The RAYSIDE BALFOUR JR. A CANADIANS are proud to announce the commitment of three local 17 year-old forwards to the 2021-22 edition of the NOJHL franchise.
BENJAMIN HARRIS, a 6’, 175 lb forward practiced with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Major Midgets last season. In his last complete season in 2019-20, Harris recorded 8 goals and 5 assists for 13 points in 30 games with the North Bay Minor AAA Midgets. Harris was called-up to the North Bay Trappers Major Midget team that season and recorded 6 points in 5 games. Harris also played one game with the Rayside Balfour Jr. A Canadians as an affiliate player in 2019-20.
CAMERON SHANKS, is a big 6’3”, 200 lb right-shot forward that played last season with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Major Midgets. During the 2019-20 season, Shanks recorded 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points in 38 games with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Major Midgets. Shanks also played one game for the Rayside Balfour Canadians as an affiliate that season.
PIERSON SOBUSH, is a 5’9, 150 lb left-shot forward that played for the Sudbury Nickel Capital Major Midgets last season. SOBUSH, is the son of former OHL Sudbury Wolves’ forward Shawn Sobush at turns 17 on June 7th. Pierson recorded 14 goals, 8 assists for 22 points in 30 games with the Sudbury Nickel Capital Major Midgets during the 2019-20 season. Sobush was called-up to play in 3 games for the Rayside Balfour Jr. A Canadians that season and recorded 2 assists.
“These three young players are going to help the Rayside Balfour Canadians be successful this season and beyond” notes Canadians GM Jeff Forsyth. “All three of these players have the skill set and desire to get to the next level in their hockey careers, and we are fortunate to be able to attract forwards of this calibre right here in our own backyard. We look forward to having the time to work with these young players starting today and helping prepare them for the upcoming NOJHL season.”
DeGRAZIA RANKED IN 3RD ROUND
The RAYSIDE BALFOUR JR. A CANADIANS are also pleased to confirm that forward NICK DeGRAZIA finished the year ranked #85 in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings among North American skaters. DeGRAZIA, 18, was named the NOJHL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR and FIRST TEAM NOJHL ALL-STAR in 2019-20. Last season, DeGRAZIA continued his scoring ways by recording 15 points in just 10 games.
“I can’t thank Rayside Balfour Canadians enough for the opportunity they provided me with over the past two years, the culture, tradition and pride is seamless throughout the organization” notes the Thunder Bay native. DeGrazia adds, “Players who are looking for exposure and want to play for a team that has proven to develop and provide exposure for their players Rayside has been a key contributor to my success.”
DeGRAZIA represents the 2nd highest-ranked player from the CJHL. Corson Ceulemans of the Brooks Bandits of the Alberta Junior Hockey is rated in the 1st round by NHL Central Scouting. DeGrazia is the next highest-ranked CJHL player in the 3rd round. The MHL has one player ranked in the 5th round of the draft (Justin Ertel of Summerside) while the CCHL have two players ranked in the 4th and 6th rounds. The OJHL have five players ranked with one in the 4th and 5th rounds and three additional players ranked in the 7th round. The BCHL have four players ranked with two players in the 5th round and two players in the 7th round.
The Rayside Balfour Canadians and the NOJHL are very proud of their graduating players like NICK DeGRAZIA and are pleased to continue to build the league’s reputation for developing players for the next level of hockey including professional hockey at the highest level.