After last week’s second version of the Mock Draft for 2013, Prospect Tracker is going to switch things up a bit and take a look at the early candidates for top selections in the 2014 draft, which is going to be another good one (although just wait till you see the list of players coming in 2015…wow!) There’s more than just Jeremy Noble available. There was a huge group of defenders in last year’s draft and there are plenty more coming this year, but 2014 is shaping up as a draft that’s mostly about the offence. At the top, of course, will be yet another potential franchise offensive player to follow in the footsteps of Mark Matthews and Logan Schuss (our projected #1 for this year). Jeremy Noble is a special player. Whoever gets his brother Jason this September (we’re betting on Minnesota at #2) will have extra incentive to go after the top pick next year, to reunite the twins. Still wondering why the Swarm are continuing to stockpile picks?
Jeremy Noble, RF, Orangeville Northmen and U. of Denver
Noble is a heart and soul player with a ton of talent. A natural leader who makes everyone around him better. The only knock on him is that he’s 5′9”, but forget about that. It doesn’t matter. He’s good enough that his height is irrelevant. Noble scored 6 points a game in his final junior season as he led the Northmen to their third Minto Cup in five years. And besides his talent and leadership, he’s a character person. The kind of player you can build a team around.
Ben MacIntosh, RF/T, Maple Ridge Burrards and Drexel
The third of the Coquitlam Big Four to hit the draft in consecutive years (after Matthew Dinsdale and Robert Church and ahead of Wesley Berg), McIntosh is an elite scorer who can play a transition role and has a history of winning. He’s scored 24 points in 9 games as a rookie with Maple Ridge this year and should only get better with more Senior A seasoning before next year’s draft.
Cody Bremner, LF, Nanaimo Timbermen and Cornell
50 goals and 65 assists for 115 points in 30 games over the last two seasons with Nanaimo show that Bremner has already established himself as a legitimate scoring threat in the WLA. The fact that he’s a lefty certainly helps raise his allure level for the pro teams. Bremner should be a sure-fire first rounder and could go as high as second.
Mark Cockerton, LF, Whitby Warriors and Virginia
Cockerton has some of the best hands in the draft. His sick stick skills make him a threat from anywhere in the offensive zone. He twice scored more than 40 goals in Junior A and probably would have all at least once more had he played full seasons.
Robert Hope, RD, Peterborough Lakers and Pfeiffer
When you watch Hope play, the first thing you notice may well be his rather awkward running style. The next thing, though, will probably be how solid a defender he is as a rookie in MSL. Hope was an outstanding junior defender and has improved by leaps and bounds through his first season with the senior Lakers. And as for the running style—Thursday night he kept up stride for stride on a long run covering the fleet Kedoh Hill, so while it may look weird it gets him where he needs to go.
Kyle Aquin, LF, Brooklin Redmen and RIT
Joined the Oakville Rock for this MSL season without a lot of fanfare and made an immediate impression with his shooting. Enough of an impression that the Redmen demanded he be part of the trade when they sent the rights to Adam Jones and Nick Rose to the Rock for the rights to Jesse Guerin and Shayne Jackson. Aquin has 19 goals in 15 games between the two teams this summer.
Eli McClaughlin, LF, New Westminster Salmonbellies
Yet another talented lefty forward in a draft that is loaded with them. McClaughlin, who was traded from Delta at the deadline this year, led the BCJALL with 60 goals and totalled 103 points. He’s followed that up with 9 goals and 5 assists in four playoff games so far.
Matt Crough, RF, Peterborough Lakers and Dowling
A sniper with quick feet and great hands, Crough scored 154 goals in four junior seasons and has followed that up with 18 goals in 19 games in the MSL. Crough doesn’t get a ton of floor time or touches with the Lakers’ veteran right side, but he never complains and just makes the most of the chances he gets. Will be a nice depth addition with a positive attitude for whoever grabs him.
Mike Triolo, RF, Brooklin Redmen and Pfeiffer
Triolo bounced around his last year in junior and felt the pressure to score goals for the teams that acquired him. He’s loving his role with the Redmen, which is to use his huge body (6′8”, 215 pounds) to open up space for his talented teammates and bury chances when he gets them. He’s chipped in 8 goals and 19 assists for 27 points in 19 games.
Dan Keane, RF, Brampton Excelsiors and Delaware
Three straight 70-plus-point seasons in Junior A show that he’s a solid complementary scoring threat and set up man who can shoot some too.
Dan Lintner, RF, Whitby Warriors and Cornell
In five seasons of Junior A lacrosse, Lintner has put up the following goal totals: 33, 38, 54, 49, 50. That’s enough to make it clear that the kid can score, which is always a valuable asset.
Mike Melynchenko, LF, Brooklin Redmen and Chestnut Hill
Athletic and shifty, Melnychenko has been a nice addition to the Brooklin offence with 16 goals in 17 games. He’ll need to develop other aspects of his game over the next year, but so far he’s shown the potential to play a bigger role down the road.
Todd Nakasuji, LF, Oakville Buzz and Limestone
It’s always hard to tell how Junior B stats will translate to the higher levels of the sport, but Nakasuji appears to have a chance to grow his game. He’s scored 50 goals and 56 assists for 106 points in 24 games over three seasons with the Buzz and has added 59 points in 19 playoff games. He’s small but quick and while his more likely future is CLax, the waterbug type could land a look from someone intrigued by his raw talent.
Warren Hill, G, Six Nations Arrows
Hill was the top goalie in OLA Junior A in 2012 and had another strong season in 2013, even if it wasn’t quite as consistent as the summer before. He went 8-2 with an 8.16 goals against average this summer. Hill makes the saves he’s expected to make and plenty of saves that take your breath away. He’s an acrobatic goalie that will need to continue refining his positioning to make the transition to the pro game. A good prospect for a team that needs a solid backup now who can develop into a future starter.
Don Alton, G, Six Nations Arrows
Alton is generally considered the best backup in the league, but he’s mostly split time with Hill and outshone his teammate this summer. In two seasons, Alton has posted an 18-1 record and 6.43 goals against average. This year, he led the league by a wide margin, allowing only 5.81 goals per game in winning 9 of his 10 decisions.
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