The John Reid Memorial Tournament has a rich history of featuring future NHL’ers and is one of the most notable showcases of premier talent in Western Canada. Some of the most highly touted prospects in Bantam hockey we head-to-head at Servus Credit Union in St.Albert, Alberta last weekend.
Teams at this year’s tournament included the Calgary Bisons, Calgary Flames, Delta Green, Greater Vancouver Canadians, Leduc Oil Kings, Lloydminster Bobcats, Los Angeles Jr. Kings, OHA Edmonton, Okanagan Rockets, Prairie Storm, Red Deer Rebels, SSAC Lions, St.Albert Sabres, St.George’s Saints, West Van Warriors, and Yale Lions.
The Yale Lions defeated the St.Georges Saints in the finals to take home the 2020 JRMT Championship
There was a ton of talent on display for scouts to watch in preparation for this year’s WHL Bantam Draft. Here are how some of the most notable players and some players who stood out to me with their play throughout the tournament:
Andrew Cristall – St George’s School – 32nd Ranked
Andrew Cristall was a fun player to watch while St George’s made their run to the final. The St George’s captain played superbly and led the tournament with 15 points in 6 games. Cristall doesn’t have that breakaway speed like others in this draft class, but for what he lacks in foot speed, he makes up for in craftiness and skill. He’s a got a bag full of tricks which seems to catch the netminder and defenceman off guard every time. He can weave in and out of defenceman with ease and can finish the play in a variety of ways.
Harrison Lodewyk – Red Deer Rebels – 27th Ranked
Harrison Lodewyk put on quite the show leading his Rebels team to the semi-finals without his partner in crime Talon Bingley. Lodewyk was the heartbeat of the Rebels offence creating chances every time he was on the ice. He pushes the pace of the game with his playmaking hands and his quick boots which can catch opposing defenceman off guard. He can occasionally hold onto the puck for too long, but overall Lodewyk is the engine that gets the Rebels offence motoring.
Brent Hoshowski – Lloydminster Bobcats – 70th Ranked
The John Reid was a promising one for Brent Hoshowski. He’d been tailing off a little in recent league games, but this past weekend he showcased the kind of player he can be. The Lloydminster forward used his big body to his advantage winning puck battles, creating havoc around the net, and playing a hard physical game. Along with that, he’s got plenty of offensive upsides. He saw the ice well, creating opportunities for not only himself but his teammates too. Hoshowski needs to stay consistent if he wants to climb the WHL draft ladder.
Zachary Benson – Yale Lions – 23rd Ranked (Tournament MVP)
Zachary Benson went home with plenty of silverware. Not only did he win a gold medal as a member of the Yale Lions, but he also was named the tournament MVP, and also received the Top Foward award. Benson showed great vision both on and off the puck. He moves off the puck well and into prime scoring positions which is a big reason why he led the John Reid with ten goals. Standing at 5’5, his size doesn’t hold him back. He isn’t afraid of contact and shows fearlessness skating right at the opposition. The Yale forward showed great promise over the weekend which could lead to him being a first-round pick in Red Deer.
Tyrell Goldsmith – Delta Wild Academy Green – 50th Ranked
Tyrell Goldsmith is one of the unique players in this draft class. He cames with a good pair of boots which allow him to get around the ice with ease, but also a lot of physicality and meanness to his game. Goldsmith brings plenty of intensity to the Delta blue line which was on full display at the John Reid. It’s difficult to knock him off the puck when he’s moving down the ice with his 6’2, 200 lbs frame, but it doesn’t take much effort from him to do that to his opponents. Goldsmith is very different to the other defencemen in this class, which should catch the eye of scouts.
Tanner Molendyk – Yale Lions – 4th Ranked
Tanner Molendyk skates like a pro. He moves around the ice with ease and, once his feet get moving, he’s hard to stop. Molendyk doesn’t play an overly complicated game and has plenty of structure to his play. He moves the puck with a hard pass from tape to tape making it simple for his teammates to create opportunities. That puck also isn’t around too long before Molendyk picks out his next play. Not much gets by him in the defensive zone either which makes him an extremely reliable player. He also has a little meanness to his play which separates him a little from what is a deep defensive draft class. Molendyk going in the top-five seems to be a lock.
Cooper Michaluk – OHA Edmonton – 18th Ranked
Cooper Michaluk was phenomenal in his three games at the John Reid. The OHA netminder picked the perfect time to have some of the best performances of the season. Michaluk had an outstanding performance against West Van Warriors almost single-handedly guiding his team to a win. He was tracking the puck well and showed great patience in the crease. One save that showcased that perfectly came against Matthew Wood which was probably the save of the tournament. Over the three games, the OHA netminder finished with a 0.940 SV% and was named the Top Goaltender of the tournament.