The Ontario Minor Hockey Association has released the fourth edition of the U16 and U18 AAA Top 5 Rankings presented by Hudl for the 2023-2024 regular season. These rankings will be released on a bi-weekly schedule.
U16 AAA Rankings
There's a new number one in town as the Rangers take over the top spot, bumping the Jr. Colts down to second. The Hurricanes and Express continue their battle for third and fourth while the Generals ride a five game winning streak into the Top 5 for the first time this season.
Players to Watch
Alex Masotti (Markham Waxers): A strong defender for his team and is relied upon to play big minutes. He continually shows strong gaps off the rush, where he can limit attacks with good angling and strong stick detail. His retrievals are also efficient, gathering pucks quickly and making good scans to identify his threats and find an open teammate for zone exits. He will be able to chip in offensively as he can find seams to exploit with his passes or shot and can join the rush as a late option.
U18 AAA Rankings
Micah Della Croce (Guelph Jr. Gryphons): A great leader for his team through his effort and 200 foot game. He is responsible in his own zone where he supports his defensemen well and makes good small area plays to get pucks out. Off the forecheck, he is often the first man in and routinely wins his 50/50 battles or creates turnovers. This allows him to then showcase his offensive ability with good hands by the net an ability to score.
A big shakeup in the middle of the pack shows just how close each edition of the Rankings can be.
Players to Watch
Easton Lynds (Peterborough Minor Petes): Demonstrates an impressive playing style, excelling along the boards with a consistent ability to win puck battles. He is an adept skater whose determination is evident in all three zones. Lynds seamlessly blends offensive prowess with defensive responsibilities, making him a versatile two-way player. Moreover, his gritty playing style reflects resilience and a strategic approach, coupled with a sense of pride in executing the little things. With 12 goals in his last 10 league games he has become one of the most feared scorers in the Eastern Conference.
Trent Gates (Halton Hurricanes): A consistently prolific offensive performer, Gates maintains a steady scoring pace and demonstrates effective two-way play. Possessing keen vision, he stands out for his exceptional effectiveness on the powerplay. His adept puck pursuit, along with strategic use of his size and a tenacious playing style, enables him to play with an edge. Notably skilled in making plays and adept at protecting the puck, he brings a multifaceted approach to the game.