Chatham-Kent’s Top 10 Hockey Prospects: 1-5
These athletes are most likely to move to the next level. In some cases, that step will happen next season. Here are CKSN’s Top Five Chatham-Kent Hockey Prospects:
5. Steven Beenackers – A tall, rangy, two-way forward, Beenackers found himself last season on the Chatham Maroons bottom line, without an opportunity to play in key moments. This season, the Owen Sound Attack draft pick is playing prime time minutes with the Lambton Shores Predators, and has emerged as their leading scorer. He represented the Predators at the GOJHL’s Top Prospects game and was producing more than a point per game for much of the season. Beenackers has the potential to break into the OHL as an 18-year-old, or could remain in Junior B and examine the college route. If he’s back in Junior B next year, he will dominate.
4. James McEwan – The most explosive forward of his age group in Chatham-Kent, McEwan won a spot on the Chatham Maroons Junior B roster as an underager. The Guelph Storm prospect was behind an all-star forward corps in Chatham much of the season, but was a consistent offensive contributor, and even received a four game OHL call up to Guelph midseason. He will have his chance to take a larger role next season with the Maroons if he’s unable to stick with Guelph.
3. Brady Campbell – Made our initial list when playing Junior B in Elmira. An electric scorer, Campbell, a Blenheim product, is playing in his freshman season with the NCAA’s University of Maine Blackbears. Although he isn’t receiving a lot of ice time, the NCAA allows for gradual development, with many of the NHL’s top prospects recently coming from University programs. Campbell was named an OHA top prospect, meaning the league identified him as a player capable of making the professional ranks.
2. Kyle Hope – Versatile and tough. Hope isn’t your typical enforcer, but he will add edge to whatever team he suits up for next, without being a defensive liability, and with the upside to provide offense. Playing for the Owen Sound Attack, the Blenheim native could jump into a lower level pro league if he so chooses next year following his OHL career. A Vancouver Canucks main camp invite this offseason was a feather in his cap, attended New York Rangers rookie camp the year prior, and he’ll likely head to another NHL camp this year.
1. Travis Konecny – Dynamic. A game changer. Konecny was the OHL rookie of the month to start his career after going 1st overall to the Ottawa 67s. He’ll undoubtedly shine in the OHL until his NHL draft year, where Konecny pegs as a guaranteed first round NHL pick. His talent will not be overlooked by NHL scouts, meaning the Clachan product, and Chatham-Kent Cyclones alumni has nowhere to go but up. A removed Chatham-Kent skater, after moving to Elgin-Middlesex, Konecny is a ways off, but disaster would have to strike to derail this blue chip prospect.