2023 OHL Priority Selection: 7 Biggest Risers After The OHL Cup

2023 OHL Priority Selection: 7 Biggest Risers After The OHL Cup

On Monday, the 2023 OHL Cup Championship Final will occur at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The Toronto Jr. Canadiens will suit up against the Vaughan Kings, where scouts from all over the country will attend to evaluate this crop of U16 players. 

Last week, the Erie Otters won the draft lottery and secured the first overall selection. Many believe Ryan Roobroeck will be the first name called at the end of the month, as he is ranked first on Elite Prospects OHL Draft rankings. However, there is some pushback to this, as an Ontario regional scout says that he was “pretty much invisible in this tournament.”


“What I didn’t like about his game was his decision-making, he was trying to make a lot of low-percentage plays and turning the puck over a lot. He will shoot it from literally anywhere, and for the most part at this tournament, he wasn’t able to get inside so he was shooting mostly from the outside,” the scout said. “The skill and the shot are there, the tools to be a high producing forward in the OHL are there.”

One tournament should not define a young player’s career, and plummet their draft stock. Personally, let’s assume that Roobroeck ends up going first, and use this article to define seven players who have seen their value rise in the past few weeks.


Matthew Schaefer – Halton Hurricanes U16AAA

Schaefer is currently ranked at third overall by Elite Prospects, and there is reason to believe that he can push for the second spot, despite the Marlboros exiting the tournament in the quarter-finals.

The Hamilton native is the biggest challenger for overtaking Roobroeck, and that is backed up by a solid performance in this tournament. The blueliner scored 15 goals and 32 points in 25 games for the Hurricanes and produced 4 points in 4 games as the team was eliminated in the quarter-finals. 

via @OntarioHockeyLeague on Twitter

“He has solidified himself as the potential 1st overall pick, as he possesses the strongest skating of any defender in this draft class by far,” the scout said. “Just the way he directs play on both ends of the ice, mixed with his confidence and his vision is phenomenal. I see him quarterbacking an OHL powerplay next season, but his defensive abilities shouldn’t be undermined either.”


Brady Martin – Waterloo Wolves U16AAA

The Elmira native is eligible for the 2025 NHL Draft and has steadily improved his skillset in two years with the Wolves. After scoring 21 goals and 42 in 27 games in the 2021-22 season, he managed to improve his totals to 27 goals and 56 points in 23 games played this season.

After playing in limited minutes in last year’s tournament as a rookie, he learned from that experience and elevated his game to a whole new level. He has 8 goals and 12 points through 6 games, from the preliminary round to their defeat in the semi-finals.

via @OntarioHockeyLeague on Twitter

“In my opinion, he solidified his projection as a top 3 pick,” the scout said. “He has a game that translates very well to the next level, he doesn’t rely on his hands to get to the net, and he has a great combination of skill & physicality”

Currently ranked fifth in the Elite Prospects draft rankings, there’s a solid case that he will be selected earlier after his performance in this tournament.


William Moore – Toronto Marlboros U16AAA

Last season, Moore played for the Mississauga Senators and had a terrific performance through seven outings for the team. He scored 7 goals and 11 points in 7 games as a 16-year-old, and that has elevated his draft position for this year.

He is currently ranked third overall by Elite Prospects, and there is reason to believe that he can push for the second spot, despite the Marlboros exiting the tournament in the quarter-finals. However, a huge factor is if he decides to head to the USA National Team Development Program (NTDP), which will impact how teams view him. Chase Allen, a regional scout with Puck Preps, displays some of his tracking of Moore. He excels at generating dangerous passes, in terms of attempts and completions, and is above replacement level at generating takeaways in the neutral zone.

Via @ChaseAllen03 on Twitter

“He has unbelievable offensive awareness and he seems to beat defenders constantly with ease. He just dominates in the offensive zone, able to hit his teammates with a pass in really difficult situations,” the scout said on Moore’s game.

Caden Taylor – Mississauga Senators U16AAA

Now, we’re into the next tier of prospects in this draft class. The three players above have a case to be selected within the top three and overtake Roobroeck, but these next four are in the tier below. They have steadily improved and gone from second round status, into the first round conversation.

via @OntarioHockeyLeague on Twitter

Taylor is a 6’2 forward that plays at his best when the puck is on his stick. The Shanty Bay native dominated as a returnee in this tournament, scoring 4 goals and 10 points in 4 games. He played for the Jr. Canadiens last year in limited minutes, as they were a strongly built team.

A few scouts believe that he has put himself into the top 10 conversation. For context, Taylor came into this tournament ranked 31st on Elite Prospects draft rankings. It’s with certainty that he will be among the names selected in the top 20 and has raised his stock the most out of any player in this range.


Parker Snelgrove – London Jr. Knights U16AAA

The London native is another example of a player rising to the occasion, and excelling after being bumped from the U15 program last season. He generated 11 goals and 45 points in 29 games in the Alliance U16 league in the regular season and had 10 points in 8 playoff games for the team.

via @OntarioHockeyLeague on Twitter

During the tournament, he gave London a chance to win in every game, by scoring 6 points in 5 games. Looking at the clip above, Snelgrove assisted on the overtime winner to help propel the team over Owen Sound to advance to the quarter-finals. His patience to draw in the two Attack players, be deceptive with his puck movement, and spot Aidan Young in one sequence showcases the type of game that he plays. He creates space for his teammates while being a scoring threat himself.

Snelgrove came into this tournament ranked 35th on the Elite Prospects draft rankings, and has moved himself up to the top 20 conversation.

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William McFadden – Peterborough Petes U16AAA

The 16-year-old produced exceptional results in the ETAHL U16 league, scoring 41 goals and 82 points over 36 games this season. In terms of his playoff run with the Petes, he scored 11 goals and 18 points in 8 games and was confident heading into this tournament.

via @PuckPrepsON on Twitter

When it came to his performance in the OHL Cup, he scored 4 goals and 9 points in 6 games to help guide the Petes to the semi-finals, where they were defeated by the Kings in a tightly contested matchup. Looking at the clip above, McFadden finds open space above the slot, and scores on a hard wrist shot that cleanly beats the goaltender. His shot is already ready for the OHL level, and his offensive awareness will help him find open shooting lanes.

Nolan Jackson – Barrie Colts U18 AAA

The Barrie native is a 6’1 blueliner that’s skillset will entice a lot of teams, as he is physically ready to play in the OHL. He played large minutes on a struggling Colts squad that was eliminated in the quarter-finals, but that isn’t indicative of his individual tools. He spent time in the U16 and U18 programs and produced 2 goals and 3 points in 3 games playing above his age group.

via @NHLChiasson on Twitter

As Chiasson mentioned above, his skating is slated to be around league average for the OHL level. Another Ontario regional scout believes that Jackson should be considered a “higher end pick” He is ranked 46th on the Elite Prospects rankings, and has certainly moved up after this performance.

Looking at some names to watch for in the OHL Cup Championship Final, there are plenty of names that can find themselves bumping up in the draft rankings. That includes Torontos’ Luca Romano, Nico Addy & Jake O’Brien, who are currently projected to be late first round selections in the summer.

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