U.S. Junior Selects Get Underway Tonight
The U.S. Junior Select Team, comprised of top USHL players, begins play tomorrow night (Tues. Nov. 5) when they face off against Russia at the World Junior A Challenge in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. Faceoff is at 7:00 pm EST.
The U.S. has won four of the last five tournaments.
Here is the U.S. roster:
Goalies (2): Chris Birdsall (late ‘96/Cedar Rapids); Cal Peterson (late ‘94/Waterloo).
Defensemen (7): Teemu Kivihalme (‘95/Fargo); Ryan Mantha (‘96/Sioux City); Neal Pionk (‘95/Sioux City); Clark Kuster (‘95/Cedar Rapids); Steven Johnson (‘94/Omaha); Josh Jacobs (‘96/Indiana); Jordan Gross (‘95/Green Bay).
Forwards (13): Nick Schmaltz (‘96/Green Bay); Marcel Godbout (‘96/Des Moines); Zeb Knutson (‘94/Sioux Falls); Connor Hurley (‘95/Muskegon); Austin Poganski (‘96/Tri-City); CJ Franklin (‘94/Sioux Falls); Matthew Weis (‘95/Green Bay); Kyle Connor (late ‘96/Youngstown); Dennis Kravchenko (‘94/Sioux Falls); Seamus Malone (‘96/Dubuque), Shane Eiserman (late ‘95/Dubuque); Andrew Oglevie (‘95/Cedar Rapids); Karson Kuhlman (late ‘95/Dubuque).
Head Coach: Derek Lalonde (GB head coach/GM)
Assistant Coaches: Anthony Noreen (Youngstown head coach/GM) and Mark Abalan (Sioux City asst. coach)
Green Bay, Dubuque, Cedar Rapids, and Sioux Falls each have three players on the squad. Sioux City has two. Des Moines, Fargo, Indiana, Muskegon, Omaha, Tri-City, Waterloo, and Youngstown have one apiece. Chicago and Lincoln have none.
The 22 players come from 10 states. Minnesota leads the way with eight, while Michigan supplied four. California and New Jersey send two apiece. Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri, South Dakota, and Wisconsin will each be represented by one player.
The U.S. played one exhibition game, edging Canada West, 4-3, in Digby, NS on Saturday night. Neal Pionk (pp), Karson Kuhlman, Kyle Connor (shg and eng) scored for the U.S., while Cal Peterson (5/4) and Chris Birdsall (21/19) each played 30 minutes apiece in net.
U.S. Schedule – all games at Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
Tues. Nov 5 – Russia
Wed. Nov. 6 – Canada East
Thurs. Nov. 7 – Quarterfinals
Fri. Nov. 8 – semifinals
Sat. Nov. 9 – 5th-place and 3rd place games
Sun. Nov. 10 – Championship Game
The Photo Project
As you may have noticed from USHR’s home page, we’re collecting archival hockey photos.
For schools, this is a great way to keep the past alive and impart a sense of tradition to future generations.
What we need is for coaches – or anyone who is interested – to dig about in the archives and find high-quality photos. We’re looking for photos you like, the stuff that jumps out at you – old arenas, great players and teams, unusual pictures. If you like it, others will too.
What we’ll do is pick the best of the best – from any era. We’re looking for high-resolution photos that really pop when displayed. That’s the main criteria, though the older the photo the less picky we’ll be.
We’re also looking for someone to volunteer on this project. This position requires a journalist’s willingness to write, make calls, and dig in public and private collections to find out what’s available. A good eye, a curator’s attention to detail, and organizational skills are all desired traits. If you’re interested, please write: cwarner (at) ushr.com
We’re determined to do this right, and we also plan to start an online photo gallery – a USHR Wayback Machine – once we have enough photos to stock it with.
In addition, we will also be continuing to look for high-quality photos of players from today. We need good action shots and close-ups. Please send us what you have along with the game date, players in the photo, and anything else that’s relevant. Please use the above email address or media (at) ushr.com
Top 40 From Midwest Prep League Showcase
The Midwest Prep Hockey League (MPHL) showcase tournament came to Cairns Arena in South Burlington, Vt. over the past weekend, with each of the league’s ten teams playing five games apiece.
The cream of the crop was St. Andrew’s College, now in their seventh year under head coach – and former Colby forward -- David Manning. The Saints went 5-0-0 and outscored opponents 34-6. That said, they faced the two weakest teams in the league and hit them both with a 10-spot. So that’s 20 goals right there. But they also had to battle in one game and did, edging Lake Forest Academy, 6-5.
St. Andrew’s has two Div. I recruits in senior forward Warren Foegele (UNH) and junior forward Adam Sinclair (Harvard), but they are also a very young team, with ten ‘97s on the roster. And a lot of them have skill, as Manning has been able to successfully tap into the Greater Toronto Hockey League. By next season, St. Andrew’s will have an $8 million state of the art arena, the La Brier Family Arena, on their campus in Aurora, Ont., a suburb north of downtown Toronto.
St. Andrew’s wasn’t the only team to go undefeated, as the Edge School (Calgary, Alb.) also went 5-0-0 and Stanstead College (Stanstead, Que.) finished at 4-0-1. Ridley College, at 3-1-1, and Lake Forest Academy, at 2-2-1, rounded out what, over the weekend, looked to be the top half of the league.
The games were good – of the 25 played, 11 were either decided by one goal or ended as a tie. And we found players we liked on all ten teams. Some teams more than others, certainly, but every team had at least one player that made them worth watching.
The league chose Burlington as a site for its showcase because of its New England location and proximity to college and junior recruiters, and NHL scouts. And there was a decent number on hand, particularly at Friday morning’s session.
The league is talking, informally at this point, about moving the tournament around, and possibly bringing it to the Boston area next fall. As for holding it in Burlington, about the only negative we could find was with the officiating. They really couldn’t keep up, and some of the calls were horrendous. The problem, quite simply, is that there are not enough quality refs in Vermont. To get quality officiating, they will either have to import officials – or move the tournament.
In ranking players – who cover ‘95s, ‘96s, ‘97s, and ‘98s – we used a hybrid system. Some players, particularly the older players were judged more heavily on what they did for their teams at the Showcase, while younger players were, as would be expected, judged more on their potential.
With no further ado, here it is.
MPHL Top 40:
1. Alex DeBrincat, RC, #27 Lake Forest Academy (12/18/97 – 10th gr.) 5-7/165 – UMass recruit for fall ’16 was electric every time he set foot on the ice. Has exceptional skill and does everything at high speed. Quarterbacks the power play – and everything goes through him. Very physical for his size; has Nate Gerbe-type sandpaper in his game. Dominates faceoffs, where he utilizes his quickness and hockey sense. With his vision and playmaking ability, DeBrincat, a Michigan native who played for Victory Honda U16 last season, makes players around him better. A Waterloo pick in this past spring’s USHL Futures Draft.
2. Warren Foegele, LW, #3 St. Andrew’s College (4/1/96 – 12th gr. ) 6-1/182 -- The player here with the most pro upside. The future UNH Wildcat is big, fast and competes hard. Plays an Ovechkin-style game. Has a powerful stride with good glide for a player his size; is hard to stop when he gets up a head of steam. Protects the puck well along the boards and has a nice set of hands in tight areas. Foegele, a Markham, Ont. native, is a capable playmaker but also a very dangerous scoring threat. A 2015 UNH recruit, and eligible for June’s NHL Draft.
3. David Jankowski, RC, #28 Stanstead College (5/25/97 – 11th gr. ) 5-11/143 – The younger brother of Mark Jankowski, the Providence College sophomore forward and Calgary Flames 1st round pick. It’s hard to predict whether David will end up as highly regarded as his oldest brother, but we’re sure that he is going to be a very good player in his own right. The younger Jankowski won’t wow you, as he’s one of those players you appreciate the more you watch. His greatest skill is his ability to read and anticipate plays. He is extremely good on the draw, has a lethal shot, and moves around the ice well. From Dundas, Ontario, right outside of Hamilton.
4. Zac Masson, LC, #16 St. Andrew’s College (2/2/96 – 12th gr. ) 6-0/191 -- Made up, along with Foegele and Justin Fregona, the best line here. Was a very good set-up man for Foegele. A good skater with a long reach which makes it hard for defenders to separate him from the puck. Hard on the forecheck and puck retrievals. Played last year for York-Simcoe midget minors. A late round pick in the OHL draft, by Peterborough.
5. Taro Hirose, LC, #17 Edge School (6/30/96 – 12th gr.) 5-10/145 -- A very skilled player -- the puck just follows him around the ice. Calgary native really thinks the game well. Competes hard and, although he has a small frame, is able to win puck battles. Can slow the play down or pick up the pace when the puck is on his stick. Very smooth.
6. Adam Sinclair, RC, #14 St. Andrew’s College (4/8/97 – 11th gr. ) 5-5/147 -- Sinclair is a very quick and shifty player. For his size he is not overly dynamic but makes decisions that continue plays. Very smart, and does the little things that help teams win. Did not play Sunday against Gilmour Academy due to a tweaked back. Should be back in the lineup this weekend. Committed to Harvard (fall ‘15).
7. Sean Cleary, G, #1 Lake Forest Academy (10/28/95 – 12th gr.) 6-2/180 -- A goalie with a big frame, Cleary is athletic and plays his position with poise. Was always at the top of his crease challenging shooters. A Mass native, Cleary played his freshman and sophomore years on Cape Cod, for Barnstable HS. His coach at Lake Forest is former NCAA and NHL goaltender Darrin Madeley, so he’s in the right place. Look for him to keep improving. Was listed last week as a “C” Prospect on NHL Central Scouting’s Players to Watch List.
8. Jeremy Descheneaux, LC, #15 Stanstead College (4/30/98 – 10th gr.) 6-1/176 -- The youngest player on a good Stanstead team, the native of Laval, Que. plays beyond his years. Very physical and can hold off much older players using his strength. Has good vision with the puck and can really rip it. Plays center and is reliable on the defensive side of the puck.
9. Justin Fregona, RW, #7 St. Andrew’s College (5/29/97 – 11th gr.) 5-6/150 -- Has a really powerful first step which allows him to be very effective. A quick player with sleek hands, Fregona makes decisions with the puck at a high speed. He was the playmaker on the line with Foegele and Masson. Played for the Marlies midget minor squad last year. Was a late round pick of the Soo Greyhounds in the OHL draft.
10. Tim Biddle, RD, #2 St. Francis HS (1/24/95 – 12th gr.) 6-1/200 -- A defenseman who is equally capable of making a play using his feet or his passing ability. Has great poise with the puck and is able to control the tempo of St. Francis’s offense. Not extremely physical, but uses his body well in his end. Won’t be a top pair defenseman at the next level, but will add depth and stability.
11. Frederic Foulem, G, #1 Stanstead College (7/15/97 – 10th gr. ) 6-1/161 -- Foulem doesn’t get challenged very often playing on one of the better teams here, but he’s positionally sound and doesn’t give up rebounds. A good skater in the crease. Only a sophomore. A 7th round pick of Acadie-Bathurst in May, but he’s an excellent student. Ivies are interested.
12. Chase Sriprajittichai, RW, #13 Gilmour Academy (8/21/98 – 10th gr.) 5-10/150 -- Although his team was not able to generate many goals over the weekend, Sriprajittichai, a Santa Barbara, California native, showed some offensive ability and was noticeable every time we watched him play. A young player who is strong on his stick and is able to find the seams.
13. Pete McDonagh, LC, #3 Shady Side Academy (11/16/95 – 12th gr. ) 6-0/178 -- There was no player here more valuable to his team than Pete McDonagh was to Shady Side. McDonagh kills off the majority of his team’s penalties and is on the first power play unit. McDonagh does not have the skill set to be a point producer at the Div. I level, but his tireless work ethic and ability to contribute in other ways could make him a valuable role player.
14. Vadim Vasjonkin, RW, #91 Lake Forest Academy (4/30/96 – 11th gr.) 6-2/195 -- A power forward in the making. Plays on a line with DeBrincat and uses his big body to open time and space for himself and his smaller linemates. Has a decent set of hands but beats opposing defenseman with his size and power. Needs to improve his skating in order to be really effective at the next level. An Estonian, he led his team in scoring at the Div. II U18 World Championships last spring.
15. Jeffrey Rose, LD, #27 Edge School (3/4/96 – 12th gr.) 6-1/170 -- Rose reads plays well and has the ability to make smart pinches down the boards. Has a quick release from the point that generates a lot of scoring chances. Has good hands and skates well with the puck. Effective on the PP as he always has his head up and is looking for the open man.
16. Cameron Judge, RD, #15 Lake Forest Academy (6/11/98 – 9th gr.) 5-6/130 -- Only a freshman, so he has a long way to go physically. Made his fair share of mistakes this weekend, but has the ability to recover. Not confident skating with the puck yet, but he makes good outlet passes, has great gap control, and plays one-on-ones with the poise of an older player.
17. Calvin Walker, RD, #4 St. Andrew’s College (1/21/97 – 11th gr.) 5-10/154 -- A mobile d-man with quick feet. Is able to escape trouble with the puck almost effortlessly. Distributes it well and can get a breakout going north in a hurry.
18. Cody Bean, RW, #22 Stanstead College (7/18/96 – 12th gr.) 5-7/168 -- Undersized forward who isn’t afraid to go to the dirty areas of the ice. Is shifty in traffic. A solid skater and strong on his edges. From North Hatley, Quebec, right on the Vermont border.
19. Matthew Graham, F, #10 St. Andrew’s College (8/1/95 – 12th grade) 6-0/182 – Strong power forward from Nova Scotia who drives the net, has a strong shot, can skate, and make a play. Dynamic enough to play Div. I, but needs a year in juniors. He’s feisty and keeps his legs moving. A USHL (Fargo) and Q draft pick. The captain of his team.
20. Nathan Sanderson, RD, #20 Stanstead College (5/26/97 – 11th gr. ) 6-3/222 -- May have had the hardest shot at the showcase. Is great at controlling rims along the boards and keeping the puck in the zone. Needs to improve his foot speed in order to continue being effective. Very physical. Had to sit out Saturday morning with a migraine. A native of Prince Edward Island, Sanderson may be playing for the Team Atlantic at the World Under-17 Challenge over New Year’s.
21. Trevor Bush, F/LD, #21 Ridley College (4/18/97 – 11th gr. ) 6-1/200 – Tall, lanky player has a nice long stride, and a long reach that enables him to win puck battles. Has a hard, accurate shot. Bush’s game would be well rounded out with a little bit more physical play. Has the ability to play both forward and defense. Played midget minor in Guelph, Ont. last year.
22. Matt Cousino, LD, #14 Rice Memorial (12/23/97 – 10th gr.) 6-0/157 -- The Burlington, VT native plays solid defense and uses his stick very well. Has limited offensive upside but keeps it simple with the puck and rarely gets beat. A hometown boy from Burlington, Vt., we last wrote about him a year and a half ago at the Yankee Conference tryouts.
23. Trent Fox, F, #16 Ridley College (7/16/97 – 11th gr.) 6-2/185 -- A player with tremendous offensive skill. Has hands that allow him to make defensemen look silly. Is very smooth and uses his size to protect the puck. Very inconsistent and takes many shifts off. A 5th round draft pick of the Erie Otters in the 2013 OHL Draft. Played midget minor in London, Ont. last year.
24. Ryan Nolan, LW, #14 Loyola Academy (7/14/98 – 10th grade) 5-11/175 – The most promising prospect on his team. A good skater who is skilled with the puck, Nolan also has a head for the game. Plus he’s a ’98 so he has time on his side. Played for CYA Bantams last year.
25. Joseph Visconti, LW, #97 Lake Forest Academy (4/10/97 – 11th gr.) 5-10/160 -- Plays the game the right way. Competes hard, wins puck battles and stops at the net. Has an awkward stride. Makes smart passes and is a good complementary player. From Markham, Ont.
26. Andrew Badour, F, #11 Ridley College (1/5/96 – 11th gr.) 5-6/170 -- Smaller forward who is very good on his edges and can be elusive with the puck on his stick. Does the little things that help his team win. Played for the Windsor Spitfires midget minor team last year.
27. Griffin James, LD, #13 St. Andrew’s College (5/23/97 – 11th grade) 6-2/191 – Big strong d-man out of York-Simcoe organization. Nothing flashy about his game but he’s tough enough to be a good shut-down d-man at the next level. A 10th round pick of Kingston in this past spring’s OHL draft.
28. Jake Stevens, RD, #4 Lake Forest Academy (12/6/96 – 11th gr.) 6-0/185 -- An offensive defenseman who adds another dimension to Lake Forest’s offense. Not afraid to jump up into the play. Scored a highlight reel goal, rushing the puck from behind his goal, weaving his way through opposing players, and finishing it off with a shot top shelf.
29. Max Hedges, RD, #5 Gilmour Academy (10/28/96 – 11th grade) 6-2/170 – Big Texan has a lot of tools and is learning to put them together. Makes poor decisions at times and forces plays. Needs to smooth out his stride. But he’s 6’2”, has offensive skills, and logs PP time. Given time he could become a player. Played for Dallas Alliance U16 last year.
30. Brett Nichol, G, #33 St. Andrew’s College (11/28/96 – 12th gr.) 6-0/172 -- Plays his angles well and steers rebounds away. Has a tendency to go down early and often. From Kingston, Ontario.
31. Josh Pajek, LD, #15 St. Francis HS (11/2/98 – 10th gr.) 5-7/140 -- A very young defenseman -- almost a ’99. Is fearless with the puck and controls it better than a lot of his much older teammates. Has a short stride that needs to be lengthened. Gets thrown around at times due to size and lack of strength. Once he fills out, he will be a player to keep an eye on.
32. Austin Cho, LD, #19 St. Andrew’s College (5/19/97 – 11th grade) 6-0/175 – Good Div. I prospect. Skates well and has size and decent hands. Scored on a nice one-timer. Not quite skilled enough to be an offensive defenseman at the Div. I level, and not really rugged enough to be a stay-at-home guy. However, he has time enough to become a decent hybrid of the two. Was Sault Ste. Marie’s 12th round pick in the 2013 OHL draft.
33. Nicholas Bolino, G, #35 Loyola Academy (6/4/98 – 10th gr. ) 6-3/160 -- Very unorthodox style, but he stopped a lot of pucks over the weekend. Made some spectacular saves that he had no business stopping. But, at the same time, he allowed the occasional one past him that he might have been able to stop if he had been playing his angles better.
34. Austin Holmes, F, #15 Edge School (3/9/96 -- 12th grade) 5-11/168 – Very good hands, dangerous down low. Excellent on the PP.
35. Nate Chase, LW, #24 Lake Forest Academy (9/3/95 – 12th grade) 5-8/150 – Terrific NESCAC prospect. He and Alex DeBrincat really had it going. Small, good feet, smart, and aware. Good puck skills, quick but not fast.
36. Patrick MacDonald, F, #9 Ridley College (10/14/97 -- 11th grade) 5-10/165 – Fast, shifty, and plays with a lot of heart. Scored a great OT game winner – crossbar down -- Saturday morning vs. Shady Side.
37. Zack Matecki, LD, #22 St. Francis HS (10/3/97 – 11th grade) 5-9/160 – Undersized defenseman comes alive when the puck is on his stick in the offensive zone. Has a good stick and quick feet. Competes hard. Played for Buffalo Regals U16 last year.
38.Joe Sriprajittichai, RD, #17 Gilmour Academy (5/29/96 – 12th grade) 6-0/180 – Playmaking defenseman with good hands and good vision. Skates well with the puck. Has good size, but could add more strength. From Santa Barbara, California and the LA Kings U16.
39. James Zanca, LD, #4 Stanstead College (5/4/96 – 11th grade) 6-0/181 – Camden, Maine native has good hands, sees the ice well, and makes a good first pass. Plays a smart, simple game, skates well, and has size.
40.Marc-Antoine Desgagnes, LD, #24 Stanstead College (7/2/96 – 12th grade) 6-2/181 -- Mobile defenseman out of College Charles-Lemoy has good hands, size, and a mean streak.
NHL Central Scouting's November List
NHL Central Scouting released its November Players to Watch List yesterday. Please click the link below to read it. It's a PDF document and, in case you are thinking of printing it out, it's 25 pages long.
The traditional mid-season rankings -- done numerically as opposed to A,B, and C -- will be released in January.
The 2014 NHL Draft will be held June 27-28 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
NHL Central Scouting November 2013 Players to Watch List
The Road to Nationals
This past weekend, we were running around a bit – perhaps too much – but we made it to the Mass District (at the New England Sports Center and Iorio Arena) and the New England District (@ the Berkshire School) and the Fall New England Prep All-Star game, too.
At the NESC, we caught the Sunday morning semifinal featuring the Cape Cod Whalers vs. the Springfield Rifles U-18 team. The Whalers went up 2-0 early, but the Rifles managed to storm back tying the game 2-2 going into the third. However, the Whalers scored five unanswered goals to win it going away.
For us, the player of the game for us was St. Sebastian’s 5’9”, 165 lb. senior forward Corey Ronan, who notched a pair of goals and created offense every time he set foot on the ice. The UConn (’14) recruit really flies and has a low skating base that allows him to be strong on his edges. He’s shifty in traffic and always has the puck in a shooting position. Look for the hard-working late ’95 from Franklin, Mass. to have a big senior year for the Arrows. By the way, an interesting side story to Ronan’s committing recently to UConn is that his dad, Ed, a hard-working type like his son, played at North Andover High School with UConn coach Mike Cavanaugh back in the ‘80s. Ronan senior took a PG year at Phillips Andover, was drafted in the 11th round in 1987, went on to BU as a walk-on, and then reached the NHL with the Montreal Canadiens, winning a Stanley Cup in ’93. That North Andover High School team of ’85-86 featured Steve Heinze (who went on to Lawrence Academy, BC, the US Olympic Team, and the NHL) in addition to Cavanaugh (Bowdoin football and hockey) and Ronan. The team was coached by former BC goalie and recently retired assistant coach Jim Logue. But we digress.
6’0”, 175 lb. forward Erik Foley, a Providence recruit, was a close second behind Ronan for our impact player of the game. The Mansfield. Mass. native made things happen with his speed, often blowing right by defenders. Foley also has a lethal shot, doesn’t shy away from contact, and can create his own space on the ice through his physicality. A ’97 who is only a sophomore at Tabor, Foley projects to be an impact player for the Friars when he arrives there in the fall of ’16.
5’10”, 180 lb. Nobles senior left-shot defenseman JC Brassard was playing his usual solid game. The late ’95 from Scituate, still uncommitted, is good with the puck and really creates offense from the blue line by getting shots to the net and keeping his head up. Scored the second goalie of the game by sniping a shot top corner from the top of the faceoff circle.
Note: Forward Ryan Donato was not with the Cape Cod Whalers U18s, as he was skating with the U.S. Under-18 Team – they finished in second place -- at the Four Nations Tournament in Turku, Finland.
As for the Rifles, 6’0”, 180 lb. forward Max Willman was impressive, the catalyst for his team’s offense. He has good speed and just chips the puck and goes. He’s dangerous in open space and is going to give opposing prep teams nightmares this winter. He battles around the net and is willing to get his nose dirty. A ’95 who graduated from Barnstable (Mass.) High School this past spring, he will be a PG at Williston-Northampton. The Brown commit (for next fall) really put himself on the map over the summer.
5’11”, 180 lb. forward DJ Petruzzelli also played well. After Willman, the ’97 birthdate was the most consistent and noticeable player for the Rifles. Petruzzelli, who plays for Springfield Cathedral, has a nice pair of hands and a very hard shot. He’s the older brother of 6’3” standout ’99 goalie Keith Petruzzelli of the Junior Bruins U16 Team. Don’t be surprised to see the two playing college hockey together someday.
At Berkshire, a handful of U18 players jumped out at us. Let’s start with tournament champions (at both U16 and U18 levels) Selects Academy.
5’10”, 165 lb. forward Austin Mcllmurray – The Coral Springs, Florida native was the best player on the best U18 team here. A ’96, he absolutely flies with the puck on his stick. Is very good with the puck and can beat defenders in tight areas. Has a great release and can really place a shot. Defenders couldn’t contain him, as he has too many tools. A good D-I prospect.
6’0”, 185 lb. RD Chase Priskie – The Quinnipiac (’15) recruit is very confident with the puck and not afraid to jump up into the rush. A ’96 from Pembroke Pines, Florida, Priskie scored one goal by starting deep in his end and skating it out, crossing the blue line and, in stride, ripping a wrist shot just under the crossbar. He’s a decent skater, but is very physical, and really makes players pay below the goal line.
6’1”, 170 lb. forward Karl El-Mir – The Montreal native, a UConn ’15 recruit, was OK. A ’96, he has a long reach and protects the puck well from defenders. Generated offense with his hands.
There were a couple of players we thought stood out on the Wolfpack, who would lose to Mid-Fairfield in the semis on the following day:
6’0”, 165 lb. LD Mike Lee -- The future Vermont Catamount (’15 or ’16) has high-end offensive skill on the back end, but was careless with the puck at times and sloppy defensively. Will need to clean up his defensive abilities in order to be an impact player in Hockey East. But he has the hands and skills with the puck to be a point-producing defenseman. A ’96, he’s a junior at Gunnery.
5’11”, 175 lb. forward Alex Esposito – Has some skill and uses his speed to create offense for his team. Thinks the game well and battles hard along the walls. We don’t feel he will be a big-time recruit but we do believe he will end up playing D-I hockey if he keeps working at his game. A ‘96 from West Haven, Conn., he’s a junior at Loomis-Chaffee.
One player really stood out for us on Mid-Fairfield: 6’3”, 195 lb. RD Will Brophy. A junior at Westminster, Brophy plays a simple game. He makes the right plays and has the ability to make accurate passes. He consistently shut down opposing players and didn’t get beat. A ’96, he’s from Fairfield, Conn. A solid D-I prospect.
We’ve covered the U16s a lot lately, so didn’t devote much time to them over the weekend. However, we did catch parts of the Mass. semis at the New England Sports Center Sunday morning, though not enough of either to offer particularly strong opinions. However, the Valley Junior Warriors topped the Cape Cod Whalers, 5-2 behind a hat trick from 5’10”, 170 lb. defenseman Zach Mirageas, a junior at Governor’s Academy, and a three point (1g,2a) performance from 5’10”, 165 lb. Cushing Academy new sophomore Bailey Conger. Over at the other rink, the Boston Junior Bruins U16 (USPHL) squad nipped the Neponset Valley River Rats 4-3 in overtime, the winning goal coming off the stick of speedy 5’6”, 150 lb. center Johnny DeRoche, a ’98 who is committed to Quinnipiac for the fall of ’16 or ’17. ’99 Keith Petruzzelli picked up the win in net. We thought 5’11”, 145 lb. Ryan Ferland did a good job in goal for the River Rats. A ’98 from Franklin, Mass., Ferland was the #1 goalie at St. Mark’s as a freshman last year and it looks like St. Mark’s head coach Scott Young will be able to count on him even more as a sophomore. 5’8”, 135 lb. Nobles forward Mike Fahie, a sophomore from Pembroke, Mass. who played at Xaverian last year, showed quickness to the puck and a good stick.
Earlier Sunday morning, this typist stopped in at Iorio Arena in Walpole for the U-14 semis, which were both close, tight games. In one, the Valley Junior Warriors edged the South Shore Kings, 2-1, and in the other the Junior Terriers edged the East Coast Wizards by the same score. The Terriers win was continuously interrupted – whistles, injuries, long discussions with the officials, etc. – so it was hard to get a feel for the game. 5’10”, 160 lb. Dexter ninth grader Sean Keohan intrigued us and was part of the reason it was such a low-scoring game, to say nothing of the work of 6’0”, 165 lb. goaltender Alex Zafonte, a 9th grader from Concord, Mass. who attends St. Sebastian’s. The East Coast Wizards had a constant offensive threat in 5’4”, 125 lb. Woburn HS 9th grader Justin Alves, who showed smarts, a quick stick, and was always around the puck. Towering over all was 6’5”, 160 lb. Belmont Hill 8th grader John Copeland, the son of former Belmont Hill and University of Michigan defenseman Todd Copeland. We understand bloodlines, but 6’5” in the eighth grade? In net, 5’10”, 150 lb. Cam McKennitt, a 9th grader at Concord-Carlisle, did a good job.
In the Valley Jr. Warriors 2-1 win over the South Shore Kings, Scott Murphy, a 9th grade goalie from Billerica and Arlington Catholic, was excellent in picking up the win. We also liked Phillips Andover 9th grade d-man Michael McGreal – very mobile, with a good head for the game. Overall, we thought the SS Kings had more elite level talent. 5’9”, 155 lb. LD Jack Rathbone, the son of former BC forward Jason Rathbone and a 9th grader at Dexter, was outstanding. His poise and hockey sense belied his age. 5’8” d-man Max Hennessey, a 9th grader at Boston Latin, played well too – highly mobile with a quick stick. 6’1”, 160 lb. Belmont Hill 8th grader Michael Reilly, a big power forward type, has definite potential. Teddy Wooding, am 8th grader at the Sage School and a native of Wrentham, showed a strong shot and a willingness to take it to the net. As for the net, the South Shore Kings goalie, 5’10”, 165 lb. Jimmy Scannell, was the second St. Sebastian’s goalie in the morning’s semis. Scannell is an 8th grader from Medfield, and between him and Zafonte, St. Seb’s head coach Sean McCann should be well situated as far as goalies are concerned over at the Henry T. Lane Rink in Needham. Perhaps the Arrows might once again have a trio like they did in ’96-97 when they had three goalies on the roster who went on to play D-I hockey. In case that was before your time, those three were Tim Kelleher (BC), Mike Morrison (Maine and the NHL), and Rick DiPietro (BU and the NHL). DiPietro, the youngest, played the least.
Here are all the scores from Sunday’s finals.
New England District:
U16: Selects Academy 2, Conn. Wolfpack 1 (OT)
U18: Selects Academy 2, Mid-Fairfield 0
U14: Boston Jr. Terriers 3, Valley Jr. Warriors 0
U16: Valley Jr. Warriors 5, Junior Bruins U16 (USPHL) 0
U18: Boch Blazers 6, Cape Cod Whalers 2
Tier II in Massachusetts:
U14: Boston Jr. Eagles 4, Dual State River Hawks 0
U16: South Boston Shamrocks 3, Greater Boston Vipers 2
U18: Weymouth Wildcats 6, Islanders Hockey Club 2
-- The Tier I National Championships will be held in Green Bay, Wisconsin April 2-6, 2014. The Tier II National Championship will be held in Reston, Virginia April 2-6, 2014. Good luck to all who made it and for those who didn’t, there’s always next year. And, in case you were wondering about next year, the 2015 National Tier I National Championship will be held in San Jose, California March 26-30, 2015.
Austin Prep junior goaltender Elijah Harris has been pretty busy this month. On the weekend of Nov. 1-3, he was in New Hope, Minn. with the Mass. High School All-Stars, competing in the CCM International Invitational put on every year by the Upper Midwest High School Elite League. The Mass. High School contingent was totally out of their league, getting outshot 59-17 in their first game vs. Minnesota White and losing on the scoreboard, 9-4. Harris made 50 saves, though, many of the spectacular variety.
Then, this past weekend, Harris did double duty, playing a 2:20 pm Fall Prep All-Star game in Salem, NH – he played the first half, allowing two goals – and then hustling down to join his Valley Jr. Warriors teammates in Marlborough for the 6:00 pm U16 championship game, in which he shut out the Junior Bruins U16s. The Valley Jr. Warriors next game will be in April, at Nationals in Green Bay.
The Fall Prep All-Star game in Salem, NH was a disappointment due to the fact that the team Connecticut sent was not representative of the best the Nutmeg state has to offer – not even remotely close. If the U19 game had gone on much longer it would have turned into a rout. The ADs -- all over New England -- must get together with the prep coaches and come up with something workable. Why would college coaches go to the game in Salem, NH when they can watch, for example, Selects Academy’s U16 and U18 teams, or the Wolfpack, Mid-Fairfield et al competing for a chance to go to Nationals? The question is a rhetorical one. The college coaches did not show up.
Eggleston, Martin, Prior to be Honored
The 19th Annual Massachusetts Hockey Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony will take place tomorrow night, Wed. Nov. 13th, at the Montvale Plaza in Stoneham.
The inductees are:
Bobby Orr – Orr, who needs no introduction, will be unable to attend due to business commitments.
Joe Riley – A Medford High phenom who starred at Dartmouth in the ‘40s along with his brothers Jack and Bill. In his two years at Dartmouth -- he transferred in from the University of Illinois, after also serving in WWII – the Big Green (then referred to as the Indians) reached the NCAA title game in both of his years in Hanover. In 1948, the first year of the NCAA tournament, Joe was named MVP even though his team bowed to Michigan in the final. (Riley had wowed fans with a four goal, one assist performance in a semifinal win over host Colorado College.) As a senior, Riley was back at the Broadmoor, and this time Dartmouth was edged by BC in the title game. Riley went on to study law. He died in 1976 at the age of 52.
Ken Martin – Martin needs no introduction to readers of the US Hockey Report. In 39 years behind the Belmont Hill bench Martin won 707 games – the most in Massachusetts history. Martin, a swift skater, starred at Belmont Hill (’65) and Bowdoin (’69), where he was captain as a senior – and ECAC MVP.
Jim Prior – Anyone who has spent any time in Greater Boston rinks knows the voice of Jim Prior just as surely as long-time Red Sox fans know the voice of Sherm Feller. Prior, who intones “Let’s play hockey” at the opening faceoff, is perhaps best known as the public address voice of BU hockey and the EJHL, but he’s also behind the mike at plenty of other rinks, at many levels.
Gary Eggleston – Eggleston, who retired in 2012 after 31 seasons with NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau, is a walking encyclopedia of every significant New England player. The possessor of a keen analytical mind and a great eye, he’s missed around the rinks of New England.
In the Boston Globe of Sun. Nov. 3rd, Fluto Shinzawa wrote an excellent piece on Eggleston, which can be found here:
Boston Globe Hockey Notes, 11/3/13
Dale Wise – A pioneer of sled hockey in Massachusetts.
Marion Sturdevant – Was a 30-year volunteer with Brockton youth hockey, serving as director and secretary.
Carol Champagne – Longtime administrator with Mass hockey.
Note -- There are still tickets available and they can be bought at the door. More info can be found here:
Hall of Fame Info Sheet from Mass Hockey
Bauer Invitational U16s Ranked
As promised, here is our review of the U-16 division at the Bauer Invitational in Chicago last weekend. Just as the Chicago Mission dominated the ’99 division, Detroit Honeybaked owned the U-16 Division – and beat the Chicago Mission 4-0 in the final to put an exclamation point on things. Between the Bauer Invitational and the Tier 1 Elite Showcase in October, we have covered most, if not all, of the top U-16 teams in the country. As for our rankings in Chicago, Patrick Khodorenko is our #1 ranked player, but we feel there was very little separation amongst our top 3: Khodorenko, Tarek Baker, and Adam Fox. Each could easily have been numero uno. The U-16 division in Chicago was watched by a fair number of Division I schools, but the biggest scouting presence in Chicago came from major junior and USHL programs. Of the 32 teams in the U-16 Supreme Division, we saw 28. The ones we missed were the Connecticut Oilers, the Pittsburgh Selects, the Westchester Express, and Team Illinois. That said, here is our...
1. Patrick Khodorenko (#13/Honeybaked) F -- Playing on the tournament champions, Khodorenko was the best forward on this special team. When Khodorenko has the puck there is no one in his age group who is going to be able to take it away from him. Khodorenko is not a fast skater, but he can get where he needs to be and uses his big frame to protect the puck and separate himself from defenders. Has great vision and is a special playmaker. Equally dangerous as a shooter. Should be a special college player.
2. Tarek Baker (#9/Omaha AAA) F – A University of Minnesota recruit, Baker is going to be a very good player for the Gophers when he arrives on campus. He’s a terrific player who protects the puck, has very good playmaking ability, and when he is near the net makes no mistakes – he buries it. Won Gold this summer with Team USA at the Five Nations Tournament. Was drafted by the Saginaw Spirit in the 7th round of the OHL Priority Draft.
3. Adam Fox (#18/LI Gulls) D -- The Harvard recruit is one of the elite ’98 defensemen in the country. Has impressive offensive skills. Terrific skater. Very smooth with the puck and hard to contain from the blue line. A strong candidate for the NTDP.
4. Grant Cruikshank (#21/Milwaukee Admirals) F -- We wrote about Cruikshank last month when the Tier 1 Elite League came to Western Massachusetts. Well, Cruikshank continues to impress and is putting up points at an incredible pace, currently leading his league with a 10-15-25 line in only 12 games. Cruikshank possesses a shot that will always allow him to score – and he was really flying over the weekend. We feel he is making a strong case to be considered for the NTDP Top 40 Camp.
5. Dylan St. Cyr (#7/Honeybaked) G – The tournament MVP. You have to respect a goaltender who chooses to wear number 7. We would like to know the story behind that one. Playing on a very good team, St. Cyr doesn’t get much action or have many opportunities to be the star of the game. But he was lights out this weekend. Is a small goalie, which limits his upside some, but St. Cyr is quick, agile, and plays his angles well.
6. David Keefer (#14/Honeybaked) F -- Really buzzes around the ice, and is relentless in puck pursuits. Creates a lot of offense and turnovers using his speed. Makes smart decisions with the puck and doesn’t slow down when it’s on his stick. Quick release. A good prospect.
7. Justin Brandt (#9/Detroit Kings) F -- The catalyst for his team’s offense, Brandt was double shifting throughout the games in Chicago. He’s very shifty with the puck and doesn’t shy away from contact. Does a lot of the little things players his age don’t generally do, such as shooting the puck without breaking stride. We feel you will be hearing a lot more from Brandt in the near future. Had a good showing over the summer at the US Select 15 Camp, putting up a 2-4-6 line in five games.
8. Wade Novak (#18/NJ Colonials) F -- A very good skater who gets the puck and immediately heads north. Novak does everything with speed. Has a good set of hands and is very aggressive. Plays the point on the PP. Recently committed to play at Union, thus following in the footsteps of his older brother, Max, currently a junior with the Dutchmen.
9. Nick McKeeby (#84/Honeybaked) D -- A meat-and-potatoes defenseman. Makes forwards pay the price down low -- very physical. Can make a good outlet pass and is a strong skater who makes it very hard for forwards to get past him. A Western Michigan recruit.
10. Nick Heid (#14/Omaha AAA) D -- Mobile D who has very good feet for his size. Has excellent gap control for a player his age and makes sure he keeps the play in front of him. Separates forwards from the puck. An excellent prospect. Drafted by Sioux Falls in the 2013 USHL Futures Draft. Heid’s major junior rights are owned by the Portland Winterhawks (WHL).
11. Jason Dhooghe (#14/Chicago Mission) F -- The older brother of Sean Dhooghe, our number one player from ’99 Division. A future Ohio State Buckeye, Dhooghe was playing his usual game in Chicago. He’s quick, shifty, and very good with the puck. His game seems to be rounding out nicely as he was very active in his own end. Dhooghe is on the Sioux City Musketeers’ affiliate list.
12. Mitch Eliot (#44/Honeybaked) D -- The future Michigan State Spartan was good over the weekend, although at times he just blended in. Eliot is a good skater and poised with the puck. Probably not offensive enough to be a point producer at Michigan State, but should be a solid contributor.
13. Zachary Walker (#98/Colorado Thunderbirds) F -- We wrote about Walker last time we saw his team play and the more we watch him the more we like his game. Is a very strong skater with a powerful stride. Without Troy Terry in the Thunderbirds lineup in Chicago, Walker stepped up and became the go-to guy.
14. Sam McCormick (#17/Team Wisconsin) F -- Plays a complete game and makes something happen every shift. Good set of hands and a hard shot. Has a good mind for the game and anticipates plays well. Committed to Ohio State this fall; where his brother, Max, is a junior forward. McCormick’s rights were traded from Youngstown to Sioux City during the 2013 USHL Draft.
15. Daniel Chang (#22/Chicago Mission) D -- A very good Division I prospect, Chang, a mobile puck-moving defenseman, is the kind of player a team can’t have enough of. Has enough ability with the puck to get himself out of trouble and can really transition a breakout. Very good on the power play, distributing the puck and setting up teammates. Very capable defensively.
16. Noah Lalonde (#87/Honeybaked) F -- Another Michigan State commit. Made a lot of good plays and set up teammates with easy back door goals by using his patience with the puck to draw everyone to him before dishing it. Has a quick first couple of steps and was very noticeable all weekend.
17. Anea Ferrario (#4/Colorado Thunderbirds) D -- Thick D who is very solid and plays a safe game. Thunderbirds look to set him up on the PP because of Ferrario’s powerful one-timer. Division I Schools will have competition as Ferrario was drafted by the Tri-City Americans in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft.
18. Max Gerlach (#91/Colorado Thunderbirds) F -- A very fast skater who flies around the ice and can change direction on a dime. Can really snipe. A player who is really coming into his own.
19. Mike Nisky (#74/NJ Devils) F -- A diminutive forward with a high-end skill set. Scored a highlight reel goal when he came over the blue line on a 1-on-1, slid the puck between the D’s feet while jumping over the defenseman’s stick, and then outwaited the goalie before finishing up the play by sliding the puck five-hole. Almost repeated the move on the opposite side but ended up creating a rebound that was finished by a teammate coming late. When he pulled off the move the second time, every scout in the building was seen searching through their program for the kid’s name.
20. Artem Afanasiev (#20/HC Forward Russia) G -- Kept his team in games. Stopped countless breakaways and odd man rushed against Milwaukee. Is tall, flexible, and able to cover from post to post when he goes down. Directs rebounds well with his pads. Had a scary moment when he went to play a puck and collided with a forechecking forward. Managed to stay in the game and continue his strong play.
21. Jake Nielsen (#15/Milwaukee Admirals) F -- A competitive player who never quits on a play. Throws his weight around and creates space on the ice for his teammates. Has good hands in tight areas and can really shoot it. Finds a way to get open. Has 17 points in 12 games this season. Plays on a line with Grant Cruikshank.
22. Chris Grando (#3/LI Gulls) F - The sparkplug for this LI Gulls team, Grando has very good speed and is always on his toes. Works just as hard on the backcheck as he does on the forecheck. Very tenacious. Is beginning to garner attention from colleges.
23. Trenton Bliss (#23/Team Wisconsin) F -- A tall, lanky kid whose game will reach another level when he is able to add strength. Is creative with the puck and uses his reach to separate defenders from the puck.
24. Dylan Dix (#33/Arizona Bobcats ’98) D -- Has all the attributes necessary to be a Division I defenseman. Dix is big, tough, moves around the ice well, and has a hard shot. Needs to round out his game positionally, as he often loses coverage and gets caught in no-man’s land.
25. Davis Bunz (#2/ Team Wisconsin) D -- A good skater who gets plays going north in a hurry with his passing ability. Good in his own end and always has his stick in the right position. Will be pursued by the OHL.
26. Nick Fea (#9/NJ Colonials) F - Looks and plays a very similar game to former Cushing Penguin and Yale Bulldog Broc Little. Doesn’t have the same skill level as Little, but is very slippery with the puck and hard for defenders to land a hand on him.
27. Kyle Craddick (#11/ Indiana Jr. Ice) F -- Could be a good power forward in the making. Has a lot of filling out to do but he has a high hockey IQ, is very strong along the walls, and makes things happen.
28. Blake Bargar (#5/Arizona Bobcats ’98) F -- Strong on his skates and really drives the puck to the net. Needs to be a little more consistent.
29. Conor Tierney (#12/NJ Devils) F -- A good all-around player. Doesn’t possess high-end skill, but works hard and manages to make something happen that catches your eye every shift.
30. Luke Fairchild (#14/St.. Louis Selects) F -- A tall skinny forward with a long stride and powerful shot.
'99s at Bauer Invitational Ranked
This past weekend USHR traveled to Chicago for the second straight year to take in the Bauer World Invitational Tournament. This tournament is a huge undertaking, billing itself as the ‘World’s Largest Hockey Tournament in One City’ – and that’s no hype. It takes over that toddlin’ town, which is no small burgh. Hell, the tournament program is the size of a phone book (though it lacked heights and weights), and with the amount of teams on hands, one has to do some serious strategic planning in order to cover as many teams as possible. And we ‘just’ covered two divisions.
We will be doing our report in two parts again this year, with the first part covering the ’99 Bantam Major Division and Part II looking at the U-16’s.
The strongest team in the ’99 Division was the Chicago Mission, the eventual champions. The Mission ran through the preliminary rounds and continued to roll in the finals. The competition was impressive. Unfortunately, one team we missed was Belle Tire, who lost in the finals, 5-3, so please keep that in mind while perusing the list. We felt that our Top 10 players below were clearly the best of the ’99 Division, and that Sean Dhooghe was by far the most skilled player.
1. Sean Dhooghe (Chicago Mission) F – The tournament MVP led the eventual champions hometown Chicago Mission in every facet. Dhooghe was the best player on the ice every game he played and has a skill set that allowed him to dominate. The younger brother of Ohio State recruit Jason Dhooghe, Sean is very quick and makes everything look easy when he has the puck on his stick. He put up a hat trick in the first period against the Redford Kings, including a spectacular breakaway goal. The better the competition, the better Dhooghe plays. If Dhooghe were a couple inches taller, we would be discussing how he is a sure fire 1st round NHL pick down the road. We still think his skill set will earn him a spot on the NTDP and that Dhooghe is going to become a spectacular college hockey player.
2. Alexander Pavlenko (CSKA Red Army) F -- Impressive forward showed power and skill. Pavlenko is a strong skater and a rarity in that he actually is faster with the puck on his stick. Is able to push defensemen off with ease and when he gains a step can pull away in a hurry. Participated in the World Selects Invitational last spring with Russia’s ’99 team. If Pavlenko were playing in the United States he would be at the top of every college’s recruiting list.
3. Cole Coskey (Chicago Mission) F -- Does not have the dynamic skill set of Dhooghe but may end being a bigger prospect in the end. Coskey is very strong on his skates and hits like a truck. Has a very hard shot and combines it with a quick release that leaves goalies at this age group helpless. Makes smart plays with the puck and makes passes with an intent that is well beyond his years. Will be considered for the NTDP. Look for a recruiting battle between the OHL and NCAA.
4. James Long (St. Louis Blues) D – Really fun defenseman to watch. Showed big time skill from the back end, never passing up the opportunity to go end to end. Has a strong desire to score which he showed when he made a rush from behind his own net and burned everyone along the boards, made three hard crossovers towards the net -- and ended up taking out the goalie. Has a hard and accurate slapshot from the blue line. Defends aggressively, attacking opposing players and just absolutely suffocating them. Long is a bit of an unknown, but will be a on a lot of radar screens soon.
5. Graham Lillibridge (Chicago Mission) D -- Has lightning quick feet. Is able to get himself out of trouble with the puck with his ability to escape and hit the open man. Reads and anticipates plays well. Still a little small, but we expect he will grow a couple of inches in the next two years and really explode.
6. Brady Tkachuk (St. Louis Blues) F -- Son of former Boston University and NHL star has a good skill set and plays the game with a chip on his shoulder. Has a quick pair of hands that allows him to make some special plays. Not afraid to go into the dirty areas. Will make a good Division I player and, with his brother Matthew committed to Notre Dame, it’s possible the Irish are the early favorites to land him.
7. Grigorii Kolupaev (CSKA Red Army) G -- Kolupaev was one of the top goalies this weekend – and also the most entertaining. Spectators watching Kolupaev against Compuware saw a goaltender practically doing jumping jacks in his crease to shield opposing forwards from his defensemen to set up behind the net for a breakout. Is exactly what you think of when you picture the Russian goalie style. Is super quick and agile. Plays his angles perfectly and never gives up on a play.
8. Jay Feiwell (Chicago Mission) F -- For our money there was no one better with the puck on his stick this weekend than Feiwell. Does things that make you rub your eyes in disbelief. The puck is like a yo-yo on his stick, and Feiwell dares anyone to try and take it from him. Also may be the best pure goal scorer on the deep Chicago Mission team. The biggest knock on Feiwell is his skating, which is something he needs to work on if he is going to continue to be effective as he moves up.
9. Artem Chayka (CSKA Red Army) F -- Very good speed, and plays through checks. Doesn’t do anything fancy with the puck on his stick -- just straight speed and tenacity.
10. Joseph Cassetti (San Jose Sharks) F -- Good prospect has nice mix of skill, size, and physicality. It’s hard for defenders to separate Cassetti from the puck, as he has size and the ability to control it. Is a gamer who wants the puck on his stick in any situation. Throws his weight around when he doesn’t have it. Pays attention to details and does the little things right, like dominating faceoffs.
11. Justin Freeman (Compuware) D -- Tall defenseman has a long stride. Very smooth. Is capable in his own end and makes smart decisions with the puck. Has all the attributes to develop into a big-time player.
12. Tommy Altounian (Chicago Mission) F -- Has grown a lot over the past couple of years, hence is very awkward. Has impressive skills and a good mind for the game. Over time he will adjust to his body and that should translate into his becoming a good college prospect.
13. Benji Eckerle (Compuware) F -- A high-energy player who is always moving his feet. Makes plays by using his quickness. Would make a great prep school player.
14. Nick Donofrio (Compuware) G -- Played a good game against CSKA Moscow which had special meaning to him because he was originally adopted from Russia. Is quiet in the crease, plays his angles well and controls his rebounds. A big kid who takes up a lot of the net and is good side to side.
15. Christian Acosta (San Jose Sharks) F -- Very strong skater who is disruptive on the forecheck. using his foot speed. Good poise with the puck. A true playmaker who has the ability to spring guys by hitting them in full stride.
16. Alex Phipps (Jersey Hitmen) F -- A good prospect with a lot of upside. Phipps, a big kid with a good shot and a nice set of hands, plays a complete game. He is reliable in his own end and is not afraid to block shots or take the body.
17. Matthew Jones (Madison Capitols) F -- Is strong on his edges and protects the puck well. Is good around the net and has patience with the puck in traffic. Makes himself a scoring threat by finding the quiet space on the ice.
18. Connor Mayer (KC Mavericks) F -- Has good awareness of his surroundings and makes strong passes. Has a hard shot. Crossovers are fast and powerful allowing him to drive the net with speed.
19. David Klauke (Team Illinois) F/D -- Really shines playing the point on the power play. Was the trigger man they looked to set up. Once Klauke shot the puck he was calling for it and reloading. Can really handle the puck, and is an offensive weapon on the back end.
20. Jake Barczewski (St. Louis Blues) G -- Plays on top of the crease and really challenges shooters. Has great patience and doesn’t bite on fakes. Wasn’t challenged too much in the games we saw but when he was he was sharp.
21. Joshua Cox (Rocky Mountain Rough Riders) D -- Fluid skating D who is very smooth with the puck. Has enough skill with it to play forward on the PP. Very effective getting shots through from the point by utilizing his quick snap shot.
22. Alex Fierro (Colorado Thunderbirds) G -- Big goaltender has a tendency to overcommit to shooters. Is big enough now to be able to recover but will need to work on this. Good rebound control.
23. Kyle Keyser (Revolution) G -- Was peppered with shots against St. Louis. Was able to find pucks through traffic and is a good skater in the crease. Competes hard.
24. Corey Clifton (Jersey Hitmen) F -- The younger brother of Quinnipiac freshmen Tim and Connor Clifton. Plays a gritty game and is strong along the boards. We believe he is a late bloomer and think his game will take off down the road.
25. Baron Thompson (Revolution) F -- Is like a tank on the ice. Just destroys anyone that is in his way. We are guessing he is around 6-1/225. Moves around the ice pretty well and has a decent set of hands. Thompson’s upside is limited but for now he is very hard for his much smaller peers to handle.
26. Jack Phibbs (Southern Tier Admirals) F -- Can really fire the puck and is not afraid to shoot it from any angle. Has decent speed. Tends to hold onto the puck too much.
27. Matt Francois (Colorado Thunderbirds) F -- Really struggles to move around the ice, but he works his butt off and makes things happen due to sheer desire. Never made a bad decision with the puck.
28. Colby Bukes (Colorado Thunderbirds) D – A puck-moving defenseman who keeps his game simple. Makes sure he takes care of his own end, and can get an offense going with his outlet passes.
29. Adam Millar (Rocky Mountain Rough Riders) D -- An interesting prospect to keep an eye on. Is very capable with the puck and jumps up into the offense. Has trouble skating, but that may work itself out in time.
Fall Prep All-Stars to Face off on Sunday
The New England Fall Prep Hockey League will be hosting the Connecticut Fall Prep League in a pair of all-star games this Sunday, November 10th at the Icenter in Salem, NH.
There will be two games. The freshman/sophomore all-stars will face off at 12:10 pm, followed by the U19s at 2:20 pm.
The VIP room will be open to college coaches and pro scouts, with complimentary food and beverages.
Here are the rosters:
Massachusetts U19 Roster
Founders' League Jamboree Takes a Hiatus
There will be no Founders’ League Jamboree this year.
The traditional one-day tournament was originally scheduled to be held at the Taft School on Sat. Nov. 16th, but, as Taft head coach Dan Murphy said, “The intent was to showcase kids to college coaches, but all colleges are playing on that Saturday. The kids wouldn’t be seen by recruiters.”
Equally problematic, says Murphy, is the fact that Thanksgiving falls on a very late date this year, which, along with late return from Christmas, squeezed the schedule to the point that there was no Wednesday to utilize this year. Some games that would normally be played on the Saturday after students return from Christmas/New Year’s break are instead being played before Thanksgiving. Twice in every seven-year period the first week of January is lost to the calendar. And teams have to scramble to get in their league games.
“We will definitely be doing the Jamboree next year…on a Wednesday,” says Murphy. “This year was crazy in terms of what we want to accomplish with it.”
However, most Founders’ League teams will be doing things on their own that Saturday.
-- The “big” event will be at Hotchkiss, where Salisbury, Trinity-Pawling, and Kent will be the visitors. Hotchkiss coach Mike Traggio is still working out the details, but confirmed the teams and wrote us that, “I am expecting an early afternoon start time, using both rinks.” We will get you more information when it becomes available.
-- Choate will go down the road apiece to Taft and play a controlled scrimmage.
-- Avon Old Farms has a strong football team this year and could well make the NEPSAC finals on Sat. Nov. 16th. If so, said Avon head coach John Gardner, it would be “selfish if our players were not in attendance.” Gardner did allow for a possible scrimmage sometime that weekend vs. Loomis Chaffee, depending on how everything shakes out. Again, we’ll let you know if anything happens there.
-- Deerfield coach Brendan Creagh says, “we have a few things we’re working on.” Look for additional info shortly.
-- We have not heard back from Westminster head coach Tim Joncas concerning any plans they might have.
New England District Playoff Schedule
The New England District Playoffs are being held this coming weekend at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Mass. The winners at both the U18 and U16 Tier I levels will move on to Nationals at Green Bay, Wisc. April 2-6, 2014. Teams denoted as “Central” in both the U18 and U16 schedules means Selects Academy at South Kent School.
Wed. 11/6/13-Added U14 Schedules 11/7/13
Mass District Playoff Schedule
The Massachusetts District Playoffs at the U18 and U16 levels are being held this coming weekend at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass. The winners will move on to Nationals at Green Bay, Wisc. April 2-6, 2014. The winner at the U16 Tier II level will move on to Nationals at Reston, Virginia April 2-6, 2014.
Update: We've added in the U14 schedules (both Tier I and II). They will be playing this weekend at the Iorio Arena in Walpole.
Tournament results can be found at:
Note: To find the division you are looking for, click on the appropriate tab in upper left-hand corner.
Running in Memory of Tim Taylor
The 2013 New York City Marathon is being run tomorrow (Sun.) and Philadelphia Flyers and NTDP scout John Riley is running in memory of his friend and mentor, long-time Yale coach Tim Taylor, who lost his battle with cancer in April.
“Tim had a profoundly positive effect on so many lives, including mine,” Riley wrote, “and I cannot think of a better way to honor him than to lend a helping hand to those who are presently fighting cancer, as he so valiantly did.”
Riley has met his goal of $3,000, all of which will go directly to current cancer patients and their families to help cope with expenses. He’s actually passed his goal and has now raised $3,445. But as anyone who has been touched by cancer can tell you, it can drain families’ savings fast. So please consider giving a here at the last minute. Every penny will help someone who is in a very tough situation.
Here’s the link:
NYC Marathon Fundraiser in Memory of Tim Taylor
Sunday a.m. update:
Additional donations since yesterday have pushed Riley up over $4,000. But we can push it higher still! Tim Taylor helped innumerable players in his long career before dying of cancer last spring. Let's not forget that. Also, let's not forget that Riley, running in memory of his mentor, is raising money for cancer victims and their families ravaged by the cost of fighting the disease. The cause is a noble one, and to be able to contribute is a genuine privilege. Give what you can. $5. $10. $100. $1,000. It all helps. Tim Taylor thanks you. John Riley thanks you. And, most of all, families in a world of hurt thank you. There is no cutoff on donations. You can contribute tonight, tomorrow, next week, anytime.
Riley's bib number is 33207. You can track his progress here:
2013 NYC Marathon trackmyrunners page
Sunday p.m. update:
John Riley has competed the NYC Marathon in under four hours -- 3:58:31, to be precise. As a hats off to that accomplishment, how about helping Riley double his initial goal of raising $3,000 to -- in Tim Taylor's memory -- help families coping with cancer. He's up to $4,415 right now, so all it will take is another $1,500 or so to reach $6,000. Very doable, especially given that the hockey community is always so great in these situations. Spread the word and, hopefully, we can get Riles' charity run tally up to $6,000 -- and perhaps well beyond. He's done his part, that's for sure. So let's come through for coach Taylor -- and help those in need. And remember: There is no cutoff on donations. You can contribute tonight, tomorrow, next week, anytime.