Another Big-Timer Opts for the OHL
6'2", 200 lb. U.S. Under-18 power forward Brandon Saad has signed with the Saginaw Spirit (OHL), the team that took him with their first pick two years ago and worked ever since then to sign him.
While this is a blow to college hockey - Saad is likely to go high first round in the 2011 draft - he also never committed to a school and then backed out. There was a lot of talk recently about his considering the University of Michigan, but that's all we heard - talk. Other schools made their pitch as well.
Saad is a late '92 - 10/27/92, to be exact - and is just finishing up his junior year in high school, not that that makes a difference anymore.
On the ice, Saad led the Under-18 team in scoring with a 29-29-58 line in 63 games.
Pirri to the O?
Saginaw head coach/GM Todd Watson may not be finished, as he has acquired the rights to star RPI center Brandon Pirri in a trade with the Sudbury Wolves.
Pirri, a second round pick of the Chicago Black Hawks in last summer's NHL draft, had a great freshman year for the Engineers, averaging better than a point per game. He's an April ‘91 birthdate.
Pirri was traded for the rights to 5'11" UMass-Lowell freshman Robert Visca, also an April '91 birthdate. Visca, who played two seasons for Orangeville (OPJHL) was a healthy scratch at Lowell last season. He did not appear in a single game. It looks like he is leaving the RiverHawks.
This trade appears to us to be a case of Watson taking a flyer on a top player -- and hoping his powers of persuasion are at their apex.
RPI head coach Seth Appert doesn't put stock in the trade. "I'm sure Saginaw is hoping Chicago signs him and sends him there if he doesn't make the AHL. I expect him back and he says he's coming back."
Watson says, "We'll do due diligence, but we won't go crazy. We will touch base with him and his agent, Paul Cappizzano, and respect what their wishes are. Right now, if I have to guess, I would guess he'll be back at RPI."
Select 16 All-Star Game
Rochester, NY. -- James Howe stopped 21 of 22 shots in the second half, and then stopped four of five attempts in the shootout to lead the Blue Team past the White Team in the Select 16 All-Star game here today.
After a scoreless first half which started fast before settling into an up-and-down flow, the Blue Team got on the board 44 seconds into the second half when Nick Schilkey forced a Teddy Doherty turnover and broke in alone, beating Dalton Izyk to make it 1-0.
At the 14:00 mark, Team White's Joseph Cox converted a pretty goalmouth pass by Kyle Osterberg to tie the game at 1-1.
Goaltenders in the first half were Collin Olson (10/10) for White and Brandon Hope (11/11) for Blue. Team White took over in the second half, carrying the play and forcing Howe to come up big time and again. At the other end, Izyk faced nine shots, stopping eight.
In the shootout, vs. Izyk, it went: Zach Stepan (yes), Brian Morgan (no), Shilkey (yes), Sam Piazza (no), and Andrew Poturalski (no).
Against Howe, it went: Osterberg (no), Matt Grzelcyk (yes), Robert Gawron (no), Riley Barber (no), Jonathan Farkas (no).
In the championship game, won by Team White, 4-2, Nick Petrella (2g,1a) and Brady Vail (1g,1a) figured in all three goals as their team took a 3-1 lead at the half. Jack Rowe added a second half goal for Team White. Mason Jobst and Conor Simon were the goal scorers for Royal Blue.
David Jacobson (16/17) and Anthony Stolarz (13/14) teamed up for the win. For Royal Blue, Alec Hardman (17/20) and Alex Joyce (14/15) were in net.
Team White had to play without their top forward and d-man as A.J. Michaelson missed the last few days with a (mild) concussion, and Patrick Sieloff (shoulder) missed five of the six games.
All-Star Game Rosters
Forwards: Boo Nieves (Syracuse Nationals), Brian Morgan (Junior Bruins - Empire), Nicholas Shilkey (Honeybaked), Bryan Moore (Carolina Jr. Hurricanes), Zach Stepan (Shattuck U-16), Andrew Poturalski (Nichols School), Gage Torrel (Monticello HS -- Minn.), Cam Darcy (Dexter School), Sam Kurkur (St. John's Prep), Nate Arentz (Lakeville North HS).
Defensemen: Grant Webermin (Honeybaked U-16), Tim Davison (Team Wisconsin U-16), Sam Piazza (Chicago Mission U-16), Gavin Stoick (Colorado Thunderbirds U-16), Brady Skjei (Lakeville North HS), Josh Hanson (LA Selects).
Goalies: Brandon Hope (Honeybaked U-18), James Howe (Little Caesar's).
Forwards: Kyle Osterberg (Lakeville South HS), Miles Koules (Shattuck U-16), Ben Johnson (Calumet HS -- Mich.), Chris Calnan (Thayer Academy), Tyler Pham (Team Illinois), Joseph Cox (Compuware U-16), Kyle Schempp (Compuware U-16), Jonathan Farkas (Compuware U-16), Riley Barber (Compuware U-16).
Defensemen: Teddy Doherty (Shattuck U-16), Justin Wade (Chicago Mission), Robert Gawron (Chicago Fury), Jacob Trouba (Compuware U-16), Matt Grzelcyk (Belmont Hill), Zach Maqueen (Shattuck U-16).
Goalies: Collin Olson (Apple Valley HS -- Minn.), Dalton Izyk (Syracuse Nationals).
U.S. Select 16 Standouts
Once gain this year, USA Hockey will be sending a team comprised of the top players at the U.S. Select 16 Player Development Camp in Rochester, NY to the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament, to be held this year in Hutwil, Switzerland Aug. 18-22. The team will be coached by Sean Tremblay, the GM/head coach of the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs (EJHL) and Matt Herr, the head coach at the Kent School.
Both Tremblay and Herr have watched every game from Day 1 here. This typist hasn't, but has seen enough. It's clear that picking a team will be very difficult. Up front will be fine, as there are plenty of options there, but defense and goal will be a bear of a task.
Tonight, Tremblay and Herr and the goalie coaches will be winnowing the list of players who will be competing in the 11:00 am all-star game. The best of those players -- plus some players appearing in the 9:00 am championship game between Royal Navy and White -- will be chosen for Switzerland.
Players going to the NTDP are not eligible to go to the Five Nations Tournament, so those guys are out of the mix for the all-star game as well. Of course, the players playing in the 9:00 am title game won't make the rosters for the all-star game, either. But they'll be getting one last look as well, as reward for their team accomplishment.
The goaltending here has been a real disappointment. Some goalies who looked good in goalie sessions have been wildly inconsistent in games, and some goalies who lack the size being looked for these days and/or the technically proficiency have actually been among the better day-to-day performers. To give you an idea as to how much goalies have struggled here, only four have been above the .900 mark in save percentage - and a couple are in the low .900s. The top two leaders are 5'9" Alex Joyce and 6'3" Anthony Stolarz, who will be playing in the championship game, and, while under consideration for the overseas trip, there are still four goalies needed for the all-star teams, so we're looking to 6'0" Dalton Izyk and 5'8" James Howe to get nods, because they, like Joyce and Stolarz, stopped the puck fairly consistently here. After that, we think two of the following four will get the nod to go in tomorrow's all-star game: 5'9" Jake Moore, 6'3" Collin Olson, 6'2" Eamon McAdam, and 6'1" Brandon Hope. Which two, however, is a tough call.
The defensemen here have been an even greater disappointment. Some of the big guns from last year, like Seth Jones, Nick Ebert, Dakota Mermis,and Connor Carrick are not here but, while defense seemed a strong hand last year, we know see that it was only strong at the top end. There is a distinct lack of depth, which really shows once you take out the NTDP guys here in Rochester (Brady Skjei, Jacob Trouba, Patrick Sieloff, and Matt Grzelcyk). Now skim some D from the two teams playing in the championship game: Sieloff, Vince Pedrie, Max Iafrate (who hasn't played very smart here) and gangly Troy Donnay, and you still need 12 defensemen to stock the all-star team. If we had to pick quickly we'd say Mark Yanis, Cody Champagne, Sam Piazza, Tim Davison, Garrett Cockerill, Donnie Nagle, Chris Leibinger, and Teddy Doherty would be our first eight. But we need four more: Justin Wade, Connor Costello would be in. Then we'd take two from between Dylan Blujus, Ryan Lowney, Ian Spencer, and Matias Cleland. That would give us our twelve.
By the way, Skjei, Trouba, and Sieloff were clearly a notch every other D here. A lot of upside in those three.
As for the '94 forwards, it's a very different picture. That's where the strength lies. Just a lot of depth. Guys like Nick Kerdiles, Brendan Silk, Vince Hinostroza, Austin Cangelosi, Cody Payne, Thomas DiPauli, and Dennis Kravchenko are not here, but no matter: their spots were filled by some nice players. And while there was no single eye-popping performance, there were plenty of forwards to go around, and some with high-end potential.
OK, who are our automatics up front for the all-star game? First off, NTDP-bound Cam Darcy has played really well here. He’d be an automatic, but is not eligible for the trip. The playoff-bound White and Royal blue have four automatics in Sheldon Dries and A.J. Michaelson – possibly Jack Rowe -- off the White team; and Jordan Masters and Ryan Fitzgerald – and likely Mason Jobst -- off the Royal Blue team. So these are 24 guys (assuming they use 24) we think will be automatics for tomorrow morning’s 11:00 am all-star tilt.
Now, get this. The Forest Green trio of Boo Nieves, Quentin Shore, and Zach Stephan couldn’t hit the side of a barn door here. The entire team was shut down -- actually, they shut themselves down, scoring just eight goals in five games. Stone cold. No matter: Nieves, Shore, and Stephan are in. But we need more: Brian Morgan, Samuel Fejes, Joseph Cox and Jarrid Privitera are in off the Black Team. Nate Arentz, Jake Guentzel, and Miles Koules could be locks from the Kelly Green team. Kyle Osterberg, Riley Barber, and Tim Lappin might all make it off the Grey team. Nicholas Schilkey was our top forward on the Orange team – put him in. Jonathan Farkas, Bryan Moore, David Hallisey, and Christian Lamposso all deserve to go in from the Red Team. From the Columbia Blue team we’d go with Andrew Poturalski and Nick Kuchera. OK, that gives us 20. To get four more, we’ll go with Tyler Pham, Christian Heil, Eric Brenk, and Zach Born.
Other forwards we liked included: Gage Torrel, Ryan Papa, Chase Rey, Trevor Boyd, Chris Calnan, Andrew Copp, and Alex Roos – that should be enough. An even thirty.
In the morning, the official All-Star teams will be announced. We’re just trying to provide a sneak preview of guys we think have a pretty good chance of cracking the lineup and competing for a spot on the team that goes to Switzerland.
Record 11 Americans Taken in First Round
Fourteen Canadians, 11 Americans, and five European players were taken in the first round of tonight's NHL Draft at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Rounds two through seven will take place tomorrow.
As you likely already know, Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin went 1-2 according to form, with Edmonton selecting Hall, and Boston picking Seguin.
The 11 Americans drafted in the first round are:
11. Dallas -- Jack Campbell, G, US Under-18
12. Anaheim -- Cam Fowler, D, Windsor (OHL)
15. LA -- Derek Forbert, D, US Under-18
18. Nashville -- Austin Watson, RW, Peterborough (OHL)
19. Florida -- Nick Bjugstad, C, Blaine HS
20. Pitts. -- Beau Bennett, RW, Penticton (BCHL)
21. Montreal -- Jarred Tinordi, D, U.S. Under-18
24. Chicago -- Kevin Hayes, RW, Noble & Greenough
28. San Jose -- Charlie Coyle, RW, South Shore Kings (EJHL)
29. Anaheim -- Emerson Etem, C, Medicine Hat (WHL)
30. NY Islanders -- Brock Nelson, C, Warroad HS
Eleven Americans were taken in the second round today, making 22 Americans taken in the first two rounds, which is a record.
Rounds 2-7: (U.S. players only):
2/31 Edmonton -- Tyler Pitlick, F, Minnesota State Univ. (NCAA)
2/32 Boston -- Jared Knight, F, London (OHL)
2/37 Carolina -- Justin Faulk, D, U.S. Under-18 Team
2/38 NJ Devils -- Jon Merrill, D, U.S. Under-18 Team
2/48 Edmonton -- Curtis Hamilton, F, Saskatoon (WHL)
2/50 Florida -- Connor Brickley, F, Des Moines (USHL)
2/52 Phoenix -- Phil Lane, F, Brampton (OHL)
2/53 Carolina -- Mark Alt, D, Cretin-Derham Hall (Minn.)
2/54 Chicago -- Justin Holl, D, Minnetonka (Minn.) HS
2/59 Minnesota -- Jason Zucker, F, U.S. Under-18 Team
2/60 Chicago -- Stephen Johns, D, U.S. Under-18 Team
3/63 Tampa -- Brock Beukeboom, D, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
3/74 St. Louis -- Max Gardiner, F, Minnetonka (Minn.) HS
3/78 Nashville -- Taylor Aronson, D, Portland (WHL)
3/80 Pittsburgh -- Bryan Rust, F, U.S. Under-18 Team
3/82 NY Islanders -- Jason Clark, F, Shattuck-St. Mary's
3/85 Carolina -- Austin Levi, D, Plymouth (OHL)
3/88 San Jose -- Max Gaede, F, Woodbury (Minn.) HS
4/94 Columbus -- Brandon Archibald, D, Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
4/100 NY Rangers -- Andrew Yogan, F, Erie (OHL)
4/103 Calgary -- John Ramage, D, Univ. of Wisconsin (NCAA)
4/108 Calgary -- Billy Arnold, F, U.S. Under-18 Team
4/114 NJ Devils -- Joe Faust, D, Bloomington Jefferson (Minn.) HS
4/115 Vancouver -- Patrick McNally, D, Milton Academy (Mass.)
4/118 Tampa Bay -- James Mullin, F, Shattuck-St. Mary's (Minn.)
5/122 Anaheim -- Chris Wagner, F, South Shore Kings (EJHL)
5/125 NY Islanders -- Tony DeHart, D, Oshawa (OHL)
5/127 San Jose -- Cody Ferriero, F, Governor's Academy (Mass.)
5/135 Boston -- Justin Florek, F, Northern Michigan Univ. (NCAA)
5/139 Colorado -- Luke Walker, F, Portland (WHL)
5/140 Pitts. -- Kenneth Agostino, F, Delbarton School (N.J.)
5/142 Wash. -- Caleb Herbert, F, Bloomington Jefferson (Minn.) HS
5/148 LA Kings -- Kevin Gravel, D, Sioux City (USHL)
5/149 Phila. -- Michael Parks, F, Cedar Rapids (USHL)
6/152 Pitts. -- Joe Rogalski, D, Sarnia (OHL)
6/160 Atl. -- Tanner Lane, F, Detroit Lakes (Minn.) HS
6/165 Boston -- Zane Gothberg, G, Thief River Falls (Minn.) HS
6/168 Nashville -- Anthony Bitetto, D, Indiana (USHL)
6/177 Anaheim -- Kevin Lind, D, Chicago (USHL)
6/179 Phila. -- Nick Luuko, D, The Gunnery (Conn.)
6/180 Chicago -- Nick Mattson, D, Indiana (USHL)
7/183 Florida -- R.J. Boyd, D, Cushing Academy (Mass.)
7/188 San Jose -- Lee Moffie, D, Univ. of Michigan (NCAA)
7/191 Chicago -- Mac Carruth, G, Portland (WHL)
7/196 Ottawa -- Bryce Aneloski, D, Cedar Rapids (USHL)
7/197 Colo. -- Luke Moffatt, F, U.S. Under-18 Team
7/200 San Jose -- Chris Crane, F, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL)
7/201 Detroit -- Ben Marshall, D, Mahtomedi (Minn.) High School
7/203 Buffalo -- Christian Isackson, F, St. Thomas Academy (Minn.)
7/210 Boston -- Zach Trotman, D, Lake Superior State (NCAA)
NHL Draft Fun
Here are our two favorite sites for following the NHL draft:
NHL Central Scouting:
When you take into account the number of players that are out there, and the small size of Central's staff, it's a wonder that they come up with these every year. These are the master lists, and it's a great thing for fans and fellow scouts. Back in the '70s, there was nothing like this. You just 'heard about' so-and-so playing in such-and-such an outpost who was said to be 'pretty good.' Times were very different.
NHL Entry Draft: History, Notes, and Statistics:
If you go to this particular page, you can go through every draft since its inception, and find players in more categories than you can name. This is a site you can get lost in, really just disappear. You'll look up and afternoon has turned into night.
USA Hockey at the Draft:
This, a PDF document that USA Hockey sent out the other day, is NOT one of our favorites, but we thought it worth sharing for it's rather bizarre NTDP-centric view of the NHL draft. A visitor landing from Neptune would come to the conclusion that only the NTDP is supplying Americans to the NHL. You won't see any USHL team mentioned (aren't they part of USA Hockey?). You also won't see any mention of Shattuck-St. Mary's, Minnetonka, Avon Old Farms, Hotchkiss, Roseau, Edina -- you get the point. It is, to put it mildly, a bit of a turnoff. Anyway, besides listing every NTDP player ever drafted no matter which round, the document also lists all the US players drafted in the top two rounds since the draft's inception (though leaving out the team from which they were drafted). Of course, there are notable omissions: how do you leave former Warroad High star Henry Boucha, selected in the second round by the Detroit Red Wings in 1971, off the list? Boucha, a Native American who played with a headband and a ton of flair, even played for the the silver medal-winning 1972 U.S. Olympic Team.
Plymouth (OHL) center Tyler Seguin, paired with Windsor (OHL) LW Taylor Hall at the top of every draft list, is the son of Paul Seguin, a defenseman who played at the University of Vermont from 1984-88, during the Mike Gilligan era. Among Sequin's teammates were John LeClair, Toby Ducolan (the first Vermonter ever taken in the NHL draft), Kyle McDonough, and Mike Maher (former Taft coach; now headmaster at Berkshire). Seguin played against Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli and director of player development Don Sweeney, while the latter two were at Harvard. And tonight the Bruins could be picking his son.
More to Trolley Crash
In a front page news story in today's Boston Globe, reporter Brian McGrory points out that there's more to the late April MBTA mishap involving a bunch of BC students in a Jeep -- including freshman hockey players Parker Milner, Patrick Wey, and Philip Samuelsson -- and a Green Line trolley than the transit authority originally let on.
Most notably, very quietly, a month after the crash, the MBTA, after determining the trolley operator had been traveling way too fast (35 mph in a 10 mph zone) at the time of impact, suspended him for two weeks. And it now appears he will be suspended indefinitely for perjuring himself during testimony.
Last week, the most serious charges against the driver, BC student Jane Stanton, were thrown out in Brighton District Court.
Here's a link to the full story
Blaming BC Students? Not So Fast
... On Second Thought
6'0", 185 lb. Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) center Matt Lindblad, who decommitted from Dartmouth last week, has now decided to honor his commitment to the Big Green.
Lindblad, who visited Wisconsin and Notre Dame, called the Dartmouth staff today to tell them he wanted back in.... or to stay... or whatever you call it. Even while all this other stuff was going on, Dartmouth staff kept right on recruiting him.
And it paid off. They got their player back, and everyone's happy.
Lindblad, a 3/23/90 from Winnetka, Ill., committed to Dartmouth over a year ago. This was before he was traded from the Chicago Steel to Sioux Falls and had a breakthrough year: his point totals jumped from 25 to 70 and he finished the season as the seventh-leading scorer in the USHL.
Perhaps Lindblad realized that Dartmouth saw the potential in him before the big Div. I powerhouse schools did. Perhaps, too, Lindblad realized that if he wanted to play in the NHL, Dartmouth is not a bad route to take. Seven (!) players from the '06-07 team - including all of the top six scorers -- have already made their NHL debuts. Add in '05 grad Lee Stempniak and you have eight Dartmouth players in the last five years who have made the show. That's a lot - not just for an Ivy school, but for any school. (Ironically, Hugh Jessiman, the highest drafted Dartmouth player of the decade at #12 overall in the 2003 draft, still hasn't made it to the show. However, he's still just 26 and coming off his strongest AHL season yet, so he could be there soon, too.)
Anyway, the bottom line is, if you can play, they will find you. Just go to a school where you will have the opportunity to succeed, and where it feels right. Don't be dazzled. Just follow your instincts, even if, as in Lindblad's case, they lead you right back to where you started from.
For the record, the seven from '07 are Tanner Glass, David Jones, T.J. Galiardi, Ben Lovejoy, Nick Johnson, J.T. Wyman, and Grant Lewis. As James Thurber (probably first) and then Casey Stengel said, "you could look it up.'
We wrote about that Lindblad visited Wisconsin and Notre Dame. That is not correct. Lindblad only visited Wisconsin.
Cole Replaces Kleinendorst at NTDP
University of Alabama-Huntsville head coach Danton Cole has been named as a head coach in the National Team Development Program.
For the upcoming season, Cole will be behind the bench of the Under-17 Team.
A native of Pontiac, Michigan, Cole played his college hockey at Michigan State and then went on to play in the NHL, retiring ten years ago and entering coaching. After starting as an assistant, Cole worked his way up to head coach of the Grand Rapids Griffins, the AHL affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings, where he served from 2002-05. From there, Cole went on to coach the Motor City Mechanics (United Hockey League) before getting into college hockey as an assistant at Bowling Green. After one year on Scott Paluch's staff, Cole took over at Alabama-Huntsville in the fall of '07. This year, in his third season, the Chargers won the CHA championship, and got an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, where they were edged out by Miami, 2-1, in the Midwest Regional.
Cole replaces Kurt Kleinendorst.
Felice to Sacred Heart
6'5", 225 lb. Hebron Academy LD Bryan Felice, who graduated earlier this month, will be heading to Sacred Heart this fall.
A Middletown, NJ native and an 8/30/91 birthdate, had a 2-25-27 line in 33 games with the Lumberjacks this season.
Felice has good feet for his size, and gets around well. We expected he'd play a year of juniors after graduating, but Sacred Heart is giving him the opportunity to jump right in at the college level.
Philly Whiz Kids
Ottawa Senators scout Lew Mongelluzzo held his second annual Liberty Bell Games last weekend at the Philadelphia Flyers practice arena in Voorhees, NJ.
"The competition was very good," said one NHL scout. "Lew does a good job. He limits the number of teams, so the level of play stays high. This was year two, and a step up from last year. The games were close, and competitive."
Last year, you may remember, defenseman Nick Ebert was the top player in the tournament.
This year, the consensus top player was another d-man, late '95 Anthony DeAngelo. You probably know of DeAngelo, because we wrote about him just last week, after his strong performance at Cedar Rapids' camp. Roughriders' head coach/GM Mark Carlson has offered DeAngelo a spot on the team, despite the fact that the youngster will be 14 for the first month of the season. It's a pretty sure bet he'll be accepting that offer, too. Some may question the kid's physical and mental readiness for the grind of the USHL, but no one is questioning that DeAngelo is a very high-end player who will be a star in college a few years down the line, which is why Boston University assistant Buddy Powers was on hand, watching DeAngelo like a hawk.
DeAngelo, listed as 5'11", 160 lbs, is a 10/24/95 birthdate from Sewell, NJ who played last season for the Westchester Express 14-and-Under Team. A take-charge type, DeAngelo is an excellent skater with magical feet and hands, and an ability to read plays, quickly sizing up his options and choosing the best one. A power play QB type with a boatload of offensive skills, DeAngelo is a kid who can go end-to-end - just an exciting player to watch. He's also ultra-competitive, plays with an edge, and is not afraid to drop the gloves, as he showed here. "He's phenomenal," said one NHL scout on hand. DeAngelo will be going into the ninth grade.
The top goalie in the tournament was 6'2", 175 lb. Eamon McAdam of Perkaskie, PA and Team Comcast 16-and-Under. A 9/24/94 birthdate, McAdam was drafted by the London Knights in the fourth round of last month's OHL draft - and Dale Hunter made a home visit, too. In addition to his size, McAdam has presence and athleticism, handled most shots with ease, played his angles well, was aggressive and out at the top of the paint, recovered quickly, and redirected shots nicely. McAdam will be at Waterloo's camp starting tomorrow and then head directly to the 16 Festival. Despite London's strong interest, McAdam, who will be going into the 11th grade, is also very interested in college. He appears open to either route. Every school that has seen him likes him - BU and Wisconsin, to name a couple - though there are plenty of schools that still haven't seen him, a situation that will change dramatically over the next two weeks.
The top forward at the camp -- by a significant margin, too -- was 6'2", 180 lbs. RC Mark Petaccio, who will shortly sign with the Oshawa Generals and join them in the fall (He was Oshawa's second round pick in last month's OHL draft). A 3/6/94 birthdate from Sicklerville, NJ, Petaccio, who played for Team Comcast 16-and-Under, has size and strength, is a good skater who plays hard both ways, goes to the net hard, has nice hands, distributes the puck well, and can finish. He stood out in every game, and has that pro look to his game, a power forward in the making. In addition, he's a competitive team leader type of guy.
So, to sum things up, DeAngelo gets the nod as both top defenseman/top player in the tournament. McAdam was the clear choice as top goalie. And Petaccio was the top forward.
But there's more.
-- Our #2 forward in the camp was 6'1", 165 lb 6/7/94 birthdate Alex Rauter, who played last winter for the North Jersey Avalanche 16-U Team, playing the first half in the American conference before moving up to the National Conference. Those close to Philly-area prospects said Rauter, being less ballyhooed, was a bit of a sleeper who was never rated very highly and, as such, was a pleasant surprise. Rauter was among the top scorers in the camp, and is a good skater with great hands - just has a very nice touch with the puck. He drives to the net, has a good shot - both forehand and backhand - and is a very smart, aware player, an excellent playmaker who makes great decisions. His ability to see the ice gives him a lot of upside. He's pretty skinny, though, and needs to fill out. A native of Basking Ridge, NJ, Rauter will be going into the 11th grade.
-- Our #3 forward was 6'1", 175 lb. forward Jason Stephanik, a 5/19/94 birthdate from Monroe, NY who played for the North Jersey Avalance 16-U squad last winter. Stephanik, who played with a broken toe, has size, nice hands, worked hard both ways, took it to the net, and put up points. He doesn't wow you, but uses his size to gain position in front. Raw, but he stated a case for himself over the weekend. There could be something there. Stephanik, by the way, was part of a solid all-'94 line. One of his linemates was Salisbury recruit John Stevens, the son of the former Flyers head coach and good smart player who played well in all zones but needs to improve his feet. 5'9", 165 lb. Dan Casey, the third member of the line is small, but a natural scorer. All will be in Rochester next week.
Others who played well, in no particular order:
-- 5'8", 170 lb. forward Drew Smolcynski, a 4/24/94 from Hatfield, PA who will be playing at the Gunnery this season, is small and quick -- just great wheels. On top of that, he has nice hands, strong passing skills, and a good wrist shot.
-- 6'3", 202 lb. RD John Bowen of Team Comcast 16-U is a big, strong kid who provided physical presence. An average skater who needs to work on his mobility, Bowen could fill a role if he keeps developing. He's a nasty type, and likes the physical game. A 5/3/94 birthdate, he was drafted by Windsor in the seventh round of last month's OHL draft, and that's where his sites are set.
-- 5'10", 170 lb. RD Doug Rose is a small offensive defenseman from the Little Flyers 16-U team. Will play on their AJHL team this coming season. An 8/12/93 going into the 11th grade, Rose has skill, talent, played with heart, and put up points. Because of his size, he looks like a kid who will fall on the Div. I/Div. III bubble.
-- 5'7", 145 lb. forward John-John Ganss is feisty, hard-nosed, and an excellent skater. Not afraid to stick his nose in there and take it to the net. Skates hard both ways and goes all-out every shift, banging, hitting, and making things happen. Amazing wheels but not a natural finisher. Creates opportunities, though, and is hard to miss out there. A 5/18/94, Ganss played for the North Jersey Avalanche last year. A native of Montvale, NJ, he will be attending Taft as an 11th grader this fall.
-- 6'2", 175 lb. goaltender Jake Purnell, a 1/8/93 from the Mercer Chiefs U-16s played well. Has size and upside. Was just a solid, steady goaltender. Will play for Team Comcast 18-U this season. Really came on last year, according to those who have watched him over a long period of time.
-- 5'9", 150 lb. forward Zachary Diamantoni, a 1/5/95 from the Westchester Express 14-U squad and the Lawrenceville School varsity, is fun to watch. A really good skater, he can scoot. Works hard, is a smart player, and brings a lot of energy. He's from Belle Mead, NJ and going into the 10th grade.
-- 6'0", 185 lb. center Patrick Thompson moved up from AA hockey last winter and joined the Philadelphia Revolution Empire Team. A 1/12/93 going into the 12th grade, Thompson is a good skater who showed hockey sense, hands, moved the puck well, and is physically involved. Not afraid to mix it up a bit. A Hellertown, PA native, Thompson will play in the EJHL this winter.
-- 6'1", 170 lb. LD Ryan Melvin is a 8/1/93 birthdate from the North Jersey Avalanche 16-U squad. Skated well, has good feet, and moved the puck well. From Oradell, NJ, he will be a 12th grader.
-- 5'9", 165 lb. Ryan Badger, a 3/3/94 center from Hainesport, NJ and Team Comcast 16-U, played well in all three zones and can also put up numbers. The son of former UMass-Lowell forward Rob Badger, he works hard and is a smart heady player who plays bigger than his size. A player to follow. Could develop into a Div. I player. Will be playing for Team Comcast 18-U this season.
-- 5'10", 155 lb. LW Chase Hatcher, a 2/22/94 from Haddonfield, NJ and Team Comcast 16-U, was drafted in the eighth round of last month's OHL draft by the London Knights. Didn't do that much over the weekend, and he needs to get his feet up to speed. If he has a growth spurt and approaches the size of his father, former NHLer Derian Hatcher, and gains the leg strength to get his feet moving, he could become a good power forward. He definitely has some of his father's nastiness.
-- Last but not least, we should mention 6'3", 173 lb. RD Steven Duda of the Philadelphia Revolution Empire League Team. The son of a cop from Warrington, PA, Duda missed half of last season with a broken arm. He's a big positional d-man who keeps it simple. He's an 11/11/94, going into the 10th grade, and skinny as a rail. He needs to work on his skating, which will be helped along when his leg strength gets there. He could become a player. Time is on his side, if he uses it well. There's always room for the Hal Gill type of d-man.
U.S. Junior Camp Roster
Here are the 44 players who have been invited to USA Hockey's National Junior Evaluation Camp July 30-Aug. 7 in Lake Placid, NY.
There are nine returnees from the Gold Medal-winning team of January: Campbell in goal; Fowler and Ramage on the blue line; and Bourque, D'Amigo, Kreider, Morin, Palmieri, and Zucker up front.
Of the 44 players, 21 are '91s and 23 are '92s. The full breakdown is below.
Goaltenders (4): Jack Campbell (US Under-18 Team); Zane Gothberg (Thief River Falls HS); Michael Houser (London Knights - OHL); Andy Iles (US Under-18 Team).
Defensemen (14): Mark Alt (Cretin-Derham Hall HS); Brandon Archibald (Sault Ste. Marie -OHL); Adam Clendening (U.S. Under-18 Team); Brian Dumoulin (Boston College - NCAA); Justin Faulk (US Under-18 Team); Derek Forbort (U.S. Under-18 Team); Cam Fowler (Windsor - OHL); Stephen Johns (US Under-18 Team); Nick Leddy (Minnesota - NCAA); Jon Merrill (US Under-18 Team); John Ramage (Wisconsin - NCAA); Philip Samuelsson (Boston College - NCAA); Jarred Tinordi (US Under-18 Team); Patrick Wey (Boston College - NCAA).
Forwards (24): Beau Bennett (Penticton - BCHL); Nick Bjugstad (Blaine HS); Ryan Bourque (Quebec -QMJHL); Connor Brickley (Des Moines - USHL); Chris Brown (Michigan - NCAA); Zach Budish (Minnesota - NCAA); Charlie Coyle (South Shore Kings - EJHL); Jerry D'Amigo (RPI - NCAA); Emerson Etem (Medicine Hat - WHL); Kevin Hayes (Noble & Greenough School); Chris Kreider (Boston College - NCAA); Phil Lane (Brampton - OHL); Kevin Lynch (Michigan - NCAA); Tyler Maxwell (Everett - WHL); Jeremy Morin (Kitchener-OHL); Brock Nelson (Warroad HS); Matt Nieto (US Under-18 Team); Kyle Palmieri (Notre Dame - NCAA); Tyler Pitlick (Mankato State - NCAA); Bryan Rust (US Under-18 Team); Brandon Saad (US Under-18 Team); Drew Shore (Denver - NCAA); Nick Shore (US Under-18 Team); Austin Watson (Peterborough - OHL); Steven Whitney (Boston College - NCAA); Jason Zucker (US Under-18 Team)
Head coach: Keith Allain.
Assistant Coaches: Mark Osiecki, Phil Housley, and Joe Exter.
Camp Coaches: Mark Carlson and Greg Brown.
General Manager: Jim Johannson.
Director of Player Personnel: Tim Taylor.
Goaltenders (0). Defensemen (7): Alt, Dumoulin, Fowler, Leddy, Ramage, Samuelsson, and Wey. Forwards (14): Bennett, Bourque, Brown, Budish, D'Amigo, Kreider, Lynch, Maxwell, Morin, Nelson, Palmieri, Pitlick, D. Shore, Whitney.
Goaltenders (4): Campbell, Gothberg, Houser, Iles. Defensemen (7): Archibald, Clendening, Faulk, Forbort, Johns, Merrill, Tinordi. Forwards (12): Bjugstad, Brickley, Coyle, Etem, Hayes, Lane, Nieto, Rust, Saad, N. Shore, Watson, and Zucker.
Of the 44 players, 14 played in college last season (including five from BC, two from Minnesota, and two from Michigan); 13 came from the U.S. Under-18 Team; nine came from major junior; four came from Minnesota high schools; and the USHL, EJHL, BCHL, and New England preps sent are each sending one apiece.
As for home states, Minnesota (8), Michigan (7), Massachusetts (6), New York (5), California (4), Pennsylvania (4), and Colorado (2, but same family) are each sending more than one player. Sending one apiece are: Maine, Missouri, Arizona, Maryland, North Dakota, Texas, New Jersey, and Nevada.
Dartmouth Recruit Decommits
6'0", 185 lb. Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL) center Matt Lindblad has decommitted from Dartmouth.
Lindblad committed to Dartmouth over a year ago -- just before he was traded from Chicago to Sioux Falls and had a breakthrough year during which his point totals jumped from 25 to 70. The Winnetka, Ill. native finished the season as the seventh-leading scorer in the USHL.
Look for Lindblad, a 3/23/90 birthdate, to be playing with the Wisconsin Badgers this fall. As Lindblad hasn't taken any classes at Dartmouth, he is expected to be eligible to play at Wisconsin right away.
Words of Wisdom
Merrimack leading scorer Stephane Da Costa, who had a huge freshman season, leading the Warriors with a 16-30-46 line in 34 games played while a parade of NHL scouts attended his games, hoping to sign him as a free agent after the season, will be returning to Mark Dennehy's squad for his sophomore season.
An 11/7/89 from Paris, France, Da Costa spoke to the Lawrence Eagle-Tribune, saying, "I always thought I was coming back to Merrimack. I wanted to get bigger and get stronger and a little more experienced on the ice. Team-wise, I want to go to the TD Garden and win a championship."
"I talked to a lot of people and a lot of people told me it's never too late to go pro," DaCosta said. "Leaving too early to play in the NHL, sometimes you only have one or two chances. I want to be ready for that chance when it comes. I don't want to just rush it and not be ready."
University of Maine 5'7½", 162 lb. recruited forward Darcy Ashley, who was drafted by the Halifax Mooseheads in the second round (25th overall) of the June 5th QMJHL draft, has decommitted from Maine and signed with the Mooseheads.
Ashley, who played for Summerside (Prince Edward Island) in the Maritime Jr. A Hockey League this past season, finished sixth in the league scoring race as a '93. Ashley also played for Team Atlantic in the World Under-17 Challenge over the holidays.
According to the Halfax Chronicle-Herald, Mooseheads head coach/GM Cam Russell is in discussions with New Canaan, Conn. native Anthony Terenzio, who played goal last year at Shattuck-St. Mary's. The paper reported discussions are going well, and "all signs are pointing to (Terenzio) reporting to the Mooseheads as well." Terenzio was the sixth round pick of Halifax in the Q draft.
On the Move Again
Top '95 Adam Erne, a North Brandford, Conn. resident whose family had been living in New Hampshire before the young forward headed out to California a couple of years ago to live with the Comrie family while playing for the LA Selects, is moving back east.
Erne, who had reportedly hoped to play with fellow ‘95 Steve Santini with Apple Core (EJHL), will instead be playing for the New Jersey Rockets (AJHL), having come to an agreement with Rockets head coach/GM Bob Thornton.
By setting up shop in the Garden State, Erne is moving into OHL territory, and, as a resident, would be eligible for next spring's OHL draft. But it's not that simple. You can't just move somewhere to play and then claim it as your home. There is a residency test of sorts, though exactly what that is may be a bit hard to decipher. When Erne was in California, the WHL tried to claim him for this spring's bantam draft, but the QMJHL, knowing that Erne was from Connecticut, put in a territorial claim with the CHL and were thus able to block out the Dub. So, as far as the CHL is concerned, only the QMJHL can draft Erne next spring. Even so, two things could happen: the Ernes, by setting up residency in New Jersey, could legally challenge the CHL's territorial decision, if they felt up to the task. Or Erne could simply go into the QMJHL draft. And if the did that, he could basically choose the team(s) for which he would play. He'll have leverage. And that's all because, leaving aside what territory he's from, he's still an American and -- assuming that his game continues improving -- he holds the bargaining chip that the NTDP provides U.S. kids.
Ambroz Deferring College for a Year
Omaha Lancers 6'3", 205 lb. forward Seth Ambroz, who accelerated his studies this past season in order to join the University of Minnesota this fall, will be deferring a year.
A 4/1/93 birthdate from New Prague, Minn., Ambroz is a two-year USHL vet even through he only turned 17 this spring. He's also a potential high first round pick for the 2011 NHL draft.
The feeling is that Ambroz, who has always been the youngest - i.e., he entered the USHL at 15 and would have been the baby at the U as well - would benefit greatly by being The Man and just going out and dominating the USHL à la Thomas Vanek in '01-02. His parents and his agent (Shjon Podein of Octagon) are encouraging him to take another year. The idea also has the approval of Don Lucia and his staff at the U (the Gophers have a surfeit of forwards anyway).
Lancers' coach Bliss Littler would like to see Ambroz take another year. "We believe that he'll be back in Omaha next fall," he said.
Ambroz, who was at the Lancers' camp last week, played 56 games this past season, and had a 22-27-49 line with 118 pims. Next season, Ambroz could really build on that and, in doing so, enchance his draft position greatly. As a point of reference, consider that Vanek, in his final USHL season, had a 46-45-91 line in 53 games, a mark that hasn't been topped since. We're not saying Ambroz will break it, but we'd sure love to see him give it a shot.
Some Youngsters Drawing Raves
Lakeville South High School 5'8", 150 lb. forward Kyle Osterberg, Omaha's second round pick in last month's USHL Future's Draft, has just committed to the Lancers and will be leaving his native Minnesota to play in the USHL this fall.
Osterberg, a 9/5/94 birthdate who is finishing up in ninth grade, had an 18-39-57 line in 25 games at Lakeville South this season. That made him the leading scorer among all ninth graders in Class AA - all tenth graders, too, for that matter.
Lancers' GM/head coach coach Bliss Littler was impressed with Osterberg's work at the Lancers' camp last weekend. "He's a high-end skill kid, a smaller player who sees the ice well, gets in and out of traffic nicely, and moves the puck well. He's a skilled playmaker who we really liked at center. He wasn't scared to take it to the front of the net. He played with grit, which was nice to see. He has a bit of a mean streak. There will be an adjustment period, of course, but he'll be able to make the jump and contribute. He will become a really good player for us."
Osterberg is uncommitted as far as college is concerned, but raised his stock considerably last weekend.
Omaha will actually have two ‘94s on the roster next season. Also joining the Lancers is Adam Chlapik, their first round pick in the Futures Draft. A 6'0", 190 lb. center, Chlapik is a 2/4/94 birthdate who played for the LA Jr. Kings Midget Major squad last season, posting a 15-17-32 line in 43 games. Chlapik had returned home to his native Czech Republic and was unable to be at the Lancers' camp.
"He's a high-level '94," says Littler. "We know the CHL is in play so it's our job to convince him to play college hockey."
While domestic ‘94s are eligible for CHL play in the upcoming season, an import must be '93 or older. Chlapik, who lived in Laguna Beach, Calif., was, like Osterberg, a freshman in high school this year.
Let's go younger now, and talk about a 14-year-old. At the Cedar Rapids Roughriders camp last week, college recruiters were wowed by 14-year-old offensive defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, who was the leading scorer on the Westchester Express 14-and-Under Team - BC recruit Steve Santini was a teammate - that finished as the runner-up at USA Hockey's Nationals in April.
A native of Sewell, NJ, which is south of Philadelphia, DeAngelo, a right shot and a 10/24/95 birthdate, was one of our top defensemen at last summer's Select 14 Festival. His natural scoring ability, up-tempo game, ability to move the puck, and knowledge of when to jump up into the play are impressive for a kid of that age.
Cedar Rapids GM/head coach Mark Carlson, who had also watched DeAngelo at the USHL combine, offered the youngster a spot on the team after last weekend's tryouts.
"He's really smart, skates well, and has a bit of an edge to his game," Carlson says. "We'd really like to have him here next season. It's up to him as his family."
Carlson points out that Cedar Rapids has done well with young players, citing the likes of defensman Paul Phillips and forward Cason Hohmann, both of whom were 16 when they debuted with Cedar Rapids. And Cedar Rapids' first round pick in last month's future's draft, Ian Brady, a defenseman from the Chicago Fury midget minors, will be 16 when he suits up from the Roughriders this fall.
However, as a late '95, DeAngelo would still be 14 when the USHL campaign begins this fall.
Another Ex-BU Star Taking Up Prep Coaching
St. Mark's School has signed on an alum to take over its hockey program: Class of '85 grad Scott Young, who went on to play for Boston University and in the NHL, will be taking over as head coach this fall.
Young, 42, is a native of Clinton, Mass., just 15-20 miles up the road from the Southborough boarding school. A winger, he made the U.S. National Junior team while still a senior at St. Mark's - then made it two more times (he's one of 16 U.S. players to compete in three World Junior Championships). Young played at BU for two years, then left to play for the '88 U.S. Olympic Team. Immediately afterward, he turned pro with the Hartford Whalers. Young would go on to play for five other teams - Pittsburgh, Quebec/Colorado, Anaheim, St. Louis, and Dallas - in a 19-year NHL career.
Young won two Stanley Cups, in Pittsburgh ('91) and Colorado ('96).
In addition to his three appearances with the U.S. National Junior Team, Young also played on three U.S. Olympic Teams. We already mentioned Calgary ('88). In addition, he competed in the '92 Olympics in Albertville, France (with six other former Terriers, including Rivers coach Shawn McEachern), and the 2002 silver-medal winning team in Salt Lake City.
Young joins McEachern and Tony Amonte as former BU players who went on to play in the Olympics and the NHL who have been hired by Eastern Mass. boarding schools in the past couple of weeks.
Another Top '95 Headed to The Heights
Noble & Greenough 6'1'", 185 lb. left shot forward Brandon Shea has committed to Boston College for the fall of '13.
A 6/30/95 birthdate, Shea, who's still only 14 years old, was one of the top players at Nobles this past season -- as an eighth grader. He has size and strength, is hard to knock off the puck, competes, sees the ice well, can shoot it, make a play, and take the body. In short, he's an extremely complete player for his age. A natural centerman, Shea played the off-wing for Nobles. During the second half of the season he was moved up to the school's first line, and he also played on the second power play unit. In 29 games, he had an 11-12-23 line.
A Marshfield, Mass. native, Shea is the son of former Boston College ('86) forward and current Colorado Avalanche scout Neil Shea, who coached him in youth hockey with the '95 South Shore Kings, winners of seven straight EHF championships. The younger Shea has played both with and against fellow '95 BC recruit Steve Santini for about eight years.
In addition to BC, Shea visited UMass, Northeastern, Harvard, and Boston University.
Shea, who will be in the ninth grade at Nobles this fall, will need to accelerate in order to be at BC in the fall of '13, and that's what BC expects him to do. He will join Santini, Austin Cangelosi, and Ryan Fitzgerald in a class that is shaping up to be a pretty potent group.
Thayer Sweetens the Pot; Amonte's In
Thayer Academy and Tony Amonte have reportedly come to an agreement that will enable the former Thayer, BU, and NHL star to become the new head hockey coach at the school. Look for an official announcement shortly.
This looked dead in the water last week, but according to our sources Thayer came back and offered Amonte a job in the Alumni and Development Office -- and full free tuition for his children at the school.
Hagen to Larries
5'11", 174 lb. Choate junior forward Alex Hagen has committed to St. Lawrence for the fall of ‘11 or '12.
A 3/24/92 birthdate from Bronxville, NY, Hagen was a new junior at Choate this past season and tied Harvard recruit Kyle Criscuolo in team scoring with a 19-22-41 line in 28 games.
A lot of the Ivies were interested in Hagen, but were waiting on test scores. Hagen, though, went up to St. Lawrence last weekend, where his father, Kevin Hagen, had played in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s, and where his coach, Pat Dennehy, had also played. Hagen decided that St. Lawrence, a scholarship school, was the place for him.
"He's been our best player," said Dennehy. "Very consistent from beginning to end. He scored at least a point in every single game but one this season. I'm thrilled to have him go to St. Lawrence and play for Joe Marsh. I'm really excited. He's the first player of mine to have gone to St. Lawrence in the 13 years I've been coaching."
Dennehy says Hagen's strength is the fact that "he can make plays and he can rip the puck."
"He has a great shot, with a quick release," Dennehy adds. "He's also a deceptively fast skater with a really good stride. On top of that, he'll pay the price and go to the dirty areas. He's a strong kid who will work off the checker. He's really sound in every area of the game."
Hagen, to us, projects as a center. He played wing at Choate this past season - actually, all the forwards did, as Choate employed the Middlebury system, with three guys back.
Hagen, who grew up in the LI Gulls organization, played for the NY Bobcats with several of his Choate teammates this season.
Different Sport; Similar Issues
For anyone interested in player development - in any sport - we strongly recommend Michael Sokolove's article in the Sunday New York Times Magazine section, to which we've included a link below. It's about the Ajax Academy in Amsterdam, where carefully selected soccer players - football players, if you prefer -- as young as seven begin serious training with the ultimate goal of reaching the sport's highest level. The catch is that, in this model, parents don't pay. The kids, who can get cut from the academy at any point they cease to be high-level prospects, are the capital, and the academy prospers when those kids come of age and their rights - Ajax has its own pro team but doesn't expect to keep its stars -- are sold to the richest of the European pro franchises - Chelsea, Juventus, Real Madrid -- for some pretty hefty sums of money. So their ideas on development are on the cutting edge and far from fanciful. Since sports have traditionally borrowed training techniques from other sports, there's stuff here that will get you thinking. Not all of it's pretty, of course. The scene in which an Ajax scout has his eyes on an '04 birthdate - a five-year-old - is downright surreal. Sokolove questions whether the boy is even in school yet. "I believe he's in day care," the scout replies. Looks like DNA scouting is not as far in the future as we like to think.
From Boys to Pros
Road to College Rosters
The dates for this year's Road to College Camp are Thurs. June 24 to Sun. June 27 at Milton Academy in Milton, Mass.
This will be the camp's sixth year, and directors Chuckie Hughes and Dan Donato, teammates at Catholic Memorial in the late ‘80s before going on to college at Harvard and BU, respectively, offer some things that you don't find at most camps, specifically, an academic and informational component. Hughes, who won an NCAA title at Harvard and later returned to his alma mater to work in admissions before founding Road to College, a year-round operation that extends beyond hockey, runs most of the classes and seminars. Donato, who works in admissions and coaches at Dexter, is in charge of the on-ice component.
There's an NCAA recruiting workshop, a college financial planning workshop (this one is for parents), SAT workshops and SAT prep classes, nutrition workshops, a Div. I coaches forum, a NESCAC workshop, a Hockey East Coaches Seminar, a flexibility and strength training workshop, essay planning, and lectures on various topics. - e.g. "Trends and Training for College Hockey," "Developing Interview and Communication Skills, " "Marketing Yourself to Coaches, Find the Right College Fit, " "Academic Index and NESCAC Bands," and more.
For downtime, the kids get to kick back and watch a movie. And there's plenty of work to be done on-ice.
Games - there are six teams in camp -- are on Friday (2:00 pm -7:00 pm), Saturday (2:00 pm -7:00 pm), and Sunday (11:00 am-4:00 pm).
The players invited to camp are all uncommitted (a requirement) which means college coaches don't have to waste their time watching players that have already been taken. The camp features a solid group that includes a large number of the top available prep players. There are also new players who haven't even arrived at prep school yet, as well as other Div. I prospects from Canadian juniors, US juniors, and Minnesota high schools. There is also a solid group of NESCAC-type candidates.
Players attending (Most are class of '11; players in class of '12 are designated as such below):
Goalies: Gabe Antoni (Salisbury), Connor Girard (Edina HS), Kevin Green (Dexter), Matthew O'Connor (Upper Canada College), Derick Roy (St. Paul's), Kevin Venteruso (Bridgewater Bandits).
Goalie Update: Scratch Connor Girard, add Noah Klag (Team Comcast Under-18)
Defensemen: Jordan Auld (Mississauga Reps), Marc Bessey (Taft), MacKenzie Braid (Salisbury), Ryan Bullock (Blake), Taylor Carmola (Berkshire), Christian Cordier (Berkshire), Tommy Davis (Delbarton '12), Joey DeConsylis (Salisbury '12), James DiBlasi (BB&N), Joe DiPietro (Dexter), Danny Divis (Gunnery), Alex D'Olieira (Mississauga Reps), Connor Evangelista (Malden Catholic ‘12), Brian Helderman (Berkshire '12), Brian Hickey (Team Illinois), Mike Holland (Hotchkiss), Christian Kader (St. Paul's), Ben Kaplan (St. Paul's), Kyle LeBrun (SS Kings), Brian McNamara (Choate), Ryan Michel (Northwood), Eric Naclerio (Avon), Kyle O'Brien (Cushing), Dan Poliziani (Appleby College '12), Matt Prappavessis (Mississauga - OPJHL), Logan Roe (Kent), Greg Rooney (Governors), Alex Root (Taft), Phil Saviuk (Hotchkiss), Kevin Sinclair (Kent), Richard Spiker (Williston), Zach Todd (Northwood), Clark West (Crescent), Jared Wiedemann (Dexter).
Forwards: Noel Acciari (Kent), Tim Acker (Westminster), Devin Albert (Belmont Hill '12), Colton Bailey (Cushing), Nick Bligh (Dexter '12), Brendan Bourgea (St. Paul's), Jake Butler (Cushing), JC Cangelosi (NMH), Dylan Carter (Mississauga), Andrew Cerretani (Lawrence), Tim Coffey (Tabor), Fabio Cuetara (Cushing), Pat Curtis (Dexter), Michael Doherty (Groton), Tim Doyle (Mount St. Charles), Jon-Paul Durso (Salisbury), Tim Dwyer (Brunswick), E.J. Faust (Shattuck-St. Mary's), Chris Fenwick (Northwood), Brendan Fitzgerald (Dexter), Michael Hawkrigg (St. Michael's College), T.J. Hickey (Andover), Real Hout (Lawrenceville), Woody Hudson (Milton), Sam Kane (Needham HS), Nick Mannarino (Northwood), Sean McGovern (Taft), Garrett McMullen (NMH), Mark Meads (Tabor), Daniel Milne (St. Andrew's College '12), Peter Mistretta (Taft), Michael Moran (Taft), Kevin Morris (Salisbury), Mark Naclerio (Avon '11), Erik Nillson (Gunnery '11), George Ordway (Blake), Danny Palumbo (Pomfret), George Pantazopoulos (Milton), Adam Patel (Choate), Paul Plaisir (St. Paul's), Dany Potvin (Millbrook), Joe Prescott (St. Sebastian's '12), Alex Quinn (BB&N), David Rath (Eden Prairie HS), Mark Rath (Eden Prairie HS), Kevin Rooney (Berkshire '12), Kevin Roy (Deerfield '12), Connor Ryan (Minnetonka HS), Luke Sandler (Des Moines - USHL), Dan Shuler (Choate), Cam Spiro (Tabor), Andrew Tegeler (Westminster), Devin Tringale (Lawrence '12), Jim Vesey (Belmont Hill '12), Steven Victor (Deerfield), Alex Ward (Deerfield), Garrett White (Pomfret '12).
The 2010 Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Draft was held today in Drummondville, Quebec.
The top American player chosen was Stephane Matteau, who played in Wilcox, Sask. for the Notre Dame Hounds last season, and has committed to the U.S. Under-17 Team for the upcoming season. Matteau, whose father, a Quebec native, played in the Q before going on to the NHL, was a second round pick of Chicoutimi.
A few non-US prep players selected were Kimball Union F Thomas Flynn, a native of PEI (by Montreal in the 7th round); Choate F Philippe Hudon, a Cornell recruit from Hudson, Que. (by Victoriaville in the 8th round); and Westminster goaltender Patrick Spano, a Montreal native (by Gatineau in the 10th round).
2/29 Chicoutimi - Stephane Matteau, F, Notre Dame Hounds, 2/23/94
6/95 Halifax - Anthony Terenzio, G, Shattuck-St. Mary's, 1/7/93
7/120 Saint John - Chris Eiserman, G, NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL), 7/13/93
9/147 Lewiston -- Connor Anthoine, F, Green Mt. Glades (EJHL), 6/25/93
9/160 Montreal - Alex Gacek, F, NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL), 4/6/93
9/161 D'ville - Trent Samuel-Thomas, F, Waterloo (USHL), 6/23/93
10/180 Saint John - Michael Paliotta, D, US NTDP, 4/6/93
12/210 Halifax - Michael Vecchione, F, Malden Catholic, 2/25/93
Offensive-Minded D to Friars
6'0", 185 lb. Dauphin Kings (MJHL) RD Steven Shamanski, who was named Player of the Year, Top Defenseman, and First Team All-Star in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League this season, will be joining Providence College this fall.
Shamanski, a Carberry, Manitoba native and a 10/13/89 birthdate - he'll turn 21 in October -- is an older, experienced d-man who, along with fellow Friar recruit Shane Luke (fall of '11), helped lead Dauphin to the finals of the Royal Bank Cup a few weeks ago.
The Kings' captain, Shamanski is offensively gifted, with good vision and passing ability, poise with the puck, and decision-making skills. He put up a 19-52-71 line in 62 games this season, and had 70 penalty minutes. He's also versatile, and can play up front if needed.
Along with Damian Cross, another PC recruit for this fall, Shamanski was one of the six finalists for Canadian Junior Player of the Year (Alaska-Fairbanks recruit Cody Kunyk was the eventual winner).
Shamanski will join Kevin Hart (Phillips Exeter) and Mark Adams (Chicago Steel) as PC's freshman blueliners this fall.
Thayer Pushing Reset Button?
The search for a new coach at Thayer Academy seems to be in limbo, with reports that the school is either restarting the search process and/or looking to fill the position on a one-year interim basis.
AD Matt McGuirk, who would likely install himself as assistant coach no matter who gets hired, isn't talking, but multiple sources are reporting that the school did everything they could to give the job to former Thayer, BU, and NHL star Tony Amonte. However, Thayer wasn't going to budge on the salary for the coaching-only position, reported to be $7,000. Apparently, the school tried to sweeten it with the standard tuition breaks for staff children attending the school. But the money still wasn't in Amonte's ballpark. Amonte may have looked over to Rivers, where his Terrier teammate, Shawn McEachern, was hired for a staff position (assistant AD) to supplement hockey, and wondered, ‘Why can't I get that?'
As one observer put it, "They met all of Tony's demands -- except for the money."
The desire to get Amonte - the big-name candidate -- and then not getting him ate up a lot of time in the coaching search.
One refrain we keep constantly hearing is that Thayer still wants to hire an alum. One alum - well, ‘former student,' as he spent his 11th and 12th grade years in the NTDP - is ex-Terrier forward Brian McConnell, who spent last year gaining invaluable experience as an assistant on Jamie Rice's staff at Babson College. McConnell, now 27, is studying for his MBA, so could realistically do it as a part-time position.
McConnell was one of the original finalists, and his name has resurfaced this week.
A non-alum, but a Boston-area native who knows the player pool well and was also among the original finalists, was Mike Levine, who coached New Hampton to a surprise Div. II prep championship two years ago, before returning to get his graduate degree from Utica College, where he has also been working as a volunteer assistant.
St. Mark’s Position Open
Shawn Reid, the head hockey coach at St. Mark’s for the past two seasons, will be returning to his native Minnesota, where he will be coaching a new Minneapolis High School co-op team that combines seven schools (South, Southwest, Roosevelt, North, Henry, Edison, and Washburn).
As for who might be taking over in Southborough, we’ve heard the name of Scott Young mentioned a bit. Young played for St. Mark’s back in the school’s hockey heyday of the mid-eighties before going on to BU and a 19-year NHL career. He retired after the ’05-06 season.
NTDP Coaching Candidates
With Kurt Kleinendorst stepping down after serving one year in the NTDP as head coach of the U.S. Under-18 Team, the program will soon announce his successor.
To the best of our knowledge, the final four candidates, arranged alphabetically, are:
-- University of Alabama-Huntsville (CHA) head coach Danton Cole: The former Michigan State star went on to play in the NHL, retiring ten years ago and entering coaching, first in minor pro, then college. A Michigan native, Cole has coached Alabama-Huntsville for four seasons. The Chargers were edged out by Miami, 2-1, in the Midwest Regional this March.
-- UMass assistant Red Gendron: The Berlin, NH native was an assistant to Shawn Walsh on Maine's powerhouse teams of the early ‘90s. Afterward, Gendron spent nine years as a coach and scout in the New Jersey Devils organization during that franchise's best years. For the last five years, Gendron has been at UMass.
-- Union College head coach Nate Leaman: The former Maine and Harvard assistant has had continuously competitive teams during his seven-year tenure at Union. Leaman has also served as an assistant on US World Junior and Under-18 Teams, working with current NTDP head coach Ron Rolston, with whom he also worked at Harvard.
-- Troy Ward: Most recently, Ward served as assistant coach/assistant GM on Kevin Constantine's staff with the Houston Aeros (AHL). However, Constantine was let go in mid-April, so that leaves Ward in limbo. Ward, who also served on Constantine's staff with Pittsburgh (NHL), has twice been an NCAA assistant (Denver, Wisconsin), has coached two teams in the Coast League and, back in the ‘90s, coached Dubuque in the USHL.
Flaherty Taking the Reins at BC High
Long-time assistant John Flaherty was named BC High's new head coach yesterday.
Flaherty, who withdrew his name from the Thayer job search yesterday morning, replaces Joe McCabe, who recently retired after 22 years behind the bench.
A BC High alum (class of '88), Flaherty, born and raised in South Boston (he now lives in Milton with his young family) began coaching at BC High in the fall of '92, seven months after graduating from Boston College. He's been a goaltending coach, freshman coach, JV coach, and, of course, McCabe's top assistant.
In addition to all that, Flaherty, who is a business consultant by day, has been head coach of the GBL Junior Bruins Midget AAA squad for the last eight years. In that time, the GBL Bruins have won two national titles (2004, 2006) and a third place title (2009) with players like Keith Yandle, Chris Bourque, and Dave Warsofsky, among many others.
"Joe McCabe was the coach here for 22 years and I would like to build upon what he accomplished," Flaherty says. "I would like to take it to the next level, and be in the Super 8 every year. This school is an amazing place, and a great opportunity for student-athletes. It's true we've had a couple of down years but that's not necessarily discouraging because there is talent. We have a deep junior class. We have some good younger players. We just have to refocus."
Flaherty, after being officially introduced by AD Jon Bartlett yesterday, met with the players in an afternoon meeting at the school's auditorium. "They had been wondering who the coach was going to be so I think the meeting provided a nice energy burst," Flaherty says. "Kids want to know what's going on, so I told them of my vision for the program, and I could tell they are buying in. There were a lot of smiles. It was a good feeling."
Flaherty said he hopes to see his players succeed after they graduate from BC High, whether that means playing at NESCAC program or a Div. I school. "If they have to do a year in the EJHL afterwards, that's totally fine. I will use all my opportunities and relationships with junior and college coaches to open up as many opportunities as I can for BC High guys."
NHL Central Scouting Combine Results
At last weekend's NHL Central Scouting Combine in Toronto, 101 of the top prospects for this June's NHL draft - including 27 American kids - were put through their paces, from getting interviewed by NHL scouting staffs to undergoing a barrage of physical tests.
If you go to the combine page on NHL Central Scouting's website - we've provided the direct link below - you will see, on the right-hand side of the page, a drop-down menu listing the 31 areas in which testing was done. If you click on an event, you will find who the top ten finishers in each category were.
It won't tell you how they did in their interviews, and it won't tell you how they think the game, but it will tell you who has the strongest hand grip - and much more. The bike tests are pretty grueling. Click on the Anaerobic Fitness Tests. Peak Power Output is a strong indicator of power delivered over 30-second bursts, i.e. a shift. VO2 Max is useful for measuring endurance over a longer time period, i.e. a game that stretches into OT. Cross-country skiers, distance runners, and cyclists typically post high VO2 scores.
And as for the hand grip, Harvard defenseman Danny Biega ranked #1 in both the right hand and left hand grip, so don't shake his hands, either of them.
Combine Test Results
Allain Named Head Coach of U.S. Junior Team
Yale University head coach Keith Allain has been named head coach of the 2011 U.S. National Junior Team.
For Allain, 51, it will be his third term as head coach. Allain was head coach in 2001 (5th) and 2002 (5th). Allain's teams have gone 9-3-2 in the event (.714).
Allain has been coaching at Yale, his alma mater, for the last four years. In each of the last two seasons, the Bulldogs have won 20-plus games and gone on to the NCAA Tournament.
Tim Taylor, Allain's former coach at Yale, will return as Director of Player Personnel, which is significiant. Until last season, the U.S., unlike Canada, never had one guy overseeing the scouting for the junior team. Naming Taylor to the position was key to the Dean Blais-coached U.S. team winning gold in January. Previously, the U.S. scouting for the junior team was unbelievably scattershot. By naming Taylor to the position, the U.S. moved from sending all-star teams to the tournament to sending teams in which players were carefully picked according to the roles they could fill. And the U.S. wound up with its first gold medal in six years - and the first to ever be won on Canadian soil
Allain's assistant coaches will be Ohio State head coach Mark Osiecki, Stillwater High head coach Phil Housley, and NTDP goaltending coach Joe Exter. Osiecki and Exter were assistants on last year's gold-medal winning team. Housley was an assistant in '08.
Finalists for Thayer Job?
Thayer Academy received over a hundred applications for the head coaching position vacated when Larry Rooney stepped down after the season.
From that group, it's reportedly been whittled down to three:
-- Sean O'Brien: Founder and coach of the Portland Jr. Pirates (AJHL). Went on to scout for the Florida Panthers. Is currently an educational consultant at Boston-based Capital Sports Advisors, an educational consulting firm focusing on student-athletes.
-- John "Flash" Flaherty: Assistant coach at BC High is also the head coach of the GBL Boston Jr. Bruins Midget AAA squad. Also said to be a candidate to replace Joe McCabe at BC High.
-- Tony Amonte: You've undoubtedly heard of him. Played at Thayer, BU, and in the NHL for 16 years with the NY Rangers, Chicago, Phoenix, Philadelphia, and Calgary. Has children in the younger grades at Thayer.
The other issue facing Thayer is the school's desire for a rink of their own. There has been a lot of talk in recent months about a fund-raising drive to get the project underway, but we haven't heard any specifics yet.
A call to Thayer AD Matt McGuirk was not returned.