The month of November has been a pivotal one in the development and assessment of players from the 2007 birth year. With Canadian Major U18AAA and Major U16AAA in full swing and a few major tournaments from each region in the rearview, we’ve continued to establish a clearer cross-section of the player pool, thus adding and modifying the list as appropriate. The updated rankings can be found by navigating to the Players Rankings page and selecting 2007 under the Category drop-down menu, but for now here are a few of the key updates…
New 5-Star Players
It’s been a long time coming but the notorious Cooper Dennis has officially been minted with 5-star status. It’s hard to believe, but with Dennis there’s always been the question of just how well some of his skills would help to maintain his effectiveness. His performance at the annual Whitby Silver Stick gave him the platform to demonstrate just how effective he’s continued to be. As Jordan Mallette noted in reference to our OHL draft rankings in an article detailing Tournament Takeaways, “He was the top player at the tournament that wasn’t on our preliminary top 25, and I would like to put him in our top 10 of the updated list.”
In addition to earning a significant bump into the top-5 on our QMJHL draft rankings, Caleb Desnoyers also finds himself among the prestigious list of four Eastern Canadian players in the 5-star category. Joining Zach Morin, Liam Kilfoil, and Nathan Lecompte, Caleb has become a leading source of offense for the Telus Cup host St-Hyacinthe Gaulois, as well as a pace setter in all zones. As I wrote in a recent game report, “He doesn’t rush or force plays, but rather puts himself in good position to help out and capitalize when opportunities come along.”
Another of the major beneficiaries of his performance at the Whitby Silver Stick was Toronto Marlboros forward Lev Katzin. His highlight-reel goals and consistency earned him a strong reputation in the books of our Ontario scout Jordan Mallette, and has made ranking the regional class extremely challenging due to the amount of top-end quality. His strong performance at the tournament will be something that sicks in the minds of many scouts throughout the year.
The evasive tendencies of Jr. Canadien forward Luca Romano earned him a prominent debut position among the 2007 class at 55. The shifty and crafty forward has also been adjusted on our OHL draft rankings, nearly finding his way into the top-10 after several dominant performances between the Silver Stick and Moustache Cup.
After remaining out of the lineup throughout most of the month of October, Jordan Mallette was thrilled to justly place defenseman Matt Schaefer in the 4-star category at 82nd after a strong month in November.
Volume shooter, Jonathan Cirone makes the list not far behind fellow Ontarian Matt Schafer at 86th. Jordan Mallette has expressed high praise for the 5’10” forward’s shooting ability, but would like to see him explore some of his other skills.
Both Lane Sim and Owen Conrad, products of Pictou County’s Weeks Majors have vaulted themselves up a tier from 4-star to 4.5-star rank after contributing to their teams round-robin dominance of the Monctonian. Conrad is one of the most physically mature players out of the entire class and offers a plethora of refined technical skills that give him a legitimate professional projection potential. Sim’s comprehensive awareness and sky-high technical skill are atop the pyramid in the Maritimes. His landing spot is ultimately unclear at this point in the season, as he has the option to declare for the OHL draft or consider an option in the US.
At both the T1EHL 15U Chicago Showcase as well as the Whitby Silver Stick, Cleveland Baron forward Blake Arrowsmith demonstrated how he’s been able to maintain effectiveness in his development by increasing his quickness and coupling it with deceptive puck handling and a powerful long-range shot. His jump from a previous ranking of 160th into our top-100 is reflective of the impression he’s left on both Jordan Mallette and Chase Allen throughout the month of November.
After moderate rankings earlier in the season, a quartet of Ontario-born 2007’s have earned major credit in our November update as a result of their performances at the Silver Stick . Jimmy Sutherland, Matthew Manza, Rylan Singh and Jeremy Martin have each cracked the top-150 in our North American board, bringing them into calibration based on their respective impacts throughout the month.
For full details of the list and links to each players profile, head over to the players rankings page and select 2007 under the category drop-down.