Our top-20 ranking for the 2009-born American class is now live. With some big events taking place this summer and early fall like the CCM 68, Minnesota Blades Showcase, USHL Fall Classic and more has allowed us to get view of some of the top '09s in the country and build our initial top 20. It's very early and a lot will change throughout the season as we get more views on players from across the country.
Each month we will increase the number of players ranked and adjust those within the ranking as the year progresses. With that said, here's a high level overview of our top 20.
The Big Three
When establishing this top-20 there were clear tiers amongst those ranked but overall things are relatively tight, especially at the top. There’s arguably five-to-six names you could argue are the best in the nation – for us there are three in particular we believe rise above the rest.
Rocco Pelosi debuts at number 1, followed closely by Max Dessner at 2, and Trevor Daley at 3. Pelosi, whose playing for Mount St. Charles this season, is a dominant goal-scoring forward who has consistently been able to make a difference at every event we’ve seen thus far. Dessner is listed as our best defenseman in the class and is within punching distance of the top spot. He will be playing for another loaded 14U Shattuck St. Mary's team. Trevor Daley is a dominant playmaking forward who has the tools to succeed in any role on the offensive side of the puck and is also within striking distance of the top ranking. He is playing for the always strong Florida Alliance program this season.
As always, Minnesota is heavily represented in the ranking with six skaters from the State of Hockey in the top 20, the most of any state. As mentioned earlier, Max Dessner debuts at number 2. Carson Scott, our second-highest ranked defender, sits at number 5 and will play for Hill-Murray this season.
Caden Zasada is a big bodied power forward and one of the more physically mature skaters in this age group. He cracks our top 10 and will also be playing for Hill-Murray during the high school season. Edina's Freddie Schneider is an incredibly dynamic, pacey, and creative forward who sits just outside our top 10 at number 12.
Our final pair of Minnesota-born skaters just squeak into our top 20 in Becker Wenkus (18th), and Nolan Fitzhenry (19th). Both players have shown instances of elite talent, who belong amongst some of the best in the class for their ability to take over a game at any moment. Wenkus being another impressive Minnesota defender.
The Shattuck Connection
The Shattuck program is a perennial power attracting some of the top players from North American seemingly every year, this one being no different. This year's 14U team features five players ranked in our top 20.
Some overlap once more with Max Dessner, but Diego Gutierrez comes in at 8th, slotting in as the third highest ranked defender in the class to this point. Drew Roscoe is another blueliner for Shattuck who makes our top-20, the sizeable, smooth skating, right-shot defender is ranked 17th.
We see some overlap again with Nolan Fitzhenry, but Bradley Whang is a new name who is a part of a very strong forward core at Shattuck.
Rounding out the Top 10
Rounding out players within our top 10 is a pair from another perennial power, Chicago Mission. Forward Oliver McKinney comes in at number 4 while defenseman Thaddeus McMahon is number 10.
A second skater from the Florida Alliance makes an appearance in our top 10, Alexander Milojevic, whose ranked 6th and has been one of the most high-end consistent players in the class to this point.
Enzo DiDomenicantonio is the final skater within the top ten at number 9. He left the Little Caesars program to join the LA Jr. Kings this season. The diminutive forward is a treat to watch with exciting dangles and creativity.
Best of the Rest
Closing out the top 20 going in order of highest ranked to lowest we have Broden McArthur of the Dallas Stars Elite who slips in at 12. Another impressive defender in a class that appears to very deep in that position.
Carter Meyer of the Boston Jr. Eagles earns his 14th ranking with some strong 200-foot play, one of the smarter off-puck players in the class.
Paulo Gualberto Jr. & Tyler Cooper come in at 15th & 16th respectively. Gualberto Jr. will be playing with Mount St. Charles this year, and Tyler Cooper with the Chicago Reapers.
Our final skater is Kaden Aucoin from Chicago Mission, a 5’10 and 146 lbs right-shot defender whose physically mature at this stage, moves very well, and has some sound offensive intangibles to help lead his team’s blueline.
To see the entire top 20 along with detailed scouting and game reports for every player, head over to our 2009-born ranking page.