Chatham-Kent Men’s Hockey Prospects: In Season

Ross Krieger OJHL

Ross Krieger is playing this season with the OJHL’s Georgetown Raiders – Photo by Shawn Muir / OJHL Images

It’s hard to explain what happened to our Chatham-Kent men’s hockey prospects in the first month of the 2016-2017 hockey season. It wasn’t a good start for players. Players finding their numbers plummeting, to being healthy scratches, it was a tough beginning for many. Because of that, we decided to do a more informal approach, ridding the list of a ranking system this time around, and just updating readers on our local players.

Joseph Raaymakers (OHL, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds) – Chatham, 1998 – Probably one of the only players typically on our list who had a strong start. If we were ranking, he’d still be #1. Raaymakers had something to prove, and did so early in the OHL. After a strong preseason look with the NHL’s New York Rangers, Raaymakers has set himself as a possible second year eligible NHL pick this year.

Evan DeBrouwer – (BCHL, Nanaimo Clippers) – Blenheim, 1997 – OK, we lied a little on the no order thing for Raaymakers and DeBrouwer. Goaltending was the only position CK products started strong at. DeBrouwer faced new challenges in the BCHL, but still proved he’s a gamer. NCAA DI commitment on the way? We’ll see.

Trent Fox (OHL, Hamilton Bulldogs) – Thamesville, 1997 – From top line OHL scoring the last two seasons, Fox is off to a dismal start. He’s dropped down Hamilton’s depth chart. A hard working team, Fox at times, looked lackadaisical early in the OHL campaign. He has all the tools and size needed to be a pro. The drive must follow.

Brady Pataki (OHL, London Knights) – Wallaceburg, 1998 – A trade to the London Knights early this year gave Pataki a new opportunity. He’ll get plenty of looks from scouts on this perennial powerhouse. He hasn’t produced as hoped, but he’s still a big framed, physical player with the raw tools to succeed.

Grant Spence – (AAA, Windsor) – Chatham – 2000 – An 8th round OHL pick to the Oshawa Generals, Spence was on the raw end of a bad decision by the Chatham Maroons to let the top local 2000 player go. By the time that decision was made, every other local Junior B and C team had already signed their 16-year-old players, leaving ‘AAA’ as the option. He’s started strongl, but now that the dust has settled from what was likely a disappointing tryout season, Spence needs to work to dominate and prove he’s a game ready prospect at the next level.

Ross Krieger (OJHL, Georgetown Raiders) – Pain Court, 1998 – It hasn’t been easy going for Krieger in the OJHL. Playing behind a half dozen NCAA DI commits on a strong Raiders team, Krieger is fighting tooth and nail to be in the roster, and get valuable minutes. Despite that, he is still a legitimate NCAA DI prospect, both academically, and in how he plays the game. A good skater, with an abundance of on ice intelligence, coupled with a high compete level. He’s putting in time before the opportunity is his to seize.

Nolan Gardiner (OHL, Ottawa 67s) – Tilbury, 1998 – Making Ottawa’s roster was a big step, and a big accomplishment. Never a flashy player, Gardiner does it through grit and determination. Whether his energy style is enough to stick in Ottawa is yet to be seen, as he’s missed a handful of games already.

James McEwan (OHL, Guelph Storm) – Chatham, 1997 – Coming off a career year that saw him in an NHL main camp, almost no one has fallen off their scoring pace more than McEwan early on. A stronger all around roster in Guelph means he’s not being relied upon as much, but he remains a professional prospect. Look for a break out month from McEwan coming up.

Brendan Harrogate (OHL, Mississauga Steealheads) – Chatham, 1998 – Another local missing games in the OHL. There is so much high end talent, and so many NHL prospects on Mississauga’s roster, it’s hard to envision Harrogate breaking out offensively in his current environment. He’s an OHLer, but he’s still fighting to find his niche.

Eric Carter (PJHL, Dresden Kings) – Ridgetown, 2000 – A decent start at the Junior C level for Carter. He’s got a strong release, and is offensively smart. Now the challenge is elevating his compete level in the tough areas with Junior aged players, and playing on the other side of the puck become what will elevate him more rapidly than his peers. With the exception of Spence, he’s the only Chatham-Kent Cyclones alum in his age group on track for another step up next season.

Trenton McGrail (GOJHL, London Nationals) – Dresden, 1998 – Good stats, but not enough starts. It’s a tough position for a young goalie looking to develop. It’s not a matter of age either, as London’s starter is also a 1998. Could be a starter on other teams in the GOJHL. Got into a game with the OHL’s London Knights, which he was solid in.

Kyle Dawson (GOJHL, London Nationals) – Florence, 1998 – Behind depth in London, skills remain evident. He’s on a good developmental path, and will have more doors open next year. A college hockey prospect.

Levi Tetrault (OHL, Guelph Storm) – Pain Court, 1998 – A consistent presence in Guelph’s lineup. Still hasn’t found his offense at the OHL level. Tetrault is a character player on and off the ice. Likely will use his OHL experience to play at the CIS level and earn a quality University education.

Lucas Vanroboys (USPHL U18, Selects Hockey Academy) – Thamesville, 1999 – A college prospect. A serious step up in competition level will need to be taken at some point in the next year or two to make sure that college level is as competitive as possible. Skilled, and starting to grow.

There is is. Watch for the women’s list next week.

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