OMHA AAA Showcase

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Future OHL talent was on display last weekend at the annual OMHA AAA Showcase

Whitby’s Matt Simsons was crowned the fastest skater at the OMHA AAA Showcase in Barrie December this weekend with a time of 14.66 seconds. Matt, was among the 40 players named to the Midget AAA All-Star East and West teams who started the weekend with a skills competition followed by a game.

There were six competitions in the Skills Competition including the fastest skater. The West came out ahead with a total of ten points to the East’s seven. After the Skills Competition, the East won by a score of seven to four. MVPs were #15 Aaron Spivak from South Central Coyotes (West) and #81 Taylor Gauld from the Whitby Wildcast (East). A team of twenty players will be selected to move on to the OMHA All-Star Game on January 28th in Pickering against the South Central AAA League.

Rounding out the weekend were all thirteen Eastern AAA (ETA) Minor Midget teams competing during regular season play at the Holly Community Centre in Barrie. Crowds of 400 people including scouts from the professional, junior and university ranks were dazzled by the skill and intensity from each team.

Each team played at least two games each. Game results are available at http://omha.net/standings/display_league_stats.asp?lid=100&did=1553&subdid=1554 – just click on the team and check results for December 3 and 4.

The participating teams were the Central Ontario Wolves, Peterborough Minor Petes, Quinte Red Devils, Kingston Junior Frontenacs, Barrie Junior Colts, Ajax-Pickering Raiders, Markham Waxers, Clarington Toros, North Central Predators, South Central Coyotes, Oshawa Generals, Whitby Wildcats and the York Simcoe Express.

The All-Star Game MVPs were Aaron Spivak of the South Central Coyotes (Richmond Hill) and Tyler Gauld of the Whitby Wildcats. The ETA East won the all game 7-4 against the West and the full line ups are available at http://omha.net/display_news.asp?article_id=3155. The East line up players were Quinte’s Cole Mahoney, Tim Pandachuk, Ryan O’Grady and Mitchell Smith, Whitby’s Mitch Ewing, Taylor Gauld, Matt Simsons and Liam McDonnell, South Central’s Daniel Butchart and Keegan Cairns, Clarington’s Dan Michel, Ryan Walton and Colin Weston, Kingston’s Patrick Drouin and Andre Frappier, Oshawa’s Sean Darroch, Zac Lansfield and Lucas Berkers, Peterborough’s Dalton Hill and Erik Brown. The West line up featured South Central’s Mason Holl, Alex Dajia, Alex Mazurek, Aaron Spivak, Tahrel Miller and Thomas Beretta, Markham’s Trent Kestin, Stephan Von Engelbrechten, Jeff Murray, Dalton Hnatko, Kyle Liu, Aax-Pickering’s Joey Vocino, John St John and Jeremy Wu, Barrie’s Craig Anderson, Matthew Meher and Brendan Alward, and York Simcoe’s Alex Miles, Justin Maolino and Brett Sharples.

The OMHA, OHL and OUA held two information sessions at the event to explain the pathways to junior hockey and university life for those players. More than 350 players and their families attended the two sessions. The OUA is filled with OMHA graduates, many who enjoyed OHL careers.

The OMHA AAA Showcase sponsors included the OHL, OUA, the City of Barrie, Rogers TV-Barrie, Pro Hockey Life, Under Armour, Rinknet Breakout, Maple Lodge Farms, , Panera Bread, Shoeless Joe’s Restaurants, Garner’s Source for Sports and Xilarate Sports Power Fluid.

Here are some top prospects for the OHL draft who competed in the Showcase, with quotes about each from Darrell Woodley, Director of Central Scouting for the OHL.

Ajax Pickering Raiders, Trent Shore, defenseman

“People are going to see a big, mobile defenseman who likes to play a physical game. He thinks through the game well, is consistent and shows up every night.”

Ajax Pickering Raiders, Justin Dean, defenseman

“Justin is an offensive-type skilled defenseman who has good ability. He’s a puck handler who creates offense off the rush and quarterbacks the powerplay. He distributes the puck really well.”

Barrie Junior Colts, Ben Hughes, left centre

“Ben is a big, tall, lengthy centre who isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice to score. He’s six-foot three-inches, skates really well and has a lot of offensive upside.”

Barrie Junior Colts, Nicholas Chaykowsky, defenseman

“He’s a big reliable defenseman with good puck skills. He’s physical and has good mobility; your prototypical, versatile, good all-round D.”

Central Ontario Wolves, Zach Bratina, forward

“Zach’s a very smart hockey player. The puck really follows him around the ice. He has good vision and the ability to score, coming out of the corners or in tight around the net.”

Clarington Toros, Ryan Taylor, centre

“Ryan has great vision, has good chemistry with teammate Mitchell Burghardt, and good offensive abilities. Ryan has a knack for playmaking and is pretty good on draws.”

Clarington Toros, Mitchell Burghardt, winger

“He’s a smaller, skilled forward with a real good, quick release on the shot. Mitchell is a good skater, an electric player who can beat them one-on-one on the rush.”

Kingston Junior Frontenacs, Kevin Spinozzi, defenseman

“Kevin is a big, solid defenseman with good mobility. He’s a good stay-at-home D and likes to step up and throw open ice hits when they’re there. He can also step up and make that first good pass.”

Kingston Junior Frontenacs, Graeme Brown, defenseman

“Graeme has more offensive flare and is a high skilled D. He has the ability to rush the puck, runs their powerplay and can beat the other team’s forecheck in his own end.”

Markham Waxers, Kegan Blasby, right wing

“Kegan has good size, is an up and down winger with a high hockey IQ. He scores goals going to the net and is your prototypical up-and-down winger.”

North Central Predators, Jake Busch, centre

“Jake skates very well, competes very hard and likes the physical play. He has good hockey sense and skates well, getting his goals by going hard to the net.”

Oshawa Generals, Graham Laners, right wing

“Graham competes hard game in and game out. You notice him because of his work ethic. He uses his teammates well and is good at everything.”

Peterborough Minor Petes, Chad Heffernan, centre

“Chad enjoys the physical side of the game, enjoys and uses his size to dominate play. He hits hard but has the skill to be their best player, game in and game out.”

Peterborough Minor Petes, Vince Dunn, defenseman

“Vince is one of the most skilled offensive D in that loop. He has the ability to beat players on the rush with good puck skills. He’s what I call an offenseman. He has good speed and mobility.”

Quinte Red Devils, Josh Maguire, forward

“Josh plays a power forward type game. He has a powerful stride, goes hard to the net and is able to create chances off the rush. He has a good, hard shot and is a complete player.”

Quinte Red Devils, Brody Morris, defenseman

“Brodie is a big, stay at home type who is tough to beat out of the corners. He will do whatever it takes to win, like block shots or battle for pucks in the corners. Nothing flashy, he just moves the puck up the ice.”

South Central Coyotes, Max Furs, centre

“Max is a tall, lengthy centre. He’s their best player, night in and night out. He has a high hockey IQ and plays in all three zones well.”

Whitby Wildcats, Conor Cummins, defenseman

“Conor does it all, skates real well, quarterbacks their powerplay and has a physical side to him. He has a big slap shot off the point, they feed him one-timers on their powerplay.”

Whitby Wildcats, Kassidy Sauve, goal

“She has really quick reflexes and is a battler who doesn’t like to get scored on. Kassidy has a good glove and good lateral movement.”

York Simcoe Express, Kyle Locke, defenseman

“Kyle is a tough, hard-nosed defenseman who skates well and loves the challenge of being physical. He has a real good shot from the point and is a leader on the ice.”

York Simcoe Express, Nik Coric, centre

“Nic is a small, gifted centre who is a scoring playmaker and makes his whole team better. With his explosive speed he gets a lot of breakaways.”

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