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Player of the Year Finalists Impress at WHL Bantam Draft

By HockeyNow on May 23, 2018


We’re less than two months out from making our final selections for the HockeyNow Minor Hockey Player of the Year award winners in B.C., Alberta and Ontario. The 2018 nominees have been impressing us all season long and some were fortunate enough to make their mark at the Telus Cup in Sudbury late last month.

We also got to see some of our Ontario shortlisted players get picked up in the OHL Priority Selection last month, including first overall selection Quinton Byfield, who has been making the cut on our shortlists all year. Byfield joined fellow POY finalists Evan Vierling, William Cuylle, Cameron Tolnai, Jamie Drysdale, Ryan O’Rourke and Cole Perfetti who were also picked up in the first round.

This month we turned our attention to the West, where Alberta and B.C. major junior teams stacked their rosters at the WHL Bantam Draft.

Once again, many of the players on our Top 10 POY lists were selected in the top 22. From our Alberta shortlist, Dylan Guenther was the first overall draft selection and joined by other Alberta POY nominees Sean Tschigerl, Jayden Grubbe, Zack Stringer, Craig Armstrong, Zack Ostapchuk and Marc Lajoie in Round 1.

In B.C., Logan Stankoven, Nolan Bentham, Jake Chiasson, Graham Sward and Trevor Wong were all selected in the first round and have been on our POY selection committee’s radar all season.

Next month, we’ll be releasing our final regional preliminary lists before announcing our winners in our July edition.

This year, we are excited to be partnering with HockeyShot, who on top of honouring our winners in each region with a huge prize pack, is also giving out monthly prizes to randomly selected finalists on our Top 10 lists.


Preliminary list 
BC 2003s, MAY 2018

Bentham, Nolan - Yale Bntm Prep
Rock solid defenseman who is very smart and plays his position well. Excellent edge use. When he gets the puck he has a very accurate outlet pass. 

Carmichael, Elias - BWC Bntm Prep
Big, all situations defender that continues to improve and is developing a more consistent offensive game. Good size and long body - long powerful skating stride.

Chiasson, Jake - Yale Bntm Prep
Has a work ethic that is hard to ignore, and looks to make things happen out there. Plays at a high speed and high energy. Has a fantastic shot when he is given time.

Samson, Ethan - Delta BPrep Green 
Delta BPrep Green -- Very mobile two-way defender who has good size, is tall and lanky with potential to grow and get bigger, bright future and has improved during second half of the season. Playing with more confidence , hanging on to the puck and making better decisions.

Galloway, Tyson - Yale Bntm Prep
Big, smooth skating defender  continues to get better and better and plays a mature game - long reach makes him difficult to get around, good upside for this player.

Stankoven, Logan - Yale Bntm Prep
Had a fantastic showcase including a 7 point game. Very productive forward with pure speed and the ability to consistently create scoring chances. 

Sward, Graham - Yale Bntm Prep
Plays both ends of the ice very well, and was a consistent presence on the ice. Excellent skating, and uses it to his advantage defensively. 

Verbicky, Kobe - Yale Bntm Prep
Has a high energy game and pressures the puck hard on the forecheck. Has the ability to force turnovers.  Reads the play well and makes good decisions with the puck. 

Williams, Finlay - BWC Bntm Prep
continued to impress with work ethic, blocking shots and doing dirty work in front of the net and along the boards, plays hard and very serviceable in all situations, has a scoring touch cause he is always around the puck, he would be a great 2/3rd line C for WHL team as he plays his role and leads by example.

Wong, Trevor - St. Georges 1
Tiny dynamic offensive player who carries his team - tremendous anticipation and hockey sense - very good skater who is shifty and can change direction on a dime.


Preliminary list  
AB 2003s, MAY 2018

Armstrong, Craig - Airdrie Xtrm
One of the best players at CSSHL Bantam Showcase. Had positive impact every game, and made things happen out there. His skating is his greatest asset.

Ceulemans, Corson - OHA Edm Bntm Prep
One of the best players at CSSHL Bantam Showcase. Had positive impact every game, and made things happen out there. His skating is his greatest asset.

Grubbe, Jayden - Cal. Bisons 
Big power forward that is a handful for defenders to contain in the OZ. Shields the puck very well and was great on the down low OZ cycle.

Guenther, Dylan - N. Alb XTrm Bntm Prep 
Big goal scoring forward who is dangerous around the net. An opportunistic goal scorer and can really shoot the puck.  Backcheck pressure could be stronger.

Hyland, Brett - Cal. Bisons
Just plays the game the right way, makes others around him better - finishes his checks and competes hard in all zones. Good penalty killer and an easy guy to play with.

Lajoie, Marc - N. Alb XTrm Bntm Prep
 Has a big time shot and can score from way out - plays a confident game and wants the puck on his stick - long reach and body and is tough to get around. 

Ostapchuk, Zack - N. Alb XTrm Bntm Prep
Impressed with his development curve. Excellent set of physical tools and continues to get better and better. Can really skate and is a handful when he drives the net.

Smith, Matt - Delta BPrep Green
His edges are very good and might be the best backwards skater in the draft, his lateral movement is very good. His decisions are improving and playing more of steady, smart and simple game. Would like to see him use his speed more and join the rush and attack more from the back end.

Stringer, Zack - Lethbridge
Good two-way game, and is effective at both ends of the ice. Very unselfish player - long stride but lacks leg strength.  Looks to create screens, and capitalize on rebounds.

Tschigerl, Sean - OHA Edm Bntm Prep
Fantastic CSSHL Showcase was one of the best players out there consistently. Relentless work ethic, looks to make something happen every time he is on the ice.


Preliminary list 
ON 2002s, MAY 2018

Byfield, Quinton - York Simcoe
Big skilled offensive forward Showed great hands with an ability to control the puck. Ability to create plays out of nothing. Top line center at next level with Pro upside. 

Cuylle, William - Tor Marlboro
Cuylle is a big bodied goal scoring forward who can take over a game. Utilized his size and strength to gain his ice and put himself in dangerous offensive opportunities. Lightning quick shot was both hard and accurate. Has the tools to be a top line OHL player.

Drysdale, Jamie - Tor Marlboro
Dynamic skater with excellent edge use and skating ability.  Projects as a top pairing offensive defender with #1 defenceman upside.

O'Rourke, Ryan - Vaughan
Two-way defenseman with good size. Has the ability to contribute both on offense and defense. OHL top pairing upside.

Perfetti, Cole - Vaughan
High end two way forward with ability to create on the rush or cycle - Strong playmaking skills.  Projects as a  first line center at  the OHL level.

Peterson, Dylan - CIH White
Dynamic offensive forward. All-around offensive threat, capable of creating offense out of very little. High-end puck skills with good vision. Top line OHL upside

Power, Owen - Miss. Reps
Able to control the game from the backend - Hard to find anything wrong with his game. Has all the tools to be a number one defender at the OHL level.

Robinson, Dylan - Tor Jr. Canadiens
Well rounded and multitalented centre. Tough to contain with his combination of size, speed and skill. Has shown good progression this season. Lanky offensive forward with a good frame and a lot of room for growth and size. Feet and skating look improved through the season and he has better acceleration and mobility.

Tolnai, Cameron - Oakville Rangers
Offensive centre. Average size, below average strength. Has shown progression this season in skating and puckhandling. Reads the play well, with tremendous instincts. Smart plays with and without the puck and finds himself in the right position.

Vierling, Evan - York Simcoe
Has shown tremendous improvement this season, one of the best progressions of the year. Consistent offensive threat who possesses great playmaking ability. Cemented himself as one of the top prospects at OHL Cup.  High end two way game as well as goal scoring and playmaking abilities offensively.

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By HockeyNow| May 23, 2018
Categories:  Minor Hockey

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