2008-Born Player Rankings December Update

Posted on Puck Preps
Nathan Schilkey

That's a wrap on 2023, which also brings us to our December player rankings update. Between the CCM Challenge, PG Champions Invitational, and CSSHL U18 play, there was plenty of views taken in that allowed us to make some adjustments to the rankings. Here's your highlights.


Fresh Debuts

As we further untangle the '08 crop for the purposes of our 2024 OHL Draft Rankings, Ontario-born players keep making their way into our '08 North American-born rankings. This month, Mississauga Rebels Owen McGuckin, Toronto Jr Canadiens Jet Kwajah, and Niagara North Stars Patrick Babin earned their way onto our North American ranks after months of continued solid performances. These three were the highest three debuts on our Top 60-OHL Draft Rankings and, as such, deserved to be added to our North American rankings. As the months go by, more Ontario skaters will be added to the '08 born rankings as we gain confidence in the class of skaters in the province.

Honeybaked’s Nate Schilkey and Team Illinois’ Christian Hernandez are a pair of American skaters making their debuts as well after their strong performances at Whitby Silver Stick in late November and the PG Champions Invitational in December. They have both been on the radar for a while now and the time felt right to make the move to add them to the rankings after continued strong performances and showing how important they are to the success of their respective teams.


High Risers

The CCM Challenge gave us the opportunity to view some crossover between the Québec and Atlantic talent for the 2024 QMJHL Draft. Four players in particular saw their draft stock rise significantly due to their play at this event. William Yared showed a level of engagement and compete in all three zones that we just hadn’t witnessed throughout the year. He was forechecking hard and playing the game with pace. His high-end offensive traits were still on display as well, finishing tied for first in team scoring with five points in three games. Defenseman Alexandre Taillefer saw his draft stock shoot up with an impressive performance from the backend. He logged big minutes for the Lac St. Lions, playing in all situations while also providing some offense with two points in three games. The calmness and poise he demonstrated with the puck was one of the main reasons for his climb up the rankings. Laval-Montréal Rousseau Royal's Léo Gauthier just continues to produce at a high level, tying for the team lead in scoring at this event with four points in three games. He’s still a very streaky scorer, with all of his three goals coming in the same game. However, his finishing ability and just overall offensive acumen remains very impressive. Enzo Lottin was a player we couldn’t help but place in our North American rankings after the tournament he had, leading the charge offensively for Trois-Rivières with seven points in four games. His ability to get to the middle of the ice and complete passes to high-danger areas was on full display throughout this event. He had one of the best outings for a draft-eligible I’ve seen thus far against the Okanagan Hockey Academy, putting up a goal and four assists in what was a dominant performance.

With an updated view this month on all the CSSHL U18 talent it became clear that Brody Gillespie was an outlier in our rankings. Gillespie has been an offensive leader for RHA Kelowna's U18 team all season with nine goals and 21 points through 15 games played. Beyond his production, he plays a mature well rounded game and has impressive physical tools that should project seamlessly to higher levels. These recent viewings cemented in our eyes that he is one of the better forwards available in Western Canada and his updated rankings better reflects that opinion.

For the full ranking along with detailed scouting and game reports, visit the 2008-born North American Player Rankings.

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