2009-Born Rankings Update: Canadian Integration Edition

Posted on Puck Preps
Camryn Warren

Over the recent months, we have begun shifting our focus towards integrating the 2009-born Canadians into our North American ranks. The Western Canadian class is a familiar group for us, with the WHL draft being one year earlier, so this meant beginning our process of diving into the Eastern Canada and Ontario 2009s. Our regional scouts in those areas have started getting to know the class with in-depth viewings at various events to guide this initial release of our top Canadians. Especially in those two regions, the class will continue to be evaluated, tweaks to the rankings made and new players added as we continue to assess, with our focus soon shifting to the 2025 OHL and QMJHL drafts.


Eastern Canada 

The ‘09 Eastern Canadian class is shaping up to be one of the more impressive crops up near the top of the draft, with three players earning 5-star status. James Scantlebury and Alexis Joseph are the two big names to keep tabs on heading into the 2025 QMJHL Draft, with both players being ranked as top-5 players in all of North America. Scantlebury has been lighting up the 14U AAA US circuit playing for the Bishop Kearney Selects, putting up an absurd 121 points in just 50 games. He was the best player by quite a large margin at the QMJHL Cup in December where he faced off against the rest of the top 2009-born Québec, further cementing himself as one the top prospects available for the 2025 QMJHL Draft. Joseph has been playing up in the Québec M18 circuit this season for the Collège Esther-Blondin Phénix and has been utterly dominant from start to finish. His 51 points in 39 games were good enough for sixth in league scoring despite being the league's youngest player, and his 6 '3 and 185 lbs frame suggests he’ll be able to translate quite seamlessly to higher levels of hockey.

Jayden Pominville is our third and final 5-star player from Eastern Canada. He is a diminutive but highly skilled forward playing for Launadière Pionniers in the Québec M15 circuit. He played on a line with Scantlebury at the aforementioned QMJHL Cup, where the pair were able to tilt the ice in their favor at will. Pominville possesses high offensive intelligence to go along with an impressive playmaking acumen, making him one of the more exciting forwards for the 2025 class.

Thomas Charbonneau is our sole 4.5-star skater from Eastern Canada, playing for Shattuck St Mary’s 14U program. Charbonneau was playing up a year in Québec before making the move south of the border in search of higher competition; he even suited up for a couple of M17 games as a 13 year old, scoring a goal in the process. He’s a tall and rangy defenseman who possesses a hard shot from the point, which is how he tends to create a majority of his offense. Although things will evolve as these players continue to develop over the next year, at this juncture it seems that Charbonneau is the cream of the crop in regards to defensive prospects for the 2025 QMJHL Draft.

There were seven other players who cracked our rankings, with all being a mix of 4-star and 3.5-star prospects. Some I wanted to mention were 4-star forwards Louis-Étienne Halley and Elliot Bibeau-Rivard who I thought were excellent at the QMJHL Cup and who could definitely make the jump into 4.5-star status as they continue to progress. 4-star Forwards Luca Desjardins and Matys St-Gelais from the Seacoast Performance Academy are two players we wanted to mention as well as they’re having huge years statistically, and we’re excited to track their progression into next season.



The early indication is that Ontario ‘09 class appears to be yet another talented crop, and as such, they kick off our 2009-born ranking with an impressive five 5-star players. If you’ve been following our 2024 OHL Draft coverage, the first two kicking off our 2009 Ontario list should be no surprise, as they have been highlighted many times this season as standouts among the 2008s. Camryn Warren and Brock Chitaroni are two Ontario skaters who have been playing up in U16 this season and have both fit in seamlessly. Warren, especially, has been a driving force on one of the top GTHL teams this season, leaving no doubt that he deserves a top placement among our 2009 rankings. Chitaroni has only become more confident as the year has gone on, flexing his abilities more and more, showcasing he also can dominate amongst the older competition.

Charlie Murata, Cannon Thibodeau, and Keaton Ardagh are the other three Ontario-born five-star skaters. There’s much to say about this group, but the short summary is that they have been the consistent top performers across many viewings of their teams. Game in and game out, these three have made the most significant impact on their powerhouse squads, making them stand out above their talented teammates.

In the near future, we will have an introduction to the top 10 Canadians, which will include expanded details on Murata and Thibodeau, so a bit more insight into Ardagh feels necessary. After Charlie Murata, the Ontario rankings are an incredibly tight group, with the margins between players appearing razor-thin. Even on Keaton's team, two players and Ardagh could be ranked in any way, and it would make sense, showcasing just how strong the Jr Canadiens and this Ontario group are. All three of these Jr Canadiens offer similar attributes, long, powerful strides, and can pull off slick moves with the puck on their sticks. In our early assessment of the JRC squad, Keaton was the one who offered a bit more as a playmaker, setting up countless chances for those around him via his dominance as a puck manager, deceptive puck touches, and on-puck patience. Undoubtedly, there will be tweaks as this class evolves, but as of now, Ardagh sits at the top of this JRC trio.

The 4.5-star category offers plenty of Ontario-born skaters with a few underlying themes in this crop of players. Brayden Bennett and Noah Laus follow right behind their Jr. Canadien teammate, landing in the 4.5-star tier. This trio has been a challenge to untangle as, on any given night, one of the three could be the Canadiens best player, making ranking them a difficult task. They all offer similar attributes: explosive and powerful skaters who are clever puck managers who create an abundance of scoring chances game in game out. As with the rest of the Ontario rankings, this JRC trio is a tight-knit group, and one we will continue to evaluate to see who emerges and cements themselves above their teammates.

Jeremy Freeman and Maxime Delisle are another duo among Ontario's 4.5-star skaters, playing together on the Toronto Titans. While they play on the same team, the similarities end there with two distinctly different play styles. Freeman is all slick puck skills, crafty hands, and deception, while Delisle is more about using power, strength, and physical tools to dominate his opponents. Despite their differences, they are two talented players who lead the charge on one of the top teams in the GTHL this season.

Kingston Harris and Jaakko Wycisk are the final Ontario skaters who earned 4.5-star status. Kingston just missed the cut for the 5-star tier and has been a consistent top performer with every viewing of the Toronto Marlboros. He's a powerful skater who often dictates play through the middle of the ice and leads the way in transition for the Marlies, showcasing that he is among the top puck managers in the Ontario '09 class. Wycisk is the focal point of the talented Sun County Panthers team and has been their top performer across many viewings of their team. He is an intriguing blend of size and physical tools and a crafty and tactical puck manager, which he layers together to dominate the play. Given this combination of elements, he's someone who has enormous potential and could see himself climbing up our rankings as he continues to develop over the next few seasons.

Our Ontario rankings are rounded out with nine 4-star prospects who are all players who have impressed in our early evaluation of the ‘09 Ontario class. While all of these players are worthy of a mention, Ryerson Edgar, Kieran Raynor, Tyler Lee, and Kaden McGregor are four notable ones who are right on the cusp of that 4.5-star tier and could easily jump up our rankings as we continue to evaluate the Ontario ‘09s.


Western Canada

The top of our North American rankings is Landon Dupont from Edge School Prep U18 as he is currently the leading U18 CSSHL division defensive scorer with 19 goals and 43 assists in 30 games. Many of the discussions last season in a very talented year were based around whether or not Landon would have been the top selection if he had been eligible last year. I believe I was in the majority who thought he would have been. Landon is extremely powerful on his edges, reads pressure defensively and as a puck carrier extremely well, and runs the offense for Edge without dominating or asserting his will. He can be a counter puncher as much as a game breaker whenever he so chooses. Combine a quick shot release with the IQ to know when to drive in further and when to pick his opportunities, Landon is a well earned top of the pile.

Inside the top-10 in North America is the goal-scoring power forward Eli McKamey. The January born player already has adapted to the higher pace as he’s accumulated 23 goals and 25 assists in 28 games for Shawnigan Lake School U18 Prep. He thrives off the rush when he can use his powerful skating stride and create two on one chances and open up shots in stride for himself. His shot release is quick, accurate, and comes in multiple scenarios. He has scored six powerplay goals and five game winners already this season. If he is to continue to thrive, he’s gotta keep his foot on the aggressive petal and find ways to continue being an aggressive scoring threat.

At this point in time for our rankings, there are multiple individuals who are somewhere in that 4.5-5.0 star ranking on our boards and might flutter between them as they continue to develop. It means the ranking of them currently isn’t set in stone for the draft and I can see different teams targeting different players with different reasoning. At this present time, three players from Edge School U15 Prep are inside the Top-6 Western players. Mirco Dufour, Matthew Hilderman, and Brock England are all competing for spots while often being on the same powerhouse line together. Their team had been on a 15-game winning streak in league play while also becoming undefeated champions of the John Reid tournament.

5.0-star Mirco Dufour is a highly intelligent, agile puck handler who finds sneaky moments to be incredibly efficient offensively. He currently has the highest PPG with 21 goals and 21 assists in 21 U15 Prep games as well as 4 points in 2 U17 games. He has the growth runway, the IQ, and the skating stride to be a top-line scorer. Next up is 5.0-star Matthew Hilderman who is a relentless forechecker, net front presence, consistent body checker, and can win puck races, escape pressure along the boards, and be the glue for his line consistently. He doesn’t often get the puck touches as his linemates do but that doesn’t mean he isn’t just as projectable or important. He has 22 goals, 18 assists, in 23 U15 Prep games as well as 2 points in 5 U17 games. Lastly, Brock England is a powerful skater and goal scorer who is just tapping into how dominant he can be when he picks his shooting spots more purposefully. He’s got 40 points in 24 U15 Prep games as well as 4 points in 7 U18 Prep games.

Outside of those players we have three Saskatchewan players in goal scorer Blake Chorney of NAX U15 Prep, undersized offensive defender Calder Hamilton from the Martensville Marauders U15, and the offensive rush dynamo forward Kayden Stroeder from the Humboldt Broncos U15. From the St. George’s U15 Prep team in BC come the high-IQ, shifty defender Brock Cripps who is racking up points and his top offensive partner in forward Jacob Schwartz. Last but not least includes two-way defender Joaquin Geras from Edge U15 Prep and forward Drayden Uhrina from Rink Hockey Academy Winnipeg.

We integrated over 50 Canadians into the 2009-born rankings spanning all regions nationwide. Over the coming months, we will continue to evaluate the class and expand our rankings, primarily focusing on untangling the Eastern Canada and Ontario regions. As always, with players this young, our rankings are not set in stone, and things will naturally evolve as players continue to develop and we increase our sample size in the class.

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