Neutral Zone attended the Alliance Major Bantam (2002’s) Showcase from September 23-25, 2016. The following names are players who jumped out to our scouts and their respective letter grade. The article is organized from Forwards, to Defenseman, to Goalies.
Andrew Casasanta (L, 5-5/146, Brantford 99ers, 2002)
Casasanta is Brantford’s captain and PP quarterback. He plays a 200 foot game and rotating as the high guy so the D can pinch and shows hockey sense in all areas of his game.. He helps out down low in his own zone to support his D and uses his body first in battles. He is a pass first player centering the number 1 line and uses his linemates. He is used in all key situations.
Benjamin McFarlane (L, 5-6/125, Cambridge Hawks, 2002)
McFarlane is on the smaller side but more than makes up for it with his hockey IQ, compete level, and speed. He is a slick center who can play physically and is an offensive threat on the PK with his speed and anticipation. He supports well down low in the defensive end and can put the puck in the net if left alone with a quick release or by making a move.
Carter Schoonderwoerd (L, 6-3/200, Huron Perth Lakers, 2002)
Schoonderwoerd is in his first year of AAA after playing CC in Mitchell last year for both the Bantams and the Midgets. He is a towering figure and definitely belongs at this level and is already one of the captains on his team. He has hockey sense but is still raw with such things as faceoffs and knowing to delay when there is no support on an offensive attack. He can play a physical style and threw some thunderous checks and has a good shot. His skating is average and he needs to work on his puck handling and puck protection skills. He was double shifted all weekend due to injuries and after 4 games was out of steam. This is a kid that has lots of potential to be tapped into.
George Diaco (L, 5-2/114, London Jr. Knights, 2002)
What Diaco lacks in size, he more than makes up with his speed and hockey sense. Playing wing on the #1 line, he creates room by backing off the D who respect his speed creating a bigger than normal gap. He has good puck handling skills and will maintain possession of the puck.
He needs to attack more on the initial rush when odd man attacks are created and gain some strength to be able to cut to the net harder from the wing.
Keegan McMullen ( L, 5-7/125, Cambridge Winterhawks, 2002)
McMullen is a rugged left winger who generates speed in the neutral zone and is effective on the forecheck. He demonstrates good puck-handling skills and a good quick shot. He plays good positional hockey.
Noah Kirk (L, 5-6/120, Cambridge Winterhawks, 2002)
Kirk is a left-handed forward with average skating speed. He handles the puck well and uses his teammates. He works well below the opposition’s goal line and shows grit going into traffic around their net. He has a knack to get to loose pucks and shows the ability to finish when left alone.
Isaac Borges (L, 5-9/130, Hamilton Huskies, 2002)
Borges is a big bodied forward who can play a skilled game. He does not play physical on the offensive side of the puck but does has the ability to do so at times. He generates good speed through the neutral zone and given a step on a defender will use his body to cut to the net.
Adam Grein (L, 5-6/127, Kitchener Jr. Rangers, 2002)
Grein is a two-way center who controls the puck well. He uses his body to protect the puck and does a good job attacking the offensive zone wide. He sees the ice well and uses his linemates and helps support the D in the defensive zone. He needs to work on his straight forward speed.
Mitchell Lee (L, 5-5/127, Waterloo Wolves, 2002)
Lee is a shifty center who thinks the game well. He is comfortable playing a physical game and often has the puck on his stick entering the zone, driving it wide and deep. He needs to make quicker passes below the goal line rather than going around the net and allowing more defenders to enter the zone.
Adrian Stubberfield (L, 5-10/160, Chatham-Kent Cyclones, 2002)
Stubberfield is a workhorse. He plays in all key situations and his work ethic is second to none as he never takes a shift off. He has deceptive speed playing center and able to separate the puck from the man with an active stick. He supports well down low in his own end and works hard to win individual battles. Stubberfield needs to learn to use his speed to attack wide rather than attacking through the middle. His shot is hard but he needs to work on a quicker release with more accuracy. Hard to believe this is the youngest player in the league but his work ethic has moved him up the ladder every year.
Tate Bowden (R, 6-2/180, Chatham-Kent Cyclones, 2002)
Bowden is a big body with endless potential. He has a heavy shot but needs to work on finding space to use it and also to get it off quicker. He can play a physical game but needs to rely less on finesse and more on strength when he has the puck. He positions himself well as a center supporting the D in the D zone but needs to be more physical in this area. He is unselfish and moves the puck well.
Toby Rizzo (L, 5-6/138, Elgin Middlesex Chiefs, 2002)
Rizzo is a medium-sized center who generates lots of speed with his skating and plays good positional hockey. He supports in his own zone well and rotates to cover pinching D in the offensive zone. He sees the ice well and is unselfish with the puck. He has a high level of compete and gives you all he has every shift. He needs to work on shooting in traffic with a quick release.
Rylan Bowers (R, 5-4,130, Elgin Middlesex Chiefs, 2002)
Bowers is a smart, two-way hockey player who shows great leadership and was chosen team captain again. He has offensive skills and is comfortable playing below the goal line in the offensive zone both physically and with finesse. He has a sneaky shot and will often catch goalies on the short-side when they cheat off the post. He sees the ice well and uses his linemates effectively.
Blake Butler (R, Lambton Jr. Sting, 2002)
Butler is a work horse for the Jr. Sting and is used in all key situations. He is an average skater but often gets a step on the play because of his anticipation of where the puck is going. He has a good quick release snap shot which often ends up in the back of the net if he is left open around the net. He has a good work ethic and gives everything consistently. Butler can play the physical game but needs to be prepared to be played physically as he often gets extra coverage and loses focus. He also needs to work on straight forward speed as he is often playing the game going east to west.
Josh Macpherson (L, 5’4″/158, London Junior Knights, 2002)
What Macpherson lacks in foot speed he makes up with his hockey sense and vision. Playing the wing on the #1 line, he has a willingness to go in tight areas for a pass and goes to the net looking for a rebound. He plays good positional hockey and is often rewarded with goals for his work ethic around the opposition’s net. He needs to work on his skating speed so he can pull away from defenders when he has a step.
Jacob Chantler (R, London Junior Knights, 2002)
Chantler is a center on the #1 line but his defensive play opens up opportunities offensively for his linemates. He is good down low in his own zone and uses good body positioning to win puck battles. He needs to explore his offensive skills more often and play with more speed in the offensive zone. He would be a good #2 center because of his defensive play.
Bryce Ryan (R, 5-11/142, Windsor Jr. Spitfires, 2002)
Ryan is a speedy right winger and when given a step to the outside will often leave defenders behind. He has a quick release and knows how to get himself open in the right spot in the offensive zone. He works and battles hard but needs to do a better job of protecting the puck when going to the net from the outside.
Nolan Underwood (L, 5-8/120, Brantford 99ers, 2002)
Underwood is a quick winger who is willing to use his body in one-on-one situations. He is persistent on the forecheck and anticipates the play well. He plays good positional hockey and back-checks hard with good positioning on his man. He has a good snapshot and is willing to go to the net hard.
Ethan Hick ( L, 6-2/163, Brantford 99ers, 2002)
Hick is a tall (6-2) winger who plays a physical game and is becoming an offensive threat. His skating and edges continue to improve and he does not shy away from going into the dirty areas. He gets respect because of his size and physicality which gives him more room to operate. He needs to play disciplined hockey and not take bad penalties to put his team on the PK.
Adam Hluska (L, 5-9/128, Hamilton Huskies, 2002)
Hluska has above average size for a forward with good puck handling and skating abilities. He has great speed and is an offensive threat and works hard on both sides of the puck. He has good hockey sense and anticipates the play well. He needs to have better vision with the puck on his stick.
Sheldon Pryce (L, 5-4/104, Huron-Perth Lakers, 2002)
Pryce is a smaller-sized forward who has a good work ethic and a willingness to compete every shift. He is good on faceoffs and can snipe if he gets the puck around the net with a quick release shot. He is fearless in front of the net but needs to make sure he does not hesitate going into corners and keeps moving his feet when picking up the puck.
Riley Benko (L, 5-6/123, Kitchener Jr. Rangers, 2002)
Benko is a left-handed winger who plays the game with an edge. He has good puck handling skills and battles hard along the boards in both ends of the ice. He has good agility on his skates but needs to develop a more powerful stride with speed.
Luke Munroe (L, 5-4/114, Kitchener Jr. Rangers, 2002)
Munroe is a quick winger with a good skating stride. He has good vision with the puck and shows good balance and competiveness when engaged in a battle. He plays a physical and gritty game and has a good quick release shot when he has time and space.
Brody Waters (R, Waterloo Wolves, 2002)
Waters plays a strong will with his positional play and work along the boards. He is a good skater and sees his cross ice players well and makes good strong passes across the ice. He needs to work on his quick release shot on the wing when he gets an opening to shoot.
Mitchell Lafay (Waterloo Wolves, 2002)
Lafay is a tall, strong-skating winger. He has some good puck handling skills and is willing to take the hit to make the play in his own zone. He lacks the power to cut in hard with the puck and take it to the net.
Chase Broda (L, Waterloo Wolves, 2002)
Broda is the gritty captain of his team who plays a physical style of hockey. He has good skating and puck handling skills and works hard on both sides of the puck. He goes to the dirty area and is good in traffic but needs to work on his finish in tight areas with either a quick release shot or showing some confidence to make a move on the goalie rather than just bang at rebounds.
Richie Albert (L,5-6/132, Elgin Middlesex Chiefs, 2002)
Albert is a gritty forward who loves the physical play. He has hockey sense and sees the ice well but needs to distribute the puck more to his teammates. He has a good hard shot with a quick release. He plays a hard-nosed type of game but often crosses the line resulting in bad penalties.
Colton Wiacek (L, 5-10/161, Elgin Middlesex Chiefs, 2002)
Wiacek is a big bodied forward with above average speed. His work ethic and speed make him a valuable asset on the PK and the forecheck. He is learning to play better positionally and gives a consistent effort every shift. He has a good shot but it lacks accuracy. He needs to have better vision with the puck and use things such as escape turns or delays to wait for support in the offensive zone by letting the play develop rather than attacking the D by himself.
Carter Barron (L, Lambton Jr. Sting, 2002)
Barron is a big and tall winger who can play a physical style. He is a good skater going forwards but needs to work on his edges and lateral movement. He has a good hard shot even though his release could be quicker. He works the boards well in his own zone and battles hard. He needs to have more vision with the puck on his stick.
Braedon Caetano (L, 5-6/103, Sun County Panthers, 2002)
Caetano is a good two-way center who thinks the game. He distributes the puck well to his wingers well and sees the ice. He is a good positional player but needs to be more physical when supporting his D in the defensive zone. He is a smooth skater that needs to work on increasing his speed and not shy away from physical play.
Ryan Gagnier (L, 5-6/116, Sun County Panthers, 2002)
Gagnier is a physical two way center who has no problem throwing the big hit and plays the game with plenty of grit. He would fit the role of a checking line center at the junior level. He won’t score any highlight goals but he will score the hard-nosed goals in front of the net because he relishes going into the dirty areas. He is an above average center who needs to work on his vision with the puck.
Matthew Maggio (R, Sun County Panthers, 2002)
Maggio is an offensive forward and even though he is on the smaller side has good hands and takes the puck to the net. He generates speed through the neutral zone and has an accurate shot when left open. He needs to work on the defensive side of the puck and play better position in the neutral zone.
Addison Major (R, Sun County Panthers, 2002)
Major is a tall, lanky right winger/center who has a good skating stride and has good puck-handling skills. He has the ability to get a step on the D on the outside lane and has a pass first mentality. He is quick on the puck on the forecheck but needs to initiate contact as F1 and add a physical component to his game in general and a willingness to go into traffic.
Isaac Legood (L, Windsor Jr. Spitfires, 2002)
Legood is a left-handed center who sees the ice well and plays good positional hockey. He is speedy through the neutral zone and has good vision and moves the puck well with his teammates. He helps out well in the defensive zone and is strong in the faceoff circle. He needs to be more physical below the goal lines in both the offensive and defensive zones.
Adam Pizzo (R, 5-3/109, Windsor Jr. Spitfires, 2002)
Pizzo is Windsor’s captain and his consistent work ethic has been an example for his teammates to follow. He won’t beat you with his speed but has a knack for hitting seams and getting behind defenders when his teammates are in possession of the puck. He needs to work on his shooting to go along with his good puck handling skills.
Peyton Adams-Matthews ( L, 6-3/180, Brantford 99ers (L, 2002)
Adams-Matthews is a big-bodied D who can play on both sides of the puck. He is a physical presence on the blue line but also is comfortable leading the rush and gaining the zone. He towers over the opposition at 6-3 and although it is not a weakness in his game yet he will need to improve his lateral mobility along with his puck handling skills. He has a good shot from the point and finds a way to get it on or near the net.
Alexander Bikos (L, London Junior Knights, 2002)
Bikos is on the smaller size but sees the ice well and competes hard. He has a knack for being first back to the puck by anticipating the play and uses his partner well in the defensive zone. He uses his body effectively and is in good position in defensive puck battles. He needs to join the rush more ans explore his offensive capabilities.
Cole Hipkin (R, Brantford 99ers, 2003)
Although he is playing up a year, Hipkin is drawing notice with both his offensive and defensive skills. He uses his body well by angling puck carriers and makes effective contact separating the man from the puck. He is comfortable handling the puck against the older players and saw time in all crucial situations such as PP, PK, and when the other team had their goalie pulled. He will be a name for the future but easily stood out even playing up a year.
Owen McGowan (L, 5-8/123, Hamilton Huskies, 2002)
McGowan is a good two-way defender who provides leadership as team captain. He is the quarterback on the PP and is the first D out in all key situations. He leads and joins the rush to create offensive opportunities. Although he has a good shot from the point, McGowan needs to make sure he is making the best decision and not shooting into shin pads from the point and just pick a lane to get the puck through.
Brady Brezynskie (R, 5-5/120, Waterloo Wolves, 2002)
Brezynskie is a medium-sized defender who skates well and has vision with the puck on his stick. He makes good first passes out of his own zone and joins the rush when the opportunity is there.
Sheldon Serraglio (R, 5-8/130, London Junior Knights, 2002)
Serraglio is a quick-footed defenseman and quarterbacks the Knights PP. He has a good hard shot from the blue line. He makes good first passes in his own zone or skates the puck out to make that pass or dump in the puck. He needs to join the rush more but because London’s strength is there D, he is most likely being coached not to and rather think more defensively. He is smart enough to cut through the high slot when the opposition winger is not defending him close enough or loses track of him.
Brendan Kennette (L, 5-5/128, Sun County Panthers, 2002)
Kennette is an offensive-minded D who shows good mobility and lateral movement. He plays with his head on a swivel when retrieving pucks in his own end and shows confidence with the puck. He often tries to make something out of nothing and is often successful with this risk versus reward approach. He is the PP quarterback and has a good shot from the point that gets through and he walks the line well. He needs to improve his third period performance as he seems to trail off towards the end of games.
Connor Hay (R, 5-11/146, Windsor Jr. Spitfires, 2002)
Hay is a big bodied D who has a mean streak. He loves to play a physical game and skates well for his size and has good puck handling skills. He has a big shot from the point but needs to improve his accuracy. He also needs to make better and quick first passes leaving his zone as he often tends to skate it out or hold on to it too long. When his head is up he can make that long stretch pass from his end to the far blue line.
Dylan Robinson ( L, Hamilton Huskies, 2002)
Robinson is an above average defender who shows confidence and good puck skills under pressure in his own zone by doing escape moves or making simple plays to exit the zone. He skates well and closes the gap both offensively to become an offensive outlet and defensively to take away the oppositions time and space. He needs to improve his physical play in the defensive zone, particularly below the goal line.
Christopher Black (L, Kitchener Jr. Rangers, 2002)
Black is a medium-sized defender who moves the puck well out of his own zone. He picks his spots and jumps into the play when the opportunity arises. He needs to use his body better in the defensive zone and work on a quicker release shot from the blue line.
Eric Martin (L, Waterloo Wolves, 2002)
Martin is a big bodied defender who has good mobility for his size. He keeps the game simple using his defender or making good passes out of his zone. He is a stay-at-home defensive player who can benefit by working on his shot and increasing his physical play.
Ben Brooks (L, 6-0/155, Chatham-Kent Cyclones, 2002)
Brooks is a tall lanky defenseman with a long reach. He plays well defensively in his own zone by getting his stick on the puck without sacrificing his body positioning. He has a hard low shot from the point but needs to quicken up his release. He needs to make sure he maintains his intensity each shift and keeps his feet moving.
Evan Wammes (L, 6-3/164, Lambton Jr. Sting, 2002)
Wammes shows versatility as he is used playing both D and forward. He is a towering figure standing well over 6 feet and despite his lack of weight to match his height can be physical. He makes a good first pass out of his own zone when his head is up. He needs to work on his lateral movement.
Kyle McCauley (R, Lambton Jr. Sting, 2002)
McCauley is a defense first defenseman who can be a physical presence because of his size. He makes good first passes in his own zone especially during transition from defense to offense. He has to watch taking too many penalties and needs to work on angling and body positioning when going into the corners in the defensive zone because of his foot speed.
Derek Berdusco (L, Sun County Panthers, 2002)
Berdusco is a physical stay-at-home type D who works hard below his own goal line. He uses his body well and maintains positioning and has a good active stick in battles along the boards and on the PK. He is an above average skater who needs to explore the offensive side of the puck more. He has a good hard shot from the point when given time.
Nicholas Sova (R, 5-7/129, Windsor Jr. Spitfires, 2002)
Sova is a stay-at-home type of D. He has quick feet and shows good mobility and lateral movement. He doesn’t have a heavy shot but his quick feet allows him to walk the line and fine a shooting lane to get his shot through. He needs to play a little more offensive at times and join the rush.
Duncan Rolleman (L, 5-8/166, Cambridge Winterhawks, 2002)
Rolleman is a towering goalie with his height and take away the bottom of the net well. He makes the important first save by coming out to challenge shooters and even though he has to improve his rebound control he uses good recovery skills to make that next save.
Hardy Westman (L, Huron-Perth Lakers, 2002)
Westman is part of the tandem that keeps his team competitive. He shows a high level of compete and never gives up on a play and has great recovery skills to make the next save. What he lacks in size he makes up in heart. He possesses a stellar glove hand and moves well side-to-side. He needs to come out to play the puck more to help his D.
Carter Roth (L, 5-5/107, Huron-Perth Lakers, 2002)
Roth, like his goaltending partner, is on the smaller size. He shows athleticism with his quickness and is in good position and comes out to cut off angles to make the first save. His good recovery skills and ability to track the puck allows him to make the next save. He needs to work on his rebound control and his ability to handle the puck.
Alex Higgins (L, Kitchener Jr. Rangers, 2002)
Higgins is an athletic goalie and moves well side-to-side. He challenges shooters to his glove-side and is good at flashing the leather. He shows good recovery skills to be in position to make the next save.
Matthew Sbrocca (L, 5-11/177, Windsor Jr. Spitfires, 2002)
Sbrocca stands around 6 feet and uses his long legs well to take away the bottom of the net and challenge shooters to go high when in his butterfly. He tracks the puck well from behind his net and does not go down to early. He needs to be more active coming out to play the puck.
Mathias Onuska (L, Waterloo Wolves, 2002)
Onuska is a big goalie who squares up well to the shooter. He moves well side-to-side and takes away the bottom of the net easily in his butterfly stance. He needs to work on his recovery skills because of his rebound control as sometimes he over commits to the rebound and is left out of position.
Brett Brochu (L, 5-8/140, Chatham-Kent Cyclones, 2002)
Brochu is a medium-sized goalie but makes up for it with his competitive fire. He tracks the puck well and is good at going from side-to-side. He takes away the bottom of the net well and has a good glove to help with the top of the net. He gives you everything he has game in and game out and has quick recovery to make that next save and is rarely beat on the first shot. He needs to work on his puck handling skills.
Aiden Lucyk (L, 6-1/180, Chatham-Kent Cyclones, 2002)
Lucyk is an imposing figure in the net with his size. He has a great catching glove in his butterfly stance in which he easily takes away the bottom of the net. He is very comfortable at playing the puck and easily clears the zone when the opportunity arises and is a threat in transition with his stretch pass. Due to his size, Lucyk struggles with tracking the puck down low especially from the side of his net. He needs to be more consistent with his starts.
Graeme Noye (L, 5-5/137, Elgin Middlesex Chiefs, 2002)
Noye is a medium-sized goalie who plays deep in his net. He uses positioning to challenge shooters and moves well from post-to-post. He has a good glove and makes the first save but needs to work on his rebound control and recovery skills
Adam Mino (L, 5-8/131, Lambton Jr. Sting, 2002)
Mino is a medium-sized goalie who squares up well to the shooter. He plays deep in his net and could benefit by coming out to cut off angles better. He showed good mental focus after letting in a soft first goal by shutting them (Waterloo) down the rest of the game. He needs to be more active in his net by talking to his D and be better at playing the puck.
Nicholas Chenard (L, Sun County Panthers, 2002)
Chenard is a tall and lanky, standing over 6 ft who fits the prototype build for goalies. His long legs take away the bottom of the net easily and he makes the first save with his positioning. He needs to work on his recovery skills and show a higher level of compete including coming out to play the puck.
Other Notables Missing
Zane Dalpe (L, Sun County Panthers, 2002)
Dalpe is a scoring machine who is playing up a year with the Sun County Minor Midgets. He has a knack for arriving before the puck does which gives him a step and he is deadly from the hash marks in on goalies if he can get there.
Tyler Tullio (R, Windsor Jr. Spitfires, 2002)
Tullio has played up a division for many years for the Windsor Minor Midgets. He is on the smaller size but makes up for it with his hockey smarts. He often takes the big hit because of his willingness to get the puck first and he sees the ice well. He has some serious skills around the net and shows the poise to let the goalie make the first move. He needs to work on his skating power as well as his strength to not only help absorb hits but to make stronger passes.
Davis Edmunds (L, 2002)
Edmunds is a big physical defenseman with a heavy shot. Having just turned 14 in August, his shot has been clocked at 93 mph. He is a powerful skater and scored more than 20 goals last year as a D. Due to political reasons and decisions beyond his control he will be playing AA hockey in Belle River this year and not for the Sun County Panthers. He needs to maintain focus and work hard and come back next season with something to prove.