Welcome to our initial scouting report of the 2023-2024 Great North Under 18 Hockey League season ahead of the 2024 Ontario Hockey League priority selections draft which is slated for April 12 and 13.
With input from various sources, following is a Top 15 list of 2008 birth players from the Great North who loom as potential draft picks at the 2024 OHL priority selections event. Players are listed by team and in no particular order.
(For the record, there were 11 players from the Great North who were OHL priority selection draft picks in 2023.)
Mason Walker, Sudbury U16 Wolves. This is one pure all around talent. Watch the Under 16 Wolves play and Walker immediately stands out. As in, right away. As in, he doesn’t go away. Still very young with a late November birth day, Walker has 22 goals through his first 30 games while playing for the only all U16 team in the seven member Great North.
Kaden Wicklander, Sudbury U16 Wolves. A point per game player, Wicklander often plays in the shadow of the above mentioned Walker. The more you watch him, the more you notice his effectiveness.
Ashton Pitawanakwat, Sudbury U16 Wolves. Already having passed the 20 goal mark, Pitawanakwat tracks the puck well, especially in the offensive end of the rink.
Edan Etheridge, Timmins Majors. Another point per game player, Etheridge is dangerous in the goal area and has those hockey smarts that simply can’t be taught.
Evan Katic, Timmins Majors. He may not be quite ready yet but there are some who feel that he will be, given his bloodlines and work ethic. There is just something about this kid that makes one want to go back and watch more tape on him. Has a late October birth date.
Logan Rivard, New Liskeard Cubs. He can score. As in light it up. He can also set up with crisp passes in the neutral and offensive zones.
Maverick Hill, New Liskeard Cubs. Perhaps not as prolific a scorer as Rivard but Hill is a point per game player with good vision.
Danny MacDonald, Soo Jr. Greyhounds. Gifted with good hands, MacDonald has been a top scorer on a Soo team that is not an offensive juggernaut.
Benjamin Brunton, North Bay Trappers. Hard not to like this kid. A puck hound and point per game player who is where he is supposed to be and does his job in all areas of the rink.
Lex Lamontagne, Kapuskasing Flyers. Plays with a definite edge as a point per game producer.
Brady Real, Soo Jr. Greyhounds. Good height, good reach, good movement. Defends his end rather well. Can put up points on the board and moves the puck well.
Cole Wreggitt, Soo Jr. Greyhounds. Stands tall, has a good offensive side and looks and plays like the elite defender that he is.
Liam Watson, Soo Jr. Greyhounds. Has speed and skill and smarts. Only size is not on his side.
Dawson Morris, Sudbury U16 Wolves. Good size, good range, nice and mobile. Handles the puck well, can put up points and plays with the right amount of nasty.
Carson Ruddy, North Bay Trappers. Good size, moves side to side quickly and effortlessly. Knows his position extremely well.
Keep in mind that this is just a preliminary list of 2008 birth year players from the Great North who could become picks at the April 12-13 OHL priority selections draft. Still ahead is Team NOHA that will participate at the OHL Cup. Also still ahead are tournaments, the rest of the regular season and the playoffs, all of which can be deciding factors for scouts and GMs.