LC Hayden McCool | Whitby Wildcats
In a draft that could probably be considered to be a little thin on high-end forwards, Whitby’s Hayden McCool is one of the more intriguing ones available. The 6-foot-3, 185-pound center comes to Whitby after previously playing with the Clarington Toros program. McCool’s combination of physical tools and skills are matched by few in the draft. McCool is an explosive skater who can make something happen at any time. His puck handling ability and dynamic presence make him a threat to score on any shift and he also has a very good shot with a quick release.
While the package is certainly enticing, McCool’s enigmatic style of play is a bit of a red flag. Prone to disappearing anywhere from a shift to an entire game, McCool really needs to focus on bringing a more consistent presence to every game. It’s safe to say that the dynamic center certainly will be on the radar for a Top 20 pick, but McCool will need to take advantage of the rest of the season to prove that he can be the player to carry Whitby rather than a player who shows occasional flashes of his high-end potential.
LD Marcus Crawford | South Central Coyotes
Crawford is a slick skating 5-foot-11 puck moving defenseman who is also donning the ‘C’ with the Coyotes this year. If you’re looking for a polarizing prospect, Crawford may be your guy as opinions range to either extreme about what type of player he can become. Crawford is arguably the team’s best offensive weapon and appears to have free reign on the ice to skate the puck as he sees fit. Crawford has an awkward skating style but it doesn’t impact his agility and elusiveness as he generally has several rushes per game where he can sift his way through the breakout and neutral zone at will.
The skating ability is the core pillar of Crawford’s game. As a puck mover, Crawford still has a lot of room for improvement. He seems to struggle with making decisions when he has the puck and will either pass up an open lane or try to force a bad pass through a tight seam. For all of his skating ability, Crawford also struggles once he makes it to the offensive zone. His hockey sense appears to be an area of concern and may limit how effective that skating ability turns out to be. As stated, Crawford is a bit polarizing in that regard but there’s no doubting that he has some serious raw talent. Don’t be surprised to find an OHL team step up fairly early in the draft who is confident that they can develop him into a quality OHL player and potential powerplay quarterback.
G Troy Timpano | Toronto Titans
In a draft that has several strong goaltending options, it wouldn’t be a gamble at this point to say that Timpano is headlining the crop. Checking in around the 6-foot mark, Timpano doesn’t have an overwhelming stature at this point but does have a solid net presence. His technical skills are very well refined and he squares up shooters at an OHL calibre. Timpano has above average lateral ability and is fairly athletic as well which makes a lot of first saves easier for him.
The Titans’ goaltender will be well challenged this season in the GTHL as well as at Minor Midget’s top tournaments throughout the year. Timpano’s body of work thus far already has shown that he has the ability to steal games for his team and make the big save when it’s called upon him. Timpano does not have the luxury of playing behind a particularly stellar defense which makes his role even more important. Moving forward, Timpano will need to improve on his rebound control as he can be guilty of seeing pucks bounce off him a little to easy but he continues to remain on track to be one of the first 2-3 goaltenders selected come draft day.