Ohio's top Prospects by position
1. Josh Potts, St Ignatius. His outstanding positional play and consistency in play have moved him to the number 1 slot. Having the lowest GAA in the state does not hurt either, and that GAA is earned as well, his D is letting shots get to him, Josh is just always in position to make the saves and steers rebounds or just smothers them.
2. Nate Gay, BGHS. His size, and great positioning lead me to believe that Nate Gay could well be on his way to becoming a Conner Knapp type goalie. While his bobcats are an over all relatively weak team by Ohio Standards, and by 7 time State Champions BG's standards as well. This is good for Gay, lots of shots, averaging near 39 faced an outing I believe. Young Mr. Gay could very easily find himself shouldering his bobcats in an end of the year run, and a potential out of nowhere"upset win" of the NW Ohio Red Division. For Goalies life is trial by fire, and for Gay he is getting his, and more often than not being a hot goalie on an average team serves only make the tender better.
3. Austin Gryca, Sylvania Northview. Fell to third for one reason and one reason only. He lapsed in to his first slump. Gryca came on the scene following an exceptional tender in Craig Trego. Austin came in and wowed everyone. Sure he was a bit raw, and undisciplined, but what could expect from a kid who had only been between the pipes for two season prior. He had his angles, a sweet true hybrid style coupled with a " I ll get what ever I can in front of the puck" attitude. He earned the starting spot over a veteran back up, and took his team all the way to the state finals in his second season. He is now back on his angles and squared up and moving with the vigor I have missed. Being coach ny Jeremy Schneider has not hurt either. Jeremy takes his goalies through advanced JrA type work outs each practice pushing, teaching and enforcing all the good habits of top goalies. Gryca now has much more polished pro hybrid style. His lateral down mobility and crab are near text book, and when he uses them in games very fluid, and not as mechanical as you see in so many "camp" goalies. Gryca's got a bit of an edge to him and that suits his winning attitude. His current GAA is 3.08, from this point I would anticipate seeing that shift to a more .997 to 1.2
1. Nolan Culver, Sylvania Northview. Culver's the whole package, speed, vision, strong on the puck, gritty, a play maker and point tallier. I am not making any claims that are not those all ready written in journals. His stride is not silky smooth, but he is with out question fast, and agile and his hands keep pace. He has pro level vision and a hard shot and an outstanding back hand, both which are surgically accurate. His passes hard, and crisp. So what exactly are "they" saying about Culver?
" No question he has great speed and ability to move the puck, but what I like most is his acceleration and booming shot"USHL scout "This kid is going to be a play-maker at every level" NAHL scout " I love the kids on ice leadership" , " A great prospect with a game that is tailored for the pro’s. Ohio may well have its second hobby baker winner, if the WHL doesn't sweep him up first" NCAA Hockey East scout. "He handles the puck very well in all 3 zones, and is always making smart plays, add in that extra gear and his an ideal impact player" BCHL scout "He has the puck skills, hockey sense, physicality, and the physical frame to go all the way for a long, long time."
2. Paddy Spellacy, St. Ignatius. Spellacy's got speed and the sense and drive to score. His shot, and shooting ability are pro-style and tailored. His down side is that he tries to do it all and doesn't see the ice or developing plays. Oftentimes hes using the big dog, when he should pass. ITs an easily altered and coach able situation, that for now is working, it will not however work at the next level. He plays a high energy game, and is above the competition. I would however not be surprised nor would it be a stretch of the imagination to see Paddy leaving St. Ignatius after this season for Jr pursuits in the Tier I or II program. Young Paddy has his own following of highly interested parties, the only question is will he go or will he stay.
3. Ben Torchia, St. Francis Toledo. Torchia is a fast physical player. He is just naturally strong and I believe that more time on the weights would make him an honest beast of a player. Again we have an aggressive forward who finds the net and with his hard hitting fore-check he brings the pain to anyone and everyone who goes for the puck. A fast, smart high energy player, who never fails to finish his checks. Torchia was tagged in 2009 as a top USA born OHL prospect, he has now added the rest of the JR world to that list. One can only wonder this Golfer, yes, Golfer will do?
What are they saying about Ben? "He is willing to do anything to make a play" , "He brings energy and a relentless fore check every game" " He has a very good skill set, and with some focused off ice physical training he could easily develop and reach a very high level."
4. Aaron Both, Sylvania Northview. Aaron is the guy you need one of for every line. He plays his wing role like a text book. Never out of position, but never lacking enough creativity to get in space and finish offensively. He doesnt play risk free hockey, but more of a if your giving it, Im taking it style. This likely accounts to why tallies so many points each year. He is big, strong and again like Ben will develop to reach his physical potential at the next level. Aaron is strong fast, smooth skater with an accurate, sniping slap shot. Aaron is rock solid Tier II guy who will develop well and either land in Teir I, or the NCAA in short order. what is being said about Aaron? "I noticed him right away. He is big, has smooth long stride, good hands and a big shot"
That concludes this first installment. I will be adding defensive players and more forwards in coming weeks and talking about some of the teams as well. The objective here is get a listing of the top players. This list is not complete, as I see it positions 4-7(to be posted) are basically interchangeable, as are 8-10. Some names will be left off, I just can not rank all the boys, and that is the purpose. The purpose is to identify the top talent and track that talent and maintain a top talent list for public viewing.