Four months into following the 2009-born American class, we have now eclipsed 80 skaters in our rankings, as we add another 20 skaters to our list. Many of this months viewings came via the Michigan Hockey Showcase, along with individual viewings from club game samples.
Coming into January we will get a lot more exposure and insight on the 2009-born American class via the Port Huron Silver Stick, which will be a great event as many of the top American and Ontario skaters will compete head-to-head.
The New 5 Stars
Our December rankings update sees the addition of four new 5-star skaters. Colin Grubb is the highest name player at 18th overall. The Shattuck St. Mary’s forward is a dynamic skater helping him tally 23 goals, 42 assists, for 65 points in 33 games. We have a pair of Honeybaked skaters in forward Ty Bergeron, and defenseman Anthony Valenti, coming in at #30 #31 respectively. Both had very strong performances at the MAHA Showcase, helping cement their 5-star status in the ranks. Our final 5-star is Landon Jackman at #24, a powerful skater for the St. Louis AAA Blues, he’s one of the leading scorers for his team and offers great physicality across all three zones.
Michigan Clubs Making Noise
Beyond Anthony Valenti and Ty Bergeron, we have further representation of some of Michigan’s top AAA clubs with Gunnar Gullstrand and Maxwell Adams at #46 and #53 for Little Caesars. A third and fourth member of Honeybaked slips into our rankings at #70 in Brandon Johnson, a skilled puck handling skater with great creativity along with Maddox Cross at #40. There were several other impressive players at the MAHA that didn’t make our top-80 but are just on the outside looking in.
Shattuck St. Mary’s Dominates Rankings
We have two more players from Shattuck outside of Colin Grubb, giving them 11 total, with the addition of Gerry DiCunzolo at #37 and Camden Zaporzan at #60. Both are impressive forwards on the stacked Shattuck roster that can make a difference at any time during a game. In 33 games Zaporzan has 12 goals, 22 assists for 34 points, with DiCunzolo scoring 24 goals, 26 assists for 50 points in the same amount of games. The impressive point totals on top of projectable skills they both own are what make them effective offensive weapons now, and what will continue to allow them to be effective going forward.
Californians Make Their Debuts
Earlier this season we had plenty of exposure to some of the California teams and had our interested piqued to the point where we’ve gone back to watch some individual film on specific players. We have two members of the Anaheim Jr. Ducks making their debuts, along with one on the California Golden Bears. Grady Schaefer, the leading scorer for the Ducks comes in at #80, whereas defenseman Parker Schellenberg slips in two spots ahead at #78. Golden Bears Jayden Dyke the #77 spot in our rankings – one of the many impressive players from the Bauer Elite event earlier this season.
The North Eastern Pack AAA circuit always has some strong teams, and already has a handful of skaters in our rankings – this month the Bishop Kearney Selects gain two players as well as the Mid Fairfield Rangers adding one of their own. John Waterstreet of BK comes in at #62 – his strong play as of late built on top of a sound 200-foot game has really caught our eye and we feel it’s time for his debut in the rankings. His teammate Dax Orenstein slips into #79 – one of a handful of impressive blueliners on the BK's roster this season. Cameron Minella is the lone Ranger added, an effective blueliner for Mid Fairfield, he’s consistently been one of their more impressive players throughout our viewings.
The Final Four
With four players left unmentioned to this point, our remaining names of note are Marcus Matyas of the USHS-Minnesota scene playing for Cretin-Durham Hall, earning himself the #45 in our ranks. Reid Hmura of the Chicago Mission is the third piece to the Mission’s top line and he slots in at #61. Aidan Woller is our first skater from Maryland in the rankings, playing for the Colorado Thunderbirds. He drives play at both ends of the ice and is one of the top skaters within the T1EHL. Rounding things out, Justin Fernandez of the Florida Alliance Elite, is the sixth skater from Alliance to crack our rankings, coming in at #72. He’s an absolute speedster with a nice scoring touch that at any moment can change a game.
Check out our complete top-80 USA 2009-born rankings that include scouting reports and game reports on those you’re interested in.