USHR Book Review Section
ORR: My Story
Bobby Orr has never told his life story – until now. And in his autobiography, “ORR: My Story,” which will be released on Tuesday (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $27.95), there’s still a lot he holds back. And it’s something he makes no bones about -- it’s right there in the book’s introduction. While growing up, Orr writes, “we learned that you don’t throw someone under the bus.” And he doesn’t.
In his story, Orr keeps things positive, which works best when he is writing of his childhood and the town he helped put on the map -- Parry Sound, Ontario. It’s a small town a few hours north of Toronto, along the shore of Georgian Bay. It’s also the place where the daily routine of his childhood was pretty simple, leading the future star down to the shore as much as possible. “The only question,” he writes, “was whether the water would be frozen solid for hockey or open and flowing for fish.”
Orr, who was assisted in this project by writer Vern Stenlund, writes lovingly of the countless hours he spent playing hockey outdoors with his friends on the bay, a natural arena that today’s youth, constantly shuttled from one multi-sheet sportsplex to another, would find as alien as the North Pole.
“As long as we could play hockey, we were happy,” Orr writes, and describes heading out in the morning, stick in one hand and skates slung over his shoulder, his parents involvement amounting to nothing more than an admonishment to “be home before dark.” Sometimes, Orr recalls, he and his buddies would be so wrapped up in the game they would forget to eat, their toes would freeze, and they would indeed stay out until darkness started to descend. On any given day, Orr writes, you might have twenty kids out skating on the bay, which meant the games were played ten-on-ten. No one ever sat.
“This,” he writes, “was the way we learned to play the game,” adding that it forced him to learn how “to stickhandle through ten opponents.” Compared to that, Orr writes, a regulation game, in which he only had to skate through five opponents, “seemed easy.”
When Orr was eight – ten years before his NHL debut -- he was skating for a local house league squirt team, but after Christmas was given the opportunity to move up to the Parry Sound Shamrocks, the town’s first true “rep” team assembled at the squirt level. The team only had 12 players and needed, Orr writes, “to fill out the roster,” suggesting that if he had been from a bigger town, with a larger pool of players, his career might have turned out differently. The key was the Shamrocks’ coach, Royce Tennant, who figured his best bet was to give Orr a shift up front and then move him back to defense, not because his 60 pounds would be of much help clearing the crease, but simply because his young charge could skate and carry the puck. All those hours spent on Georgian Bay, trying to find the open ice between the thickets of legs and sticks, had given Orr an ability to dash to daylight with the puck on his stick and his head up. And if he made a mistake, well, he had the speed to get back fast enough to make amends.
Perhaps Tennant deserves his own statue outside the Boston Garden, because, as Orr writes, he was “allowing me to go back to that pond-hockey idea that calls on players to become creative, a quality far too lacking in the modern game.”
“I often wonder,” Orr adds “if any coach would let me play the game the way I wanted to play it if I were playing today.”
Orr goes on to write about other great coaches he had in his youth, like Bucko McDonald, who “never drilled the fun out of the game.” Instead, McDonald allowed his star pupil to follow his first instinct, which was basically “never get rid of the puck when you can control it. Hold on to it, and let the play open up in front of you.”
“Again,” emphasizes Orr, “it keeps coming back to those days on outdoor rinks or rivers or bays, where we simply skated and handled the puck for hours on end.”
Orr attributes his success in hockey and life to his parents, Arva and Doug Orr, a blue-collar couple who believed first and foremost in the importance of family. Orr says he received no special attention at home. If someone asked his mother how “her boy was doing” she’d reply “Which one? I have three.” From his father, Orr said he never felt any pressure to win, and received no hockey instruction, just positive reinforcement. Orr also says that, with his father, one thing was non-negotiable, and that was the importance of hard work. Whatever the children did, Orr says, their father was adamant that “we should put as much energy into it as possible.”
Orr tells a great story about one cold and rainy afternoon when he was ten and he and a buddy “found ourselves in possession of a pack of cigarettes” and decided to try their hand at smoking under the bridge. Before coughing their way through their first cigarette, Orr’s mother had received a phone call from a local shopkeeper who had seen them out a back window facing the river. Arva Orr proceeded to march down to the bridge. Orr was busted. Trapped. No open ice to skate to there.
Both parents insisted that Orr and his siblings learn the value of a day’s work. That meant summer employment for Orr (who first went to a summer hockey camp when he was 18 – as an instructor). Orr started out working as a bellboy at the Belvedere Hotel (Parry Sound’s population increased dramatically in the summer) even though he was too small to heft large bags and the floor polisher tended to yank him around the floor instead of the other way around. He also baled hay, worked at his uncle’s butcher shop, and picked dew worms for the summer fishermen. Even in the winter he’d work, helping out with custodial work at his elementary school during Christmas and Easter vacations.
When Orr was 14 it was clear that he was ready to leave home to play junior hockey in Oshawa. He was in the eighth grade, though, and his mom was firmly against any such move. However, Wren Blair, a Bruins area scout who also coached an Ontario minor pro team, the Kingston Frontenacs, the Boston Bruins Eastern Professional Hockey League affiliate, had seen Orr in the early spring of 1961 in a tournament in Gananoque, Ontario. Since this was just before Orr’s 13th birthday, Blair was unable to do anything contractually. However, over the next year, he made it a point to visit the Orr household -- often.
Getting a player signed in those days – remember that the NHL draft was still five years away – required nothing more than getting the player’s name on a piece of paper. An 18 year old could sign for himself, but players between 14-18 needed their parents to sign either an “A”, “B”, or “C” Form. The latter form was the one put before the most highly-skilled players as it committed that player to the team that signed him in perpetuity…at the team’s option, of course.
Since Orr wasn’t yet 14, neither he nor his parents could sign anything. The youngster was essentially a free agent. Orr writes that Blair was “like a dog with a bone, and no one was going to hone in on his prospect.” For a year and a half those visits to the Orrs never stopped. Once Blair, en route to a game with the Frontenacs, had the bus driver detour through Parry Sound just so he could stop in and say a quick hello to Orr, who at the moment was cleaning floors at the elementary school.
To spread additional goodwill, the Boston Bruins sponsored Parry Sound’s minor hockey league for three years -- at $1,000 a year. Not a bad investment, even allowing for inflation.
Finally, in March of 1962, Orr reached age 14, and his parents were able to sign the C Form. But Arva Orr was firm in her refusal to allow her son to leave home before finishing the eighth grade. A compromise was reached. Orr would leave Friday after school to play junior hockey for the Oshawa Generals Metro Jr. A team, but would have to be home in Parry Sound by Sunday night. Opponents, Orr writes, had no problem reminding the 125-pound defenseman to make sure he got home in time for eighth grade.
In his second year, Orr moved up to Oshawa’s Junior A team in the OHA (the precursor to today’s OHL), which meant moving away for good. Orr tells a story about one weekend when, with the Generals playing poorly, Blair, now the team’s GM, punished his players for their poor play by not being allowing them to leave Oshawa for home – even though no weekend games or practices were on the schedule. Orr, 15 years old and homesick, and another player two years older decided to just sneak out of town, hitchhiking home in the middle of the night. The next afternoon, a Saturday, Orr was happily home in Parry Sound watching his brother’s team play when he looked up and saw Blair, who was there scouting the game. Busted again!
Orr finished his final year of junior hockey in the spring of 1966. He was 18, and the Generals were in the Memorial Cup against the Edmonton Oil Kings, a best-of-seven series back then. Orr also had pulled a groin muscle, a matter of considerable concern to Boston Bruins GM Hap Emms who, wanting to protect his investment, told Doug Orr that his son would not be playing in the series, not with training camp a few months down the line. “I don’t know about that one, Mr. Emms,” Doug Orr said.
“My dad was right,” Orr writes. “There was no way I wasn’t going to suit up.” The Generals, however, lost in six.
In the fall of ’66, Orr was off to his first NHL training camp with the Boston Bruins, who trained then in London, Ontario. Orr says he had no idea if he would actually make the big club that first year, and perhaps on some teams veterans may have blocked the way, at least initially. But the Bruins were a lousy team then, and Orr returned to Boston with the club.
Here, less than halfway through, the book begins to turn a little flat. The Boston years – 1966-75 -- were a bit of a miracle, not only to long-suffering Boston fans, but also NHL fans, who had never seen a defenseman quite like Bobby Orr before. It’s almost as if the enormity of conveying exactly what all that felt like, looked like, and meant was more than Orr and Stenlund could wrap their heads around. Except for a few choice anecdotes, these chapters fail to convey how galvanizing a time it was for both the city and the NHL as the Big Bad Bruins, a gang of outsized characters, rocketed the game into a new era. Large swaths of the chapters covering the Boston years sound as if they could have been written by just cherry-picking the archives at the Boston Globe. Orr, long known for his reticence, was at the very center of this vortex, but at times comes across as emotionally detached, like it was all happening to someone else. And as for the partying and other hijinks those Bruins teams were up to…well, you’re not going to hear about it here.
In addition, there are curious omissions. In writing of training camp in the fall of 1970, just several months after the Bruins, with Harry Sinden behind the bench, won their first Stanley Cup in nearly three decades, Orr writes, “One person who was missing was Harry Sinden.” However, he gives no reason why Sinden, who was Orr’s coach for his first four NHL seasons, was not with the Bruins that fall. And thirty pages – and two years -- later, it’s the fall of ’72 and Orr mentions in passing that Sinden is back with the Bruins. That’s all. Again, no reason why he had left, where he had gone, or how he had come to reappear. While Sinden was a major character in the ascent of the Bruins, he’s a minor character in Orr’s book. (You might want to look to Wikipedia or other sources for the whole story, but in case you are wondering, Sinden and the Bruins management were not seeing eye to eye even as Sinden was leading the team to the Cup. However, after going into private business, he’d return a couple of years later as GM. As a side note, or a bit of trivia, Sinden was a player for that Kingston Frontenacs team whose bus showed up in Parry Sound, though that is not mentioned in the book).
Anyway, Sinden gets nary a mention in the book while, toward the end of the chapter on the Bruins’ golden years, Orr spends ten pages writing about getting to meet Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Ted Williams, and yes, Michael J. Fox. It’s not like he’s name-dropping, but as a reader you can’t help but wish the book could do a U-turn and go back to Parry Sound or Oshawa. Instead, we get a whole chapter on Don Cherry. Love him or hate him, there’s just not much about Don Cherry that the man himself hasn’t already told us.
Generally, Orr keeps his emotions in check, but when writing about his knees failing him, and the frustration of trying to play through the pain and rehabbing, you can sense the emotional toll it was all taking. The book hops back to life as Orr opens up about leaving Boston and how it only happened because Alan Eagleson, his agent and the man who betrayed him, never told him exactly what the Bruins offer to keep him in Boston was. Suffice to say, it was more generous, at least in the long run, than Chicago’s, as the Bruins were offering part ownership in the team, something that Eagleson had kept secret from Orr. When Paul Mooney, a Bruins executive, tried to tell Orr directly of the club’s offer, Orr, in thrall to Eagleson, wouldn’t listen.
At one point, everything just converged on Orr. His knees totally failed him in Chicago, while he was still in what should have been his prime. You can sense the despair Orr felt at the time, though he doesn’t dwell on it overmuch. And Orr doesn’t even have to throw Eagleson under the bus. The convicted felon managed to do that to himself quite well, thank you.
The remainder of the book deals primarily with Orr’s coming to grips with his life, pulling everything back together – he always had his family and friends behind him – and getting to the point where he is today, the point where he finally feels comfortable telling his story – in his way.
'99s at the East Coast Prep Cup
The East Coast Prep Cup, which took place over the past weekend, was spread out over six rinks: Cushing Academy, Lawrence Academy, Winchendon School, Groton School, Gardner Arena, and the Wallace Civic Center in Fitchburg. With tournaments so spread out, it’s often best to focus on one single age group, so here we did just that, continuing our work of the previous weekend and focusing on the ’99s which offered both a higher level of talent and a larger player pool here. The standout teams from the weekend were the PAL Jr. Islanders, the Middlesex Islanders, the Anaheim Jr. Ducks, and the Providence Capitals. PAL defeated Anaheim by a score of 5-1 in the finals. Among the top ‘99s were a couple of 2000 birth years playing up, specifically Jake Wise and Oliver Wahlstrom. Their lofty ranking are not due to their simply playing against older players. They are elite players in the U-14 division.
1. Jake Wise, F, 5-8/160 (Middlesex Islanders) ’00 -- A player we have written about over the past year continues to show he is deserving of the hype. Wise was the best player in the U-14 Division and would have no problem playing U-16. The 8th grader controls the play every shift he is on the ice. He is a very fast and technically strong skater who has a great set of hands that he uses to make some spectacular individual highlight reel goals. His name is one you will be hearing for years to come, as he is going to be a big time recruit for top Division 1 schools.
2. Tao Ishizuka, F, 5-3/115 (Providence Capitals) ’99 -- Was consistently noticeable all weekend. Ishizuka is a very good skater who really pressures defensemen on the forecheck. Has a quick release that is deadly accurate. Battles for loose pucks. A complete player.
3. Oliver Wahlstrom, F, 5-7/145 (Middlesex Islanders) ’00 -- Not as dominant as Wise, but that doesn’t take away from Wahlstrom being a very good player in his own right. Has a powerful stride that allows him to gain top speed in as little as three steps. When you mix his speed with his impressive skills with the puck, the only way for opponents to stop him was to either hook or trip him. Has the strength to battle through checks. Is going to be a good Division 1 college hockey player.
4. Connor Beatty, F, 5-7/130 (NH Avalanche) ’99 – A very quick player who is able to accelerate rapidly from a stand still position. Anticipates plays very well and finds open space to create scoring opportunities for himself. Beatty is not fancy and doesn’t have exceptional puck skills. He relies on his quickness to beat opposing players.
5. Kyle Miller, D, 5-8/150 (CT Wolf Pack) ’99 – A solid defenseman who makes plays with his feet. Good vision. Good shot. Not afraid to jump up in the offense and attack the net.
6. Josh Rameriz, F, 5-7/140 (Middlesex Islanders) ’00 – Has great speed and relies on it to generate offense – he just flies down the wall and blows past defensemen. Has a nice shot that he was able to score with just inside the blue line.
7. Dylan Kammer, F, (Anaheim Ducks) ’99 -- Very strong on his stick and wins battles in his own end. Has very good gap control for a player his age. Escapes well with pressure on him and gets the puck going north in a hurry. Reads plays well and jumps up into the rush creating odd man opportunities.
8. Marc McLaughlin, F, 5-9/155 (Providence Capitals) ’99- A forward who has a very good skill set. Hard shot with quick release. Had a tendency over the weekend to be a pass-first player, and distributed the puck nicely to his teammates.
9. Shane Conlon, G, 5-7/150 (RI Saints) ’99 -- A quick and agile goalie who is very good side to side. Recovers nicely on rebounds and has a high compete level. Is currently a 9th grader at St. George’s.
10. Mark Gallant, F, 5-4/115 (Middlesex Islanders) ’00 -- Can really snipe the puck with little time and space needed. Played more of a passing role when on the ice with Wise or Wahlstrom. When Gallant was not with that duo, he held onto the puck more and showed the ability to be a threat in his own right.
11. Matthew Fawcett, F, 5-0/95 (Providence Capitals) ’99 -- An undersized forward. If Fawcett was a couple inches taller he would be one the best players in the ’99 age group. He is gritty and tenacious in his pursuit of the puck. Always finds the puck on his stick. Fun to watch.
12. Ty Schafer, D, 5-5/138 (New Jersey Rockets) ’99 -- Plays forward on the power play. Controls the puck nicely on the half wall and always opens up toward the play. For one with such good offensive skills, Schafer is not very offensive when playing D.
13. Casey Rhodes, F, (Anaheim Ducks) ’99 -- Scored the GWG in a 1-0 win over the Wolf Pack as he showed great poise with the puck, cutting across, outwaiting the goalie, and then finishing the play off by roofing the puck just under the crossbar. Very good laterally with the puck. Buys time and space, finding his teammates coming late.
14. Mike Callahan, D, 5-9/145 (Providence Capitals) ’99 -- A solid defenseman who does everything well. The type of guy you love to have on your team as he jumps at the opportunity to block shots. Could be more physical.
15. Joseph Cipollone, F, 5-8/125 (Conn. Wolf Pack) ’99 -- Has a knack for finding the puck on his stick and making plays at top speed. Has quick hands. Sees the ice well and distributes the puck nicely.
16. Dante Vasconcellos, D, 6-0/200 (Middlesex Islanders) ’99 -- Tall, lanky defenseman has not yet adjusted to his body. Is able to recover when caught out of position due to his long stride and stick length. Is very physical in his own end. An interesting prospect to keep an eye on.
17. Peter Krekorian, F, (RI Hitmen) ’99 -- A very good skater who works hard and protects the puck well. Has a hard nose for the net to go along with a good shot and nice pair of hands. Created a lot of his team’s offense on his own.
18. Jeffery MacDonald, D, (East Coast Wizards) ’99 -- Very aggressive D. Has poise and ability with the puck along the blue line. Good positionally in his own end.
19. Brian Scoville, D, 6-1/172 (Providence Capitals) ’99 -- The Agawam, Massachusetts native is a good prospect. Has good feet and ability with the puck.
20. Zachary Pellegrino, F, 5-4/138 (Conn. Wolf Pack) ’99 -- Continued his strong play from last weekend’s College Cup Showcase. Was all over the ice this weekend. Nothing too flashy about his game, but his compete level makes up for it. Never quits on the play.
21. Curtis Wirbal, G, 6-1/147 (NH Avalanche) ’99 -- A standup goaltender who is very patient and outwaits shooters. Is not very agile in the crease but is sound positionally.
22. Steve Agriogianis, F, 5-8/145 (New Jersey Rockets) ’99 -- Set up his teammates with his impressive passing ability. Generates offense from the perimeter by finding the open man and making tape-to-tape passes. Needs to become more assertive when taking the puck to the net.
23. Ryan King, F, 5-9/150 (RI Saints) ’99 -- Has a good set of hands in tight areas. Uses his long reach to beat defenders. Really throws his weight around.
24. Mikey Boutossov, F, (Anaheim Ducks) ’99 -- Scored some nice goals using his ability with the puck and good hand-eye coordination. Can really finish anytime he’s near the net. Has a choppy stride that he needs to lengthen out.
25. Sam Milnes, F, 5-10/160 (RI Saints) ’99 -- A high-energy player who makes things happen by buzzing around the ice. Forces plays by constantly moving his feet. Needs to protect the puck better; sometimes he passes it blindly.
26. Max Torrez, F, (Anaheim Ducks) ’99 -- Has a slick pair of hands to go along with a quick release. A fierce competitor.
27. Ethan Destefani, F, 6-1/170 (Neponset River Rats) ’99 -- Tall forward whose weakness is his skating but his strength is his shot, which is a rocket. Is able to beat defenseman with his hands alone.
We also made it over to the Beantown Fall Classic over the weekend, and were able to get a good look at ’99 left-shot defenseman David Farrance, who is playing up with the Syracuse Nationals U16 team. Farrance, who is already 5’11 and 170 lbs., is an exceptional young player, with excellent skating and puck skills. His poise with the puck, for a 14-year-old, is remarkable. Farrance can skate with it, or hold it at the point while waiting for plays to open up. The native of Victor, NY has poise and confidence way beyond his years, as well as a strong sense of the flow of the game. He picks his spots really well. There were college recruiters in attendance at the game in which we saw him play. Let’s just say they were very impressed. Farrance is a player we will be hearing more and more about in the years to come.
East Coast Prep Cup Rosters & Schedule
The East Coast Prep Cup (U16, '99, '00) gets underway this afternoon with games at Cushing Academy, Lawrence Academy, the Winchendon School, and the Groton School.
All rosters and schedules can be found via the following links. All are Excel docs, and all the various teams and divisions can be accessed via the tabs at the bottom of each page.
Fall Beantown Classic Rosters & Schedule
The 2013 Fall Beantown Classic is underway now through Sunday at seven rinks in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
Below, we have two documents. The first is the full tournament program with rosters for all teams, driving directions to the rinks, and a schedule. (It’s a 57-page long Word doc.)
That is followed by the full schedule (an Excel doc). Note: If there are any discrepancies between the schedule in the program and the schedule in the Excel doc, choose the latter.
Program Book – Fall Beantown Classic
Schedule – Fall Beantown Classic
Top U16s at the College Cup
With so many teams spread out across multiple rinks in Connecticut, we at USHR were not able to catch everyone in the U16 Division at last weekend’s College Cup. Talented prospects such as Jake Ryczek, Donovan Ott, Konstantin Chernyuk – all players we have written about recently anyway --were at one rink or another, yet we either did not get to see them in a full game -- or at all. (Another noteworthy player, Rocky Mountain Roughriders Jared Resseguie, was out with an injury, though still made the trip with his teammates.)
Anyway, of the players and teams we did see in this division, here are ten that jumped out at us.
1. John Leonard, F, 5-10/165 (Springfield Rifles) ’98 – The recent UMass commit had another strong showing this weekend. Was the best player on the ice every shift of every game. Drives the net hard, has good vision, and can shoot the puck. Look for him to be an impact guy for the Minutemen a few years hence.
2. Adam Fox, D, 5-10/154 (LI Gulls) ’98 – The Harvard commit has the ability to awe the crowd with his superb skating ability. What can go unnoticed is the amount of minutes he logs on the back end, and the little plays that he creates to save himself energy.
3. John McDermott, F, 6-2/175 (Stamford Sharks) ’97 -- A power forward in the making, McDermott, a new student at Westminster, uses his size and reach to disrupt defensemen on the forecheck and create scoring chances at the other end. When he keeps his feet moving he is a force in all three zones. Likes having the puck on his stick, and is more than willing to set up his teammates for scoring chances.
4. Patrick Harper, F, 5-7/135 (Stamford Sharks) ’98 – The only ’98 birth year on a strong Sharks team, Harper lets his hands and vision speak for themselves. Scored a creative breakaway goal with a Patrick Kane-like stop move to open the scoring against the Gulls. Despite his size he wins his fair share of battles because of his IQ and understanding of body positioning. Will have a nice list of schools to choose from in the near future.
5. Brian King, F, 5-11/160 (Rocky Mountain) ’99 – This ’99 forward really made a splash this weekend playing up against some strong competition. Has the vision to make plays and the feet to match. An intriguing player to watch over the remainder of the season and into the summer months.
6. Ryan Dmowski, F, 5-10/165 (CT Wolfpack) ’97 – An electric offensive threat with the puck on his stick, Dmowski can shoot it with the best of them. Needs to keep a consistent compete level from shift to shift.
7. Cody Christofferson, G, 6-2/175 (Rocky Mountain) ’98 – A goalie who takes away a good portion of the net, and really challenges shooters by coming out of his crease to cut down angles. Was outstanding in a 1-1 tie against Stamford.
8. Chris Grando, F, 5-8/140 (LI Gulls) ’98 – A shifty forward who really bears down on defenders with the puck, and on the forecheck. Works well on the power play and looks to pull the defense out of position before dishing the puck off to an open teammate.
9. Jack Atterig, F, 5-7/160 (Rocky Mountain) ’97 – A small forward who seems to have an unlimited supply of energy. Is constantly disruptive on the forecheck, yet has the skill to create chances off turnovers.
10. Tyler Carangelo, F, 6-0/160 (CT Wolfpack) ’97 – A strong forward who plays well in all three zones. Has good vision and hands that allow him to pass the puck through small windows and create easy scoring chances for his linemates.
Top '99s at the College Cup
USHR traveled to Connecticut over the weekend to take in the U-14 Division of the College Cup. Most of the U-14 games were held at the Simsbury International Ice Center or on the campus of the Westminster School. The division featured eight teams from all over the Northeast, specifically the Connecticut Wolf Pack, the Connecticut Chiefs, Boston Advantage, Amherst (NY) Knights, Rochester Monarchs, Springfield Rifles, Vermont Glades, and the Westchester Express. The talent level, as you might expect in this age group, varied. Some teams were strong from top to bottom and other teams had just one or two players who were difference-makers. The two top teams, the Springfield Rifles and the Connecticut Wolf Pack, met in the final, with the Wolf Pack coming out on top, 7-3.
Our Top 15 Players:
1. Danny Petrick, D, 5-9/165 (Springfield Rifles) ‘99 -- Was like a man playing with boys over the weekend. An early bloomer who is already physically built, Petrick has the ability to control the game from the back end. A very good skater who is able to take the puck end-to-end, Petrick also is able to distribute the puck nicely on the PP. Mixes his offensive ability with a mean streak we love to see in a defenseman. Played for Cathedral last season as an 8th grader. Projects to be a good Division I player.
2. Riley Prattson, F, 5-7/160 (Springfield Rifles) ’99 -- The second-best player in the U-14 division behind his teammate, Petrick. Prattson is great with the puck and is a good skater who creates offense on his own. He’s very good moving laterally with the puck and is able to play through body contact keeping control of it. A very good prospect.
3. Joseph Cipollone, F, 5-8/125 (CT Wolf Pack) ’99 -- Just as fast with the puck as without it. Has a good set of hands that enables him to beat defenders one on one. Draws attention from defenders and distributes the puck with precision to his teammates. Cipollone always seem to have the puck on his stick and when he doesn’t he works like a dog to get it back.
4. Zachary Pellegrino, F, 5-4/138 (CT Wolf Pack) ’99 -- Small forward who has a great shot that allows him to beat goalies from outside the scoring area. For his size, Pellegrino does not possess explosive speed but is very strong on his skates. Won’t be able to tell what kind of player he will be until he’s finished growing.
5. Anthony Adamcheck, F, (Westchester Express) ’99 -- A player who could surprise people down the road, when they ask, “Was that really the same kid?” Adamcheck is on the heavy side now and has a lot of his “baby fat” to lose, but if he does Adamcheck will be an excellent hockey player. Has a high-end skill set and thinks the game better than his peers. His struggles now are simply the result of lack of foot speed, but that could work itself out over time.
6. Devin Tongue, F, 5-9/152 (Springfield Rifles) ’99 -- A pure goal scorer who has the ability to find the back of the net from any angle. Needs to round out his game on both sides of the puck to become an effective player as he moves up, but for now his offensive skills gain him notice.
7. Matt Demelis, F, (Boston Advantage) ‘99 – Demelis has a powerful stride and can control the puck. Made a couple of nice plays setting up teammates and also showed a lot of determination. Not a high-end skill player but a very good all-around player.
8. Hunter Chaisson, G, 5-10/165 (CT Chiefs) ’99 -- Chaisson is playing on a weak Connecticut Chiefs team and is peppered with shots game in and game out. Was very capable and gave his team a chance to stay in games. His rebound control and ability to stay square to shooters allowed him to stand out.
9. John Peloso, F, 5-6/140 (Springfield Rifles) ’99 -- Peloso can really fly. A good player who, through his speed, adds another dimension to his team’s offense.
10. Connor Dow, F, 6-0/190 (Green Mountain Glades) ‘99 – A big kid who is strong on his feet and doesn’t get knocked around easily. Has a good offensive touch with the puck in tight for a player his size and a hard shot. Dow has a very awkward stride that may be due to a recent growth spurt, but needs to improve it.
11. Corson Sundquist, F, 5-8/150 (CT Wolf Pack) ’99 -- A good complimentary player who does everything well, but nothing spectacular. Is good in the D-zone, and always works hard.
12. Mark O’Rourke, D, (Boston Advantage) ‘99 – Mobile defenseman quarterbacked the power play. His ability to get pucks through traffic generates instant offense for his team.
13. Jake Demers, F, 6-1/171(CT Chiefs) ’99 -- Showed flashes of skill with the puck. Has a good skating stride and really hides the release of his shot catching goalies off guard.
14. Quinn Doyle, F, (Rochester Monarchs) ‘99 – Plays a quick, up-tempo game and is very creative with the puck on his sick. Needs to improve his shot but his passes are hard, crisp and with a purpose.
15. Logan Stanislas, F, 6-0/165 (Green Mountain Glades) ‘99 -- Reads and anticipate plays well. Has a good skill set but also has a tendency to stay on the perimeter. Makes good passes with the puck but needs to get grittier to be a threat on his own.
It’s Miller Time
Denver assistant coach Steve Miller, one of the most highly-respected assistants in the college ranks, will be leaving the Pioneers in mid-January to become the head coach and general manager of the USHL’s expansion franchise in Madison, Wisconsin.
The unnamed team will begin play next fall.
“We interviewed dozens of qualified coaches, but Steve stood out amongst them all,” Madison co-owner Tom Garrity told reporters. “His resume speaks for itself and we were very impressed with his vision and plan for Madtown Hockey. He is a Wisconsin native who is very familiar with the USHL and knows what it takes to put a winning product onto the ice.”
A Sun Prairie, Wisc. native, Miller played for the Madison Capitols, a now-defunct USHL franchise, in the ’84-85 season, the team’s first. (The franchise folded after the ’94-95 season). Miller, a forward, went on to play his college hockey at St. Mary’s, where he was also an assistant coach for one year before George Gwozdecky hired him as an assistant at Miami in the fall of 1991. When Gwozecky was hired at Denver in 1994, he took Miller along with him. And when Gwozdecky was let go by the Pioneers after last season, his successor, Jim Montgomery, came on board -- and kept Miller.
When Miller, who is 48, leaves in January he will have been at Denver 19-plus years. He was a key to helping the Pioneers win back-to-back NCAA titles in 2004 and 2005. Denver has also posted 20 or more wins in each of the last 12 seasons.
“It is a bittersweet day for Pioneer Hockey,” Montgomery said. “We are happy that Steve is finally getting a well-deserved opportunity to be a head coach and run his own program, but saddened to be losing such a great person, coach, and recruiter. Steve is a huge part of the tremendous success here over the last 20 years and has recruited and developed not only great hockey players but student-athletes that represented Denver Hockey with class on and off the ice.”
Tier I Elite Showcase Review
Over Columbus Day weekend, the Tier 1 Elite Hockey League brought 40 teams from the U-18 and U-16 divisions to the Olympia Ice Center in West Springfield, Mass. This was the first-ever big showcase for the Olympia, a three-sheet facility, and we hope there are more. The weekend was heavily attended by every Division I program in New England and even some Division III schools. Most USHL teams were represented as the Tier 1 Elite league is a big feeder system for them. In addition, several prep coaches made the trip.
The hockey was fast-paced and showcased some of the premier midget teams in the country. As expected, the U-16 division had more to offer in terms of high-end skill and good competition from top to bottom. The two teams that really set themselves apart over the long weekend were the St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars, who battled on Sunday night, with St. Louis edging Dallas, 2-1. The U-18 division is much more watered down and the competition was much dispersed.
1. Max Gildon, D, 5/17/99 (#8/Dallas Stars) 6-2/155 --– You don’t find many 6’2” 14-year-olds with this kid’s poise. Gildon, the top prospect at the Showcase, is a good skater and a defensive defenseman who will also pick his spots to jump up and join the rush. Has a good mind for the game, and is impressive physically, being able to win battles in his own end and move opposing forwards off the puck. A can’t-miss prospect, Gildon reminds us a little of BC defenseman Steve Santini at the same age. And on Friday, Jerry York was at the Olympia to take a look at Gildon, along with his teammate Hank Crone, and probably others.
2. Luke Martin, D, 9/20/98 (#2/St. Louis Blues) 6-2/195 -- The top two players over the weekend both played on the back end. There is nothing flashy about Martin’s game, but he is sound defensively, and always in the right position. A very good skater for his size, he also exhibited poise and patience with the puck: there is no panic in his game. Will be able to eat up a lot of minutes, for whichever college he chooses.
3. Hank Crone, F, 2/19/98 (#67/Dallas Stars) 5-8/160 -- A dynamic forward who demands your attention when he is on the ice -- he’s really fun to watch. Crone has exceptional skill and is able to create offense in all situations. Has sensational playmaking skills and creates time and space for himself with his stickhandling abilities and hockey sense. Materializes out of nowhere – with the puck. A strong candidate for the NTDP. D-I schools are lining up for his services. Had a hat trick Friday vs. the Chicago Fury.
4. Timothy Gettinger, F, 4/14/98 (#26/Cleveland Barons) 6-5/205 -- At 6’5” there is plenty here to work with. Gettinger moves around the ice with a long stride and has good hands in tight for a player his size. Protects the puck well by utilizing his reach. Is physically involved, drives to the net, and finishes his hits, but with his high center of gravity he occasionally gets knocked around by players much smaller. If he adds strength and continues to develop, Gettinger could turn into a big-time player.
5. Ty Farmer, D, 1/28/98 (#56/St. Louis Blues) 5-9/175 -- Michigan State recruit is a high-end skilled defenseman who just oozes confidence with the puck. Being an offensive defenseman, Farmer doesn’t overcomplicate his game -- and if he does get into trouble has the skating ability to recover. Farmer shines on the PP with his playmaking and ability to get his shot on net through traffic. Could be the Spartans’ next Torey Krug.
6. Ryan Bednard, G, 3/31/97 (#37/Victory Honda) 6-3/180—Big kid is getting a ton of attention from D-I schools, and rightly so. He’s big, athletic, and fundamentally sound.
7. Bo Hanson, D, 11/13/97 (#4/Colorado Rampage) 6-2/185 -- The Red Deer Rebels (WHL) draft pick is a physically imposing defenseman who makes it tough for opposing forwards to create time and space. Hanson reads plays well and his skating ability allows him to cover a lot of ice.
8. Grant Cruikshank, F, 7/19/98 (#21/Milwaukee Admirals) 5-7/150 -- Off to a huge start this year for the Admirals -- in 9 games has a 10-11-21 line. Plays well with Jacob Nielsen -- the two really feed off one another. Cruikshank is a pure goal scorer -- he has a lightening quick release that really freezes goaltenders and is able to bury the puck at just about any angle. He can also skate, which is not surprising, given that he is the son of former Olympic speedskaters Bonnie Blair (five gold medals) and Dave Cruikshank.
9. Troy Terry, F, 9/10/97 (#19/Colorado Thunderbirds) 5-10/145 -- The Denver recruit made defensemen look silly with his exceptional stickhandling skill. Has the ability to beat goalies with an impressive backhand shot, which is rare today. Needs to add weight and strength. Arrives at Denver in the fall of 2016.
10. Joseph Cecconi, D, 5/23/97 (#3/Buffalo Jr. Sabres) 6-3/185 -- The big defenseman looked very good here. Skates well for his size and has impressive ability with the puck on his stick. Cecconi makes crisp passes and turns the puck north nicely. Makes good plays with the puck on the offensive blue line and adds another dimension to his team’s offense. Has the ability to run a power play from the blue line. A 5th round draft pick of the Green Bay Gamblers in 2013.
11. Trent Frederic, F, 2/11/98 (#7/St. Louis Blues) 6-2/180 -- Smart forward has a lot of upside in his game. Is very good in traffic and uses his big frame to keep defenders at bay. Has a powerful stride and good skill set.
12. Keegan Mantaro, D, 12/3/98 (#10/Colorado Thunderbirds) 5-9/160 – Highly mobile, strong-skating D man. Has an excellent stick, can skate with the puck, and make a pass.
13. Chris Conway, D, 12/30/98 (#10/Pittsburgh Penguins) 6-0/170 – He’s big, strong, and doesn’t look at all out of place, which is noteworthy considering he’s only 14 – and won’t be 15 until Dec. 30th.
14. Joseph Woll, G, 7/12/98 (#29/St. Louis Blues) 6-2/180 -- A big goaltender who fills up the net with his sound positioning and impressive skating ability inside the crease. Is able to find pucks through traffic and has very good rebound control.
15. Kailer Yamamoto, F, 9/1/98 (#17/L.A. Junior Kings) 5-6/135 -- Has a good skill set and is a strong skater who can gain separation with a powerful first step. Had a couple of breakaways in the games we watched – but he had a hard time finishing those opportunities. He’s the younger brother of Keanu Yamamoto (Spokane-WHL) and was himself drafted by Spokane, in the 5th round of this past spring’s bantam draft. He’s more suited to the college game.
16. Zach Solow, F, 11/6/98 (#77/St. Louis Blues) 5-9/180 – A sniper. Knows what to do when the puck is on his stick.
17. Paul Washe, F, 10/11/98 (#16/Victory Honda) 6-1/165 – Smooth skater, with really soft hands. His passes are right on the money. Needs to be a little tougher in the hard ice.
18. Cayden Primeau, G, 8/11/99 (#29/Team Comcast) 6-1/155 – Son of former NHLer Keith Primeau is a big kid who just turned 14 a couple months ago. Had a nice game vs. Cleveland Barons on Sunday. Plays with a lot of poise. Needs to add leg strength to improve his skating. Could really blossom this year.
19. Dalton Hunter, F, 9/26/97 (#18/Pittsburgh Elite) 6-1/160 -- A very complete player who is responsible at both ends of the ice. Showed flashes of high-end skill and always puts himself in the right spot to make a play. A solid D-I prospect who could play top six but is versatile enough in his game – and could also be a role player at the next level.
20. Julian Biondo, F, 4/23/97 (#24/Belle Tire) 5-10/160 -- The centerpiece of the best line at the showcase with John Sladic (#27) and Matt Colunga (#44), Biondo does everything well and plays in every situation. Made a couple of spectacular no-look passes and seems to always be able to find an open teammate. A player you love to have on your team -- gives a consistent effort and battles every shift.
21. Joshua Biasillo, F, 3/4/97 (#8/Buffalo Jr. Sabres) 5-11/175 -- Consistently noticeable all weekend. Used his speed to burn defensemen wide. Has versatility in his game and plays the point on the PP. Added leg strength will improve his skating ability, making him an even more effective player.
22. Jacob Nielsen, F, 2/21/98 (#15/Milwaukee Admirals) 5-11/170 – Shifty with good hands. Supports puck well. Good hockey IQ. A little inconsistent.
23. Zach Walker, F, 8/2/98 (#98/Colorado Thunderbirds) 6-1/175 -- A power forward in the making, Walker has elite skating ability. If he continues developing the other parts of his game he could have a very bright career.
24. Jack Leavy, G, 9/19/97 (#29/Oakland Grizzlies) 6-4/175 – Played Michigan high school hockey last winter (Brother Rice HS). Don’t know a lot about him except he’s tall and he can stop the puck. He shut out the Pittsburgh Penguins Sunday.
25. Matt Colunga, F, 8/11/97 (#44/Belle Tire) 5-11/165 -- Scored a highlight reel goal when he caught a pass in his skates and -- in stride -- kicked the puck to his stick; snapping a shot just below the crossbar. Colunga is very strong on his edges and has a nose for going into the dirty areas of the ice.
26. Ryan Keane, G, 3/15/98 (#1/Dallas Stars) 5-9/150 – Was terrific in 2-1 loss to powerful St. Louis Blues team on Sunday night.
27. Collin Peters, F, 2/5/97 (#3/Milwaukee Admirals) 5-11/160 – Has decent size and excellent acceleration. Had a strong game vs. LA Jr. Kings Sunday night (1g,1a). Lit it up last winter playing high school hockey for Sheboygan HS in Wisconsin. Selected by Muskegon in USHL Futures Draft.
28. Jeff Stack, D, 2/26/98 (#23/Kansas City Mavericks) 6-2/185 – Right shot D and former Cedar Rapids, Iowa high school player. A big, raw kid who provides his team some much-needed punch from the blue line. Good strong shot.
29. Grant Valentine, G, 1/30/97 (#36/Ohio Blue Jackets) 5-11/165 – Was very sharp in shutting out Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday.
30. Shawn Montgomery, F, 4/8/97 (#15/Boston Advantage) 5-9/135 -- Undersized forward has a magnet on his stick. Made smart plays and was able to find the back of net by using his hockey IQ and going to the right areas of the ice. His lack of size may keep him from becoming dynamic enough for the Div. I level, but he is definitely worth keeping an eye on.
31. Austin Rann, F, 3/25/97 (#97/Team Comcast) 5-10/145 -- Team’s leading scorer protects the puck and does a lot of things well. Needs to improve his skating in order to give himself a chance to move on to the next level.
32. Cameron Sangster, F, 2/2/97 (#12/Ohio Blue Jackets) 5-9/155 -- Not a pretty skater but is able to get the job done. Has good hands and is able to bury the puck when he is around the net. His lack of size limits his potential.
1. Bryan Sienerth, F, 1/31/96 (#17/Pittsburgh Elite) 5-10/200 -- Does everything well and never takes a shift off. Has a top-level skill set, makes impressive individual plays and also makes the players around him better. Was head and shoulders better than any other player in his division. A Miami-Ohio recruit.
2. Gordon Green, F, 2/24/97 (#10/Victory Honda) 5-8/155 -- The Miami-Ohio recruit was drafted in the 1st round by Dubuque in this past spring’s USHL Futures Draft. Green, who played for Compuware last year, is very creative with the puck on his stick and is great skating laterally while carrying the puck. A shifty player, he can score goals a hundred different ways.
3. Zach Osburn, D, 2/7/97 (#2/Victory Honda) 5-11-178 -- A meat-and-potatoes defenseman, Osburn plays a safe game in which he doesn’t add much to the offense but is strong in his own end. Very good at retrieving dump-ins and making smart passes. The Michigan State recruit will be a solid stay-at-home defenseman in Division I hockey. Was a first round pick of Indiana in the USHL Futures Draft.
4. Teddy Rotenberger, D, 1/1/96 (#16/TPH Thunder) 5-10/160 -- The Alabama-Huntsville recruit (Fall ’15) was impressive over the weekend. A smooth-skating defenseman, Rotenberger is sound positionally, controlling gaps very well. Uses his skating to create time and space for himself. Makes great outlet passes to forwards on the breakout.
5. Erik Udahl, F, 3/31/96 (#7/Boston Advantage) 5-9/175 -- Udahl was one of the best forwards in the U18 division this weekend. Had a spectacular game in a 3-2 overtime win over Victory Honda. Udahl carried the puck over the blue line and bought time and space for himself, finding a teammate coming late to tie the game in the third period. He followed that up by tipping in the game-winning goal on a shot from the point. The knock on Udahl has always been his size, but he may be a nice energy player for a team willing to take a chance. Played at Rivers before going to the Boston Advantage last year.
6. Alex Jasiek, F, 1/17/96 (#37/St. Louis Blues) 5-9/155 – Dartmouth recruit is small, but plays like a bulldog. Has excellent acceleration and is always around the puck. Quick release to his snap shot. Strong sense of the game.
7. Michael Sauer, F, 11/15/96 (#19/Cleveland Barons) 5-11/170 – Former Bemidji High forward reportedly signed a major junior contract with Tri-Cities (WHL) in August. For some reason he’s in Cleveland now. Sauer is shifty, hard-working, and gets open well. Really vocal – always wants the puck on his stick. Played left point on the PP.
8. Jeremy Wik, G, 1/4/96 (#33/Chicago Fury) 6-0/170 -- A fundamentally sound goalie who is always in the right position to make the save. Makes himself bigger by playing on top of his crease and challenging shooters. Is having an impressive start to the season.
9. Ben DiMaio, LD, 2/21/96 (#4/Boston Advantage) 6-2/176 -- Former BC High defenseman does the little things well. Supports fellow d-man. Reads rushes well. Has a very long reach and uses it well. Forces opponents to make decisions at the blue line. A Dartmouth recruit.
10. Bradley, Johnson, D, 1/23/96 (#13/St. Louis Blues) 5-9/170 -- Plays a smart game and is a calming presence on the back-end. A good D-I prospect who could play a bottom pair role and be a fixture in a lineup. Sioux City has his USHL rights.
11. Jared Domin, F, 3/3/97 (#8/Belle Tire) 5-10/177 -- A solid skater who can hold off defenders by using his strong edges and leg strength. Has good hands in tight and will bury it when he is anywhere near the net.
12. Jake Gingell, F, 2/11/97 (#5/Victory Honda) 6-0/173 -- Gingell is a strong defenseman who is able to knock opponents off the puck and physically dominates below the goal line. However, the Michigan Tech (fall ’15) recruit was also burned on a couple of occasions and needs to improve his foot speed in order to compete at the next level. Omaha has his USHL rights.
13. David Ovsjannikov, G, 2/16/97 (#30/Oakland Jr. Grizzlies) 6-5/210 – Native of Czech Republic signed major junior contract with Saginaw (OHL) last month. Stays square to the puck. Plays big – and is big.
14. Jason Kowalczyk, F, 6/3/96 (#18/Chicago Fury) 6-0/170 – Very smart player who is poised with the puck. Protects it well. Is strong on his skates. Played right side half wall on the power play. Des Moines pick in this past spring’s USHL draft.
15. Carson Kelley, F, 2/19/96 (#25/Dallas Stars) 5-9/180 -- Very elusive, which makes it very hard for opposing players to put a body on him. A sparkplug player who brings energy to a team. Has a quick set of hands and was able to create offense by himself. A fun player to watch.
16. William Harrison, F, 1/7/96 (#11/Cleveland Barons) 6-0/175 -- Gives a complete effort and is all over the ice. Has sleek hands and is very strong on the puck. His team’s leading scorer. Washington, DC native was with the Little Caps last season.
College Cup Rosters and Schedules
The East Coast College Cup is being held this coming weekend, Oct 18-20, at six rinks in Connecticut. There will be three divisions – U18, U16, and ‘99s – and a total of over 50 teams.
Below are direct links to Excel spreadsheets containing rosters for each age level – click on the tabs along the bottom – and all you need including rosters and schedules broken down by day, by division, and by rink. You will also find directions to each of the rinks (Yale, Choate, Wesleyan, Westminster, Cromwell, and Simsbury).
We also suggest checking the ECC Tournament’s website for any late schedule changes.
U18 National Rosters
U18 American Rosters
U16 National Rosters
U16 American Rosters
A Night to Remember Todd McGovern
A week from tonight (Thurs. 10/17), a benefit to support the Todd P. McGovern Memorial Fund will be held during a 6:30-10:00 pm cruise on Boston Harbor.
McGovern played hockey – and baseball – at Taft and Colby College (class of ’97). In 2004, just after turning 30 and returning from his honeymoon, he was diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer and given no more than 3-6 months to live.
Instead, McGovern lived eight more years. And he ran marathons. And he became the father to twin boys. And he founded a philanthropic organization that provided grants to cancer patients and their caregivers.
It’s really quite an inspiring story and, to get the entire picture, here is a link to an article about McGovern in a recent edition of the Colby Alumni Magazine.
Colby Alumni Magazine: Todd McGovern
This next link provides more information on the Night on the Harbor, which, by the way, is beautiful in October. The benefit, which includes an open bar, the cruise, dinner, and an auction, is being hosted by Groton School head hockey coach Bill Riley, who was a Colby teammate and roommate of McGovern’s. You can buy tickets online using this link. Also, if you are unable to attend but would like to make a donation in any amount to help support McGovern’s baby boys, you can do that as well.
A Night on the Harbor
Tier I Elite Showcase Schedule
The Tier I Elite League Showcase (U18, U16) gets underway tomorrow morning, Fri. Oct. 11, at the Olympia Ice Center, a three-sheet facility in West Springfield, Mass.
The tournament, which runs Friday-Sunday for the U18s, and Saturday-Monday for the U16s features some of the top programs in the country including Belle Tire, Victory Honda, St. Louis Blues, LA Jr. Kings, Colorado Thunderbirds, Columbus Blue Jackets, Team Comcast, Chicago Fury, and many more.
Here are the schedules:
Junior Bruins Shootout Reviewed
Sorry for the tardiness here. There were a lot of teams at this one – over 100, a bewildering amount. To attempt to have seen each would have been akin to going to a New England Patriots game and personally meeting every spectator in the stadium.
So we saw what we saw. Some teams and players we had seen at other showcases in the early weeks of this season. As much as possible, we have tried to avoid repeating ourselves.
The players below are not ranked. They are just randomly collected under their birth year, which stretches from ‘99s to ‘93s.
Cam Burke, F, Junior Bruins U16, 5-7/145 – The Boxborough, Mass. native -- and younger brother of Nobles’ ’97 F Cal Burke -- has great awareness of what’s going on around him, and makes hard, crisp passes. Never seems to pass up an opportunity to drive to the net hard, looking for rebounds.
Keith Petruzelli, G, Junior Bruins U16, 6-3/155 – We’ve written about him quite a bit. Big, poised, and athletic. The Springfield, Mass. native is an extremely hot property right now.
Cayden Primeau, G, Team Comcast U16, 6-1/155 – The son of long-time NHLer Keith Primeau is steady, challenges shooters, and takes away a good chunk of the net.
Matt Allen, F, Selects Academy American U16, 5-8/130 – We’ve already written about him a couple times, most recently at the Woodchuck, where he was playing with the U16 National team. Here he was playing with Selects’ American team. Whomever he plays for, he plays very well. Will be a top D-1 prospect in the years to come.
We have written about ‘98s Chad Krys and Cam Dineen a lot and they looked terrific here paired together on the NJ Rockets blue line. We have also covered the LI Gulls U16 team -- specifically, RD Adam Fox, LW Chris Grando, RW Dante Palecco, and LW Sam Sternschein. We haven’t covered center Jack Badini, who was really strong on the puck and just constantly around the net, and center Evan Wisocky, who we saw rip off a couple goals on terrific shots. Both played very well.
John DeRoche, F, Junior Bruins U16, 5-6/160 -- DeRoche is small but his excellent stick skills and sense of the game allow him to make some terrific plays. If he continues to develop and grow over the next couple years, DeRoche will be a very good D-I player.
Yanik Lemieux, RD, Rothesay Netherwood Riverhawks, 5-7/140 – Small, but a great skater with vision and hockey sense. Dictated the play when he was on the ice.
Andrew Neilson, LD, Rothesay Netherwood Riverhawks, 6-3/195 – A late 98’ of his size can’t be overlooked. Not a great skater, but he’s still only 14. Worth following.
Aaron Maguyon, F, Team Comcast U16, 5-8/180 – Puck-moving center was constantly setting up his teammates for quality scoring chances. Sees the ice well.
David Melaragni, LD, Team Comcast U16, 6-1/185 – The Northeastern commit is a steadying presence on the blueline. Makes a good first pass, and will be a player to keep an eye on in the coming years.
Jake Ryczek, RD, Selects Academy U16, 5-11/170 – A smart defenseman who understands when to stay at home, and when to join the rush. A great skater, Ryczek, who we wrote about at the Woodchuck, uses his feet to get the puck out of dangerous areas, and gain easy offensive zone entries.
Konstantin Chernyuk, LD, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights U16, 6-3/180 – A massive defensive defenseman – is this what Zdeno Chara looked like when he was 15? – who is learning how to get his feet under him and concentrate on making the simple play. Looked a little more poised than at the Woodchuck, though we did see him make a neat pass in the slot … right onto the stick of an opposing forward. Regardless, the St. Petersburg, Russia native is very intriguing.
Billy Carrabino, D, Boch Blazers U18, 6-2/195 -- Carrabino was impressive all weekend. Has a long powerful stride that allows him to recover from his (sometimes) bad reads. Has a nice release and is able to find seams with his passes. Will be playing at Nobles this winter and should draw a lot of Division 1 attention.
Daniel Haider, F, PAL Islanders U16, 5-9/155 -- An Alaskan who played for the Anchorage Aces U18s last year, Haider competes hard and has a head for the game. Reads plays well, good anticipation.
Hunter Burk, F, Hill Academy U16, 5-10/180 – One of the top forwards in his age bracket, Burk is very crafty with the puck, and has a high enough hockey IQ to position himself without it.
Joshua Gagne, RD, Hill Academy U16, 6-0/170 – A poised, puck-moving defenseman who likes to join the rush, Gagne is not only deadly on the power play, but controls the play in five on five situations as well. Played last year for Toronto Marlies Midget Minor team. Son of Wayne Gagne, who scored 89 points from the blueline as a senior at Western Michigan in the ‘80s – and was a runner-up to Tony Hrkac for the Hobey Baker Award.
Connor Rider, RD, Hill Academy U16, 6-4/195 – His size jumps out at you, but we felt his hands were quite good, too. Definitely worth following.
Erik Larsen, F, PEAC U16, 5-10/164 – The slender forward from Torontohas asilky set of hands, and is quite shifty with the puck on his stick. Was constantly drawing defenders out of position then dishing the puck off to his teammates.
Brandon O’Callahan, RD, Jersey Hitmen U16, 6-3/170 – A big defender with some offensive upside.
Sean Lloyd, F, Team Comcast U16, 6-2/180 – A sniper in the making, Lloyd has very good offensive skills. He shoots it in stride, but hides his release well.
Matthew Creamer, F, Selects Academy U16, 6-2/185 – We already wrote quite a bit about Creamer at the Woodchuck. Nothing to add, really. A pro-style power forward – he plays on the right side – Creamer lit it up at Hendricken the past couple of years. Has all the tools necessary to become a great college hockey player and will probably be committed somewhere soon. Pro scouts will be watching him next year.
Noah Robinson, F, Selects Academy U16, 6-1/185 – The Mississauga, Ontario native played for the Toronto Marlies Midget Minor squad last year. The puck seems to follow him around the rink. The Sudbury Wolves 6th round draft pick should draw plenty of college interest.
Connor Sundquist, F, Selects Academy U16, 6-0/165 – A highly-talented offensive center – he has Cornell recruit Donovan Ott on his wing -- who can really fly. Sundquist gets lost in his own zone at times, but he can work on that.
Corey Hoffman, F, Jersey Hitmen (USPHL), 5-9/164 -- The Cornell recruit put himself on the map this summer with a strong performance at the USA Select 17 Festival where he compiled a 6-4-10 line in 5 games. Split time last year between the Belle Tire U16 Midget team and the Odessa Jackalopes (NAHL). Being the youngest player on a deep and older Hitmen team, Hoffman won’t be a go-to guy – at least for a while. But he will get there.
James Winkler, F, Portland Jr. Pirates (USPHL), 6-3/185 -- Winkler led Berwick Academy in scoring last year as a junior, putting up 24 goals in 24 games. Has a long reach to go along with a powerful shot that he is able to get off quickly. A Northeastern recruit, he’s in his draft year.
Bryan Lemos, F, Junior Bruins (USPHL), 5-10/175 – An East Providence, RI native and Providence College recruit, Lemos is a playmaking center with quick hands who sees the ice really well and plays at a high tempo. Very aware. Knows where everyone is on the ice at all times.
Christian Mieke, LD, Philadelphia Flyers (USPHL), 6-0/165 – Offensive minded defenseman and Michigan recruit for either ’14 or ’15. Very mobile on the offensive blue line, with quick feet that enable him to get off the walls and into the middle of the ice for a better shooting angle.
Chandler Yakimowicz, F, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights U18, 6-3/190 – Looks like he wants to be the next Milan Lucic when he is on the ice. A true power forward, Yakimowicz is physically beyond his years, and simply punishes opponents. A prospect for June’s NHL Draft.
Chase Priskie, RD, Selects Academy U18, 6-0/185 -- Quinnipiac recruit is an offensive-minded defenseman, though he sometimes overcomplicates his game trying to make the flashy play instead of the simple one. That will be corrected with time. As for now, Priskie is fun to watch.
Anthony Siderio, F, Selects Academy U18, 5-10/175 -- Siderio can score from just about any angle. Has nice hands and is very effective 1-on-1. He lacks speed, so if he could work on picking up a half-step or so it will help him at the Div. I level.
Karl El-Mir, F, Selects Academy U18, 6-1/170- El-Mir has good skills, but what makes the Montreal native stand out is his smarts. He made some nice plays over the weekend. Committed to UConn last year, as did Siderio.
Beau Starrett, F, South Shore Kings (USPHL), 6-4/190 -- Starrett, who played last year at Catholic Memorial, is a tall forward who is strong on puck pursuits and was consistently noticeable. Had a pair of goals over the weekend, including the game-winner against the P.A.L Islanders. Is getting a lot of attention from both Div. I coaches and NHL scouts.
Nolan Vesey, F, South Shore Kings (USPHL), 6-1/195 -- Vesey has made a seamless transition from high school hockey at Austin Prep to juniors. The younger brother of Jimmy Vesey, Harvard sophomore and Nashville Predators prospect, Nolan leads the Kings in scoring so far this year with 4-1-5 in 6 games. Maine recruit.
Michael Laffin, F, Jersey Hitmen (USPHL), 5-11/175 -- Laffin, a left-shot center, has tremendous speed that he uses to create offense for both himself and his teammates. Opposing defenders have to respect his speed coming down the boards, which allow him time and space to make things happen. He’s tough, gritty and he battles in traffic. Very good in front. A good Division I prospect.
Brendan Robbins, F, Middlesex Islanders (USPHL), 6-1/180 -- Robbins is a fast skater with acceleration that allows him to pull away fast. First in on forecheck. A smart and honest forward who plays two-way hockey.
Eddie Ellis, F, Middlesex Islanders (USPHL), 6-2/205 -- Former Andover forward always had the big frame, but now the grit and skill is beginning to come out more, i.e. he’s using his strength to win puck battles. Was very effective. Harvard recruit.
Trevor Fidler, F, South Shore Kings (USPHL), 5-8/165 – The former Dexter forward is a ball of relentlessness. His feet are moving constantly, and he’s causing chaos in the corners and around the net. He tends to play on that fine line, balancing getting under the skin of opponents with staying out of the penalty box. Harvard recruit.
Connor Brassard, RD, South Shore Kings (USPHL), 6-2/190 – Chose to play juniors instead of returning to Cushing for his senior year. Had a good weekend, making great first passes out of his end, as well as making simple, heads-up plays in the neutral and offensive zones.
Casey Miller, F, Middlesex Islanders (USPHL), 5-9/165 -- The former KUA star is adapting to juniors, developing a more physical game that will allow him to be productive in Hockey East. UMass recruit has a good skill set and relies heavily on his speed and quickness.
Daniel Doherty, F, Middlesex Islanders (USPHL), 6-2/190 -- Doherty has really started out on fire for the Islanders this year as he is leading the team in scoring through the first few weekends with 3-5-8 line. A Belmont Hill grad, Doherty, playing on the left side, mixes good skill with a high compete level of compete. Is learning how to look for his linemates more. Will find a home in Division I sooner rather than later.
Connor Meike, LD, Philadelphia Flyers (USPHL), 6-4/200 -- Meike doesn’t complicate his game and makes crisp outlet passes that get the offense going north.
Chris Funkey, G, Jersey Hitmen (USPHL), 5-10/176 -- Funkey has been almost unbeatable so far this year. He is an athletic goalie that stays square to the puck and is able to control his rebounds. Funkey’s numbers over the weekend were impressive, compiling a .965 save percentage and only allowing 2 goals on 55 shots faced.
Ryan Begoon, LD, Connecticut Yankees (USPHL), 6-0/187 – Former Hotchkiss d-man made good first passes out of his zone. Very mobile, whether on the offensive blue line or jumping into the rusn at the right time. Left shot.
James Mazza, RD, Suffolk PAL (USPHL), 6-2/185 – Long Island native played at Youngstown (USHL) last year but is back on the Island. He’s raw, but a strong right-shot defenseman with some offensive upside.
Danny Lopez, F, Jersey Hitmen (USPHL), 6-3/207 – Big, strong RW with net-front presence. Has the hockey sense to be in the right spot for tips and screens, as well as being gritty, getting second/third chances.
Trevor Owens, LD, Jersey Hitmen (USPHL), 6-1/200 -- Was highly touted when he was younger playing in the USHL for Waterloo and Indiana Ice. Owens is physically ready to play college hockey and could hold his own. Could be a good pick up for some school looking to fill a slot.
Dominic Trento, F, Jersey Hitmen (USPHL), 6-0/185 -- Trento returns to the Hitmen after leading their championship team last year in scoring with 18-49-67 in 44 games. Trento, a left shot center, does it all for the Hitmen using his speed, vision and being good in tight areas to set up goals and finish himself. Slippery, uses head and shoulder fakes to throw off opponents. UMass recruit.
Tyler Whitney, F, PAL Jr. Islanders (USPHL), 5-10/170 -- The youngest Whitney brother is with the PAL Islanders this season after playing with the Middlesex Islanders last year. A RW, Whitney is the catalyst for PAL’s offense. He is strong on his skates, has good hands, and a great nose around the net.
John Furgele, RD, Jersey Hitmen (USPHL), 5-9/181 -- Undersized defenseman relies heavily on his quickness, vision, and his hockey sense. Needs to become a bit harder to play against in his own end. A UNH recruit.
John Jackson, F, Jersey Hitmen (USPHL), 5-11/178 – 20-year-old has spent recent seasons with the Valley Jr. Warriors. Good, strong, two-way forward protects the puck well, and has a good sense of the game.
Teddy McCarron, F, Middlesex Islanders (USPHL), 6-3/195 – Big 20-year-old center has size, and a great release to his shot.
Sean Lawrence, G, Junior Bruins (USPHL), 6-0/180 – Very underrated. There is nothing fancy about the Plano, Texas native. He just stops the puck.