Established 1996

Can UMass Make It Happen?
UMass AD John McCutcheon knows who he wants: Merrimack head coach Mark Dennehy. And, while McCutcheon is doing all he can to get the former UMass assistant to accept the challenge of reinvigorating the Minutemen hockey program, he’s also informally talking to other candidates and conferring with his six-man search committee, which has received resumes and inquiries from coaches at just about every level of the game. In other words, there’s a Plan “A” and a Plan “B” and UMass has to work on both simultaneously.

Can Plan “A” work? Will Dennehy leave Merrimack and return to UMass? It’s highly possible, and Dennehy’s chances to have sustained success at UMass would be better than at Merrimack, but it will also be a challenge to get a contract done. Last summer, when the Northeastern job opened up, Merrimack quickly signed Dennehy to an extension that locks him up through the 2018-19 season. UMass, then, would have to buy out that contract as well as pay Toot Cahoon the one year remaining on his contract (around 275K annually), and sign Dennehy to a new contract. Those dollars could add up fast. However, it certainly does sound like UMass wants to get it done.

If they can’t, Plan “B” will move into high gear. The committee has done a good job keeping things on the down low, but we’re hearing that McCutcheon has spoken, at least informally, with some candidates. Who, then, if Dennehy doesn’t return to UMass, will McCutcheon and the search committee turn to?

The one name most prominently mentioned is Boston College associate head coach Mike Cavanaugh — and his record speaks for itself. Cavanaugh has been at BC for the entire Jerry York era, now 17 seasons. In those years, BC has won four national titles. They have reached the Frozen Four in five of the last seven years and 10 of the last 15. It’s not surprising that, every time a job opens up, Cavanaugh’s name is one of the first – if not the first – to be mentioned, whether or not he himself has even expressed interest in the job. UMass, like every program, would love for some of that magic from the Heights to rub off on them. So if Dennehy doesn’t get the job, count on Cavanaugh to be someone who will get serious consideration.

A dark horse candidate, though one who is reported to be getting a lot of support from UMass alums, is Bill Gilligan, an All-American forward at Brown in the mid-‘70s who went on to renown as both a player and, later, a coach in Europe. Between his two stints in Europe, however, Gilligan came back to his home state and worked as an assistant at UMass from ‘98-‘04 -- he recruited Hobey Baker finalist Thomas Pock, whose father had played for him in Austria -- and followed that up with a couple of years scouting for the Los Angeles Kings. When the job at Brown opened a couple of years ago, Gilligan’s name was high on the list of candidates, but he’d already committed to coaching Austria’s national team as well as continuing as coach/GM of Graz in the Austrian pro league. Gilligan, who is the younger brother of former University of Vermont head coach Mike Gilligan, has also made a mark in Swiss hockey, where he was head coach/GM of Bern, as well coaching as the Swiss National U-20 team. Gilligan, who is 57, has one of the keener hockey minds in the game, and is an innovative thinker. We’d be shocked if Gilligan didn’t get serious consideration. And how about this? If Dennehy does wind up back in Amherst, Merrimack might have an instant top coaching candidate in Gilligan, a native of nearby Beverly.

Other candidates whose names we have heard include Holy Cross head coach Paul Pearl, who would have to be considered a very strong candidate. Another would be BU associate head coach Mike Bavis, who is younger than the other top names we have heard (though youth is not always a bad thing, as Rico Blasi and Nate Leaman have shown in recent years). However, we have not heard anything substantial about either of the above – just speculation. Ditto for Quinnipiac head coach Rand Pecknold. One name that came totally out of left field is that of Frank Anzalone; reportedly he has gotten an interview. Now 58, Anzalone was working as a scout for the Calgary Flames last winter. A Brooklyn, NY native, Anzalone had two stints as a college head coach, both at Lake Superior State. In the 1980s, when the landscape of college hockey was much different than today, he was very successful there, going 191-108-22 and winning a national title in 1988. After coaching five different minor pro teams in the ‘90s, Anzalone returned to Lake State in 2001, and stayed for four tough years. The Lakers never won more than nine games in any of those seasons, and Anzalone was fired. He returned to minor pro coaching, with the Johnstown Chiefs and the Quad City Mallards. Something tells us Anzalone won’t get the UMass job.

By the way, as part of the buyout, Cahoon was able to get Len Quesnelle the final guaranteed year on his contract. Not only is Quesnelle, who was head coach at Princeton for four years, giving the hockey program a face during this transitional period, but, whereas some new coach might wish to bring in an entire new staff, ‘having’ to hire Quesnelle would not likely be a problem for Dennehy. Quesnelle is smart and knows his way around the game. Also, Quesnelle and Dennehy go way back, having worked together at both Princeton and UMass.



Wolverines Get Bit Again
University of Michigan recruit Connor Carrick has opted for the major junior route, signing today with the Plymouth Whalers (OHL).

The handwriting was on the wall a couple of days ago, when the Guelph Storm, who own his rights, traded the 5’11”, 185 lb. U.S. Under-18 Team defenseman to Plymouth.

A Chicago native who has played in the NTDP for the past two seasons, Carrick was selected in the fifth round of last Saturday’s NHL draft. He was also recently named to the 46-man roster for the U.S. National Junior Evaluation camp Aug. 4-11 in Lake Placid, NY.

Late Add for Q-pac
Quinnipiac has a late addition for this coming fall in 6’1”, 185 lb. Matt Lemire of the Junior Bruins (EJHL). Lemire, a 5/12/91 birthdate from Townsend, Mass., had a 27-14-41 line in 45 games this season.

“Matt had a slow start but in the second half of the year he was my best forward in about half the games," says Junior Bruins head coach Peter Masters. "He can play in the top two lines because he can really shoot it and make plays. But he can also be an effective third-fourth line wing-center. He can potentially fill any of the 12 forward spots in a college lineup. He’s very versatile.”


Taft’s Top Scorer to Yale
Taft School junior-to-be Andrew Gaus has committed to Yale for the fall of ’14 or ’15.

A 6’1”, 170 lb. RW from Wexford, PA, just outside Pittsburgh, Gaus, a 2/23/95 birthdate, played 25 games this past season and finished with a 20-11-31 line, which led Taft.

“He’s a natural goal scorer,” says Taft head coach Dan Murphy. “He scored 20 this year, and that’s a lot for a sophomore.  So many of his goals were scored within 5-7 feet of the net. He’s not afraid to get in the dirty areas and score unbelievable goals, often with defensemen all over him. These are goals that 99% of kids just don’t score. Once he fills out he will be a very, very good college player -- and who knows what will happen after. He has a lot of upside. He’s a smooth skater with long limbs, long legs, and long arms, so he projects well. The main focus for him now is to get more explosive and stronger.”

Gaus was drafted in this spring’s USHL Draft by the Dubuque Fighting Saints, coached by Jim Montgomery, Murphy’s teammate on the great Maine teams of the early ‘90s. Gaus was at Dubuque’s camp a few weeks ago and had an excellent showing, raising the level of interest. As for the USHL, Gaus is still at least a year away strengthwise. He will return to Taft.

Gaus, who played his youth hockey in the Pittsburgh Hornets organization, arrived at Taft last fall with the goal of going to an Ivy League school. He made his final choice from between Harvard and Yale.

Plant's Pick
Penticton Lakers (KIJHL) 5’9”, 155 lb. LD Adam Plant has committed to Harvard for 2013 or 2014.

A 5/9/95 birthdate and a native of Penticton, Plant will be playing for the Westside Warriors (BCHL) in the upcoming season. This past year, Plant was an affiliate player for the Warriors and, in four games, had a 2-1-3 line. With the Jr. B Lakers, Plant posted a 7-21-28 line in 35 games.

A Brian Rafalski type, Plant was in Massachusetts for the Pre-Draft Showcase last month. While in the area, he also visited Boston University.  Other schools, in the east and west alike, were also in the hunt. Minnesota-Duluth was said to have been very involved.

Plant is offensively gifted and, along with Brandon Fortunato, gives Harvard a blueline tandem that could be lethal on the PP a few years from now. His feet are good, he has excellent hockey sense, and he’s strong in his own end. He can also break the puck out with aplomb and, with the puck on his stick, control the pace of the game.

The Road to College
Over the past weekend USHR ventured out to Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. for the Road to College Showcase. Hosted by Dan Donato and Chuck Hughes, this tournament does a good job bringing together uncommitted prospects from the Northeast. And with a couple of exceptions, we found a large group of players who might, in time, turn out to be Div. I guys.

Below are the players who stood out for us.

Cameron Hackett
, G, ’96 (Ridley College)— Big-time goaltending prospect who possesses all the tools necessary to succeed at higher levels. Perhaps the best game this typist watched all season -- at any level -- was the semi-final matchup in the Marlies Tournament between the Vaughan Kings and the Mississauga Rebels. In that game, the Kings, behind a sensational performance from Hackett, edged -- in double OT --  an uber-talented Rebels squad that featured four first round OHL draft picks. Hackett, an Owen Sound (OHL) fourth round selection, appears to be leaning towards the NCAA – and we think any team would be fortunate to have him in their stable.

Ryan Donato, F, ’96 (Dexter)— Is really coming along nicely. Here, he scored goals on a regular basis playing against much older competition. Is always in the right position and thinks the game extremely well. Gets the puck off his stick in a hurry and can pick corners with ease. The son of Harvard head coach Ted Donato, Ryan is a sure bet to be a top six forward at the DI level. Our only concern is that the Dexter star is not a burner. If he can add a step to his skating, Donato will move into the top group of ’96-born forwards in the country.

*Hackett and Donato were the clear-cut elite players in the tournament. After those two, there was a significant drop off. Nonetheless, we found some very good college prospects.

Tim Harrison, F, ’94 (Dexter)—Big 6’2” kid who plays a physical brand of hockey, but also has an offensive touch to his game. We think he will end up on a DI roster, most likely in a third line role.

Sam Lafferty, F, ’95 (Deerfield)—High-end skill; you could even use the word dynamic to describe him. However, he is not physically strong and he spends a lot of the game on the perimeter. Will be a hot commodity this season if he can add strength -- and a little nastiness -- to his game.

Ryan Scarfo, F, ’94 (Governor’s)— An underappreciated player who did himself a lot of good here. The more you watch him the more he grows on you. Can really fire the puck and has good vision. Would not be surprised to see Scarfo eclipse 50 points next season. Is very much a “tweener” for DI schools in the sense that he is not your typical third/fourth line energy/PK type, but is also not quite dynamic enough to hold down a top six spot. Time will tell, but keep an eye on him.

Joe Young, G, ’94 (Vernon-BCHL)—A lot to work with. It will be interesting to see how the Boston Advantage product fares in the BCHL, but we feel he will find his way back east in the not too distant future. Was very solid here and did not let in many goals.

Nick Kuchera, F, ’94 (Wenatchee Wild-NAHL)—Did nothing but make plays and create offense. Was constantly involved. Is not very big, but clearly has a mind for the game and the skill level to execute what he sees. A Minnesota boy who played for Eagan HS last year.

Elliott Vorel, F, ’94 (Milton)—This was the best we have seen Vorel, Milton’s leading scorer last season, play. He pounced on loose pucks and was determined to score goals. Was very noticeable on a consistent basis. Depending on how he plays this season he may get some DI interest; if not, the NJ Avalanche product will be very high-end DIII recruit.

Frankie Mork, D, ’94 (Holy Angels)—The Holy Angels senior-to-be was a lot of fun to watch. Small defender (5’8”) was not afraid to mix it up physically. Loves to jump into the rush and has a great stick. Can make that 15-20 foot diagonal pass with pinpoint accuracy. On the PP, looked right at home manning the point. 

Derick Kuchera, D, ’94 (Wenatchee Wild-NAHL)— The brother of forward Nick Kuchera is smart, savvy, and has a good head for the game. Was partnered with Mork and the two made a lot of plays, changing the offensive complexion of the game every time they stepped on the ice. We question whether Kuchera will ever be big/strong enough to defend at the DI level, but he certainly has the brains for it.

Vincent Russo, F, ’94 (Avon)—Really sharp stick. Makes a lot of crafty plays (which at times his line mates were not expecting). Was Avon’s leading scorer this past season and will likely improve on his already impressive resume. His feet are holding him back from having a DI school pull the trigger. If his speed doesn’t improve he will not have the puck much at the next level, which will render him ineffective. With the puck on his stick, though, he is very dangerous.

Ara Nazarian, F, ’96 (Malden Catholic)—Makes plays, scores goals and has done so at every level he has been at. His upside is open for discussion, but every team needs a guy who can finish. Word from Des Moines was that the Malden Catholic sophomore-to-be was impressive at the Bucs’ camp.

Evan & Mitchell Smith, F, ’96 (Salisbury)—Andrew Will has continued to stockpile his team with Canadians. This season he is bringing in the Smith twins from the Toronto Young Nats (GTHL) squad. Both are good players who track pucks and play well together. Will be good prep school players, are not threats to play in the OHL during the 2013-14 season, and are probably a year or two away from garnering serious college interest.

Robbie Demontis, F, ’96 (Hill Academy)—Played last season for the Vaughan Kings (GTHL). Is above average in all facets of the game, but does not have that one quality that really grabs your attention. But if you add up all the little things, you have a player DI schools should be paying attention to.

Eric Shaw, F, ’96 (Middlesex)—Was excellent at the Atlantic District tryouts a couple weeks ago and we hyped him up pretty well. However, he was not as impressive here. Tried to play an east/west game and committed some costly turnovers. A big kid who is a strong skater. Will be effective playing a hard-nosed north/south game.

Quin Pompi, D, ’94 (Berkshire)—A pretty appealing prospect. Is big, can skate, and can make a good outlet pass. Complicated his game here by trying to create offense by rushing the puck himself, something we feel is uncharacteristic.

Ben Halford, G, ’93 (Bay State Breakers-EJHL)—Someone to keep an eye on. A big goaltender, Halford takes up a lot of net and limits the shooters’ options. Plays the puck very well.

Charlie Donners, D, ’94 (Dexter)—Small, but has great feet and plays with an edge. Reminds us of former Governor’s/UNH defenseman Kevin Kapstad.

Connor Evangelista, D, ’93 (KUA)—Confident with the puck and rarely fails to make the right play. He doesn’t complicate the game. He just moves the puck up the ice. Physically limited, though.

Zach Doerring, F, ’94 (Fargo-USHL)— At 6’3”, he is one tall drink of water. He is also the brother of UVM defenseman Blake Doerring, who committed to UVM shortly after attending the Road to College Showcase four years ago. The younger Doerring is an interesting forward and does some things that lead you to think he could really come into his own in a couple of years. The big question mark is his feet. They are not great right now and there is a risk that he could end up being someone who just never gets his coordination.

Alex Gonye, F, ’94 (Deefield)—We can certainly see why Central Scouting was tracking him this season. There is definitely something here. He’s tall, with a lanky frame and a slick set of hands to go with strong playmaking abilities. That said, it also appears that he has limited leg strength -- there is a lack of explosiveness in his skating. Also, Gonye does not spend much time in the tough ice.

Mitch Barrington, D, ’93 (Dexter)—Tall, smooth defender who makes plays and is poised under pressure. Appears to be relaxed at all time, which can sometimes be a good thing – and sometimes a bad thing.

Steve Windt, D, ’95 (Cushing)—Offensively gifted and will likely have a spot on the Cushing PP from Day 1. Does not have much of a defensive conscience and will need to be taught to play on that side of the puck.

John Furgele, D, ’93 (NJ Hitmen-EJHL)—A good pickup for the Hitmen. Has played the last two seasons for Bismark (NAHL). Good offensive instincts.

Anthony Sabitsky, F, ’94 (Milton)— Scored a lot of goals for Milton this past season. Was just OK here. Smart center who does everything well.

Roman Ammirato, F, ’93 (Cornwall-CCHL)—Small and slight, but makes a lot of plays and can score—which he did often here. Played for Team Comcast prior to heading north.

Andrew Rossy, D, ’94 (Cornwall-CCHL)—Prototypical NESCAC defender. Small, but very intelligent. Makes good, crisp passes.

Brendan White, D, ’94 (KUA)—Played a key role in Malden Catholic winning back-to-back Super 8 titles. Will take John MacLeod’s spot among the KUA top four d-men. 

Peter Cronin, G, ’94 (BC High)—One to keep an eye on. Tall netminder was excellent in the Super 8 last season.

Shane Kavanagh, F, ’95 (Cushing)—Gritty energy player has a scoring touch. Is a gamer; summer hockey does not cater to his style.

Jacob Hand, F,’94 (Salisbury)—Interesting player. Has to pick up his pace. Appears very casual at all times. Has a huge frame and could develop into a power forward.




Americans and the NHL Draft
Fifty-six U.S. players were selected in this weekend’s NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, and are listed below. Players with an asterisk before their name are overagers, having passed through last June’s draft without being selected. Players with two asterisks preceding their name are double overagers.

The top American player selected was, as expected, Alex Galchenyuk, who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when his father, Alexandr, was playing for the Milwaukee Admirals, then of the IHL. The younger Galchenyuk, who was playing for the Chicago Young Americans U18s two years, saw virtually his entire season wiped out by injury, but was, on the strength of his great OHL rookie season in ’10-11, selected by Montreal with the #3 overall pick.

The last American selected – and the last player selected in the entire draft – was Windsor (OHL) defenseman Nick Ebert who at this time last year was widely regarded as a high first round pick. However, the New Jersey native showed up at camp last fall out of shape, never got his game going, and saw his stock plummet drastically – we’re talking total freefall, as dramatic a fall from grace as we’ve never seen in any sport. Ebert, who peaked physically at an early age, made a name for himself several years ago playing high school hockey in the Garden State as a 14-year-old. As a 15-year-old, Ebert moved on to the USHL’s Waterloo Black Hawks. The following year, he arrived in the OHL as a highly-touted 16-year-old, was paired with uber talented Ryan Ellis on a strong Windsor Spitfires squad, and was named to the OHL All-Rookie First Team. However, this season, with Ellis gone and the spotlight on him, Ebert’s poor physical shape and character issues, along with dubious decision-making which led to frequent turnovers, exposed Ebert, who had always been one of those kids who suffered from the presence of an intensely over-involved hockey dad. Ebert, who has a bomb of a shot, still has plenty of time to turn it around and get his career back on track. Certainly, sitting in the stands in Pittsburgh squirming his way through the weekend’s events before the Kings finally selected him is something that will follow him forever. This story is far from over. As for the Kings, they certainly had nothing to lose with the pick.

The most interesting out-of-left-field draft pick this weekend was 6’4” Odessa Jackalopes (NAHL) goaltender Connor Hellebuyck, a UMass-Lowell recruit from Commerce, Michigan who was passed over in last year’s draft and was not even ranked for this year’s. It’s interesting that the only two kids drafted out of the NAHL this year are physically imposing goalies from that loop’s southern division, a junior Slapshot circuit better known for its ludicrous number of penalty minutes and almost constant fighting. We have a strong feeling that the Winnipeg Jets might have been among the teams scouting the back-to-back games at Odessa on the weekend of March 2-3. On those nights, Hellebucyk and the Corpus Christi IceRays 6’5” Anthony Stolarz, picked by the Flyers in the second round today, went head to head. In the end, there was little to separate the two, with Corpus Christi winning the first game 3-2 and Odessa winning the next night, 2-1, in a shootout. By the way, Stolarz and Hellebucyk were the first players drafted directly from the NAHL – now a 24-team league -- in three years. Three former NAHL players -- Cornell F John McCarron, Lincoln (USHL) D Paul LaDue, and Fargo (USHL) F Colton Hargrove – were also selected over the weekend by, respectively, Edmonton, LA, and Boston.

2012 NHL Draft Results – U.S. Players:

Round 1:
 3. Montreal -- Alex Galchenyuk, C, Sarnia (OHL)
 9. Winnipeg --  Jacob Trouba, D, US Under-18
25. St. Louis --  Jordan Schmaltz, D, Green Bay (USHL)
27. Phoenix – Henrik Samuelsson, RW, Edmonton (WHL)
28. NY Rangers – Brady Skjei, D, US Under-18
29. New Jersey – Stefan Matteau, C, US Under-18

Round 2:
36. Anaheim – Nicolas Kerdiles, LW, US Under-18
39. Winnipeg -- Lukas Sutter, C, Saskatoon (WHL)
40. Tampa Bay – Dylan Blujus, D, Brampton (OHL)
42. Calgary – Patrick Sieloff, D, US Under-18
44. Buffalo – Jake McCabe, D, Wisconsin (NCAA)
45. Philadelphia – Anthony Stolarz, G, Corpus Christi (NAHL)
53. Tampa Bay – Brian Hart, RW, Phillips Exeter
56. St. Louis – Sam Kurker, RW, St. John’s Prep
59. NY Rangers – Boo Nieves, C, Kent School

Round 3:
66. Nashville – *Jimmy Vesey, LW, South Shore (EJHL)
67. St. Louis – MacKenzie MacEachern, LW, Brother Rice HS (Mich.)
68. Minnesota – John Draeger, D, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
75. Calgary – Jon Gillies, G, Indiana (USHL)
78. Philadelphia – *Shayne Gostisbehere, D, Union (NCAA)
79. Chicago – Chris Calnan, RW, Noble & Greenough
85. Boston – Matt Grzelcyk, D, US Under-18
90. New Jersey – Ben Johnson, C, Windsor (OHL)

Round 4:
94. Montreal – Brady Vail, C, Windsor (OHL)
98. Minnesota – Adam Gilmour, C, Noble & Greenough
100. Washington – Thomas DiPauli, C, US Under-18
106. Ottawa – *Tim Boyle, D, Noble & Greenough
107. Washington – *Austin Wuthrich, RW, Notre Dame (NCAA)
112. Nashville – Zach Stepan, C, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
120. Carolina – Jaccob Slavin, D, Chicago (USHL)

Round 5:
125. NY Islanders – Doyle Somerby, D, Kimball Union
126. Toronto – Dominic Toninato, C, Duluth East
127. Anaheim – Brian Cooper, D, Fargo
130. Winnipeg – *Connor Hellebuyck, G, Odessa (NAHL)
133. Buffalo – *Logan Nelson, C, Victoria (WHL)
136. Ottawa – Robbie Baillargeon, C, Indiana (USHL)
137. Washington – Connor Carrick, D, US Under-18
138. San Jose – Danny O’Regan, C, St. Sebastian’s
139. Chicago -- **Garret Ross, LW, Saginaw (OHL)
140. Detroit – *Mike McKee, D, Lincoln (USHL)

Round 6:
153. Edmonton – **John McCarron, RW, Cornell (NCAA)
159. Carolina – Collin Olson, G, US Under-18
167. Washington – Riley Barber, RW, US Under-18
168. San Jose – Cliff Watson, D, Sioux City (USHL)
169. Chicago – Vince Hinostroza, C, Waterloo (USHL)
178. Phoenix – Samuel Fejes, LW, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
181. LA -- **Paul Ladue, D, Lincoln (USHL)

Round 7:
185. NY Islanders -- Jake Bischoff, D, Grand Rapids HS (Minn.)
186. Calgary – Matt DeBlouw, C, Muskegon (USHL)
188. Minnesota – Louis Nanne, LW, Edina HS (Minn.)
189. Carolina – Brendan Collier, LW, Malden Catholic HS
198. San Jose -- *Joakim Ryan, D, Cornell (NCAA)
204. Buffalo – Judd Peterson, C, Duluth Marshall HS
205. Boston – **Colton Hargrove, LW, Fargo (USHL)
207. Vancouver – *Matt Beattie, LW, Phillips Exeter
210. Anaheim – *Jaycob Megna, D, Nebraska-Omaha
211. LA – Nick Ebert, D, Windsor (OHL)


Here is a partial list of some of the American kids who were ranked by Central Scouting over the past winter but did not hear their name called in Pittsburgh.

Max Iafrate, D, Kitchener (OHL)
Devin Tringale, LW, Lawrence Academy
Adam Johnson, LW, Hibbing High (Minn.)
Dakota Mermis, D, Green Bay (USHL)
A.J. Michaelson, C, Waterloo (USHL)
Frankie Vatrano, C, US Under-18
Alex Gonye, LW, Deerfield
Jacob Montgomery, LW, Shattuck-St. Mary’s
Cam Darcy, RW/C, US Under-18
John Stevens, C, Salisbury
Justin Wade, D, Fargo (USHL)
Kevin Duane, RW, Brunswick School
Matt Lane, C, US Under-18
Tyler Wood, D, Noble & Greenough
Chase Hatcher, LW, Peterborough (OHL)
Zach Pryzbek, LW, Salisbury

While we are on the subject of getting passed over in the NHL draft, yesterday we wrote about the six ‘93s who were invited to this August’s USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp yet were passed over in the June 2011 NHL draft. Well, on their second go-around they had more luck, as Jimmy Vesey (Nashville, 3rd round), Shayne Gostisbehere (Philadelphia, 3rd round), Logan Nelson (Buffalo, 5th round) and Joakim Ryan (San Jose, 7th round) all heard their names called today. However, Cornell forward Cole Bardreau and Northeastern forward Adam Reid were once again passed over.



NHL Draft Gets Underway Tonight
The 2012 NHL Draft gets underway tonight in Pittsburgh, with the first round being selected (NBC Sports Network, 7:00 pm EST). Rounds 2-7 follow tomorrow (NHL Network, 10:00 am).

We like's draft page. In particular, we like the history link, which can be reached from the drop-down menu at the top of the page. A draftnik can really get lost here for hours, as every single draft, from the very first one, in 1963, to the present, is there for perusal, round by round, player by player. For certain kind of people, like this typist and many USHR readers, this is endlessly fun, and really points up just how difficult this whole business of trying to predict NHL success really is.

We have another link for you, this one sent out by USA Hockey. Naturally, it's US-oriented. In addition to highlighting the top U.S. candidates for this weekend's draft, it also lists every American ever taken in the top two rounds of the draft. There is also a section on the NTDP and the draft - and it is an extremely extensive section, taking up nearly half the document and listing every single NTDP player -- not just those from the top two rounds -- ever drafted. We find that to be disproportionally extensive. After all, USA Hockey is -- or should be -- about more than just the NTDP. If the folks in Colorado Springs really feel they must bang the drum for every single drafted NTDP player, from the first through the final round, then they should do the same for all the other U.S. players, regardless of the league they play in. It would be a nice show of respect, as there have been some pretty fine US players selected in rounds other than the top two. And it wouldn't be a hard job, either -- the info can be easily extracted from the NHL's draft archives.

USA Hockey and the NHL Draft (PDF File)


There are six players who were invited to August's USA National Junior Evaluation Camp who are '93 birthdates and were passed over in last June's NHL draft. They are, of course, eligible again this year, and it will be fun to see where they are selected. They are: 5'10", 160 lb. LD Shayne Gostisbehere (Union-ECAC), 5'10", 182 lb. LD Joakim Ryan (Cornell-ECAC), 5'10", 184 lb. F Cole Bardreau (Cornell-ECAC), 6'1", 180 lb. F Logan Nelson (Victoria-WHL), 6'3", 200 lb. F Adam Reid (Northeastern-HE), and 6'0", 178 lb. F Jim Vesey (South Shore-EJHL).

Central Scouting Final Rankings, 4/10/12:

All the files below are PDF files, easy to open and print out. They contain birthdates, heights/weights, and full stats.

North American Skaters

North American Goaltenders

European Skaters

European Goaltenders



Road To College Rosters
The Road to College showcase gets underway tonight with practices. Games will follow starting tomorrow (Friday) and continuing through Sunday. All the action is at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass. Click the link below for a PDF file of all the rosters as well as the schedule.

Road to College Rosters and Schedule


Minney Headed West

DC Capitals U16 goaltender Edwain Minney has committed to Michigan State University for the fall of 2014.

The 3/29/96 birthdate was recently selected to join the NTDP along with Shattuck U16 netminder Blake Weyrick. The 6’4”, 195 lb. backstop competed in the Tier I Elite League this past season where he posted a 6-9-7 record with a 2.71 GAA and a .902 save percentage. The Wind Gap, PA native was a standout at last summer’s Select 15 Festival where he finished as the tournament’s top goaltender with a 2.00 GAA and a .928 save percentage.

Interestingly enough, Minney was not one of the two goaltenders selected to represent the Atlantic District at the upcoming Select 16 Festival in Rochester, NY. Chris Birdsall (North Jersey Avalanche U16) and Drew Hotte (Philadelphia Little Flyers U16) won the two jobs. However, there is a good chance the massive goalkeeper will still make it out to the Festival as an at-large player.

Prior to being “discovered” last summer Minney suited up for the Berks Bruins, a Tier II organization in Berks County, PA where he was coached by former NTDP player – and Coast League stalwart -- Matt Herneisen.



Pontarelli Dismissed From St. Mark's

New England prep hockey’s leading scoring, Mike Pontarelli, has been dismissed from St. Mark’s for a violation of student body rules.

The junior forward had a monster of a season, compiling a 45-31-76 scoring line in only 27 games played. As a sophomore the under sized finisher also led the team in scoring posting a 38-13-51 scoring line in 27 games played. The Laval, QC native has been instrumental in restoring the Lions as a competitive program. This season was their best in quite some time-- amassing a 16-10-3 record.

Head Coach Scott Young was adamant is assuring the character of his former player stating that “Pontarelli is a good kid who made a mistake that a lot of kids his age make. We wish we could have him back for his senior year. He will land on his feet and will have my full support moving forward.”



Hamilton Departs Salisbury
Salisbury junior defenseman Mark Hamilton has decided to forgo his senior year and instead suit up for the Valley Junior Warriors (EJHL).

The 6’3”, 215 lb. defender put up a 2-7-9 scoring line in 28 games played. The Umass-Amherst recruit made positive strides this past season and caught the attention of many NCAA coaches with a strong performance at the Flood-Marr tournament.

The Valley Junior Warriors will contend for a title this year as there has been a serious influx of talent with Hamilton, Ryan Fitzgerald (BC), Brendan Collier (BU) and Devin Tringale (Harvard) having decided to call the Haverhill Valley Forum home for a year. Another notable addition to the Warriors roster will be Kent senior defenseman Perry Holcombe. The Cumming, GA native is capable of running a power play as indicated by his 4-27-31 scoring line in 27 games played last season.

Cahoon Resigns

After 12 seasons at the helm of UMass-Amherst Donald “Toot” Cahoon has officially resigned. The Marblehead, Mass. native posted a 166-225-42 record and his 166 wins are tops in the programs history.

Cahoon, 63, is a former Boston University forward who received his first coaching gig in 1974 when he was named assistant coach at BU by Jack Parker.  In 1991 Princeton University named Cahoon head coach, a job title which he has held until today. Between Princeton and UMass, Cahooon posted a career record of 333-380-73.  His best year in Amherst was during the '06-07 season in which Conn Smythe winner Jonathan Quick guided the Minutemen to a 21-13-5 record and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament.  

Cahoon was entering the final year of his contract and was denied an extension by UMass Athletic Director John McCutcheon. It is also alleged that there was a rift between Cahoon and McCutcheon in regards to the focus of UMass athletics. It appears that hockey is third in line at the school, as much of the recent focus has been on getting the football program to Division 1A status and returning the basketball program to the glory days of the early 90’s when Marcus Camby led the Minutemen to the Final Four.

This shift will inevitably create a large shock wave in coaching movement. This is simply speculation, but we feel Mike Cavanaugh (BC associate head coach), Mark Dennehy (Merrimack head coach), Mike Bavis (BU associate head coach), Scott Borek (UNH associate head coach) and Rick Bennett (Union head coach) will all receive strong consideration should they be interested.

Housley to Be Named U.S. Junior Team Coach
Look for Phil Housley to be named this afternoon as the head coach of this winter’s U.S. National Junior Team.

Housley, 48, an assistant on the 2007 and 2011 U.S. National Junior Teams, has been the head coach of the Stillwater (Minn.) High School Ponies for the last nine years. His clam to fame, though, came on the ice, where he was one of the great offensive defensemen in NHL history, having racked up 1,232 points over a 21-year career. Housley is the second-leading U.S.-born scorer in NHL history, trailing only Mike Modano.

Housley is also the Ernie Banks of hockey, having played 1,495 NHL games without winning a Stanley Cup. No other player in NHL history has played that many games without earning a Cup. 

A first-round draft pick (#6 overall) out of South St. Paul High School in 1982, Housley went directly to the NHL, suiting up that fall – and for the next eight seasons -- with the Buffalo Sabres. The 5’10” blueliner also played for Winnipeg, St. Louis, Calgary, New Jersey, Washington, Chicago, and Toronto.

In 1982, while a senior at South St. Paul High School, Housley played on the U.S. National Junior Team that finished in sixth place. The tournament was held in Minneapolis that year and coached by Lou Vairo.

Housley was also a member of the silver medal-winning 2002 U.S. Olympic Team (Salt Lake City, Utah).

USA Hockey has scheduled a press conference for 2:00 pm today.

Junior Camp Roster Announced
The 46-man roster for the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp, which is scheduled for Aug. 4-11 in Lake Placid, NY, was released today.

Three players are returnees from the 2012 Junior Team -- goaltender John Gibson, defenseman Jacob Trouba, and forward J.T. Miller.

This year's games will be held Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Ufa, Russia, which, if you're looking for it on a map, is about a thousand miles east of Moscow. The final squad will be named after a pre-tournament camp to be held Dec. 19-23 in Helsinki, Finland.

The Evaluation Camp Prospects:

Goaltenders (4):
John Gibson (Kitchener-OHL, ’93), Jon Gillies (Indiana-USHL, ’94), Garret Sparks (Guelph-OHL, ’93), Anthony Stolarz (Corpus Christi-NAHL, ‘94).

Defensemen (17): Connor Carrick (U.S. Under-18, ’94), Brian Cooper (Fargo-USHL, ’93), Shayne Gostisbehere (Union-ECAC, ‘93), Matt Grzelcyk (U.S. Under-18, ’94), Garrett Haar (Western Michigan, ’93), Seth Jones (US Under-18, ’94), Jake McCabe (Wisconsin-WCHA, ’93), Connor Murphy (Sarnia-OHL, ’93), Mike Paliotta (Vermont-HE, ‘93), Mike Reilly (Penticton-BCHL, ’93), Robbie Russo (Notre Dame-CCHA, ’93) Joakim Ryan (Cornell-ECAC, ’93), Jordan Schmaltz (Green Bay-USHL, ’93), Patrick Sieloff (US Under-18, ’94), Brady Skjei (US Under-18, ’94), Jacob Trouba (US Under-18, ’94), Andy Welinski (Green Bay-USHL, ’93).

Forwards (25): Cole Bardreau (Cornell-ECAC, ‘93), Tyler Biggs (Miami-Ohio-CCHA, ’93), Colin Blackwell (Harvard-ECAC, ’93), Reid Boucher (Sarnia-OHL, ’93), Travis Boyd (Minnesota-WCHA, ’93), Alex Broadhurst (Green Bay-USHL, ’93), Thomas DiPauli (U.S. Under-18, ’94), Steven Fogarty (Penticton-BCHL, ‘93), Alex Galchenyuk (Sarnia-OHL, ’94), John Gaudreau (Boston College-HE, ’93), Rocco Grimaldi (North Dakota-WCHA, ’93), Brian Hart (Phillips Exeter, ’93), Ryan Hartman (U.S. Under-18, ’94), Nick Kerdiles (US Under-18, ’94),  Sean Kuraly (Indiana-USHL, ’93), Mario Lucia (Penticton-BCHL, ’93), Stefan Matteau (US Under-18, ’94), JT Miller (Plymouth-OHL, ’93), Logan Nelson (Victoria-WHL, ’93), Stefan Noesen (Plymouth-OHL, ’93), Blake Pietila (Michigan Tech-WCHA, ’93), Adam Reid (Northeastern-HE, ’93), Henrik Samuelsson (Edmonton-WHL, ’94), Vincent Trocheck (Saginaw-OHL, ’93), Jim Vesey (South Shore-EJHL, ’93).

WJEC RosterPrintable roster with heights/weights, etc.

Evaluation Camp Game Schedule:
Aug. 4-11, 2012; Lake Placid, NY

Sat. Aug. 4 – USA Blue vs. USA White, 4:00 pm
Sun. Aug. 5 – USA Blue vs. USA White, 4:00 pm
Mon. Aug. 6 – USA Blue vs. Finland, 1:00 pm
                        USA White vs. Sweden, 4:30 pm
Tues. Aug. 7 – Finland vs. Sweden, 4:00 pm
Wed. Aug. 8 – USA vs. Finland, 4:00 pm
Thurs. Aug. 9 – USA vs. Sweden, 4:00 pm
Fri. Aug. 10 – Finland vs. Sweden, 4:00 pm
Sat. Aug. 11 – USA vs. Finland, 1
J0 pm



Sun. 6/17/12

Kinsella Takes NHL Scouting Position
Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL) assistant coach/ director of scouting Bobby Kinsella will be leaving Dubuque in order to take a full-time scouting position with the Montreal Canadiens.

Kinsella, a keen-eyed Massachusetts native, will relocate to Chicago and will cover the USHL, the NCAA, high schools, and midgets for Les Habitants.

In the spring of 2010, Fighting Saints head coach Jim Montgomery made Kinsella, who had helped assemble a Clark Cup Championship squad during an earlier USHL stint with Sioux City, his first hire at Dubuque.

Montgomery and Kinsella won a Clark Cup championship in their first year. This year, Dubuque, despite having lost John Gaudreau, Vinny Saponari, Riley Barber, and Joakim Ryan, had another strong season, finishing with a 36-20-4 record before bowing out in the second round of the USHL playoffs.

Montgomery is looking over applications to fill Kinsella’s slot.


Mules Hire MacDonald
UMass assistant coach Blaise MacDonald was named the new head coach at Colby College on Friday.

MacDonald takes over for Stan Moore, who held the position on an interim basis last year. Moore was hired when Jim Tortorella, after 16 years behind the Mules bench,  returned to UNH late last summer as an associate head coach.

MacDonald served as head coach of UMass-Lowell (2000-11) and Niagara University (1996-2000). Prior to that MacDonald cut his teeth as an assistant at Dartmouth, Princeton, UMass-Lowell, and Boston University.

As a player, MacDonald was an All-American defenseman at Rochester Institute of Technology during the school’s Div. II powerhouse years in the 1980s.

Uh, Change That To 'Not So Sure'

“I am pretty sure I’m going to be playing for Cedar Rapids next year,” Vermont fall ’13 recruit Anthony DeLuca told Cedar Rapids Gazette reporter Jeff Johnson at the RoughRiders camp on Saturday.  That, of course, was the same day that the Rimouski Oceanic drafted DeLuca in the second round of the QMJHL Draft. And within the next 48 hours, the highly-skilled 5’8”, 198 lb. forward from the Lac St-Louis Lions did indeed change his mind, giving both Cedar Rapids (which had drafted him as a futures pick last year) and Vermont the thumbs down.

This past winter, DeLuca posted a league-leading 48-32-80 line (and 68 pims) in 43 games for Lac St-Louis. A 2/11/95 birthdate, DeLuca originally committed to the University of Vermont 16 months ago -- in February 2011 – while a member of the Saint-Eustache Vikings.


Road to College
For this year’s Road to College Showcase – to be held at Babson College Thurs. through Sun. June 21-24 -- Dan Donato and Chuckie Hughes have spiced things up by bringing in more prospects from outside New England than ever before.

Look for about 10 players from the Ontario Provincial League, another 10-12 from Minnesota, about 10 from the EJHL, a couple either from -- or heading to -- the BCHL, and a scattering from the CCJHL in Ottawa, the NAHL, and the Tier 1 Elite League. And, of course, the core group of New England prep kids.

As for the Ontario kids, OHL draft picks Evan and Mitchell Smith (identical twins who play for the Stouffville Spirit); and Robbie Demontis and Cameron Hackett will all be on hand. (Demontis, a forward, and Hackett, a goaltender, played for the Vaughan Kings this past winter and appeared in Boston at the USHR International Showcase in early January). In addition, players such as 6’8” defenseman Jack O’Hara (Burlington Cougars – OPJHL) and Harrison Domogala (Hamilton Red Wings - OPJHL) should garner interest. Ditto for Minnesota kids like Blake’s Zach Doerring (heading to Fargo) and Breck’s Conor Andrle (heading to Sioux City). Other Minnesotans include Nick and Derick Kuchera from Eagan High School and Alex Johnson from Class A state champion St. Thomas Academy. Skilled Culver forward Michael Bunn, who was drafted by Indiana (USHL) and a couple of Pittsburgh-area players such as the Pittsburgh Hornets’ Luke Stickel and Shady Side Academy’s Ty Gradwell – both headed to the EJHL -- will be on hand.  Other EJHLers include Jon Furgele, a crafty defenseman who played in Bismark (NAHL) last season and will be playing for the Jersey Hitmen this coming winter, Lawrence Academy defenseman Robbie Klein, who is heading to the Middlesex Islanders, and big goaltender Ben Halford who had a good season for the Breakers last year. And there’s more -- pretty much every EJ team will be represented this year.

Uncommitted prep school players include the likes of Tommy Kelley (St. Sebastian’s); Alex Goyne, Sam Lafferty and Trevor Yates (Deerfield); Anthony Bird (Gunnery); Jacob Hand (Salisbury), Dan Doherty (Belmont Hill), and Charlie Donners (Dexter). Check ‘em out.

The Road to College differs from most showcase events in that Donato and Hughes run a program in which only non-committed players participate in the showcase. Also, in addition to games and practices, players attend SAT/ACT prep and other college-related workshops.

This year’s showcase gets underway Thursday night June 21st with practices at 5 and 7 pm. Games will take place on the following three days. On Friday June 22nd games run from 2-7 pm; on Saturday June 23rd games will also run from 2-7. On Sunday June 24th games will run from11 am to 4 pm.  Last year’s camp included more than 30 players who subsequently committed to D1 schools including players like Chris Calnan (BC), Phil Zielonka (Harvard), Matt Beattie (Yale), Eric Schurhammer (Maine), Zack Pryzbek (Brown), Mark Hamilton (UMass), and Will Goss and Nick Ellis (Providence).



Harvard Loses Top Recruit to the Q
Harvard recruit Frédérik Gauthier has reportedly signed with the Rimouski Oceanic (QMJHL), the club that drafted him in the third round (#40 overall) in the 2011 QMJHL draft.

The 6’3”, 192 lb. Collège Esther-Blondin power forward was a significant get for the Crimson (see 11/21/2011 USHR News: Gauthier Commits to Crimson). This past season the Mascouche, Que. native compiled a 26-25-51 scoring line in 39 games played as he helped lead Collège Esther-Blondin to the Telus Cup, Canada’s Midget National Championship. In seven games played in the tournament, Gauthier put up a 3-8-11 scoring line—good for 4th overall. A 4/26/95 birthdate, Gauthier was also selected to Team Quebec for the World Under-17’s and in five games played amassed a 1-2-3 scoring line, good for fourth in team scoring. An excellent pro prospect who could go high in the 2013 NHL draft, Gauthier was selected by the Youngstown Phantoms in the first round (#9 overall) of last month’s USHL draft.

Gauthier is reportedly best friends with Collège Esther-Blondin teammate Maxim Gravel. Gravel, a 6’0”, 172 lb. offensive defenseman who posted an 8-28-36 scoring line in 40 games played and was also selected to Team Quebec, was being pursued by a number of NCAA schools. The Blainville, Que. native was drafted in the third round (#50 overall) by the Saint John Sea Dogs (QMJHL), however Rimouski traded for Gravel’s rights in late December, no doubt hoping that the two friends might eschew the NCAA route for the opportunity to play major junior together. It appears Rimouski’s strategy paid off as Gravel signed with the Oceanic on June 5th and Gauthier followed suit shortly after.


A Power Forward for the Eagles
6’2”, 195 lb. Syracuse Stars (Empire) right-shot forward Alex Tuch has committed to Boston College for the fall of ’14.

As a 15-year-old this past winter, Tuch, who was heavily recruited, led the Empire League in scoring with a 44-57-101 line in 40 games played.

Tuch, a 5/10/96 birthdate from Baldwinsville, NY, played his youth hockey with the Syracuse Nationals. In March, he had an excellent NTDP camp and was named to the U.S. Under-17 Team for the upcoming season. In April’s OHL draft Tuch was selected by the Guelph Storm in the fifth round (#94 overall).

Tuch is a big, strong power forward type with excellent pro potential. A good comp would be current Nashville and former BU forward Colin Wilson.


Liberty Bell Games Top 30
USHR spent the past weekend at the Liberty Bell Games in Voorhees, NJ. The tournament, run by Ottawa Senators scout Lew Mongelluzzo and now in its fourth year, might be the most scout-friendly showcase we have ever attended. At the door we were given detailed player profiles for every participant as well as color-coded game sheets for the entire weekend. Scouts, spectators, and families were not charged to get in (as it should be) and players were treated like pros, getting a bundle of goodies upon arrival -- hockey tape, apparel, etc. As for the tournament itself, it is well established, with roughly 90% of the region’s top players on hand (just a few guys were missing due to family obligations, USHL tryouts, etc.)  Best of all, with only 100 players invited, the event is not watered down, and, with scouts from the NHL, NCAA,USHL, OHL and New England prep schools on hand, it provides excellent exposure for the top players from the NJ/Philly region. Below are the players who stood out for us.

1. Kevin Kerr, D, ’96 (Team Comcast U16) 5-11/155—Was the top player here. The Penn State recruit is a high end DI prospect and a sure thing to succeed at the NCAA level. Has a lot of confidence and makes high risk plays look easy. Similar to Keith Yandle at the same age. Will be playing for Team Comcast U18 next season.

2. Grant Jozefek, F, ’97 (Long Island Gulls U14) 5-8/160—Was one of the top forwards at the Atlantic District tryout camp a couple weeks ago; followed that up with a strong performance here. Intelligent player who plays hard in all three zones. Has a high skill level and possesses a quick shot release. Being one of the youngest players on the ice did not faze him a bit —possesses a lot of confidence. Will be playing for the North Jersey Avalanche U16 team next season.

3. JJ Piccinich, F, ’96 (North Jersey Avalanche U16) 5-11/175—Because we know his game so well and know what he is capable of we are ranking him high on this list. Having said that, his performance over the weekend was very average compared to what we have seen out of him in the past. Did not play with the same tenacity that we have grown accustomed to seeing. None the less the North Jersey Avalanche product is a top DI recruit who is always around the puck and creates a lot of offense. Has a knack for making plays out of nothing. Will play in the USHL next season for Youngstown.

4. Kyle Fargesen, F, ’95 (Selects Hockey Academy) 5-10/165—Looked better than we have seen him in the past. Was really flying… played with a lot of pace. Put defenders on their heels all weekend and was able to drive to the front of the net with ease. Has quick feet to go along with a nice set of hands. We would be surprised if he does not end up on a DI roster in the future. Is leaving Selects Hockey Academy and will return to his home in New Jersey and play for Bob Thornton’s NJ Rockets (AJHL).

5. Adam Tracey, F, ’95 (Long Island Royals U16) 6-2/188—Played on a very deep Royals team this past season. May have been hidden a bit. At any rate, he really stood out this weekend. A big kid who thinks the game well and can really shoot the puck, Tracey needs to work on his feet and become more explosive, something that could come with added leg strength. Will attend Berkshire this fall where we think he will make an immediate impact.

6. Kevin Neiley, F, ’95 (Valley Forge Minutemen U16) 5-10/170—Brother of Dartmouth forward and Phillips Exeter alum Eric Neiley. Plays a lot like his brother, but has more of an edge. An intelligent forward with a slick set of hands, Neiley is capable of making plays in tight spaces. Has natural goal scoring abilities and can really fire the puck. Will play for Team Comcast U18 next season. Dartmouth College was on hand paying close attention to his game.

7. Ken Citron, D, ’95 (Team Comcast U18) 6-1/190—Has grown over the last year and looked very mature and polished here. Defends well and has a very effective poke check. Makes a good first pass and is not shy about jumping up into the play. Sometimes tries to do too much, but that habit will likely be broken at the next level. Top-notch student who will likely land in the ECAC. Will return next season to Comcast’s U18 team, but he is very close to being USHL ready.

8. Connor Wynne, D, ’95 (North Jersey Avalanche) 5-10/160—One area scout commented to us that Wynne is far and away the most improved player in the Atlantic District over the last season. A fluid skater who processes the game quickly and is just beginning to realize the kind of talent he has. Very thin right now and will benefit a lot from added muscle. Will attend Milton Academy in the fall where he will be an immediate contributor.

9. Ross Colton, F, ’96 (Princeton Day School) 5-5/140—Diminutive forward has an excellent hockey IQ and a tricky set of hands. Would not consider him to be dynamic, though. He will need to add another gear to garner the attention of DI colleges. With that being said, Colton is a top junior/prep school prospect who can beat defenders with his brain and hands routinely. Plans to return to PDS next season.

10. Drew Hotte, G, ’96 (Philadelphia Little Flyers U16) 5-11/155—Along with Chris Birdsall, Hotte was recently selected to represent the Atlantic District at the Select 16 Festival, beating out NTDP goalie Edwin Minney. An athletic goaltender who is very quick laterally, Hotte tracks the puck well and has a high level of focus. In our opinion he was the top goaltender here.

11. Ben Cirba, G, ’96 (Philadelphia Little Flyers) 6-2/170—Oozes with potential. From a technique perspective he is very raw, but has a high compete level and uses his size and athleticism to make a lot of saves. Generated a lot of buzz over the weekend. Will play for the Philadelphia Little Flyers U16 team next season. Is a sleeper right now and is a prospect worth tracking.

12. Mark Bowen, F, ’95 (North Jersey Avalanche) 5-7/155—With gifted hands, it appears as though he has the puck on a string. Creates a lot of plays. Played on one of the top U16 lines in the country with Joey Caffrey in the middle and JJ Piccinich on the other wing. Is limited in terms of DI upside, but will be a highly productive prep school player from Day 1. Going to Canterbury.

13. Joey Caffrey, F, ’95 (North Jersey Avalanche) 5-10/170—Was not as good here as we have seen in the past, but he still made himself noticeable. Has good presence in the middle of the ice and can make plays under duress. Does not have one skill that really jumps out at you, but he is solid in all areas. Will be at Choate in the fall.

14. Nick Patullo, F, ’95 (Hatfield Icedogs U16) 6-0/172—The sleeper of the tournament. Played Tier II hockey this season and was very much an unknown prior to this showcase. Tall kid who has a quick shot release and a goal scorer’s mentality—always seems to be in position to score.  This past season he potted 53 goals in 48 games played. We realize it is Tier II hockey, but averaging over a goal-a-game in any league is impressive. Headed to Northwood in the fall.

15. Dylan McArthur, D, ’96 (Philadelphia Little Flyers U16) 5-11/163— A 12/16/96 birthdate. If he were two weeks younger he would surely be a top ’97 prospect. Good skater showed a lot of poise in pressure situations. In the offensive zone he was effective at getting the puck off the wall and into the middle of the ice, a skill that is very challenging to master. Projects as a PP quarterback. Will return to the Philadelphia Little Flyers U16 team next season.

16. Tommy Panico, D, ’95 (NJ Titans U16) 6-1/180—Good-sized defender with a long stride and the ability to move the puck up the ice efficiently. Is a bit raw right now and still has a long way to go, but Panico is certainly worth keeping an eye on. Will play for Team Comcast U18 in the fall. With Kerr, Citron and Panico it is hard to imagine another U18 team with three better defensemen.

17. Trevor Heuser, D, ’96 (NJ Titans U16) 5-10/170—Small, stocky defender who plays on edge and with a lot of energy. Makes a good first pass and enjoys jumping into the rush. Was drafted in the 19th round by Des Moines (USHL) and was tendered by Corpus Christi (NAHL) which is where he will play next season.

18. Conor Tierney, F, ’97 (NJ Rockets U14) 5-7/148—May have been out of his element here as he is young, small and has yet to physically mature. With that in mind, his skill level is undeniable. Is a quick skater and creates offense every time he touches the puck. Was excellent at the Atlantic District tryouts and is a top player in his age group.

19. Nick Bohatiuk, F, ’96 (Team Comcast U16) 5-9/150—Small forward who lacks speed out of the gate, but is very smart and has a great stick. Is dangerous below the tops of the circles. There were no power plays here, but if we had to bet a dollar we’d say he is outstanding on the man advantage. Not someone you want to give time and space to. Knows how to use his teammates. Will play for Team Comcast U16 next season.

20. Anthony Siderio, F, ’96 (Selects Hockey Academy) 5-9/170—Small, quick forward is at his best when he plays with pace and tenacity. Has quick hands and is elusive in the tough ice. Knows how to score and has done it at every level. Will return to Selects Hockey Academy next fall and will play U16 hockey on what is going to be a very good team.

21. Paul Vella, F, ’96 (NJ Devils U16) 5-10/155—Great individual skills. Was one of the best, if not the best, 1x1 player here. Played on a line with Joey Caffrey and Mark Bowen and the three were difficult for the opposition to contain. Vella is slated to play for the Metro Moose (MET) next season.

22. Matt Kidney, F, ’97 (NJ Titans U14) 5-7/142—Great hockey sense and was very good with the puck on his stick. Has yet to physically develop, but when he does we think he will be an excellent player. Knows where to be on the ice and displayed high-end vision here.

23. Bobby Wurster, D, ’96 (Choate) 6-3/165—Is going to be a long-term project, but the Choate defender is someone we feel has a bright future. Is very tall and lanky, but gets around the ice well for someone his size. Does not try and do too much, defends well, and is positionally sound. There will always be a market for 6’3” defenders who skate well and make the simple play. Will be a sophomore at Choate in the fall.

24. Kevin Darrar, F,’96 (Team Comcast U16) 5-10/171—A good mind for offense. Dangerous around the net as he gets his shot off in a hurry. Showed a lot of chemistry with Bohatiuk -- the two generated a lot of scoring opportunities. Headed to Gunnery in the fall.

25. Kevin Charyszyn, F, ’96 (NJ Rockets U16) 5-9/150—Did not create as much offense as we think he is capable of. Possesses an above average skill set and a high end shot. Is someone who can fly under the radar. Needs to work on his consistency as he can go long stretches without being noticeable.

26. Alex Rocco, D, ’96 (Valley Forge Minutemen U16) 5-11/185—Serviceable defender. Nothing flashy, but gets the job done. Will be in Rochester, NY at the Select 16 Festival.

27. Alex Hagerty, F, ’95 (Delbarton) 6-0/185—The Delbarton junior put up a14-20-34 scoring line in 28 games played last winter. Is solid and well put together. Strong on the puck and has a hard shot. May have peaked physically. Will need to get quicker and have a big senior season at Delbarton to grab the attention of NCAA coaches.

28. Brendan Driscoll, D, ’96 (NJ Rockets U16) 6-1/185—Tall defender with offensive upside. Makes a good outlet pass. Could be a late bloomer.

29. Travis Kauffman, D, ’95 (Philadelphia Jr. Flyers U16) 5-10/180—Smallish defender who is very active offensively and likes to get up the ice. Has good gap control and plays with an edge.

30 (tie). Corey Mackin, F, ’95 (Hatfield Icedogs U16) 5-7/155—Another Tier II find. In 78 games played last season he put up an eye popping 58-65-123 scoring line. Is physically limited, but is very quick and shifty. Will make for a good prep school player as he is headed to Northwood along with his teammate Nick Patullo.

30 (tie). Cameron Klein, F, ’95 (NJ Rockets U16) 6-2/190—Scored a lot of goals here. Physically imposing and may find a role in junior hockey as an intimidating presence. Is not very fleet of foot and his skill set is raw.



Harvard’s Point Producer of the Future
Harvard University has received a commitment for the fall of ’15 from 5’7”, 135 lb. RW Jeremy Bracco, who lit it up for the Portledge School and the Long Island Gulls Under-14 Team last winter.

A freshman, Bracco led Portledge in scoring with a 15-27-42 line in 20 games played. He also helped lead the U14 Gulls, coached by his father, Mike Bracco, a former Dartmouth goaltender (1990-94), to the Tier I Nationals in Buffalo. The younger Bracco, in four games there, had a 6-5-11 line, good for a tournament-leading 2.75 ppg. In addition, Bracco led the USA Hockey Select 14 Festival in scoring last summer.

A 3/17/97 birthdate from Freeport, Long Island, Bracco will play for the New Jersey Rockets (Met League) this coming winter. (Joining him there will be his linemate from the Gulls, Nolan Aibel.)

Bracco’s strong suit is his exceptional vision. He sees plays developing, and consistently puts pucks where guys are going to be. He’s a good skater, though not a burner. He’s small but, given that he only turned 15 in March, is likely to grow a bit more.

A Pro Prospect for the Wolverines
The University of Michigan has received a verbal commitment from 6’2”, 180 lb. forward Dexter Dancs for the fall of 2014. The native of North Vancouver, British Columbia was named rookie of the year in the Jr. B Kootenay International Junior Hockey League as he amassed a 35-44-79 scoring line in only 48 games played for the Osoyoos Coyotes.

Next season the power forward will play for the Penticton Vees (BCHL), the defending Canadian National Champions. Dancs appeared in 15 games last season as an affiliate player for the Vees and Head Coach Fred Harbinson had this to say about him, “We are very excited to help develop Dexter for the University of Michigan over the next two seasons. Dexter’s growth as a player over the two month playoff run he spent with us gives the indication he will have an immediate impact this upcoming season.”


The 2/1/95 birthdate made his final decision between Michigan and UNH. Dancs’s major junior rights are owned by the Vancouver Giants (WHL).


Eichel Picked in First Round of QMJHL Draft
Thirty-seven New Englanders were selected in yesterday’s QMJHL draft, with Junior Bruins (Empire) forward Jack Eichel, selected by Halifax in the first round, topping the list.

Eichel, a Boston University recruit from North Chelmsford, Mass. who has committed to the U.S. Under-17 Team for this fall, was the only American selected in the top five rounds of the draft, which was held at Le Colisée in Québec City, Que.

Thirteen U.S. players were selected in rounds 6-10, with another 23 chosen in rounds 11-14.

The draft this year was expanded from 12 to 14 rounds. In addition, every QMJHL club was required to select two Americans, which helps explain why nearly half the U.S. players chosen were selected in the final two rounds, i.e the “new” rounds.

The #1 selection overall was College Esther-Blondin center Daniel Audette, the son of former NHLer Donald Audette. The younger Audette, born in Buffalo, is a dual citizen, but taking the Canadian pathway.

Round 1:
15. Halifax -- Jack Eichel, ’96 F, Junior Bruins (Empire)

Round 6:
104. Moncton -- Conor Garland, ’96 F, Junior Bruins (Empire)

Round 7:
119. Baie-Comeau – Ryan Bliss, ’96 D, St. Paul’s School
125. Blainville-Boisbriand – Liam Pecararo, ‘96 F, Boston Advantage

Round 8:
130. Sherbrooke – Mitchell Lundholm, ’96 F, Selects Academy
132. Cape Breton – Brent Beaudoin, ’96 F, NH Jr. Monarchs (Empire)
138. Acadie-Bathurst – Ara Nazarian, ’96 F, Malden Catholic

Round 9:
156. Gatineau – Robby Klein, ’95 D, Lawrence Academy
160. Rouyn-Noranda – Trevor Malmgren, ’95 F, Selects Academy
165. Saint John – Drew Michals, ’95 G, Junior Bruins (Empire)

Round 10:
167. PEI – Joshua Couturier, ‘95 D, Junior Bruins (Empire)
170. Moncton – Anthony Florentino, ’95 D, South Kent School
179. Blainville-Boisbriand – Chris Calnan, ’94 F, Nobles
180. Quebec – Sam Kurker, ’94 F, St. John’s Prep

Round 11:
184. Sherbrooke – Shane Eiserman, ’95 F, Cushing Academy
192. Val-d’Or – Adam Gilmour, ’94 F, Nobles

Round 12:
205. Rouyn-Noranda – Mark Upton, ’95 D, St. Mark’s
210. Victoriaville – Jimmy Vesey, ’93 F, South Shore (EJHL)
213. Halifax – John Hayden, ’95 F, U.S. Under-17
215. Quebec – Doyle Somerby, ’94 D, Kimball Union

Round 13:
220. PEI – Mike O’Brien, ’95 D, Boston Advantage
221. Cape Breton – Brendan Robbins, ’95 F, New Eng. Huskies (EJHL)
223. Gatineau – Tyler Drevitch, ’95 F, Boston Bandits (Empire)
225. Drummondville – Mark Dufour, ’95 F, Kents Hill
229. Chicoutimi – Connor Light, ’95 D, Phillips Andover
230. Rimouski – Tyler Kelleher, ’95 F, U.S. Under-17
323. Blainville-Boisbriand – Jason Kalinowski, ’95 F, Salisbury
234. Victoriaville – Ryan Cloonan, ’95 F, Boston Advantage
235. Shawinigan – Jon Grassie, ’95 D, Berwick Academy
236. Saint John – Wiley Sherman, ’95 D, Hotchkiss

Round 14:
239. Shawinigan – Colin Sullivan, ’93 D, Avon Old Farms
242. Baie-Comeau – Curtis Frye, ’95 G, U.S. Under-17
243. Drummondville – Bobby Hall, ’95 F, Boston Advantage
245. Val-d’Or – Connor Brassard, ’95 D, Cushing Academy
246. Acadie-Bathurst – Connor Hegarty, ’95 D, BB&N
247. Chicoutimi – Eddie Ellis, ’95 F, Phillips Andover
248. Rimouski – Nick Centauro, ’95 D, Junior Bruins (Empire)

New Assistants in the Keller Division

Cardigan Mountain School head coach Robbie Barker will be leaving the Canaan, NH pre-prep boarding school for Lawrence Academy where he will serve as an assistant coach on Kevin Potter’s staff. Barker will also assist the football and baseball programs and act as the student activities coordinator. Barker, 30, is an alum of Cardigan Mountain, Lawrence Academy, and the University of New Hampshire. While the Concord, NH native was at LA he was a three-sport captain (football, hockey and baseball). This past season was the tops in Barker’s young coaching career as he guided the junior prep school to a 34-2-2 record and has found a home for every graduating player at a top New England boarding school.

While we are on the subject of ex UNH Wildcats populating the ISL we thought we’d mention that former Reading High/UNH star forward Sean Collins will be joining Leon Hayward’s staff as an assistant coach at Governor’s Academy. For the past three seasons, Collins, the all-time leading scorer at Reading High and a former First Team All American at UNH, has been an assistant coach of the boys’ varsity program at Reading High as well as the head coach of the JV Squad. Collins is probably best remembered for his performance at the 2000 USA Hockey Nationals where he scored five goals in both the semi-final (vs. LA Jr. Kings) and final (vs. Chicago Chill) en route to leading the Eastern Mass Senators to the Midget AAA title. That’s ten goals in one day.  (For more, see USHR News, April, 9th 2000).


The Mass Picks
Here are the players who will be representing Massachusetts at the 2012 Select 15, 16, and 17 Festivals in Rochester, NY.

‘95s (Select 17)

Goalies (1): Patrick Fraser (Dexter).

Defenseman (3): Connor Brassard (Cushing), Joshua Couturier (Junior Bruins-Empire), Cullen Geary (Cathedral).

Forwards (7): Tyler Drevitch (Bridgewater-Empire), Shane Eiserman (Cushing), Eddie Ellis (Andover), Conor McGlynn (Oakville-OJHL), Brian Pinho (St. John’s Prep), Corey Ronan (St. Sebastian’s), Miles Wood (Salem Ice Dogs-Empire).

‘96s (Select 16)

Goalies (2): Joel Daccord (North Andover HS), Eric Wurman (Acton-Boxboro HS).

Defenseman (5): Charlie Barrow (Belmont Hill), Andrew Cross (Malden Catholic), Matt Harris (Junior Bruins-Empire), Zachary Malatesta (Pingree), Jake McCarthy (St. Sebastian’s).

Forwards (9): Tyler Bird (St. John’s Prep), Peter Crinella (Cathedral), Patrick Daly (Valley Jr. Warriors-Empire), Ryan Donato (Dexter), Jack Eichel (Junior Bruins-Empire), Bryan Green (Dexter), Mitchell Lundholm (Selects Hockey Academy), John McCarthy (St. John’s Prep), Erik Udahl (Rivers).

‘97s (Select 15)

Goalies (2): Shane Mason (Matignon), Elijah Harris (Austin Prep).

Defenseman (5): Noah Hanifin (St. Sebastian’s), Casey Fitzgerald (Malden Catholic), Zachary Mirageas (Governor’s), Austin Rook (Rivers), Patrick Murray (Boston Latin).

Forwards (10): Colin White (Nobles), Cameron Askew (St. Sebastian’s), Charlies Kelleher (Longmeadow HS), Brent Hill (Valley Jr. Warriors), Cal Burke (Nobles), William D’Orsi (Belmont Hill), George Sennott (Austin Prep), Erik Foley (Mansfield HS), DJ Petruzelli (Cathedral), Ben Wosky (Springfield Jr. Pics).


Atlantic District Festival Teams Named

Recently, we reviewed the Atlantic District festival tryouts, held at the Ice Vault in Wayne, NJ on the weekend of May 18-20. What follows is a list of those players who have won spots on the district’s Select 16 (’96) and 17 (‘95) squads that will be heading to Rochester this summer. The Select 15 roster (‘97s) is not yet finalized, as that age group still has another round of evaluations in front of them.

Note: A * denotes a player who received a bye through the evaluation camp.

‘95s (Select 17):

Goalies (1):  Nicholas Bretzger (NJ Devils U16)

Defenseman (5): Connor Clifton (NJ Hitmen-EJHL), Connor Collier (NJ Devils U16) Anthony DeAngelo (Sarnia Sting-OHL)*, Nicholas Picinic (North Jersey Avalanche U16), Brian Singmaster (Philadelphia Revolution-Empire)

Forwards (7): John Baiocco (Delbarton), Zachary Diamantoni (Victory Honda U18), Ron Greco (Team Comcast U16), Alec Marsh (NJ Rockets-MET), Drew Melanson (Delbarton), Josh Melnick (Delbarton), Dwyer Tschantz (Team Comcast U18)

‘96s (Select 16):

Goalies (2): Chris Birdsall (North Jersey Avalanche U16), Drew Hotte (Philadelphia Little Flyers U16)

Defenseman (5): Trevor Heuser (NJ Titans U16), Kevin Kerr (Team Comcast U16), Ryan O’Connor (Shattuck-St. Mary’s U16), Alex Rocco (Philadelphia Jr. Flyers U16), Bobby Wurster (Choate)

Forwards (8): Kevin Darrar (Team Comcast U16), Robby Marsanico (NJ Hitmen-Empire), Michael Merulla (Team Comcast U16), John Piccinich (North Jersey Avalanche U16), Eric Shaw (Middlesex School), Anthony Siderio (Selects Hockey Academy U16), Paul Vella (NJ Devils U16), John Yenchak (Back Mountain HS)

Note: We encourage other districts to send in their lists of Festival players and we will do our best to get them posted. Thanks.


Fri. 6/1/12

Polesello’s New Home
5’7”, 160 lb. Indiana Ice (USHL) forward Robert Polesello, who decommitted from Boston University last week (see USHR News, 5/23/12), will be suiting up for the University of Vermont this fall.

Polesello, a 3/27/94 birthdate, originally committed to the Terriers in the summer of 2009, when he was 15. This past season in Indiana Polesello compiled a 15-16-31 scoring line in 58 games played. 

Besides the Catamounts, other schools involved with Polesello over the last week or so included Michigan State, Western Michigan, and Northeastern. A large number of other schools were interested but, lacking money for the upcoming season, hoped to put him off until ’13-14.

Polesello was also courted by the Kingston Frontenacs, who hold his OHL rights, but the Bolton, Ontario native is resolute about attending college – and right away.