Spring-time in the USA was a thrilling season for youth Hockey. In anticipation of the USHL draft, our scouts covered a significant amount of hockey including the USA Chipotle Nationals for the 15O and 16U divisions as well as the competitive and exclusive USNTDP camp. Both events were weighted appropriately for their quality of competition as well as repeatability, contributing to a massive revision/calibration of our 2005-born player rankings. In addition to the American 2005-born players, several other regions’ players have been calibrated in order to ensure accuracy of the integrated lists.
This recent revision featured some major shuffling from previous rankings including no shortage of movement within the top-10.
Our number one player from previous rankings, Will Smith, from Lexington MA remains steadfast atop our rankings after demonstrating an unrivaled maturity and efficiency at the NTDP camp. Smith’s skill and processing are so second-nature to his game that he’s able to excel despite the almost perceivable effortlessness to those characteristics. His tactical positioning and forethought amplify his technical skills, and proving those abilities against the best of his peers motivated us to leave him at #1.
A couple of the biggest risers within the top-10 were defensemen Aram Minnitian and Andrew Strathmann who landed at #2 and #8 respectively. The former was one of the obvious choices for the NTDP blueline, while Strathmann had signed a tender agreement with the Tri-City Storm back in November of 2020, forfeiting their first-round draft choice in the 2021 Phase I draft. While there are many similarities between the two defensemen, what lands Minnetian at #2 overall is the combination of his offensive engagement and stature. The 6’0”, 170 lb defenseman is incredibly mobile and active in the offensive zone, especially considering his size. Strathmann, on the other hand, could perhaps actually be the more well-rounded defenseman, offering a more modest physical package, but a slightly greater willingness to use his body, and multi-directional mobility to inhibit opposition attacks. Both defensemen have bright futures as they branch off to unique development paths.
After getting the @MidFairfield05s tied up with Florida Alliance at 1-1, Aram Minnetian goes for this incredible dance up the left flank, with Salvatore Guzzo poking in the loose puck. The goal was called back because the net was knocked off the moorings. #USAHNationals pic.twitter.com/NwLUeYXjgZ
— Puck Preps (@PuckPreps) May 2, 2021
This past weekend we also took in the US U16 biosteel camp which was another great opportunity to see a bunch of these players in high-performance competition, and possibly cause for another minor revision.
The current top-10 rankings are as follows:
Will Smith, USNTDP U17, Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL)
Aram Minnetian, USNTDP U17, London Knights (OHL)
Oliver Moore, USNTDP U17, Medicine Hat Tigers (WHL)
Quentin Musty, Sudbury Wolves (OHL)
Ryan Fine, USNTDP U17, Kitchener Rangers (OHL)
Will Vote, USNTDP U17, Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL)
William Whitelaw, Youngstown Phantoms (USHL)
Andrew Strathmann, Tri-City Storm (USHL), Flint Firebirds (OHL)
Drew Stewart, Cedar Rapids Roughriders (USHL), Kamloops Blazers (WHL)
Gabriel Perrault, USNTDP U17, Sarnia Sting (OHL)
For the full list of the top-90 American players, as well as where they fit in among all 2005-born players head over to the Player Rankings page.