2020 OHL Draft Preview: 25 Top Prospects

With the 2019 OHL Draft complete, the time has come to turn our attention to the class of 2020.

Although the 2020 OHL Priority Selection remains nearly a year away, there is no time like the present to become acquainted with the next crop of incredibly talented major-junior prospects. And, at first glance, the upcoming class of 2004-born OHL prospects appears to be as deep and highly skilled as those who graced minor midget ice during the 2018-19 season.

However, unlike the 2003-born draft class and the exceptional Shane Wright, the 2004-born class does not feature a clear-cut top prospect. It is this fact which will surely make the 2019-20 season a wildly entertaining one, as it appears — at the moment — as though up to ten players could vie for the first overall selection come April of 2020.

Related: OHL Draft Prospect Profiles

With this being said, we’ve taken the time to profile 25 of the top 2020-OHL Draft eligible prospects set to compete throughout North America during the 2019-20 season. Now, this is by no means a ranking, but rather an informative resource to help guide your focus throughout the current offseason and into the upcoming minor midget campaign.

25 Top Prospects to Watch

Here are the top-25 prospects to watch ahead of the 2019-20 season and the 2020 OHL Draft, listed in alphabetical order.

Of the 25 prospects you will meet below, 14 of which are forwards, nine are defenders, and the remaining two are goaltenders. However, regardless of their position on the ice, all 25 of the prospects listed below have the skill and potential necessary to one day develop into elite players at the OHL-level.

Owen Beck – F

2018-19 Team: Quinte Red Devils (ETA)

Instant Analysis: A native of Port Hope, Ontario, Owen Beck stands as one of the premier goal-scorers eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft. Well-known for his lethal shot and its devastating release, Beck can pound the puck on-goal in the blink of an eye and is a consistent offensive producer. Fresh off of an eight-goal performance in the Bantam OHF Championship with Quinte, Beck could very well be chosen within the top-10 overall come April of 2020.

Lorenzo Bonaiuto – F

2018-19 Team: Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: Lorenzo Bonaiuto’s game is defined by his stellar skating abilities and speed in all three zones of the ice. Afforded with a few games of Minor Midget experience in his Bantam season, Bonaiuto features solid size and the work-ethic necessary to single-handedly drive his team’s offensive attack. As a creative playmaker who features an improving shot, Bonaiuto’s unrelenting drive makes him a handful for opposing defenders to contain on a nightly basis.

Michael Buchinger – D

2018-19 Team: Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: One of the top defencemen eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft, Michael Buchinger plays a composed two-way game and has the abilities necessary to influence the game at both ends of the ice. Although he checked in at 5-foot-9 this past season, Buchinger’s skating abilities and on-ice intelligence allow him to thrive both with and without the puck. Wildly creative and poised while in possession, Buchinger regularly devises deadly scoring opportunities for his team while prioritizing the well-being of his own zone.

Brody Crane – F

2018-19 Team: Buffalo Jr. Sabres (T1EHL)

Instant Analysis: Although he isn’t an intimidating physical force on the ice, Brody Crane instills fear in his opponents owing to his deadly his shifty skating abilities and ridiculously nasty set of mitts.

A terrific playmaker who keeps his opponents guessing given his raw creativity, Crane can draw defenders close before turning on his jets and driving wide to the goal. A capable puck-protector despite his stature, Crane has the skill-set necessary to develop into a deadly OHL player should he forgo his commitment to Penn State University.

Kocha Delic – F

2018-19 Team: Toronto Titans (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: A lethal offensive player first and foremost, Kocha Delic’s willingness to play and gritty and in-your-face style of game makes him an intriguing 2020 OHL Draft eligible prospect. In fact, alongside his four goals and 11 points in the recent OHL Bantam Championship, Delic also recorded 24 penalty minutes — a stat line which indicated his competitiveness and willingness to play a broad team role. However, Delic is most valuable when he has the puck on his stick, as the youngster boasts terrific handles and the speed necessary to keep opposing defenders off balance.

Nick De Angelis – D

2018-19 Team: Mississauga Senators (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: Defence is the name of the game for Nick De Angelis — a strong and stable two-way defender who skated for the Mississauga Senators’ Bantam squad in 2018-19. Already of impressive size, De Angelis is a smooth skater who makes crisp and confident passes to his forwards alongside his willingness to join the offensive rush. While his productivity will surely continue to improve in the years ahead, De Angelis’ mature game is something to behold given his young age.

Dominic DiVincentiis – G

2018-19 Team: Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: Arguably one of the top goaltenders eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft, Dominic DiVincentiis is an athletic and tactile netminder who patrols his crease with poise. Of improving size, DiVincentiis features impressive lateral mobility and the ability to make highlight-reel saves with remarkable consistency. Perhaps the most impressive feature of DiVincentiis’ game is his puck-tracking, as the youngster can fight through traffic and track shots extremely well — a reality which allows him to stand one step ahead of his opposition.

Tyler Duke – D

2018-19 Team: Detroit Compuware 16U (HPHL)

Instant Analysis: The younger brother of Dylan Duke — a top prospect selected by the Saginaw Spirit in the 2019 OHL Draft — Tyler Duke is a dynamic two-way defender who played alongside Dylan as a member of the Detroit Compuware U16 team in 2018-19. Despite playing against opponents much older than himself, the youngest Duke held his own with apparent ease and displayed remarkable poise and creativity for a 2004-born defender. Committed to the University of Notre Dame, Duke will certainly stand as a first-round OHL Draft talent if he spurns the NCAA for a major-junior career.

Jackson Edward – D

2018-19 Team: Richmond Hill Coyotes (ETA)

Instant Analysis: After appearing in a handful of games for the Richmond Hill Coyotes at the Minor Midget level this past season, expectations surrounding Jackson Edward are at an all-time high. Heading into his first year of OHL Draft eligibility, scouts will be watching Edward closely as he takes to the ice on a nightly basis. A strong and sturdy skater of ample confidence, Edward is regularly amongst the most intelligent players on the ice and rarely makes mistakes as a direct result.

Adam Fantilli – F

2018-19 Team: Toronto Red Wings (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: Adam Fantilli made major waves as a member of the Toronto Red Wings at the Minor Midget level this past season, playing a crucial role in his team’s run to the 2019 OHL Cup Final. In his first OHL Cup appearance, Fantilli notched five goals and seven points in his six games played and was nothing short of dominant despite his extremely young age given his December 10th, 2004 birth date.

As a powerful skater who features impressive size and agility, Fantilli can power through opposing defences with absolute ease and can control the pace of play at both ends of the ice. A tremendous back-checker and sound 200-foot player, Fantilli could very well be the top prospect eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft if he chooses to forgo the many NCAA options which will undoubtedly be sent in his direction.

Isaiah George – D

2018-19 Team: Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: A strong, powerful defenceman who can be a difference maker at both ends of the ice, Isaiah George was a constant leader for the Toronto Marlboros all year long. Named Top Defenceman at the 2019 OHF Bantam Championships, George maintains effective gap control against the opposition’s rush and is a force along the wall below the dots. With a strong stride, he can lug the puck up ice himself with authority and is dynamic along the blue line, displaying smart shot selection and an ability to get the puck through traffic.

David Goyette – F

2018-19 Team: Eastern Ontario Wild / Hawkesbury Hawks (OEBHL / HEO)

Instant Analysis: The Eastern Ontario Wild were an absolute force in the OEBHL this past campaign, playing to a perfect 30-0 record alongside a jaw-dropping +189 goal differential. One key member of the Wild’s roster was David Goyette — a shifty forward who paced his team’s offensive attack with remarkable consistency. In fact, through his 30 regular season contests in 2018-19, Goyette fired home 43 goals and collected a whopping 94 points — an indication of his lethality and consistency on the ice. As a natural playmaker and potent goal-scorer to boot, Goyette stands as one of the most talented players eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft.

Cedric Guindon – F

2018-19 Team: Eastern Ontario Wild / Rockland Nationals (OEBHL / HEO)

Instant Analysis: The only player to outscore the aforementioned David Goyette in the OEBHL this past season was teammate Cedric Guindon — a pure goal-scorer who can also devise exceptional scoring plays with apparent ease. In Guidon’s regular season play with the Wild in 2018-19, the youngster blasted home 48 goals and 48 assists for a total of 98 points — a pace which afforded him with a point-per-game mark of 3.38.

The most interesting aspect of Guindon’s stat line was his penalty minutes total. Through his 29 regular season games, Guindon took just one minor penalty — a sum which speaks to his maturity and poise on the ice regardless of the situation. With this being said, expect Guindon to dominate the HEO this coming season.

Lane Hinkley – D

2018-19 Team: Vaughan Kings (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: Despite his 2004 birth year, Lane Hinkley competed in the GTHL at the Minor Midget level in 2018-19 and did not look out of place whatsoever. Of great size and strength for a youngster, Hinkley brought a stable and composed game to the ice for the Kings on a consistent basis. Although the offensive side of his game remains a work in progress, Hinkley routinely displayed his abilities as a sound defender and proved crucial to the well-being of his team’s transition game throughout the campaign. No, Vaughan didn’t enjoy a stellar season, but Hinkley stood as a glowing bright spot within an otherwise mediocre season for the Kings. Once his offensive game begins to shine, Hinkley should develop into a sturdy two-way defender at the OHL-level for years to come.

Devin Kaplan – F

2018-19 Team: North Jersey Avalanche 16U (T1EHL)

Instant Analysis: He may be just 15-years old, but Devin Kaplan is quickly rounding into a premier power-forward. Already boasting great size at 6-foot-2 and 185-pounds, Kaplan is a dynamic offensive player who knows how to use his size to his advantage. Whether he be protecting the puck or surging up ice, Kaplan uses his frame to shield possession and overpower his opponents. What’s more is that in addition to his lethal offensive abilities — Kaplan recored 68 points in 44 games in 2018-19 — the youngster also brings a unique level of intensity to the ice. In fact, Kaplan racked up 99 PIM last season.

Zakary Lavoie – F

2018-19 Team: Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: Born and raised in Ottawa, Zakary Lavoie enjoyed a very successful first season in the GTHL with the Jr. Canadiens. A rangy forward, Lavoie is a shifty skater with elite puck skills and impressive hockey sense. As a natural goal-scorer who can devise plays as well, Lavoie stands as a dynamic and versatile offensive player capable of influencing the outcome of any given game. While his size will undoubtedly increase with time, Lavoie already loves to play an intense game and is willing to mix things up physically with his opposition when the situation demands.

Devin Mauro – F

2018-19 Team: Soo Greyhounds Bantam / Soo Thunderbirds (NOBHL / GNML)

Instant Analysis: If you’re looking for a natural and consistent goal-scorer, then Devin Mauro is your prospect. A shifty and dynamic skater with a nose for the net, Mauro features a deceptive shot release and the ability to blast pucks on-goal through traffic.

In his 24 games played with the Soo Greyhounds last season, Mauro cranked home 30 goals and 43 points before adding an additional four in the postseason. After gaining a few games of experience with the Soo Thunderbirds at the Minor Midget level, Mauro should be able to transition to the GNML with ease this coming season.

Donovan McCoy – D

2018-19 Team: Quinte Red Devils (ETA)

Instant Analysis: A strong and stable defender, Donovan McCoy stands poised for a major season in the 2019-20 campaign. Calm and composed in his own zone as well as on the offensive blue line, McCoy regularly makes intelligent decisions with the puck and is by no means prone to turnovers. What’s more is that McCoy owns a heavy shot from the point and the ability to punch the puck through traffic and onto the goal. Owing to the power of his shot, McCoy can force opposing goaltenders to create rebounds which his teammates are quick to pounce upon. While his lateral mobility could use work in the months ahead, McCoy’s strong stride and two-way skill-set combine to make him a pillar on the blue line.

Jonathan Melee – F

2018-19 Team: Eastern Ontario Wild / Rockland Nationals (OEBHL / HEO)

Instant Analysis: Jonathan Melee skated alongside both Goyette and Guindon for the Eastern Ontario Wild this past campaign, and was equally impressive as a dynamic offensive threat. In his 27 regular season games played for the Wild, Melee potted 25 goals and 60 points before tallying an additional three with the Midget Rockland Nationals. Like his teammates mentioned above, Melee is a threat to shoot the puck as well as pass it and can keep his opponents on their heels owing to his versatility. A shifty skater to boot with speed to burn, Melee’s unpredictable nature will surely make him a handful this coming season when he ascends to the next level in his development.

Ty Nelson – D

2018-19 Team: Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: Although the Toronto Jr. Canadiens didn’t enjoy a particularly successful campaign in 2018-19, Ty Nelson established himself as one of the game’s top young defenders in the process. A smooth skater who oozes confidence, Nelson can take control of the game at both ends of the ice and isn’t afraid to push the pace offensively. However, when Nelson does join or lead the rush, he is sure to back-check tirelessly in order to prioritize and secure his defensive zone. With one season of GTHL hockey at the Minor Midget level under his belt already, Nelson should return to the ice with authority in 2019-20 and play a starring role in each and every situation imaginable.

Nathan Poole – F

2018-19 Team: Oshawa Minor Generals / Oshawa Generals MM (ETA)

Instant Analysis: The Oshawa Generals Minor Midget team is shaping up to be one of the strongest in Ontario this coming season, and will be led up front by a big and strong centre by the name of Nathan Poole. A strong and stable skater who is virtually impossible to knock off of the puck, Poole has the skill-set and drive necessary to fuel his team’s offensive attack and is consistent in his ability to do so. What’s more is that Poole is a force in his own zone, frequently utilizing his strength and innate instincts in order to diffuse plays devised by his opposition before leading his team’s transition game. As a natural goal-scorer who can play-make as well, Poole’s value lays in his on-ice versatility.

Thomas Sirman – D

2018-19 Team: York Simcoe Express (ETA)

Instant Analysis: Thomas Sirman skated for the York Simcoe Express at the Minor Midget level as a 14-year-old this past season, and was simply incredible throughout. A smooth skating defenceman, Sirman collected 27 points in his 34 regular season games played before adding an additional seven points in the postseason.

Moreover, Sirman added 50 PIM — a total which indicated his extremely competitive nature and willingness to battle against older and more physically mature competition. A threat to influence the outcome of any given game at both ends of the ice, Sirman’s confidence and creative nature will allow him to develop into a premier defender in the 2019-20 season and in the years to come.

Liam Sztuska – G

2018-19 Team: Toronto Marlboros (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: Named as the OHF Bantam AAA Championship’s Top Goaltender in 2019, Liam Sztuska stands as one of the most dynamic and electrifying netminders eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft. A star for the Toronto Marlboros this past season, Sztuska is an incredibly athletic goaltender who has a knack for making timely saves when counted upon most. Quiet in his goal and sound in his positioning, Sztuska can read the play extremely well as it develops and has no issue tracking the puck as it whizzes around his zone of the ice. Further, with stellar rebound control and impressive lateral mobility, Sztuska has the skill-set necessary to shine at the Minor Midget level in 2019-20 and beyond.

Mick Thompson – F

2018-19 Team: Toronto Jr. Canadiens (GTHL)

Instant Analysis: One of the hardest-working players eligible for the 2020 OHL Draft, Mick Thompson is a tireless skater who strives to create offensive opportunities for his team with each and every passing shift. A naturally smooth skater who can navigate the ice with ease, Thompson boasts a strong and accurate wrist shot which has can fire on-goal in the blink-of-an-eye. In addition to his shot are Thompson’s innate instincts on the ice — the youngster pays close attention to his defensive zone and will use his tenacity to his advantage in order to secure possession at both ends of the ice. While greater size and strength will surely come to Thompson in the years ahead, the native of Toronto, Ontario already stands as a force to be reckoned with throughout each passing shift.

Dalyn Wakely – F

2018-19 Team: Quinte Red Devils (ETA)

Instant Analysis: Dalyn Wakely can do it all on the ice, as the youngster is a tenacious and persistent force who strives to make an impact with each passing shift. Whether he is throwing his weight around or lightning the lamp, Wakely consistently finds a way to influence the game and is widely regarded as an excellent teammate as a direct result. As a strong and sturdy skater, Wakley has the ability to protect the puck with relative ease and isn’t afraid to drop his shoulder in order to drive hard to the goal. Once established in the offensive zone, Wakely can best his opponents in a number of different manners — whether he be shooting the puck or devising high-danger scoring opportunities, Wakely’s versatility makes him an unpredictable yet endlessly potent threat to produce offensively. In short, Wakely will undoubtedly stand as one of the ETA’s top prospects throughout the 2019-20 campaign.

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