Top talent from the 2025 and 2026 NHL Drafts on display at the OHL Cup
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It’s that time of year again.
The OHL Cup may not be on every fan’s radar, but it’s an event that scouts absolutely love. Over the next week, 20 teams will battle it out for the prestigious championship in front of representatives from the OHL, Jr. A and NCAA teams looking to find their next star.
What makes it so important? The OHL is one of the strongest pipelines to the NHL, and it’s an opportunity to see some of the top talent before they head to major junior. Last year, Michael Misa – one of the top prospects in the 2025 NHL Draft – scored 20 points in seven games to beat Connor McDavid for the tournament record. After achieving exceptional status, he went first overall to Saginaw in the OHL Draft a few weeks later.
Other tournament stars we saw Shane Wright, Tyler Seguin, Cole Perfetti, Corey Perry, Sean Monahan, Wyatt Johnston, Jeff Skinner, Jack Hughes, Steven Stamkos, Travis Konecny, Taylor Hall and more presented performance for the ages. . It is a week-long tournament, starting with wild card matches on Tuesday night in Toronto before standard round-robin play the rest of the week. The championship game will take place on April 3 this year at the Mattamy Athletic Center, formerly known as Maple Leaf Gardens.
In short, if you want to see some of Canada’s top prospects in one place, the OHL Cup is the place to be.
The 2023 OHL Draft doesn’t have super prospects like in 2019 (Wright) or 2022 (Misa), but Ryan Roobroeck and William Moore both applied for exceptional status last year and were denied. Since then, they have established themselves as two of the top prospects of the 2007 age group, one with decent depth throughout.
Here’s a look at 10 players to watch as the action kicks off at Scotiabank Pond on Tuesday:
Ryan Roobroeck, C (London Jr. Knights, 2026)
It’s not every day that an Alliance player ends up being the top prospect, but Ryan Roobroeck isn’t your typical player. Already 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, Roobroeck applied for exceptional status in the OHL last year, but was denied. So Roobroeck responded by leading the Alliance with 50 goals and 78 points in just 30 games for the best result in more than a decade – even more than Nick Suzuki or Travis Konecny. He also won the Canada Winter Games with Ontario and appeared in Junior B games with the London Nationals. The Knights have lost just twice during the regular season and will be a force to be reckoned with thanks to the prowess of Roobroeck and his trusty teammate Ethan Weir.
William Moore, C (Toronto Marlboros, 2025)
Another player who turned down the path to exceptional status last year, Moore has the rare chance of winning back-to-back OHL Cup titles after helping the Mississauga Senators go the distance last year. But, this time, the stakes could be even higher. The dynamic winger with a 6-foot-3 frame is smart, offensively and strong defensively. A dual citizen, Moore was invited to the United States National Team Development Program camp earlier this month and is believed to have been offered a roster spot. We’ll see what happens, but regardless, Moore is one of the go-to players.
Matthew Schaefer, D (Halton Hurricanes, 2026)
The Halton Hurricanes were an absolute unit this year, with many players topping the points-per-game mark quite easily. Schaefer, a 6-foot-1 defenseman, is one of the best in the class according to most scouts. An incredible skater, Schaefer is still actively engaged at both ends of the ice. Offensively, Schaefer has real potential, but he’s also solid and aggressive in his own area. Some scouts consider him as complete as they have been in recent OHL drafts.
Brady Martin, F (Wolves of Waterloo, 2025)
After dominating with the Waterloo U-16 team for the past two years, it’s time for Martin to salute what has been a tremendous career in minor hockey. Moore is strong, smart, and able to win most 1v1 rushes due to the way he moves and outplays his opponents. One of Martin’s greatest strengths is his patience, but he also has a quick and precise wrist that already looks ready for the next level.
Owen Griffin, F (York-Simcoe Express, 2025)
One of ETA’s best players, Griffin is a high-octane speedster with an incredible nose for the net. There’s always a pure top-three scorer who turns heads, and Griffin — who was excellent with Markham at the OHL Cup last year — fits that mold. He’s a highlight-scoring machine who scouts say has become more calculated with his decision-making as the season progresses. Griffin is going to get a ton of points in the OHL, so get excited.
Jack Ivankovic, G (Mississauga Senators, 2025)
It’s rare for a goalie to make it to the first round of the NHL Draft. They only play half the games, and sometimes it’s hard to justify using an early pick to nab someone who might not even start for a few years. But those fears aren’t a problem for Ivankovic, an athletic goaltender who many consider the best to come through the OHL Draft in some time. His numbers have been great everywhere, and he’s done the heavy lifting for the Mississauga Senators this year. Ivankovic looks like a future NHL starter, and if Mississauga is going to go far at the OHL Cup, he’ll show why.
Tyler Hopkins, C (Halton Hurricanes, 2025)
Hopkins had 37 goals and 69 points in 31 games with the Halton Hurricanes, making him one of the top shooters in the draft class. A high-speed attacker, it doesn’t take long for Hopkins to reach top speed thanks to his tremendous acceleration. Scouts think Hopkins should have no problem adapting to the OHL because of the way he thinks about the game and sees the ice.
Luca Romano, C (Toronto Junior Canadians, 2025)
As well as his valuable attacking contribution, Romano is a solid two-way center who understands his missions and can play just about any role. A player coaches love to have, he’s one of the best two-way forwards in the class, and one who’s always looking to find teammates and generate something meaningful. The Toronto Jr. Canadiens are one of the strongest teams in the tournament, and Romano will need to be on his game to make it all work.
Ethan Weir, RW (London Jr. Knights, 2025)
There’s a lot to like about Weir, one of the driving forces behind the London attack. Smart, explosive and confident are the terms that come to mind when thinking about his game. Weir plays as if he always knows what he wants to do and has the skills to get it done. He’s willing to try risky or unusual moves to play, and it’s always fun to watch at this level.
Jack Nesbitt, C (Lambton Jr. Sting, 2025)
The Sting still has to play his way to the OHL Cup via the wild card round, and Nesbitt will have to be excellent. at 6-foot-4, he’s one of the tallest forwards in the draft class, and one who uses that physique to his advantage. He’s not afraid to punch anyone, and that includes older competition in a brief stint with the U-16 side as a 14-year-old. The offense followed this year with just under two points per game, and now he’ll have to keep the momentum going with the scouts there.
Other notables: Hudson Chitaroni, F (NOHA), Jake O’Brien, F (Toronto Jr. Canadiens), Matheas Stark, F (Toronto Marlboros), Tanner Lam, F (Halton Hurricanes), Luke Dragusica, D (Toronto Marlboros), Lev Katzin, F (Toronto Marlboros), Shamar Moses, F (Don Mills Flyers).