Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa Photography
The U16 AAA regular season kicks off in just a few days and features the next generation of OMHA hockey talent stepping up into the spotlight. This year of hockey is the stepping stone to the Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection Draft, where players will look to hit the ice on the next stage.
What’s in store for each team this season? Below is a preview of all 23 U16 AAA teams based on how each team fared last year in U15.
2021-22 U15 Record: 12-14-1
The Raiders jumped out of the gate with a strong first half of the year but struggled to keep that pace for the full season. If they can find that consistency it could end up being a different story for Ajax-Pickering in 2022-23.
2021-22 U15 Record: 16-4-3
Looking to take the next step after qualifying for OMHA Championships, the Jr. Colts have a solid foundation to build off of for this season. Solid in all areas, they won’t let you score easily and teams will have to earn their points against them.
2021-22 U15 Record: 14-7-5
The Regals jumped out of the gate early which set a positive tone for how the rest of their season would play out. They always seemed to stay a step or two ahead on the scoresheet and in the standings. That bodes well for them as they head into the U16 season.
2021-22 U15 Record: 11-9-6
The Eagles led the league in ties last season and they’ve proven they will battle for every point available. They’ve shown their ability to win the close games and if they can turn some of those ties into wins then Burlington will take another step forward.
2021-22 U15 Record: 21-3-3
The Wolves finished last season with a sour taste in their mouth after settling for a silver medal at the OMHA Championships. They are no doubt coming back hungry and wanting to prove again that they are one of the top teams in this age group. Teams were lucky to score against them which was a major key to their success.
2021-22 U15 Record: 5-20-2
A spark on offence could ignite the Toros. Starting the year on the right note will be important for Clarington, who need to establish a regularity to their attack. Keeping games close and not letting them get away is key.
2021-22 U15 Record: 2-22-0 (as Brampton)
Staying consistent offensively over the season will help lead to more success for the Capitals, formerly the 45’s. They don’t always score a lot of goals but have shown the ability to hang with many other teams. Not letting games get away from them could notch a few more wins.
2021-22 U15 Record: 4-17-2
The Highlanders picked up most of their points as the visiting team. Defending home ice will be key for climbing in the standings. Low scoring games remain their friend and that ability to keep any game close could mean all they need is a few more bounces to go their way.
2021-22 U15 Record: 4-22-1
Guelph has shown its ability to fill the back of the net on more than one occasion. Many of those final scores were close – and their skill of coming out on top of those contests shows the Jr. Gryphons know how to lock it down when needed.
2021-22 U15 Record: 22-1-2
The Hurricanes were a dominant force throughout the season and faced little adversity on their way to claiming the 2022 U15 AAA Championship. They are solid on both ends of the ice and don’t often find themselves on the losing end of a game. This is a stingy defensive group and will have a target on its back as the defending champions of this age group.
2021-22 U15 Record: 18-1-6
A solid regular season earned the Bulldogs a spot at the OMHA Championships and they’re looking to do even better for themselves this year. This group does a great job of defending home ice, and teams know that when they come to visit the Hammer that it won’t be an easy game.
2021-22 U15 Record: 6-19-5
Finding the edge to breakthrough on ties could be the key to unlock the season for Kingston. Their ability to compete in every game keeps their final results close. They should not be overlooked on the schedule. If the Jr. Gaels can break through on a few of those tossup battles it should result in a few more wins.
2021-22 U15 Record: 6-18-4
It was a tale of two halves for the Waxers, who couldn’t replicate their first half of the season when the calendar flipped to the new year. If Markham can carry that play over the course of a full schedule it will help them in the standings.
2021-22 U15 Record: 10-10-6
The Stars won when it mattered most – coming out victorious in the qualifiers to punch their ticket to OMHA Championships. They are a prime example showing that every game matters in the standings and that attitude will only serve them better this year.
2021-22 U15 Record: 9-11-5
The Predators battle hard in every game and their balanced record proves that. They tied four games in a row last year, and with a few more bounces going their way in those games all of a sudden it could’ve been a different story in the standings. Expect them to continue to be a tough out for any team.
2021-22 U15 Record: 7-15-5
The Rangers had a strong first half of the season but struggled to keep the momentum after the holiday break. Every game is competitive, which gives them a shot to be victorious. Look for them to take another step forward.
2021-22 U15 Record: 1-23-3
With another season of playing together under their belt that should help their case to develop further as a team. Building that chemistry could lead to more success on the ice on both ends.
2021-22 U15 Record: 22-4-2
The Minor Petes are definitely in the discussion as one of the top teams in the OMHA this year. They are knocking on the door, earning a berth to the semifinals last season. Peterborough really turned it on in the second half and will look to carry all of that momentum when the puck drops again.
2021-22 U15 Record: 11-8-6
This group of Red Devils has proven the ability to win games on the road. Their record can be a bit misleading with all of the ties, and if they can turn some of those into wins and it could be a better reflection of what this team is made of.
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2021-22 U15 Record: 3-20-3
Finding a spark early in games could be key for the Coyotes. They battle hard, and if they can keep games close it could be reflected in the standings.
2021-22 U15 Record: 14-2-5
The Admirals played a handful of games less than the rest of their league but their win percentage showed that they were still a force during the season. They earned a spot in the semis at Championships and can build on that positive momentum by taking it one step further.
2021-22 U15 Record: 13-7-3
The Wildcats exploded out of the gate and put together a great first half of the season. They have shown the ability to string together a number of wins in a row so other teams can’t let them catch fire. If they can match this level again this season, be careful.
2021-22 U15 Record: 28-2-2
A powerhouse during the regular season, the Express are geared up for another go around this year. The ability for the offence to score early and often kept the pressure off of the defence and was a key to their success. Look for the Express to be in the mix once again.