We've officially hit the top-100 marker for the 2009-born American class rankings, with plenty of high-quality viewings this last month to help us add another 20 skaters along with some considerable movement amongst those already within our rankings. Let's have a look at the highlights from our January rankings update.
New 5-Star Recruit!
This class continues to offer more-and-more incredible defenders, Kage Flory being the latest as he slots in at #32, earning 5-star status. The Buffalo Jr. Sabres blueliner was a big standout at the Port Huron Silver Stick, exemplifying tremendous offensive instincts, skating ability, while shutting down plays in transition and in his own end.
Flory's teammate and fellow defender, Luke Warraner, makes his debut at #49 in our rankings. The sizeable, mobile and sturdy two-way force also had an excellent showing at Port Huron. The work between these two linemates often led to puck possession dominance by the Buffalo Jr. Sabres throughout their time on the ice together.
Fellow Jr. Sabre, Louis Gugliuzza, earned himself a jump of eight spots in our rankings to land at #46. The big-bodied forward has continued to demonstrate both a projectable usage of his size and movement, along with the implementation of soft skill in tight areas.
St. Louis AAA Blues Impress
We have an impressive four members of the the St. Louis AAA Blues joining our top-100 with three of the four entering at the tail end of the rankings. Charlie Mineman has the highest debut at #61, playing as a terrific puck-moving, offensive defenseman and a leading play driving catalyst for the Blues throughout the Silver Stick. Trey Wilson, Colin Varady, and Luke Karcher are the other three names added landing at #89, #97, and #98 respectively. Each one possessing brief moments of taking over a shift and providing tremendous offensive value for their club.
Little Caesars Flexes Muscle
Perennial powerhouse Little Caesars now has seven names within the top-100 with the additions of Vincent Arnone, Savir Jaworski, and Jack Peterson. All three of these names just missed out on cracking the top-80 in our December update. Some additional exposure at Port Huron was enough for all of them to enter the top-100. Arnone debuts the highest at #69 with Savir Jaworski close behind at #75, while blueliner Jack Peterson enters at #86.
A pair of Caesar's skaters, Tony Timmerman and Julian Meyer, received significant boosts with this update. Timmerman, who continues to show off his scoring ability from the line, jumps five spots to #45, while Meyer is the highest riser in January jumping 16 spots to #52. The pace, two-way prowess, and puck moving skills Meyer displayed this month really drove his performance.
Windy City Storm Forecast Looms
Another team that has shown to be very prevalent in our rankings is the Windy City Storm club who add another three skaters bringing their total to seven in the top-100. Trevor Cook and Nathaniel Kohler were two extremely notable 200-foot players for the Storm during Port Huron, forcing turnovers, playing defensively responsible, and even flashing some skill under pressure to generate chances. Cook and Kohler come in at #83, and #85, respectively. Brogan Chinlund rounds things out in the final spot in our rankings #100 as he continues to build a resume of strong play.
Jackson Smith, previously ranked at #44, gets a small bump to #42 for once again being one of his team’s top forward’s this past month.
We had a handful of other risers in this month’s update including Chicago Missions Thaddeus McMahon who continues to creep his way closer to the top-5, now slotted at #6th after jumping four spots.
Teammate Talen Aling also had a strong showing at Port Huron, moving up one spot to #57.
Another pair of teammates had a successful month, further burrowing their position into 5-star status. Ty Bergeron making a jump of two to #28 – the continual use of strong body position blended into great puck skills make him a handful to deal with off the rush and on the cycle. Anthony Valenti jumps nine spots, now sitting at #22, the dynamism and transition ability he offers slowly is asserting himself as a one-of-a-kind defender in the class.
There are a handful of players we didn’t mention who were added to this month’s rankings. Check out our 2009-Born American rankings for the full top-100.