Canadiens Sign Crimson's Leblanc
Harvard sophomore-to-be Louis Leblanc, the Montreal Canadiens' 2009 first round draft pick (#18 overall) signed a three-year deal with the Canadiens today.
The 6'1", 184 lb. Leblanc, banged up early in his freshman season at Harvard, came on late, finished with an 11-12-23 line in 31 games, and was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year. We watched Leblanc with the Omaha Lancers (USHL) in '08-09 and, given that this typist is a Cambridge, Mass. resident, also saw him quite a bit last year at Harvard. To these eyes, he never looked like a sure-fire first rounder -- at least not where the hometown Canadiens took him. At Harvard, we saw a player who, on the downside, played smaller than his size, and showed a hockey IQ and skating abilty that also fell a little short -- for a mid-first rounder, that is. On the upside, Leblanc played hard and with intensity. The bottom line: he looked like the kind of player who needed at least one more year in college, where he could gain confidence and, away from the glare of Montreal, be the go-to guy, and become a consistently dominant player.
Of course, Leblanc, who will now be playing for the Montreal Junior (QMJHL), will be expected to dominate in the Q, where he will be playing against younger players. Unfortunately, Leblanc is a Montreal native who, as a first-round Canadiens pick playing for the Montreal Junior in a hockey-mad city, is going to have to develop his game under a weird combination of scrutiny and idolatry that may be toxic -- that is, if he doesn't produce big right away. Hopefully, Leblanc can handle the attention and thrive, but he's also putting a huge amount of pressure on himself that could hinder his development over the long term. There was really no need to rush. We know Montreal has undergone changes in the front office, but we are still surprised that the Canadiens, who gained much of their playoff success this past spring with players who stuck with NCAA play for a while -- e.g., Mike Cammalleri (three years at Michigan), Brian Gionta (four years at BC), Dominic Moore (four years at Harvard), Hall Gill (four years at PC), and Ryan O'Byrne (three years at Cornell) -- would want to put the hurry-up on Leblanc. Guys who left college after one year to go pro with the Canadiens -- i.e., Max Pacioretty -- were toiling in the minors long before the games actually mattered last season. You could certainly argue that Pacioretty's rapid rise to the NHL -- he suited up for the Habs at 19, before he was ready -- may have hurt his development. Of course, the Canadiens might not have been the engine pushing Leblanc here. A big part of it could have come from the Montreal Junior, waving a fistful of cash. Canadiens assistant coach Kirk Muller, a teammate of Harvard head coach Ted Donato in Dallas, reportedly told his former teammate, after the Habs rookie camp in June, that Harvard was a fine setup for Leblanc. After Leblanc's rights were traded to the Junior last month, he told the Harvard staff that he was happy in Cambridge, and looking forward to the upcoming season. And the Canadiens appeared happy with him there, too, at least for one more year. Nonetheless, the Canadiens went ahead and signed him.
At any rate, it's done now. Not a good week for college hockey.
By the way, the only other NHL first round draft pick to come out of Harvard was former Belmont Hill defenseman Chris Biotti, who was taken 17th overall (by Calgary) in 1985. Biotti, who was 6'3", 200 lbs. and had played on three U.S. World Junior Teams, played two seasons for the Crimson before turning pro. He was assigned to the Salt Lake Golden Eagles (IHL), played three years there, then played pro for a couple of years in Italy before retiring at age 26. He never played a single minute in the NHL.
The former Harvard player who had the longest NHL career? That would be 5'10", 185 lb. Don Sweeney. The former St. Paul's School defenseman was selected in the eighth round of the 1984 draft and, after four years at Harvard, went on to play 1,115 NHL games. As Chuck Berry, the sage of East St. Louis said, "It goes to show you never can tell."
Ferriero: "I Wasn't Wanted"
Yesterday, we spoke to San Jose fifth-round draft pick Cody Ferriero and asked him, in light of his 11th hour decommitment to Boston College, to explain the thought process that led to his decision. To start out, we asked the Essex, Mass. native to walk us through the events of the past two years, from his original commitment to Boston College in September of 2008, just prior to his junior season at Governor's Academy, to his call to Eagles head coach Jerry York on Sunday.
"When I first went in," Ferriero said, "they offered me a two-year (scholarship) but they said if things changed I'd be considered for more money.
"As things moved along, guys left school, guys came in early, guys decommitted. Of the original forwards who originally committed for this fall - Chris Kreider came in early - I was the only one left. I was under the impression that more money would be considered for me. But I never got any calls from the coaches or had any indication that was going to happen and over the past year, year and a half, I kept feeling like I was getting brushed off and it wasn't going to happen. But it wasn't just about the money. It was more a feeling that I wasn't wanted. I was told I would be considered for more money but I never had a chance to get it. I was always told if I come in and play well I would get more money, but once I'm there they don't have to do anything. They don't have to give me more money. They already have me.
We asked about Kevin Hayes and Billy Arnold coming in early and getting money, and how that affected things.
"They're both great players and great kids. Nothing against them at all. The coaches just kept telling me there was no money available. But a lot of things had changed since I committed. I felt like I was on the back burner with their plans so I tried to schedule a meeting before the Sharks' rookie camp two weeks ago. Jerry wasn't available so it was pushed back to after camp. We met last Monday (July 19th). I asked questions that were pretty direct about where they saw me and I didn't get straightforward answers.
"I asked them where I would be on the depth chart and I was told there were 12-13 guys including me who would be competing. I was looking for a more straightforward answer than that... some indication of where they saw me. For the past two years I have been hesitant about BC. I was excited to begin with, and when more money didn't happen I felt that they weren't really excited about me becoming a big part of the team.
"Most of the time when players get minutes they are usually four-year guys. I only got two years coming in. Where does that stack me up with the other guys? I didn't get a straightforward answer. They brushed me off and didn't worry about what I had to say. I felt pretty upset after that meeting, not so much with the coaches in particular, but... I just didn't want to be stuck in a situation where I wouldn't reach my full potential and be able to compete.
"On Sunday I spoke to my brother when he got back from San Jose's camp to get his input. I spoke to my dad and my younger brother and my mom and we all sat down as a family on Sunday. It was a family decision. Everyone thought it was the best decision for me. I was pretty sure before the meeting at BC that they weren't going to need a place for me. So, after speaking to my family, I called Jerry on Sunday and told him I wasn't going to be coming to school."
We asked Ferriero how coach York responded to the news.
"He was a little surprised obviously, it being so late. But he didn't ask me many questions after that."
We pointed out to Ferriero that BC offered a 2-for-4 nearly two years ago, and that the original dollars and cents of the offer had never changed.
"It was not about the money or the years," Ferriero countered. "It wasn't that. It was the way they handled the money. Telling me about possibly getting more money and it not coming through added to the feeling that I wasn't wanted, that I wasn't going to be a big part of the program, that I was their ‘secondary class.'"
"I was told a lot of things originally by the coaches that turned out to be inaccurate or that they didn't follow through with what they originally said.
Asked whether he would reconsider his decision to decommit à la Dartmouth forward Matt Lindblad, Ferriero said, "No, there's no chance. I'm beyond BC."
"It was a big weight off my shoulders when I called Jerry and told him I wasn't coming to school. I felt really good about it. And my brother told me all along to find another place, so that gave me more confidence."
We asked Cody what kind of feedback he was getting.
"I'm getting a lot of support from everyone I talk to and obviously with Benn supporting me and telling me I should go somewhere else - with his experience obviously that's been a big part of what made me change my mind."
We asked Ferriero where he will be playing this fall.
"Not sure as of right now. Preferably Hockey East. There is some interest around the league. Hopefully in the next two weeks I'll know."
Ferriero Moves Quickly; Picks Huskies
Former BC recruit Cody Ferriero has committed to Northeastern for this fall.
Northeastern head coach Greg Cronin called Eagles head coach Jerry York on Monday and asked for permission to have Cody on campus. Ferriero visited Tuesday, and made his decision today, according to his father, Peter Ferriero.
"Cody is ecstatic," his father said. "He moved fast and concisely. Northeastern is a perfect fit for Cody, and the coach is a perfect fit for Cody."
Asked if any other schools were in the picture, the elder Ferriero said, "There were five Hockey East schools and one Ivy that we had some level of contact with." Ferriero said that, given the circumstances, he was uncomfortable naming them.
Ferriero reported that in the immediate aftermath of his son's decommitting to BC, York had called Jerry Buckley, Benn Ferriero's agent and Cody's adviser (and a co-captain on York's first BC squad in '94-95), to inquire as to whether any tampering had taken place. Buckley, Ferriero said, assured York that there hadn't been.
Michigan Recruit Lessio Opts for the O
Top fall of '11 NCAA recruit Lucas Lessio has decommitted from Michigan, signing today with the Oshawa Generals (OHL).
Lessio, a 6'1", 175 lb. left wing who tore up the CCHL this past season, posting a 30-42-72 line in 41 games for the St. Mike's Buzzers, is a 1/27/93 birthdate. He committed to Michigan last September, five months after he was selected by Niagara in the OHL draft. When Lessio committed to the NCAA route, Niagara traded his rights to Oshawa, and it looks like the Generals got right to work.
Lessio is a marquee player, so this is a big hit for the NCAA, to say nothing of Michigan, which also took a double hit last winter when sophomore forward Robbie Czarnik left the squad in midseason last year to join the Plymouth Whalers, and NTDP goalie Jack Campbell decommited, also opting to go the OHL route (he'll play for the Windsor Spitfires this season).
It looked like Lessio was going to be playing the upcoming season with the Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) so it's a hit for them, too.
On Saturday, Lessio begins tryouts for the squad Canada will be bringing to next month's Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. We have a hunch he'll make that team.
Simon Returning to Des Moines
Look for Regg Simon to return to Des Moines (USHL) and take over the Buccaneers' head coaching position. Simon will be replacing Mike Guentzel, who recently joined Dean Blais' staff at UNO.
Simon is well known in Des Moines. A popular player for the Bucs from '94-96, Simon went on to play four years at Alaska-Anchorage. After graduation, he returned to the USHL as an assistant for two years before being named head coach of Des Moines, a position he held for three-and-a-half years, from 2004 until midway through the '07-08 season.
Most recently, Simon, 34, originally from Elk River, Minn., has been an assistant at his alma mater.
Beantown Summer Tour
The Beantown Summer Tour starts tomorrow night (Thurs. 7/29) runs through Sun. Aug. 1.
Games will be played at the Rinks at Exeter, a twin sheet facility in Exeter, NH, as well as UNH's Whittemore Center.
There will be six teams at the '93-94-95 level; four teams at the '96 level, and four teams at the '97 level.
Here's the schedule: 2010 Beantown Summer Tour
We don't have rosters, but we know that, at the '93-94-95 level, Elite will be coached by Bob Thornton of the NJ Rockets and will have '94 forwards Zach Aston-Reese and Matt Volonnino and '95 forward Adam Erne on the squad. Also on that squad will be '93 Thomas Parisi, who will be playing for Cedar Rapids (USHL) this season.
Endeavor Selects will be coached by Jared Beach and will have '94 forward Matt Gaudreau, who just committed to Northeastern, as well as '94 forward Ryan Badger and '93 forward Dave Ferriera, both of whom are getting a lot of college interest. A couple d-men to watch are '94s Ryan Ivey and Nick Cyr. '94 Eamon McAdam will be in net.
Peter Ward's Beantown Bullies will feature Frankie Vatrano, Cam Darcy, Sam Kurker, Andrew Oglevie, Tyler Kelleher, and Scott Savage.
Hockey Opportunity will be coached by Jason Pagni and feature guys like Avon defensemen Colin Sullivan, a Yale recruit, and Mike Flynn; and Choate forward Ben Foster.
On the Junior Bruins, coached by Chris Masters, you will find guys like forwards Colin Blackwell and Paul Russell and defensemen Kevin McKernan and Dylan Pike.
Former BC captain Matt Price will be coaching 20/20 Can/Am, which will feature college prospects from Ontario. We don't have anything on that team yet.
Beantown Summer Classic Dates
The Beantown Summer Classic will run from Sun. Aug. 15 to Wed. Aug. 18 this year, with the first game on Sunday at 3:30 pm. All games, as usual, will be held at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass.
The Pro Division will feature '90-93 birth year players.
The Futures Division will feature ‘93s and ‘94s along with a handful of elite ‘95s such as Tyler Kelleher, Max Becker, Thatcher Demko, and Eddie Ellis.
A full list of committed players to the tourney will be posted sometime next week at www.beantownclassic.com
Beantown Fall Classic Dates
The 2010 Beantown Fall Classic will run from Thurs. October 14 to Sun. Oct 17, which is a week earlier than in past years.
This year's tournament will feature a 24-team Under-19 and Under-16 Division. Virtually all the teams from last year will be back, and the Chicago Fury and Team Illinois will be returning after a one-year absence.
Also, as in the past, the Junior Bruins, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and Jersey Hitmen will be meeting up in EJHL league games.
Games will be played at the Rinks at Exeter, UNH's Whittemore Center, the Haverhill Valley Forum, and Governor's Academy.
This Family Fine With Northeastern
5'9", 140 lb. forward Matt Gaudreau, the younger brother of Northeastern 2012 recruit John Gaudreau, has also committed to the Huskies.
The younger Gaudreau, a Dec.'94 birthdate who will be entering his sophomore year in high school, will join his brother on St. Botolph St. in the fall of '13.
The two played together last winter at Gloucester Catholic High School in New Jersey. Matt, who prefers center but can also play on the wing, played for Team Comcast 16-and-Under, while his older brother played for Team Comcast 18-and-Under.
Jared Beach, who will be coaching the younger Gaudreau this coming season for Team Comcast 18-U, has known both brothers their entire life. (Beach played for the brothers' father, former Norwich standout Guy Gaudreau, while growing up.)
"Matt is a two-way player who will play as tough defensively as offensively," Beach says. He's excellent in all three zones. His still level is very good. He's not as dynamic as John, and no one will outscore John. But Matt plays a more complete game than John. He's a little bigger than his brother right now - and he's still growing."
Beach coached Matt at this past weekend's EJHL Showcase. After Greg Cronin came out to watch the younger Gaudreau, Northeastern made their offer and it was accepted.
"The thing the guys at Northeastern liked about Matt" Gaudreau said, "was the fact that he competes really hard. He'll find his way onto the scorebook no matter the level. This past weekend he was on the scoresheet every game for us. He was the only '94 on our team and one of the youngest players in the tournament."
Maine and UMass-Amherst were also interested in Gaudreau, though Gaudreau never visited either schools. Northeastern moved fast and had the built-in advantage of keeping it all in the family.
The younger Gaudreau joined his brother at Dubuque's camp last month and played well. He's still a year or two away from the USHL, though. The plan is to play one or two years with Team Comcast U18s, and then head west.
BC Recruit Decommits -- Late
5'11", 190 lb. RC Cody Ferriero, a Boston College recruit for this fall, has decommitted from the Eagles and is looking to be playing for another school this fall.
Indications are that Ferriero, the young brother of former BC forward Benn Ferriero, will be playing in Hockey East.
Ferriero committed to Boston College nearly two years ago (Sept. 2008), prior to his junior season at Governor's Academy. The scholarship offer Ferriero accepted at the time was reported to be a 2-for-4. That's not uncommon for even very good players at BC -- e.g., Chris Kreider didn't come in on a full -- and other high-profile schools, too. It's the byproduct of success. Scholarship offers can be upgraded at the school's discretion, though that doesn't normally happen until the player has played a season or more.
Ferriero, drafted in the fifth round of June's NHL draft by the San Jose Sharks (the organization his brother plays in), reportedly became unhappy somewhere along the line with BC's original offer, and thus decommitted.
It is highly unusual for a player to decommit to a college at this late date. School, after all, starts in six weeks.
There is speculation going around that Ferriero didn't like seeing Kevin Hayes and Billy Arnold both accelerate and come in a year early on full scholarships.
We have a call in to Ferriero but haven't heard back yet.
The Eagles staff is reportedly unhappy with this turn of events, as they were counting on Ferriero, a quality player who projected as a regular. However, the entire Boston College coaching staff is in Bermuda this week, a reward for the school's NCAA championship, so we expect they'll be able to block it out of their minds. Will they have a comment when they come back? They can speak about a recruited player who, like Ferriero, has signed a letter of intent, though we doubt they will. As Ferriero has not yet taken a class at BC, he cannot be blocked from playing for another Hockey East school.
Silk Suffers Sliced Achilles Tendon
6'2", 165 lb. RC Brendan Silk, a Boston College recruit for the fall of '12, sliced his Achilles tendon during a skills session at a Boston-area rink last week, and faces at least six months of rehab.
Silk, a Wakefield, Mass. native who was a sophomore at Austin Prep last season, will undergo surgery tomorrow or Tuesday. Silk was due to join the NTDP next month, but will probably stay and do his rehab at home, where he has the support of his family and the Boston College coaching staff.
Reports are that Silk is pretty down right now. We'll check in with him after surgery, when his spirits are better and he has a stronger sense of what his rebab entails.
Guentzel Back in College Ranks
Today's Omaha World-Herald is reporting that Des Moines Buccaneers (USHL) head coach Mike Guentzel will be joining Dean Blais' staff at the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Guentzel will be taking the position previously held by Nick Fohr, who will now be UNO's director of hockey operations (a position previously held by Dave Noel-Bernier, now an assistant with Muskegon). At UNO, Guentzel will be reunited with Mike Hastings to form a pretty dynamic staff. Guentzel and Hastings previously worked together as assistants at the University of Minnesota.
Guentzel, a 47-year-old native of Woodbury, Minn., has a long resume. He initially made a name for himself as a head coach in the USHL between 1989-94. First, he guided the St. Paul Vulcans to a National Jr. A title in 1991. Then he moved on to Omaha, where he was twice named USHL coach of the year. In 1994, he left Omaha (the Lancers were taken over by Hastings at the time) to join the Gophers as an assistant from 1994 to 2008 - 14 seasons.
In '08-09, Guentzel served as an assistant at Colorado College, filling in when Norm Bazin left to take the Hamilton job.
Last August, Guentzel took the Des Moines job. The team he inherited failed to make the playoffs, but all reports from the Bucs' camp earlier this summer indicate the team could make a big leap forward this season. However, it will have to be with a different head coach.
The Bucs are on the market, so instability in the ownership situation is likely to have led Guentzel to keep his eyes open for other opportunities.
A former defenseman and team captain with the Gophers, Guentzel has three sons, all of whom play. The oldest, Ryan, is a senior forward at Notre Dame. Gabe, a defenseman, will be a junior at CC this season. The youngest, Jake, a forward, will be at Hill-Murray this year.
Select 15 Rankings
This year's Select 15 Player Development Camp ('95 birthdates), which wound up Wednesday in Rochester, was, compared to other years, below average.
Up front, the problem was at the high end. Hudson Fasching is obviously a big-timer but as you go down the list you quickly run out of players who clearly separated themselves from the pack. That said, we also felt there was more depth than with the ‘94s. A lot of ‘second-tier' forwards here showed something, enough so that the law of averages indicates a good number of gems may emerge. In business terms, it's a volatile market and the college recruiters who do the best job identifying players as their game starts to mature could do very well indeed.
On defense, the flash factor was missing. At last year's 15s, you may recall, eyeballs were glued to the Trouba/Jones/Ebert/Mermis/Skjei/Sieloff/Grzelcyk gang. Nonetheless, this year's crop has some nice high-end defensemen but also far more depth than the ‘94s. We saw, among the ‘95s in Rochester, an abundance of six foot plus defensemen with skating skills Look for some of them to shoot up the charts in the next year or so.
We felt that goaltending was perhaps the camp's strongest position, as there were simply a lot of solid performers who, over time, could turn out really well. Belle Tire's Ian Jenkins was excellent for the second straight year.
Please consider the following to be a hybrid ranking. We place the greatest amount of stock in how a player performs in camp and contributes to his team's success, but also give a varying amount of consideration to potential, sometimes splitting the difference between the two. We also try to take into account injury, if we are aware of such.
John Hayden (#9 Navy Blue) broke his collarbone in the first game and had to bow out of the tournament for the second year in a row. (Last year, Hayden injured his leg here.) Brandon Shea (#12 Forest Green), a BC recruit, left after 1½ games with reported torn labrum.
1. Hudson Fasching (#17 Royal Blue) 6-3/190 - 5-3-8 -- From Apple Valley HS. Of all the forwards at the camp, Fasching looks like the one likeliest to go in the first round of the 2013 NHL draft. Size, great reach, long stride. Strong, too -- scored one of his goals with a defender practically riding on his back.
2. Gabe Guertler (#14 Purple) 5-10/170 - 10-5-15 w/ 17 pims -- From Florida. Moving north to play for Team Illinois. Top notch hands and hockey sense. A dynamic offensive player who made things happen every shift.
3. Tyler Kelleher (#16 Navy Blue) 5-6/147 - 7-9-16 -- Will be a freshman at Deerfield Academy. An offensive dynamo here. Made a ton of plays. Consistently involved. Competed.
4. J.T. Compher (#10 Red) 6-0/160 - 2-5-7 -- From Team Illinois Midget Minor. Aggressive and good-sized, with a sense of the game and anticipation. Competitive, too. Blocks shots. Plans to play in USHL for Waterloo this season.
5. Taylor Cammarata (#8 Kelly Green) 5-8/150 - 4-4-8 -- From Plymouth, Minn. and Shattuck-St. Mary's. Quick, with quick hands. Scoots. Hustles. Makes things happen. Good passing skills. Good hockey instincts.
6. Max Becker (#17 Navy Blue) 5-10/170 - 7-4-11 -- From LA Selects. Was teammates here with Kelleher; the pair created a ton of offense together. Not surprisingly, their team (Navy) finished with 36 goals in five games to lead the camp. Competes and can skate. Scored a nifty goal at the buzzer Sunday.
7. Alex Talcott (#17 Purple) 5-11/185 - 0-10-0 -- From Michigan, but played for Westchester Express last year; will be playing for Honeybaked Midget Major this year. He and Guertler fed off each other nicely. Good hands.
8. Luke Voltin (#12 Grey) 6-0/175 - 4-4-8 - Played mostly JV at Hill-Murray last season. A lot of power and energy to his game. Can score, can finish. Well-rounded -- comes up with high marks in all areas. Good upside.
9. Connor Hutchins (#9 Royal Blue) 5-11/160 - 2-4-6 -- From Texas; plays for Honeybaked. Strong skater. Good hands.
10. Jason Cotton (#18 Grey) 6-0/170 - 3-5-8 -- From Dallas Stars ‘95s. Power forward type.
11. Luke Stork (#8 White) 5-11/155 - 3-4-7 -- From Pittsburgh Hornets. Good presence and size. Can skate, has hands.
12. Nathan Kinman (#15 Columbia Blue) 5-11/175 - 4-2-6 w/ 16 pims -- from Columbus Blue Jackets AAA. Can skate and score. Got better as camp went along.
13. Evan Allen (#16 Royal Blue) 5-11/185 - 1-4-5 -- Will be playing for Honeybaked Midget Minor. He does a little bit of everything. Battles. Makes plays.
14. Brian Williams (#14 Grey) 5-8/155 - 3-3-6 -- From LA Selects. Won't be the dominant player he was at younger ages, but skill doesn't disappear. He anticipates well. He's quick. Has a good stick. Picked it up as the week went along.
15. Blake Gober (#15 Orange) 5-9/182 - 6-1-7 -- Texas kid playing for Honeybaked. Can really snap it off -- great release. Came up with some big goals for his team.
16. Connor Thie (#15 Navy Blue) 5-7/150 - 6-3-9 --From Minnetonka, Minn. and Hopkins HS. Really dangerous down low. A shark around the net.
17. Kevin Labanc (#15 Royal Blue) 5-8/140 - 1-7-8 -- A 12/12/95 birthdate from Staten Island who will be playing for the NJ Rockets, so will probably add inches and pounds. Smart player. Got better as week went along.
18. Michael Laffin (#15 Red) 5-9/155 - 3-3-6 -- From Westchester Express; Will be playing for Brewster (Empire League). A bit of a lurker. The puck seemed to wind up on his stick a lot, and good things ensued.
19. Connor Chatham (#10 Columbia Blue) 6-2/185 - 4-0-4 - Was a bit inconsistent, but there's something here. Really good tools. 10/30/95 birthdate played for St. Louis AAA Blues ‘95s last winter.
20. Sam Povorozniouk (#8 Orange) 5-10/180 - 2-2-4 w/ 13 pims -- From TI; going to CYA. Burly, strong kid.
21. Adam Erne (#12 Black) 6-0/197 - 0-2-2 in 3 games played -- From LA Selects, going to NJ Rockets (AJHL). Did nothing first day. Was a little better second and third days, but still nothing to write home about. Just showed flashes of what he can do. Appeared heavy, and heavy-footed, with little jump to his game. His high - yes, high -- ranking here is based on those brief flashes of skill. His play, frankly, was a bit of a mystery. After three days, reported an illness in the family to the camp director, and left town.
22. Brendyn Smith (#17 Forest Green) 5-9/160 - 3-2-5 -- From Honeybaked; going to Compuware Midget Minor. Good athleticism. Anticipates well. Quick. Can finish.
23. Bryan Basilico (#15 Black) 6-2/170 - 2-0-2 -- Belle Tire. Big and raw, but his skating is fine, so he could become something. Has to grow into body. Very noticeable,
24. Eddie Ellis (#18 Black) 6-1/185 - 3-0-3 - From Phillips Andover. Was on a team where no one moved the puck very well, and he's the kind of guy who needs to be paired with a playmaker.
25. Michael McCarron (#8 Red) 6-5/220 - 2-2-4 w/ 17 pims -- From Honeybaked. Biggest, strongest player in camp. Younger brother of Lincoln Stars' John McCarron (though not quite as nasty). .
26. Michael Turner (#12 White) 6-2/195 - 2-1-3 -- A 9/23/95 birthdate. Plays for the Chicago Mission. Young and growing into his body. Hard to project right now, but certainly a player to follow.
27. Tyler Motte (#18 Kelly Green) 5-10/165 - 3-2-5 -- From Honeybaked. Started slowly, but picked up the pace.
28. Patrick Polino (#16 Kelly Green) 5-7/150 - 2-3-5 -- From Buffalo Regals. Nice hands. Scored nice goal on a tip. Dangerous down low.
29. Matt Weis (#17 Red) 5-10/175 - 1-7-8 -- Played for the New Jersey Colonials. Consistently noticeable. The numbers don't lie: he dishes it well.
30. Shane Eiserman (#15 Gold) 6-1/178 - 0-3-3 - Young - a 10/10/95 birthdate - but he was very noticeable. Was injured midweek. Going to St. John's Prep.
31. Ryan Siroky (#8 Forest Green) 5-11/180 - 0-4-4 -- From LA Selects.
32. Tyler Moy (#12 Kelly Green) 5-11/165 - 4-4-8 -- From San Diego Jr. Gulls. Good hands.
33. Jason Kalinowski (#12 Purple) 5-10/165 - 2-8-10 -- From Mid-Fairfield; going to the Salisbury School.
34. Jon Pierret (#14 Black) 6-0/160 - 2-2-4 -- From Honeybaked. Good size, and physical.
35. Dawson Cook (#14 Columbia Blue) 6-1/183 - 1-3-4 -- From Cadillac (Mich.) HS. Another sleeper pick.
36. Zachary Diamantoni (#17 Columbia Blue) 5-9/150 - 1-3-4 -- From Westchester Express.
37. Levi Erkkila (#16 White) 5-7/160 - 1-2-3 - From the UP; plays for Ojibwa Eagles. Committed to Northern Michigan last week. Good skills, but, perhaps because he had just committed, we were hoping to see a little more.
38. Zachary Hartley (#16 Forest Green) 6-0/180 - 2-1-3 -- From Holy Angels.
39. Alex Rodriguez (#8 Black) 5-11/170 - 1-1-2 - Shattuck-St. Mary's kid. From Miami, Florida, just like the other A-Rod. 12/15/95 birthdate, so was young for camp. A sleeper worth following.
40. Drew Melanson (#19 Navy Blue) 5-10/140 - 2-3-5 in 3 games -- Came in late as a replacement for injured player and did just fine. From North Jersey Avalanche.
41. Karson Kuhlman (#9 Columbia Blue) 5-8/145 - 1-3-4 -- From Cloquet HS.
42. Owen Powers (#17 Orange) 6-0/160 - 2-2-4 -- Will be at Cheshire HS in Connecticut.
43. Joseph Welch (#14 Red) 5-10/165 - 3-0-3 -- Will be at Belmont Hill.
44. Alex Hagerty (#8 Navy Blue) 6-0/175 - 4-2-6 -- From NJ Avalanche; going to Delbarton.
45. Chase DeLeo (#12 Columbia Blue) 5-6/148 - 1-2-3 -- 10/25/95 birthdate from LA Selects. Small. Good skills.
46. Taylor Crunk (#12 Red) 5-11/165 - 0-3-3 w/ 13 pims -- From San Diego Jr. Gulls
47. CJ Hayes (#12 Navy Blue) 5-10/147 - 1-4-5 -- Team Illinois kid from Florida.
48. John Baicco (#19 Forest Green) 5-6/140 - 3-2-5 -- Came in late as a replacement for injured player. From Westchester Express.
49. Andrew Oglevie (#10 White) 5-9/145 - 2-0-2 -- From LA Selects; going to Culver.
50. Thomas DeFelice (#16 Red) 5-7/160 - 1-3-4 -- 10/26/95 birthdate from New England Jr. Falcons will be playing for the Connecticut Chiefs.
51. John Urbanic (#14 Navy Blue) 5-9/165 - 2-1-3 -- Formerly from Cleveland; will be playing for Russell Stover midget minor. Skates well, good skills, but could produce more.
52. Joey Palumbo (#18 Gold) 5-10/160 - 4-1-5 -- Will be with Buffalo Regals U16. Worked hard; a lot of energy.
53. Joey Fallon (#18 Purple) 5-6/148 - 0-0-0 - He can scoot. A 12/26/95 birthdate from the Long Island Royals. Would have been quite noticeable if he were a week older and had played at 14.
54. Charles Corcoran (#9 Kelly Green) 5-8/135 - 0-4-4 -- Will be at New Canaan (Conn.) HS. Good passes. Very unselfish player.
1. Steve Santini (#2 Kelly Green) 6-2/205 - 0-1-1 - BC recruit will be playing for Apple Core (EJHL) this season. Poised. Fundamentally sound. Sees the ice well. Passes are tape-to-tape. He makes playing D look easy. Offered a spot in NTDP for '11-12.
2. Will Butcher (#2 Purple) 5-11/175 - 0-5-5 - Two way defenseman. Good at both ends of the ice. Moves the puck really smartly. Good-sized defender with some little man's offensive skills. Will be playing for the Madison Capitols Under-18s. Offered a spot in NTDP for '11-12.
3. Scott Savage (#5 Gold) 6-0/160 - 0-1-1 -- From LA Selects. Was stuck on a bad team, but you'd never know it from his pro-style demeanour. Just goes out and plays hard every shift. And when his shift is over, he skates to the bench hard. Then goes out and does it all again. A consistent effort. Offered a spot in NTDP for ‘11'-12. BU, BC, North Dakota, and Michigan are all recruiting him.
4. Anthony DeAngelo (#2 Royal Blue) 5-11/175 - 6-3-9 w/ 17 pims -- A 10/24/95 birthdate, he's going into the 9th grade and will be playing the first month of the upcoming season in the USHL as a 14-year-old. The BU recruit's skill is undeniable, but he's also cocky. He may want to tone that down a bit before taking on USHL vets. While no one's asked us, we feel that midgets, or the EJHL/AJHL would be more prudent.
5. Ian McCoshen (#6 White) 6-2/195 - 0-1-1 -- From Hudson, Wisc.; played for Shattuck-St. Mary's U16s. Plans to jump to USHL with Waterloo this year. Sound defender has the size and strength to do it. Laid a big hit on 6'5", 220 lb. Mike McCarron.
6. Keaton Thompson (#2 Navy Blue) 6-1/160 - 0-3-3 -- 9/14/95 birthdate from Devils Lake HS in North Dakota. Nice smooth skater. Nice flat passes. Keeps it simple. A lot of upside.
7. Christopher Pelnik (#5 Orange) 6-3/178 - 0-0-0 w/ 12 pims -- From Carolina Jr. Hurricanes organization. Big, with a bit of nastiness. He wasn't consistent, though, and had at least one day where he struggled to find his game. Plenty of upside here.
8. Michael Brodzinski (#5 Navy Blue) 5-10/170 - 2-0-2 w/ 7 pims -- From varsity at Blaine HS. Good skater who can handle the puck under pressure.
9. Michael Downing (#7 Kelly Green) 6-2/175 - 0-2-2 -- Will be playing at Detroit Catholic Central HS.
10. Wilson Vershay (#6 Black) 6-3/185 - 0-1-1 -- -Played at the Nichols School last winter. Has gained a lot of agility over the last year. Still feeling his way a little, but could shoot up this list.
11. Parker Reno (#5 Black) 6-1/180 - 0-2-2 -- Played varsity at Edina last winter. Expected a little more from him here, but that's not really a knock.
12. Corey Schueneman (#2 Black) 6-0/165 - 0-3-3 -- Little Caesar's. Good skater. Good hands. Likes to have the puck on his stick, and dictate play.
13. Travis Wood (#3 Grey) 5-11/173 - 1-0-1 - An 11/22/95 birthdate; will be at Hill-Murray this season.
14. Trevor Hamilton (#4 Columbia Blue) 6-0/175 - 1-3-4 - Honeybaked kid. Nothing flashy, just really solid.
15. Nash Worden (#5 White) 6-1/190 - 1-0-1 -- Utah native plays in Pikes Peak Miners organization. Well put together. Another solid defensive defenseman worth following.
16. Gage Ausmus (#7 Columbia Blue) 6-0/180 - 1-0-1 -- From East Grand Forks. Agile, athletic, physical defensive defenseman.
17. Blake Heinrich (#3 Red) 5-11/170 - 2-1-3 -- Will be playing at Hill-Murray. Very good defensively, and showed an offensive dimension. Good hands and shot.
18. Dakota Ford (#7 Navy Blue) 6-1/162 - 1-3-4 -- Will be at Postdam (NY) HS. Grew on us day-to-day.
19. Alexander Smith (#7 Grey) 6-0/175 - 0-2-2 w/ 7 pims -- From Honeybaked. Really good tools. Can go end-to-end, but has blinders, thus play often fizzles out. If he can get past that, there's huge upside.
20. Willie Raskob (#7 Red) 5-10/183 - 4-2-6 -- From Hastings, Minn. Had the best shot of any d-man in camp. Extremely accurate. Just picks the corners.
21. D.J. O'Brien (#3 Black) 6-2/182 - 0-0-0 - Will be with Blue Jackets U18s this season.
22. Richard Boyd (#4 Kelly Green) 6-1/162 - 0-1-1 - From Florida Eels; will be at Cushing Academy this fall.
23. Michael Menter (#5 Red) 6-1/185 - 1-1-2 -- From Lake George, NY and CP Dynamo Bantams.
24. Alexander Wilkinson (#4 Royal Blue) 5-8/135 - 1-0-1 -- Will be playing for the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes U-18s. Small, clever puckhandler.
1. Ian Jenkins (#30 White) 5-10/160 - .955 -- Will be with Belle Tire U16s. Was the best goalie at 14s last year and this year at 15s. It's safe to say that, at least for now, he's the clear #1 goalie for this age group.
2. Thatcher Demko (#1 Forest Green) 5-11/155 - .924 -- Will be with San Diego Jr. Gulls U16s. Was on an awful defensive team; and faced a ridiculous amounts of shots.
3. Devin Williams (#1 Columbia Blue) 5-11/140 - .946 -- 10/30/95 birthdate from Saginaw, Mich. will be playing for the Motor City Metal Jackets Midget AAA.
4. Cameron Lerner (#30 Kelly Green) 5-11/145 - .935 -- Will be playing with the Chicago Mission. Also faced a ton of shots here.
The best of the rest (in alphabetical order):
Stephen East (#1 Gold) 5-10/142 - .882 -- Played for Mercer Chiefs last season. Will be playing for NJ Jr. Rockets this season.
Kevin Gollmer (#1 Red) 5-11/155 -- .949 - From Valley Forge Minutemen.
Eric Hancock (#1 Royal Blue) 5-11/170 - .798 -- Will be playing for Cleveland Barons U-16s.
Sean Healy (#30 Black) 5-10/155 -- .918 - 11/13/95 birthdate will be playing for SJHA U16s.
Connor Maher (#1 Kelly Green) 5-10/170 -- .922 - From Marshfield High; going to Nobles.
Drew Michals (#30 Royal Blue) 6-0/150 - .848 -- Plays for BB&N. Rough final day; otherwise very good.
Eric Vierkant (#30 Columbia Blue) 5-11/140 - .884 -- Virginia native plays at Culver.
Jared Young (#30 Red) 5-8/145 -- .947 - From Pike's Peak Miners organization..
6'2", 185 lb. RD Michael Paliotta, a Westport, Conn. native who played with the U.S. Under-17 Team last season, will be coming back east for college, and attending the University of Vermont.
Paliotta, who played at Choate before joining the NTDP, has one more year in Ann Arbor before matriculating at UVM in the fall of '11.
Other schools in the picture for Paliotta were Michigan, Harvard, and BC.
A 4/16/93 birthdate, Paliotta played 50 games with the Under-17 Team last year and had a 2-12-14 line with 53 penalty minutes.
Williams to RedHawks
Former Hotchkiss goalie Jay Williams, the leading goaltender at last week's USA Hockey Select 17 Player Development Camp, has committed to Miami.
This is official. We wrote about this before (USHR News, 4/16/10) but this is signed, sealed, delivered, etc.
Williams, who will be a junior in high school this coming season, will spend the next two years with the Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) and then matriculate at Miami in the fall of '12.
Williams, a 6'2", 173 lb. native of McLean, Virginia, is a 6/7/93 birthdate and was a fourth round pick of Saginaw in the 2009 OHL draft. His final decision was really between the USHL and Miami on the one hand, and the OHL on the other.
Williams, who also played Midgets with the Neponset Valley River Rats, posted a .964 save percentage at the Select 17 camp, and was named to the US Under-18 Select Team heading to the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka Tournament in the Czech Republic Aug. 9-14.
A Summer Saturday's News
Look for UMass-Lowell to officially name former Lowell defenseman Darryl Green as an assistant in the next week or so.
Green, the head hockey coach at Nashua (NH) High School, will be replacing Shawn McEachern, who resigned to take the head coaching position at the Rivers School.
A native of Chatham, Ont., Green played for Lowell for three years, from '00-03. During his first year, he played for Tim Whitehead. His final two years were with current head coach Blaise MacDonald. Green had to sit out his freshman year as he had played six OHL games in '95-96.
After Lowell, Green played a couple of years of minor pro before going into coaching.
At Nashua North, his assistant was former Lawrence Academy head coach Charlie Corey.
Defenseman Keegan Lowe has been added to the U.S. Under-18 Select Team, finalizing the 22-man roster for next month's Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Lowe, who competed at last week's Select 17 Festival in Rochester, NY, is the son of Edmonton Oilers director of Hockey Operations Kevin Lowe, and plays for the Edmonton Oil Kings (WHL).
Select 14 Festival Standouts
We took a quick peek at the Select 14 Player Development Camp on Wednesday - sorry, but 14s still a little young for anything more than that - to see if anyone jumped out at us. A few kids did, but at this age, due to the varying stages of kids' physical development, the picture could different next year. Nonetheless, there was talent among the ‘96s, and we feel a good number of the kids we liked will still be in the picture in years to come.
From the Forest Green Team 6'0", 150 lbs. Brendan van Riemsdyk (Red Bank Generals and the younger brother of James Van Riemsdyk) is all gangly arms and legs. When he grows into that frame, we expect he'll be a force. He already is hard to miss. In addition, Van Riemsdyk showed some nice leadership ability, shepherding a teammate away from taking a retaliatory penalty while his team was attempting a comeback.
We also liked 6'1", 190 lb. forward Joe Wegwerth (Westchester Express). Wegwerth has skill, a good compete level, was effective along the wall, strong on the puck, and can score.
A slight notch below, but also very noticeable, was 5'10", 145 lb. Cameron Carbone (Providence Capitols), who has a knack down low.
The Columbia Blue team, a very good squad, was anchored by 6'3", 170 lb. right shot D Aaron Haydon (Belle Tire '96). Haydon is not afraid to use his size, absolutely flattening one kid. He also showed poise defensively. That combination could take him a good distance.
Both goalies on the Columbia Blue team were extremely good: 5'9", 150 lb. Joe Staely (St. Louis AAA Blues) and 6'0", 155 lb. Christopher Krotz (Long Island Gulls).
5'11", 167 lb. right-shot forward Alex Tuch (Syracuse Nationals) showed nice hands and a touch with the puck. Ditto for 5'8", 135 lb. forward Nick Schmaltz of the Chicago Mission ‘96s, the brother of recently decomitted Wisconsin recruit Jordan Schmaltz; and 5'8", 140 lb. John Piccinich (Long Island Gulls), who scored a really nice goal.
On the Gold team, 5'4", 135 lb. LD Daniel Willet (Long Island Gulls) may be on the small side, but showed quick feet and an offensive awareness. 5'9", 132 lb. forward Sean Brennan (Pearl River Pirates) is a smooth skater with a cerebral dimension; he has an idea. 6'0", 146 lb. forward Nolan Stevens (Team Comcast '96 and the son of former Flyers coach John Stevens) showed a nose for the net.
On the Grey Team there were a couple of big forwards who were very effective: 6'0", 176 lb. Blake Clarke, from Shattuck; and 6'1", 146 lb. Ryan MacInnis from the St. Louis Minor Bantams.
On the Orange Team, 5'9", 155 lb. right-shot D Darren Brady (Little Caesar's) was really good. Very strong on his skates, can shoot it, brings offense, and showed a lot of poise for his age.
On the Kelly Green Team 5'8", 148 lb. Ryan Tait (California Wave) was the standout. Tait, who has a nice low center of gravity, and doesn't go around guys. He just goes through them, and manages to keep control of the puck. He also wins draws. And he can hit and take a hit.
Also quite noticeable was 5'10", 140 lb. forward Gordon Helmuth (Little Caesar's).
On the Red Team, which struggled, going winless, 5'9", 135 lb. left-shot defenseman Kevin Kerr (Team Comcast '96) was a shining light. Kerr showed nice skating skills, a good stick, a sense of the game, and poise. He played both ends of the ice nicely.
On the White Team, 5'9" 141 goaltender Henry Burns (Syracuse Nationals) was getting absolutely peppered. He let in a couple, but they were tough chances. Burns has good size, quickness, and exhibited a lot of poise under pressure.
On the Black Team, 5'11", 160 lb. RD Nathan Kwiecinski (Little Caesar's) played a physical game, and showed skating and stick skills, and poise.
The Royal Blue Team was strong. We particularly liked 5'11", 160 lb. Rowan Savidant (Little Caesar's), a left shot forward who could skate, always kept his feet moving with a purpose, was strong on the puck, and had nice hands. He was noticeable every shift.
5'8", 155 lb. Will Harrison (Washington Little Caps) can skate, has good hands, and is dangerous around the net.
5'7", 147 lb. Anthony Siderio (Team Comcast) scored a natural hat trick when we were watching, including a pair of goals 11 seconds apart, the second of which was a turn-around shot from 20-25 feet that tucked itself in top shelf. Certainly got our attention.
All of the above was taken from limited viewing. Please keep that in mind. The ‘96s are only 14, which means that there were other players there who, in the long run, will turn out to be as good -- or even better - than many of the above. We're just passing along what we saw.
By the way, here's an interesting tidbit: The percent of players who go straight through, making all the festival teams from 14's through 17's, is 23%. That means 77% don't. That's a lot of churn, as they say in business, and something for kids who don't make any festival teams to keep in mind.
Another Top Youngster to the Terriers
5'11, 175 lb. Adam Erne, one of the top '95-born forwards in the country, has committed to Boston University for the fall of '13.
Erne, who will be entering his sophomore year of high school, is a North Brandford, Conn. resident who has been playing for the last couple of years with the LA Selects ‘95 Team while living in Southern California with the Comrie family, whose son, Eric, a goalie with the Selects '95 team, was the top American taken in May's WHL Bantam Draft. (See USHR News of 4/30/10).
Erne, a left shot, has moved back east and will be playing for the New Jersey Rockets (AJHL) this winter.
Erne, who lived in New Hampshire and played for Top Gun before moving out west, has long wanted to go to Boston University, so that part was easily arranged.
A big, strong-skating power forward type reminiscent of a young Keith Tkachuk, Erne, who projects as a winger, has hands and scoring ability. He will be at the USA Hockey Select 15 Player Development Camp starting tomorrow. So, too, will '95 defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, who committed to Boston University -- for the fall of '14 -- last week.
U.S. Under-18 Select Team Named
Below are the 21 players named to represent the United States at the 2010 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia Aug. 9-14.
All players were evaluated at, and selected from, USA Hockey's Select 17 Development Camp, which concluded yesterday morning in Rochester, NY.
Six players are returnees from last summer's U.S. Under-17 Select Team that competed in the Under-17 Five Nations Tournament. They are: Goaltender Jay Williams; defensemen Brian Cooper and Connor Murphy; and forwards Cason Hohmann, Alex Racino, and Lukas Sutter.
Normally, players from the NTDP are not eligible for this tournament. Murphy, who was the only NTDP player in Rochester this week, missed all but four games last season due to an injury to his vertebrae. He came to Rochester because he needed to play again, and wound up winning a spot on the team going overseas.
U.S. Under-18 Select Team:
Goaltenders (2): Steven Michalek (Loomis Chaffee); Jay Williams (Hotchkiss).
Defensemen (7): Chris Bradley (Buffalo Regals); Brian Cooper (Fargo-USHL); Craig Duininck (Windsor-OHL); Max Everson (Edina HS); Tanner Mort (Spokane-WHL); Connor Murphy (U.S. Under-17 Team); Colin Suellentrop (Oshawa-OHL).
Forwards (12): Seth Ambroz (Omaha-USHL); Alex Broadhurst (Chicago Mission U-18); Theo DiPauli (Chicago-USHL); John Gaudreau (Team Comcast U-18); Cason Hohmann (Cedar Rapids-USHL); Kevin Irwin (Cleveland Barons U-18); Sean Kuraly (Columbus AAA Blue Jackets); Alex Racino (Madison Capitols); Justin Selman (North Jersey Avalanche); Tanner Sorenson (Shattuck-St. Mary's); Lukas Sutter (Lethbridge AAA Hurricanes/Saskatoon (WHL); Vince Trocheck (Saginaw-OHL).
Head Coach: Tim Army
Assistant Coaches: Jay Varady and Chadd Cassidy.
Sat. Aug. 7 -- Slovakia (exhibition) -- Piestany, Slovakia
Mon. Aug. 9 -- Czech Republic -- Breclav, Czech Republic
Tues Aug. 10 -- Russia -- Breclav, Czech Republic
Wed. Aug. 11 - Finland -- Breclav, Czech Republic
Fri. Aug. 13 - TBD
Sat. Aug. 14 -- TBD
The U.S., Czech Republic, Russia, and Finland are in Group A.
Group B consists of Canada, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Select 17 Rankings
This year's Select 17 Festival ('93 birthdates), just concluded this morning in Rochester, NY. What follows is our rankings.
Please consider them hybrid rankings. We place the most stock in how a player performs in camp, but we also give a varying amount of consideration to potential, sometimes splitting the difference between the two. There are other considerations, such as injury (if we are aware of such situations). With games every single day, consistency is often hard to find -- some kids start strong and fade, others get better as the week moves along. We weren't the first couple of days, but feel we were there long enough to come up with a solid list.
Colin Jacobs, Alex Gacek, Ryan Collins, Shane McColgan all went home early with injuries. Luke Sandler came in for the last couple of days as an addition.
1. John Gaudreau (#9 Kelly Green) 5-7/140 - 5-7-12 - Gaudreau was the show here. Great hands, great moves, and superb creativity. Really strong on the puck, never gives up on plays. Creates offense out of nothing. Hard to hit, sneaky. Ectomorph Supremo. Heading to Dubuque (USHL), and then Northeastern.
2. Seth Ambroz (#18 Grey) 6-3/208 - 5-3-8 - Scored two goals seven seconds apart on Saturday. Will be playing his third year with the Lancers, then going to Gophers.
3. Tanner Sorenson (#10 Royal Blue) 5-10/170 - 9-1-10 - Scored tournament-leading nine goals then added another in today's all-star game. Two years ago we never imagined he'd become the sniper he was here. From Alaska and Shattuck-St. Mary's. Michigan State recruit.
4. Kevin Irwin (#15 Grey) 6-0/170 - 5-3-8 - From Cleveland Barons. Great anticipation, opportunistic, strong sense of game. Consistent. Noticeable every shift.
5. Sean Kuraly (#12 Gold) 6-2/190 - 2-3-5 -- Miami recruit from Columbus AAA Blue Jackets. Strong skating, well put-together center. A power forward with finesse - really good hands.
6. Cason Hohmann (#8 Royal Blue) 5-8/163 - 3-6-9 - Small, but moves the puck so well. Clever, and fun to watch Will be a second-year player at Cedar Rapids. BU recruit.
7. Alex Broadhurst (#15 White) 6-0/155 - 1-6-7 - Quick, skilled center. Great distributor. Played for Chicago Mission; going to Green Bay.
8. Justin Selman (#18 Gold) 6-0/192 - 2-3-5 -- From NJ Avalanche; going to Des Moines. Really made a statement. Physical, hard-working two-way forward. A late '93. Not a natural scorer but does everything else.
9. Jakob Batcha (#18 Red) 6-2/175 - 3-1-4 -- Big, raw center from the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals organization. Great size, nice stride. Drives to the net. Scored some nice goals. Upside here.
10. Mario Lucia (#17 Red) 6-2/175 - 1-3-4 - Lanky forward from Wayzata HS can skate and has skill, but didn't produce a lot here. Did score a goal, and it was a beauty - top shelf, from the slot. Just wanted to see a little more. Will be interesting to see what he can become this year. Son of Don Lucia.
11. Theo DiPauli (#8 Red) 5-10/185 - 2-4-6 - From Chicago Steel. Quick, competitive. Can provide offense, but is also really good defensively. He shut down Gaudreau really nicely, bumping him every opportunity he got. Sound player.
12. Vince Trocheck (#15 Royal Blue) 5-11/185 - 4-2-6 - A little lazy at times, but can snap out of it and get very involved at other times. Overall, a really good week. Plays for Saginaw (OHL).
13. Alex Racino (#11 Grey) 6-2/190 - 4-2-6 - Last-minute fill-in for Cory Czarnik took full advantage of the opportunity. From Madison Capitols.
14. Jeff Stenglein (#18 Columbia Blue) 6-0/190 - 4-3-7 - Local Rochester kid from Maksymum came through for the locals. Solid all-around player.
15. Ansel Duesenberg (#17 Orange) 6-2/185 - 2-3-5 - From the Colorado Thunderbirds. Also from the family that made Duesenberg automobiles back in the day. He got better as the week went along, and really made some noise yesterday. There's some raw potential here.
16. Robert Burns (#8 White) 5-9/165 - 5-3-8 - From Jersey Hitmen organization. A smallish give-and-go type. Short passes. Pretty clever.
17. Josh Erickson (#16 Columbia Blue) 5-9/145 - 2-3-5 - Smallish, with really good skills and quickness. From Roseau HS.
18. Jonathan Grebosky (#16 Kelly Green) 5-11/165 - 5-4-9 - Oct. '93 birthdate from Pittsburgh Hornets. Good skater. Skilled.
19. Lukas Sutter (#10 Orange) 6-1/200 - 1-2-3 - Didn't make the splash he did last year, but was solid. Rich Sutter's son. Late '93. Played 12 games with Saskatoon (WHL) last season.
20. J.C. Campagna (#17 White) 6-3/185 -- 4-0-4 - From Sarnia (OHL). Tunnel-visioned. Can bury it, though.
21. Logan Nelson (#11 Columbia Blue) 6-2/185 - 2-2-4 - Has excellent skills but needs to learn to utilize them. Nothing but raw potential here. From KC, plays for Russell Stover.
22. Matthew Deblouw (#10 White) 6-1/165 - 1-2-3 - Late '93 from Little Caesar's recently committed to Michigan State.
23. Colin Blackwell (#16 Red) 5-9/175 - 0-4-4 - From St. John's Prep (Mass.). Quick, with nice skills.
24. Robbie Baillargeon (#16 White) 5-11/175 - 3-4-7 - From Cushing Academy. Wrapped up tournament with a strong game last night.
25. Riley Bourbonnais (#11 Gold) 6-0/187 - 3-6-9 - Rochester kid. Will be bringing his game to Berkshire.
26. Nick Bligh (#15 Columbia Blue) 6-0/160 - 3-2-5 - From Dexter School. Smart player with hands and head for the game.
27. Brian Hart (#15 Orange) 6-1/200 - 1-2-3 - Played at Brewster last year; transferring to Exeter. Younger brother of Providence recruit Kevin Hart. Good early; tailed off a bit.
28. Ryan Rosenthal (#14 Red) 6-1/175 - 3-2-5 - From Kent School. Smooth-skating winger.
29. Collin Bourque (#14 Gold) 5-6/150 - 3-2-5 - From Cushing Academy. Good stick. Worked hard.
30. Joseph Labate (#18 White) 6-4/190 - 0-1-1 - From Holy Angels. There's a lot of potential here, and that's what the ranking here is all about. Didn't work hard enough here.
31. Matt Hanson (#12 Kelly Green) 5-10/155 - 2-0-2 - From Russell Stover. Headed to Cedar Rapids. A little snake-bit here.
32. Stefan Noesen (#9 Columbia Blue) 6-2/188 - 0-5-5 - Going into second season with Plymouth (OHL). Good size. Solid.
33. Ben Greiner (#14 Kelly Green) 6-1/180 - 2-3-5 - From Shattuck. Worked hard.
34. Steven Fogarty (#17 Gold) 6-2/195 - 3-2-5 - From Edina HS. Good size, hands, sense.
35. Zach Saar (#9 Orange) 6-4/190 - 1-3-4 - Big kid from Casear's; going to Chicago Steel. Was good early; faded.
36. Tony Camaranesi (#9 Grey) 5-9/166 - 2-1-3 - Speedy center from Wayzata HS.
37. Kenny Gillespie (#9 Red) 6-0/195 - 1-2-3 - Late '93 from Shattuck. Offers speed, strength and work ethic.
38. Blake Roubos (#9 Royal Blue) 5-9/165 - 2-2-4 - From Culver; going to Sioux City.
39. Christian Horn (#12 Orange) 5-10/160 - 2-4-6 - From Benilde-St. Margaret's.
40. John Doherty (#10 Grey) 6-1/180 - 0-2-2 - From Chicago Mission. Skates well. Good size. Good hands.
1. Brian Cooper (#6 Columbia Blue) 5-10/180 - 1-2-3 - Just a great skater, a one-man breakout who picks his spots and takes care of business in his own end. Will be entering his second year with Fargo (USHL). An 11/93 birthdate, he should have a breakout year (pun intended).
2. Andy Welinski (#4 Gold) 6-1/185 - 1-1-2 - From Duluth East. UMD recruit. Really solid. Physical. Strong skater.
3. Connor Murphy (#7 White) 6-3/195 - 0-1-1 - Only played a few games with the NTDP last season before having to shut it down with a vertebrae injury. Looked a little tentative at first, like he was trying to regain his feel for the game. By the end of the week, he looked very good.
4. Chris Bradley (#2 Red) 6-2/195 - 0-1-1 - A bit of a revelation. Big defensive defenseman from Buffalo Regals. Going to Youngstown (USHL).
5. Keegan Lowe (#7 Gold) 6-1/175 - 3-2-5 - From Edmonton (WHL). Brought some offense to the blue line. Son of Kevin Lowe.
6. Craig Duininck (#2 Grey) 6-1/200 - 1-4-5 - From Windsor Spitfires (OHL). Kept it simple, and added some offense as well.
7. Max Everson (#3 Grey) 6-1/185 - 1-0-1 - Had a bad TO Sunday, fanning on puck in slot, which quickly wound up in the back of the net. Everson didn't let it knock him off his game. Skates well. Has good size. Moves puck well.
8. Clifford Watson (#3 Orange) 6-3/190 - 0-0-0 - Big December‘93 birthdate from Appleton (Wisc.) HS. A player to keep tabs on.
9. Tyler Rostenkowski (#5 Kelly Green) 5-8/180 - 1-2-3 - From Texas (NAHL). Excellent hands, quickness, and agility.
10. Colin Suellentrop (#5 White) 6-2/190 - 0-3-3 - From Oshawa (OHL).
11. Desmond Bergin (#4 Royal Blue) 6-0/185 - 0-1-1-From St. Sebastian's. Sound, dependable puck-moving defenseman.
12. Perry Holcombe (#2 Gold) 5-11/195 - 0-4-4 - From Cumming, Georgia. Physical and defends well. Doesn't get rattled. Good short passes. Going to the Kent School.
13. Garrett Haar (#5 Gold) 6-1/194 - 1-0-1 - Californian played for Russell Stover last year. Hard-working and highly competitive. Northeastern recruit.
14. Colin Sullivan (#5 Columbia Blue) 6-1/197 -- 3-1-4 - Excellent, smooth-skating Yale recruit needed more jam to his game. With is tools, he should be higher on this list.
15. Dan Molenaar (#4 Red) 5-11/175 - 0-0-0 - Mobile, smooth defenseman from Eden Prairie. Didn't play as well as he's capable of.
16. Travis Walsh (#6 White) 5-11/185 - 0-2-2 - Solid. Nothing flashy. Son of late Maine coach Shawn Walsh; grandson of Ron Mason.
17. Tanner Mort (#3 Kelly Green) 6-0/190 - 1-2-3 - From Spokane (WHL). Good shot, good hands. Stumbled a bit towards end of week.
18. Frank Schumacher (#4 Kelly Green) 6-1/198 - 0-2-2 - Physical defenseman from Saginaw (OHL).
19. Dalton Young (#4 Grey) 6-1/168 - 0-6-6 - From Belle Tire. Good size. Moved puck well.
20. Joe McNamara (#3 White) 6-0/165 - 2-0-2 - November '93 birthdate from Belmont Hill has a good stick, and provides a lot of offense from the blue line. Picked the corner nicely the other night.
21. Connor Schmidt (#3 Gold) 5-10/172 - 2-2-4 - Small, mobile D from Caesar's has a good stick. A late '93, he'll be going to Green Bay.
22. Jake Downing (#3 Columbia Blue) 6-2/195 - 0-2-2 - A lot of potential, From Detroit Catholic Central. Going to Omaha (USHL).
1. Jay Williams (#30 Grey) 6-2/173 -- .964 - Outstanding throughout; will be with Waterloo this season. Excellent laterally.
2. Matt Mahalak (#30 Kelly Green) 6-2/190 -- .920 - Going major junior with Plymouth Whalers.
3. Steven Michalek (#1 Royal Blue) 6-2/185 -- .936 - Loomis goalie faced 840 shots last season, the most in preps. This tournament didn't faze him, it put him on the map.
4. Nicholas Kulmanovsky (#30 Orange) 5-10/165 -- .927 - Culver goalie also made a statement.
5. All (or none) of the rest. There was a real separation between the above four and the other goalies here.
Select 17 All-Star Game
Rochester, NY -- The Blue Team got a pair of quick second half goals from Tanner Sorenson and Alex Racino to edge the White Team, 2-1. Earlier in the half, Justin Selman scored for Team White.
After Selman's tally, Team White had a chance to go up by two goals when Sean Kuraly was hooked down on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. On the penalty shot, Kuraly tried to go five-hole on Matt Mahalak, but was stymied.
In the scoreless first half, White's Jay Williams (9/9) and Blue's Steven Michalek (14/14) stopped everything they faced. Second half goaltenders were Mahalak (9/10) and Nick Kulmanovsky (13/15).
Goaltenders: Matt Mahalak, Jay Williams.
Defensemen: Craig Duininck, Max Everson, Perry Holcombe, Travis Walsh, Brian Cooper, Connor Murphy.
Forwards: Cason Hohman, Theo DiPauli, Tanner Sorenson, Alex Racino, Lukas Sutter, Collin Bourque, Vince Trochek, Colin Blackwell, Josh Erickson.
Goaltenders: Nick Kulmanovsky, Steven Michalek.
Defensemen: Chris Bradley, Tanner Mort, Desmond Bergin, Colin Suellentrop, Keegan Lowe, Andy Welinski.
Forwards: John Gaudreau, Jeff Stenglein, Jakob Batcha, Sean Kuraly, Bran Hart, Alex Broadhurst, Justin Selman, Kevin Irwin, Seth Ambroz.
Grimaldi Makes His Pick
5'6", 160 lb. forward Rocco Grimaldi of the U.S. Under-17 Team has committed to the University of North Dakota for the fall of '11.
Grimaldi, who for a long time had his choices narrowed down to North Dakota, Denver, and Notre Dame (though no one was ruling out the WHL), is a little offensive dynamo -- small, gritty, shifty, with a nose for the net -- who will make a high-end college player in the Nathan Gerbe mold.
A 2/8/93 birthdate from California, Grimaldi played for Little Casear's Midget Minors before going to the NTDP.
Update 7/14: The Portland Winterhawks have acquired the rights to Grimaldi in a trade with the Vancouver Giants. Vancouver receives a conditional WHL Bantam Draft pick.
Select 16 Roundup
The story of the Select 16 Player Development Camp was up front. There were a lot of really good forwards. For the college recruiters, it was great, mainly because so many of them are uncommitted. And for head coach Sean Tremblay (NH Jr. Monarchs) and assistant coach Matt Herr (Kent School), who were picking the 2010 U.S. Under-17 Select Team for the trip to the Five Nations Tournament in Huttwil, Switzerland Aug. 18-22, there was a lot to watch up front.
"The forwards were tremendous," Tremblay said. "There were 6-8 kids we didn't pick that we could have -- and the team would have been just as good. It was an unbelievable group of forwards."
Defense was a different matter for the coaches. You may recall that a year ago we were raving about the '94 D. However, between players not coming to camp and/or committing to the NTDP (thus making them ineligible for the overseas trip), the pool shrank rapidly. Just finding six that could compete at the international level was a challenge.
In net, the challenge was equally great. Some good goalies had some very bad games, which seriously muddied the picture. There was a lot of inconsistency. 5'8" James Hope had a great half in the all-star game - he was really peppered - and that put him over the top. It certainly left a lasting impression on those who were on hand the final day. And 6'1" Brandon Hope is a competitor whose numbers were nowhere near the best in camp, but has come up with big games in the past. But really, in terms of projecting/ranking goalies, this camp was extremely difficult. Still, we found a handful that we liked.
We asked Tremblay what he was looking for in the selection process for Switzerland. "We were looking for a team we thought had character and team speed," he said. "With the big sheet we need guys who will pressure their D and get it on them and force them to move the puck quicker than they'd like to. We also wanted guys who could make plays and complement each other, and could be effective in different roles."
-- It seems that every year, one or two major junior-bound ‘name' players show up at camp, and only show that they may as well have stayed home. So, if you're looking for Max Iafrate on our list, you won't find him. Iafrate, by fighting on and off the ice, and taking endless dumb penalties, was a liability to his team. He's a big strong kid, and he may turn out to be a solid player along the lines of his dad someday, but it sure didn't show here. Forward Brady Vail, who signed with the Windsor Spitfires this week, was another. Pretty invisible. He picked it up a little bit at the end, but not enough for us. The best way to put it is this: when Iafrate was on the ice, we wanted to cover our eyes. When Vail was on the ice we needed a pair of binoculars. We would never say this camp should be closed to major junior kids, because it's important to keep those players in the USA pipeline for international play. And they are being watched for that purpose. Any major junior-bound kid who has hopes of playing on the US World Junior Team should take these camps seriously. There's a good reason Tim Taylor, director of player personnel for the U.S. National Junior Team, was on hand in Rochester, and watching like a hawk.
-- We were struck by how many excellent players here came from Michigan. We spoke to some Michigan types about this and all agreed that the ‘94s were one of the top birth years they'd seen from the state.
-- Besides all the Honeybaked, Compuware and Caesar's kids, we counted 11 players here from Shattuck-St. Mary's, and they weren't journeymen either.
-- The all-star game at the end of the camp was a nice touch, but there has to be a way to give the kids name plates. You get used to seeing a kid as a certain number/color, and then they're all wearing different ones. One college coach commented to us that, "it took most of the first half just to sort out who was who all over again." We've always felt that name plates would be extremely beneficial for the entire tournament, and something that would cost USA Hockey next to nothing. Just bring a guy with a machine to stamp them out and iron them on. Recruiters would then spend less time staring at their programs and more time staring at the ice - and isn't that the idea?
Regarding the Rankings:
Please consider these rankings below hybrid rankings. We place the most stock in how a player performs in camp, but we also give a lot of consideration to potential, sometimes splitting the difference between the two. There are other considerations, such as injury (if we are aware of such situations). With games every single day, consistency is often hard to find -- some kids start strong and fade, others get better as the week moves along. We weren't there all week, but feel we were there long enough to come up with a solid list.
1. Boo Nieves (#12 Forest Green) 6-3/185 -- 1-1-2 -- Fascinating player. Has size and explosive speed. His ability to turn a d-man - to just blow past guys -- is breathtaking. Some people, notably the NTDP, have criticized Nieves' lack of engagement, which was actually not bad in Rochester. But consider the context: a 6'3" kid who can absolutely fly and is playing midget minor is expected to do one thing -- get the puck from one end to the other, and fast. And, man, can he ever do that. That said, several times we saw Nieves fly down the wing, turn the D, cut in -- and suddenly find himself in so tight that his options had dwindled severely. It's like the rink is too small for those strides of his. When Nieves gets to Kent, and plays with older kids for the first time, and works with Matt Herr, he will learn to use his speed to maximum advantage, to curl back and find space, etc., the way a pitcher uses his off-speed stuff to set up his fastball (sorry, it's July and 95 degrees). At the end of the day, Nieves has all the tools - size, big-time speed, nice hands, and a ridiculously high level of athleticism. Sometimes, though, the perfect is the enemy of the good, and Nieves needs to realize that it's OK to make mistakes, that it's through mistakes that you discover what you can become. We thought Nieves, and his highly talented linemates (Quentin Shore and Zach Stepan) were much too fine here, almost paralyzingly so - and they couldn't buy a goal. Nieves has high first round potential for the 2012 draft and, over the next two years, will, à la Chris Kreider, have every single game of his dissected. He's an exciting talent. It will be fun to see how good he can become. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
2. A.J. Michaelson (#18 White) 6-0/180 -- 1-3-4- Didn't get to see him much, as he suffered a mild concussion and was kept out of a lot of games. Terrific player, though. Smooth, and fast. Has all the tools. Spurned the NTDP to stay at Apple Valley High School. Should be good for 50 points this season. First round futures pick for Waterloo. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
3. Brian Morgan (#18 Black) 6-0/170 -- 5-5-10 - Big strong physical power forward and Maine recruit came into camp and made a major statement. Needs to work on his skating a bit, but has the potential to be a Greg Moore type for the Black Bears. Played for the Junior Bruins Empire Team last year and was a scoring machine. A New Hampshire native, he will be playing for the NH Jr. Monarchs this year. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
4. Nick Schilkey (#14 Orange) 5-9/155 -- 6-2-8 -- Honeybaked kid is just very shifty. Excellent stick. Can pick the corners. Wins faceoffs. Not afraid to play physically either. When the puck is on his stick bad things happen - to the other team. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
5. Kyle Osterberg (#9 Grey) 5-7/150 -- 2-1-3 -Very skilled. (See article below) (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
6. Quentin Shore (#16 Forest Green) 6-1/175 -- 1-0-1 - The best skater of the Shore brothers, and has the size, too. We expect he will surpass his brothers. Going to NTDP.
7. Sheldon Dries (#8 White) 5-8/155 -- 5-2-7 - Honeybaked kid hustles, competes, and has skill. Really dangerous in tight. Scores some goal scorer's goals. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
8. Cam Darcy (#16 Kelly Green) 6-1/175 -- 5-3-8 - Great early, tailed off a little, then picked it up again. Going to NTDP.
9. Riley Barber (#15 Grey) 5-11/179 -- 1-2-3 - Would have liked to have seen him a little more because he has skill. Got in a fight on the ice with fellow Michigander Max Iafrate, got tossed, and then the two kids got into it again in the hallways. The first round futures pick of Dubuque (USHL). (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
10. Miles Koules (#12 Kelly Green) 5-11/175 -- 2-3-5 - Was picked out of the camp to join the NTDP. (See article below.) (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
11. Zach Stepan (#17 Forest Green) 6-0/170 -- 1-0-1 - Center from Shattuck-St. Mary's U-16 is a cousin of Derek Stepan and a Waterloo first round draft pick. Was stymied here, but is a solid player. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
12. Samuel Fejes (#16 Black) 6-0/166 -- 6-3-9 - Has size. Plays physically. Good shot. Around the net a lot. From Shattuck U-16 Team.
13. Joseph Cox (#17 Black) 5-11/165 -- 4-3-7 - Compuware kid. Liked all aspects of his game. He can score, make a play, go to the net, was consistently involved, competes. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
14. Jonathon Farkas (#9 Red) 5-11/165 -- 1-5-6 - Compuware kid skates well, competes, wins draws, and grew on us as the week went along.
15. Jordan Masters (#18 Royal Blue) N/A -- 6-1-7 - From Rochester, NY and Little Caesar's. A last minute fill-in for Sebastian Romeo, and he came up with a big week.
16. Jack Rowe (#11 White) 5-11/160 -- 4-1-5 -- Played pretty well considering he had banged-up ribs. Smooth skater who doesn't shy away from physical game. From Team Illinois. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
17. Ryan Fitzgerald (#8 Royal Blue) 5-9/145 -- 1-4-5 - Had an off week, but was also playing with a separated shoulder, which might explain something. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
18. Gage Torrel (#9 Orange) 5-10/170 -- 2-0-2 -- Played for Monticello High (Minn.) last winter. Consistently noticeable, and around the puck constantly.
19. Bryan Moore (#11 Red) 5-11/185 -- 3-0-3. Really smart with the puck. There's potential here, but he has to keep control of his emotions. Got tossed out of game Monday. Played for the Carolina Jr. Hurricanes last winter
20. Andrew Poturalski (#16 Columbia Blue) 5-11/160 -- 4-1-5 - From the Nichols School. Nice hands. Sees the ice.
21. Mason Jobst (#10 Royal Blue) 5-7/145 -- 2-9-11 - Had a tremendous week. Outworked virtually everybody. Totally unafraid. Small kid who played big. Left nothing on the ice. All the clichés apply. And if we were picking an all-star team just based purely on play here, he'd be on it. Played Indiana high school hockey last year (Zionsville HS). This is a classic example of a kid making the most of an opportunity, and it's no surprise that his team made the playoff game. We'd never heard of this player before the festival; now we will never forget him. He has a choppy stride, which may work against him at higher levels. We're not betting against him, though. To much heart and desire.
22. Nate Arentz (#11 Kelly Green) 5-11/177 -- 4-4-8 - Good all-around player from Lakeville North HS. Aware. Deftly picked Yanis' pocket and scored on a breakaway.
23. Jake Guentzel (#8 Kelly Green) 5-6/125 -- 3-1-4 - Great hands, heady, smart. Very skilled and fun to watch. But at 125 pounds he was neutralized at times. If he grows to the size of his brothers, which is likely, he will pass a ton of kids on this list.
24. Ben Johnson (#18 Gold) 5-10/155 -- 1-2-3 - From Calumet (Michigan) High School. Has a nice burst of speed.
25. David Hallisey (#10 Red) 5-10/178 -- 3-3-6 - Westminster forward picked it up the final two days. Nice skater.
26. Chris Calnan (#12 Gold) 6-2/185 -- 3-5-8 - Thayer forward who is transferring to Nobles. Has size and playmaking ability.
27. Tim Lappin (#11 Grey) 6-0/170 -- 2-2-4 - Son of former St. Lawrence forward Tim Lappin. Good in all areas of game. Solid all around player. From Chicago Mission.
28. Trevor Boyd (#18 Red) 6-3/185 -- 2-1-3 - Big 12/94 birthdate could be a sleeper.
29. Tyler Pham (#8 Orange) 5-10/175 -- 0-2-2 - Denver recruit. Clever, with good hands and stick. Didn't really get into a groove here though. Seemed a little out of sync.
30. Sam Kurker (#8 Grey) 6-1/190 -- 3-0-3 - From St. John's Prep. There was some young talent in Mass high schools last winter, which may or may not mean something.
31. Eric Brenk (#15 Gold) 6-2/185 -- 3-2-5 - Big, strong forward from Moorhead High.
32. Michael McNicholas (#9 Royal Blue) 5-10/161 -- 2-1-3 - LA Selects kid was pretty good in all areas, not outstanding in any one.
33. Nick Kuchera (#17 Columbia Blue) 5-10/150 -- 3-2-5 - From Eagan High (Minn.).
34. Christian Heil (#9 Columbia Blue) 6-0/165 -- 2-4-6. From the Colorado Thunderbirds.
35. Jarrid Privitera (#12 Black) 5-6/150 -- 5-2-7 - Small and clever. Good stick. Going to the Gunnery.
1. Brady Skjei (#3 Gold) 6-2/175 - 1-3-4 - Lakeville North HS defenseman was best in camp. Going to NTDP.
2. Jacob Trouba (#3 Grey) 6-1/175 - 2-2-4 - Compuware D was mistake-prone. Still on the raw side, particularly when it comes to his decision making. But he has size, skates beautifully with the puck, and has a quick stick. A lot of upside. Going to the NTDP.
3. Patrick Sieloff (#2 White) 6-1/176 - 0-0-0 - Injured. I believe he only played one game. An excellent player. Going to NTDP.
4. Matt Grzelcyk (#2 Columbia Blue) 5-10/156 - Very smooth, poised defenseman from Belmont Hill. Going to NTDP.
5. Troy Donnay (#3 White) 6-7/175 - 0-0-0 - He's 6'7" and has good feet for that size. There's a lot to work with. He's kind of a poor man's Trouba. Is going to the OHL, though. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
6. Tim Davison (#5 Columbia Blue) 5-9/165 - 2-1-3 - Wisconsin high school player really showed something. Moved puck very well. A good transition D for the big sheet in Europe. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
7. Teddy Doherty (#4 Black) 5-11/175 - 3-2-5 - Massachusetts defenseman who plays for Shattuck. Really nice stick. Good passes. Good shot. Can move with the puck. Also a good transition D for the big sheet in Europe. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
8. Justin Wade (#7 Forest Green) 6-1/204 - 0-0-0 - Really physical and athletic. When he combines that with short little outlet passes, he's in business. A lot of potential to grow as a player. The more we watched him the more we liked him. He was very good in the all-star game. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
9. Sam Piazza (#5 Grey) 5-11/190 - 0-1-1 - Chicago Mission defenseman. Good all around, reliable. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
10. Grant Webermin (#6 Kelly Green) 6-0/165 - 1-2-3 - From Honeybaked. Not much panache, but gets the job done. Offensive defenseman. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
11. Robert Gawron (#5 Orange) 5-11/185 - 2-2-4 - From Chicago Fury. Good quickness and mobility. Would have liked to have seen him a little more but he took a dumb spearing penalty, and got a game plus one.
12. Garret Cockerill (#7 Kelly Green) 5-11/175 - 0-3-3 - Good one-on-one defender from Compuware midget minor.
13. Josh Hanson (#7 Red) 6-3/200 - 2-1-3 - Big strong defensive defenseman. Going to the WHL.
14. Gavin Stoick (#8 Forest Green) 6-3/198 -- 0-2-2 - We just thought he was OK. A very big project kid. Played two different positions, though, so was a bit of a moving target for us. Hard to get a line on. Invited to NTDP (see article below).
15.Vince Pedrie (#4 Red) 6-1/190 - 0-3-3 - Left shot D from Apple Valley HS. Good hands, good sense of game, good shot.
16. Donnie Nagle (#3 Red) 6-0/170 - 0-2-2 - Late '94 from Culver has good size, mobility, offensive skills.
17. Chris Leibinger (#2 Forest Green) 5-9/172 - 0-1-1 - Mobile. Good passes. Good stick. Played Michigan high school hockey (Saginaw Heritage HS).
18. Ryan Lowney (#7 Gold) 5-9/160 - 1-2-3 - Good skater, mobile, makes nice short passes, defends well - just pretty solid all around. From Compuware.
19. Mark Yanis (#2 Orange) 6-3/192 - 0-1-1 - From Belle Tire. Didn't really do that much. Made mistakes. Had an off week. Tendered by Muskegon; Kevin Patrick will mold him.
20. Dylan Blujus (#5 Kelly Green) 6-3/195 - 2-1-3 - Big meat and potatoes D from the Buffalo Regals. Not too bad. Will take time and work.
1. James Howe (#30 Black) 5-8/160 -- .909. From Little Caesar's. Was consistent throughout. No bad games. And then he came up huge in the all-star game. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
2. Brandon Hope (#1 Kelly Green) 6-1/183 -- .868 - Had a couple of bad games, but also a few really good ones. Played for Honeybaked. (Named to team going to Switzerland.)
3. Dalton Izyk (#1 Grey) 6-0/195 -- .907 - Pretty consistent. Never allowed more than two goals in a half. From Syracuse Nationals.
4. Anthony Stolarz (#30 White) 6-3/178 -- .916 - Also very consistent, and also never allowed more than two goals in a half. From NJ Devils Youth organization. Going to Hitmen.
5. Alex Joyce (#1 Royal Blue) 5-9/170 -- .929 - Very consistent beginning to end. Led team into playoffs. Backed up the two seniors at Choate last year; should be the man this year.
6. Collin Olson (#1 Red) 6-3/190 -- .873 - From Apple Valley HS. Didn't play that well. Plagued by inconsistency. Invited to NTDP (see article below).
7. Eamon McAdam (#30 Columbia Blue) 6-2/175 -- .886 - Comcast Midget Minor goalie had one awful game, but came right back with a great game on final day, stopping 23 of 24. Big, quick, but overly reliant on his athleticism.
Four More For the NTDP
Four players out of the USA Hockey Select 16 Player Development Camp have reportedly been invited to join the NTDP.
They are: forwards Kyle Osterberg and Miles Koules; defenseman Gavin Stoick; and goaltender Collin Olson.
-- Osterberg, a 9/5/94 birthdate going into the 10th grade, had, just a few weeks ago, committed to the Omaha Lancers for the fall. The Lakeville, Minn. native had an 18-39-57 line in 25 games at Lakeville South this past season, which made him the leading scorer among all ninth graders - tenth graders, too -- in Class AA. A 5'7", 150 lb. left shot who can play center or wing, Osterberg is a smart, clever player who sees the ice really well. He was one of the top forwards at Select 16s and was named to the team going overseas to Switzerland next month.
-- Koules, a 6/25/94 birthdate from Los Angeles who had a 20-38-58 line in 53 games while playing for Shattuck-St. Mary's U-16 Team this past year, was also named the team heading to Switzerland next month. Koules, who is 5'11", 177 lbs., is a deceptive, sneaky player with a good stick. He's strong on the puck, wins a ton of 50/50 battles, and has a good shot. He was drafted in the first round of this spring's USHL Future's Draft by Des Moines. He is, by the way, the son of Oren Koules, an Illinois native who went major junior in the WHL. After retiring from hockey, Koules went Hollywood and became a movie mogul -- and then part-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning which, after a couple of disastrous years, he sold in February.
-- Stoick, who started the week at Select 16s as a forward but was moved to D after a teammate was injured, was drafted in the first round of the USHL Futures Draft by Green Bay, who were expecting him there as a forward this season. A 7/2/94 birthdate, Stoick, who played for the Colorado Thunderbirds Midget Minor Team, has size at 6'3", 198 lbs. To us, he's definitely a project, but the NTDP sees a big-time defenseman in the making. Stoick did not make the team going overseas.
-- Olson was not among the top goalies at the Select Festival, finishing with an .872 save percentage. However, the goalie gurus like his 6'3", 190 lb. frame and believe there is something there to work with. A 4/4/94 birthdate, Olson is from Apple Valley, Minn. and appeared in 14 games as a sophomore last winter for Apple Valley High School, finishing the season with an .870 save percentage. Olson also did not make the team that is going to Switzerland.
With three of the above four players taken in the first or second round of this spring's USHL Futures Draft, it may be time to reexamine the whole system of taking players out of the Select 16 camp and adding them to the NTDP at this late stage. We understand that USA Hockey likes to dangle the ‘carrot' of those 3-4 final spots in Ann Arbor as an inducement to get as many of the top players as possible to show up for the Select 16 Camp, but it also hurts USHL teams which have expended high draft picks on kids only to lose them this late. USHL teams have to do all their scouting and have their final lists set by draft day. That's it for them. They are basically done on draft day. The NTDP, which has a larger budget and is skimming off the top, is watching kids over a two-year period. It shouldn't be too much to ask the NTDP to decide on next year's team by the close of their March camp in Ann Arbor. After all, since both the NTDP and the USHL fall under the banner of USA Hockey, shouldn't the same rules apply to both? The NTDP shouldn't be allowed to cherry-pick USHL drafted and recruited players. Besides being a situation in which USA Hockey is recruiting against its own members, it's also causing bad blood between the NTDP and the USHL. It all seems highly avoidable to us. And here's something else: that ‘carrot' is not needed. Players will still come to the Select Camps for other reasons. After all, there are college, pro, and junior scouts and recruiters at these events, and it is an honor for a kid to get an invite. If a carrot is really needed, returning to the district formats of past years would be the best and quickest way to inject some much-needed life into these things. We've said that for years, and it's more true now than ever.
Terriers Hit Jackpot
Fourteen-year-old offensive defenseman Anthony DeAngelo has committed to Boston University for the fall of 2014.
DeAngelo, who will be playing this fall for the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders and, as far as we know, will become the youngest player to ever suit up for a USHL team, visited Boston University yesterday, and made his commitment. BU is the only school DeAngelo visited.
A native of Sewell, NJ, about 15 miles south of Philadelphia, DeAngelo, a 10/24/95 birthdate, will be going into the ninth grade this fall. He's a take-charge type, 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 -- an exciting up-tempo player. He's also ultra-competitive, plays with an edge, and is not afraid to drop the gloves, as he showed at the Liberty Bell Games in Voorhees, NJ last month, where BU assistant coach Buddy Powers was down watching him.
DeAngelo, a right shot listed at 5'11", 160 lbs., was the leading scorer on the Westchester Express 14-and-Under Team that finished as the runner-up at USA Hockey's Nationals in April. One of his teammates on that squad was BC recruit Steve Santini, also a '95.
Lane to UNO
6'2", 172 lb. LC Tanner Lane of Detroit Lakes HS, a late bloomer who was drafted in the sixth round (#60 overall) of last month's NHL Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers, has committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
Lane, who tied St. Cloud State fall '11 recruit Joey Benik of St. Francis HS (Benik will play the upcoming season for Penticton) with 90 points, will forego high school hockey in his senior year in order to play for the Fargo Force (USHL). Fargo is less than an hour due west from Detroit Lakes.
An 8/13/92 birthdate, Lane finished the season with a 49-41-90 line in 24 games. Detroit Lakes plays in Class A, and is in a sparsely populated part of the state, which goes to show a lot of things, one being that good players can come out of anywhere.
Lane, who is skilled, fast, and has size and upside, jumped from 52 points as a soph to 90 as a junior.
Depending upon how quickly Lane adapts to and succeeds in the USHL, he will be at UNO in either the fall of '11 or '12.
St. Cloud State and the University of Minnesota were the other two schools Lane visited.
U.S. Under-17 Select Team Named
Twenty players from USA Hockey's Select 16 Player Development Camp, which ended Wednesday in Rochester, NY, have been named to the 2010 U.S. Under-17 Select Team that will be traveling to the Five Nations Tournament in Huttwil, Switzerland Aug. 18-22.
Goaltenders (2): Brandon Hope (Canton, Mich./Honeybaked); James Howe (Northville, Mich./Little Caesar's).
Defensemen (6): Grant Webermin (Novi, Mich./Honeybaked); Tim Davison (DePere, Wisc./Team Wisconsin); Teddy Doherty (Hopkinton, Mass./Shattuck-St. Mary's); Sam Piazza (Darien, Ill./Chicago Mission); Justin Wade (Aurora, Ill./Chicago Mission).
Forwards (12): Cristoval "Boo" Nieves (Baldwinsville, NY); Brian Morgan (Windham, NH/ Boston Junior Bruins); Nicholas Schilkey (Smiths Creek, Mich./Honeybaked); Kyle Osterberg (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville South HS); A.J. Michaelson (Lakeville, Minn./Apple Valley HS); Riley Barber (Livonia, Mich./Compuware); Ryan Fitzgerald (North Reading, Mass./Malden Catholic); Zach Stepan (Faribault, Minn./Shattuck-St. Mary's); Joseph Cox (Chelsea, Mich./Compuware); Miles Koules (Los Angeles, CA/ Shattuck-St.Mary's); Sheldon Dries (Macomb, Mich./Honeybaked); Jack Rowe (Cary, Ill./Team Illinois).
Head Coach: Sean Tremblay (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs)
Assistant Coach: Matt Herr (Kent School)
Tues. Aug. 18 - Czech Republic
Thurs. Aug. 20 - Slovakia
Fri. Aug. 21 - Switzerland
Sat. Aug. 22 - Germany
Two Key D for Huskies
Northeastern has commitments from two big defensemen they had targeted -- one for the fall of 2011 and the other for the fall 2012.
-- 6'2", 220 lb. LD Ryan Renz of the Alberni Valley Bulldogs (BCHL), a big, hard-nosed, mean, physical defender also being recruited by Miami and North Dakota, will arrive first, in 2011. Renz, an 8/4/93 birthdate from Castelgar, BC, joined Alberni Valley after Christmas, coming over from the Castlegar Rebels Jr. B where, in 29 games, he had a 8-18-26 line with 133 pims (!). With Alberni Valley, as the youngest player on the team, he played 25 games (playoff and regular season combined) and had a 2-10-12 line with 14 pims.
-- 6'4", 230 lb. Mike McKee, an 8/17/93 birthdate from Newmarket, Ontario going into his junior year at the Kent School, has committed to the Huskies for the fall of 2012. McKee, a big physical force, is a good two-way D with some offensive flair, which may or may not stem from the fact that, until 2-3 years ago, he was a forward. In addition to Northeastern, Cornell, and UMass were the other schools recruiting McKee. This past season at Kent, McKee played 26 gmaes and had a 3-8-11 line.