2008-Born Rankings Update: February Edition

Posted on Puck Preps
Mason Majewski

This longer-than-usual month of February has finally wrapped, which brings us to another round of updates to the our 2008 class rankings. Some events that had an impact with this update include the Florida Exposure Cup, NE Pack Playoffs, East Coast IceJam, and various games in Ontario and Western Canada. Here's a look at some highlights from our February rankings update.


Movement In The Top 10

There was some tinkering at the top of our North American rankings, as Ontario's Zachary Nyman leapfrogs fellow 2024 OHL Draft eligible Braidy Wassilyn from 9th to 8th and is now our fourth highest ranked Canadian skater. After the Youth Olympics, there was some discussion about making this change and further views last month solidified this thought process. Nyman is an incredibly mobile skater who dominates whenever he is on the ice, impacting so much of the play in every game we've seen. That consistent level of excellence game-in-game-out is the main reason for the tweak, as Nyman never seems to disappoint in our viewings. We still see a gap between Nyman and our top-ranked defender, Ryan Lin, but as time goes on, it's something we'll continue to monitor and see if there is a case to be made for Nyman as North America's top '08 defender.


High Risers

Ethan Belchetz is one of our highest-risers in February and has earned 4.5 star status. Belchetz has dominated the OMHA circuit this season, posting a whopping 84 points in 34 games. His skills, tools, and potential have been apparent since our assessment of his play last spring, but they've all started to come together recently. His improvements since the start of the season have been substantial, making us much more optimistic about his game moving forward. For a more in-depth analysis of Ethan's previous ranking and his development, check out Ontario regional scout Jordan Malette's recent OHL Draft rankings update.

Quebec's Chad Lygitsakos had himself quite the month of February with 18 points in 8 games for the Trois-Rivières Estacades. He was also named rookie of the month in the M18AAA Québec circuit. Lygitsakos made a considerable rankings leap moving from #122 to #79 after an excellent month of play.

Fellow Quebecer Benjamin Cossette-Ayotte finished off his regular season as the leading point getter among all rookie defensemen in the M18AAA Québec league with 31 points in 35 games. His defensive game has grown leaps and bounds throughout the course of the season as well. His move from #80 to #59 sees him earn a 4.5 star ranking.

Luke Schairer has been a name steadily moving up the American rankings with continued strong play from the Youth Olympic Games, Florida Exposure Cup, and now the NE Pack Playoffs. His play on the backend has been impactful and his contributions at both ends of the ice make him a big part of Mount St. Charles; he jumps up 44 spots to land at #151.


Players Making Their Debut

Not a lot of new names were added to the rankings this update with just four American skaters making their debuts after some continued strong play. A pair of Madison Capitols forwards in Mason Majewski (186th) and Cayden Block (203rd) impressed during their time at the Florida Exposure cup forcing their way into the rankings. They were the driving force of their team and were able to help the Capitols put together a few big wins against tough opposition.

Another Florida Exposure standout who cracked the list is Alex Smyth (189th) of the Carolina Jr Canes. He is a player we have been monitoring for a while now and one of the top forwards on his team. His play over the last few months has improved and convinced us to include him in this update.

The Mid-Fairfield Rangers have been on a tear over the last few months with strong performances and several event wins, and Keegan Kazan (212th) is one of the players who has helped make that happen. His ability to get himself into scoring areas and convert on his chances has been important for the Rangers.

Check out the complete 2008-Born North American skater rankings.

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