Draft Day Finally Arrives for AJHL Alumni

Four Alberta Junior Hockey League (AJHL) players from the 2019-20 season are identified in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings in preparation for the 2020 NHL Entry Draft starting today.  The list is a compilation of top prospects from all the major development leagues throughout North America and Europe.

A total of 15 players from the Canadian Junior Hockey League (CJHL) cracked the list in April with the top three ranked skaters representing the AJHL.  The top ranked skater is Sherwood Park Crusaders forward Carter Savoie at #50.  Savoie?s Sherwood Park teammate, Michael Benning, is second at #57.  The the third-ranked CJHL NHL prospect on the list, at 77, is Ethan Edwards of the Spruce Grove Saints.  Alex Young is ranked at #145 after being left off the Mid-Term Rankings in early January. 

All four AJHL ranked players participated in the 2020 CJHL Prospects Game.  In the Mid-Term Rankings prior to the 2020 CJHL Prospects Game, Carter Savoie ws listed at #53 with Michael Benning close behind at #60 and Ethan Edwards at #85 among North American skaters.   The three NHL prospects of St. Albert, AB all moved up in ranking during the final months of the season.  Young scored a pair of goals, along with two assists, to help lead Team West to a 6-4 victory at the 2020 CJHL Prospects Game in January and was named Player of the Game.

Former Okotoks Oilers forward, Dylan Holloway, played his freshman season at the University of Wisconsin in 2091-20 and was No. 12 on the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings as the highest-ranked NCAA Division I skater.

Carter Savoie, Left Wing

Coach Adam Manah – Carter has the pure ability to score goals…50-goal guys don’t come around very often, so when a team has a chance to take a guy like that, you take him…Let alone all the other terrific things he brings to his game such as his vision, hockey sense, work ethic, playing physical and being hard to play against.

Michael Benning, Defence

Coach Adam Manah ? Mike’s game is similar to a Cale Makar, in which he may not be as big stature wise, but his play is resemblant…He skates well, is active in the rush, runs the top on the powerplay, sees the ice extremely well and has a terrific shot…He has the ability to sidestep players in every zone, by how deceptive he is with the puck.

Coach Manah on teammates Savoie and Benning ? They both are unique and different players from the rest in the NHL Draft…These players are fearless on the ice…They both play hard every shift and one thing they had to learn after the first season with us is to know how to defend themselves when they are getting checked hard?I’ll add by saying these two kids are driven, passionate about the game and will be NHL players in the near future?They are hungry to want to improve every day and they don’t seem to let anything phase them?Not even the pressure of the draft got to them last year, let alone being checked hard every game and leading our team to win every night?Lastly, off the ice they are spectacular human beings?Very respectful kids who bring a smile to their face every day at the rink and just have fun playing the game they love.

Ethan Edwards, Defence

Coach Bram Stephen ? Ethan is an exciting player because he is an excellent skater who plays the game hard and with lots of energy.?He moves pucks well, gets in the play on the rush a lot and has a good shot that can create on the power play and offensively in all situations?Better yet, he defends well and is reliable in big situations against top end offensive players?More importantly, he?s a mature young man with a growth mindset and a desire to get better everyday?He?s very energetic and enthusiastic as a teammate and a favourite in the dressing room.

Alex Young, Centre

Coach Andrew Milne ? He is a very intelligent player and has great vision on the ice?Alex sees plays develop very quickly, allowing him to be one step ahead?He has very strong internal motivation?Alex is not the most vocal kid, but is extremely driven and has a very high standard that he holds himself to?He strives for perfection in all areas of his life, especially on the ice.

Ninety players have been selected directly from the Alberta Junior Hockey League in the NHL Entry Draft and 21 AJHL Alumni have went on to win the Stanley Cup. Brooks Bandits defenceman Cale Makar made history as the highest drafted AJHL Player when the Colorado Avalanche selected him 4th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.