Chatham-Kent’s Top Hockey Prospects: October Update

James McEwan - Guelph Storm OHL

Chatham’s James McEwan of the OHL’s Guelph Storm is number 7 on our list – Photo by Aaron Bell/ OHL Images.

With the popularity of CKSN’s Chatham-Kent top hockey prospects lists, we will continue to update on a monthly basis, the top 15 non-pro players in the area in our new prospectus style reports. With the season underway, and players having had time to sign and play a handful of games, it’s time to update their progress.

The list is compiled tapping into a variety of sources, including local coaches, scouts, and media.

To the bottom of our list, we’ve also added “players to watch,” in no particular order, who were on the cusp of our list this month.

Here are CKSN’s Top Chatham-Kent Hockey Prospects, October 2014 edition.

15. Dede Cato (GOJHL, Chatham Maroons) – Chatham, 1997 – Nearly fell off our list after missing part of the opening month of the season. He left the Junior A Toronto Patriots, where he was guaranteed prime time exposure, for a spot with his hometown Junior B Chatham Maroons. Lightning fast with skills to boot, but now has to show he’s an elite Junior B player to prove it doesn’t matter he left the OJHL.

14. Ty Jackson (GOJHL, Lambton Shores Predators) – Wheatley, 1996 – Named captain of the Lambton Shores Predators, and producing close to a point per game. Possesses good size, and played prep hockey in the USA prior to joining the GOJHL, setting himself up as a legitimate NCAA prospect.

13. Drew Marlatt (GOJHL, Lambton Shores Predators) – Chatham, 1997 – After landing with the Lambton Shores Predators, Marlatt hasn’t scored as often as expected, but his team is winning. A gifted scorer in Junior C last season, Marlatt is still adapting to the Junior B speed. He would benefit from a formal strength and conditioning program off the ice. On the ice, all the skills, vision, and poise are there to take another step up next season.

12. Nolan Gardiner (GLJCHL, Wheatley Sharks) – Tilbury, 1998 – Early takes on Gardiner’s Junior C season with the Wheatley Sharks are positive. Never a huge scorer, Gardiner has been a threat with the Sharks, while maintaining the work ethic he’s become known for. He’ll continue to improve as the season progresses, and will earn his points by going to the dirty spots on the ice. A lock for a step up the hockey ladder next season.

11. Blayne Oliver (OJHL, Trenton Black Hawks) – Blenheim, 1995 – The oldest player on this list, Oliver has a goal of college hockey, and based on his start this season in the provinces most scouted Junior league outside the OHL, the Junior A OJHL, Oliver has a good shot at achieving that goal. Known as a team first player, who can play with an edge, Oliver has provided offense with a good first pass this season in the OJHL. Oliver is in a make or break season for chasing his hockey goals, and so far, he’s making it.

10. Ross Krieger (GLJCHL, Dresden Kings) – Pain Court, 1998 – Krieger got off to a strong start offensively in Junior C with the Dresden Kings. He’s proving why he should have been selected in last year’s OHL draft. His offseason training and gains are evident. Composed, and skilled with the puck, Krieger is reliable defensively, being counted on to play key minutes in every situation, which can only help his development. Junior B skills in a Junior C league, Krieger will be snapped up quickly in the offseason, and should welcome invites from Junior A loops outside Southwestern Ontario.

9. Brendan Johnston (OHL, Windsor Spitfires) – Port Lambton, 1997 – Starting the season as the Windsor Spitfires backup, Johnston is playing behind one of the OHL’s least established starters, which means he’ll likely have a chance to make his mark. Had a rough start in his OHL season debut, allowing 8 goals in 2 periods.

8. Brendan Harrogate (GOJHL, LaSalle Vipers) – Chatham, 1998 – After scoring 2 goals in his first Junior B game with LaSalle, Harrogate suffered a high ankle sprain, sidelining him for a month. Not ideal for development, but also not a hurdle he can’t overcome. Extremely skilled, questions of work ethic are all that remain for Harrogate to erase when he returns to the lineup. If he develops as expected, Harrogate will be counted on to grab a roster spot with the OHL’s Mississauga Steelheads next season.

7. James McEwan (OHL, Guelph Storm) – Chatham, 1997 – Playing a depth role on the Storm, McEwan has a top end shot, but was pointless through his first OHL games this season. He has always possessed game breaking offensive potential, now it’s time to turn that potential into points.

6. Levi Tetrault (GOJHL, Chatham Mroons) – Pain Court, 1998 – Tetrault signed with the Guelph Storm, and played his first OHL preseason game, before jumping into the Chatham Maroons lineup and seeing considerable playing time. Seeing the ice as often as he is, on a winning team, will accelerate the development of this prospect, who already had a high ceiling.

5. Brady Campbell (NCAA, University of Maine Blackbears) – Blenheim, 1992 – Campbell has yet to start his NCAA season, and we still slid him down our list. Maine has a large number of veterans returning, and NHL draft picks in their recruiting class, meaning without an extremely strong start, Campbell could find playing time an issue, as he did last season. He’s a natural and gifted goal scorer, but needs to earn the opportunity to play. Still, NCAA is built for slow development.

4. Trent Fox (OHL, Erie Otters) Thamesville, 1997 – Dazzling skill, much like the older Fox. With the draft hype of McDavid, scouts will be in the building. Fox will need to produce, and climb the Otters’ lineup into a scoring roll. Another player with oodles of potential, and the pressure on. Scored first OHL goal October 11 vs. Kitchener. At 6’2″, remains NHL prospect.

3. Brady Pataki (OHL, Sudbury Wolves) – Wallaceburg, 1998 – Played a lot in the OHL preseason, and is in a Sudbury Wolves system that has committed to his long term development, knowing he won’t be a star immediately, but that the hulking winger possesses star potential. He’s on the NHL draft radar for 2017.

2. Joseph Raaymakers (OHL, Sault Ste. Marie Gryhounds) – Chatham, 1998 – Had highs and lows in the OHL preseason, then opened regular season with first win and first shutout in his first game, a win over the London Knights. Raaymakers is well positioned, with a full time goalie coach at his disposal, and the Soo Greyhounds giving him protected starts, Raaymakers is a goalie to watch for the 2016 NHL draft.

1. Travis Konecny (OHL, Ottawa 67s) – Clachan, 1997 – Electrifying, and a guaranteed NHL first round draft pick, Konecny isn’t giving up top spot on our list.

Players to Watch
Hunter Burk (GOJHL, Chatham Maroons) Big physical body, fighting for playing time on a deep roster.
Nick Delyzer (GOJHL, Lambton Shores Predators) – By season end, he will be on our list. Landed in Junior B after being destined for ‘AA’. Talk about a skyward trajectory. Give him time to adapt.
Blair Derynck (GLJCHL, Blenheim Blades) Expected to return to our list. Slow start offensively, good size.
Jake Reed (EOJHL, Perth Blue Wings) Dropped off our list due to the fact he hasn’t played in recent weeks, because of an illness. Ice time is what Reed needs. He’ll be back on the ice, and our list, soon.

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