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The Next Ones Showcase Their Talents this Weekend

By Ontario Minor Hockey Association, 01/25/18, 2:30PM EST


OMHA Minor Midget AAA Showcase powered by Under Armour

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 Oakville Rangers forward Cameron Tolnai and Spencer Smith of the Niagara North Stars will take to the ice at the Ontario Minor Hockey Association’s Minor Midget AAA Showcase powered by Under Armour in St. Catharines on January 27-28.

Ten Ontario Minor Hockey Association teams from the South Central 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 Seymour-Hannah Sports and Entertainment 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 Tolnai and Smith, are listed below. The weekend will also include the SCTA Bantam Prospects Game as well as the ETA vs. SCTA Midget All-Star Game and the rosters for both can be found at the bottom of the page.

Saturday's Schedule

Time Away Home
11:00 ETA Midget All-Stars SCTA Midget All-Stars
12:15 Southern Tier Admirals Buffalo Regals
2:00 Central Bantam Prospects South Bantam Prospects
2:15 Grey-Bruce Highlanders Brampton 45's
4:00 Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs Oakville Rangers
4:15 Burlington Eagles Halton Hurricanes
6:00 Guelph Jr. Gryphons Niagara North Stars

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 Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs, Southern Tier Admirals, Buffalo Regals, Brampton 45’s, Grey-Bruce Highlanders, Oakville Rangers, Niagara North Stars, Guelph Jr. Gryphons, Halton Hurricanes and Burlington Eagles.

“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.”

Sunday's Schedule

Time Away Home
9:00 Niagara North Stars Burlington Eagles
10:15 Oakville Rangers Grey-Bruce Highlanders
11:00 Brampton 45's Guelph Jr. Gryphons
12:15 Buffalo Regals Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
1:00 Halton Hurricanes Southern Tier Admirals

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

Tiveron is a good skater and generates speed with the puck. He gets up top speed quickly, has a high skill level, finds place on the ice, understands the game well, and has good instincts. Not only is he an excellent hockey player, he is also under the radar and one of the most talented players in his league.

Ricotta is highly skilled and a goal-scorer; give him too much space with the puck and he will bury it in the back of the net. He possesses good hockey sense and skating ability. Ricotta has good ice awareness and confidence with the puck. With a sound defensive game, he stays on the defensive side of the puck and pays close attention to detail.

Mansfield is one of the best two-way forwards in the OMHA this season. He’s an all-around player –very skilled, understands the game well, competes, gets involved physically, and isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas, where he still remains effective. Mansfield skates well and can fly with the puck. He generates a lot for his team with his skating ability and work ethic.

A centre with good speed, Naves is a very good two-way player that can be relied on in any situation. On defence, he has good puck pursuit, provides good back pressure, and supports down low in the defensive zone. When the puck is on his stick, he sees the ice well and is good at getting it to open teammates. He has a good work ethic and brings his A-game every shift.

Morrison can often be the best player on the ice for either team. He has high-end skill and has ridiculous creativity with the puck. However, like all great players, what separates him from his peers is his elite-level hockey sense and an uncanny ability to anticipate the play. He should be a high draft choice in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection.

Bennett is a good sized goaltender with excellent positioning. As a result, he takes away a lot of the net for shooters. His movements are fluid as he follows the puck and doesn't slide out of position. Keeping his rebounds under control benefit him and his team as there are not many second chance opportunities to come by.

McKinney is two-way forward that has a high compete level and is effective in all areas of the ice. He has good puck skills and consistently goes with or without the puck into dirty areas. He is good at taking time and space away from the opposition on defence and plays a heavy game – McKinney is not easy to play against.

Sims is a really smart and skilled player. He is great at anticipating the game, as he is consistently a play or two ahead of most players he’s up against. He sees the ice well, distributes the puck confidently and has an excellent shot. Sims drives a lot of offense in many different ways and has become an important and trustworthy option to provide it.

After missing significant time earlier in the season due to injury, Smith has been a catalyst for his team. He’s a big reason why his team has been on a tear of late, picking up at least a point in nine out of the last 10 games. Smith is dangerous with the puck and has a very quick and accurate shot. His strong offensive instincts allow him to be creative and the ability to find teammates or a shooting lane. He is a fun player to watch.

The league leader in goals, assists, and points, Evangelista is putting together one of the best Minor Midget seasons in recent memory. His decision-making and ability to see the ice are excellent. He knows how to open up passing lanes, when to be patient, and when to be explosive. Evangelista has excellent offensive instincts which ultimately creates scoring chances for his team.

Tolnai is one of the most sought-after players available in the OHL Priority Selection and has all the tools to be a star at the next level. The good-sized winger has elite level skill and hockey sense, sees the ice and distributes the puck well, and has big play ability. Tolnai has fantastic hands and opposing players need to be aware when he is on the ice – give him too much time and space and the puck is going to end up in the back of their net.

Blanchard is a solid two-way defenceman that logs a lot of quality minutes for the Admirals. He has good mobility and plays a tight-gap. He makes things happen when the puck is on his stick – Blanchard has a good first pass and can find open teammates. In the offensive zone, he has a heavy shot and gets it on net with his ability to open up shooting lanes.

Midget All-Star Game Rosters

ETA All-Stars (Black)

# Name Position Team
1 Mitchell Weeks G North Central Predators
30 Damon Beaver G Whitby Wildcats
2 Brandon Benham D Central Ontario Wolves
3 Dakota Betts D Clarington Toros
4 Luke Littlemore D Whitby Wildcats
5 Justin Madden D North Central Predators
6 Paul O'Doherty D Markham Waxers
7 Will Sutherland D Markham Waxers
8 Brett Benham F Central Ontario Wolves
9 Alex Bourre F Central Ontario Wolves
10 Evan Cross F Clarington Toros
11 Tyler Doran F Peterborough Minor Petes
12 Liam Fedak F Barrie Jr. Colts
13 Blake Frost F York-Simcoe Express
14 Tye Kartye F Kingston Jr. Frontenacs
15 Bailey Nesbitt F Oshawa Minor Generals
16 Matt Poole F Quinte Red Devils
17 Nicholas Soehner F Markham Waxers
18 Jacob Winterton F Ajax-Pickering Radiers
19 Matt Zebedee F Richmond Hill Coyotes

SCTA All-Stars (Red)

# Name Position Team
1 Connor Ogg G Niagara North Stars
30 Daniel Merlino G Halton Hurricanes
2 Ben McChesney D Halton Hurricanes
3 Cameron Hatziioannou D Oakville Rangers
4 Mason Drury D Oakville Rangers
5 Austin Garofalo D Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
6 Cullen Ferguson D Niagara North Stars
7 Richard Coulson D Burlington Eagles
8 Liam Silva F Halton Hurricanes
9 Stephen Szulc F Halton Hurricanes
10 Zach Russell F Guelph Jr. Gryphons
11 Devyn Orpana F Guelph Jr. Gryphons
12 Holden Doggett F Oakville Rangers
13 Matthew Franzoi F Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
14 Nathan Reichel F Buffalo Regals
15 Gabe Costantini F Southern Tier Admirals
16 Trent Verbeek F Grey-Bruce Highlanders
17 Justin Randhawa F Niagara North Stars
18 Dylan Abbamont F Burlington Eagles
19 John Goldowski F Buffalo Regals

Bantam Prospects Game

Central All-Stars (White)

# Name Position Team
30 Alex Nap G Guelph Jr. Gryphons
31 Noah Pak G Oakville Rangers
6 Ethan Broderick D Guelph Jr. Gryphons
11 Thomas Viveiros D Halton Hurricanes
14 Gaven Martin D Brampton 45's
19 Calum Chau D Oakville Rangers
22 Jack Dupont D Grey-Bruce Highlanders
55 Trent Poitras D Guelph Jr. Gryphons
5 Mark McIntosh F Guelph Jr. Gryphons
5 Cam Pack F Brampton 45's
7 Jackson Phillips F Guelph Jr. Gryphons
9 Lawson Sherk F Halton Hurricanes
13 Patrick Brown F Grey-Bruce Highlanders
18 Kieran Moore F Grey-Bruce Highlanders
21 Andy Whitton F Brampton 45's
67 Brett Cowen F Oakville Rangers
71 Justin Legault F Oakville Rangers
88 Ethan Burroughs F Halton Hurricanes
88 Matthew Perry F Oakville Rangers

South All-Stars (Dark)

# Name Position Team
34 Ben Bonisteel G Southern Tier Admirals
37 Ian Dunn G Niagara North Stars
4 Joe Blackly D Buffalo Regals
4 Connor Federkow D Niagara North Stars
18 Alec Koschanow D Burlington Eagles
33 David Palmer D Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
97 Josh Reilly D Southern Tier Admirals
98 Nico Paone D Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
6 Jacob Maillet F Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
7 Ethan Micheli F Burlington Eagles
10 Liam Shwedyk F Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs
19 Matteo Giampa F Niagara North Stars
19 Blake Hall F Southern Tier Admirals
22 Jared Mangan F Buffalo Regals
24 Josh Bourdon F Southern Tier Admirals
27 Parker Hendsbee F Niagara North Stars
89 Sam Christiano F Buffalo Regals
91 Josh Ziliotto F Burlington Eagles
97 Connor Pelc F Buffalo Regals

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