Cyclones Offer Up Late Round OHL Prospects For 2020 Draft
One of the main issues for the Cyclones in the eyes of many scouts was the lack of exposure for the team at premiere tournaments this season.
The Cyclones did not participate in the Toronto Titans Early Bird tournament, London’s Wendy Dufton Memorial, or the Toronto Marlies Holiday Classic, which along with Silverstick and the OHL Cup are considered the top Ontario based scouting events.
“Missing all 3 tournaments did not favour this team as far as individual exposure,” said NeutralZone.net scout Derek Munroe about the evaluation of OHL Draft prospects from the 2004 Chatham-Kent Cyclones. “Scouts are in abundance and you hope for a match-up with a top team just to have that audience and give your players a chance to show.”
Munroe did point to a strong showing from the Cyclones at the less prominent Waterloo Gold Puck tournament, which saw the team advance to the semi-finals.
According to Munroe, who primarily scouts the Alliance West, the Cyclones do have a handful of noteworthy prospects including Ryan Gagner, Jacob Julien, Ayden Blain, and Alec Webster.
Julien, who was 28th in Alliance scoring with 12 goals and 29 points in 33 games, was Neutral Zone’s top rated player from the Chatham-Kent Cyclones on their midterm Ontario based players report, sitting at 183rd. Neutral Zone is one of the most respected independent scouting services across the globe.
“Julien an F1 pick-up from London made the Alliance All-Star game. He is big and lanky and has offensive upside,” Munroe said of Julien.
Tied with 29 points atop the Cyclones’ scoring leaders was fellow forward Ryan Gagner, who Munroe feels has late round potential.
“Speedy with some grit, Gagner may catch the eye of a scout or two who could use a player who has skill and could be a third or fourth-line contributor down the road,” said Munroe. “He could garner some late round interest.”
Ayden Blain is the final forward who has caught the eye of scouts for the Cyclones this season, with his 6’3″ frame drawing interest. Blain had 13 points in 31 games.
“Size and hands are hard to come by and he has great edges for his height,” said Munroe, who feels if Blain can further embrace his physicality and continue to gain strength, he could draw even more interest from higher levels next season.
On the blueline, Alec Webster is the name that has sparked interest for the Cyclones.
“Webster being right-handed will work in his favour. He is mobile and not afraid to grab open ice and has a quick release from the blue line,” said Munroe.
300 players are selected each season in the OHL Draft. Although no Cyclone is a sure thing, it is likely at least one of the group above will receive a call this April.
— With contributions from Neutral Zone. Visit NeutralZone.net for exclusive rankings and scouting reports —-
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