In the past we have done these sort of lists at the beginning of the season, a huge chunk of players that are highly touted and are expected to have success in their season. This list will be a little bit different however. This list focuses on players who our scouting staff believe could make a major jump from now to the end of the year. Five players/goalies from each league. These could be 2nd round players we believe will jump up in the first round to unranked players that could make the progression on to people lists. Overall, just something to highlight the layers that don’t get enough recognition for the development they have had and the progression we could see from them.
D: Riley Jacob (Leduc Oil Kings) – A steady two-way defender whose skating has seen rapid improvements since mid-November. Jacob has had a heavy increase in minutes, in both offensive and defensive situations. One of the best outlet distributors in Northern Alberta.
D: Tyler Miller (SEAC Tigers) – SEAC’s top defensemen plays a load of minutes, often double shifting in both offensive and defensive situations. Miller’s compete and hockey IQ are appealing to watch, with the NAX tournament and Alberta Cup nearing, Miller should be a major riser on WHL team’s lists.
F: Ty Hurley (Sherwood Park Flyers) – Sits eighth in AMBHL scoring with 34 points in 23 games. Hurley is small and shifty, exploiting those traits to avoid pressure when in possession. Hard to contain, his puck discipline has improved slowly since the starts of the season.
F: Liam Cochrane (St. Albert Sabres) – Leads the St. Albert Sabres in scoring, and now playing on a top line with Levi Fesyk and Zakk Makeiff. Cochrane is an instincts driven scorer who locates soft spots in the offensive zone. Expected to be a key contributor for the Sabres at John Reid.
F: Sam Callahan (Okotoks Oilers) – Displays big frame and knows how to utilize it to his advantage. Predominant scorer around the net, quick hands to elevate in tight. Callahan is a player I liked after the Chilliwack tournament and his production has slowly increased recently.
D: Hunter Mayo (Martensville Marauders) – A solid two-way defenseman who facilitates his team’s puck movement on the power play. Has the opportunity to really improve his stock in the next month and a half with the amount of exposure he will get, and has the fluidity to do so.
D: Tre Fouquette (Warman Wildcats) – A standout on his Warman Wildcats team, Fouquette has improved his skating abilities throughout this season, and is impacting the offensive game like never before. A big solid defender who’s got a good first pass and transitional play, but also shutdown abilities.
F: Dayne Feicht (Swift Current Broncos) – Paired on a line with 2005 born Kalan Lind and a standout on his Swift Current Broncos team. His creativity and shiftiness are two things scouts loved to see. Awareness on both ends of the ice and a fearless mentality. A kid who displays all the qualities scouts love in a young kid, and should showcase those on the biggest stage, Sask First in February.
D: Logan McCutcheon (Saskatoon Maniacs) – A skilled puck moving defenseman who doesn’t get quite the hype that Kevin Korchinski gets but is similar in terms of offensive potential. McCutcheon was one of our biggest riser’s from the last newsletter and has been impressive since November.
F: Tye Spencer (Saskatoon Maniacs) – Although Spencer is regarded by our scouting crew as a top five player in Western Canada, he hasn’t quite gotten the notoriety that players like Flamand, Groneck, and Derenewskiy have. Spencer has the potential to compete against these players in the second half of the season.
D: Llayton Feist (North Zone Knights) – One of the top club defenders coming out of BC, Feist has been outstanding all year long for the North Zone Knights. A cerebral puck mover with awareness on both sides of the pucks, Feist has both attractive defensive qualities and power play quarterback capabilities which will bode well for his as he continues to develop. His hockey IQ is already at the next level.
F: Mason Finley (BC Central Zone Rockets) – Brother of first rounder Jack Finley, Mason himself is a talented prospect in this year’s draft class. Equipped with good hockey sense and versatility, Mason is due to grow into the similar frame of his brother Jack. Expected to be a selection come May.
F: Owen Hopcott (Chilliwack Bruins) – A catalyst for offensive plays on Chilliwack and looking a lot more comfortable carrying the offense with the puck on his stick. Hopcott has been consistently producing all season long and looked great at recent viewings. His scoring tools and offensive zone positioning are two things that will make him an excellent complimentary scorer at the next level.
D: Easton Sandberg (Nanaimo Clippers) – I love assertive defenders who can move the puck and Easton Sandberg does exactly that. Strong on his feet and displays confidence and comfortability on both ends of the ice. Sandberg has yet to play against CSSHL teams but will not look out of place at the BC Cup.
D: Tate Taylor (Richmond Jets) – Had a great Pat Quinn showing last month and has been upward trending all season long. Above average skating abilities and puck transporting. Tate Taylor has excellent positioning in all three zones and will likely be treading up lists over the next few months because of his skating and offensive play.
F: Rieger Lorenz (Edge Academy) – Despite being regarded as a first round pick by DraftGeek, Lorenz has all the tools to be a potential top 10 pick come May. He’s big, skilled, heavy, and skates fluidly. Not to mention he’s an intelligent scorer who can create his own offensive chances and find ice without the puck.
F: Colton Schmidt (NAX Academy) – Rapidly developing this season and gotten opportunities with the Elite 15s. Schmidt has a great shot and is a workhorse with the puck to create space for himself. Plays the right way and has an outstanding competitive attitude.
D: Ryder Thompson (Rink Nationals) – A fluid skating two-way defender, our scouts have seen constant improvements with Thompson’s game since our initial viewing. Much like Marcus Taylor last year, Thompson can make a good first pass and has the ability to make quick decisive decisions with the puck in transition that can throw the opposition off.
D: Isaiah Peters (Yale Lions) – Sometimes left out of talks when people talk about defenders on Yale, Peters is a smart two-way defender whose young in development. Good positioning in all three zones and has some bite to his game that I admire.
G: Taje Gill (St. George’s Academy) – St.George’s starting netminder, Gill could possibly be the top goalie out of BC this year. Relies on excellent feet positioning and butterfly style, Gill isn’t as big as other goalies but he relies on his instincts and rarely leaves the opportunity for a quality rebound.
D: Sam Court (Winnipeg Monarchs) – Small but smart is the way I have described Sam Court. Court has the ability to control the game in all three zones with his versatility and attention to detail. Expected to be a selected but could rise into the middle rounds.
F: Dakota McIntosh (Winnipeg Warriors) – Captain of his team, McIntosh is the leader both on and off the ice for the Winnipeg Warriors. Has good finishing tools and an above average shot + release. Skating has slowly improved and will push him up team’s lists as he continues to develop his stride.
D: Ben Saunderson (Yellowhead Chiefs) – Solid defenseman who loves to jump up in the rush, Saunderson has good mobility and a good shot. While he’s small in stature, Saunderson has authority in his defensive zone and does an excellent job keeping the puck to the outside.
D: Spencer Penner (Eastman Selects) – Overshadowed by top ten prospect Denton Mateychuk, Spencer Penner is a regarded defenseman him. Above average skating with his size and provides the complete package in terms of being impactful in all three zones. Top two rounds, potential to be a first rounder if a team believes in him.
F: Michael Cicek (Winnipeg Monarchs) – Raw and bound to fill out as he matures, Cicek’s game is solely based on adjusting pace and hockey sense, two traits that every scout loves. A gifted playmaker who is likely to rise with strong showings at the Winnipeg Provincial Showcase.