USHR Hands Out the Hardware
Actually, we don't have any hardware, but perhaps we'll find something one of these days. No matter, the awards, and winners, can stand on their own. The votes were tabulated last month, from an informal group of scouts and college assistants who saw a large number of prep games. We are happy to announce them on the weekend in which the Hobey Baker Award is given out. It's an appropriate time: Baker was a member of the class of 1910 at St. Paul's School.
Player of the Year:Jayden Struble, Junior D, St. Sebastian's School
Struble, a 6-0, 194 lb. left shot from Cumberland, RI, won the USHR Defenseman of the Year with a unanimous vote. A native of Cumberland, RI, Struble, an excellent skater, finished the season with a 10-30-40 scoring line in 28 games played. In January, he was ranked #43 in NHL Central Scouting's Mid-Term Rankings of North American Skaters. Struble, who played his freshman year at Nobles before transferring to St. Seb's, is committed to Northeastern.
"He's an outstanding player who does it all. He's excellent offensively, but he can also defend," says St. Sebastian's coach Sean McCann, a defenseman himself and a former Hobey Baker finalist. "He's one of the few players I've ever coached who can handle every aspect of the game and do it all well."
"His improvement has been tremendous," McCann adds. "His understanding of the game. His positional play. He's learned how to be a part of the rush instead of the rush. So it's 2-3 men going, rather than one."
"He was so dominant at the prep level this year and his physical strength and size are already at the college level. There is no doubt in my mind that he could go to college next season and have success."
"He's also a great kid," McCann added. "Always has a smile on his face."
McCann would obviously love to have Struble back for his senior year, but also understands the reasons he may move on to the USHL. Struble's rights are owned by the Tri-City Storm.
Forward of the Year:Alex Laferriere, RW, Junior, Kent School
Laferriere, a first-year junior at Kent, committed to Army off his play with the North Jersey Avalanche U16s before arriving at the Connecticut boarding school last fall. A 5'10", 160 lb. right wing and native of Chatham, NJ, Laferriere adapted quickly to prep play, appearing in 27 games, putting up a scoring line of 19-34-53, and helping lead Kent to the Large School Championship. He also played 12 games for Des Moines (USHL). A late '01 birthdate, he will be eligible for the 2020 NHL Draft.
Kent coach Dale Reinhardt describes Laferriere, as a "strong skater with a really good stick in tight areas, finish around the net, and a knack for hunting pucks. He's such a smart player, and his anticipation is excellent."
"He's also deadly on the power play. He and (senior center) Michael Posma both had great poise with the puck and together were able to create a lot of space and time."
"The biggest thing," Reinhardt added, was Laferriere's personal growth. "His commitment to getting better was fantastic."
"He had a pretty special year."
A close second: John Farinacci, RC, Senior, Dexter School
The Harvard recruit played the first two games of the season, then suffered an injury and missed half the season, which hurt him in the final vote tally. On returning to action January 18th, Farinacci helped lead Dexter to the Elite 8 semifinals, where they bowed to Salisbury, 3-2. Farinacci, a native of Chatham, NJ -- as is Kent's Laferriere -- finished the season with a 12-21-33 line in 16 games. In January, he was ranked #37 in NHL Central Scouting's Mid-Term Rankings of North American Skaters.
Defenseman of the Year: Jayden Struble, LD, Junior, St. Sebastian's School
Goaltender of the Year:Derek Mullahy, Senior, Dexter School
Over the last two seasons, Mullahy was the backbone of a Dexter team that reached the Elite 8 in both years despite missing, for varying lengths of time, key players such as Jack Rathbone, John Fusco, and John Farinacci. A 6'0", 178 lb. native of Scituate, Mullahy played two years at Shattuck-St. Mary's (in his second year, he was teammates with Farinacci and Gunnery goalie JP Mella) before deciding to return home. This year, his second at Dexter, Mullahy posted a 1.43 GAA and a .940 save percentage, with 10 shutouts. In January, he was ranked #28 in NHL Central Scouting's Mid-Term Rankings of North American Goaltenders. He is a Harvard recruit.
"He's the best goalie I've ever had," says Dexter coach Dan Donato, "and I've had some good ones in 21 years of coaching."
"He came to us and strengthened his stick play. He has what all good goalies have. He competes. And his anticipation and agility are incredible. The closest I've seen is (ex-Avon Old Farms goalie) Jon Quick."
"He's never had a bad game in the two years he's been here. And I can count on one hand the 'iffy' goals he's allowed over the two years."
"He was the reason we were able to have success the last two years despite the injuries to Farinacci, Fusco, and Rathbone. He was our MVP."
Andy Beran, Senior, St. Paul's School (2.04/.944) -- SPS went from under .500 one season, to a spot in the Large School playoffs the next. Beran, all 5'7", 140 lbs. of him, was the biggest reason why. Faced 64 shots in 5-3 win over Cushing. Had 13 starts in which he faced 40 or more shots.
Joe Stanizzi, Senior, Middlesex School (1.89/.949) -- Target practice for three seasons. Kept Middlesex competitive in games they often had no right to be in. Consistently faced a ton of shots. One could call this a lifetime achievement award.
Exposure Cup This Weekend
The Exposure Cup All-Star Weekend is coming up, on Saturday and Sunday April 27-28, at the twin-sheet Fidelity Bank Rink in Worcester, Mass.
This showcase, put on by Matt Miles, is limited to '04 and '05 birthdates from the U.S. and Canada. A good number of prep schools will be on hand, with tables set up for more info. Top college coaches will be behind the bench.
There will be showcase games on Saturday evening, starting at 4:30 pm, and Sunday morning, starting at 11:15 am.
The guest speaker, after the Prep School Fair on Saturday afternoon, will be U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame referee Paul Stewart, who does not lack for great stories. If you miss him Saturday, this typist highly recommends his book, 'Ya Wanna Go? Unlike many hockey bios, which are little more than Ambien in print, Stewey's book delivers the goods. I read it in a sitting or two. It's available on Amazon. Here's the link: Ya Wanna Go?
Click below for the schedule and rosters.
Schedule & Rosters -- 2019 Exposure Cup
2019 NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings
NHL Central Scouting released its final rankings for the 2019 NHL Draft... last Monday, on Patriot's Day. (Sorry for the delay. It's that time of year!)
Among North American Skaters, Jack Hughes, a 5'10" LC playing for the US NTDP, is #1 on the list. He, of course, is also the #1-ranked American. The U.S. has five of the Top 10 skaters, as Hughes is followed up by forwards Alex Turcotte (#4), Trevor Zegras (#6), Cole Caulfield (#8), and Matt Boldy (#9). All are from the NTDP. Zegras and Boldy are both former prep players, with, respectively, Avon and Dexter.
If Hughes does indeed go #1 overall, which seems a given, he will become the eighth US player taken #1 overall since the NHL Draft began in 1963.
Americans drafted #1 overall are: Auston Matthews (2016), Patrick Kane (2007), Erik Johnson (2006), Rick DiPietro (2000), Bryan Berard (1995), Mike Modano (1988), and Brian Lawton (1983).
The top-ranked European player is Kaapo Kakko, a 6'2" RW who plays for TPS (Finland Elite League). You may remember him from the WJC, where his late goal in the Championship Game gave Finland a 3-2 win over the United States.
The top-ranked North American -- and U.S. -- goalie is 6'3" Spencer Knight, a former Mid-Fairfeld and Avon Old Farms goalie now with the NTDP.
The top-ranked prep player from the past season on Central's list is Dexter senior center John Farinacci (#36 OA), a Harvard recruit.
The top-ranked prep defenseman is 5'11" Lawrence Academy LD Braden Doyle, a BU recruit.
The top-ranked prep goalie is 6'0" Hotchkiss junior Henry Wilder.
Sixteen players who played prep hockey in 2018-19 -- 6 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 3 goalies -- were on Central's List. They are:
35. John Farinacci, RC, Dexter
40. Braden Doyle, LD, Lawrence Academy
48. Jayden Struble, LD, St. Sebastian's
87. Cade Webber, LD, Rivers
88. Cooper Moore, LD, Brunswick
121. Nikita Nesterenko, LC, Lawrenceville
131. Tomas Mazura, LC, KUA
133. Matthew Stienburg, RC, St. Andrew's College
139. Ben Meehan, LD, Dexter
144. Arlo Merritt, LC, KUA
163. Malik Alishlavov, LD, Westminster
173. Cade Alami, RD, Berkshire
185. Tyler Young, RW, Lawrence Academy
14. Henry Wilder, Hotchkiss
26. Alexandros Aslanidis, Avon Old Farms
29. Derek Mullahy, Dexter
This year's draft will be held June 21-22 at Rogers Arena, the home of the Vancouver Canucks.The results of the draft lottery, held April 9, are as follows:
1. New Jersey Devils
2. New York Rangers
3. Chicago Blackhawks
4. Colorado Avalanche (from Ottawa)
5. Los Angeles Kings
6. Detroit Red Wings
7. Buffalo Sabres
8. Edmonton Oilers
9. Anaheim Ducks
10. Vancouver Canucks
11. Philadelphia Flyers
12. Minnesota Wild
13. Florida Panthers
14. Arizona Coyotes
15. Montreal Canadiens
2019 NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: North American Skaters
2019 NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: North American Goaltenders
2019 NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: North American Skaters (Alphabetical)
2019 NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: International Skaters
2019 NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: International Goaltenders
2019 NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings: International Skaters (Alphabetical)
TPE Ready for Top '05s and '06s
Scott "Fitzy" Fitzgerald, the NCAA scout for the Boston Bruins, will be hosting the Total Pro Evaluation Program from Friday through Sunday April 5th through 7th at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass. This is the program's third year, and it's time for the '05s and '06s to take the stage.
Apart from a select few tournaments, we're not crazy about spring and summer showcases, but this is a good one. We like seeing kids go up against other top players in their own age group. It's a good measuring stick for kids of this age, who are still growing into their bodies -- the big X factor.
In the TPE's first year, there were some, but not a lot of prep and college coaches on hand, but since then word has gotten out, and, by the second year, there were quite a few coaches on hand. These are the exact people for whom players should be showcasing their skills. There is no nonsense in these games. The kids just play good up-and-down hockey, and leave the extracurricular stuff behind.
This year, Fitzgerald has made a concerted effort to bring in more Canadian kids, and the Vancouver and Toronto areas are well represented, spread out among the eight '05 and eight '06 teams.
The weekend starts with skill sessions early Friday afternoon. Between 4:00 and 5:00 pm, the games start, with each team playing one game Friday afternoon and evening.
On Saturday, each team plays two games, with a morning and evening session. In the early afternoon, there's a break for a seminar at the Best Western Royal Plaza in Marlborough (1:00 pm). The speakers will include Northeastern coach Jim Madigan, Wisconsin coach Tony Granato, Cushing Academy coach Steve Jacobs, BU assistant Paul Pearl, BC assistant Brendan Buckley, Belmont Hill coach Jeremiah McCarthy, as well as NTDP Director of Player Personnel Rod Braceful, and TB12 Lead Body Coach James Castrello.
On Sunday morning, there will be crossover games.
Here is a link to the schedules and rosters:
'05 and '06 TPE Rosters and Schedules