Select 15 Standouts
Here – and sorry about the tardiness – are our rankings from the USA Hockey Select 15 Festival, held July 15-21 in Amherst, NY.
We felt the forwards to be a deep group. As for the defensemen, there were, reflecting overall changes in the game, a huge number of small, swift-skating, puck-moving D who could push the tempo. Conversely, there was a dearth of traditional stay-at-home d-men, though the ones who were there stood out.
We saw the final three of the tournament’s five days, so did not get to see forward Tyler Weiss, one of the top players in his age group. Weiss, who’s from Raleigh, North Carolina but plays in Toronto for the Don Mills Flyers, was injured in the early going.
The geographical area that produced the highest number of top players was the Upper Midwest, from Detroit west through Minnesota. Chicago appeared to have the highest concentration.
All heights and weights are official, and were taken on July 15th.
Jake Wise, #16 Royal/ Central Catholic High School, 5-9.25/176, Boston University -- The most complete forward in camp. Wise, a center, has a powerful stride, and shoots the puck with speed and accuracy. But it’s his hockey IQ that stands above all else. He gets the puck and moves it quickly and decisively – before passing lanes close up, and before opponents can hit him or take it off his stick (good luck with that). Anyone who plays on a line with Wise is fortunate indeed. North Andover, Mass. native will be returning to Central Catholic HS (Lawrence, Mass.) this fall. He will be a sophomore. (6-9-15)
Oliver Wahlstrom, #10 Royal/ Shattuck-St. Mary’s, 5-11.75/186 -- Was on Wise’s team here – and Wise’s line, too. When Wahlstrom gets the puck and comes barreling down the right side, it’s pretty scary. In one game, he scored a statement goal 42 seconds into the game. He has size, speed, hands, terrific moves -- and he can really shoot it. His #2 ranking here is based very much on potential because, at times, he appeared fatigued or disinterested – and would disappear. All six of his points here were goals, three of which came in an 11-2 blowout on the final day. When we saw Wahlstrom at World Selects, we felt he tended to shoot from the perimeter, and was able to beat weaker goalies from that distance, and we saw that tendency here too. Still, he has eye-popping skill as evidenced by his 68-46-114 line in 65 games with the Shattuck Bantams this past year. Played at North Yarmouth Academy the year before where, as a 7th grader, he committed to the University of Maine, where his father Joakim, had played in the late ‘80s. Earlier this summer, Wahlstrom decommitted from Maine. (6-0-6)
Calen Kiefiuk, #12 Grey/ Honeybaked, 5-7/181 – A ball of skill and energy. Constantly makes plays in all three zones. Hard on the puck, and relentless on the forecheck. Created passing options with little time and space. Protects the puck well. Mans the point on the PP. Scored two even-strength goals within three minutes in Sunday’s game. Left shot from Macomb, Michigan. (4-4-8)
Jaxon Nelson, #9 Purple/ Luverne (Minn.) HS, 6-2.75/195, University of Minnesota – Magnolia, Minnesota native made news in April when he committed to the Gophers, and in the process became the first Luverne High School hockey player to ever make a D-I commitment – or receive a D-I offer, for that matter. The town of Magnolia and Luverne High School are in the far southwest corner of Minnesota, right on the border with Iowa and South Dakota. While it may be in Minnesota, that’s not hockey country. Nelson had 70 points as an 8th grader (28 games) and then 91 last year as a 9th grader (also in 28 games). Was a 7th round pick of Tri-City in WHL Bantam Draft.(2-3-5)
Akil Thomas, #16 Orange/ Toronto Marlies, 5-9.75/151 – Shifty and creative. Knows how to get to open space without the puck, and has the ability to slow the game down when the puck is on his stick. Can score from in tight to the net, or off the rush. Scored a nice shootout goal, a top-shelf backhander. Will be a junior in high school. 3.80 gpa. From Brandon, Florida. (3-4-7)
Jacob Pivonka, #17 Gold/ Chicago Mission, 5-11/186, Notre Dame – Crafty forward is strong on his skates – very sturdy. Likes having the puck on his stick in the offensive zone, which allows him the opportunity to make the pass that he sees fit, or simply take the puck to the net. Very aware player. We saw him intercept a pass and rifle one stick side past an unsuspecting goalie He’s not flashy, but the more you watch, the more you see. Father, Michal, was a center for the Washington Caps from 1986-99, hence Jacob is a US/Czech Republic dual citizen. (3-2-5)
Ryan Savage, #8 Gold/ Phoenix Jr. Coyotes, 5-9.74/164 – Will be going overseas to play at the Red Bull Hockey Academy (Salzburg, Austria). Son of former NHL forward Brian Savage, who will be working for the Academy. Savage was a 4th round pick of Everett in WHL Bantam Draft. (3-3-6)
Joel Farabee, #10 Black/ Selects Academy, 5-9/137, UNH – Skates very well – really flies -- and distributes the puck in all three zones. Has the ability to change speeds off the rush to help frustrate defenders. Great on give-and-gos. Didn’t light up the scoreboard, but the tools are there. From Cicero, NY, near Syracuse. Will be a sophomore at Selects. (0-3-3)
Ryan Roth, #9 Royal/ St. Louis Jr. Blues, 5-6.25/142 -- The undersized center thinks the game at a high level, always putting himself in the right position to make plays, which his quick hands allow him to execute at high speed. Enhances the abilities of his line mates by luring defenders outside their comfort zones to open up wider lanes. Keeps his feet moving constantly. Very shifty. From Laude, Missouri. Will be a sophomore. Has a 4.0 gpa. (1-2-3)
Cole Krygier, #15 Red/ Compuware, 6-0/167 – Good-sized forward is rangy, with a long fluid stride. Showed a willingness to get in the dirty areas in the offensive zone. Scored a nice tip-in goal on a power play. Novi, Michigan native will be playing for Little Caesar’s this winter. Son of the first NHLer from the University of Connecticut, Todd Krygier, now head coach at Muskegon (USHL). (1-1-2)
K’Andre Miller, #17 Kelly/ Minnetonka HS, 6-2/176 – Big, raw forward who sometimes looked like a pro and at other times looked completely lost. A project, for sure. But he could be quite a force if it all clicks into place for him. Will be a 10th grader. Was a 9th round pick of Saskatoon in the WHL Bantam Draft. (0-3-3)
Patrick Giles, #18 Royal/ Richmond Generals U16, 6-3.25/184 – Raw power forward from Chevy Chase, Maryland is not super-skilled, but nonetheless showed an ability to make delicate plays in tight spaces. He is 6’3” plus so tends to get tangled up at times when jammed along the wall. Giles forechecks hard, and terrorizes defenders. Saw him take a couple of dumb penalties and make passes to nobody in particular. He will grow into his body more and -- if he really buys into the role of edgy power forward -- he could be playing this game for quite some time. Will be playing for the Baltimore Skipjacks. (1-1-2)
Jonathan Gruden, #14 Grey/ Honeybaked, 5-9.75/145 – Highly intelligent forward who distributes the puck well and can shoot it when needed. Played on a line with full-season teammate Calen Kiefiuk (see above) and the two were a constant force. Never overhandles the puck. Has a soft touch. Son of John Gruden, former Ferris State d-man and the inaugural head coach of the Flint Firebirds (OHL), formerly the Plymouth Whalers. (2-4-6)
Blake McLaughlin, #18 Grey/ Grand Rapids Bantams, 5-9.5/154 – A left-shot forward who likes to shoot the puck, but has the awareness to dish it when needed. Isn’t a fluid skater, but he does have good straight-line speed, and is quick enough to get to where he needs to be. Goes hard both ways, and is very competitive. Will be a 10th grader at Grand Rapids (Minn.) High School. (5-3-8)
Marek Wazny, #8 Purple/ Dallas Stars Elite, 5-10/147 – Dallas, Texas native competes hard for loose pucks which, in turn, affords him opportunities to create chances offensively. Doesn’t have one skill that trumps the rest, but the sum of his parts allows him to be a constant force on the ice. Played high school hockey in Toronto last winter, as well as playing for the Mississauga Senators Bantams. Will be playing for Junior Canadiens this winter. (4-6-10)
Blade Jenkins, #17 Navy/ Compuware, 5-11.5/177, University of Michigan – High-flying forward loves to have the puck on his stick. Showed a tendency to drive wide to attempt to beat defenders, and was often unsuccessful. Tried to do too much on his own, and plays died on the vine as a result. That said, he has plenty of skill. He just has to apply it in the most advantageous way – and with consistency. (1-2-3)
Colin Schmidt, # 12 Columbia/ Wayzata Bantam AA, 6-3.5/206 – A big right-shot forward with a nice set of hands and a hard shot. Makes plays through the neutral zone, but doesn’t quite have an understanding of the game in the offensive zone. Can be guilty at times of positioning himself in high-traffic areas instead of finding the soft spot in the defense. Not afraid to use his size in the physical aspects of the game. Will be a soph at Wayzata HS. Was an 11th round pick of Prince George in the WHL Bantam Draft. Still quite raw, but holds a lot of upside. (1-1-2)
Jack Drury, #9 Grey/ Chicago Mission, 5-9.5/171 – Drury, a left-shot center and the son of Fairfield Prep, Harvard, and NHL forward Ted Drury, is a savvy playmaker. A multi-season athlete who spends his spring on the baseball diamond instead of a hockey rink, Drury has good vision and an even better hockey IQ. An unselfish player, he won draws consistently, and appears to be a real leader on the ice. Needs to be a step quicker. A strong student, Drury’s best years are still in front of him. (1-4-5)
Trevor Janicke, #18 Black/ Osseo Maple Grove Bantams, 5-7.25/154, late ’00 – A smart forward who can shoot it. Finds ways to get the puck on net – and into it. Works hard below the dots, and is a pain for defenders to handle. He’s a very good skater -- quick, with the ability to make things happen. Strong on the puck, with good hands. Born on Christmas Day, so he was almost certainly the youngest kid here – just one week away from being an ’01. Will be a freshman at Maple Grove HS. A player to keep an eye on. (4-2-6)
Mason Salquist, #9 Red/ Grand Forks Bantam AA, 5-7.25/155 – A crafty forward with and without the puck on his stick. Very shifty. Makes plays all over the ice. Distributes the puck well in tight areas, and can slow the game down when needed. No surprise that he put up the numbers that he did. Will be a sophomore. (4-3-7)
Jackson Wozniak, #14 Columbia/ LA Jr. Kings, 5-6.75/171 – Small left-shot forward with quick hands and intricate playmaking ability. Likes to draw defenders out of position, and then beat them with a pass or his feet. Very good anticipation. Had a quiet week here on the scoresheet, but could be an impact player down the road. From the LA Junior Kings. Was an 11th round pick of Kelowna in the WHL Bantam Draft. (2-0-2)
Sammy Steele, #14 Gold/ York Devils, 6-2/171 – On Sunday, Steele scored two even-strength goals in under three minutes. Also made some great passes. One of those players who doesn’t jump out at you, but every time you look up he’s setting up or scoring a goal. Sneaky good – and he’s a big kid, too. From Hummelstown, PA. Will be playing for the Wilkes-Barre Knights this fall. (2-8-10)
Spencer Stastney, #14 Black/ Chicago Mission, 5-7.75/150 – Excellent skills, but expected a little more production. A player to keep an eye on. 4.0 student will be a sophomore. (2-0-2)
Max Ellis, #11 Black/ Honeybaked, 5-7.25/134 – Quick, creative playmaker understands how to exploit defenses off the rush and in settled situations. Canton, Michigan native made a nice backdoor pass on a 3-on-2 on the last day of camp that required absolute precision to execute. (0-5-5)
Harrison Roy, #11 Red/ Boston Bandits, 5-10.75/154 – A tall, slender, forward who flies up and down the ice. Responsible in his own zone, supports his wingers on the breakout, and distributes the puck with pinpoint accuracy while moving at high speeds. Not a pure goal scorer, he often looks to set up his teammates instead. From Lakeville, Mass. Will be a sophomore. (1-3-4)
Jack DeBoer, #10 Red/ New Jersey Colonials, 6-1.75/175 – Big, strong, powerful forward who skates well. The effort was inconsistent at times, but the tools were very noticeable. Going to Salisbury this fall. Son of San Jose Sharks head coach Peter DeBoer. (1-4-5)
Alex Gritz, #15 Grey/ Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, 5-10/158 – Doesn’t have the greatest puck skills, but he works hard every shift and causes plenty of trouble for defenders. Has a hard and accurate shot from in tight. Was on a line with Keifiuk and Gruden for a few games, and played the power forward role. (3-1-4)
Ryan O’Reilly, #10 Columbia/ Dallas Stars Elite, 5-11.25/177 – Has good hands, size, and strength. It’s his work ethic sets him apart from the crowd, though. Was hard on the forecheck and separating kids from the puck in battles along the wall. Right shot forward will be a 10th grader. Was a 5th round pick of Tri-City in WHL Bantam Draft. (1-0-1)
Demetrios Koumontzis, #10 Gold/ Edina Bantam AA, 5-7.25/150 – Always creative with the puck on his stick. Very clever, very shifty. Saw him split the D on a great 2-on-1 that led to a goal. Can get caught overhandling the puck, but he never seems to lose possession. Has the ability to lull defenses to sleep, then make crisp passes through the seams. Is moving down south to play for the Phoenix Junior Coyotes this winter. Not sure why. Was an 8th round pick of Everett in the WHL Bantam Draft. (1-3-4)
Logan Pietila, #17 Orange/ Compuware, 5-9.5/142 – Will be playing for Little Caesar’s this season. (1-2-3)
Erik Middendorf, #12 Black/ Arizona Junior Coyotes, 5-11.25/168 – A strong skater with a powerful lower body, and excellent lateral agility. Good two-way forward didn’t put up the numbers that we expected, but his lone assist was a beautiful backdoor pass off the rush where he delayed on the half wall then snapped it through two defenders for a tap-in goal. Son of Max Middendorf, a 6’4” center who starred with the New Jersey Rockets as a 16-year-old before going major junior and eventually getting drafted in the 3rd round of the 1985 draft by Quebec. Given that the dad only played 13 NHL games, perhaps his son, a 4th round pick of Moose Jaw in spring’s WHL Draft, will opt for the NCAA route. (0-1-1)
Trevor Peca, #19 Navy/Buffalo Jr. Sabres, 6-0/163 – Played in three games as he was a replacement for an injured player, but was noticeable from the get-go. Only negative was a dumb slashing penalty he took in one game. Son of former NHLer Mike Peca who, by the way, was his coach last winter. (0-2-2)
Kyler Grundy, #10 Purple/ Milwaukee Jr. Admirals, 5-11/180 – Big forward skates very well. Has good hands in tight, but rarely makes flashy moves off the rush. Keeps his game simple, efficient, and effective. Wins a high percentage of loose puck battles along the walls, and his passes were on the money. Will be a sophomore. (2-1-3)
Matt Cameron, #8 White/ Little Caesar’s, 5-9.25/188 – Not a pretty skater, but knows how to get to the goal scoring areas. Has very good hands, a quick release, and a heavy shot. Seems to enjoy creating havoc in front of the net. Berwyn, PA native, who played for Little Caesar’s last season, will be playing for the North Jersey Avalanche U16s this winter. Appears to be carrying a bit too much weight. If he were to shed some, his skating could take a leap forward. (5-3-8)
Thomas Wray, #18 Columbia/ Chicago Young Americans, 5-5.75/130 – Undersized right-shot forward, a late ’00, played up at the U16 level last winter, and certainly looked comfortable at this pace of play. Shifty and creative with the puck. Competes hard. We are a little surprised that he didn’t end up on the score sheet more frequently. Will be playing for Little Caesar’s this winter. (1-0-1)
Jack Randl, #15 Orange/ Chicago Mission, 5-10.25/172 – Another speedy forward from the Chicago Mission. Strong on his skates and strong on the puck. Can make plays at tempo, and excels at drawing defenders toward him before moving the puck. Carpentersville, Ill. native will be a sophomore in high school. 3.90 gpa. (1-4-5)
Mathieu De St. Phalle, #9 Forest/ Chicago Mission, 5-5.75/125 – A small, crafty, right shot forward with quick hands and a touch around the net. Likes handling the puck, sometimes too much so. Has a nice burst of speed off the wall, which he uses to create passing lanes on the breakout, or to attack the net in the offensive zone. Played for Honeybaked last winter; will be with Mission this winter. Kildeer, Illinois native will be a sophomore in high school. (3-2-5)
Kevin Wall, #11 Forest/ Syracuse Nationals, 5-10.25/175 – A strong skater with an extra burst of speed when needed. Has a nice set of hands, and is creative with the puck through the neutral zone. Fairport, NY native will be moving over to the Buffalo Jr. Sabres this winter. (2-3-5)
Joey Musa, #18 White/ Orlando Jr. Knights, 5-4.25/110 – One of the smallest players in the camp had an excellent showing. Flies all over the ice, and is creative with the puck on his stick. Understands his physical limitations, so he avoids direct contact when necessary. Has the hands and creativity to score goals in different ways, including a nice breakaway goal that we caught. He’s from Orange Park, Florida, and is headed this fall to Trinity-Pawling, where he will be a freshman. (6-3-9)
Benjamin Badalamenti, #8 Navy/ Little Caesar’s, 5-10.25/175 – Noticeable speed with and without the puck. Moves around the ice very well, but can get caught watching the play rather than engaging. From Harrison Township, Michigan. (2-2-4)
Kyle Peters, #11 Purple/ Team Comcast, 5-6/153 – Small forward scoots all over and will shoot from anywhere. His in-stride shooting technique is top notch, which makes it tough for goalies to track properly. Would like to see him pass the puck a bit more in certain situations, especially as the goalies get better at handling the rebounds from off-angle shots. (3-4-7) From Mount Laurel, NJ.
Noah Prokop, #12 Red/ Colorado Thunderbirds, 5-11.25/165 – Good speed and passing ability. From Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Will be a sophomore at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Was a 7th round pick of Calgary in the WHL Bantam Draft. (0-3-3)
Jacques Bouquot, #12 White/ Mid-Fairfield Junior Rangers, 6-0/152 – Big frame, strong on the puck. His one goal here was a lucky one – the goalie was way off his post. Will be a sophomore at Salisbury this fall. (1-3-4)
Mark Gallant, #15 Forest/ Groton School, 5-11/159 – A solid left-shot forward who isn’t overly flashy with the puck, but quite effective with it. Comfortable working from the half wall on the power play, or five on five. Makes hard, flat, passes and has a good shot. Will be a 9th grader at Groton. (2-2-4)
Joseph Baez, #16 Black/ Tampa Scorpions, 5-6.5/147 – Tampa, Florida native. (4-0-4)
Jacob Goldowski, #12 Forest/ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights, 6-1.75/167, Penn State – We saw, in flashes, what he can be, but we didn’t see it consistently. (0-1-1)
Riley Hughes, #8 Kelly/Boston Jr. Eagles, 5-11.75/155 – Big, strong power forward type. From Westwood, Mass. Will be a freshman at St. Seb’s. (1-0-1)
Chase McLane, #11 Royal/ Little Caesar’s, 6-0/167 – Has high end straight-line speed which makes him tough to defend off the rush. Also has a hard, accurate shot. From Trenton, Michigan. Will be a sophomore in high school. Has a 4.0 gpa. (4-3-7)
Riley Brennan, #18 Orange/ PAL Jr. Islanders, 5-6.75/136 – Small two-way forward has a fluid stride. Pressures the puck hard when tracking back through the neutral zone, and can create plays with the puck in transition. From Manorville, Long Island. Heading to Gunnery, where he will be a sophomore. (1-1-2)
Matt Shanklin, #15 Gold/ Honeybaked, 5-6.75/162 – From Chagrin Falls, Ohio. A great name for a town. It’s a suburb of Cleveland. (1-1-2)
Ross Mitton, #16 Forest/ Long Island Royals, 5-8.5/170 – A hardworking, power forward type who gets to the dirty areas. He’s physical, he likes to hit, and he competes. Not overly skilled with the puck, but knows how to get where he wants to go. Cliffside Park, NJ native will be moving to the North Jersey Avalanche U16s for upcoming season. (0-0-0)
Liam Gorman, #11 Grey/ St. Sebastian’s, 6-1/165 – Has good hands and makes good passes in all three zones. Surprising that he didn’t get on the score sheet as he made noticeable plays every time we saw him. From Arlington, Mass. Will be a 9th grader at St. Seb’s. (0-0-0)
Philippe LaPointe, #18 Kelly/ Chicago Mission, 5-10/174 – Has a nice set of hands; displayed them on a breakaway goal in one viewing. Had inconsistencies from shift to shift, but there is more than enough skill to keep watching. From Hinsdale, Ill. Will be in 10th grade. (1-0-1)
Ian Mageau, #11 White/ Duluth East HS, 6-0.25/193 – Around the puck a lot. Made some strong power moves to the net. (1-2-3)
Blais Ricartz, #17 Columbia/ Team Wisconsin, 5-8.75/174 – Powerful stride, good speed, and a good release to his shot. Will be playing for Menominee (Wisc.) High School, where he is a 10th grader. (2-1-3)
Anthony Mastromonica, #17 White/ Long Island Royals, 6-1.25/171 – A good skater with even better hands. Was noticeable at times, but we expected more, as he tended to blend in too frequently here. Can shoot it when he gets it, but didn’t find enough ways to create time and space for himself. Going to Selects Academy this fall. (2-1-3)
Curtis Hall, #8 Royal/ Cleveland Barons, 5-11/175 – (2-0-2) – Another player from Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Strong on skates. Potential power forward. (2-0-2)
Kyle Haskins, #12 Gold/ Rice Prep, 5-9.25/158 – Native of Huntington, Vt. – that’s southeast of Burlington -- showed good speed. Playing for Selects Academy this fall. (3-2-5)
Justin Engelkes, #16 Purple/ Team Wisconsin, 5-8/168 – A creative player one shift, then un-noticeable the next. A solid skater who plays at a high tempo, but is not overly dynamic in any facet of the game. Playing for Team Wisconsin and Middleton HS year. Will be a soph. (1-2-3)
Bode Wilde, #7 Gold/ Honeybaked, 6-1.75/184, Harvard – The dominant defenseman here, hands down. Wilde’s size, coupled with his ability to skate with the puck where and when he wanted was exceptional. His stride is powerful; ditto for his shot. A right shot from Kildeer, Ill., a suburb northwest of Chicago, Wilde recently committed to Harvard. Played for Honeybaked last year, and will be back home with the Mission this year. A potential first-round draft pick in 2018.
Mattias Samuelsson, #3 Grey/ Northwood Prep, 6-2.5/203, University of Michigan – Michigan commit is punishing along the boards, and gets pucks through from the point with a quick release and real power. Beat a goalie high blocker with a snap shot from the blue line. Son of Kjell Samuelsson will be a junior at Northwood. Has first round NHL draft potential in 2018.
Jacob Semik, #5 Red/ Honeybaked, 5-10.75/150 – Poised, two-way defender. Excellent skater, plus shot, could be a powerplay QB at the next level. From Canton, Michigan. Will be a 10th grader.
Xan Gurney, #2 Navy/ Compuware, 6-2/181 – Strong, powerful defender with great size. Has a good stick, wins board battles, and makes accurate passes under pressure. From Grosse Isle, Michigan.
Adam Samuelsson, #5 Purple/ Connecticut Jr. Rangers, 6-3/210 – Seems a bit awkward and heavy, but makes good plays all over the ice. Could be a real force as he becomes more comfortable in his huge frame. Son of NY Rangers assistant Ulf Samuelsson. Youngest of the three brothers (Philip and Henrik are in the Arizona Coyotes organization, in case you were wondering).
Aidan Fulp, #3 White/ Chicago Mission, 6-1.75/184 – Very interesting – and raw-- prospect. Great frame. Smooth on his skates. Good stick. Gets tangled up with himself at times. Falls down easily. Loses coordination. Great wrist shot, and poised. Looks like a baby deer now, but could be playing pro someday. From Westfield, Indiana.
Brady Smith, #2 Red/ Chicago Mission, 5-7.25/171, University of Wisconsin – He can really skate – a little buzz bomb. Plays a physical game, and sometimes takes penalties that are unnecessary. From Chicago suburb of Palatine, Ill. (0-3-3, 8 pims)
Stanislav Demin, #6 Kelly/ Anaheim Jr. Ducks, 5-11.75/167 – Good lateral movement, especially on the offensive blue line. Smart with the puck, and strong on the puck. From Cypress, California. 6th round pick of Portland in WHL Bantam Draft.
Benjamin Brinkman, #6 Black/ Edina Bantams, 5-11.5/175 – Late ’00 birthdate is an excellent skater with good size and a powerful shot. Will be a 9th grader at Edina High School.
Conner Hutchison #2 White/ Selects Academy, 5-9.25/160 – Long Island native is a dynamic skater. Showed speed and quickness. Poised under pressure. Made some really nice passes. Younger brother of former Avon forward – and current Northeastern recruit -- Nick Hutchison.
Jordan Harris, #4 Orange/ Islanders Hockey Club, 5-8.75/155 -- Highly intelligent defender, makes good defensive reads, poised in all zones, good stick, good gaps. Possibly the best backwards skater we saw at tournament. Very good feet. Will be a freshman at Kimball Union Academy. Strong student. Younger brother of KUA goaltender Elijah Harris.
Ty Emberson, #5 White/ Team Wisconsin, 5-11.5/183 – Big, physical defender will play for Team Wisconsin and Eau Claire Memorial High School – the Old Abes -- this season.
Bobby Burns, #2 Grey/ Little Caesar’s, 5-11.75/185 – Strong right-shot D from Toledo, Ohio throws heavy hits on the boards and in open ice. Wins a lot of puck battles along the wall.
Matthew Kessel, #4 Royal/ Little Caesar’s, 5-11.5/165 – Solid overall defender, doesn’t jump out at you right away, but makes all the little plays. From Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Will be a sophomore.
Alec Regula, #4 Kelly/ Cranbrook School, 6-1.5/176 – Big, raw right-shot D from West Bloomfield, Michigan is a top student, and played at Cranbrook last winter. Moves well, has a long stride. Showed patience with the puck.
Christian Krygier, #4 Red/ Little Caesar’s, 5-11.25/161— Twin brother of forward Cole Krygier.
Michael Farrandino, #2 Forest/ Chicago Young Americans, 5-8.75/141 – A lot of poise. Strong defensively. Sees the play in front of him well.
Colton Wilkie, #4 Grey/ Omaha AAA Lancers, 5-6.5/167 – Small, mobile, left-shot D, from Elkhorn, Nebraska. Good stick. Doesn’t back down to anyone. Coached by his dad, former NHL defenseman David Wilkie.
Will MacKinnon, #6 Purple/ Honeybaked, 5-10/179 – Very offensive minded. Joins the rush at the right times -- and at the wrong times, too. Has speed. From Port Clinton, Ohio. Has a 4.0 gpa.
Jack Lagerstrom, #4 Navy/ Shattuck-St. Mary's, 6-1/183 – Solid overall defenseman with no weaknesses we could see. His skating is his best asset. Right shot D, an Edina, Minn. native, has a 3.90 gpa at Shattuck. Was an 11th round pick of Vancouver in the WHL Bantam Draft.
James Macintyre Wiseman, #4 Purple/ Richmond Generals, 5-8/155 – Smallish, mobile and a very good skater. Smart player. Very aware on both sides of the puck. Gets the puck off his stick in a hurry. Creative passes in all three zones. Accurate shot from the point. From Haymarket, Virginia. Will be playing for the Baltimore Skipjacks.
Benjamin Schultheis, #4 White/ TPH Thunder, 6-1.25/198 – Smooth skater with good size. From Mt. Juliet, Tenn.
Caleb Everett, #3 Forest/ Honeybaked, 6-0.75/176 – Smart defenseman. Good passes from the top on the PP; good stick defending the rush. Right shot from Pleasant Lake, Michigan.
Spencer Weisgram, #5 Royal/ Milwaukee Jr. Admirals Bantams, 5-9.25/175, late ’00 – Fast, strong on the boards, and makes accurate passes. From Fargo, ND but plays for the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals.
Ethan Frisch, #5 Columbia/ Moorhead Bantam, 5-9.25/153, late ’00 – Very good skater, shifty, has the hands to make plays in tight spaces. Will be a 9th grader for the Spuds of Moorhead High.
Brandon Tabakin, #2 Kelly/ North Jersey Avalanche, 5-5.75/131 – Hockey IQ is extremely high, size is his limiting factor right now. Left shot D from Westbury, Long Island has 4.0 gpa.
Zachary Jones, #3 Red/ Richmond Generals, 5-3.25/128 – Tiny player, but super poised and intelligent. Gets knocked around in some situations, but always battles. Will be a freshman at Selects Academy.
James Davenport, #3 Gold/ Boston Jr. Eagles, 5-9.75/150 – Natick, Mass. native will be a freshman at St. Sebastian’s.
Jalen Kaplan, #6 Columbia/ New Jersey Frozen Tide, 5-8.5/152 – Strong skater with good hockey sense. Keeps the play in front of him. From Bridgewater, NJ, he will be joining his brother, Jordan, at the Salisbury School this fall. He will be a sophomore.
Michael Higgins, #2 Royal/ Boston Advantage, 5-9.25/182 – Hard shot from the point. Good skater. From Needham, Mass.
Paddy Mangan, #6 Orange/ Rice Memorial (Vt.), 5-11.25/164 – Good athlete, has a good frame. Speed is good in straight lines, but his hands need some work. From South Burlington, Vt. Will be a sophomore.
Jack Babbage, #3 Orange/ Boston Jr. Eagles, 5-11/169 – Solid frame, good feet, plays within himself. Rarely caught out of position. From Tully, NY -- that’s south of Syracuse. Will be a freshman at the Hill Academy (Toronto, Ont.)
Aaron Pinto, #7 Navy/ Connecticut Wolfpack, 5-8.25/146 –Makes a lot of creative plays with the puck, and remains calm under pressure. Has a shot. Pinched a bit on a powerplay and scored on an impressive top-shelf snipe. Will be a sophomore at Avon Old Farms.
Daniel Long, #2 Purple/ Connecticut Jr. Rangers, 5-10.5/178 – Good-sized but also quite mobile. Makes very good reads on neutral zone regroups. Able to find small windows to squeeze pucks into. From Madison, Conn.
Reid Miller, #7 Purple/ Phoenix Jr. Coyotes, 5-8/151 – Feisty, strong, battles hard in his own zone. His skating is very good, and he has some offensive upside. Will be a 10th grader in high school, and he was a 10th round pick of Saskatoon in the WHL Bantam Draft.
Nicholas Petruolo, #5 Navy/ New Jersey Colonials, 5-9.75/174 – From Neshanic Station, NJ. Will be with Jersey Hitmen this year.
Cade Murnan-Mechor, #3 Kelly/ Buffalo Jr. Sabres, 6-2/170 – Right shot D from Buffalo area -- Orchard Park, NY, to be precise -- averaged nearly a point per game last season. Has a 4.0 gpa.
Bruno Fludzinski, #5 Kelly/ Shattuck-St. Mary's, 6-0/176 – Right-shot D from Greenwich, Conn. played at Shattuck-St. Mary’s last winter.
Noah Lee, #7 Kelly/ Anaheim Jr. Ducks, 5-5.75/162 – Los Angeles native averaged better than a point per game from the blue line last season. Will be playing for the LA Junior Kings. 4.0 student.
Thomas Martin, #7 Grey/ Richmond Generals, 6-0.25/173 – Defensive D with good size. From Fairfax, Virginia. Will be playing for Washington Little Caps.
Nikolai Jenson, #6 Gold/ River Lakes Stars, 5-9.25/162 – Highly-mobile, defends well with his stick. Quick, steady, and gets points for having the best salad in camp. Has potential for the Minnesota All-Hockey Hair Team. Right shot D from Cold Spring, Minn. Will be a 9th grader at River Lakes (Minn.) HS.
William Spitzer, #5 Gold/ Chicago Mission, 5-5.5/134 – Left shot from Lincolnshire, Illinois.
Christian Berger, #4 Forest/ St. Louis Jr. Blues, 5-9.5/147 – Left shot from St. Louis will be a 9th grader.
Nicholas Azarovitz, #2 Columbia/ Little Caesar’s, 6-0.5/176 – From Canton, Michigan. Soph has a 4.00 GPA
Christian Felton, #3 Black/ Cleveland Barons, 5-9.75/167 – Smooth, with a good stick. From Medina, Ohio.
Connor McCue, #6 Forest/ Shattuck-St. Mary's, 5-7.5/143 – Good skater, turns the puck over a bit much, but also makes good passes on occasion. From Gurnee, Illinois.
1. Keegan Karki, #1 Columbia/ St. Cloud Bantam AA, 6-2.75/206 -- Karki possesses a big frame, a powerful lower body, and the ability to track the puck well through traffic. He’s technically sound, and his pad control allows him to leave rebounds in safe areas. Karki, who started off the week with a pair of shutouts, wasn't beaten by a clean shot in any of our viewings all week. From Sartell, Minn., Karki will be a 10th grader at St. Cloud Cathedral HS. (2.40/.921, 125 minutes)
2. Zachary Borgiel, #30 Purple/ Honeybaked, 5-11/185 -- While Keegan Karki (see above) might have stolen the show early on, Borgiel played well every time we saw him between the pipes. The confident netminder uses compact movements, and a strong understanding of the game to execute the proper saves. Has decent elevation in his butterfly, which allows him to appear bigger in his net, especially when blocking pucks through screens. Moves very well in the crease. Allowed one goal or fewer in four of his five starts, and only yielded two in his fifth start. From Fort Gratiot, Michigan. Will be a sophomore in high school, where he has a 3.90 gpa. (2.00/.915)
3. Riley Morgan, #1 Gold/ Arizona Bobcats 5-11.25/181 -- We weren’t crazy about him after the first game we watched him in, but over the rest of the week he was pretty unbeatable. Scottsdale, Arizona native just shut everyone down, and opened some eyes. (1.60/.926, 125 minutes).
4. Matthew Pasquale, #1 Grey/ Islanders Hockey Club, 5-11.25/146 -- An athletic goalie who plays at the top of the paint and has top-notch recovery ability. Constantly battles for positioning with traffic around the crease, and lets his reflexes take over when needed. Got stronger as the week went along, allowing only one goal in his final two starts. The North Reading, Mass. native will be a 9th grader at Central Catholic HS this winter. (2.80/.889 125 minutes)
5. Trent Burnham, #1Black/ Alaska Northstars, 5-9.75/149 -- The Eagle River, Alaska native was the workhorse of the week because his partner did not play in the final three games. Moves well laterally and made a few saves on east/west one-timers. Snaps his pads down into his butterfly, but keeps his hands away from his body which allows him to make quicker saves. (2.50/.894, 200 minutes)
6. Connor Hopkins, # 30 Gold/ Boston Junior Eagles, 5-10.75/199 -- A rugged goaltender who takes up a lot of the net, and has pretty decent footwork. Had a tough final outing, allowing six goals, but that can not detract from the fact that he only gave up three goals over his first four starts. The tools look to be here. Hopkins, from Malden, Mass., will be an intriguing prospect to keep an eye on throughout the season. (3.60/.845, 125 minutes)
7. Matthew Sanker, #1 Red/Team Comcast, 5-9/156 -- The undersized goalie from New Jersey stood out in our two viewings by making some nice athletic lateral saves, using his head to track pucks into both his blocker and glove. Just 18 months ago he was playing AA hockey, and has progressed to the national level. Battles hard for loose pucks, and remains calm under fire. From Pennington, NJ. (2.80/.875 125 Mins)
8. Carson Polish, #30 Orange/ Cleveland Barons, 5-5.25/132 -- Tiny goalie caught our eye. Moves very well laterally, and was great on rebounds. He has to challenge shooters due to his lack of size, but his skating and technique are excellent. Will likely grow in the coming months, and will certainly be a player to keep an eye on down the line. From Solon, Ohio. (3.20/.890)
Neponset Valley Jamboree Rosters & Schedule
The Neponset Valley River Rats Jamboree will be held on Mon. August 31st and Tues. Sept. 1 at the Foxboro Sports Center.
Here are the links to the schedule and rosters:
2015 Neponset Valley River Rats Jamboree -- Schedule
2015 Neponset Valley River Rats Jamboree -- Rosters
Don't forget that there is additional hockey at the start of next week. The annual Early Bird Tournment will be taking place over the same two days (Mon.-Tues. Aug. 31st -- Sept. 1st) at Merrimack College. Please scroll down the page for the program book to that.
Crimson Combines: ’01s and ’02s
Last week, the Harvard coaching staff – Ted Donato, Paul Pearl, and Rob Rassey -- held camps for the ‘02s (Wed.-Thurs. 8/19-20) and the ‘01s (Fri.-Sat. 8/21-22) at the Bright Hockey Center in Allston, Mass.
The ’02 camp consisted of two teams, while the ’01 camp had four. In each case, the mornings were devoted to practice and off-ice testing with each team playing a game in the afternoon. The games were reffed by Harvard players Jimmy Vesey, Kyle Criscuolo, Desmond Bergin, along with Bobby Pearl, the 9th grade son of the Harvard assistant. There were very few whistles, which was refreshing – especially when compared to the Select Camps in Buffalo -- and the games had a nice pace. That is, the kids, coached here by top prep school coaches, were simply allowed to play. And they did just that -- very well. A good number of the kids we have highlighted below will go on to become good college hockey players. A few may become more.
Six players who stood out at the ’01 level:
1. Marshall Warren, D, NJ Colonials – Left-shot defenseman jumps out at you. He’s a dynamic skater who can control the play, and was a standout on the offensive blue line. He also thinks the game well, has size, and is a difference-maker in all three zones. We expect he’ll be committed soon.
2. Spencer Knight, G, Mid-Fairfield – At 6’4” he’s big, athletic, quick, and looks like a pro in the net. Very much in control. Knight can also handle the puck exceptionally well.
3. Trevor Zegras, F, Mid-Fairfield – Dynamic, skilled left wing has great hands, sees the ice well, is creative, and has a great scoring touch. A strong skater, he’s always in motion. Excellent in 1v1 situations.
4. Domenick Fensore, D, Mid-Fairfield – Quick, shifty, high-skilled left-shot d-man with quick hands. Always jumping up into the rush, and sees the ice really well. Matt Grzelcyk is a good comp.
5. Chase McInnis, F, Boston Junior Eagles – Left wing is smart, creative, and has strong offensive instincts. Excellent skater, and consistently noticeable, shift after shift. Son of Marty McInnis -- and younger brother of Luke McInnis.
6. Jack Cronin, F, Boston Junior Eagles – Right wing has a heavy accurate shot and can score from anywhere. Plays physically, and with an edge.
Other ‘01s we have numerous check marks next to are:
Knight, Derek Mullahy (Junior Terriers), Drew Commesso (an ’02 from the Bay State Breakers playing up), and Jack Williams (St. Louis AAA Blues).
Cooper Moore (Mid-Fairfield), Ryan Pineault (Mid-Fairfield), and Jayden Struble (Boston Junior Eagles).
Johnny Farinacci (NJ Colonials), Frank Ireland (Hillside School), Matthew Boldy (Boston Junior Eagles), Lynden Breen (Saint John Seadogs), Aidan Connolly (Junior Terriers), Eric Ciccolini (Vaughan Kings), Sean Farrell (Junior Bruins), Liam Devlin (Boston Junior Eagles), Robby Griffin (Junior Bruins), Zach Mousakes (Albany Academy), and Aaron Aboodi (Mid-Fairfield).
A couple of ‘01s who were invited but couldn’t make it were forward Patrick Moynihan and defenseman Brady Doyle, teammates last winter on the Minuteman Flames ’01 juggernaut (and that’s an understatement). Moynihan, who was on a vacation with his family, will be at Nobles this year. Doyle was on his way west to Shattuck-St. Mary’s so couldn’t make the camp. Both are high-end prospects we always like to see.
In addition to the above-mentioned goalie, Commesso, there were two other ‘02s playing up with the ‘01s, defenseman Ian Moore (Minuteman Flames), and forward Jake Waterman (South Shore Kings). They looked fine playing up, and certainly would have stood out more with their age group. Speaking of which, here is their age group:
1. Alexandros Gaffney, F, NJ Colonials – The best of the lot. Stood out every time he was on the ice. An all-around force. Tough to play against. Very shifty. Took it to the net frequently. Extremely dangerous down low. Great edges. Covered a lot of ice surface. Played up with the ‘01s last winter. His mother is a Harvard grad.
2. Cole Shepard, F, North Shore Winter Club (Vancouver, BC) – Dynamic and skilled, Shepard was always in motion, creating space for his linemates. Very consistent.
3. David Ma, D, Mid-Fairfield – A lanky d-man with poise to spare. Was always attempting to make plays. Not every one of them clicked, but we liked the way he was thinking. Not shy.
4. Dylan Peterson, F, Eastern Ontario Wild – Big right-shot power forward with finesse. Has soft hands, and showed creativity and hockey IQ.
5. Matt Beniers, F, South Shore Kings – Left-shot center skates well, and makes plays. The puck follows him around.
6. Stephen Davis, D, Boston Advantage – Right-shot defenseman has size and the requisite tools. It will be interesting to see how his game evolves.
7. Ryan McGuire, F, Mid-Fairfield – Small winger is a very good skater and has excellent hockey sense. Son of former coach and current TV hockey analyst Pierre McGuire.
8. Riley Bezeau, F, Providence Capitals – Played hard both ways. Strong on skates.
9. Cam Lowe, F, Boston Advantage – Small forward has a great stick, and makes plays. A dangler.
10. Philip Tresca, F, Boston Jr. Eagles – The puck was on his stick constantly – just followed him around.
11. Tommy Aitken, G, Islanders Hockey Club – All four goalies at the ’02 level were good, but for us the top dog was Aitken. When we were watching, he was facing the most tough shots, and he came up big.
12. Jack Mroczka, D, Mid-Fairfield -- A good physical shutdown guy with a degree of finesse. Mroczka can get back, retrieve, and move the puck out of danger quickly.
Early Bird Rosters & Schedule
The 2015-16 season is fast approaching. Here, then, is the program book for the Early Bird Classic (U16s and U18s), to be held Mon.-Tues. August 31st and September 1st at Merrimack College.
Early Bird Program Book
Beantown Summer Classic: Top 35 Futures
USHR headed out to the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass. this past week to see what we could find at the 2015 Beantown Summer Classic.
At the Draft Division, we didn’t find much. For NHL scouts trolling for ‘98s this was a ghost town where tumbleweeds roll across barren desert and disappear into abandoned mine shafts. In other words, there are no Jack Eichels, Noah Hanifins, or Colin Whites on the horizon. Not for next June, anyway. In other parts of the country, we’ll see, but for Massachusetts and New England…no way.
Given all that, we swung over to the Futures Division (’98,’99, and ‘00s) and took a long look. While it’s difficult to make long-range projections on players of this age, especially since guys like T.J. Walsh (injury) and Jake Wise were absent, we did dig up 35 players we liked – 20 forwards, 10 defensemen, and five goalies. Some were totally new to us -- i.e. players we look forward to seeing more of -- while others are players we know quite well. All will be included in the group we will be watching as we head into the 2015-16 season.
No doubt there are some players we missed. This, of course, is summer hockey, and the team context so crucial to evaluating players is missing.
From each team we chose two to five players. From the Nationals, who won the division, we chose seven.
Oliver Wahlstrom, F, ’00, 6-0/190, #17 Hombres/Shattuck-St. Mary’s – The NTDP staff came to watch on Tuesday and that was the only day Wahlstrom deigned to appear in Marlborough – a star’s prerogative, apparently. But it’s not a good look. We say be “all in” – or enjoy a day at the beach instead. That said, Wahlstrom is a player with terrific skills.
Jordan Harris, LD, ’00, 5-9/155, #6 Nationals/Kimball Union – Smart. Has the happy feet. And makes plays.
Cullen Young, RD, late ’00, 5-9/188, #7 Nationals/Avon Old Farms – Young is a late ’00 – he’s an October birthdate – and has, at the younger levels, been the d-man youth coaches speak most highly of. And with justification. Young is strong, he sees the ice well, is good at angling guys off, and doesn't panic. However, he’s carrying baby fat so even though he's a good skater, his foot speed isn't great. When he gets in the weight room and sheds that, he could take off.
Michael Higgins, RD, ’00, 5-10/185 – #7 Braves/Boston Advantage U16 – Good skater, and sound defensively. Nothing flashy.
PJ Garrett, LD, ’00, 6-3/190, #6 Buzzards/Thayer Academy – Huge young defenseman will be growing into his body for a while. Plays physically, and is a good skater. Makes some dubious decisions with the puck. Has upside. Need to see him more.
Gray Betts, F, late ’00, 6-2/195, #17 Buzzards/Hingham HS – He’s one large 14 year old -- and he doesn’t turn 15 until Dec. 20th. Has awkward, short stride, but is strong and protects the puck well. Good shot and poise. Pretty intriguing. Need to see more.
Mark Gallant, F, ’00, 5-11/155, #16 Nationals/Groton – Continued the good play he showed at Buffalo during the Select 15 camp last month. Another player who lacks flash, and doesn't have any one area in which he'll wow you, but he has a good hockey IQ and he gets the job done.
Alex Coady, F, ’00, 6-0/185, #16 Whalers/Providence Caps U16 – Good-sized, determined player managed to get pucks on net and create time and space. Has a good shot, good hands, and average feet.
Hunter Brackett, F, late ’00, 5-10/155, #18 Titans/Junior Bruins U16 – Late ’00 is not shy. Played a high-energy game, was physical, got in guys’ faces, and kept his feet moving.
Patrick Keegan, LD, late ’00, 6-0/190, #7 Raiders/East Coast Wizards – One of the youngest players in the division. Has good size and athleticism, and plays a solid all-around game. Makes hard passes, plays physically, and with poise.
Tyce Thompson, F, ’99, 5-11/160 #15 Hombres/PAL Jr. Islanders/Salisbury – Younger brother of NTDP forward Tage Thompson stood out from the pack. Very good skills, good stick, and a good head for the game. One of the top players here.
Jack Nisbet, F, ’99, 5-11/170, #18 Raiders/Dexter – Played for BC High last winter, and will be at Dexter this fall. Always noticeable. One of the top forwards in his age group in Massachusetts.
Christopher Brown, F, ’99, 6-0/165, #17 Nationals/Groton – Power forward should put up a ton of points at Groton this winter. Strained his shoulder, and missed the final day of play.
Craig Needham, F, ’99, 5-10/170, # 15 Nationals/Lawrence Academy – Needham has speed, skill, backchecks hard, and is a dangerous offensive player who proved himself last winter.
Eric Green, G, ’99, 6-3/173, #31 Buzzards/Northfield-Mt. Hermon – Huge young goalie didn’t get a lot of minutes backing up senior Conor O’Brien at NMH last winter. He was very strong here, though, so we expect to see a lot of the Connecticut native this coming winter.
Matt Slick, LD, ’99, 6-2/185, #5 Titans/Proctor Academy – Established prep player who is probably not as well known as he deserves to be. Has good feet for a big kid, is strong in transition, and makes plays.
Zak Kinard, G, ’99, 6-0/190, #30 Nationals/Gunnery – Was very strong in Wednesday’s playoff round – and his team took home the hardware.
Jayson Dobay, LD, ’99, 5-11/165, #6 Whalers/BC High – Established himself as one of the top ’99 defensemen in Mass last winter. We expect that to continue.
Alexander Zafonte, G, ’99, 6-0/175, #30 Hombres/St. Sebastian’s – A good prospect, and very athletic. Doesn’t seem to get rattled. Stays square to the puck, covers rebounds, and doesn’t flop around.
Ian Murphy, F, ’99, 5-11/175, #15 Raiders/BC High – Good skater with a burst of speed. Moves the puck smartly, and plays a strong game away from the puck.
Brendon Jones, F, ’99, 5-10/162, #12 Braves/Boston Bandits – Handles puck well, is a balanced skater, and competes hard. Stood out Tuesday, with a pair of goals.
Jerry Harding, F, ’99, 6-1/190, #12 Buzzards/ Cape Cod Whalers/Nobles – Was consistently good. A sophomore at Canton HS last winter, he’ll be going to Nobles.
Alex Steeves, F, late ’99, 5-10/175, #16 Titans/NH Jr. Monarchs U18 – Very late ’99 – he’s a December birthdate – competes hard, uses his reach well, is good along the boards, and gets the puck to scoring areas.
Brandon Graf, G, ’99, 5-11/180, #1 Braves/Winchendon – Was aggressive in challenging shooters. Took bottom half of net away effectively. Split time at Winchendon last winter.
Jordan Tetreault, LD, ’99, 6-1/195, #2 Nationals/Amherst Regional HS – Raw defenseman skates well. Was OK with the pace, and has good size.
Cameron Boudreau, LD, late ’99, 5-11/165, #4 Titans/Governor’s Academy – Late ’99 has good speed and a good stick. Will be a new student at Governor’s this fall.
Joseph Rotondi, F, ’99, 5-11/180, #14 Seals/Brewster Academy – Not a player we were aware of before. Has a nice hard shot. Have a couple of checks next to his name, but will need to see him again.
Thomas Dale, F, ’98, 5-10/175, #9 Raiders/Deerfield – Dale, as a sophomore, was Deerfield’s top forward last winter. He helped get an injury and illness-ravaged team through a rough season. He’s consistent. He plays with focus, and he keeps his feet moving. Makes quick, hard passes. An underrated player.
Brendan Hamblet, F, late ’98, 5-11/175, #8 Titans/Rivers School – Earned his bona fides at Rivers last season. Very consistent; a true playmaker.
Evan Daddario, F, ’98, 5-11/185, #8 Hombres/Belmont Hill – Solid performer as a sophomore at Belmont Hill last year. Was very strong here. Stood out Tuesday, netting a couple of goals in one game.
Zach Noble, F, late ’98, 6-2/165 – #10 Whalers/NJ Titans U18 – Interesting. A big, rangy late ’98 forward we were not heretofore familiar with. Very raw. Good frame but skinny, hence high center of gravity. Likes having the puck on his stick. Scored a nice tip-in goal. Definitely a player to keep checking back on. Definite upside.
Eric Linell, F, late ’98, 5-10/175, #10 Seals/PAL Junior Islanders (USPHL) – Younger brother of former Choate/Boston College forward Danny Linell. Plays fast and physically.
Michael Greenberg, RD, ’98, 6-0/175, #3 Braves/Loomis-Chaffee – Has decent size, played with a lot of poise, and was able to slow the game down and make plays.
Ryan Snowden, G, ’98, 6-3/170, #1 Raiders/Team Comcast U18 – Moves well for a 6’3” kid.
Matt Thomson, F, late ’98, 6-0/180, #12 Nationals/Reading HS – Was a sophomore at Reading High last winter. Late ’98 birthdate was consistently noticeable. Gets after it. Need to see him some more. For now, though, he’s on our watch list.