Berisha Leaves Salisbury for the OHL
5’10”, 185 lb. Salisbury School junior forward Aaron Berisha will be forgoing his NCAA eligibility as he plans to leave boarding school and play for the Belleville Bulls (OHL) next season.
Berisha, the 2011 OHL Cup MVP with the Toronto Marlboros midget minor squad and a Mississauga, Ont. native, was drafted by Belleville in the fourth round of last spring’s OHL draft.
At Salisbury, in 28 games, he had an 11-11-22 line, good for sixth in team scoring. A smart player, he would have made a nice NCAA prospect. He didn't show himself to be particularly dynamic, however, which, in our eyes, will limit his pro potential.
Where To For Gillies?
Northeastern’s top goalie recruit, 6’5”, 216 lb. Jon Gillies of the Indiana Ice (USHL), has decommitted from Northeastern.
Gillies, who committed to the Huskies in the spring of 2010, when Greg Cronin was head coach, was granted a release from his National Letter of Intent by current head coach Jim Madigan yesterday.
The Northeastern staff – and Gillies -- believed that Chris Rawlings would not be returning for his senior season, and that the job would go to Gillies. All that changed when Rawlings, who faltered down the stretch and saw his pro stock drop, decided to return for his senior season.
A 1/22/94 birthdate, Gillies, the son of former UNH goalie Bruce Gillies, is the #4 rated North American goalie on Central’s Mid-Term Rankings. All three goalies ranked ahead of him are major junior kids. So Gillies -- in 47 games he has a 2.73 gaa and a .916 save percentage – represents a hot stock.
While there are a number of colleges -- even at this late date - looking for a goalie, Notre Dame and the University of Michigan are the frontrunners for Gillies. This season, the Fighting Irish rotated junior Mike Johnson and sophomore Steven Summerhays. A defense-oriented team, Notre Dame finished in the middle of the pack in goals allowed – and in eighth place in the CCHA. As for Michigan, Shawn Hunwick will be graduating and right now the Wolverines have only have two goalies for next year: the NTDP’s Jared Rutledge, who is not as highly regarded as Gillies, and Steven Racine, who is a walk-on.
There is also the major junior option. The Quebec Remparts (QMHHL) own his rights, and part owner/GM/head coach Patrick Roy, who is heavily rumored to be the next head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, has – no surprise here -- reportedly called Gillies numerous times during the course of the current season, hoping to get the young goaltender to leave Indiana for the Q.
Yankee Conference Review
Over the past weekend, USHR made the trek up to Burlington, Vt. to take in the 31st Annual New England Yankee Conference Festival. While there, we were able to see every player in the ‘95, ‘97 and ‘98 age groups. We found the top talent – specifically, a handful of Div. I prospects – scattered among the ‘97s and ‘98s. On the flip side, the ‘95s were thin, with only a few players we would deem Div. I prospects. Below are the players who stood out for us.
(Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that our opinion is in no way indicative of what USA Hockey feels or believes, and the players we felt stood out may or may not make it out to the USA Select Festivals in Rochester, NY. The program did not include heights, weights, or where players played during the season. However, we will do our best to provide accurate descriptions.)
Wiley Sherman, D—In terms of pro potential, Sherman was the top prospect at the Festival. However, he did not play as well here as he did in the Beantown, mainly because he tried to do too much, thus complicating his game. The Hotchkiss sophomore is at his best when he keeps things simple, using his long reach to gain an advantage defensively. Having said that, there is just so much to work with. Sherman skates very well for a 6’5” defenseman, and has a good head on his shoulders. Has the potential to be an impact player when he arrives at Harvard in a couple of years.
Charlie Corcoran, F—Sophmore forward from the Berkshire School was excellent this weekend. As a younger player in prep hockey, the New Canaan, Conn. native did not jump out at us when we watched him over the season, but playing with and against kids his own age he really stood out. Makes a lot of plays and has a really good stick. Is a quick skater and will more than likely be Berkshire’s go-to-guy next season. Should have been on our list of top sophomores.
Owen Powers, F—Big 6’2”, 183 lb. power forward works hard and is effective on the walls and in the corners. Is a sophomore at Choate and will surely be relied upon for more offense next season with the departure of leading scorer Ben Foster to Princeton. Made plays here, but needs to add a step to his skating. When he fills out he could gain some traction with D1 coaches.
Jason Kalinowski, F—The UNH recruit played the role of skilled/finesse guy here in the game we saw. However, those who know the Salisbury forward also know that is not his game. Kalinowski is a character guy who is very effective when playing with energy and tenacity. Nonetheless, he stood out because his skill level is higher than most. Did lay some kids out with heavy hits, but spent more time than usual on the perimeter.
Spencer Martin, D—Small, mobile defender plays for Stanstead College. Is aggressive and moved the puck up ice efficiently. Was one of the top defenseman on hand.
Chris Miller, F—Small forward is a sparkplug, a hardworking player with offensive capabilities. Pays attention to detail and is not afraid to get his nose dirty. Played for the Junior Bruins Empire team.
Chris Vicario, F—Another member of the Junior Bruins Empire team. Was very involved here and played with energy. Made plays and created offense. Has speed and is shifty.
Matthew Cuce, F—Played for Colchester High School in Vermont. Is a small, skilled, crafty forward who made a ton of plays here and really stood out. Cuce needs to get bigger and stronger, but he is fun to watch and was very active each shift.
Craig Puffer, F—A freshman at the Berkshire School. Played on a line with Corcoran and the two were very effective. Plays with an edge and is very aggressive on the forecheck. Quick skater who creates a lot of turnovers. Is a pest to play against.
Dakota Keene, F—Was the second-leading scorer for the Portland Junior Pirates of the MET League. A fluid skater who is light on his feet, Keene used his speed to get to the net on a regular basis.
Jonathan Grassie, D—A junior captain at Berwick Academy. Reliable defensively and does not get beat in 1x1 situations. Nothing flashy; just makes the simple play. The son of Chris Grassie, a former long-time assistant to Sean Tremblay with the Jr. Monarchs and also a former UNH captain.
Brendan Robbins, F—Was one of the youngest players in the EJHL this season, playing for the New England Huskies. A good skater who was consistently noticeable, Robbins has a good sense of the game. Plays two-way hockey.
Mark Dufour, F—Big kid who is physically mature. Has some tools, but needs to become more dynamic. Appears to be in a situation where he has always been bigger and stronger than others his age. Now, though, the gap is closing and he will have to make adujustments. Plays for Kents Hill.
Gordon Bensen, F— A tall kid who made plays and caught our attention. Has some tools; could turn out to be a good player.
Erik Rost, D—Plays for Westminster; stood out here as one of the better defenseman.
Justin Cole, D—Big d-man who made good, simple decisions with the puck. His feet did not appear to be an issue here, but they could be if the pace were picked up. Raw, but has some upside.
Xavier Morin, D—Good-sized defenseman plays for Westminster. Strong defensively, but will not bring a lot to the table offensively.
Calvin Shelley, G—Made saves and was solid in net.
Kevin Dazkevich, F—Not pretty, but produces offense. Always seems to be around the puck. Scored goals here.
McKay Flanagan, D—Mid-Fairfield defenseman really jumped out at us and grabbed our attention. Very well could be the top prospect in this age group. A good-sized defender, Flanagan processes the game well and makes smart decisions with the puck. We see him as someone who the NTDP will track closely over the next 12 months. Could provide immediate help to a prep school looking for an impact defenseman.
Liam Darcy, D—Was the MVP at Berwick Academy as a freshman, which is no small accomplishment. Very, very intelligent player who is beginning to realize just how good he is. Has a smooth set of hands and is difficult to get the puck from. Does an excellent job of sucking forecheckers in before moving the puck up ice. Will be another defenseman who will get consideration from the NTDP.
Drew Hickey, D—Mid-Fairfield defenseman was partnered with Flanagan and the two made things look easy. We would put Hickey at 5’8” or 5’9”. He skates well and is a heady, puck moving defender. Will make for a solid D1 prospect.
Tage Thompson, F—Smart, savvy forward possesses a dangerous stick and can handle the puck in a phone booth. Makes a lot of plays and thinks the game at an elite level. Does not appear to be physically mature, something we view as a good thing. Inevitably, he’ll become bigger, stronger and faster – and he could be a force. Is a student of the game as his father, Brent Thompson, is the head coach of the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (AHL). Plays for Mid-Fairfield.
John McDermott, F—Big power forward is probably 6’0” or 6’1” already. A good skater, McDermott has an explosive first step to go along with his stick skills. Projects well and will be difficult to defend against when he fills out. Plays for Mid-Fairfield where he is a linemate of Thompson.
Ben Finkelstein, D—Cardigan Mountain defenseman is really fun to watch. Is on the small side, but is very savvy with the puck and thinks the game at a high level. Does a lot of things that are difficult to teach. Makes play after play and is very reliable with the puck on his stick. Will certainly run a power play at the prep school level and potentially beyond.
Devin Moore, F—Played on the first line at Pinkerton Academy as a freshman. Will certainly have to fight the size battle as he is not very big at all, but has a lot of skill and creates offense. Has a quick stick and is elusive in 1x1 situations.
Joseph Lazzaro, G—For our money the New Hampshire native was the top goalie in his age group. Is not blessed with superior height, but makes up for it with athleticism. Is very quick side to side and was difficult to beat here.
Connor Sundquist, F—A pure skater who is very fast goal line to goal line. Puts defenders on their heels. Plays for the Connecticut Wolfpack. Will be at Selects Academy in the fall.
William Carrabino, D—Big defender has a good head on his shoulders and made the right decision the majority of the time. His brothers are absolutely monsters, which would lead one to think that the already large Carrabino will continue to keep growing. Will be an interesting player to keep tabs on.
Daniel Winslow, F -- Makes plays. Has a good stick. Shifty. Played on a line with Liam Murphy and the two created a lot of offense. Is very small, thus his skating lacks explosiveness. Will be a good player when his body has time to catch up to his mind.
Matthew Creamer, F—Rhode Island native is a big kid who has some skill. Works hard and could develop into an effective power forward.
Matthew Cousino, D—Plays for the Vermont Glades. Has size and is a really good skater, but needs to improve his decision-making.
Patrick Harper, F—A fun player to watch -- really piles up the points. Is very small, which could become problematic in the future, but right now he is very good. Is creative with the puck and has a knack for scoring goals. Is the brother of Reed Harper, who was a standout this season as a PG at Proctor. Plays for the New Jersey Colonials, the defending national champions at the ’98 level.
Jack Flanagan, F—A high-end forward who possesses a nice combination of size, speed and skill. Played on a line with Harper and the two pretty much scored at will against a helpless Vermont squad. Plays for the Mid-Fairfield Bantam Minor team.
Dominic Sorgio V, G—Was lights-out here. At tournaments such as this, it can be difficult for a goalie to really get noticed unless he’s being peppered with shots, but Sorgio is an obvious talent. Plays his angles well and is very aggressive in the crease. Is fundamentally sound and has quick reflexes. Pretty good size for his age.
Brendan Cordeiro, F—Rhode Island native is a player to watch. Has good size and speed for his age and an electric set of hands. Makes a lot of plays and is dangerous in scoring areas. Plays for the Rhode Island Saints.
John Hoey, F—Smaller forward with an elite skill set. Is crafty and can really bury the puck, which he did on a regular basis here. Plays for Mid-Fairfield.
Liam Murphy, F—Connecticut Wolf Pack forward has good size and is dangerous when given time and space. Gets faster with the puck on his stick, and can make plays at full speed. Needs to improve his skating as he has an awkward stride.
Jacob Gresh, D—Offensive-minded defenseman loves to join the rush. Is difficult to defend against in the offensive zone as he regularly seeks scoring opportunities. Is on the small side, but can skate and think the game at a high level.
Lucas Niezelski, D—Connecticut Wolf Pack defenseman is light on his feet and smooth with the puck on his stick. Makes good decisions under pressure and is poised at the offensive blue-line.
Derrick Spencer, D—New Hampshire native is sound defensively and moves the puck with hard, crisp passes. We felt he was the top defenseman outside of the Connecticut team.
’96 World Selects Invitational Schedule
The Portland Jr. Pirates (EJHL) and Selects Sports Management will be hosting the ’96 World Selects Invitational Tournament Thurs-Sun. April 12-15 in Portland, Maine. Fourteen squads, including five from the U.S., three from Russia, three from Canada, as well as teams from the Czech Republic, Sweden, and Latvia, will be on hand. Click below for more info – and a full schedule for the weekend. We expect to have rosters available here next week.
’96 World Selects Invitational Tournament
Six Commit to NTDP
The first official commits for the 2012-13 U.S. Under-17 Team are forwards Jack Eichel (Junior Bruins – Empire), Jared Fiegl (Colorado Rampage Midget Minor), Dylan Larkin (Belle Tire Midget Minor), and Ryan McInnis (St. Louis Blues Midget Minor); and defensemen Ryan Bliss (St. Paul’s School) and Jack Glover (Benilde-St. Margaret’s). The squad will eventually grow to include 22 players (12 forwards, eight D, and two goalies).
Jones Makes it 16
A couple of weeks ago, after the Penticton Vees (BCHL) win streak came to an end at 42 games – the longest in the history of hockey – we mentioned that The Vees, whose GM/head coach is Fred Harbinson, had 15 players on their roster committed to Div. I NCAA programs, surely a record for any one BCHL team. Now that number has increased to 16 players as 5’9” defenseman D.J. Jones, a Plymouth, Minn. native who played at Wayzata HS before heading to Penticton with fellow Minnesotans Mario Lucia, Steven Fogarty, Mike Reilly et al, has committed to Army. A smart, intelligent blueliner, Jones will play another season at Penticton before heading for West in the fall of ’13.
While on the subject of win streaks we should mention that this is the year for them. The Norfolk Admirals (Tampa Bay’s AHL affiliate) have a win streak that has reached 20 and still counting. With each win they extend their record for a North American professional hockey team. The Admirals, coached by Jon Cooper, who coached the Green Bay Gamblers (USHL) from 2008-10, will look to extend the record to 21 games last night. Former Deerfield and Harvard star center Alex Killorn, Tampa Bay’s 2007 third round pick, joined the Admirals over the weekend, and notched his first professional goal on Saturday night.
Mass. Seniors All-Star Rosters
The 2012 Massachusetts High School Seniors All-Star Game will take place this coming Sunday, April 1, at the DCU Center in Worcester. The game starts at noon and precedes the Sharks vs. Springfield Falcons AHL game. Any college, prep, junior, or pro scouts who wish to attend should email Sharks PR director Jason Jones in order to be added to the guest list. His email is jjones (at) sharksahl.com
Featured players include Brendan Collier (Malden Catholic) and Sam Kurker (St. John’s Prep).
Mass. Seniors All-Star Rosters
A Big D for BC
6’4”, 205 lb. Northwood School PG defenseman Travis Jeke has committed to Boston College for the coming fall.
Jeke, who is from Pittsburgh, PA, is a classic late bloomer, arriving at Northwood as a freshman and working his way up from the third team. “He’s a great kid,” wrote Northwood head coach Jeff Matthews. “He also grew a ton, and finally caught up with his body. He moves well for his size. He has outstanding hands, a pro shot, and sees the ice well. He’s also only been playing defense for a little more than a year.”
“Travis loves the game,” Matthews added. “Every time he steps on the ice for a game or practice, he truly wants to be out there. We are all very happy for him.”
Jeke, who had a strong showing at the Beantown Classic last week, is reported to be a recruited walk-on, at least for his first year.
A 6/11/93 birthdate, Jeke was passed over in last summer’s NHL draft, but there’s a good chance someone will take him this time around.
Before coming to Northwood, Jeke played for Victory Honda’s bantam minor team.
USHR Players of the Year
USHR Prep Player – and Forward -- of the Year:
Brian Hart, Sr., Phillips Exeter, 6’3”, 212 lbs. -- Was in the running for this award from Day One. The Harvard recruit who, along with PG Matt Beattie, formed prep hockey’s most potent duo, finished the season with a 31-34-65 scoring line in only 29 games played. What set the Cumberland, Maine native apart -- from Beattie and others -- was his performance in the post-season where he was clearly Exeter’s top player despite battling a nagging wrist injury. Will hear his name called at the NHL draft this summer.
Runner Up: Chris Calnan, Noble & Greenough.
USHR Prep Defenseman of the Year:
Robby O’Gara, Sr., Milton Academy, 6’3”, 210 lbs. -- The Milton captain turned aside USHL offers in order to captain the Mustangs in his senior year. Despite playing on a rebuilding team, there was no denying that the Yale recruit was the top defender in prep hockey and has a bright future ahead of him. The Boston Bruins’ 5th round draft choice in 2011 posted a 5-20-25 scoring line in 24 games played while logging nearly 35 minutes of ice per game. From Nesconset, Long Island.
Runner Up: Marc Biega, Salisbury School.
USHR Prep Goaltender of the Year:
David Cunningham, Sr. (Belmont Hill) 6’0”, 185 lbs. – Led Belmont Hill, which didn’t have a single player producing at a point-per-game pace, into the post-season. The Amherst recruit’s top performance came in the first round of the playoffs in which he turned aside 65 of 70 shots in a near upset of eventual champion Lawrence Academy. An Arlington, Mass. native, Cunningham played 80 percent of his team’s games – he missed a week or two with an injury -- and posted a .943 save percentage.
Runners Up: Nathaniel Heilbron, Lawrence Academy; Michael Santaguida, Avon Old Farms.
Update on Last Year’s Winners:
2010-11 USHR Prep Forward of the Year:
Robbie Baillargeon , Soph., Cushing Academy – Baillargeon, a BU recruit for the fall of ’13, left Cushing over the summer for the USHL, where, going into this weekend’s games, he has an impressive 14-32-46 line in 47 games played, tying him for 14th overall in league scoring. A late ’93, Baillargeon was at #43 in Central’s Mid-Term Rankings of North American skaters.
2010-11 USHR Prep Player – and Defenseman – of the Year:
Patrick McNally , Sr., Milton Academy – McNally, a 4th round draft pick of Vancouver in the 2010 NHL Draft, had an excellent freshman season at Harvard, posting a 6-22-28 line in 34 games played.
2010-11 USHR Prep Goaltender of the Year:
Sean Dougherty , Sr., Milton Academy – Dougherty, a freshman at Williams College, backed up senior Ryan Purdy (ex of Exeter). He played four games, with a 1.73 gaa and a .945 save percentage.
Two Years Ago:
2009-10 USHR Prep Forward of the Year:
Kevin Hayes , Sr., Noble & Greenough.
2009-10 USHR Prep Defenseman of the Year:
Patrick McNally , Jr., Milton Academy.
2009-10 USHR Prep Goaltender of the Year:
Braden Komm , Sr., Northfield-Mt. Hermon.
Goss Has A Home
6’5”, 204 lb. Exeter senior defenseman Will Goss has committed to Providence College for this fall.
Goss, a 10/16/92 birthdate from Wellesley, Mass., played at Wellesley High before heading off to Exeter as a repeat junior.
A co-captain this year (along with Brian Hart), Goss had a 5-29-34 scoring line in 30 games played as Exeter went 22-3-5 and reached the New England prep semifinals.
Brown was also recruiting Goss, and Boston College had offered him a walk-on spot back in early December.
Beantown Pre-Draft Review
Here is USHR’s Top 25 from the Pre-Draft Division at last week’s Beantown Spring Classic at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass.
1. Jack Eichel, F, late ’96 (Junior Bruins-Empire) 6-1/175—Probably the top prospect in either division. Has the longest stride we have seen in quite some time. If you are a power skating coach looking for a picture of the perfect stride for your brochure, look no further than Eichel. Is not only a graceful skater, but his smooth hands coupled with a long wingspan enables him to beat defenders with his superior reach. Has all the earmarks of a potential first round draft pick. Our only knock on him is that he can be casual at times—a more consistently high compete level would really round out his game. Will be out in Ann Arbor this week for the NTDP final 53-man camp -- he’s a lock to make the team. Chelmsford, Mass. native is one of the top uncommitted prospects in the country, and Boston College is the favorite.
2. Cam Askew, F, ’97 (St. Sebastian’s) 6-2/175—In terms of pro potential, Eichel and Askew are both high-end prospects. We give Eichel the edge because he is six months older and closer to being ready. However, Askew, one of just two ‘97s in the pre-draft division, is the real deal, with a potent combination of size, scoring ability and grit. Is still very young and physically immature, but when he adds muscle and weight to his frame he is going to be difficult to handle. If the Northeastern recruit ever makes it to Matthews Arena it will probably be as a 6-3, 220 pound center. Will be entering the 9th grade and is undecided as to where he will be going to school next season. We have it on good word that the South Boston native will either return to St. Sebastian’s, or head to boarding school at either Cushing and Salisbury. Askew will be playing for the Valley Junior Warriors ‘97s at nationals next weekend in Buffalo.
3. Joe Widmar, F, ’95 (CD Selects) 6-0/205—We might be going out on a limb by dubbing him the third-best prospect here, and perhaps some of that lofty ranking springs from the fact that he was such a pleasant surprise. Widmar played for the Cap District Selects (EJHL) team that won only one game all year, and may have been overlooked on such an awful team. However, he is very solid in all aspects of the game. Has size, can skate, makes plays, and plays with an edge. In 45 games this season he posted an 11-21-32 scoring line which is impressive for a 16-year-old in the EJ. When the Northbrook, Ill. native is surrounded by better players his game will take off.
4. Wiley Sherman, D, ’95 (Hotchkiss) 6-6/190—Every season, New England hockey produces a few players that NHL scouts follow closely. Two years ago, it was Kevin Hayes (Nobles) and Charlie Coyle (South Shore). Last year, it was Philipe Hudon (Choate) and Robby O’Gara (Milton). This season it has been Boo Nieves (Kent), Jimmy Vesey (South Shore) and Brian Hart (Exeter). Next season, Wiley Sherman will be the guy. Plays a pro-style game and oozes with potential. Is a good skater for his size and his play with the puck continues to improve. Playing prep hockey will be highly beneficial for the Harvard recruit as he will be in a position to develop his game offensively and work on his poise and power play abilities. Our guess is that the Greenwich, Conn. native ends up being a 2nd or 3rd round draft pick. History shows that defensemen who are 6’6” and can skate are hot commodities on draft day.
5. Tyler Hill, F, ’95 (Hotchkiss) 6-5/225—Another player with a ton of upside who will be a sure NHL draft pick in 2013. A massive power forward, Hill has good wheels and a quick release, which will make him a top college recruit. Having said that, the Hagersville, Ont. native is a 5th round draft choice of the Ottawa 67’s and last week was decked out head to toe in 67’s gear. Has yet to sign an OHL contract, but it certainly appears that Ottawa is making a push for his services.
6. Corey Ronan, F, late ’95 (St. Sebastian’s) 5-7/160—The fastest player here. The son of former BU Terrier Ed Ronan has a ton of speed and plays the game with a lot of pace. Really pushes defenders back and creates time and space for himself. Plays with a lot of energy and could have a monster season next season for the Arrows. The question is this: does he have enough in the way of stick skills to score goals at the D-I level, or will he be a third line energy guy and top penalty killer? Either way, the Franklin, Mass. native will help a D-I team. Was outstanding here, creating offense nearly every time he hopped over the boards.
7. Jason Cotton, F, ’95 (Colorado Thunderbirds U16) 6-2/185—While in town for the Beantown, Cotton took the time to visit a number of Hockey East schools. Played on a line with Askew and the two protected the puck well, controlling play on a regular basis. A big kid who can skate, Cotton also has a slick set of hands. Will be a D-I player and certainly has the look of a future pro.
8. Daniel Fritz, D, ’95 (Canterbury) 6-1/177—Saw him earlier this season playing as a forward and we really enjoyed his game. It was not until this weekend that we realized his primary position was as a defenseman — and we like him a lot back there as well. The Team Maryland product is an excellent prospect who can really skate. He makes intelligent decisions under pressure and is effective when rushing the puck up ice. Has the ability to be a one-man breakout. Definitely worth keeping tabs on as he should be one of the top defenders in prep hockey next season.
9. Conor Garland, F, ’96 (Junior Bruins-Empire) 5-6/150—Put up monster numbers this season in the Empire League, and can really create a lot of offense. Does not shy away from the physical side of the game and thrives in traffic. Right now, he is obviously very small, but he is also not fast goal line to goal line. If the Scituate, Mass. native can develop some speed and become a more dynamic player he will be very good in college. While he can gain strength and a bit of speed, he has offensive instincts you just can’t teach. We’re betting that down the line he’ll be a fan favorite for some D-I program.
10. Josh Couturier, D, ’95 (Junior Bruins-Empire) 6-2/175—Put himself on the radar here. Big defender from Newbury, Mass. who can skate, make a good first pass, and is really sound defensively. Will develop into a difficult-to-play-against hardhat defenseman at the D-I level. Is certainly ready to play in the EJHL next season -- and deserves the promotion.
11. Dakota Ford, D, ’95 (Gunnery) 6-2/175—Potsdam, NY native brings the same game every time we see him play. Consistent defenseman who does his job each and every shift. Is not flashy, just makes a good, hard first pass and defends well. There are virtually no holes in his game defensively. Will end up on a D-I roster regardless, but if he can add a little more sizzle with the puck and unlock his offensive game it will happen for him sooner.
12. Thomas Welsh, D, ’95 (Salisbury) 6-0/205—Toronto native plays a physical game and had a difficult time keeping his cool and staying out of the box here. Having said that, he is someone you want on your team. Plays with a real edge and is reliable defensively. There is a time and place for everything, though, and in our opinion the Spring Beantown is not the best time to push for fighting majors.
13. Robby Klein, D, ’95 (Lawrence) 6-3/200—Was a big part of Lawrence Academy’s 25-3-3 prep championship team. Has improved and is really starting to become intriguing. There have been times we have watched him and thought his skating was a huge problem, but it did not appear to be so here at the Beantown. His play with the puck and decision-making were both very good. Has a lot of tools to work with and could blossom into a very good defenseman.
14. Ken Citron, D, ’95 (Team Comcast U18) 6-1/185—The Team Comcast/Lawrenceville School product is a natural skater who was impressive here. Has a lot of jump and really gets up ice. His skating gives him an advantage defensively as his gap control is impressive. Needs to be reeled in a bit as he sometimes tries to do too much on his own, leading to mistakes and turnovers.
15. Jason Kalinowski, F, ’95 (Salisbury) 5-11/180—Some players go around defenders, Kalinowski chooses to go through them. The UNH recruit out of Stamford, Conn. is a niche player and fills an essential role. Plays with energy, is physical, and will chew your leg off to get a goal. Is physically limited, but is certainly someone you want in your dressing room.
16. Joe Snively, F, ’96 (Selects Hockey Academy) 5-7/140—Small and shifty, creates scoring chances, and is excellent in transition. Needs time to grow and physically mature. Much like Garland, Snively needs to add another gear and develop pull-away speed in order to make himself more appealing to D-I schools---something he can, and probably will, do.
17. Sam Lafferty, F, ’95 (Deerfield) 5-11/155—We went out on a limb and gave Lafferty a lofty ranking after his performance at the Flood-Marr. He did not exactly knock our socks off here, but he certainly showed flashes of being dangerous – something he needs to do on a more consistent basis.
18. Andrew Gaus, F, ’95 (Taft) 6-0/173—Has a tall,lanky build and is a fluid skater. Pittsburgh area native possesses a lot of appealing qualities, but needs to spend more time in the tough ice in order to create more scoring opportunities.
19. Josh Gabriel, F, ’96 (Buffalo Jr. Sabres) 5-11/180—A complete player who competes hard and is very good away from the puck. Is above average in all areas, but does not possess one trait that really jumps out.
20. Ryan Cloonan, F, ’95 (Boston Advantage) 5-9/150—Maine recruit has a creative mind and excels with the puck on his stick. Needs to get bigger, stronger and faster to be a factor for the Black Bears.
21. Jake McCarthy, D, ’96 (St. Sebastian’s) 6-2/180—Does a lot of things well and pushes the pace offensively. Loves to join the rush and take advantage of weak backcheckers. In the D zone he gets to running around at times. Needs to be more composed there.
22. Charley Borek, F, ’96 (Cardigan Mountain) 6-0/180—Good-sized kid from Durham, NH competes hard. Gets to a lot of loose pucks and is good in the corners and along the wall. Makes plays. Feet need to get better or he will get lost in the shuffle.
23. Cal Burke, F, ’97 (Nobles) 5-10/165—At the end of the day the ’97-born forward from Boxborough, Mass. will probably be one of the best players here, but right now he still has a way to go. Looks to be growing and has a good mind for the game. Will be excellent when he physically matures.
24. Robert Hall, F, ’95 (Boston Advantage) 5-11/165—Fast and agile, good in transition, and hard to keep in check below the tops of the circles.
25. Tyler Drevitch, F, ’95 (Boston Bandits--Empire) 5-11/145—Smart hockey player who is difficult to get the puck from. Has a crafty set of hands and is very shifty. Still physically undeveloped. Could be a sleeper.
Malden Catholic Repeats
Boston, Mass. -- Malden Catholic topped BC High 3-1 to win their second straight Massachusetts Super 8 title at the TD Garden tonight.
The winning goal was scored with 6:58 left in the third period when Malden Catholic junior center Ryan Fitzgerald, at the right faceoff circle, moved the puck to sophomore defenseman Nick Rolli at the point. Rolli spotted junior RW Michael Iovanna slipping alone into the low slot and put the puck on his stick. Iovanna backhanded the puck past BC High junior goaltender Peter Cronin to put the Lancers up 2-1.
With 4.6 seconds left Malden Catholic freshman d-man Casey Fitzgerald added an empty-netter to make it a 3-1 final.
BC High actually led this game from early in the first until fairly late in the second period, having gotten on the board at 1:59 of the first period when sophomore defenseman Sam Topham, from below the left wing faceoff circle, beat Malden Catholic junior goaltender Connor Maloney with a bad angle shot that tucked inside the post to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
BC High junior goaltender Peter Cronin faced a lot of rubber and came through with a number of nice saves to keep the Eagles in the game (Malden Catholic had a 31-15 overall edge in shots, including 17 in the second period alone), but the Lancers finally broke through with 4:32 left in the second when BC High turned the puck over at the offensive blue line, allowing the ever-dangerous duo of Brendan Collier and Ryan Fitzgerald to take off on a 2-on-1. Fitzgerald dished it to Collier who slipped the puck Cronin to make it a 1-1 game heading into the second intermission.
Malden Catholic, the tournament's #1 seed, finishes the season with a 20-1-4 record, their only loss coming on Dec. 17 against Delbarton (winners last week of a fifth straight New Jersey high school championship). BC High, the #5 seed, finishes the season with a 13-7-5 record.
Spring Beantown Classic Review
The U.S. Hockey Report spent the past two days at Peter and Chris Masters’ Spring Beantown Classic. Once again, virtually all of the top players in the Northeast were on hand. And virtually every NHL team and college hockey program on the east coast was represented – a total of 207 scouts, coaches, and agents signed in on Thursday alone. It’s impossible to knock that level of exposure.
With no further ado, here are the players we felt were the standouts.
Draft Division Standouts
Mark Jankowski, F, ’94 (Stanstead College) 6-3/175—The belle of the ball. A Providence College recruit, Jankowski was a relative unknown coming into the season, but that is no longer the case. Playing for Stanstead College allowed scouts to question how he will perform when the pace picks up, but the Dundas, Ontario native answered those questions here. Jankowski is exactly what you look for in a promising prospect. He is big and long, he can skate, and he can make plays. On top of that, there is plenty of room on his frame to grow, mature and add weight. Nate Leaman and his staff have done an excellent job since taking over the Friars last spring. Not only did the current team reach the Hockey East semis for the first time in years, but they have also landed some high-end recruits -- and Jankowski is right at the top of the list. Will likely be a 2nd-4th round NHL draft pick this summer.
Jimmy Vesey, F, ’93 (South Shore Kings) 6-2/185—Jankowski created the most buzz, but Vesey was the best player here. It is remarkable how much better the former Belmont Hill star has gotten playing for Scott Harlow this season. The Harvard recruit, who projects to be an impact freshman for the Crimson next season, made a lot of plays here, and was on a different level than everyone else. Vesey is a perfect example of a player who chose to play somewhere where he knew he would be the go-to guy, playing a lot of minutes while being heavily relied upon. Had he gone out to the USHL there was a chance he would have been a second or third line player at the start of the season. With the South Shore Kings, though, the sniper was given first line minutes from day one, gained a ton of confidence and, as a result, saw his game just take off. Vesey, undrafted last summer, was ranked #164 on Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings, released in January. We will be shocked if he doesn’t shoot up into the top 100.
Travis Jeke, D, ’93 (Northwood School) 6-4/205—When we are wrong we can admit it. We watched Northwood in the fall, yet failed to include Jeke in our list of top seniors. That was a mistake. This kid can play! The Pittsburgh, PA native has size and is very light on his feet. His skating looks effortless and he has the body of someone who could log a ton of minutes without breaking a sweat. Was not ranked on Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings, but he will almost surely be included in the final rankings. Jeke is not committed to a school, but after his performance here a bunch will likely jump into the mix. While he’s still a long way from being an impact player at the D-I level, there are a lot of pieces to work with, and his upside is very high. While Jeke was passed over in last June’s draft, this time around an NHL team may take a chance on him in the late rounds.
Zach Pryzbeck, F, ’94 (Salisbury) 6-4/205—We have liked the Niagara, Ontario native all season long, but he really put a stamp on his season here. We view him as one of the top uncommitted players in the country. He may never be a goal scorer at the college level, yet alone the pros, but he brings an element that all successful teams need in the sense that he plays a man’s game -- he’s excellent along the walls, in the corners, and in front of the net. In other words, he’s not someone opposing players enjoy being on the ice with. He’ll grind you down.
Alex Rauter, F, ’94 (Choate) 6-1/185—Is not a “typical” Cornell recruit, but this could be the case of new assistant coach Ben Syer making his mark on the Big Red program. The NJ Avalanche product is offensively gifted and has a knack for scoring goals. His skating has improved and his puck skills are high end. Will put up big numbers for the Big Red and is reminiscent of Cornell great Matt Moulson. Will need to round out his game defensively to get minutes at the next level, but it is far easier to teach a player defensive habits than offensive skill. Could be drafted this year, but if not we feel he could have a dominant year next season and greatly improve his pro stock.
Casey Miller, F, ’94 (Kimball Union) 5-8/165—It is highly unlikely that NHL teams have paid much attention to the KUA star. In addition, he remains uncommitted to college. However, we believe Miller moved up the recruiting charts with his efforts here. The Billerica, Mass. native is just a smart hockey player with puck skills to match. Makes a lot of plays and consistently creates offense. The drawback is that he is not very big or overly fast, but we believe he more than makes up for his supposed shortcomings with intelligence. Could have a monster season for Mike Levine’s Wildcats in ‘12’-13. One thing is for sure: he will not be uncommitted at this time next year.
Adam Gilmour, F, ’94 (Nobles) 6-3/194—Keeps getting better. Has a tall, lanky frame coupled with a very smooth skill set. The sky is the limit in terms of where he could be in three years, once he adds twenty pounds of muscle and gains a step or two. Recently decommitted from Quinnipiac and has suitors lined up. Boston College was on hand watching closely and it would not shock us if he ended up at the Heights. The Hanover, Mass. native is rumored to be leaving Nobles in favor of junior hockey.
Will Goss, D, late ’92 (Phillips Exeter) 6-5/204—Tall d-men who can skate and make plays do not grow on trees -- and Goss fits that bill. If the Exeter captain were born in ’94 he’d already be committed to a college -- and would be a likely NHL draft pick. The fact that he is already nearly twenty years old is a drawback, but what needs to be taken into account is his development curve. If Goss had played a high level of hockey his whole life, we would not be very high on him. But the fact that just two years ago he was suiting up for Wellesley High School indicates just how far he has come. If Goss continues to improve at his current rate he will turn out to be a steal for whichever college he attends. Had a strong performance here as he was reliable defensively and made consistently smart decisions with puck.
Nick Ellis, G, ’94 (Pomfret) 6-1/166—Has a lot of talent and could turn into a difference maker for Providence. The Team Maryland product was good here, but at the same time it is difficult to judge a goaltender at a showcase event. Ellis is rumored to be heading to junior hockey next season.
Ryan Badger, F, ’94 (Team Comcast) 5-10/175—While playing U18 hockey could lead one to believe he is far from being prepared to play at Maine, such is not the case. Badger, who goes hard and has an extremely high compete level, is actually closer than one might assume. While it’s hard to predict his offensive upside with any accuracy, we do know he will make Maine a better team.
Charlie Donners, D, ’94 (Dexter) 5-10/171—He may be short and stocky, but he makes up for his lack of height with speed and skill. Is competitive and wants the puck on his stick. A Norwood, Mass. native, Donners had a positive impact for his team nearly every shift. Is a D-I defenseman.
Tim Boyle, D, ’93 (Nobles) 6-2/190—Another player who has gotten substantially better in a relatively short period of time. Boyle is coming off of an excellent season and his confidence is high. Both creates offense and is sound in his own end. His brother, New York Rangers forward Brian Boyle, was a late bloomer as well, and did not really take off until the second half of his sophomore season at BC. If Tim, who will be at Union in the fall, follows the same timetable he could turn out to be an absolute steal for the Dutchmen.
Doyle Somerby, D, ’94 (Kimball Union) 6-5/225—He didn’t improve his stock here, but he didn’t hurt it either. The BU recruit is a project and has a way to go before being an impact player for the Terriers. That said, he has all the tools and there is a whole lot to like about his game. We just don’t see many players who are 6’5” and can skate like Somerby. The Marblehead native will almost certainly hear his name called at the NHL draft in June.
Dominic Trento, F, ’93 (Green Mountain Glades) 5-11/190—Looked really sharp here and played with a purpose. Could be a good role player at the D-I level. Is a good skater and plays the game at a fast pace.
Devin Tringale, F, late ’93 (Lawrence Academy) 6-0/196—Coming off of a stellar performance leading Lawrence to the prep championship. Tringale, along with linemate Tyler Whitney, was outstanding up in Salem, NH. NEPSIHA doesn’t award a playoff MVP, but if they did Tringale would get our vote, hands-down. While it would be tough to match his effort at New England’s here, the Harvard recruit did not hurt himself. Tringale plays the game extremely hard, and is above average in all areas.
Ben Foster, F, ’93 (Choate) 6-1/188—Was very noticeable. The Princeton recruit from Darien, Conn. plays in the trenches and does a lot of little things well. Was on a line with Jankowski and the two created a lot of offense.
Brendan Silk, F, ’94 (NTDP) 6-3/188—Missing last season with an injury and playing a limited role this season with the NTDP has taken its toll on the Boston College recruit. Here, he played on a line with Jimmy Vesey, which actually turned out to be a negative for Silk because eyes were locked on Vesey. Nonetheless, Silk has skill and an appealing total package, but needs to regain his confidence. Would be best suited to return to the east coast and play in the EJHL where – much like Vesey this year -- the former Austin Prep star will be relied on to score goals and be the go-to guy. Silk skated well here and has good size, but did not make a lot of plays, and appears to have been turned into a north/south player.
Kevin Duane, F, ’94 (Brunswick) 6-4/218—The BU recruit has a lot of positives — he is big, smart and can shoot a puck. The negative is that his skating is really far from being Hockey East ready and if it does not improve he will be ineffective in college. We do not see there being much middle ground with the future Terrier. He is either going to be a home run or a strike out. An NHL team could conceivably lay a chip behind him being a home run and draft him.
Michael Doherty, F, 93 (Groton) 5-11/165—Was rather alone playing for Groton, but the Yale recruit was solid here and made things happen. Can really scoot and has a lot of room for improvement in terms of getting physically stronger. We do not see him as a pro prospect, but he could turn out to be a really productive player for the Eli.
Ross Olsson, F, late ’94 (Williston-Northampton) 6-4/200—Big kid with a lot of upside. Skates well for his size. Is certainly a project and did not make a lot of plays here, but we like the move by Northeastern to take a chance on the Billerica native. Is a late ’94 and thus not draft eligible until 2013.
Tyler Wood, D, ’94 (Nobles) 6-2/200—Raw, but getting better. Every now and then the Brown recruit shows a glimpse that he could develop into a pro.
Derek Pratt, D, ’94 (NMH) 6-2/180—Is going to help a D-I team in the future as a depth defenseman. Skates well for a big kid, makes simple decisions with the puck, and is difficult to beat 1x1. Does not have much flash to his game, but that’s OK—every team needs consistent blueliners.
Matt Beattie, F, late ’92 (Phillips Exeter) 6-3/185—Was just OK here. Obviously, the Exeter PG out of New Jersey’s Pingry School has a lot of skill and is a natural skater, but we do not feel he did enough to merit being drafted. As a ’92 birthdate he would have had to put on a show here to silence his critics, and that did not happen.
Michael Pontarelli, F, ’93 (St. Mark’s) 5-9/175—We wanted to see if the Laval, Quebec native – and prep hockey’s leading scorer -- could produce offense against stronger opponents than St. Mark’s faces on a regular basis. However, we found ourselves really having to look for him. To his defense, as the games went along he got better. However, he will definitely have to add a step to become a legitimate D-I prospect. Pontarelli has excellent offensive instincts. If he can just slow the game down a bit, he could be effective at the next level.
Ryan Segalla, D, late ’94 (Salisbury) 6-1/190—Does a lot of things well. Carried the puck with confidence. Was partnered up with Jeke and the two effectively controlled the play.
Cal Hofford, D, ’94 (Hill Academy) 5-10/170—The Northern Michigan recruit is efficient and effective. Is on the small side, but skates well, is highly mobile, and makes a good first pass. Plays with a bit of an edge and is defensively sound. Does not try to do too much, just keeps things simple.
Nick Roberto, F, ’94 (Kimball Union) 5-10/175—Another Maine recruit who plays the game hard and is not fun to play against. We believe he and Badger would complement each other well in the Black Bears’ lineup.
Niko Rufo, F, ’94 (Kimball Union) 6-0/180—Played well here, but did not wow anyone. The Providence recruit played on a line with Kimball Union teammates Roberto and Miller -- the trio was very much in sync and will be difficult to contain in prep hockey next season.
Nick Bligh, F, ’93 (South Shore Kings) 5-11/180—We recently saw the Dartmouth recruit in the EJHL semifinals, so we know what he can do, which is considerable. But in order to be effective Bligh’s energy level needs to be high, which it was not here. Plays did not die with him, but he was on a line with Vesey and instead of creating things on his own he allowed Vesey to do the majority of the work and take the spotlight.
KJ Tiefenwerth, F, ’92 (Boston Junior Bruins) 5-9/170—It is puzzling that the Avon grad has yet to land with another D-I school after decommitting from BC. We know that Boston College gave him a full ride, so maybe the Mid-Fairfield product is seeking that from another school, thus providing a hang-up of sorts. As a full scholarship player he may come up short, but in terms of playing D-I hockey there is no doubt in our minds that he will fit right in and be productive. Created offense here and made plays, but that is no surprise as he has been doing so his whole life.
Michael Santaguida, G, ’93 (Avon) 5-9/165—The Mississauga, Ontario native may be on the small side, but he is extremely quick and athletic. Had excellent numbers this season and led Avon into the Elite 8. Made some impressive saves here.
Dylan Plitt, F, ’94 (Team Comcast) 6-0/170—We’d venture to say he is probably more like 5’10” as opposed to 6’0”, but he is fast and skilled. Will eventually be a D-I player, but is probably two years away from doing so.
Pre-Draft Division Review Coming Soon!
Salisbury’s Stevens to Northeastern
6’2”, 185 lb. Salisbury School senior LC John Stevens has committed to Northeastern for the fall of ’13.
Stevens, a 4/17/94 birthdate from Sicklerville, NJ and the son of LA Kings assistant coach John Stevens, posted a 7-21-28 line in 28 games at Salisbury this season, playing on one of prep hockey’s top lines along with Philip Zielonka and Zack Pryzbeck. Stevens was also a tri-captain at Salisbury.
A possible late-round pick in this summer’s NHL draft, Stevens plays a pro-style game. He’s reliable both offensively and defensively, wins draws, and is strong on the puck. He’s an honest player, but will need to show a little more finish in order to be a key top six contributor at the Div. I level.
Other interested schools included UNH and Brown.
EJHL Hands Out the Hardware
After last night’s title game at the New England Sports Center, EJHL Commissioner Bob Mainhardt handed out the hardware for the 2011-12 season.
Here are the winners:
Coach of the Year: Andy Heinze, Valley Junior Warriors
Rookie of the Year: Nick Bligh, South Shore Kings
Goaltender of the Year: Fabian Sivnert, Valley Jr. Warriors
Defensive Player of the Year: Conor Riley, Valley Jr. Warriors
Offensive Player of the Year: Jimmy Vesey, South Shore Kings
Most Valuable Player: Jimmy Vesey, South Shore Kings
Playoff MVP: Zach Andrews, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
One More Time for the Monarchs
Marlborough, Mass. -- The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs won the EJHL’s Dineen Cup for the third straight time – and the seventh time in 11 years -- last night with a 6-1 win that capped off a two-game sweep of the Jersey Hitmen in the best-of-three championship final at the New England Sports Center.
The Hitmen, coming off a 3-2 OT loss in Game 1 the night before, were able to keep up with the Monarchs for the first two periods, but faded in the third as the Monarchs extended a 2-1 lead with a pair of goals – the first coming early, when Cam Brown snapped a shot inside the near post, beating Hitmen goaltender Eric Rohrkemper glove side at 3:08; and the second coming late, at 18:46, when Charlie Ackerman scored on a rebound.
In the final minute, Connor Gorman and Stephen McKenna scored empty net goals.
The playoff hero for the Monarchs was UMass-Boston recruit Zach Andrews, who kicked aside 45 of 48 shots over the two-game series. For Andrews, it’s his third straight title, as he won two AJHL titles while with the Walpole Express.
Afterward, Monarchs head coach Sean Tremblay, who’ll be moving on to take over the Middlesex Islanders franchise next season, said that his team was motivated by a couple of poems – Rudyard Kipling’s “If”, and William Ernest Henley’s “Invictus.”
“Defensively, we had to weather the storm and Zach made some key saves to allow us to remain in the game.” Tremblay said afterward. “I like it that some guys who were in and out of the lineup this season, like Charlie Ackerman and Danny Avellanet, gave us everything they had. The whole team kept the pride and the tradition going. I am thankful for their efforts.”
EJHL Champions Through the Years:
2012 -- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
2011 -- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
2010 -- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
2009 – Jersey Hitmen
2008 – Jersey Hitmen
2007 -- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
2006 -- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
2005 – Junior Bruins
2004 -- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
2003 – New York Apple Core
2002 -- New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs
2001 – Walpole Jr. Stars
2000 – New England Jr. Coyotes
1999 – Walpole Jr. Stars
1998 – New England Jr. Whalers
1997 -- New England Jr. Whalers
1996 -- New England Jr. Whalers
1995 – Niagara Scenics
1994 – NECDL Classics
Beantown Classic Schedule/Rosters
Players taking part in the Beantown Classic, which gets underway tonight, can be found on the Beantown Classic web site at:
Beantown Classic Rosters
There have been some minor adjustments to the schedule and the updated schedule is here:
Beantown Classic Schedule
Vees Go Into the Record Book
The Penticton Vees (BCHL) saw their 42-game win streak – the longest in the history of hockey -- come to an end Saturday night when, on the final night of the regular season, the Prince George Spruce Kings handed the Vees their first loss since November 5th. The previous record holder was the 1984 Kitchener Rangers (OHL) who set the mark at 25 games.
Penticton finishes the season with an impressive 54-4-0-2 record (unbeaten at home) and enters the playoffs as the consensus favorite win the Royal Bank Cup.
Their achievement speaks for itself. The Vees, whose GM/head coach is Fred Harbinson, boast seven of the top 10 scorers in the league, led by St. Cloud recruit Joey Benik’s 96 points. The Vees, with eight Minnesotans on the roster, outscored their opponents 334-133 through the 60-game regular season. They have 15 players on their roster committed to Div. I NCAA programs. Three players have already been drafted into the NHL – F Mario Lucia (2nd round, 2011), F Steven Fogarty (3rd round, 2011), and D Mike Reilly (4th round, 2011). Lucia and Fogarty will be at Notre Dame in the fall; Reilly will be at the U.
… So Does Cap District
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Capital District Selects (EJHL). In their first weekend of the season, on Sept. 17th, Jim Salfi’s team was hammered by the South Shore Kings, 17-2. Didn’t exactly bode well for the season. Well, the season is over and we can tell you that, while Cap District won an overtime game the following weekend against Apple Core, they would never again put up another ‘W’. Cap District finished up with 40 straight losses. Five of those losses, though, came in OT or a shootout, which the league – like the NHL -- doesn’t count as losses, instead giving the team a point for just getting to OT. Maybe the one-point-for-getting-to-OT rule takes Cap District off the hook for a 40-game losing streak, but we don’t think it does. In our book, a loss is a loss.
Capital District has been sold and will be reborn next season as the Connecticut Oilers, based in Norwalk, Conn.
Monarchs-South Shore EJHL Semis
While we are on the subject of the upcoming EJHL finals, it should be noted that USHR was in attendance for the semi-final matchup between Sean Tremblay’s New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and Scott Harlow’s South Shore Kings on Sunday afternoon. Below is our scouting report on the game’s top players.
1. Cam Brown, F, ‘93 (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs) 5-6/140—The Maine recruit was hands down the best player on the ice on Sunday. This kid does nothing but make play after play. A Natick, Mass. native, Brown uses his small size to his advantage as he is extremely shifty and difficult to contain in open ice. Because he is so small the diminutive forward does not need much ice to make plays. Has high-end D-I skill and if he can add bulk he could be a major contributor for the Black Bears, who reportedly want him to play a year in the USHL.
2. Thomas Parisi, D, ’93 (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs) 6-0/195—Was the top defenseman in the game. Very intelligent and sees the ice well. Possesses excellent poise and is calm under pressure. The Providence recruit is effective on the PP and does a great job of getting pucks off the wall and into the middle of the ice. The challenge for the Commack, NY native at the next level will be defending against bigger and stronger players. He is probably more like 5-10/5-11 and is not a burner, meaning he will have to defend using his intelligence -- not an easy task to master.
3. Jimmy Vesey, F, ’93 (South Shore Kings) 6-2/185—Did not have his best day on Sunday. The Monarchs were very successful in taking away his time and space and the Harvard recruit was unable to generate much offense. Having said that, it is not hard to see why NHL scouts have been making the trip to Foxboro on a regular basis this year. The former Belmont Hill star is expected to be selected in the top four rounds of this June’s NHL entry draft. A pretty big kid, Vesey skates well and has an excellent stick. Broke the EJHL scoring record this season after producing over a goal a game — and over two points a game. Needless to say, Vesey can really shoot the puck and has natural instincts in scoring areas. Should be an immediate contributor for the Crimson next season.
4. Nick Bligh, F, ’93 (South Shore Kings) 5-11/180—We really enjoyed the Dexter product’s game. Has a dangerous set of hands along with the ability to make plays at full speed. Seems to have tons of fun when he has the puck, and is someone who will produce a lot of points in college. The Dartmouth recruit and Milton, Mass native is going to have to round out his game in order to be a complete player at the next level. He has an awkward skating stride and is not particularly strong on the puck. Both are areas that will need to be improved in order to play against other teams’ top lines in the ECAC.
5. Shane Walsh, F, ’91 (South Shore Kings) 5-10/170—The UMass-Amherst recruit has been around the block. Back in the ’09-10 season he was ninth in the EJHL scoring race playing for South Shore on a line with Charlie Coyle (who recently inked a contract with the Minnesota Wild) and Chris Wagner (Colgate). Both of his line mates were drafted into the NHL that summer and are now having successful careers at higher levels. The former Catholic Memorial star left the Kings after the ‘09-10 season and tested the waters in the USHL, where over the last year and a half he has played in 72 games for Dubuque and Tri-City and produced just 28 points. This paved the way for his return to the EJHL and the South Shore Kings where he played the final 10 games of the regular season and piled up 15 points. We really like his game and think that he will be an effective player for the Minutemen. In this particular game he appeared fast, shifty and confident with the puck on his stick. Has the ability to play a skill role in college as plays do not die on his stick.
6. Connor Anthoine, F, ’93 (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs) 5-9/175—Had a productive day as he scored a goal in game #2 of the series and added two more goals in the sudden-death mini-game. Was the beneficiary of Cam Brown’s playmaking ability, but certainly knows how to finish. The UVM recruit is intelligent and knows how to slow the game down. Having said that, we question how his game will translate to college. Right now his feet are not fast enough for Hockey East play. The Lewiston, Maine native is not very big or overly tenacious—which is a scary combination for a full-ride prospect (Anthoine committed to UVM as a 14-year-old over four years ago). The good news is that he has a lot of attributes that you cannot teach, but he will have to get bigger, stronger and much faster to have any level of success in college.
7. Conor MacPhee, F, ’92 (New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs) 6-4/205—We consider MacPhee – currently uncommitted – to be an intriguing prospect for a D-I team. The former Kent forward certainly has size, can skate, and plays the game with a high compete level. Will be a good 3rd/4th line role player in college, with the upside to move up the charts. In a worst-case scenario, you get a big player who can skate and wear down the opposition’s defensemen with physical and tenacious play.
8. Nicholas Cruice, F, ’92 (South Shore Kings) 6-0/200—You know what you are getting when the Union recruit steps on the ice, as he is solid in all facets of the game and productive on the offensive side of the puck. Stepped up and contributed a goal and an assist in the Kings’ 3-2 loss in game #2.
9. Mike Reardon, D, ’92 (South Shore Kings) 6-1/180—Back in ‘08 the then Nobles defender was considered the best ’92 born defender in Massachusetts and represented the Massachusetts district along with Connor Brickley (UVM) and Billy Arnold (BC) at the NTDP Final 40 camp. The Norwood, Mass native saw his development hit a wall and for nearly four years schools took a pass on him. In January the point-a-game blue liner committed to Bentley where we feel he will be an impact player from Day 1. Still has a lot of potential and could see his game blossom in college. Has good size, has improved his game defensively, is confident with the puck, and makes a good first pass. A steal for the Falcons.
10. Brian Morgan, F, ’94 (NH Jr. Monarchs) 6-0/180—The future Maine Black Bear knows how to score goals and get his shot off in a hurry. A Windham, NH native, he is at his best below the tops of the circles as he is strong on the puck and knows how to protect it. Getting his feet going has always been his drawback. If he can adjust to the speed of the college game he will have an impact. Reports indicate the Black Bears want him to play a year in the USHL first.
11. Kyle Williams, D, ’91 (NH Jr. Monarchs) 5-10/185—Yes, another Maine recruit playing for the Monarchs. Will be a good utility defender for the Black Bears. Is a really good skater which should make his transition to college hockey a smooth one.
12. Joe Prescott, F, ’93 (South Shore Kings) 6-2/190—Did not do much to stand out here. We kind of had to look for him. Plays on a line with Vesey and Bligh which may have inflated his numbers a touch. There is a lot to like about his game, though, as the former St. Sebastian’s forward has a good sense of the game and can make a play. His pace will need to pick up next season in order to be a fixture at Brown. The Brown Bears are bringing in a very talented class next season headlined by Kevin Roy, the former Deerfield forward now leading the USHL in scoring.
EJHL Finals On Tap
The New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs and the Jersey Hitmen will face off against each other in the best-of-three EJHL Dineen Cup Finals starting Wednesday night.
The Monarchs will be in the finals for the ninth straight year (and for the 10th time in the last 11 years). They have won six titles, and will be going for their third straight crown.
The series will be a repeat of last year, when the Monarchs edged the Hitmen in a pair of 3-2 wins last March 19-20 in Wayne, NJ.
In the EJHL semifinals over the weekend, the Monarchs topped the South Shore Kings, 3-2 and 4-2, while the Hitmen topped the Junior Bruins, 7-4 and 6-3. In the latter series, the offensive star for the Hitmen was Andrew Black, who in Game 1 on Sunday had a natural hat trick in the second period (2 SHG; 1 PPG). The night before, in Game 1, Black had two goals – both on the power play. Black finished the weekend with a total of five goals and an assist.
This year’s Dineen Cup will be played at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, running concurrently with the Spring Beantown Classic. Game times are Wed. March 14 at 7:10 pm; Thurs. March 15 at 5:10 pm; and, if necessary, Fri. March 16 at 2:20 pm.
Win or lose, these will be Sean Tremblay’s last games behind the Monarchs’ bench, as next season, Tremblay will be coaching the Middlesex Islanders (EJHL), formerly the New England Huskies. (See USHR News, 3/1/12).
Fall Prep League Tryouts Coming Up
The New England Fall Prep Hockey League will be holding tryouts at the Icenter in Salem, NH on March 18th and April 15th.
Please click on the link below for more information.
8th Grader Commits to BC
5’11”, 170 lb. Noble & Greenough School RW Colin White has committed to Boston College.
White, a 1/30/97 birthdate from Hanover, Mass., is currently an 8th grader at Nobles, though he is expected to accelerate (he stayed back upon going to Nobles) and arrive at the Heights in the fall of ’15.
This season, White was the third leading scorer at Nobles, which went 23-5-1 and lost to Lawrence Academy, 3-2, in Sunday’s title game. White posted a 16-28-44 line in 29 games played, making him Nobles’ third-leading scorer, trailing linemates Adam Gilmour (56 points) and Chris Calnan (55 points). Calnan, a junior, recently committed to BC for the fall of ’13.
White visited Boston College over Labor Day weekend -- in addition to watching the Eagles in action over the course of the season. It is not believed that any other school really had a chance to get into the hunt for White – BC was his destination of choice.
White is the second 8th grader to commit to college this season. Earlier in the winter, St. Sebastian’s 8th grader Cam Askew, also an 8th grader and a ’97 birthdate, committed to Northeastern.
Former Salisbury goaltender Gabe Antoni has decommitted from Clarkson.
Antoni was traded on Jan. 6 from the Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL), where he had a 10-4-1 record with a 2.65 gaa and .884 save percentage, to the Springfield Jr. Blues (NAHL), where he has an 11-2-1 record to go with a 2.60 gaa and a .916 save percentage.
A 1/6/92 birthdate from Lansdale, PA, Antoni had originally committed to Clarkson in the fall of ’10, right before his senior year at Clarkson. George Roll was the head coach at Clarkson at the time; Casey Jones is the head coach now.
NTDP Camp Roster & Schedule
The NTDP 40-man camp has a case of the bloats: there will be 53(!) players on hand this year, spread across three teams.
All players invited are ’96 birthdates.
The camp will be held March 19-23 at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube, with games scheduled for Tues. March 20 (10:45 am*, 12:00 pm*, 1:15 pm*, 6:45 pm), Wed. March 21 (10:15 am, 5:45 pm), Thurs. March 22 (4:00 pm*, 5:15 pm*, 6:30 pm*). Games marked with an asterisk will be 30 minutes long. Each team will play two full games and four 30-minute games.
2012 NTDP Evaluation Camp Roster
Super 8 Review
USHR took in the first day of the Super 8 Sunday. The verdict: we were really impressed with the competitiveness of the games and the overall atmosphere. The Volpe Center at Merrimack College was jam-packed for all four contests and the students make this a really special event. This typist particularly enjoyed the Malden Catholic student section -- you just don’t hear “Jesus Loves Us” being chanted at your average sporting event. If you are a casual hockey fan and have never attended the Super 8 we strongly recommend that you do so. And what better time to start than on Tuesday for the Malden Catholic vs. BC High game? (At 8:15 pm faceoff, following the 5:45 pm Hingham vs. St. John’s-Shrewsbury tilt)?
Below are the results of the first set of games and the players who grabbed our attention. Unfortunately the tournament program does not include heights, weights, or birthdates of the players.
Malden Catholic 3, St. John’s-Shrewsbury 2
BC High 4, Hingham 2
Central Catholic 6, St. Mary’s-Lynn 5 (OT)
St. John’s Prep 4, Springfield Cathedral 3 (OT)
Ryan Fitzgerald, F, Jr. (Malden Catholic)—The best player here. The BC recruit appears to be putting some distance between himself and the other top players in the state. Is incredibly skilled, has a high level of hockey sense and can really shoot the puck. During the second period he came down the left wing and fired a puck off the crossbar and the entire building gasped for air—by the time St. John’s goalie realized he released the puck it was already off the cross bar. Scored the game-winning goal with 35 seconds left in regulation to give MC the victory. A special player with All-America/Hobey Baker potential.
Sam Kurker, F, Sr. (St. John’s Prep)—Was ranked #41 on Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings making him the second-highest rated high school player in the US behind only Kent’s Boo Nieves. To be drafted in the second round out of Mass high school hockey you need to be completely dominant, something Kurker was not on Sunday. Played a very average game. Certainly shows flashes of his ability, but did not do it on a consistent basis. The BU recruit has all the tools—size, can skate and has an excellent shot, but to be successful at the next level his pace will have to pick it up significantly. Made some mistakes in Sunday’s game which will not be tolerated at BU. That said, he also scored the game-winner in OT. Has the talent to win games by himself, which makes St. John’s Prep a serious contender.
Casey Fitzgerald, D, Fr. (Malden Catholic)—The top defenseman in the MIAA this season -- as a freshman! Plays with excellent pace and makes a lot of mature decisions. Is excellent at drawing forecheckers to him before moving the puck up ice. Runs the MC power play and displays excellent poise. Plays better with older/faster competition than he does with his own age group, where the Boston College recruit has a tendency to try to do too much on his own. BC has some of the best defensive prospects in the world in their stables with Casey Fitzgerald, Noah Hanifin (St. Sebastian’s), Scott Savage (NTDP) and Steve Santini (NTDP). The trick will be getting them on campus -- and keeping them there.
Brendan Collier, F, Sr. (Malden Catholic)—Did not play his best game, but in his defense he and Ryan Fitzgerald were the focal point of St. John’s-Shrewsbury game plan. Creates a lot of offense and always seems to be around the puck. Is a versatile player who can play a lot of different roles for BU. Will need to add strength before he arrives on Commonwealth Ave, but we have a lot of respect for the way he plays the game. Will be an excellent college hockey player and could become a fan favorite at Agganis Arena.
Kevin Emmerling, F, Sr. (St. John’s--Shrewsbury)—The Curious Case of Kevin Emmerling: as a freshman, while playing for the Boston Advantage the skilled forward was offered a full scholarship to Northeastern and had UMass-Amherst in hot pursuit. The smallish forward (5’7”) was set to enroll at South Kent before he suffered a knee injury and decided to stay home with the Advantage. Emmerling did not play at all that season and NCAA schools lost interest. After playing for the Bridgewater Bandits (Empire) the following season he enrolled at St. John’s--Shrewsbury where he has led the offense since. Emmerling possesses excellent hands and was a constant threat against Malden Catholic. Has a quick first step, but lacks straightaway speed, which is probably the reason the D-I offers are not rolling in. Needs to play with more consistency (he was quiet in Thursday evening’s play-in game), but when he is on his game and playing with energy there are not many in the state that are better.
Tommy Besinger, F, Soph. (BC High)—The sophomore winger is slightly older than most students in his grade as he was born in ’94. Having said that, the diminutive forward (5’7”) is BC High’s top player and scored two goals on Sunday against Hingham High. Makes a lot of plays and sees the game extremely well. A very intelligent player who is especially dangerous on the PP. Lacks break-away speed, but if he can add a step he could turn himself into a D-I prospect.
Brian Pinho, F, Jr. (St. John’s Prep)—Plays center on Sam Kurker’s line and the two are a threat to score every shift. Was SJP’s top player against Cathedral as he was constantly involved in scoring opportunities. Scored the game-tying goal in which he displayed a quick release; also assisted on Kurker’s OT game-winner. One of those players who does everything well, but nothing great. Has decent size (6’0”), skates well, makes plays, has a good shot, but does nothing to really wow you. If he can get slightly bigger, slightly stronger, and slightly faster he will be heavily recruited.
Ara Nazarian, F, Fr. (Malden Catholic)—Scored MC’s first goal against St. John’s-Shrewsbury and was like a shark in water the rest of the night. Has a knack for scoring goals and loves having the puck in the scoring areas. Is physically strong and plays the game hard. The question you ask yourself after watching him is, “How much better is he going to get?” He is very good right now and is definitely a D-I prospect, but has he finished growing? Is he already physically mature? That aside, right now Nazarian is one the best ’96 forwards in New England and his presence gives MC two very dangerous lines.
Frank Crinella, F, Sr, (Springfield Cathedral)— Cathedral’s leading scorer gave St. John’s Prep all they could handle in a near upset. Scored two goals, one of which was shorthanded. On the latter goal, Crinella picked Kurker’s pocket and walked in all alone on SJP’s David Letarte. He played it perfectly, too, going forehand/backhand for the goal. Crinella is not very big, but has speed and makes a lot of plays. Uses a nice long stick and handles the puck with confidence.
Jarrod Fitzpatrick, F, Soph. (St. Mary’s--Lynn)—Played last season at Tilton before being dismissed for disciplinary reasons. Plays a high energy, gritty and physical game. Hits everything that moves and has great speed and a good stick with playmaking abilities. Someone who you want on your team and do not enjoy playing against. Projects as a 3rd line buzz saw at the next level, but at St. Mary’s he is relied on to create a lot of offense—which he does.
Jack McCarthy, F, Soph. (St. John’s Prep)—There is something intriguing about the sophomore center. Has pretty good size and makes some very good plays, but does not appear to do so on a consistent basis. At times it seems as though he is not giving maximum effort. Will be interesting to see how he performs when thrust into the spotlight with the looming departure of Sam Kurker. Definitely has the tools, and he does a lot of things well.
Mike Iovanna, F, Jr. (Malden Catholic)—Small, skilled forward is a nice complimentary player on the state’s top line of Iovanna-Fitzgerald-Collier. Skates at a fast pace and plays rarely die on his stick. Is shifty down low in the offensive zone. Will be challenged next season when he attempts to make the transition from support player to primary scoring threat.
Mario Pizzeri, G, Soph. (St. John’s HS)—Was excellent in net against Malden Catholic and really kept his team afloat. At one point in the third period the game was tied at 2-2 and MC was outshooting St. John’s 30-4. It doesn’t take much to figure out that the kid was playing well. Has good size (6’2”) and is fundamentally sound. Was tough to figure out if pucks were hitting him or if he was making saves. Regardless, there is something interesting about his game. For a young goalie, there is a lot to work with.
Brian Furey, D, Sr. (BC High)—The BC High captain is a consistent defender who accomplishes a lot and appears to fly under the radar. Is above average at everything and keeps things simple. Is reliable and plays in all situations. Makes a good first pass and is efficient on the man advantage.
John Carlson, D, Soph. (Hingham)—Good size defenseman (6’1”) who handles the puck with confidence and can really shoot it. Finds the seams and is able to get pucks through traffic and on net. Needs to improve his agility, but is a nice prospect as he is only a ’96.
Nick Pandelena, D, Sr. (St. John’s Prep)—The Boston College golf recruit is an interesting player who possesses some upside. The SJP captain is big (6’3”), skates well for his size and can make a good, hard first pass. Jerry York has been out to see him and we think Pandelena would be a good project. His feet need to improve, but practicing everyday against the likes of Whitney, Gaudreau, Krieder, et al would certainly force him to adapt.
Nick Rutigliano, D, Soph (St. John’s--Shrewsbury)—Big defender (6’2”) was very good on Sunday and a big reason why Fitzgerald and Collier were kept reasonably under control. Defends well, plays the body, and makes good/simple decisions with the puck on his stick. A meat-and-potatoes defenseman who has the ability to be the invisible man —and we mean that in a good way.
Matt Brazel, F, Soph. (Hingham)—Young, sophomore forward is creative with the puck and at his best below the tops of the circle. Is not very big or fast, but creates offense and has a good feel for the game.
Michael Kelleher, F, Sr. (Central Catholic)—Has done nothing but produce offense since the start of the tournament. We were on hand last Thursday night for the play-in-game when #10 seed Central Catholic upset #7 seed Burlington High behind a three-goal performance from Kelleher. On Sunday, the senior forward added another goal and an assist. Speed is an issue, but at this level he is very good. Has a lot of poise in scoring areas and is one of those players who has a knack for being in the right place at the right time.
David Letarte, G, Sr. (St. John’s Prep)—If there is one goaltender in this tournament who can steal a game on his own it is probably Letarte. Possesses good size (6’2”), plays his angles well and gives SJP a consistent effort every night. For the most part, he will stop everything he is supposed to. Has the tools to play at higher levels.
Brendan White, D, Jr. (Malden Catholic)—Makes things happen offensively. Moves the puck with confidence. Stands out, but is also mistake prone.
Malone Commits to Crimson
5’11”, 178 lb. LC Sean Malone, a junior at the Nichols School (Buffalo, NY), has committed to Harvard for the fall of either ’13 or ’14.
A 4/30/95 birthdate from West Seneca, NY, Malone is a smart, skilled centerman who makes plays and finishes equally well. On top of all that, he’s physically involved and highly competitive.
In addition to Harvard, Malone visited Cornell, Princeton, and Michigan State. A bunch of other schools tried to get involved but those were the ones he’d narrowed it down to.
At Nichols School this season, Malone had a 34-36-70 line in 32 games. He also played for the Buffalo Saints U18 team where he had a 27-27-54 line. The Saints will be playing in the New York State Tournament March 17-18.
Malone's USHL rights are owned by the Lincoln Stars, who took him in last spring's Futures Draft.
Lawrence Edges Nobles for Prep Title
Salem, NH -- Lawrence Academy, with excellent goaltending from Nathaniel Heilbron and linemates Tyler Whitney and Devin Tringale teaming up on both the game-tying and game-winning goals in a span of 2:25 late in the second period, edged Noble & Greenough for the 2011-12 NEPSIHA championship at the IceCenter today.
In the Large School Tournament, Berkshire got a goal from Brendan McGovern at 1:05 of overtime to edge St. Sebastian's, 4-3, for the title.
The Small School Championship also went to OT, where Maine recruit Nick Roberto scored at the 16:04 mark to give Kimball Union a 3-2 win over Holderness.
For more extensive coverage on all three of these games please check out the USHR Prep Pages.
Tremblay Leaving Monarchs For New Team
Sean Tremblay, the most successful junior coach in the Eastern U.S., will be leaving the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) after the current season to take over as head coach of a new EJHL team -- the Middlesex Islanders (formerly the New England Huskies).
Tremblay, who over the past ten years has guided the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs to nine EJHL Championship Series – and won six Dineen Cups – accepted the position yesterday, and told his players today.
“It was hard,” Tremblay said. “The Monarchs are like my baby. I tried to be quick and direct because I didn’t want to get all teary-eyed, like I had with my owner. It’s a family up there, a hockey family. There are over a hundred kids who played for me who went DI, and another 40 or so who went on to play DIII. We had nine NHL draft picks. I still stay in touch with all those guys who played for me in the past.”
All of this happened quite quickly. Tremblay was called last week by Richard Gallant, who recently purchased the Huskies. “He wanted to meet me for a cup of coffee on Sunday, and that’s how things started. After the meeting, he said, 'The next time we meet I will make you an offer.' We sat down yesterday and he offered me a contract that, for me and my family, I just couldn’t refuse. He wants the Islanders to be the number one developer of talent in the Northeast. For me, it’s a great opportunity. It’s a new challenge. And I am excited that he chose me to be that guy.”
Afterwards, Tremblay, who lives in Byfield, Mass. with his wife and two stepchildren, had to tell Dr. Rick Vega, the majority owner of the Jr. Monarchs, of his decision. “That was the hardest conversation I have had in a long time. He’s just a great guy. A great owner and a great person. I can’t say enough great things about him.”
Tremblay says he still has one more job to do before swinging his full attention to the Middlesex Islanders. “My only goal right now,” he said, “is to coach the Monarchs to the EJHL championship – and win it. Then I will turn my attention to the Islanders.”
After the National Championships, EJHL coaches can begin signing players for next season, and Tremblay, who has been building his ’12-13 squad over the course of the current season, hopes to bring the players he has been recruiting with him.
The Islanders will, just like the Huskies, play out of Skate3 in Tyngsboro, Mass., which has been spiffed up by Gallant. “It’s pretty impressive,” says Tremblay, who reports that Gallant "put what looks like a half-million dollars worth of improvements" into the arena. “All new boards. All new seamless glass. New locker rooms, a coaches room, players’ room, an off-ice training room, a VIP viewing area for scouts. There’s a whole new infrastructure up there.”
As for the near future of the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, look for Ryan Frew, a Concord, NH native who has coached the Monarchs' Empire Team since that league was formed, to take the reins of the EJ squad.
Tremblay has coached in the EJHL since the league’s inception in 1993-94. For the first two years Tremblay and Toby O’Brien, now an NHL scout, co-coached the Granite State Stars out of Dover, NH. In 1995-96 the franchise moved to Biddeford, Maine and for the next five years skated as the Maine Snow Devils. After the franchise was moved to Exeter, NH for two years it was sold to Vega. Tremblay agreed to stay on as coach for at least one year, but in that first season the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs won the EJHL title and began a run as the preeminent junior franchise in the east. Times were good, and Tremblay, despite offers to leave and work as a Div. I assistant, stayed on. Now, Tremblay, after one more shot at another Dineen Cup for the Monarchs, will be leaving -- and hopes to bring some titles to the Middlesex Islanders.
"With the Monarchs," says Tremblay, "we have a culture that the players, year after year, have brought into. That's what I want to bring over to the Islanders."
The rebranding of the Huskies into the Islanders is just one of a number of changes that will be coming to the EJHL in 2012-13. In other moves, Jim Salfi has, as we wrote about earlier in the season, indeed sold the Cap District Selects (they finished the regular season with a 1-39-5 record) to a group in Connecticut that includes former Avon Old Farms and UNH defenseman Eric Lind. The team will be known as the Connecticut Oilers and will play out a new arena in that city -- the SoNo Ice House. In addition, the Green Mountain Glades will be moving to Saco, Maine and will be rebranded as the Portland Jr. Pirates, and New York Apple Core will move from the Island up to Westchester County, where they will play out of the rink in Brewster managed by Steve Santini, a former Maine Black Bear (and the father of the BC recruit currently with the NTDP). Bob Santini, Steve Sr.'s father, is the owner of Apple Core. The franchise will keep the New York Apple Core name.