I've made it a New Year's Resolution of mine to start scouting and creating content for some of the skilled prospects in junior hockey so without further ado, I bring you the first TNGHB post of 2023 🏒!!!
The talent pool in the 06 age group is really deep and I was impressed with a lot of guys, so it was really hard to limit this post to just 9 top CHL Rookies to Watch in 2023.
Drafted 8th overall by Oshawa in the 2022 OHL Draft, Beckett Sennecke has excelled in the first half of his rookie season as a General. Sennecke's game-breaking puck skills and stickhandling ability enables him to create space and open up the ice for quality scoring chances.
Bill Zonnon has been a human highlight reel in the QMJHL and has floated around a point/game pace for the entirety of this season with Rouyn-Noranda. What is arguably more impressive though is that 88% of those points were recorded at even strength. Look for Zonnon to continue tearing up the Q in 2023!!!
Ever since Spence has worked his way up to Erie's top line, his offensive prowess and high compete level has been a major X-factor for the Otters. Spence's elite offensive skillset and nonstop motor enables him to take over a game on any given night.
While 11 points in 29 games played doesn't scream dynamic player like some of the other statlines in this post, I can assure you Sam Dickinson is a must-watch player and future superstar in the OHL. In each viewing I've had of Dickinson, he has been one of the best players on the ice and he uses his size and smooth skating ability to impact the game both offensively and defensively.
Halfway through his rookie season with the Ice Dogs, Kevin He has been a transition machine for Niagara and is looking like one of the biggest steals of the 2022 OHL Draft. It has been a bit of a tough season for the Niagara Ice Dogs but He-Man's hot start to his OHL career should be a source of hope for Niagara fans.
Berkly Catton has proven himself as one of the best 2006-born players in the CHL tearing up both the WHL and the U17 World Hockey Challenge in dominant fashion. In addition to his phenomenal 25 points in 30 WHL games this season, Catton also torched the U17 World Hockey Challenge for 12 points in 7 games. Definitely a player to keep your eyes open for in the CHL this year!
Gavin Hodnett deserves a lot more hype for what he has been able to do in the WHL this season with Edmonton. As a 2006-born player in the WHL, Hodnett leads the Oil Kings in points with 21 points in 32 games played. Hodnett was also a point/game for Canada White at the U17 World Hockey Challenge.
Drafted 13th overall in the 2022 OHL Draft, Lucas Karmiris led Canada Black in scoring in the U17 World Hockey Challenge with 7 points in 7 games and showed flashes of brilliance in limited minutes with the Steelheads so far this season. With Mississauga's recent trades, Karmiris will likely be given a greater offensive responsibility and explode with larger minutes in 2023.
Point totals truly do not tell the story for Wheat Kings' forward Roger McQueen. Roger McQueen has one of the best offensive toolsets of any 2006-born player in my opinion and McQueen has demonstrated his ability to take over games on multiple occasions. At the U17 World Hockey Challenge, McQueen led Canada White with 4 goals and 4 assists for 8 points in 6 games. Look for Roger McQueen to rip up the WHL in 2023!
Honourable mentions would go to Porter Martone, Zayne Parekh, Henry Mews and Tij Iginla.
Are you excited about the 06 age group in the Canadian Hockey League?!