Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic: Top-20 Performers

The annual Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic proved to be a wildly entertaining tournament, as a jaw-dropping 60 minor midget teams came together in the Greater Toronto Area in order to generate one weekend of remarkable hockey.

In the end, it was the highly touted Don Mills Flyers who defeated the surging Toronto Nationals in overtime — a championship game riddled with drama yet defined by its elite-level skill and ability. Present within this contest were a number of the tournament’s top-performers, otherwise known as contestants whose contributions were crucial to the success of their teams throughout the tournament.

However, given the immense size of the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, it goes without saying that a number of the tournaments top-performers did not progress into later rounds of the event — missing out on highly valuable exposure in the process. So, in order to create an equal playing field of exposure so-to-speak, let’s take a moment to review 20 of the Holiday Classic’s top-performers regardless of their team’s outcome in the event.

The Top-20 Performers

Listed below in alphabetical order are our top-20 performers from the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic Tournament. Featured within this list is a handful of goaltenders who have continued to impress this season, as well as a number of highly touted prospects who have been overlooked at times this season due to their lack of proximity to the GTA.

Robert Andreakos Jr.

2018-19 Team: Mississauga Reps (GTHL)

The Mississauga Reps have been on fire of late in the GTHL, and carried their impressive play directly into the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic. Despite being situated within a tough group, the Reps — led by the stellar netminding of Robert Andreakos Jr. — enjoyed one of their best tournament performances thus far this season.

All throughout their round robin games and into elimination play, Andreakos Jr. was incredibly impressive. Peppered with shots and tested by high quality scoring chances, Andreakos Jr. remained calm and composed in-goal and afforded his team with an opportunity to win each and every game they competed in. One of the top goaltenders eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft, Andreakos Jr.’s performance at the Marlboros Holiday Classic strengthened his draft stock — to say the least.

Patrick Boivin

2018-19 Team: Sudbury Wolves (GNML)

Patrick Boivin of the Sudbury Wolves has been not only consistent but seemingly impenetrable in-goal this season. Although he isn’t the largest goaltender eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft, Boivin has continued to prove himself as one of the smartest, athletic, and most capable.

Despite rotating assignments at the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, Boivin shone bright when his turn came to tend the crease. A tireless competitor, Boivin worked hard to maintain his vision of the puck throughout the tournament and made a number of difficult saves look remarkably simple as a direct result. Although his Wolves fell to Gentry Galaxy in the Sweet-16, Boivin’s play impressed in a number of forms.

Brandt Clarke

2018-19 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)

The gap between Shane Wright and Brandt Clarke for selection as the first overall pick in the 2019 OHL Draft may not be as wide as originally thought. All throughout the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, Clarke was a dominant presence — displaying his high-end skill set at both ends of the ice with impressive consistency.

Poised and controlled in his own zone and a pillar of stability within Don Mills’ roster, Clarke’s play at both ends of the ice proved critical to the Flyers’ success throughout the tournament. A threat to score owing to his shot from the point and a terrific playmaker to boot, Clarke’s role and importance to Don Mills’s success was on full display throughout the event — a reality which should come as no surprise to his teammates and those who have watched Clarke play this season.

Nolan Dann

2018-19 Team: Toronto Red Wings (GTHL)

Similar to the Toronto Red Wings, Nolan Dann’s play has improved dramatically over the course of the 2018-19 season. An important depth player to begin the campaign, Dann has quickly progressed into a viable offensive threat for the Red Wings of late — and proved to be exactly that throughout the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic.

A tireless skater with speed to burn, Dann displayed his remarkable skating abilities throughout the tournament and became a lethal offensive force as a direct result. Not afraid to charge the puck to the goal or battle for possession in the dirty areas of the ice, Dann’s improving offensive game and output throughout the Holiday Classic added an extra dimension of depth to an already potent Red Wings roster.

Ethan Del Mastro

2018-19 Team: Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)

Despite a loss to the Gentry Galaxy in the quarter-finals of their Holiday Classic Tournament, the Toronto Marlboros are a perennial powerhouse in minor midget hockey who must continue to be viewed as a wildly potent force. One particular facet of the Marlboros’ successful play this season has been the team’s defence core — led by an emerging stud in Ethan Del Mastro.

All throughout the Holiday Classic Tournament Del Mastro was a devastatingly effective defender for the Marlboros, using his size to punish opposing forwards in his defensive zone while maximizing his hockey sense and natural offensive abilities in order to play a key two-way role. Of OHL size, Del Mastro displayed the intelligence and innate abilities necessary to be made a first round selection in the upcoming 2019 OHL Priority Selection.

Ranvir Gill

2018-19 Team: Ottawa Jr. Senators (HEO)

The Ottawa Ambassadors fell to the Toronto Nationals in the quarter-finals of the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, yet the team’s play throughout the event was incredibly impressive. Boasting elite offensive skill, sturdy defenders, and capable goaltenders, the Ambassadors’ inclusion in the event provided scouts with an excellent opportunity to see the very best players which the Ottawa region has to offer.

One of the most impressive and consistent members of the Ambassadors in the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic was defenceman Ranvir Gill — an excellent two-way defender who boasts a fluid skating stride and the instincts necessary to strive at the OHL-level. What’s more is that Gill features impressive size in addition to his skating abilities — a reality which allows him to maneuver throughout the ice with ease while impacting each and every game in all three zones.

Dylan Hudon

2018-19 Team: Guelph Jr. Gryphons (SCTA)

The Guelph Jr. Gryphons fell to the Toronto Marlboros in the Holiday Classic’s Round-of-16 — an outcome which overshadowed an impressive tournament showing for the SCTA standout. Throughout the Gryphons’ five games played in the event, one player who continued to impress based on his never-ending work-ethic alone was forward Dylan Hudon.

While Hudon is a player of a smaller stature considering his 5-foot-7 frame, the youngster played a game much bigger than his body would indicate — utilizing his lightning-quick speed in order to generate offensive opportunities and attacking zone time for his team. Although his efforts were not always rewarded on the scoresheet this tournament, Hudon’s seemingly tireless drive and confidence with the puck spoke volumes with regards to his future in hockey.

Braedon Kressler

2018-19 Team: Mississauga Senators (GTHL)

The Mississauga Senators were a pleasant surprise in the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, forcing their way past a number of incredibly talented teams en route to a Round-of-16 appearance. Although the Senators ultimately fell to the Whitby Wildcats, the team’s persistence and commitment to team defence should bode well as they embark upon the remainder of their GTHL season.

One player who has continued to impress for the Senators, however, is forward Braedon Kressler. In the GTHL and more recently during the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, Kressler has proven to be a determined and creative offensive player who can not only score goals but secure his own zone as well. This comprehensive style of play has continued to bode well for Kressler’s value ahead of the 2019 OHL Draft, as he could very well be chosen within the first round based on his skating, shot release, and competitiveness alone.

Connor Lockhart

2018-19 Team: Kanata Lasers (HEO)

There’s a reason why Connor Lockhart could be chosen within the top-ten of this year’s OHL Draft. Although of average size, Lockhart is a dynamic offensive presence who can not only shoot the puck but play-make as well. An excellent skater of ample agility who can traverse the ice with ease, Lockhart is an aggressive force who will take the ice given to him and create lethal opportunities when provided with excess time and space.

So, to no surprise, Lockhart was absolutely dominant as a member of the Ottawa Ambassadors throughout the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic. As aggressive as ever and constantly in attack-mode, Lockhart drove the puck to the net with confidence while standing as a potent playmaker as well. Lockhart’s most impressive goal of the entire tournament may have come against Red Wings goaltender Joshua Rosenzweig, who he beat high to the glove side for an emphatic goal.

Chaz Lucius

2018-19 Team: Gentry Academy (NAPHL)

The Gentry Galaxy were an absolute pleasure to watch throughout the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, as the team brought eye-watering speed, skill, and creativity to each and every game they played. Unfortunately, Gentry’s impressive run would come to an end at the hand of the eventual tournament-champion Don Mills Flyers — who defeated the Galaxy by a score of 3-2 in their semi-final clash.

Leading the way throughout the tournament for Gentry was star-forward Chaz Lucius — a University of Minnesota commit who has excelled everywhere he has played thus far this season. Having scored 39 goals and 62 points in just 13 NAPHL games played this year, it came as no surprise to see Lucius lead his team offensively during the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic — utilizing his spectacular shot and on-ice vision to generate devastating opportunities for his team.

Samuel Moncada

2018-19 Team: Toronto Nationals (GTHL)

If OHL scouts and managers can look past Samuel Moncada’s average height, they’ll be able to nab an incredibly dynamic and capable goaltender in the upcoming 2019 OHL Draft. Although he only stands 5-foot-9, Moncada has proven time and time again to be one of this year’s best netminders owing to his unparalleled athleticism, flexibility, and sheer determination to halt opposing shooters.

In the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic Moncada was absolutely brilliant, and may have singlehandedly led his Toronto Nationals to a berth in the championship game. Battling a league-foe in the Don Mills Flyers in the final game, Moncada stood as a impenetrable wall in his crease — regularly making highlight-reel saves with apparent ease in order to stymie the Flyers’ devastating offensive attack, a very rare achievement considering Don Mills’ lethality.

Deven Nagra

2018-19 Team: Toronto Nationals (GTHL)

The Toronto Nationals could very well boast the most OHL-ready defence-core of any minor midget team in North America. In fact, of their top-four defenders, two are already committed to NCAA programs while the other two — Deven Nagra and Owen Forester — could do the same rather easily given their consistently impressive play and abilities.

Of these four incredibly diverse defenders, one who stood out throughout the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic was Nagra — a sizeable defenceman who skates incredibly well and can play a crucial role at both ends of the ice. Remarkably strong and sturdy on his skates, Nagra is a stellar transitional player who can outlet the puck to his forwards or lead the rush himself. Punishing on opposing forwards and relied upon to play in all situations, Nagra’s versatility and consistency shone bright en route to his team’s championship clash with Don Mills.

Joshua Orrico

2018-19 Team: Toronto Red Wings (GTHL)

The Toronto Red Wings received a massive boost when defenceman Joshua Orrico returned to their lineup. An incredibly intelligent and agile defender who processes the game before him at an elite-level, Orrico’s presence on the Red Wings’ blue line has added an extra level of depth to what is an already impressive Toronto roster.

As the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic progressed, Orrico continued to establish himself as a dynamic two-way defender — and one who prioritizes his own zone before adding himself to the mix offensively. A tremendous skater who is calm and poised while in possession of the puck, Orrico’s play for the Red Wings throughout the Holiday Classic allowed his forwards to facilitate offensive opportunities with greater ease given the newfound stability present within their own zone.

Cole Patey

2018-19 Team: North Central Predators (ETA)

The North Central Predators posted a perfect 4-0 record in round-robin play during the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, yet ultimately fell to the Toronto Nationals by a score of 8-0 in the round-of-16. One particular driving force behind the Predators’ success in the Holiday Classic, however, came as a direct result of forward Cole Patey’s presence.

Of solid size and impressive skating abilities, Patey stood as a persistent threat throughout the tournament and one capable of altering the course of any given game in a split-second. The individual facets of Patey’s game which proved to be most notable were the youngster’s shot release as well as his confidence with the puck. Willing to drive the puck to the net or attempt a flashy one-on-one play, Patey’s offensive versatility was crucial to the Predators’ play despite their sudden elimination at the hands of the Nationals.

Declan Ride

2018-19 Team: Toronto Nationals (GTHL)

Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing close to 200-pounds at the young age of 15-years, Declan Ride is one of minor midget hockey’s most intimidating defencemen. However, Ride is much more than simply a physically dominating presence, as the Miami University at Ohio commit has quickly become one of the 2019 OHL Draft’s most complete and confident defenders.

Unlike most defenders of his size, Ride skates incredibly well and has come to be defined by his smooth and fluid stride. It was this stride which Ride put on full display throughout the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, as the native of Toronto, Ontario utilized his strength, long-reach, and remarkable composure in order to dismantle plays devised by his opposition while regularly shutting down his highly skilled attackers with a level of consistency rarely seen in the game today.

Stuart Rolofs

2018-19 Team: Kanata Lasers (HEO)

Power-forwards who can skate incredibly well have long been sought after within the hockey world — a major reason why Stuart Rolofs of the Kanata Lasers will be a wildly attractive asset come the 2019 OHL Draft. Boasting immense size alongside a fluid stride and innate offensive instincts, Rolofs is an OHL-ready forward whose game should translate to the major-junior-level with relative ease.

During the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, Rolofs put this exact skill-set on display as a member of the Ottawa Ambassadors. Playing largely alongside Connor Lockhart, Rolofs commanded the ice and possession of the puck owing to his size, while his natural offensive instincts and versatility allowed him to stand as a persistent and productive threat for the Ambassadors.

Joshua Rosenzweig

2018-19 Team: Toronto Red Wings (GTHL)

Although the Toronto Red Wings fell to the Don Mills Flyers in the round-of-16 at the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, the team which started its 2018-19 season somewhat slowly once again took significant strides in its development. Far more confident and composed with the puck than ever before, the Red Wings have steadily progressed into a legitimate force capable of competing and defeating stern competition on a nightly basis.

One major key to the Red Wings’ turnaround this season — and their play in the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, too — has been the play of goaltender Joshua Rosenzweig. Fiercely competitive and technically sound, Rosenzweig features excellent lateral movement within his crease and is seemingly unbeatable in the lower-half of his goal. A superb puck-handler to boot who can feed his team’s dynamic offence, Rosenzweig continues to prove himself as one of the top netminders eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft.

Brendan Sirizzotti

2018-19 Team: Whitby Wildcats (ETA)

Speed is the name of the game for Whitby Wildcats forward Brendan Sirizzotti, whose blazing wheels and exceptional puck-handling skills have combined to make him a lethal offensive force within the ETA and beyond this season. Most recently, Sirizzotti’s game was on full display throughout the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic, as the youngster’s tireless engine helped to drive the Wildcats and their offence to the semi-finals.

Although Whitby would ultimately be eliminated by the Toronto Nationals, Sirizzotti’s electric play and general contributions to his team’s success throughout the tournament cannot be understated. Persistent in his pursuit of the puck and remarkably creative once in possession, Sirizzotti’s quick feet and purposeful hands will allow the youngster to one-day transition to the OHL-level with relative ease.

Chase Stillman

2018-19 Team: Sudbury Wolves (GNML)

The Sudbury Wolves of the GNML boast a number of remarkably talented prospects, with one of the most notable of all being Chase Stillman. The son of former NHL star Cory Stillman, Chase is a direct and purposeful winger who features lightning-quick hands and speed to burn.

Although the Wolves were eliminated in the round-of-16 by the Gentry Galaxy, Stillman displayed the impressive skill-set which earned his commitment to Providence College all throughout the Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic. An incredibly confident player despite his age who is sure of his abilities, Stillman plays a professional-brand of hockey defined by its consistency lethality. While he may not be the most flashy player on the ice, Stillman has regularly proven to be one of its most effective and productive.

Shane Wright

2018-19 Team: Don Mills Flyers (GTHL)

The top prospect eligible for the 2019 OHL Draft shone bright once again this weekend, driving the Don Mills Flyers to a Toronto Marlboros Holiday Classic championship alongside tournament MVP honours. To little surprise, Wright was nothing other than dominant in his eight total games played at the Holiday Classic — leading the Flyers’ offence while playing a crucial role within his own zone as well as on the penalty kill.

What’s more is that Wright has proven time and time again to be unfazed by the situations or pressures before him. Confident and composed, Wright played a key role on Don Mills’ penalty kill in the championship game and was relied upon to get the job done for his team once the final contest headed to overtime. And, to little surprise, Wright did not disappoint — notching the tournament-winning tally while further solidifying his draft stock in the process.

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