Pre-Draft Showcase Review
USHR spent last weekend taking in the Pre-Draft Showcase. With 84 teams spread across four rinks we had to split our time between Foxboro and Walpole to maximize the number of teams that we could catch. Naturally, scheduling conflicts abounded and we were unable to see a number of teams. That said, we did get to see a good portion of the stronger teams over the course of three days. The talent level was all over the map, and there seemed to be a shortage of truly high-end talent. There were many familiar faces in the crowd, names that we have mentioned numerous times over the past few years, so we decided to focus primarily, but not exclusively, on new players. Keeping in mind that the ages ranged from ‘95s to ‘00s, this list is based on a combination of a player’s potential and performance at the event. We did list some of the Central Scouting candidates despite having mentioned them several times over the past few years, as NHL scouts were on hand giving them one last look-over before the draft.
There were a lot of players who have gotten a lot of attention from USHR over the past season. Just scan the rosters – some of which had wrong uniform numbers, by the way – and you’ll see quite a number of top players. Players not covered, due to the fact they have been written about enough in the ’14-15 season (and we don’t have more to add for now) included: Patrick Harper, Luke McInnis, John Leonard, Christopher Grando, Evan Wisocky, Ty Amonte, Monte Graham, Brendan Less, Jay O’Brien, Tommy Craft, Brian Scoville, Sean Keohan, Ethan DeStefani, Ben Thomas, Christopher Brown, Marc McLaughlin, Jayson Dobay, Jack Nisbet, Jack Rathbone, Mike Fahie, Adam Gaudette, Jordan Kaplan, Dominic Cormier, Trevor Cosgrove, Adam Karashik, Vladislav Dzhioshvili, Jonathan Barry, Chase Zieky, Sam Sternschein, Wade Novak, James Callahan, RJ Murphy, Charley Michalowski, Connor Sundquist, Andy Chugg, Jake Pappalardo, Joey Caffrey, Tyler Carangelo, Joe O’Connor, Al Washco, Matt Cousino, Tyce Thompson – and even more.
As mentioned above, there were 84 teams on hand, and we tried to work the schedule to see as many of the good ones as possible. One strong team we missed was the Boston Generals Draft team, which featured, among others, Bailey MacBurnie, Mike O’Leary, Lincoln Griffin, and Anthony Wyse.
Anyway, here are some players, mostly new, who caught our eye:
Wyllum Deveaux, #15 East Coast Kings Futures/Don Mills Flyers, 6-1/175, ’00 – Nova Scotia native may have been the most intriguing prospect all weekend. Forward made plays consistently, despite being one the youngest players in the tournament. Poised with the puck on his stick and creative in tight spaces, he made a number of great plays. Doesn’t have the leg strength to create separation at this stage of his development, but when he gets a stronger lower body he will be dangerous. It should be noted that the East Coast Futures team, except for Deveaux, was made up entirely of ‘99s.
Marcus Dickerson, #22 Hockey Essentials White/Mississauga Steelheads (OHL), 5-10/195, ’98 – A force every time he was on the ice. Strong, powerful skater with a desire to make plays. His physicality made it difficult for defenders – even the bigger ones -- to handle him. New Jersey native formerly played for Selects Academy U16 and U18 teams.
CJ Dodero, #11 Boston Generals Elite/Wichita Falls (NAHL), 6-2/175, late ’97 – Dodero has played the past three seasons for the Colorado Thunderbirds (T1EHL). He has size, and plays the game with pace and energy and vision. In the game we saw him in, he made several precision passes through the neutral zone, on the power play, and again coming out of his zone and springing a teammate for a breakaway bid.
Jack Badini, #24 Hockey Essentials White/Lincoln Stars (USHL), 5-11/180, ’98 – Earned tournament MVP honors, and rightfully so, posting a 3-1-4 stat line in the playoffs. Can really shoot the puck, and seems to have added a burst of speed to his game since this fall. From Greenwich, Conn., he played in the Long Island Gulls organization before moving up to the USHL this past season.
Michael Muschitiello, #95 East Coast Kings Futures/ LI Gulls, 5-9/140, ’99 – A crafty forward who uses his quick feet and hands to make creative plays with the puck. Is shifty and hard to contain off the rush, and he knows how to utilize his teammates to create chances.
Owen Ramsay, #13 CHE / St. Michael’s College (MPHL), 5-11/175,’98 -- St. Mike’s second-leading scorer last season despite being one of their younger players. Ramsay is smart, crafty and always around the puck. His speed will need to improve in order for him to be a force at the next level, but he creates a lot of offense and wins battles consistently all over the ice.
Justin Cole, #40 East Coast Kings 2015/ Vermont Academy, 6-3/190, ’97 – Cole showed well here. He has an excellent change of speed when the defender gaps up, using another gear to blow by. He has a quick wrist shot, smooth hands, and ability to separate from the defense. He’d be a long shot to get drafted in June but it’s not out of the question.
Lucas Michaud, #10 East Coast Kings 2015/ Portland Jr. Pirates, 6-0/205, ’97 – These kinds of events are not flattering for Michaud as he is not an open-ice, high-skill, flashy type who tends to stand out in these events. He’s a true power center, strong on his skates, strong on the puck, balanced, and willing to drop the shoulder and drive the net. He is a force along the boards, in the corner and in front of the net. A somewhat defensive-minded center, he should be drafted in June. Looked a step slow and a bit stiff here.
Grant Jozefek, #25 East Coast Kings 2016/ Lincoln Stars (USHL), 5-10/190, Late ’97 – Jozefek returned from the USHL after leading Lincoln in assists with 22 in 51 games and looked stronger and a step faster than when we saw him in the fall. He is poised, has excellent hockey sense and high distribution skills. His hands are quick yet smooth but at times he overexposes the puck. Northeastern ’16 recruit.
Bryan Lemos, #27 East Coast Militia/Waterloo Blackhawks (USHL), 5-10/184, ’96 – Lemos, a former Junior Bruin, tested his talents in the USHL this past season with Youngstown and Waterloo and had a successful season, with 39 points in 59 games. Lemos has always had exceptional poise, vision, and creativity. That hasn’t changed. He looks a tad stronger now, and has improved his footwork. He’s smoother, faster, and more balanced than he was a year ago. He led the tournament in goals with seven in just three games. Could be at Providence College this fall.
Vinny DeSanctis, #9 EHG Black/Islanders U18, 5-10/170, ’00 – An exciting young prospect, a ’00 who plays beyond his years, DeSanctis is strong, fights through checks, and is able to keep his head up while rushing the puck up ice. He had a few end-to-end rushes that showed some speed and stickhandling ability.
Mike Gillespie, #14 EHG Orange/Lincoln Stars (USHL), 5-9/170, ’96 – The ex-NJ Rocket may have been the most dynamic player in the tournament (though he played defense for the game we saw). He has great speed and quickness, elusive hands, poise, and a quick release. He also has an uncanny ability to find teammates in the open ice. With the puck on his stick he was able to do whatever he wanted out there. He led Lincoln in points this past season and will be at at Ohio State this fall.
John Wojciechowski, #9 EHG Orange/NJ Rockets U18, 6-4/205, ’98 – Has imposing size, and an improved stride. He showed off his reach, his puck protection skills, and his play below the hash marks. He is raw and needs to be more assertive in the offensive zone, but his ceiling is quite high.
Erik Brown, #4 NE Leafs/Kemptville (CCHL), 6-2/195, Late ’95 – A big power forward who led the tournament in scoring with an 8-4-12 line in 10 games, Brown is tough to play against, is strong on the puck, and has excellent net-front presence. He is very effective along the boards and in 1v1 battles in tight areas. Likes to physically engage his opponents and drive the net. He led Kemptville in scoring this past season and should be an impact player at RIT next season.
Josh Laframboise, #2 NE Leafs/Salmon Arm (BCHL), 6-0/180, ’96 – Laframboise, a Regina, Saskatchewan native and Minnesota-Duluth commit, has good size, was constantly involved in the play and showed a quick and powerful snap shot. His skating is good for his size and he was second in the tournament in playoff scoring with a 2-4-6 line in five games.
Joey Kubachka, #17 Surrey Eagles Prospects/ Philadelphia Jr. Flyers U18, 6-1/195,’98 – Cornell ’17 recruit is a tall power forward who is still figuring out what kind of player he is going to be. He protects the puck well, uses his strength in 1v1 situations and has a long, powerful stride when he gets his feet going. A high-ceiling prospect.
Adam Themar, #2 Team Connect/SVK U18 National Program, 6-3/202, ’97 – Slovakian skates well and makes an excellent first pass. It was tough to get a read on his overall game since we only saw his team’s first game of the tournament. ’97 was on Central’s Preliminary list, but this was the first we’d seen of him. He is interesting, and we’d like to see more.
Cam Lee, #5 East Coast Kings 2015/Lincoln Stars (USHL), 6-0/180, ’97--- We hadn’t seen Lee since the USHL Atlantic Showcase in the fall. He looks stronger now, is more focused on his defensive game, and has maintained his elite skating ability and confidence with the puck. Former Cardigan Mountain and Northwood player from Nova Scotia was left off Central’s list. He’s undersized and has lapses in his own end too often. But he has skill.
Owen Schiffman, #24 Boston Knights/BC High, 6-3/185, ’98 – Schiffman played last season for BC High but in the shadows of star players Ryan Shea and Jason Dobay. He’s a tall, thin prospect whose skating and puck-handling abilities have improved. The right shot defender has upside and landed on QMJHL’s Central Scouting final list. Had one assist in 17 games for the Eagles.
Jason Bell, #4 NE Nordiques Blue/Saint John Seadogs (QMJHL), 6-2/185, ’97 – Another defenseman who made Central’s final list list was worth a viewing for the scouts on hand. An offensive-minded defenseman from Texas, Bell likes to shoot the puck. Skates well but still needs to work on his play in his own end. Scouts are likely to feel strongly about him one way or another. Not a sure-fire draft pick this summer.
Andrew Noel, #6 Boston Generals Elite/Aberdeen Wings (NAHL), ’96 – An under-the-radar prospect who showed terrific skating ability, agile feet, and smooth stride. He makes a swift pass on the go and shows ability to gap up. Won’t cede the blue line to opposing forwards.
Azan Dorsett, #7 NE Nordiques White/Buffalo Regals U16, 5-8/165, Late ’98 – The diminutive defenseman may have been the best skater in the tournament. His stride is long and powerful for such a small player. He uses his skating ability on both sides of the puck very well. Will be an impact player at the next level regardless of his size.
Bryan Nelson, #3 East Coast Militia Elite/Walpole Express (EHL) , 6-4/215, ’96 – A 3rd round draft pick by Muskegon in this year’s USHL Phase II Draft, Nelson looked the part here. A Harvard ’16 recruit, Nelson is a big, versatile defender who showed a wide range of skills in just one game we saw. He backchecks with authority, plays a physical style, skates fluidly for his size, and makes a crisp and accurate pass. Former St. John’s-Sherewsbury standout should be able to find a role in Muskegon in the upcoming season.
Zach Berzolla, #72 Hockey Essentials Black/NJ Titans U18, 6-0/170, ’98 – A tough, sturdy stay-at-home defenseman who is tough to get around. He uses his body and his stick effectively on 1v1 situations and, although his edges need some work, he rarely gets beaten wide. ’16 Colorado College commit also played NJ high school hockey for Freehold Township.
McKay Flanagan, #18 NE Nordiques Blue/Gunnery, 6-1/208, ’97 – Flanagan, a candidate for the June HNL draft, is 6’1” with a thick build, soft hands, and decent skating ability. He is at his best on the powerplay where he has time to make plays from the point and fire his slap shot. His decision-making , which has been the knock on him all year, was poor at times here. He doesn’t do well when he is forced to make quick movements or quick decisions.
Joey Gilbert, #7 NE Stallions/Framingham HS, ’98 – His height/weight wasn’t listed but he’s an undersized puck-moving defenseman who can really skate. He’s quick and agile, which allows him to get the puck out of his end with ease. He has the speed and fluidity to rush the puck on command. Moving from Framingham HS to BB&N.
Anthony Scarcella, #9 NE Leafs/Springfield (NAHL), 5-11/185, ’96 – One of the better uncommitted defensemen in the tournament, Scarsella is an excellent skater, athletic, has decent size, and competes at both ends of the ice. He is not overly dynamic with the puck but makes a good first pass, plays a physically without the puck and uses his mobility to keep tight gaps on opposing forwards. Played at St. Mary’s Prep (Michigan) before moving on to the Junior Blues this past season.
Jordan Tetreault, #16 East Coast Kings 2016/Amherst (Mass.) HS, 6-1/195, '98 - It is tough to make the jump from Mass HS hockey to this level but Tetreault has the size and skating ability to pull it off. His puckhandling ability needs work and you could see him try to do too much at times, but he has some raw tools to build off. An under-the-radar prospect to follow in years to come.
Patrik Virtanen, #35 East Coast Kings 2015 Draft/HIFK U20, 6-2/197, ’95 – Highly polished and technically sound. Doesn’t waste energy when the puck is above the circles, and constantly checks his blind spots when the situation allows. Made equally impressive saves moving from left to right, and from right to left. Wasn’t beaten on a clean shot in either viewing.
Eric Green, #30 East Coast Kings Futures/NMH, 6-2/165, ’99 – Looked very strong in both viewings. Connecticut native tracks the puck well with a quiet upper body while using his quick legs to execute proper saves. Will be one to watch next year at Northfield-Mount Hermon. Was backup to Conor O’Brien this season.
Douglas Connor, #1 EHG Orange/PAL Islanders U18, 5-11/170, ’00 – A ’00 playing at this level of competition is nothing to sneeze at. Connor’s stat line may not impress but he made a lot of great stops, and showed athleticism and quickness post to post. Doesn’t give you much down low. Played for NJ Rockets U16.
Kaden Fulcher, #1 PHDG Blue/Hill Academy (Toronto) U16, 6-1/165, Late ’98 – A very precise goalie with compact movements. Uses his head to track the puck and looks comfortable in all situations.
Sean Cleary, #30 Boston Jr. Bruins/Victoria Grizzlies (BCHL), 6-3/185, Late ’95 – Cleary, a Cape Cod native who went out to Lake Forest Academy in Illinois to play prep hockey, moved on to the BCHL this past season. Didn’t have great numbers there, an .888 save percentage in 19 games, but played well here. Has a rare combination of size and quickness. He tracked the puck well, had some nice side-to-side pad saves and showed a quick glove hand on several occasions. Committed to UMass Lowell directly after the tournament,
Max Prawdzik, #1 NE Leafs/Brooks School, 6-3/185, ’97-- Took the Leafs to the championship game and played well throughout the weekend. Prawdzik has size, is poised in net and swallowed up rebounds and loose pucks around the front of the net. He needs to work on his athleticism and reaction time, but with work he could develop into a solid D-I goalie. Going to the Trail Smoke Eaters (BCHL).
USHL Draft Notes
We’re not sure why the USHL feels the need for two separate drafts, as one undercuts the value of the other.
We’re also not quite sure why anyone agreed to designate the two drafts as “Phase I” and “Phase II.” Not catchy at all. Sounds more like clinical trials being conducted at research hospitals which, as long as the league continues to allow teenagers to slug it out on ice, may turn out to be more apt than anyone wants to admit to.
Anyway, “Phase I” of the draft, previously known as the Futures Draft, is for ‘99s only, i.e. kids who turn 16 this year. It’s an effective method for stashing kids on a team’s protected list, and has, once you pull the NCAA option out of the equation, a lot in common with the CHL system.
In addition, having two drafts allows teams to put off making hard choices. If all players were entered into one draft, scouts would have to balance current needs against future needs, and all without knowing with certainty which of the younger players might show up or not (assuming they continue improving enough to be offered the opportunity). One draft, therefore, would be a greater measure of value and more useful to fans and players. It would make the process simpler for fans to understand, and it would also make the process far more intellectually challenging for scouts. With the team’s current bloated protected lists, mistakes are too easily dismissed.
People used to talk more about the advantages of a single draft for the USHL, though generally in terms of increasing league publicity. We’ve always thought it should be tried, and with a reduced number of rounds, too. Such a change may have unintended consequences. Changes often do. In that case, tweak it until it’s right.
USHL Phase I Entry Draft
New England Prep / High School / Midget only
Rd. 1 (14th OA): Tri-City – Reilly Walsh (RD) Proctor Academy – Harvard
Rd. 2 (26th OA): Youngstown – Jack Rathbone (LD) Dexter School
Rd. 2 (30th OA): Bloomington – Ben Mirageas (LD) Avon Old Farms
Rd. 3 (43rd OA): Cedar Rapids – Marc McLaughlin (C) Cushing - St. Lawrence
Rd. 3 (45th OA): Cedar Rapids – Cam Burke (C) Nobles – Notre Dame
Rd. 3 (46th OA): Tri City – Joey Cipollone (C) CT Wolfpack – UVM
Rd. 4 (56th OA): Bloomington – Michael Callahan (LD) Roxbury Latin
Rd. 5 (73rd OA): Sioux Falls – Riley Prattson (C) Springfield Cathedral – Providence
Rd. 5 (74th OA): Muskegon – Matt Allen (C) South Kent – Providence
Rd. 5 (76th OA): Dubuque – Danny Petrick (RD) Springfield Cathedral – Northeastern
Rd. 5 (79th OA): Sioux City – Christian LeSueur (RW) Brunswick
Rd. 6 (81st OA): Green Bay – Colin Felix (RD) St. George’s
Rd. 6 (82nd OA): Green Bay – Alex Mella (LW) Shattuck-St. Mary's
Rd. 6 (91st OA): Omaha – Ben Pirko (LD) South Kent – Union
Rd. 6 (94th OA): Tri City – Sean Keohan (RD) Dexter School – Dartmouth
Rd. 6 (96th OA): Youngstown – Jay O’Brien (C) Dexter School
Rd. 7 (105th OA): Sioux Falls – Brian Scoville (LD) Cushing – UMass-Amherst
Rd. 7 (108th OA): Dubuque – Tyce Thompson (C) PAL Islanders U16/to Salisbury
Rd. 7 (109th OA): Sioux City – Matt Demelis (LW/C) Hingham HS
Rd. 7 (112th OA): Youngstown – Craig Needham (C) Lawrence Academy
Rd. 8 (125th OA): Cedar Rapids – Jayson Dobay (LD) BC High
Rd. 9 (134th OA): Waterloo – Ethan DeStefani (RW/C) NH Jr. Momarchs/ to Gunnery
Rd. 9 (136th OA): Bloomington – Patrick Dawson (LD) Westminster
Rd. 9 (138th OA): Muskegon – Keith Petruzzelli (G) Springfield Cathedral – Quinnipiac
Rd. 9 (143rd OA): Sioux City – Tommy Craft (RD) Deerfield Academy
Rd. 9 (144th OA): Youngstown – Neil Shea (F) Marshfield HS
Rd. 10 (156th OA): Dubuque – Nicholas Hale (LD) Carolina Hurricanes/to Salisbury
Eastern (Atlantic, New York, Southeast)
Rd. 1 (7th OA): Chicago – Cam Hausinger (RW) Skipjacks Hockey Club U18
Rd. 1 (13th OA): Cedar Rapids – Liam Walsh (LW) Victory Honda
Rd. 1 (16th OA): Youngstown – Jacob Tortora (C) Don Mills Flyers – Boston College
Rd. 2 (17th OA): Lincoln – Cayden Primeau (G) Philadelphia Revolution – Northeastern
Rd. 2 (19th OA): Green Bay – Matthew Cassidy (RW) Team Comcast
Rd. 3 (39th OA): Chicago – Tyler Gratton (RW) WBS Knights
Rd. 3 (42nd OA): Bloomington – Skyler Brind’Amour (C) Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
Rd. 3 (48th OA): Lincoln – Kyle Kawamura (C) TPH Thunder
Rd. 4 (60th OA): Dubuque – Dylan Seitz (C) Nichols Prep
Rd. 5 (71st OA): Chicago – Christopher Garbe (LW) L.I. Gulls
Rd. 5 (72nd OA): Bloomington – Christian Thomas (RW/C) Northern Cyclones – UVM
Rd. 6 (89th OA): Sioux Falls – Mitchell Gibson (G) Team Comcast – Team Comcast
Rd. 6 (93rd OA): Cedar Rapids – Erik Urbank (RW) Nichols Prep – Dartmouth
Rd. 7 (101st OA): Madison – Jonathan Bendorf (LW) Team Comcast
Rd. 7 (104th OA): Bloomington – Fletcher Fineman (RD) North Broward Prep
Rd. 7 (107th OA): Omaha – Adam Kadlec (C) Boston Jr. Bruins
Rd. 7 (111th OA): Sioux City – Derek Contessa (RW) NJ Hitmen
Rd. 8 (115th OA): Des Moines – Adrian Danchenko (F) WBS Knights
Rd. 8 (117th OA): Madison – Connor McMenamin (LW) Shattuck-St. Mary's
Rd. 8 (119th OA): Chicago – John Spetz (RD) NJ Avalanche
Rd. 8 (122nd OA): Muskegon – Marc Del Gaizo (LD) NJ Rockets
Rd. 10 (150th OA): Waterloo – Ty Schafer (RD) NJ Rockets
Rd. 10 (151st OA): Chicago – Steven Agriogianis (RW) Delbarton School
Rd. 10 (154th OA): Muskegon – Hunter Canestra (RW/C) WBS Knights
-- Eleven of the 16 teams in the league drafted a New England prep or high school player.
· --- Fifteen of the 16 teams in the league drafted an Eastern Player. Fargo was the lone exception.
-- Des Moines and Madison each drafted one player from the East, none from prep school.
· -- Bloomington and Cedar Rapids drafted six of their 11 players from the East.
Phase II Draft
New England Prep / HS / Midget/ Juniors
Rd. 1 (14th OA): Tri City – Alex Limoges (late ‘97/LW) South Kent – Cornell
Rd. 1 (16th OA): Chicago – Lucas Michaud (‘97/RW) Portland Pirates – Maine
Rd. 2 (19th OA): Youngstown – Patrick Shea (‘97/C) Kimball Union – Maine
Rd. 2 (27th OA): Omaha – Jake Massie ( ‘97/LD) Kimball Union – UMass-Amherst
Rd. 3 (33rd OA): Lincoln – Carter Long (‘98/LD) South Kent – UVM
Rd. 3 (35th OA): Green Bay – Alex Binner (late ‘98/RD) South Kent – Maine
Rd. 3 (42nd OA): Muskegon – Bryan Nelson (‘96/LD) Walpole Express – Harvard
Rd. 3 (45th OA): Cedar Rapids – Matt Gosiewski ( ‘98/C) Millbrook – Harvard
Rd. 4 (57th OA): Muskegon – Alex Esposito (‘96/RW) Loomis Chaffee – UVM
Rd. 4 (61st OA): Cedar Rapids – C. Michalowski (‘96/RW) Belmont Hill – Dartmouth
Rd. 4 (63rd OA): Cedar Rapids – Matt Ladd (‘98/G) Buffalo Regals/ to Avon – Niagara
Rd. 5 (66th OA): Sioux City – Connor Sundquist (‘97/RW) South Kent – CC
Rd. 5 (69th OA): Fargo – Jack Adams (‘97/RW) Malden Catholic – Princeton
Rd. 5 (73rd OA): Bloomington – Dominic Dockery (‘97/LD) South Kent
Rd. 6 (83rd OA): Lincoln – Adam Karashik (‘98/RD) CT Oilers U18/to Avon – UConn
Rd. 6 (84th OA): Green Bay – Jack McCarthy (‘96/C) Kimball Union
Rd. 6 (88th OA): Cedar Rapids – James Gobetz (‘96/RD) Salisbury
Rd. 6 (94th OA): Dubuque – Pat Hollway (late ‘96/RD) Boston Advantage – Maine
Rd. 6 (96th OA): Tri City – Robbie Roche (late ‘97/LD) Walpole Express
Rd. 7 (102nd OA): Lincoln – Mike Robinson (‘97/G) Lawrence Academy – UNH
Rd. 7 (103rd OA): Fargo – Derek Hamelin (‘97/LD) South Kent
Rd. 7 (104th OA): Omaha – Jacob Bryson (late ‘97/LD) Loomis Chaffee – Providence
Rd. 7 (107th OA): Bloomington – Joseph Cipollone (‘97/C) South Kent – UNH
Rd. 7 (113th OA): Tri City – Ben Taylor (‘97/RW) Tabor Academy
Rd. 8 (123rd OA): Bloomington – Matt Barnaby (‘98/RW) Buffalo Regals/Avon
Rd. 8 (127th OA): Waterloo – Colin McCabe (‘98/RD) Thayer
Rd. 9 (137th OA): Waterloo – Taggart Corriveau (‘97/RW) Westminster – St. Lawrence
Rd. 9 (139th OA): Bloomington – Will Riedell (late ‘96/LD) Vermont Academy
Rd. 9 (140th OA): Sioux Falls – Joe O’Connor (‘96/LD) Westminster – UVM
Rd. 9 (145th OA): Tri City – Jack Hoey (late ‘98/C) Choate
Rd. 10 (162nd OA): Sioux City – Matt Steeves (late ‘97/LW) NH Monarchs
Rd. 11 (168th OA): Madison – Kevin O’Neil (’98/RW) Albany Academy – Yale
Rd. 11 (179th OA): Youngstown – Conor O’Brien (’97/G) NMH
Rd. 12 (183rd OA): Fargo – Jake Pappalardo (’97/C) Proctor Academy – Maine
Rd. 12 (187th OA): Bloomington – Matt Foley (’95/RD) Merritt Centennials
Rd. 12 (190th OA): Omaha – Tyler Madden (late ’99/F) Avon Old Farms JV
Rd. 13 (205th OA): Muskegon – Eric Benshadle(‘96/C) Loomis Chaffee
Rd. 13 (208th OA): Cedar Rapids – David Jankowski (‘97/C) Stanstead
Rd. 14 (218th OA): Chicago – Greg Printz (‘98/LW) South Kent
Rd. 14 (224th OA): Cedar Rapids – Ryan Doolin (‘99/C) Boston Advantage
Rd. 15 (241st OA): Tri City – Ben Thomas (‘99/C) Winchendon
Rd. 16 (244th OA): Lincoln – Max Ginsberg (‘97/LW) Roxbury Latin
Rd. 16 (253rd OA): Musk. – Austin McIlmurray (‘96/RW) S. Kent – Sacred Heart
Rd. 16 (254th OA): Omaha – Will Brophy (‘96/RD) Westminster – Holy Cross
Rd. 19 (300th OA): Sioux Falls – Ryan King (‘99/LW) Bishop Hendricken HS
Rd. 20 (316th OA): Sioux Falls – Eric MacAdams (‘97/RW) Austin Prep
Rd. 21 (339th OA): Youngstown – Luke Stevens (‘97/LW) Nobles – Yale
Eastern (Atlantic, New York, Southeast)
Rd. 1 (6th OA): Lincoln- Carson Gicewicz (‘97/C) Nichols Prep – St. Lawrence
Rd. 2 (21st OA): Sioux City – Mitchell Fossier (late ‘96/LW) Janesville Jets – Maine
Rd. 2 (22nd OA): Waterloo – Brandon Shultz (‘96/LW) Janesville Jets
Rd. 2 (31st OA): Sioux City – Austin Dittenhafer (‘97/RD) CT Wolfpack – UVM
Rd. 3 (37th OA): Madison – Jason O’Neil (‘97/C) Skipjacks Hockey Club – UNH
Rd. 3 (38th OA): Des Moines – Carter Ekberg (‘97/RD) Madison Capitals
Rd. 5 (67th OA): Green Bay – James Callahan (‘97/RD) NJ Hitmen – Quinnipiac
Rd. 5 (79th OA): Tri-City – Brendan Miller (‘97/LW) Buffalo Jr. Sabres
Rd. 7 (107th OA): Chicago – Jason Masonius (‘97/LD) USNTDP – UNH
Rd. 7 (112th OA): Cedar Rapids – Colin Rutherford (late ‘97/C) Buffalo Jr. Sabres
Rd. 7 (115th OA): Chicago – Brandon Duhaime (‘97/LW) Merritt Centennials – Brown
Rd. 8 (126th OA): Omaha – Nathan Krusko (‘96/C) Minnesota Magicians
Rd. 8 (131st OA): Youngstown – Austin Beaulieu (late ‘96/RW) Wichita Falls
Rd. 9 (132nd OA): Lincoln – Aidan Worrall (‘98/F) Carolina Jr. Hurricanes
Rd. 9 (138th OA): Omaha – Austin Lemieux (‘96/RW) Pitt Pens Elite
Rd. 10 (163rd OA): Youngstown – Andrew Petrillo (‘98/RD) Delbarton HS
Rd. 11 (165th OA): Sioux City – Kaden Pickering (late ’98/RW) Northwood – SLU
Rd. 11 (174th OA): Omaha – Cody Fleckenstein (’97/LD) Nichols Prep
Rd. 12 (180th OA): Lincoln – Chayse Primeau (’97/LW) Philadelphia Revolution
Rd. 12 (195th OA): Youngstown – Jack Dugan (‘98/C) Rochester Monarchs
Rd. 13 (202nd OA): Chicago – Marc Johnstone (‘96/RW) North Jersey Avalanche
Rd. 13 (206th OA): Omaha – Christian DiCesare (‘98/RD) Omaha AAA
Rd. 14 (217th OA): Waterloo – Dawson Zahorian (late‘98/LD) Cranbrook HS
Rd. 14 (219th OA): Bloomington – Erik Gordon (‘99/G) TPH Thunder
Rd. 14 (227th OA): Youngstown – Sean Petrie (‘96/RD) Delbarton HS
Rd. 15 (243rd OA): Youngstown – Luke Lynch (‘96/C) Johnstown Tomahawks
Rd. 16 (250th OA): Chicago – Joseph Duszak (‘97/RD) PAL Islanders – Mercyhurst
Rd. 16 (257th OA): Tri City – Justin Robbins (‘99/G) NJ Avalanche
Rd. 17 (266th OA): Chicago – Scotty Osani (‘99/RW) NJ Avalanche
Rd. 18 (257th OA): Lincoln – Noah Williams (‘98/RW) Syracuse Jr. Nationals
Rd. 19 (304th OA): Cedar Rapids – Perry Winfree (late‘99/RD) Carolina Hurricanes
Rd. 19 (307th OA): Youngstown – Joe Dragonjac (late ‘99/G) Pittsburgh Pens Elite
New Faces in the Crowd
USHR traveled to Foxboro, Mass. on the weekend of May 2-3 this weekend to check out the East Coast Prospects Evaluation Camp, put together by Scott Harlow and Vincent Montalbano.
We went, primarily, to identify new faces in the crowd but, as a by-product of just being there, we were also watching players already familiar to us. A few stood out for us more than they had during the regular season, and we mention them below as well.
We chose to focus primarily on the U16 and U20 divisions, but we did get to see the U14 division as well.
Each player at the camp is provided with an overall analysis of their individual game. Each player participated in two practices, three games, and an off-ice workout. At the end of the weekend they all walked out with a scouting report written by an NHL scout that assessed all facets of their game. The practices were run by New England Div. I assistant coaches, the games were coached by NHL scouts, and the workout portion was run by Brian McDonough of Edge Performance System at Foxboro Sports Center.
Before we get to the U16 and U20 divisions, we wanted to mention a U14 player who stood out for us. Late ’02 forward Declan Lovett (#16 Team Red), the younger brother of Conor Lovett, who we wrote about in last year’s Prep Cup, is an excellent skater and possesses a very high IQ. Merely 12 years old, Lovett, from the South Shore Kings organization, is not a kid who is dominating because of his size and strength. In fact, he was one of the smaller players on the ice, where he made plays every shift, utilizing his teammates well, and manipulating defenders with ease. We expect to see a lot of good things from him in the years ahead.
Everett Wardle, #29 Team Gold, ’99, F, 5-8/145 – A skilled forward from the PAL Jr. Islanders who can really shoot the puck, Wardle was creative off the rush and on his zone entries. Has a silky smooth stride and a great pair of hands. Dodges in and out of traffic without breaking stride.
Nicholas Ioannou, #20 Team Blue, Late ’99, D, 5-9/190 – A highly-skilled, smooth-skating, offensive defenseman from the Florida Alliance U16s who knows how, and when, to best utilize his skill set. Understands when to join the rush, and when to move the puck to an open teammate. Also packs a heavy shot from the blue line. If he continues to grow he will turn into a fantastic prospect.
Hunter Brackett, #22 Team Blue, Late ’00, F, 5-9/155 – A smart two-way forward who knows how to win puck battles and how to finish around the net. Brackett, from the Junior Bruins, has enough speed in his game to be dangerous off the rush, but also has the hockey sense that allows him to create plays with little time and space.
Dante Goldner, #24 Team Blue, Late ’99, F, 6-0/185 – A solid forward who is willing to take the puck to the net. Goldner, from the NH Monarchs U16 team, has a knack for scoring goals in tight areas. Racked up a bunch of points in the two games this typist saw him in.
Adam Romano, #20 Team Gold, ’99, D, 5-9/175 – A big defenseman from the U18 Junior Rangers who possesses an equally big shot. Was the most polished two-way defenseman in this age group, and possibly the whole showcase. Keeps a good gap through the neutral zone, and can snap the puck around the rink.
Brendan White, #2 Team Black, F, ’98, 6-2/185 – Malden Catholic forward was noticeable nearly every shift he was on the ice. Used his speed and long reach to keep defenders at bay. Was the most polished product in the tournament’s U20 Division.
Brett and Derek Mecrones¸# 6 and 7, Team Black, F, ’96, 5-8/160 – The twins remind this typist a lot of the Smith twins (Salisbury/Dubuque/Yale) in the sense that you can’t write up one without the other. The Mecrones, from the Boston Junior Rangers, lack the high-end skills of the Smiths, but they certainly are fun to watch. They have a knack for finding each other all over the ice. Whether it is on a breakout, or a power play, the dynamic duo create havoc for defenders. They both play an honest, two-way game that will translate well to the junior ranks.
Conor Sullivan, #3 Team Black, F, ’97, 5-10/165 – A forward with good speed off the rush and patience with the puck. Allows the play to develop before making creative passes. Looks to be a pass-first type of player with the ability to shoot the puck if needed. Plays in the Skipjacks organization.
Jabes Benedict, #15 Team Gold, D, ’97, 6-1/190 – A high-risk, high-reward, offensive defenseman from Nova Scotia. Loves to join, and sometimes lead, the rush. Has enough speed and skill with the puck to be effective in this role. Possibly a power play candidate, but needs to learn when to slow the game down to best utilize his skills. From the KES School (Nova Scotia).
Noah Strawn, #3 Team Gold, F, ’98, 5-10/165 -- The speedy forward from the Junior Bruins showed off an array of skills this weekend. His speed with the puck off the rush is tough for defenders to contain, and his willingness to drive to the net creates space for his line mates. Has a nice shot that he showed beating the goalie to the high glove side from above the circles. Will likely make his way onto a D-I roster as a bottom six forward who can win battles in the corners.
Evan Daddario, #9 Team Gold, F, ’98, 5-11/175 – The Belmont Hill forward showed very well here. His hockey sense and skating ability are his two most noticeable attributes. He isn’t overly flashy with the puck on his stick, but he knows how to create offense.
Joe Verboys, #2 Team Red, F, ’97, 5-11/185 – Plays a gritty, hard-nosed style of hockey. Hard to play against over the entire 200 x 85 sheet, and has the skill to make plays. Will have to make it to the next level with a strong work ethic, but any team looking for a hard working role player should keep an eye on him. Plays for the Connecticut Junior Rangers U18 team.
Getting Ready for ’15-16
Lately, we have not been producing as many articles as is customary, but it’s not by accident. It’s the slow time of year, and we’ve been taking advantage of it by working on improving USHR in ways that will make it stronger. Right now, we’re focusing on bolstering the business, taking a number of steps to ensure that USHR will remain on firm ground for many years to come.
We will also be adding some new features over the course of the summer and fall. Taken as a whole, this will make for an improved product.
This fall will mark the beginning of USHR’s 21st season. Well, technically it’s the 19th season as, for the first couple of years (1995-96) we were known simply as the New England Hockey Report. You old-timers may remember the stapled eight-page newsletters and the various editions of our scouting reports, dubbed the Green Books, reflecting the color of the paper they were printed on. In 1997, enough people had dial-up Internet access to enable us to – somewhat nervously -- make the leap to the digital world.
At any rate, things will be quiet on the site the last two weeks in May in order to allow for a short family trip to Europe. But we’ll be back at it the first week of June, as we get ready for all the summer tournaments.
Thank you for your patience. It will be worth it.