Chatham-Kent Men’s Hockey Prospect Update: Seasons End

Evan Debrouwer

Evan DeBrouwer is making a name for himself in the Junior A ranks – Photo by the Smiths Falls Bears

With the season done, and playoffs well underway, it’s time to look at our Chatham-Kent top men’s hockey prospects. A few unique cases are beginning to emerge as players climb onto, and slide off our list.

Brett Hope is now a list graduate as he left the NCAA’s Buffalo State College and has bounced between pro teams in the SPHL and FHL for the second half of the season. We re-introduce our Watch List this go-around.

Watch List: Trenton McGrail, Zach Lindley, Grant Spence, Kier Cumming, Dede Cato, Kadin Ritchie, Brendan Johnston, Brady Hogg.

15. Kyle Dawson (GLJCHL, Dresden – St. Thomas Jr. B) – Florence, 1998 – We had to have a Junior C player on our list, but Dawson might have pulled a fast one on us. One of the best at the Junior C level this year, Dawson spent the playoffs in Junior B with St. Thomas. Great hands and vision. NCAA potential with a breakout year next season.

14. Brendan Johnston (GOJHL, Chatham Maroons) – Port Lambton, 1997 – No one has had more of a roller coaster year than Johnston. Injured in camp, lost his OHL job with Windsor, returned to Chatham where he was GOJHL goalie of the month, traded to Flint where he played sparingly back in the OHL, sent back to Chatham, struggled, then as playoffs rolled in, he got hot again. Consistency has always been his challenge. The OUA looks like a realistic goal.

13. Blayne Oliver – (NCAA, Hamilton College) – Blenheim, 1995 – Finishing up his final season in the OJHL with Trenton, it’s nice to see another player from this list move to a higher level, as Oliver will play NCAA D3 hockey next year. A physical, team first player, he’ll be a welcomed addition at Hamilton College.

12. Brady Campbell (NCAA, University of Maine) – Blenheim, 1992 – He just hasn’t hit his stride at the NCAA level. A prolific Junior B scorer, Campbell will have the opportunity to play pro at a low level or overseas after his senior season next year, should he so choose.

11. Ian Faubert – (GOJHL, Chatham Maroons) – Wheatley, 1995 – One of the top scorers in the GOJHL this year, and one of the league’s top two-way players, Faubert is likely OUA bound next year. He was the heart of Chatham, likely for longer than he was ever given credit for.

10. Lucas Vanroboys (USHS, South Kent) – Thamesville, 1999 – Size is the only knock on Vanroboys. Another player of a growing group, choosing an alternative path. Skilled, Vanroboys will be an interesting prospect to follow next season.

9. Ross Krieger (GOJHL Chatham Maroons) – Pain Court, 1998 – He’s been a point per game or better guy in Junior C, and now in Junior B. He’s an NCAA prototype, and draws comparisons to former Maroons captain Michael Verboom for his on ice intelligence. Will he stay in Chatham and hope to be one of the few direct NCAA recruits coming out of B, or will he move to a bigger development league? That is the question here.

8. Nolan Gardiner (GOJHL, LaSalle Vipers) – Tilbury, 1998 – Got his first taste of the OHL playing a handful of games in Ottawa before returning to LaSalle. He’s a slowcooker, but will be an interesting player, based on the tenacity he brings to the ice, and his improved offense, when he finally hits the OHL full time next season.

7. Evan DeBrouwer – (CCHL, Smiths Falls Bears) – Blenheim, 1997 – Among the CCHL’s best. Among the best in Ontario at the Junior A level this year. A product of a growing group of hotbed CAHS schools, DeBrouwer has been very, very impressive.

6. Brendan Harrogate (Mississauga Steealheads, OHL) – Chatham, 1998 – As the year has moved on, Harrogate remains log jammed behind a group of elite forwards in Mississauga, limiting his time some nights. However, practicing and playing with this group on a daily basis can only help Harrogate’s all around game.

5. Levi Tetrault (OHL, Guelph Storm)
– Pain Court, 1998 – Playing on a losing team hasn’t been easy for the OHL rookie, but, he’s managed to stay in the lineup, and will be a solid OHL defender for years.

4. Brady Pataki (OHL, Sudbury Wolves) – Wallaceburg, 1998 – It hasn’t exactly been the year people envisioned from Pataki. He’s yet to find his scoring touch, and opportunities have been limited. A late birth year gives him one more crack to impress scouts before he’s NHL eligible. His size and athleticism are there, but he’ll need a hot finish, or hot start grab real attention.

4. James McEwan (OHL, Guelph Storm) – Chatham, 1997 – Leading his team in almost every way, McEwan finally saw his name on an NHL draft rankings board. Already has a pro shot, and perhaps, seeing his late(er) development, a team will take a shot on him late in the draft.

2. Trent Fox (OHL, Hamilton Bulldogs) – Thamesville, 1997 – Big and becoming bullish. When he wants to explode, he’s one of the best players on the ice. Needs to find that every game. Prime candidate for NHL re-entry selection.

1. Joseph Raaymakers (OHL, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Chatham, 1998 – He can steal games, but consistency is what he needs. Could soon see himself off this list as he carries a ‘B’ rating entering this year’s NHL Draft.

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