The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has released the third edition of the U16 and U18 AAA Top 5 Rankings presented by Hudl for the 2021-2022 regular season. These rankings will be released on a bi-weekly schedule.
The OMHA U16 AAA Showcase is right around the corner and teams are looking for some momentum heading into that weekend.
The Red Devils and North Stars keep the top two spots as the Waxers continue their rise to stay on their tail. The Express fall a spot while the Burlington Eagles make their first appearance of the season.
Frankie Marelli (Markham Waxers): A mobile defenceman who uses his feet effectively in all three zones. Defensively, he is quick to close time and space and can quickly transition to offence. When his team has the puck, Marelli can engage as a high option or lead the rush into the offensive zone. On the powerplay or when the play gets set up inside the opposing blueline he quarterbacks his team with smart lateral movements along the line and his ability to quickly find shooting and passing lanes. He is a tough defender to contain.
Hunter McKenzie (Halton Hurricanes): An opposing presence for any team that has to play against him. McKenzie is very strong on his skates and uses his power and quick bursts to get a step on defencemen or pounce on loose pucks. He is very strong along the boards where he often wins battles and gains possession. With the puck he has excellent instincts to find open teammates or use his heavy shot to get pucks on net and often putting pucks in the net. McKenzie drives a lot of positive play for his team and his line.
The top four teams hold strong and look to be the teams to beat this season.
Ryan Johnstone (Ajax-Pickering Raiders): The Raiders captain plays a fearless, physical brand of hockey with high level puck skills and skating ability. His advanced hockey IQ and unsurpassed compete level make him one of the U18s hardest players to play against. Johnstone leads by example and plays a robust 200-foot game as he prepares for his advancement to the next level.
Rory Browne (Oakville Rangers): The Rangers right shot defenceman brings a rugged, physical game to the rink every night. His passion and high compete level make him an elite defender at the U18 level. Browne possesses excellent puck handling abilities, transitioning from defence to offence with excellent first pass and breakout transition skills. He logs tons of ice time and becomes more effective as the game progresses. He helps anchor a stingy Oakville Ranger defence corp giving his team an opportunity to win every night.
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