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Defending Champions Lead The Way In First Rankings

By Hudl, 10/19/22, 2:00PM EDT

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U16 and U18 AAA Top 5 Rankings presented by Hudl

The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has released the first edition of the U16 and U18 AAA Top 5 Rankings presented by Hudl for the 2022-2023 regular season. These rankings will be released on a bi-weekly schedule.

As teams get the regular season underway they are looking to make a good early impression.

U16 AAA Rankings

The defending champion Halton Hurricanes have jumped out of the gates to a hot start, while semi-finalist Peterborough and silver medalist Central Ontario make their mark.

Players to Watch

Tyler Hopkins (Halton Hurricanes): Brings a great mixture of speed, skill and compete to the ice. He puts himself in great areas to get the puck in stride and will attack the defenders wide or read what is given and attack inside. Without the puck, Hopkins is fearless and will drive hard to the net or get in on the forecheck and create turnovers. This is why he sustains a lot of offensive zone time and will be a fixture on the scoresheet.

Owen Griffin (York-Simcoe Express): The puck is glued to his stick. This is because Griffin possesses high hockey IQ and has excellent puck control. He can weave through the opposing team allowing him to have a lot of zone entries and exits and control the game. With his high lQ he can see the ice very well and knows where his teammates are. He finds them in prime scoring areas and he creates a lot of offence doing so.

U18 AAA Rankings

The Ajax-Pickering Raiders are doing their best to separate themselves from the pack early but Oshawa and Oakville are right in the mix.

Players to Watch

Mackenzie Curd (Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs): A very imposing physical presence on the Bulldogs blueline. The 6'6", 210 lbs is a very skilled defender who has good mobility skills for such a large defenceman. Tough to play against because of his size, strength and great use of his stick reach, Curd is an imposing force both in the corner and net front. As he continues his development at U18, his solid offensive skills will make him a dominant defenceman and prepare him for the jump to the next level of competition.  

Ethan Birt (Halton Hurricanes): A 6'0", 170 lbs defender who uses his high hockey IQ and string skating skills to be a dominant force in his own end. His strong physical play, excellent puck skills helps to initiate breakouts with accurate first pass and puck movement. He also does not hesitate to jump into the offensive rush and is comfortable both leading and joining the offensive play. Birt can control both ends of the rink and is a physical presence on every shift.


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