USA Hockey Select 15 Camp Rankings ('01s)
This summer’s USA Hockey Select 15 Camp, which ran from July 16-20 at the Northtown Center in Amherst, NY, featured a new look. For starters, the camp was shorter. Instead of the traditional full-week camp -- seven days on ice, including five games in six days with a mid-week off-day – the new format featured four days of competition: games on the first day, followed by cross-ice 3x3 games on day two, followed by two more days of games. In other words, not counting 3x3 play, there were just three games per team. The final day was hectic. With twelve teams at the camp, six games were played in two time slots, meaning all three rinks had games going on simultaneously in order to allow everyone to get out of Dodge by early afternoon. It was a bit scrambly.
We had no problem with the 3x3 cross-ice day, though we feel it would probably be best to start the week with that, thus allowing the kids to get a lot of puck touches in a fun, pressure-free setup before the real games begin.
Given the foreshortened schedule, snap judgments were required, at least on our part. There was simply less time to parse differences between players. At this age, though, that’s OK. It’s not the NHL Draft, after all. There was certainly enough time to get a sense of who the top players were, and we felt the shorter camp helped eliminate that late-week fade we’ve seen in the longer camps.
Unlike some years, we didn’t find as many “sure-fire” stars. Last summer, it wasn’t too difficult to look at Mattias Samuelsson, for example, and conjure up a potential first round draft pick a few years down the line. Ditto for Bode Wilde, or Jake Wise up front.
We felt the overall player pool was thinner at the top end, but we also felt that it was a pretty deep group overall. There are fewer “automatics” for next year’s NTDP than there is most years. The program’s scouts will likely have to cast a wider net.
We liked that the unis had nameplates on them. We’ve been waiting on that one for over 20 years!
Luke Toporowski (#15 Orange) 5’9.5”/166, L, Chicago Mission – Spokane Chiefs made him their first round pick in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft, and he has signed with them. It’s a family thing. His brother Jake is with Spokane now. His dad, Kerry, played with Spokane as did his Uncle Brad. Uncle Shayne played for Prince Albert, however. You could say he was genetically predisposed to the Dub. Hell of a player. Strong power forward. Good speed off the wing, strong on skates, cuts through defenders and drives to the net at will. Not sold on his vision and finesse, though. Can be tunnel-visioned at times. Much more of a goal scorer than a playmaker. At this age group, though, he really stands out. (2-4-6)
Trevor Zegras (#10 Black) 5’9.75”/140, L, Mid-Fairfield Junior Rangers – Super-quick, smooth skater with breakaway speed. Gains separation in a flash. Will be 10th grader at Avon Old Farms. (2-0-2)
Grant Silianoff (#15 Royal Blue) 5’10”/153, L, Shattuck U14 – Highly skilled. Top marks in all areas. He can skate, is always around the puck, has great vision, makes great passes, can shoot it. Committed to Notre Dame. Ninth round pick of Saskatoon in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (2-1-3)
Owen Lindmark (#16 Teal) 5’11.25/162, R, Chicago Mission – Good size and skating ability. Scored a nifty backhand goal in Tuesday’s game. (3-0-3)
Trevor Smith (#18 Columbia Blue) 5’8.25/160, R, Toronto Red Wings – Excellent skater. Excellent hands. Excellent sense. A well-rounded young player. (1-2-3)
Alex Turcotte (#10 Teal) 5’10.25”/190, L, Chicago Young Americans – Coached by his dad Alfie at CYA; moving on to Chicago Mission. Made numerous plays. (1-4-5)
Sean Farrell (#8 Columbia Blue) 5’8”/160, L, Junior Bruins U16 – Harvard recruit is an 11/2/01 birthdate. Will be a freshman at St. Mark’s. Excellent skater, nice release to shot, good sense of the game. (1-2-3)
Michael Mancinelli (#9 Forest Green) 5’7.75”/160, R, Compuware ’01 – North Dakota recruit has hands, and works hard in the dirty areas. Will be at HoneyBaked this season. (2-1-3)
Robert Mastrosimone (#9 Gold) 5’8.25”/141, L, Shattuck U14 – Long Island native and BU recruit was very good, as always, but we’ve seen him better. (1-3-4)
Arthur Kaliyev (#16 Grey) 6’0”/166, L, Little Caesar’s 15U – Consistently noticeable. Big power forward. Strong on skates. Good sense of game. Seemed to be in the right place at the right time a lot. Dual citizen (Russia). Will be with Compuware this season. (2-2-4)
John Farinacci (#10 Red) 5’10”/167, R, Delbarton – Harvard recruit – and Ted Donato’s nephew – will be heading to Shattuck-St. Mary’s this fall. (2-2-4)
Robert Griffin (#16 Royal Blue) 5’10.75”/156, R, Junior Bruins U16 – Northeastern Commit is a strong skater, around the puck a lot, competes hard. He’s coming on fast. Massachusetts had a nice group here, perhaps the Commonwealth’s best in quite a while. (1-2-3)
Trevor Kuntar (#18 Orange) 5’9.75”/167, L, Buffalo Jr. Sabres – Son of former St. Lawrence University goaltender is a lanky pass-first type. Competed along wall and in tough ice. (2-0-2)
Mitchell Miller (#11 Navy Blue) 5’9.75”/170, R, Compuware ’01 – Good hands. Good skater. 12/20/01 birthdate. Will be with HoneyBaked. (1-2-3)
Kyle Schroeder (#12 Orange) 5’6”/181, L, Chicago Mission – Solid player. Did a little bit of everything. Blocked shots. Drove to the net for a nice goal on Sunday. Made plays. Showed quickness. Consistently involved. (2-3-5)
Patrick Moynihan (#11 Red) 5’10”/163, R, Noble & Greenough – BC recruit, a smooth skater with acceleration and athleticism, was good here, but we’ve seen him better. (0-2-2)
Ryan Sorkin (#17 Columbia Blue) 5’7.75”/141, R, Chicago Young Americans – Quick, smooth skater. Made a bunch of nice passes. A playmaker. (2-2-4)
Carson Riddle (#15 Red) 5’6.75”/146, L, Belle Tire 14U – He can really scoot. Quick. Accurate shot. Pinpoint passing. (4-4-8)
Cole Caulfield (#9 Royal Blue) 5’4.5”/128, R, Stevens Point Area HS/Team Wisconsin – Small, quick, with terrific hands and sense of game. Went bar-down on one goal from the top of the crease. Dad Paul is leading all-time scorer at Div. III Wisconsin-Stevens Point. (2-2-4)
Kaden Bohlsen (#12 Teal) 6’1.5/166, R, Shattuck U14 – Willmar, Minn. native and Regina Pats pick in in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft is a power forward with a powerful wrist shot. (2-2-4)
Danny Weight (#17 White) 5’10”/184, L, PAL Jr. Islanders – Made a statement with a couple goals on Day 1. Sturdy, stocky. Feet are a bit heavy. Son of ex-NHLer Doug Weight. (4-2-6)
Theodore Koufis (#18 Kelly Green) 5’10.5/179, R, Chicago Mission – Wisconsin recruit has size and can skate. Was consistently noticeable, but was also snakebit. His dad, Ioannis Koufis played hockey for Greece’s national team. (0-0-0)
Alexander Trombley (#16 White) 5’11.25”/169, L, Compuware – A big strong power forward who can skate. Will be at Belle Tire this season. (1-0-1)
Judd Caulfield (#9 Red) 6’2”/179, R, Grand Forks Central – Portland Winterhawks took him with their 10th round pick in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (2-3-5)
Luc Laylin (#16 Kelly Green) 5’4.75”/136, R, St. Michael-Albertville HS (Minn.) – Son of former Gophers forward and current Hamline University head coach Cory Laylin. Has some of his father’s attributes. Great stick, clever, played both ways. Also young: 12/30/01 birthdate made him youngest player at camp. (2-0-2)
Patrick Guzzo (#17 Orange) 6’1.25/183, L, Little Caesar’s – Big strong power forward is hard to miss out there. Will be an interesting one to follow. Quite young: he’s just an 11/27/01 birthdate. He doesn’t have to worry about growing, but he will, and could be very big. (1-0-1)
Michael Gildon (#8 Teal), 6’0.75”/174, L, Dallas Stars Elite 16U – Big power forward is the younger brother of NTDP’s Max Gildon. Kelowna 4th round pick in in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (3-0-3)
Connor Tait (#16 Navy Blue) 6’0.75/190, R, Team Maryland U14 – Pretty noticeable. Has size. More a finisher than a playmaker. Scored game-winning shootout goal Tues vs. Kelly Green. (2-0-2)
Jackson Niedermayer (#10 Forest Green) 5’9”/206, L, Anaheim Jr. Ducks Bantam AAA – Stocky sturdy kid. Scored nice goal Tuesday, splitting D and beating Derek Mullahy. Son of former NHLer Scott Niedermayer. Fifth round round pick of Calgary Hitmen in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (2-1-3)
John Johnson (#12 Royal Blue) 6’0.25”/195, L, Chicago Mission – Big strong power forward, a bit on the raw side. Competes hard, though. Said to be a star baseball player too. (1-0-1)
Mason Kruse (#15 Black) 5’10.5”/149, Brainerd (Minn.) Bantam AA – Nice hands. Will be at Brainerd HS. Victoria’s 7th round pick in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (1-3-4)
Aeden Drossos (#14 Black) 5’10”/167, L, Chicago Mission – He could be grow – a lot. His dad was a 6’2”, 235 linebacker at Purdue. (1-0-1)
Niklas Norman (#10 Gold) 5’9”/153, L, Shattuck U14 – Maplewood, Minn. native will be a 10th grader at Shattuck. Playmaker has good sense of game, anticipation. Saskatoon Blades 6th round pick in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (1-0-1)
Dylan Davies (#11 Black) 6’1”/176, L, Chicago Mission – Strong power forward has size and can skate. Quite agile, protects puck well. (2-0-2)
Briggs Gammill (#15 White) 5’8.25”/143, L, Mid-Fairfield Junior Rangers – Younger brother to Trinity College recruit Barclay Gammill. Quick, clever, and will be at Berkshire in the fall. (1-0-1)
Jacob Brockman (#9 White) 6’0.5”/152, L, LA Jr. Kings 14U – El Segundo, California native has good size, good on skates, patient with puck. (1-1-2)
Tyler Rollwagen (#11 White) 5’9.25”/154, L, Shattuck U14 -- Solid. Made some nice plays. (1-1-2)
Kenny Riddett (#8 White) 5’3.25”/136, L, North Jersey Avalanche U14 – Small, clever and made plays. (0-5-5)
Joshua Nodler (#8 Navy Blue) 5’9.75”/188, R, Honeybaked – Didn’t put up a point but was around the puck a lot. Sturdy build. Played hard in all zones. (0-0-0)
Jackson Jutting (#17 Navy Blue) 5’9”/161, L, Prior Lake HS – Power forward from Savage, Minn. has a year of high school hockey under his belt. Son of UNO assistant Troy Jutting. (1-0-1)
Max Bogdanovich (#15 Navy Blue) 6’2”/206, L, Junior Bruins U16 – Big, very big – and quite raw. (0-2-2)
Liam Devlin (#8 Kelly Green) 5’7.75”/150, L, Boston Jr. Eagles U14 – Will be a freshman at St. Sebastian’s. (0-1-1)
Jacob Hale (#17 Kelly Green) 5’8.25”/164, R, Minneapolis HS – Good vision, good skater, good playmaker. Spokane’s 10th round pick in in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (0-1-1)
Joel Matthews (#14 Orange) 5’4.5”/143, R, Wayzata Bantam AA – Great stick, good on draws, competed hard, was physical even if he was overmatched at times. Will be at Wayzata HS. (0-1-1)
Tommy Bannister (#11 Forest Green) 5’7.5”/156, L, Syracuse Nationals ‘01 – Will be at the Northwood School this fall. Sept. ‘01 birthdate. (0-3-3)
Nicholas Vega (#17 Forest Green) 5’4.5”/137, R, St. Thomas Academy (Minn.) – Quick, with good hands. Has a finishing touch. Scored a particularly nice goal Tuesday. (2-0-2)
Erik Bargholtz (#9 Grey) 6’0.75”/182, R, Appleton United HS/Team Wisconsin – Big power forward protects puck well. Reported to be a very good football player as well. Will be a sophomore at Appleton United HS. (1-0-1)
Garrett Pinoniemi (#18 Grey) 5’9”/122, L, Delano (Minn.) Bantam A – Skinny as a rail at 122 pounds, but a good skater – quick – and has nice hands. Will be a 9th grader at Delano HS. (0-2-2)
Anthony Vidrick (#8 Royal Blue) 5’8.25”/151, L, Ohio Blue Jackets 14U – Really nice skater. Would have liked to see a little more production. (1-0-1)
Marshall Warren (#2 White) 5’10”/151, L, NJ Colonials U14 – So smooth on his skates, a smart player who sees the ice, makes terrific passes, and picks his spots offensively. When he pinches, he reaches the high slot in just a few quick strides, and can backpedal to the point nearly as quickly. Harvard recruit. To North Jersey Avalanche. (1-1-2)
Case McCarthy (#5 Teal) 6’0.75”/190, R, Mississauga Rebels Bantam AAA – BU recruit is extremely strong on his skates, confident with puck, and poised in all aspects of the game. Not flashy, but the more you watch him, the more you realize how good he is. Clarence Center, NY native will be with the Buffalo Junior Sabres this season. (0-0-0)
Braden Doyle (#7 Black) 5’10.5”/159, R, Shattuck U14 – We’ve written about the BU recruit a lot. Not much to add: strong, sturdy skater, smart, just a very well-rounded player. Lynnfield, Mass. native played at Shattuck last year but will be returning east to attend Lawrence Academy. (0-1-1)
Cameron York (#4 Columbia Blue) 5’10.25/156, L, Shattuck U14 – Excellent skater with puck, excellent offensive skills, quick feet, reads the play well. From Anaheim, California. Red Deer’s 9th round pick in in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (2-1-3)
Nathan Staios (#7 Teal) 5’6.75”/142, L, Vaughan Kings – On the small side, but has a superb sense of the game and a great stick. Was zipping long tape-to-tape stretch passes like no one else here. Son of San Jose assistant Steve Staios. (0-2-2)
Henry Thrun (#4 Orange) 6’0”/166, L, St. Mark’s School – Good size, excellent skater, quick feet, highly mobile, strong puck skills, makes plays, good decisions. Will play split season with Neponset Valley River Rats. (0-0-0)
Kevin MacKay (#6 White) 5’10.75”/171, L, Boston Bandits 16U – Was a freshman standout on the Franklin High School team that edged St. Mary’s-Lynn in double-OT to win Mass. Div. I title at the TD Garden in March. A very solid defensive d-man with some offensive upside and strong skating ability. Will be at Dexter this season. (0-0-0)
Mike Koster (#6 Black) 5’8”/150, L, Chaska HS – High skill, excellent hockey sense, good balanced skater, and terrific wrist shot. Led Chaska HS in scoring -- as a 9th grade d-man. (0-2-2)
Nic Belpedio (#6 Forest Green) 5’7.75”/171, L, Culver 16 – Younger brother of Miami defenseman and Minnesota Wild draft pick Louis Belpedio is young – he’s a 10/9/01 birthdate – and could follow in his brother’s footsteps. Not flashy, just smart and steady. Made good decisions. (0-0-0)
Domenick Fensore (#5 Grey) 5’5.5”/128, L, Mid-Fairfield Junior Rangers – Great feet, can really skate, and move the puck. Fun player to watch. Only issue with him is his size. Will be with the PAL Jr. Islanders U16. (0-0-0)
Hunter Weiss (#2 Red) 6’2”/194, L, Chicago Mission – Big, a manchild. Could be interesting to see where his game is at a year or two from now. (1-1-2)
Cade Webber (#3 Columbia Blue) 6’2.75”/165, L, Pittsburgh Penguins Elite ’01 – Huge, intriguing player. Has a good stride and is quite agile for his size. From Meadville, PA but will be at the Rivers School in the fall. (0-2-2)
Nicholas Kent (#7 Kelly Green) 5’7.5”/154, R, Delta Hockey Academy Bantam Prep – Ladera Ranch, California native played last winter at the Delta Hockey Academy, which is south of Vancouver, BC. Highly mobile, with really good feet. Saskatoon’s 7th round pick in in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (1-1-2)
Spencer Cox (#3 Black) 5’9.25”/155, L, Ohio AAA Blue Jackets – Ohio native – and Miami recruit -- will be heading to Culver this fall. (0-2-2)
Marcus Gretz (#4 Royal Blue) 6’1.25”/207, R, Belle Tire 14U -- Big, strong, and skilled. Late 11/22/01 birthdate continuously grew on us. Plenty of upside. (0-2-2)
Thomas Bergsland (#7 Orange) 5’11.75”/177, R, Wayzata Bantam AA – Didn’t stand out in any one way, but he wound up with three goals and a lot of checks by hhis name. Just all-round solid. Will be at Wayzata HS. (3-0-3)
Alex Vlasic (#2 Forest Green) 6’3.5”/173, L, Chicago Mission – Tall, lanky defensive defenseman with good feet for size. (0-0-0)
Cameron Newton (#4 Red) 6’0.5”/171, R, Little Caesar’s – Big, skating is OK, made some plays. Strong defensive d-man. Will be with Victory Honda. (1-1-2)
Davis Pennington (#3 Forest Green) 5’9.25”/164, L, Belle Tire 14U – Nominally a forward, Pennington played D here. A little hard to judge given that the position, at least as far as we know, is totally new to him. Skill-wise, he may have been the best defenseman on his team. (0-1-1)
Jayden Jensen (#3 Orange) 6’3”/195, R, Team Illinois – Big and tough. Feet need to improve but there’s an awful lot of upside here. Marengo, Illinois native will be with Belle Tire this winter. (1-0-1)
Evan Orr (#7 Gold) 5’9.25”/154, L, Little Caesar’s – Physical, competes hard, tough to play against, strong, good feet. Does everything well. Not pretty, but a bulldog. (1-1-2)
Jake Boltman (#7 White) 5’11.5/153, R, Edina Bantam AA -- Late birthdate -- 10/19/01, to be precise. Already has good size. Will be a 9th grader at Edina HS. (0-0-0)
Ian Pierce (#5 Navy Blue) 5’6.25”/150, L, North Jersey Avalanche U14 – Creative, made good decisions. (0-0-0)
Ryan Johnson (#6 Kelly Green) 5’6.75”/129, L, Anaheim Jr. Ducks 14U -- Good stick. Quick feet. Made plays. Scored a nifty shootout goal on Tuesday vs. Kelly Green. (0-0-0)
Jacob Buerger (#6 Navy Blue) 5’7.75”/163, L, Buffalo Jr. Sabres – Hard-nosed, competitive d-man. A warrior type. Can hit, and take a hit. Solid defensive d-man. (0-0-0)
Brady Carlock (#2 Columbia Blue) 5’8”/136, L, Compuware ’01 – Good stick, good skater. Smallish. Will be playing for Belle Tire. (0-0-0)
Ethan Szmagaj (#2 Navy Blue) 5’8.75”/165, R, Little Caesar’s – Nice skater, with good hands. Got outmuscled at times. 9/18/01 birthdate. (0-0-0)
Jack Robilotti (#5 Orange) 6’1”/166, R, New Jersey Colonials – Solid, good-sized defensive defenseman. (0-2-2)
Drew Helleson (#6 Royal Blue) 6’0.75”/154, R, Shattuck U14 – Good-sized defenseman from Farmington, Minnesota. Solid defensively with puck skills and some offensive upside. (0-0-0)
Everest Schneider (#2 Black) 5’4.25”/132, L, San Antonio Junior Rampage – Small, but savvy. Sees the ice well. (1-2-3)
Ryan Pineault (#7 Navy Blue) 5’6.5”/126, R, Mid-Fairfield Junior Rangers – Good wheels and good stick. Will be a 9th grader at Westminster. (0-0-0)
Greg Japchen (#7 Royal Blue) 5’7.25”/133, L, Shattuck U14 – 12/17/01 birthdate will be leaving Shattuck to return home to play for the Philly Jr. Flyers. Mobile d-man. (0-0-0)
1. Spencer Knight (#1 Teal) 6’2.5”/187, Mid-Fairfield Junior Rangers – Committed to Boston College last summer, as a 14-year-old. To Avon Old Farms this fall. (3.33/.881)
2. Alexandros Aslanidis (#1 Red) 6’3.5”/212, Phila Jr. Flyers – from Moorestown, NJ (3.33/.907)
3. Derek Mullahy (#1 Grey) 5’10.5”/166, Shattuck U14 – From Scituate, Mass. (3.00/.908)
4. Dustin Wolf (#1 Black) 5’10”/147, LA Jr. Kings U14 – Everett’s 5th round pick in in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (2.67/.905)
5. Kyle Chauvette (#30 Kelly Green) 5’4.5”/104, Top Gun ’01 – Very small, the Darren Pang of the camp. But he came up big for his team. New Boston, NH native was terrific. He’s a 10/5/01 birthdate so we expect he has some growing to do. (1.33/.959)
6. Connor Hasley (#30 Red) 5’11”/186, Buffalo Jr. Sabres – Hometown boy had a good week. (2.00/.927)
7. Mack Guzda (#1 Columbia Blue) 6’3”/191, TPH Thunder U16 – Nashville native will be with Honeybaked this season. (3.33/.886)
8. Joshua Langford (#30 Orange) 6’3”/164, Dallas Stars Elite 14U—Lethbridge’s 4th round pick in in this spring’s WHL Bantam Draft. (2.67/.900)
9. Aaron Randazzo (#30 Navy Blue) 5’10.25/164, Ogden (Utah) Mustangs – to Alexandria (Minn.) HS. (2.72/.911)
ECC Cup Rosters & Schedules
The East Coast Classics Labor Day Cup -- featuring 107 teams -- is one of two major youth tournaments going on in Greater Boston/Southern New Hampshire this weekend.
Run by Peter Alden's organization, the ECC Labor Day Cup will have 18U, 16U, 15U, and 14Us competing across four different divisions and playing in Salem, NH; Hudson, NH; Hooksett, NH; Tewksbury, Mass.; Haverhill, Mass.; and Canton, Mass.
Everything you'll need can be found in the following links:
ECC Labor Day Cup Red Division (18U,16U, 15U)
ECC Labor Day Cup White Division (18U, 16U)
ECC Labor Day Cup Blue Division (18U, 16U)
ECC Labor Day Cup 14U Division
Mass Tier I Labor Day Schedule & Rosters
The 2016 Mass Tier I Invitational Labor Day Tournament runs Fri.-Mon. Sept. 2-5, with the bulk of the games divided between the New England Sports Center and the Foxboro Sports Center.
In addition, ten other venues will be utilized.
There will be 182 teams in the tournament.
Below, you will find all the necessary links. All are PDFs. The schedule runs 16 pages and the rosters run 72 pages, so there's plenty to study before the weekend.
Mass Tier I Invitational Labor Day Tournament Schedule
Mass Tier I Invitational Labor Day Tournament Rosters
Mass Tier I Invitational Labor Day Tournament Rink Directory
Changes of Venue for River Rats Jamboree
The Canton Ice House, which was due to open with the Neponset Valley River Rats Jamboree this Monday and Tuesday was denied -- at least temporarily -- a certificate of occupancy late yesterday afternoon.
Therefore, there will be no Jamboree games at the Canton Ice House.
The River Rats staff scrambled and was able to get ice at the New England Sports Center (Marlborough, Mass.) so the majority of the games will take place there. Four games each day will be at the Canton Sportsplex. On Tuesday there will be a couple of games at Brown University, along with a single U15 game at the Edge Sports Center in Bedford, Mass.
River Rats coach Steve Needham said New England Sports Center general manager Wes Tuttle came through in the pinch -- and saved the tournament.
"He was unbelievable. Just awesome. Without the New England Sports Center we'd have been screwed. They were great," Needham said.
Here is the revised schedule:
2016 Neponset Valley River Rats Jamboree Schedule (revised)
River Rats Jamboree Rosters
Here are the rosters for this year's Neponset Valley River Rats Jamboree, which runs Mon and Tues. Aug. 29th and 30th, primarily at the Canton Ice House, a brand-new two-sheet facility that will serve as the River Rats' new home. There will also be a number of games at the Canton Sportsplex, roughly 20 minutes down the road.
It's a strong field, and a big field, too, as the tournament, now in its seventh year, has expanded to over 40 teams.
Crimson Combines: ’02s and ’03s
Over the past couple of weeks at the Bright Hockey Center, the Harvard coaching staff of Ted Donato, Paul Pearl, and Rob Rassey hosted its '03 Combine, followed a week later by the '02 combine.
This was good hockey, largely due to the small size of the fields – two teams of ’03s and four of ’02s -- as well as the fact that players this year were drawn from a broader area of North America. In other words, the player pool was deeper. At the camps, which ran two days each, the mornings were devoted to practice and off-ice testing, and afternoons featured each team playing a game. Coaches were drawn from the prep ranks, and the games were quick-paced with few whistles. The kids just played.
Last year’s tournament featured the likes of d-man Marshall Warren, forward Trevor Zegras, and goaltender Spencer Knight, who have since committed to, respectively, Harvard, BU, and BC.
One takeaway from these two tournaments: the rosters here – at both age levels – were peppered with some fine players from the New Jersey Colonials. This should be an organization to follow in the upcoming season, in addition to Shattuck, the St. Louis Blues, Mid-Fairfield, et al.
Here are the USHR All-Star Teams from each birth year. (There were twice as many players at the ’02 combine, hence the disparity in the number of players chosen.)
1. Timmy Delay, Junior Eagles – Classic-style centerman – think a young Patrice Bergeron – who played both ends, played hard, and can shoot it.
2. Peter Reynolds, Shattuck-St. Mary’s – Excellent skater with high skill level, and physicality.
3. Paul Davey, Mid-Fairfield – Around the net a lot. Really good stick in tight. Strong 1-on-1 skills.
1. Brendan Fitzgerald, Islanders – Left-shot D is on the small side, at least for now. Heart-and-soul defender makes sound decisions – really knows what he is doing. Plays with an edge, too.
2. Michael Rubin, NJ Colonials – Right-shot D is a stay-at-home type. Moved the puck quickly and efficiently and made sound decisions.
1. Tom Heaney, NJ Colonials – Good size, unbeatable on Day 1, let up a bit on day 2. Nonetheless, the best of the group.
1. Cole Perfetti, Whitby (Ont.) Wildcats – Dynamic, skilled left-shot Ontario native . Great hands and vision, and he moves the puck. Was consistently good both days. Played up a year in Canada.
2. Alexandros Gaffney, NJ Colonials – Centerman was at his best on Day 2. One of those players who makes those around him better. Was a standout at this camp last summer as well.
3. Hunter Longhi, St. Louis Blues – Left-shot center was excellent on Day 1, powerful and dominating, but wasn’t able to match that on Day 2. But he, along with Perfetti and Gaffney were a notch above the rest of the field.
4. Nick DeSantis, NJ Colonials – Perhaps the most physical – and physically developed -- forward here. Not fun to play against. Did a good job creating space for his linemates.
5. Carson Whitman, Minuteman Flames – Good frame, on the lanky side. A strong skater with good 1-on-1 skills. Consistently beat defenders wide. And he can shoot it.
6. Matt Beniers, South Shore Kings – Has many facets to his game. Really smart with the puck, and excellent on faceoffs. Left-shot center.
7. Collin Graf, Junior Bruins – Late ’02 is a little behind strength-wise. But his stick skills and hockey sense will serve him well when he catches up. Was at his best on Day 1.
8. David Sacco, Warriors – Was outstanding on Day 2. Outstanding wrist shot. Can really rip it. Will be a freshman at St. John’s Prep.
9. Philip Tresca (Eagles), Ben Steeves (NH Avalanche), and Chance Heaphy (Minuteman Flames). The commonality here is that all three are small and quick. And all were consistently noticeable.
1. Scott Morrow, Shattuck-St. Mary’s – Classic-type d-man. Has skills – including a hard shot – as well as the always-prized combination of size and brainpower. Right shot.
2. John Opilka, St. Louis Blues – Has size but also is an excellent passer. Moved the puck really well. Growing into this body. Left shot.
3. Jarod Crespo, North Jersey Avalanche – Go-go type loves to jump up into the play. Excellent skater. A converted forward, he’s been playing D for a couple years now. Right shot.
4. Aydin Parekh, Junior Canadiens -- Big, tough, thickly-built, and physically mature. Ontario native. Right shot.
5. Vincent Iorio, Shattuck-St. Mary’s – Long, lanky late ’02 from British Columbia played with a lot of poise and confidence. Has grown a lot in the last year. Right shot.
1. Gavin FitzPatrick, BB&N – Was the backup as an 8th grader at BB&N last year. He has the tools – size, moves well, athleticism, and a good glove hand.
2. Drew Commesso, St. Sebastian’s – Commesso has been the consensus #1 goalie for his age group for a while, and we expected him to be the #1 guy here. But he wasn’t. He struggled on Day 1, whereas Fitzpatrick was strong throughout.
River Rats Jamboree Schedule
The fall season is just around the corner and, to kick things off, we have the 2016 Neponset Valley River Rats Jamboree Schedule for you.
This year's tournament, on Mon-Tues. Aug. 29-30, will be held primarily at the Canton Ice House, a brand-new two-sheet facility that will serve as the River Rats' new home.
Here are the directions to the rink.
There will also be a number of games at the Canton Sportsplex, which is about a 20 minute drive. (In addition, one game -- between the East Coast Wizards and the North Suburban Wings U15s -- will be played at the Wizards' home rink in Bedford, Mass.)
It's a strong field, with teams at the U18, U16, and U15 levels. (At the U14 level, there will just be one game, between Yale and the River Rats.)
2016 Neponset Valley River Rats Jamboree Schedule
BU College Hockey Showcase Review
Boston University’s College Hockey Showcase, which wrapped up Wednesday at BU’s Walter Brown Arena, featured a number of noteworthy players sprinkled among its eight teams.
A half dozen of the nation’s top ‘01s -- players we gave “A” ratings to at the Select 15 camp in Buffalo – were on hand. However, we sang their praises just the other day, so there’s no need to repeat ourselves. For the record those players – a couple of whom have already committed to college -- are:
Braden Doyle, ’01 LD, Shattuck-St. Mary’s -- #7 Silver (BU, to Lawrence Acad.)
Mike Koster, ’01 LD, Chaska (Minn.) HS -- #7 Black
Kevin MacKay, ’01 LD, Franklin (Mass.) HS -- #3 White (to Dexter)
Trevor Kuntar, ’01 F, Buffalo Jr. Sabres Bantam AAA -- #9 Silver
Robert Mastrosimone, ’01 F, Shattuck-St. Mary’s -- #10 Silver (BU)
Trevor Zegras, ’01 F, Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers -- #11 Silver (BU, to Avon)
We were on hand for the final day at BU, so saw every team once. Some players may have had better days earlier, and some on the list below may have had their best games late. With that caveat, here are the guys who, in addition to the six players above, caught our attention. All, with the exception of defenseman Ryan O’Connell (BU) are uncommitted.
1. Ryan Decker, ’01 F, Algonquin Regional HS -- #18 White – Was a key player – as 9th grader -- on the Algonquin Regional HS team that reached the TD Garden for the Div. III title game in March. He knows how to find the back of the net. Will be going to Selects Academy.
2. Orca Wiesblatt, ’00 F, Sisec Prep (Alberta) -- #17 Silver – Calgary native will be playing in the AJHL for the Brooks Bandits this season. High-end skater. Quick stick and quick feet. Orca has a brother named Ocean. Seriously. We looked it up.
3. Austin Heidemann, ’99 F, Breck School -- #9 White – Was all over the scoresheet. Good stick, good shot, good passes, decent size (around 6’0”). Scored a couple goals and had at least one assist on Wednesday. Will be a senior at Breck.
4. William Gilson, ’01 F, Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers -- #13 Silver – He was terrific on Wednesday. Feet were moving consistently, he made plays, and he finished. Good player who was overshadowed by some of the higher-profile kids on Mid-Fairfield.
5. Ryan Stevens, ’00 F, Duxbury HS -- #13 Red -- Son of Kevin Stevens and younger brother of Yale recruit Luke Stevens. 5’11”. Different kind of player than older brother. Smaller, for one thing, and he can really fly. Going to Nobles.
6. Nick Charron, ’98 F, Trinity-Pawling -- #9 Green – Spencerport, NY native didn’t put up many points at T-P last season, but he was a force here. He has size, a good long stride, and was making plays consistently. Nick is the son of the late Craig Charron, who starred at Oliver Ames HS and UMass-Lowell before going on to a lengthy AHL career.
7. Gray Betts, late ’00 F, Hingham HS -- #9 Royal – Really big, 6’3”, but has pretty good hands, and his feet are improving. When he grows into his body a bit more he could be a force. Intriguing player.
8. Ethan Kimball, ’99 F, St. Mark’s School -- #11 Green – Excellent straight-line speed, and he can shoot it. You may remember his eye-opening goal 9 seconds into OT to give the Lions the small-school title with a 3-2 win over Rivers.
9. Liam Gorman, ’00 F, St. Sebastian’s -- #14 Royal – Big 6’3” winger, strong on skates. Drilled nice short side goal here on final day. Will be a sophomore for the Arrows this season.
10. Ben Raymond, late ’01 F, BB&N JV/Minuteman Flames U14 -- #11 Orange -- Smooth skater, young, needs to fill out a bit. Sees the ice well. Was also good at Select 15, and the Harvard camp.
11. Tristan Amonte, ’00, F, Thayer -- #15 Silver – Wasn’t very noticeable the final day, but had played well until then. Will be a junior. Showing steady improvement.
12. Jack Sloan, ’01 F, Minuteman Flames U14 -- #18 Orange – Strong on skates. Scored a nice breakaway goal.
13. Nicholas Abbott, ’00 F, Ontario Hockey Academy -- #12 Red – He can fly. Scored a nice shootout goal.
14. Shane LaVelle, ’01 F, Chaska/Chanhassen Bantams HS -- #15 Black – Quick, with a good stick.
15. Matt Hayes, ’98 F, Lawrence Academy -- #17 Black – Big, gritty, played good two-way game.
16. Thomas Manty, ’00 F, Central Catholic HS -- #17 Red -- Excellent skater. Son of former BU forward Scott Manty.
17. Christian Duvall, ’00 F, Philadelphia Little Flyers -- #13 Teal – Good skater, made some nice passes, aware.
18. Daniel Reuben, ‘99 F, St. Paul’s School -- #14 White – Missouri native. Quick, and on the small side. Will be a junior. Scored on a nice short-side snipe. Good NESCAC prospect.
1. Ryan O’Connell, ’99 RD, St. Andrew’s College -- #5 Silver -- Had a good camp – and committed to BU afterward. Good-sized kid – 6’1” or so – who can skate, makes excellent passes, has a good stick, and a defensive presence. Mississauga’s 8th round pick in 2015 OHL Draft.
2. Oscar Sandberg, late ’99, LD, Täby HC Junior 18-20 Elite -- #7 Teal – Really big -- 6’4” – but a bit of a project. Lost puck on offensive blue line but got back, dove and broke up the ensuing breakaway. Rang a shot off the crossbar. Interesting.
3. PJ Garrett, ’00 LD, Thayer -- #8 Silver – He’s big (6’3”, 200 lbs.), he’s raw, and he has a booming shot. With Garrett, it’s all about the upside.
4. Cooper Moore, ’01 LD, Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers -- #3 Silver – Smart, moves puck well.
5. Keelan Ulnick, ’98 LD, The Gunnery -- #5 Royal – Just played solid, consistent hockey. 6’1”. Strong on his skates.
6. Thomas Harper, ’00 RD, Ontario Hockey Academy -- #6 Teal – Prince Edward Island native. Good skater – highly mobile – with good hands.
7. Grant Litchfield, late ’01 RD, Minuteman Flames U14 -- #8 Red – Played a solid, physical game. Need to see him more against top players to get a better read. Will be a 9th grader at Belmont Hill.
8. Ryan Winn, ’98 RD, Trinity-Pawling -- #4 White – Rochester, NY native scored two goals in the game we watched, which was one less than he scored all last season as a junior at T-P.
9. Christopher Taylor, ’98 LD, Trinity-Pawling -- #4 Green -- Average size – around 5’10” – all-purpose defenseman. Good stick. Good mobility. Played a solid game.
1. Matt Pasquale, late ’00 G, Central Catholic HS -- #30 Orange -- Wasn’t that good at Select 16s, but was just fine here.
2. Robbie Nuchereno, ’01 G, Buffalo Jr. Sabres -- #1 White – Not big. Really good laterally. Catches with his right hand. We used to call them silly-siders. But haven’t heard that terminology in a while. Probably a good thing.
3. Matt Lane, ’00 G, Boston Advantage -- #1 Red – Was solid. Will be heading to Nobles this fall.
Hitting the Ice for the Borek Scholarship Fund
If you prefer hitting the ice to picking beach sand out of your sandwich, the place you'll want to be this weekend is The Rinks at Exeter, where the Granite Cup Hockey Tournament will be raising money for the Gordon Borek Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Cardigan Mountain School.
It looks to be a fun event, and it doesn't make any difference if you are young or old, in shape or out of shape. Local businesses have donated all sorts of raffle prizes. There will be a silent auction. And there will be t-shirts for sale with Borek's #21. For the record, Scott Borek, a Dartmouth forward back in the day, will be playing in the Over 40 division for the Freeze. Gordie's brother Charley, now playing in the BCHL, will be playing in the younger division, for the Nailers.
There are still available slots for players, if you wish to be on a team. Or you may prefer to get some guys together and enter a team of your own. In either case, call the rink at (603)775-7423 and ask to speak to Kurt Mallett.
Borek, who was 22, died in a car accident over Memorial Day weekend. A 2010 graduate of Cardigan Mountain, Borek went on to play at Holderness and, as a PG, at Choate. He was a UNH student and a member of the school's club hockey team at the time of his death. He was the son of Scott Borek, the former UNH and current Providence associate head coach, and Cheryl Borek.
If you can't make it to the tournament, you can always make a donation to the Cardigan Mountain Scholarship Fund. God knows private education is not cheap, so it's always a good feeling to help a worthy student who might otherwise be unable to afford it.
Cardigan Mountain School