By Ron Valentine/ OJHL
A host of players with NCAA Division I and Ontario Hockey League commitments will face off in the Hudl-InStat Ontario Junior Hockey League Prospects Game in Collingwood Saturday afternoon.
The game begins at 1 p.m, at Eddie Bush Memorial Arena.
The young stars, all born in 2006 or 2007, spoke to Ron Valentine about their expectations and the feeling of being selected:
THOMAS KUIPERS, 17, from Carrying Place, forward, #14 for the Trenton Golden Hawks, on Team East: “I’m super excited and grateful to be picked for this event. It feels good to have my efforts recognized. I’m very thankful to my coaches, family and teammates for all their support. I’m really looking forward to the event.”
DRYDEN ALLEN, 16, from Ottawa, defenceman, #26 for the Niagara Falls Canucks, selected for Team West. He committed to NCAA Division I Michigan State this season: “I was really happy and honoured to hear that I had been selected to represent the Canucks in the Prospects game along with my teammate Parker Forlin. I am excited to get to compete with and against all the young prospects in the OJHL and to be a part of the All-Star weekend. I’m happy to be representing Niagara Falls at the event in our first season in the league.”
FRANK CASTIGLIONE, 18, from Richmond Hill, forward, #94 for the Aurora Tigers, picked for the Top Prospects East: “Having the opportunity to play in the OJHL Prospects game is an honour for me. I’m very proud to be chosen alongside some of the best talent in the league. My experience in Aurora so far has been amazing and has allowed me to showcase my skills. Playing in Collingwood will be a challenge and I’m sure I will never forget this experience.”
CARSON LITTLEJOHN, 17, from Newmarket, forward, #43 from the Tigers: “I am very excited and honoured to be selected to be a part of the team and I’m looking forward to play with new and old teammates so it should be a lot of fun.”
HUDSON GILL, 17, from Burlington, defenceman #18 for the Brantford 99ers, on the West Top Prospects team. “It certainly sounds like a\ great event to be a part of and it’s an honour to be selected. It will be a lot of fun to play both with and against some very talented young players, many that I have played against all season long.”
LANDON WRIGHT, 17, from Belleville, forward #36 from the Collingwood Blues, who has committed to the University of Maine for 2025, was nominated to the Top Prospects West team: “I’m very excited to have been selected as part of the 2024 prospects game. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play with and against friends and former teammates. I believe that it is going to be a great experience to play with the top ’06 and ’07 players in the OJHL. I expect it to be a fast-paced, skilled and speedy game.”
SETH DONEY, 17, from Campbellville, defenceman #22 with the Caledon Admirals, picked for the West Top Prospects team: “I am thankful for the opportunity to play in the prospects’ game and it is always fun to meet guys that I’ve played against. Thanks to my coaches in Caledon for giving me lots of support this season and to all my great teammates.”
XANDER VELLIARIS, 16, from Toronto, defenceman, #7 for the Mississauga Chargers, who was selected to the West Top Prospects: “It is an honour to be selected for the OJHL Prospects game. I am looking forward to playing in Collingwood and representing the Chargers.”
JAY FELDBERG, 17, from Toronto, defenceman #21 with the Toronto Junior Canadiens, who will be attending Boston University in 2025, picked for the East’s Top Prospects team: “It’s an honour and I’m thankful to the selection committee for recognizing me and my accomplishments thus far this season. I’m sure it will be an experience that I will remember forever. I am most comfortable on the ice and I just love playing hockey so any chance I get to be part of an event like this is truly special.”
GRIFFIN GRUNDNER, 17, from Riverside, forward, #13 for the Leamington Flyers, picked for the West Prospects team: “It’s an extraordinary opportunity for me and my teammates and an exciting opportunity. We have put in a lot of hard work this season. It will be fun for us all and we are proud to represent the Flyers.”
MAX ANDERSON, 16, from Orono, forward #20 for the Leamington Flyers, who has appeared this season for Flint in the OHL, selected for the West Prospects team: “It’s an honour to be named as one of the top prospects in the OJHL. I would not have been able to do it without the fine coaching staff and management and all my great Flyer teammates.”
DARIAN ANDERSON, 17, a native of Brighton, Michigan, forward, #22 with the Leamington Flyers who will be attending NCAA DI Clarkson University in 2025, selected for the West’s Prospects team: “I’m very grateful to be included along with my teammates. I’m looking forward to representing the Leamington Flyers and showcasing my skills.”
SEBASTIAN GATTO, 17, from Troy, Michigan, a Leamington Flyer who will be backstopping the West Prospects team. Gatto is on the NHL Draft list for this June’s Draft “It’s exciting to be chosen for an event like this. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to represent my team as well as I can.’”
LUKA GRAZIANO, 16, from Toronto, defenceman, #7, for the Toronto Junior Canadiens, who will attend Harvard in 2026, selected to the East Top Prospects team: “For starters it’s very humbling to be selected and an absolute honour. I am also looking forward to competing alongside three other Jr. Canadiens and I can’t wait to get to the game in Collingwood.”
KYLE FERGUSON, 17, from Burlington, forward, #14, for the Brantford 99ers, chosen to represent that club on the West Prospect team: “I’m excited and honoured to be selected to participate in this game. I’d like to thank the OJHL and my coaches. I’m looking forward to representing the 99ers.”
CHRIS SOARES, 17, from Milton, forward and #14 for the Toronto Junior Canadiens, selected to the East Top Prospects: “I’m honoured and excited to be selected to play in the OJHL prospects game. I want to thank my coaches, teammates and family and everyone who has supported me. I look forward to representing my team and thank the OJHL for the opportunity.” Joining his Junior Canadiens’ teammate is EVAN MALKHASSIAN, 16, from Toronto, younger brother of Luc, the club’s leading pointscorer.
JASON DAVENPORT, 17, from Shelby Township in Michigan, defenceman, #7, with the Leamington Flyers, picked for the West Top Prospects team: “Like my teammates I am very honoured to be chosen to represent the Leamington Flyers organization in the Prospects game. I’m especially pleased to see that five of my teammates were also chosen to participate and we can’t wait to showcase our skills.”
CAMERON ARQUETTE, 16, from Wheatley, forward and #10 for the Leamington Flyers, he has also played some OHL hockey this season with the Kitchener Rangers, selected to the Top Prospects West team: “It is a true honour to have been invited. I am very lucky to represent the Flyers. They have done so much for my hockey career.”
PETER SMITH, 17, from Vaughan, forward, #17, for the North York Rangers, will be part of the Prospects East team: “I am incredibly honoured and excited to have been selected to play in this game. I am grateful to all my current teammates and coaching staff with the North York Rangers that have really helped me to grow as a player and also as a person this year and thanks as well to my family for all their love and support.”
JACK LISSON, 17, from Oakville, twine-tender for the Wellington Dukes was selected for the East Prospects team: “I am super happy to be able to compete in the OJHL prospects game and be able to play against some of the top young guys in the league.”
TOMMY KARMIRIS, 17, from Brantford, forward, #96 for the Burlington Cougars is on the West Prospects team: “It’s a huge honour to get recognized by the league to be a top prospect. I was there last year in a Cobourg Cougars uniform and it was a great event. I’m excited to show people what I can do and meet new players and overall have a fun time in Collingwood.”
NICK Di PAOLO, 17, from Burlington, forward #16 for the Wellington Dukes will be on the East Top Prospects team: “It’s exciting to be chosen to be on the team, considering the amount of talented players in the OJHL that could have been selected. Thanks to everyone.”
LUCIANO BRUNO, 17, from Woodbridge, forward and #10 for the Toronto Patriots and already committed to Clarkson for 2025 was picked for the Top Prospects West: “I’m incredibly honoured to be chosen for this opportunity to represent the Patriots, my teammates and coaching staff. Their support and guidance have been invaluable. I’m sincerely grateful to be given this chance and thrilled to be able to showcase my skills. Thank you to the OJHL for this opportunity.
KIERAN LITTERICK, 17, from Whitby, forward #71 for the Pickering Panthers, representing the East Prospects team: “It’s an honour to be selected this year. I’m looking forward to playing with and against great players I don’t really know. I want to thank my coaches and teammates as they helped me get this opportunity.”
CRISTIAN GIANCOLA, 16, from Milton, forward, #90 for the Toronto Patriots and already committed to Clarkson University for 2025 and selected to the Top Prospects team: “To begin with I think it’s an honour to get selected. It is a great opportunity that is really special to have. Going there with two other guys from my team is also great. I hope we represent the Patriots well in the game. I believe it’s going to be a memorable experience for us and we are happy to be a part of it.
JULIAN DEMIGLIO, 17, from Concord, forward, #9, for the Stouffville Spirit, picked as a Top Prospect from the East: “It’s a great experience being on the Stouffville club. The coaches and players, management and staff have made my transition to junior hockey really smooth. Every day is a new experience for me and I’m thrilled to be going to the weekend in Collingwood.”
ANDONI FIMIS, 17, from Richmond Hill, defenceman #4 for the Stouffville Spirit and already committed to attend the NCAA DI University of Vermont in 2026 was selected to the East Top Prospects: “It’s an honour to be chosen to play with two of my teammates from the Spirit. It is rewarding to see that our hard work throughout the season has been recognized. I’m looking forward to playing with and against the best young players in the OJHL.”
DAVID GREEN, 17, from Toronto, defenceman, #8 for the St. Michael’s Buzzers, committed to Merrimack College for 2025, selected to the TopProspects East team: “It’s a very exciting opportunity and an honour to be one of those selected. It will be a great experience to play in Collingwood once again. Congratulations to all the players selected for the weekend.” Also included on the team are David’s teammates, JAYDEN CONNORS, 16, from Toronto, committed to the University of New Hampshire in 2026 andJESSE VENTURO, 17, from Kleinberg.
NOLAN JACKSON, 17, from Barrie, defenceman #5 for the Stouffville Spirit, who has already made his debut this season with the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves, selected to the Top Prospects East team: “I’m super excited for it! I’m very thankful to be chosen and to be able to attend, especially as I will be going there with several teammates. They deserve it.”
MATTHEW MANZA, 16, from Mississauga, forward, #55 for the Toronto Patriots and committed to the Ohio State University for 2025, selected to the Top Prospects Team West: “I am grateful that the OJHL competition committee selected me for this year’s HUDL-Instat Prospects game and it will be an honour for me to represent the Toronto Patriots hockey club. I am looking forward to sharing this experience with my teammates (Luciano Bruno and Cristian Giancola) that were also selected. It should be a great and competitive game filled with lots of young talent.”
LOGAN KENNEDY, 17, from Thornhill, goalkeeper for the Haliburton County Huskies, selected to the Top Prospects East team: “Feels great to make the game, it was a personal goal of mine coming into the season and it’s so nice to have accomplished it.”
PARKER FORLIN, 17, forward #71 with his hometown Niagara Falls Canucks, picked for the West Top Prospects team: “It’s an awesome feeling being selected for this event and having it in Collingwood because of all that town’s hockey history. This event is not only great for the league but also the young guys, like myself, that were selected to compete and show their skills. Meeting new players and people will be a fun part for me too.”
JUSTIN HUYNH, 17, from Mississauga, defenceman and #7 from the Georgetown Raiders was chosen for the West Prospects team: “It’s a huge honour to be named to the Prospects game. It’s always great to see your hard work being recognized. I would like to thank my coaches and teammates for giving me a chance to show what I can do.”
HAEDEN ELLIS, 16, from Buffalo, New York, forward, #37 for his hometown Junior Sabres and who played for US National under-17 team this season, was selected for the Top Prospects West team. He is the son of former NHL player and current Buffalo NHL Sabres assistant coach Matt Ellis.: “It’s an honour to be selected to that team.and to get the chance to play with some great prospects, so it should be a great experience and a fun time for me.”
KAIDEN HARMON, 16, will be representing his hometown Cobourg Cougars on the East Prospects: “I am so grateful to be invited to this event and get the chance to play with such great players. I’m really looking forward to it. Coming into OJHL this year as a rookie, I had a goal to work hard and focus on being one of the best 2007’s in the league. Being an elite skater, playmaker and playing a 200-foot game has definitely helped get me there. Looking forward to this weekend!”
EVAN MALKHASSIAN, 16, from Toronto, forward for the Toronto Junior Canadiens, will be skating for the East Prospects: “It feels great to be selected for the Prospects game. It’s cool to see some of my teammates getting picked too. I am expecting a fast- paced game with lots of skill.”
JESSE VENTURO, from Kleinberg, 17, representing the St. Michael’s Buzzers: “I’m excited and honoured to have been selected to play in the OJHL prospect game ! I’m Ready to bring my A game and compete against other amazing talents. I’m also grateful for the opportunity to be part of such an amazing experience. I can’t wait to be in the lineup at the prospects game and showcase my skills and make memorable memories.”
OWEN FITZGERALD, 16, from Ennismore (in the Kawartha Lakes region), forward, #14, from the Lindsay Muskies, selected to the Top Prospects East team: “This is a great opportunity for me that I get to play on his team. I’m very excited and it will be fun to play on the same team as guys I play against in the regular season and I will be able to reconnect with some of the guys that I’ve played with in recent years.”
AIDEN MCKENNA, 17, from Rochester NY, goalie, who wears #28 for the Buffalo Jr Sabres and who will be attending the University of Vermont in 2025, has been added to the Top Prospects Team West: “I am very excited to get this opportunity to play in the game and to represent the Jr Sabres. I’m really looking forward to playing alongside the best ’06 and ’07 players in the OJHL.”
Follow Ron Valentine on X @ronandlynda