Clarington Toros
12 Tye Kartye F 5'11" 170 Kingston Jr. Frontenacs
13 Derrick Vos D 5'11" 212 Kingston Jr. Frontenacs
14 Bryce Caruk F 6'4" 185 Whitby Wildcats
15 Luke Littlemore D 6'2" 170 Whitby Wildcats
16 Carden Guerin D 5'10" 166 Quinte Red Devils
17 Alex Hotchkiss F 5'10" 155 Clarington Toros
18 Evan Cross F 6' 170 Clarington Toros
19 Tyler Doran F 6'1" 185 Peterborough Minor Petes

West All-Stars (Black)

# Name Position Height Weight 2017-18 Team
1 Mitchell Weeks G 6'3" 170 North Central Predators
30 Sebastian Woods G 5'6" 134 Markham Waxers
2 Charlie Dafonseca F 5'8" 158 Markham Waxers
3 Jalen Balbosa F 5'9" 195 Markham Waxers
4 Nicholas Soehner F 5'11" 168 Markham Waxers
5 William Keith F 6' 160 Markham Waxers
6 Paul O'Doherty D 5'9" 199 Markham Waxers
7 Will Sutherland D 5'10" 155 Markham Waxers
8 Isaac Boer Hersh F 6'1" 190 York-Simcoe Express
9 Blake Frost F 5'8" 150 York-Simcoe Express
10 Cam Kokelj F 5'11" 165 York-Simcoe Express
11 Trevor Dungey D 6'1" 170 York-Simcoe Express
12 Jacob Winterton F 5'10" 155 Ajax-Pickering Raiders
13 Daniel Ebrahim F 5'9" 174 Ajax-Pickering Raiders
14 Matthew Altomare D 6' 155 Ajax-Pickering Raiders
15 Charlie Jeans F 6' 175 North Central Predators
16 Justin Madden D 6'1" 205 North Central Predators
17 Matt Zebedee F 6' 170 Richmond Hill Coyotes
18 Ethan Eliopulos D 6'3" 195 Richmond Hill Coyotes
19 Liam Fedak F 6'2" 168 Barrie Jr. Colts

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