Minor midgets of the north

Randy Russon
January 5, 2018

There are, without much question, a good number of minor-midget aged youngsters who are high performance players within the Great North Midget Hockey League this 2017-2018 season.

In an effort to identify some of the top talent in the north, Hockey News North asked three head coaches from the Great North loop as well as a player personnel director from an Ontario Hockey League team and the head of an independent scouting service to provide individual lists of who they peg as the top 2002 birth-year players from the GNMHL.

Following is a priority list featuring nine forwards, four defensemen and two goalies from the Great North league as well as an honourable mention group. All are minor midget aged players with 2002 birth dates and range from probable to possible picks for the 2018 OHL priority selections draft.

Of note, players are not listed in any order of ranking and are a tally of sorts from the names provided to Hockey News North by the aforementioned group of three coaches and two scouts.

FORWARDS: David Campbell (North Bay Trappers), Jesse Kirkby (North Bay Trappers), Jack Stockfish (North Bay Trappers), Joe Jordan (North Bay Trappers), Dario Beljo (Sudbury Wolves), Hunter Brazier (Sudbury Wolves), Gavin Brown (Sudbury Wolves), Kobe Barrette (Timmins Majors), Justin Mauro (Soo Thunderbirds).

DEFENSEMEN: Pacey Schleuting (North Bay Trappers), Ben Brunette (North Bay Trappers), Ryan Maynard (Kapuskasing Flyers), Nathan Headrick (Soo Thunderbirds.)

GOALIES: Reece Proulx (North Bay Trappers), Noah Zeppa (Soo Thunderbirds.)

Schleuting, the big defenseman from North Bay, is widely regarded as the best player from the Great North ahead of the 2018 OHL draft.

It should also be noted that Headrick, the rugged defenseman from the Soo minor midgets, made the list despite the fact that he has missed much of this season due to injury.

Meanwhile, the honourable mention list is as follows.

GOALIE: Carson Boutin (Sudbury Wolves.)

DEFENSEMEN: Mateo Perri (Soo Thunderbirds), Colton Smithers (Soo Thunderbirds), Cole Goode (North Bay Trappers), Gavin Martel (Timmins Majors.)

FORWARDS: Alexandre Blais (Kapuskasing Flyers), Giordano Biondi (Sudbury Wolves), Ethan Masson (Sudbury Wolves), Michael Chaffay (Soo Thunderbirds), Nick Jameus (Soo Major Greyhounds), Nick Niro (Soo Major Greyhounds.)

PHOTO: Defenseman Pacey Schleuting of the minor midget North Bay Trappers. (Photo by North Bay Nugget.)

What you think about “Minor midgets of the north”

  1. Before we start saying who the better players are we should think about the kids .

    We all witness The Swedes player throwing his medal over the class ( he was 19)
    This was totally disrectfull , but ask yourself why ?

    How about pressure , and his life long dream of winning the gold medal ,and is desire to be successful , now look at these fifteen year old players ,who have AAA since they where twelve ,and all they think about is the draft . They are waiting to here if they made Team NOHA ,than the draft in April .
    Than they read that there coachs say these players are better ,and scouts that will not effect Team NOHA and will have very little efffect on the draft give out names .
    The OHL does not give out there draft list and they stopped having the draft where kids had to sit and wait for there names to be called for a reason .
    Coachs job is to build a winning Team ,not to give out the names of what he thinks are the better players, Scouts will ask coachs about there players ,but they ask about attitude, desire ,what they are like on and off the ice,, it’s the scout job to determine the on ice .
    I hope the players who read the results will simply say you are wrong and I will show you by doing my best And that’s all that matters .

    1. Bob, who are you to say it is not a coach’s job to give out names of who he thinks are the top players? No one who I asked for input on this story said no, all were willing to contribute to it.

  2. According to HC a coaches role
    (1) Be a Leader
    (2) Be a Teacher
    (3) Be a Role Model
    (4) Be Positive
    (5) Be Passionate

  3. Bob, you have been picking fights within the northern hockey community for decades. It’s 2018 and there are dozens of scouting and hockey sites, newspapers, etc, putting out lists. These sites and publications thank and list the contributors by name. The players are used to being identified or not identified , and comfortable being watched by as many as 100 scouts, agents and hockey professionals in a single tournament game. You are right that hopefully those not listed on these sites, will use it as motivation. On the flip side, it’s also motivational and a nice reward to see your name in print, for what it’s worth. But, don’t shoot the messanger Bob! Also, it’s not “there” it’s “their”

  4. Alan

    Sorry you have missed the point , there are lists of prospects give out by scouts

    But not lists given out by coachs ,especially during a hockey season .

    You would think most coachs would want the best for all the players ,and not centre out a few who they think are better, that’s what is wrong with our hockey .

    Do not forget it’s called “TEAM SPORT”

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