This past weekend, the tier 1 elite league got underway in San Jose, California.  Six teams took part in the event which included the host San Jose Jr. Sharks, Phoenix Jr. Coyotes, Colorado Thunderbirds, Colorado Rampage, Anaheim Jr. Ducks and the California Bears.

The Phoenix Jr. Coyotes were the top ranked team at the event and have a 10-3-0 record this season.  The Jr. Coyotes are ranked only behind the #3 Gentry Galaxy, #9 Shattuck St. Mary’s and #6 LA Jr. Kings.  The San Jose Jr. Sharks are ranked 33rd with a 2-4-0 record, Anaheim Jr. Ducks 39th at 6-11-0, Colorado Thunderbirds are 36th at 7-9-0, Colorado Rampage 60th at 1-9-0 and California Bears who are the #1 ranked Tier 2 2003 born team in the nation at 13-2-2.

Our Western USA scout Peter Torsson was in attendance and was very impressed with the Phoenix Jr. Coyotes with four of his top five players from the tournament from that team who went a perfect 4-0-0 and were quite dominant outscoring the opposition 18-5.  Arik Altman was the top forward over the weekend  from the Jr. Coyotes while Colorado Thunderbirds D – Taylor Johnson showed the best from his position.

Top 3 Prospects from the Event (more to come in next newsletter)

Taylor Johnson – Colorado Thunderbirds

Height 5’8″ Weight 140 Shot L
Position Defense/Forward

Skating 5
Puck Skills 4
Scoring/Skill 4
Work Ethic 5
Physical Play 4
Character/Intangible 4

Game Rating 4.333333333
Draft Projection TBD

Assets Taylor plays both forward and defense. Great top speed and tenacity. Strong scoring ability and very dangerous on the rush. Plays both ends of the ice really well. Good shot and well balanced player.
Flaws Taylor is a great threat one-on-one but challenges as such too much. He needs to add some patience to his game and playmaking. The team plays 100 miles an hour without little thought so it may be relative more than individual.

Arik Altman – Jr. Coyotes

Height 5’10” Weight 135 Shot R
Position Forward

Skating 4
Puck Skills 5
Scoring/Skill 4
Work Ethic 4
Physical Play 4
Character/Intangible 4

Game Rating 4.166666667
Draft Projection TBD

Assets Very strong on the puck with great playmaking skills. Arik controls the ice and is great in small areas. Strong skating stance, edges and flow. Great shooting accuracy. Great vision and anticipation.
Flaws Needs a second gear in his skating which should come as he puts muscle on. His shot is accurate but could be faster to make him a threat on the perimeter.

Jake Johnson – Jr. Coyotes

Height 5’9″ Weight 150 Shot L
Position Defense

Skating 4
Puck Skills 4
Scoring/Skill 4
Work Ethic 4
Physical Play 4
Character/Intangible 5

Game Rating 4.166666667
Draft Projection TBD

Assets Jake controls the blue line offensively on the team and is solid defensively. His game is very mature. Great stance and strength in battle, good support and positioning. Great flow skater. Great leader and teammate.
Flaws Jake needs quicker feet and top speed which will keep lanes open for his offense to continue at higher levels.