Cameron Allen looks to claim his stake as tops in 2023 from Ontario
In a forward-heavy draft class, Guelph Storm defenseman Cameron Allen may be the cream of the crop when it comes to blue liners.
Through the first 19 games of the season, Allen has not produced eye-popping statistics that you typically see with defensemen at the top of the draft. With only one goal and eight points with a -13 rating through the first 19 games of the season, Allen’s numbers are not off the charts.
But his game is.
“Allen is coming off a stellar rookie season, contributing heavily at both ends of the ice for Guelph, and was very impressive in captaining Team Canada to gold at the recent Hlinka Gretzky Cup,” Ontario-based FCHockey scout Joseph Along said. “A smooth-skating defender with strong puckhandling and elite awareness in all three zones, Allen could end up as the highest-drafted OHL prospect next year with a dearth of proven two-way defensemen available in this draft class.”
It seems as if Allen, No. 11 in FCHockey’s preliminary ranking for the 2023 draft, will be batting KHL defenseman Mikhail Gulyayev and Swedish blueliner Theo Lindstein as the draft’s top rearguard.
As always, plenty of highly touted prospects are coming out of Ontario. Here are some others that have caught the eye of Along:
Who are you personally looking forward most to scouting this season?
Colby Barlow of the Owen Sound Attack was the league’s biggest surprise as a rookie, immediately establishing himself as an elite goal scorer thanks to great offensive instincts and a deadly release. Following a strong showing at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Barlow seems primed to establish himself as one of the league’s top snipers and has the potential to score upwards of 40 goals on his way to becoming a first-round NHL pick.
Who is your sleeper pick as biggest riser from Ontario?
Denver Barkey has flashed good speed and tenacity despite being used in checking roles throughout his rookie OHL season and this summer’s Hlinka squad. The London Knights don’t appear to have a team as veteran-laden as in some recent seasons, so Barkey should have an offensive role and be a prime candidate to lead the team in scoring while showcasing his skill and consistent motor on a nightly basis.
Who do you see being the toughest prospect to gauge from your region?
Quentin Musty showed some flashes of brilliance mixed with questionable decision-making and inconsistent effort off the puck in his rookie year after being selected first overall in the OHL Draft. A big-bodied forward with deft stickhandling abilities and a quick, accurate release that generates a heavy shot from anywhere in the offensive zone. Musty has the burgeoning physicality, soft hands, and scoring touch to dream of in a potential top-six power forward – but his game-to-game consistency and decision-making at high speed could limit him to a bottom-six or depth role at the professional level.