Another month of the hockey season has passed and has given us the opportunity to get eyes on more teams and players with several big games and events having taken place in October. With the increased views, we have now expanded our 2009-born skater rankings from 20 to 40. Let’s go over some of the highlights from October’s update.
We didn’t have too many major changes in our top-20, with only a handful of players making their debuts inside of that number. Defenseman Christian Semetsis of the Long Island Royals makes the highest debut at #9 thanks to his incredibly smooth skating and excellent offensive instincts.
Anaheim Jr. Ducks Gavin Burcar has the next highest debut coming off of an MVP performance at the Bauer Elite Invite, one of Western Canada’s premiere U15/14U tournaments. He’s a dual threat defenseman with the ability to take over a game in an instant and earned a #15 ranking in the ’09 American class.
There was some movement among those who made our initial top 20 ranking release back in September. A handful of skaters saw a bump in their ranking, most notable is Florida Alliance forward Trevor Daley who now sits in the #2 spot bumping Minnesota’s Max Dessner down Max Dessner to #3.
Daley’s teammate with the Alliance, Alexander Milojevic, finds himself jumping one spot from 6th to 5th as he had severable notable performances in our October viewings.
Our third riser is Shattuck St. Mary’s Bradley Whang, a dynamic forward with great skill who on a deep and talented roster has established himself early as one of their leading forces.
Whang’s teammate at Shattuck, blueliner Diego Gutierrez, also jumps one spot, going from 8th to 7th, showing us more of what makes him so effective and projectable, his game appears to be developing at an excellent rate.
Mount St. Charles Impact
As expected, the top teams in the country are often heavily represented in the top end of the rankings early on, and Mount St. Charles is leading the charge for the 14U group.
Despite already having the top ranked skater in Rocco Pelosi, and our 16th ranked skater in Paulo Jr. Gualberto, this latest update has seen the likes of Stephen Cover & Braiden Scuderi join their teammates, debuting at 17th and 18th respectively.
A pair of Mount St. Charles defenders also make an appearance in our top 40 with Brady Berard, an effective shutdown defender in his own end, at #26, and Maxim Yakub, a creative and flashy puck mover at #34.
Bishop Kearney Selects Add A Trio
The Bishop Kearney Selects are another top-tier AAA program and see themselves with three new additions to our top-40 in Massimo Santa Maria at 25, Robert Matson at 28, and defenseman Callahan Kaminsky sneaking into the last spot in our top 40.
All three of these players have been integral pieces for the BK Selects early in the season and will continue to log big minutes for their club going forward.
Shattuck St. Mary’s Holds Strong
With the aforementioned rise of Bradley Whang, Shattuck continued to flex their muscles this month, and now sees themselves with three more skaters in our top-40, on top of those already present in Max Dessner at 3, Diego Gutierrez at 7, and Nolan Fitzhenry at 19.
We now see Beckett Shillings make his debut at #9, another impressive puck-moving defenseman in this deep class of blue liners.
Forwards Jaemin Park and Ethan Sung debut next to one another at 35 and 36, both being key contributors to the lethal Shattuck offence. On a team so deep and with so many weapons, standing out as an individual can be difficult, but both Park and Sung have carved out their own niche and earned a spot in our top 40.
This update alone has put Pennsylvania on the map for the 2009-born Americans, going from 0-to-4 players represented as we expand our list. Players who broke into our rankings include Stephen Cover at 17, Grayson Espenshade at 27, Owen Koller at 31, and Jason Segal at 37.
Espenshade and Segal are teammates with a highly skilled WB Scranton Knights team, while Owen Koller is the lone addition from the perennial powerhouse Pittsburgh Pens Elite squad.
The additions of Segal and Koller further highlight the defensive depth this class has to offer, bringing the total count of defenders ranked in the top 40 to 16.
Illinois Continues Strong Representation
In our initial top-20, we saw Illinois have a total of four players represented in Oliver McKinney – 4th, Alexander Milojevic – 5th, Thaddeus McMahon – 12th, and Tyler Cooper – 23rd. That impressive quartet now gains two more names to bring Illinois total to six skaters in the top 40 with the additions of Chicago Mission forward Talen Aling at 39, and Windy City Storm forward Maison Chmura at 38.
Both forwards being extremely fun, creative, and talented playmakers who make everyone they play with better.
Rounding out the Rest
Aiden Bujnicki debuts at #30, an impressive two-way defender for the Florida Alliance Elite who logs plenty of ice and facilitates some offence.
Finn Spehar of the Sioux Falls Power program, a standout at the CCM 68, was in consideration for our top-20 list but falls in at 32 here.
And finally, Drew Fox of the Dallas Stars Elite program, comes in at 33, a pacey, dynamic, and highly skilled forward that can drive a line and will surely be a player to watch going forward.
Head over to our full 2009-born American player rankings page for scouting and game reports from every payer in our top 40.