Chatham-Kent Women’s Hockey Prospects: Offseason

Emma Gorski

Emma Gorski, who played for the Midget ‘AA’ Outlaws, and CKSS Golden Hawks, is the top ranked prospect in CKSN’s Offseason list – Photo by Wyatt Williams

With team selections done, and a new hockey season only weeks away, it’s time to once again count down our top female hockey prospects. Mainstays from the past few years, Lauren Nicholson and Maddy Lalonde have graduated from our list, leaving room for a new group of prospects to emerge.

As we’ve done in recent years, our age restriction for the list now focuses on players in, or entering high school alone.

Although they didn’t crack our top 15, there are dozens of local players, including Cassie Whiteye, Brooke Anderson, Emma Doom, and Corinna VandenBoorn waiting to crack this list.

Here are our Chatham-Kent Women’s Top Hockey Prospects for the 2016 offseason:

15. Rachel Benn – Chatham Midget ‘AA’ – 2001 – Chatham – Hard working, and aggressive, Benn has climbed onto this list for the first time. She’ll play at the Ontario Summer Games with P. Sabourin and Gorski above her on this list, meaning, the potential exists for her to close the gap toward them. She’ll need to learn the team game at the Midget level, but she continues to improve.

14. Lauren Edwards – Chatham Midget ‘AA’ – 2000 – Ridgetown – After a season at the Midget ‘AA’ level, Edwards will be looked on to add another element to her game. She is a solid two-way player, but as a veteran in Midget, it’s time for her to score. Along with VandenBoorn, she’ll be counted on to carry Ridgetown’s high school entry.

13 – Hunter Gagner – Chatham Midget ‘AA’ – 2001 – Improved daily, and at her best, against the best. Gagner doesn’t let anyone push her around in the corners, and makes smart decisions at the offensive blueline. As her mobility improves, she’ll be a premier blueliner at the Midget level. Smart, and willing to learn, Gagner will also suit up for CKSS.

12. Kirsten Horney – Southwest (PWHL) – 2001 – Chatham – Horney, who also competes for CKSS, decided to take the large step from Bantam to the PWHL this season. She sees the ice better than most players her age, makes a smart first pass, and is patient with the puck. She’ll need to finish off a big offseason in the gym to have success as a rookie against the best players in the Province.

11. Mikayla Demaiter – Bluewater Midget ‘AA’ – 2000 – Chatham – Demaiter chose to continue to find her own path this season, after starting for Sarnia’s Midget ‘AA’ team last year. This season, she’s headed to Bluewater. Quick reflexes, Demaiter, who also plays for CKSS, tracks the puck well, and makes a great second save. As she continues to play bigger, she’ll be a difficult netminder to beat in Midget.

10. Alison Stephens – Chatham Midget ‘AA’ – 2001 – Chatham – A powerful athlete, Stephens won an OFSAA silver medal in track this season. She’s smart, coachable, and communicates well. Her size and strength will allow her to excel in Midget, as her agility catches up to her power and strength. Another member of CKSS’ girls team, Stephens is the top rated defender on this list.

9. Taylor Lockwood – Southwest (PWHL) – 1999 – Chatham – Quick and competitive, Lockwood had a steep learning curve in the PWHL last season. This year, as a veteran, she’ll play a bigger role. She has all the skill in the world, and is this list’s premier skater.

8. Sydney Sabourin – Chatham Midget ‘AA’ – 1999 – Chatham – The captain of CKSS’ girls team, Sabourin didn’t score as much as expected last season, but rather, became one of the most reliable two-way players in the area. She’ll need to do both, and be a leader with a very young Midget ‘AA’ team this year as one of the longest standing veterans on their roster.

7. Megan Morehouse – Chatham Midget ‘AA’ – 1999 – Dresden – Morehouse came on strong near the end of last season. She maintains one of the best offensive skill sets on this list, and will be leaned on heavily to score with both the Midget ‘AA’ team, and Dresden’s LKCS Cardinals, where she has been the school’s centrepiece for years.

6. Payton Sabourin – Chatham Midget ‘AA’ – 2001 – Chatham – Mark these words. The younger Sabourin will be the best high school player in the LKSSAA league this season. She is bullish and strong. CKSS’ Rookie Female Athlete of the Year schoolwide, Sabourin steps up to Midget, and won’t miss a beat. Nobody competes harder. Once she realizes her power forward potential, and takes the puck to the net with the same ferocity she forechecks with, goals will come in bundles.

5. Jessie McPherson – Chatham Midget ‘AA’ – 2002 – Chatham – Following in the footsteps of Emma Gorski, McPherson will backstop the Midget ‘AA’ team this season as an underager. McPherson will face significantly more rubber this season with an equally young team in front of her. This will be a trial by fire for McPherson, who has excelled at every level she’s played at. Headed for CKSS this year.

4. Audra Vanroboys – Ridley College, CISAA – 2000 – Thamesville – Scoring 23 goals, and 42 points in 58 games this year, Vanroboys was third on her Ridley team last season. Scheduled to return to Ridley, she’ll face additional competition as her team moves to the JWHL in the US. With other NCAA commits on her school roster, Vanroboys is on track to take the next step. Her 5’9″ frame, and net presence don’t hurt that cause.

3. Katreena Whiteye – London (PWHL) – 1999 – Moraviantown – Entering grade 12, this will be Whiteye’s make or break season. She didn’t up her offensive numbers during her second season in the PWHL, but with several forwards graduating from London’s roster, Whiteye will be counted on to produce. She’ll be the lone cornerstone remaining to UCC’s girls program. She will play University hockey.

2. Kaitlyn Isaac – Bluewater (PWHL) – 2001 – Walpole Island – After a season honing her skills against older competition in Midget ‘AA’, despite being a Bantam aged player, Isaac is going to face even bigger, and stronger players and challenges this year in the PWHL. The Wallaceburg student is on track for a college commitment in the coming seasons.

1. Emma Gorski – Barrie (PWHL) – 2001 – Wallaceburg – Gorski proved she was the number one for an extremely strong Chatham Midget ‘AA’ team during a Lower Lakes championship run last season, despite being a Bantam aged netminder. She’ll be one of two 2001 birth year goalies backstopping the Barrie Jr. Sharks, giving her the opportunity to win a starting job immediately, and garner even more interest from Universities.

List Alumni – Meredith Goldhawk (Windsor Lancers, OUA), Zoe Ellis (Windsor Lancers, OUA), Rachael Tricker (Fanshawe Falcons, OCCCR), Sydney Authier (Ryerson Rams, OUA), Sydnee Baker (UPEI Panthers, AUS), Jillian Crane (Neumann Knights, NCAA), Halle Crane (Neumann Knights, NCAA), Lauren Nicholson (Ryerson Rams, OUA).

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