Meet Team Cherry


Team Cherry claimed victory last year in Quebec City and looks to follow suit in Guelph on Thursday with a talent-laden roster that includes Halifax Mooseheads star Filip Zadina, highly touted defenceman Evan Bouchard of the London Knights and high-scoring forward Barrett Hayton of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. Don Cherry will man the bench in the 23rd edition of the Sherwin-Williams CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game with the following lineup:

(G) JACOB INGHAM – Mississauga Steelheads (OHL) [3]

Ingham describes himself as:  Athletic, Competitive, Focused, Agile, Driven

NHL Central Scouting says:  Pro size goalie with excellent quickness and athletic ability – solid competitor with very good work habits – strong legs for efficientt east/west lateral movement –  good quickness getting from post to post – strong on the post to prevent wrap around attempts – very strong technical approach – exhibits a solid stance and plays with authority – overall very good net coverage and good angle play – quick to snap and extend his pads to protect the low corners and also seals the ice and five hole – smart reading the cross ice or back door play.

(G) OLIVIER RODRIGUE – Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) [2]

Rodrigue describes himself as: Calm, In Control, Quick, Positive, Good Teammate

NHL Central Scouting says: Technically very sound approach – positional play is excellent; always gives himself a good chance by being in the proper position – solid stance and sets square to shots – excellent post retrieval – always well balanced – very composed with great focus and concentration – tracks pucks very well through traffic and smart anticipating play – crease management skills are very good – lateral movement is very controlled and well balanced – effective game corralling pucks behind the net and moving pucks – good overall rebound control – very reliable and capable to handle playing majority of games.

(D) EVAN BOUCHARD – London Knights (OHL) [5]

Bouchard describes himself as: Calm, Positive, Offensive, Intelligent, Competitive

NHL Central Scouting says: Highly intelligent defender with exceptional vision and offensive instincts – reads the play extremely well – passing ability allows him to be a constant threat in his team’s transition game – one of the top offensive defenseman in the CHL – magician-like when quarterbacking the power play – effective using a variety of shots; has an accurate one timer that needs to be respected – plays a prop style game with composure.

(D) XAVIER BOUCHARD – Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL) [41]

Bouchard describes himself as: Competitive, Hard Worker, Smart, Mobile

NHL Central Scouting says:  Effective two way defenceman who can move the puck – good transition game and looks to advance the puck quickly – handles and moves the puck well at the offensive blue line; good shot on power play – effective positioning self and uses a smart stick to puck technique in defensive zone – competes hard and employs a physical element when needed – plays against opposition’s top lines every game.

(D) NICO GROSS – Oshawa Generals (OHL) [47]

Gross describes himself as: Smart, Skilled, Competitive, Offensive, Team Player

NHL Central Scouting says:  Very sound two way defenseman – good straight away speed and has good mobility – defends smartly playing a strong positional game utilizing a good stick and body position to eliminate opposing players on the play – very good gap awareness – effective one on one game in the defensive zone with good compete and battle – plays with  poise and confidence – quick in transition; smart at reading and reacting to situations in all zones – makes good decisions with the puck under pressure finding open outlets; good game at offensive blue line.

(D) RYAN MERKLEY – Guelph Storm (OHL) [21]

Merkley describes himself as: Offensive, Competitive, Pass-First, Good Skater, Passionate

NHL Central Scouting says: Excellent skater with elusive speed and mobility – always a threat when the puck is on his stick – looks to lead or join the rush; loves to generate offensive chances – a “go to guy” to quarterback the power play – vision and play execution are exceptional – makes plays from the offensive blue line that end up on the high light reel – one of the more offensively gifted players in the draft class.

(D) RASMUS SANDIN – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) [15]

Sandin describes himself as: Smart, Useful, Competitive, Leader, Smooth

NHL Central Scouting says: First year playing in North America and acclimated himself from game one – strong and balanced skater for his size – mobility and instinctual awareness make him almost impossible to check – execution on breakouts is near perfect; quickly able to skate and think his way out of any situation – very poised and smart game handling and moving the puck in all zones – game is tailored for the modern-day NHL puck moving, puck possession defenceman.

(D) GIOVANNI VALLATI – Kitchener Rangers (OHL) [38]

Vallati describes himself as: Fast, Skilled, Gritty

NHL Central Scouting says:  Good size and skating assets-  quick and agile skater to be on top of plays / loose pucks – very good game collecting and advancing the puck up ice –  knows how to play within limits and keep plays simplified – plays a smart defense first style and has quick instincts to react effectively to make good offensive choices with the puck – composed style of play with and without the puck – very reliable and consistent game.

(C) TY DELLANDREA – Flint Firebirds (OHL) [76]

Dellandrea describes himself as: Competitive, High Energy, Quick, Skilled, Shifty

NHL Central Scouting says: Highly gifted centre with deceptive offensive abilities and instincts – possesses high end puck skills and can be very clever in one on one situations – displays good vision with the puck and can execute skilled plays in traffic – high hockey IQ and ability to anticipate the play make him an important figure on his team’s offensive attack.

(C) AIDAN DUDAS – Owen Sound Attack (OHL) [131]

Dudas describes himself as: Fast, Smart, Skilled, Tenacious, Creative

NHL Central Scouting says: Energy player who always is competing and battling on the play – heads up game with the puck, capable to make plays while being checked & willing to take the hit to make the play – plays bigger than his size and has a knack for drawing penalties – fluid skater with good speed & quickness to gain advantage on plays – good offensive hockey sense, makes the give & go plays to generate chances -great instincts to makes the most his chances & has a good finishing touch- small but very effective.

(C) ERIC FLORCHUK – Saskatoon Blades (WHL) [93]

Florchuk describes himself as: Smart, Fast, Skilled, Detailed, Smooth

NHL Central Scouting says: Good sized forward that has really taken a step this year – good size and reach asset which he utilizes effectively on plays –  more of a playmaker then a shooter right now – responsibles game away from the puck – plays and skates his position well – has solid potential as a  two way type of forward that can chip in some offence.

(C) GABRIEL FORTIER – Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL) [35]

Fortier describes himself as: Calm, Focused, Passionate, Hard Worker, Determined

NHL Central Scouting says: Excellent skater that is always in constant motion on the ice – exceptional speed to pull away on plays – creates opportunities from his speed and work ethic – smart and patient player that executes the details well and is relied on in all situations by his team – good vision and ability to make plays in tight spaces – strong compete and battle game on pucks and to the net – a valuable component to any team.

(C) BARRETT HAYTON – Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (OHL) [6]

Hayton describes himself as: Competitive, Smart, Skilled, Scorer, Playmaker

NHL Central Scoutings says: Very good offensive hockey sense – has a good puck composure game and effective at making plays at top speed – has quick hands that can mesmerize the best defensive defender – high end puck skills make him capable of being a game changer – a player you want on the ice when you need that important goal or someone to set up a scoring chance – solid competitor who never gives up on a play or puck.

(C) CAM HILLIS – Guelph Storm (OHL) [59]

Hillis describes himself as: Hockey Sense, Vision, Competitive, Skilled, Elusive

NHL Central Scouting says: Smaller dynamic skilled player – first year in OHL and plays like a veteran – very quick and powerful stride with skater – good quickness and acceleration – uses his speed as an asset on the forecheck or when reacting to a loose puck – smart player with good vision and passing skills – plays in important situations including the power play and penalty kill – good compete and battle in all areas of the ice.

(LW) VLADISLAV KOTKOV – Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL) [74]

Kotkov describes himself as: Dedicated, Shooter, Skilled, Quick Hands, Physical

NHL Central Scouting says: Good sized two way player that competes on the puck and to the net –  nice hands and puck skills to make plays with limited time and space – good offensive hockey sense; sees the ice well and has a good finishing shot – solid game below the dots and can generate offense off a strong cycle game – makes good decisions with puck to generate chances.

(C) PHILIPP KURASHEV – Quebec Remparts (QMJHL) [68]

Kurashev describes himself as: Vision, Puck Control, Shot, Passing, Shifty

NHL Central Scouting says: Skilled forward with very good vision and puck skills – very good playmaker –quick read and react game to take advantage of scoring chances – distributes the puck quickly with tape to tape passing – good skater who can make the plays at top speed – makes smart decisions with puck in all zones and shows good patience with puck under checking pressure – Swiss born and speaks four languages.

(RW) EGOR SOKOLOV – Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (QMJHL) [73]

Sokolov describes himself as: Big, Strong, Skilled, Sniper, Playmaker

NHL Central Scouting says: Good size/strength winger – very good puck skills and ability to always be open for scoring chances – good vision and playmaking abilities; decent finishing touch – strong on the puck and very good puck protection game – effective puck control game down low and along the wall – patient to make good decisions with the puck.

(RW) AKIL THOMAS – Niagara IceDogs (OHL) [10]

Thomas describes himself as: Hockey Sense, Complete, Two-Way, Skilled, Dangerous

NHL Central Scouting says:  One of purest skaters in this Draft class; has NHL speed that makes a difference on the play – plays a consummate two way game every time – consistently gives an honest effort – tenacious checker; doesn’t let up on pucks / plays -ultra quick changing gears to separate self from checks and pull away with the puck – very good puck control / movement game to go along with good offensive hockey sense – unselfish and patient game with the puck – has the hands /moves / shot to contribute offensively – high character prospect.

(C) JOE VELENO – Drummondville Voltigeurs (QMJHL) [13]

Veleno describes himself as: Competitive, Driven, Intense, Skilled, Fast

NHL Central Scouting says: Skilled offensive player with a strong work ethic – very good skater who uses his speed and quickness to create opportunities – smart player that plays both ends of the ice and supports his defense down low – composed game with puck and good vision to find open teammates – generates chances with his skating, smarts and skills – competes game in and game out – high character player who leads by example.

(C) FILIP ZADINA – Halifax Mooseheads (QMJHL) [2]

Zadina describes himself as: Very Good Skater, Shooter, Good Hockey Sense, Positive, Team Player

NHL Central Scouting says: High end skilled forward with excellent play making ability – very good vision, excellent anticipation and exceptional natural instincts to be able to be open on the play – strong puck skills; has a quick and accurate release shot and looks to shoot – exhibits good quickness and speed that makes a difference on plays – reliable and committed to playing a two way game – top five in QMJHL scoring most of the season and played for Czech Repulblic U-20 at 2018 World Junior championships.

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