Neutral Zone’s 2019-20 Mass HS All-State Teams
There is no escaping the fact that this season came to an abrupt end after a great regular season and playoff run from numerous teams. The season finished one game shy of completion across all Divisions and geographies as a result of COVID-19 which continues to have rippling effects on society felt across the world. But, we refuse to let this isolation go to waste: we still have keyboards, high-speed internet access and the Twitter machine is still fully functional. So, we refuse to let the great play this season by so many talented athletes be boxed up for the season, let’s consider this post a fitting tribute to a great season of hockey in the Commonwealth.
As you know, this year we expanded our coverage by adding more scouts and we saw nearly all of the teams in Division 1, and half of the D2 teams including all the top playoff teams. We also got eyes on many of the top D3 teams in the state during the playoffs and some in the regular season. With all of that said, our staff got together (virtually because #socialdistancing) and we agreed on this year’s All-State teams, with a new twist. This year since we recapped a new record of 75 games we felt it made sense to include First, Second and Third Teams for both D1 and D2 in addition to an honorable mention for D3. Still, given these changes it’s worth offering this reminder, much like we did last year: these teams were picked based on the games we have seen over the course of the year. There are no players listed below that we did not see in-person.
For our purposes in building this All-State team list, we dug through prior scouting reports and notes over the course of the season and factored in Super 8 and divisional playoff performances into where we placed each player. It should also be noted that there were numerous strong players who did not make the cut for the teams, but we included them in our honorable mention section for the sake of recognizing their play throughout the year.
We also constructed a grouping of the Top Rookies who impressed us over the course of the year. This was a unique season where freshmen played a big role for a number of successful teams, especially at the D1 level, which is why you will find some of them both on First Team and All-Rookie Team.
With that said, here is our list:
D1 First Team
This list should not come as much of a surprise given the way the year finished with Arlington and Pope Francis ending the year as the top two teams. Arlington, in particular, swept all of their Super 8 games. From the Spy Ponders, Brendan Jones may be moving on to play collegiate baseball at Holy Cross, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was one of the most consistent attackers in the state. By now, local high school hockey fans are well aware of the coach’s son Anthony Messuri who is committed to Northeastern – the glue that holds the team together and he makes plays in all situations: offensively, defensively and on the PP/PK. Hard to ignore the season that 2005-born freshman Ryan Leonard had – leading his team in scoring and in some cases singlehandedly winning Super 8 games with a hatty.
His teammate Logan Dapprich was smooth on the backend and was truly excellent during the Cardinals’ run to the Final. Spy Ponders defender Ryan Davies jumped on our radar early in the season and never let go: he was markedly consistent making quality play after quality play on both sides of the red line.
As for goaltender, this was a tough decision, but our scouts agreed that Jake Handy was a difference-maker all year for the Flyers: great poise, excellent reflexes and a winner’s focus.
F Brendan Jones, Arlington
F Anthony Messuri, Arlington
F Ryan Leonard, Pope Francis
D Logan Dapprich, Pope Francis
D Ryan Davies, Arlington
G Jake Handy, Framingham
D1 Second Team
Where Mike Tersoni left off last season, Will Trischitta took over, putting up nearly two points per game and scoring two OT winners in Super 8 play…hard to be any more clutch than that. Then there’s sharpshooter Matt Keohane of BC High who will shoot it from anywhere and he sneaks into open patches of ice to get off his darts: he was consistently dangerous all year. Then you have the big rig in Ryan Pomposelli, he bulldozed opponents physically and made himself tough to play against, shielding the puck and getting deep to score goals.
Defensively (and offensively) Davis Kinne drove the Spartans all year long: he has improved his skating and is super aggressive in taking ice and firing pucks on net, while also taking away space in his own end. Speaking of taking away space, is the tall and slender Michael Dragon (who will be playing baseball at Merrimack) but his long reach, smooth stride and ability to shut down big patches of ice made BC High better all year long.
The starting netminder for our second team? None other than the D1 South stalwart of Jack Curran who was stingy all year long: taking on big shot totals and refusing to let simple shots beat him. The team in front of him only needs to score one, he’ll handle the rest.
F Will Trischitta, Framingham
F Matt Keohane, BC High
F Ryan Pomposelli, Xaverian
D Davis Kinne, St. Mary’s Lynn
D Michael Dragon, BC High
G Jack Curran, Walpole
D1 Third Team
Lots to like on this Third Team, starting with a familiar name in Ryan O’Halloran – the scoring leader for one of the state’s top teams all year. Next, you have Matty Ryan, the hulking senior forward who has a strong shot and takes without asking when he attacks the net. Another offensive juggernaut is the season that Brendan Fennell put up for Melrose, he seamlessly went from football to hockey season, messed around and put up a 50-point season, not bad at all.
Jack Kennedy makes our defensive cut after overcoming an injury last season and being a key puck-mover and set-up man for the Cardinals. He also scored the season’s final goal with an OT marker against St. John’s Prep. Next up is another slick mobile defender in Matt Fiorenza who was a breakout machine for the Rockets of Reading. Some team will look really smart to pick him up after the season.
As for goalies, we’re going with Nate Brennan from the Spy Ponders. Not only did he win every game he started in the Super 8, he only gave up a total of three goals in three games. That’s a 1.00 GAA for anybody who digs math.
F Ryan O’Halloran, Burlington
F Matty Ryan, Xaverian
F Brendan Fennell, Melrose
D Jack Kennedy, Pope Francis
D Matt Fiorenza, Reading
G Nate Brennan, Arlington
D1 Honorable Mentions: F Evan Arpin, Andover, D Tommy Tavenner, Andover, F Conor Kelly, Archbishop Williams, F John Hourican, Arlington, F Jake Murphy, Arlington, D Aidan Elkins, Austin Prep, D Jack Farrell, Austin Prep, F Brian Frieh, Barnstable, F Chris Cordeiro, Barnstable, D John Logan, BC High, F Colin Norton, BC High, F Bennett Fici, Belmont, F Matty Rowan, Belmont, D Thomas Grace, Belmont, D Matt Livingston, Billerica, F Jake Marini, Billerica, F Ian Worthley, Bishop Fenwick, F Diego Alvarez–Segee, Bishop Fenwick, D Johnny Harrington, Braintree, F Nolan Leonard, Braintree, F Cam Costa, Burlington, F Jake Vozikis, Burlington, F, John Condon, Burlington, D, Anthony Andriole, Burlington G Joe Trabucco, Burlington, G Dom Walecka, Catholic Memorial, F Mac Casper, Catholic Memorial, D, Kevin McCarthy, Catholic Memorial, F Michael Dinges, Central Catholic, D Nick Peters, Central Catholic, F Ben Pitts, Chelmsford, G Steve Pisani, Duxbury, D Ben Luscko, Duxbury, F Nick Champani, Falmouth, F Stone Devlin, Falmouth, F/D Jake McKenzie, Falmouth, D Dom Leone, Framingham, F Hunter Balducci, Framingham, F Dylan Marchand, Franklin, D Tommy Tasker, Franklin, F Tim Carroll, Hingham, F Paul Forbes, Hingham, D Dom Valente, Lowell Catholic, F Brendan Curtis, Malden Catholic, F David Bazile, Malden Catholic, F Tim Doyle, Marshfield, F Griffin Mudge, Marshfield, D Joe Lucien, Melrose, F Charlie Haggerty, Melrose, F Jimmy Fallon, Milton, D David Mega, Natick, D Owen Spence, Newburyport, F Colin Richmond, Newburyport, F Ryan Shaw, Pope Francis, F Jacob Iby, Pope Francis, F Landyn Greatorex, Reading, G Dylan Emery, Reading, F Matt Nuzzolilo, Shrewsbury, D Nico Evangelous, Shrewsbury, F Ned Malolepszy, St. John’s Prep, G Noah Dorsey–Sorofman, St. John’s Prep, F Ryan Hart, St. John’s Prep, F Matt Myers, St. John’s Shrewsbury, F Sean Clark, St. John’s Shrewsbury, F Brady Carpenter, St. Mary’s Lynn, F Owen Maguire, St. Mary’s Lynn, F Kevin McElaney, Walpole, D Liam Fisher, Walpole, F Ethan McDonough, Walpole, D Justin Cormier, Waltham, F Brian McNamara, Waltham, F Drew Cohen, Wellesley, G Drew Hubbard, Wellesley, F Jason Bunyon, Westford Academy, F CJ Pacifico, Westford Academy, F Ryan McCarthy, Winchester, F John Surrette, Woburn, F Jack Silva, Xaverian, D Aiden Rodriguez, Xaverian
D2 First Team
This is our first D2 First Team and we wanted to make sure we got it right, and how can you go wrong with these six? Let’s start with John Hagan, starting QB for the football team and captain of the hockey team who scored four goals in the clincher that won the Bulldogs the D2 South. Not bad eh? Next is Dane Carter who first popped on our radar at MA Festival as one of the top players in the 2004 age group and sure enough he had a strong year at Concord-Carlisle as a budding power forward. Next up is Grayson Badger who is also on our list of the Top 2004s in North America and he showed it by dropping four goals in the early rounds of the South sectional (the second time he’s done that BTW).
Onto the blueliners and we start with the one-man transition in Masco’s Shawn Callahan. He can play forward or defense but as a blueliner all year he showed great athleticism and smart retrievals that led to quick transition for the Chieftans. Next is Caden Connors who has added more size since we last saw him and his intelligence on ice is noticeable at this level: he knows how to take ice without putting himself in perilous situations.
As for goaltender? Hard to top the year Evan Monaghan had for Medway: 1.78 GAA, .929 save percentage and seven shutouts on the season: two separate streaks of two goose eggs. Is that good? Sounds like it’s good.
F John Hagan, Canton
F Dane Carter, Concord-Carlisle
F Grayson Badger, Brookline
D Shawn Callahan, Masconomet
D Caden Connors, Tewksbury
G Evan Monaghan, Medway
D2 Second Team
This Second team is not far behind the First in terms of talent. We start out with scorer Jason Cooke who filled the scoresheet behind two upperclassmen in Campbell Pierce and Will O’Keefe, but one could argue that he was the most dangerous player on the ice each game he played because of his size and vision. Next is Zach Piersol from Marblehead and he plays a man’s game: he’s big, he’s physical and he plans to go through you as opposed to sneaking around you. He is going to be a great get for somebody next season. We also like Logan Campbell from Masconomet because he is “slump-proof” to borrow a baseball phrase. No matter how the team is playing, he maintains the same good habits and generally finds the scoresheet.
On defense is Damon Alexander of the Wolfpack: he is strong, athletic and knows how to get shots on net, which makes him hard to play against. Completing the D pair is Connor Kohan who is tall, fluid and focused on his target. He can skate it himself and shield it with his body or find the forward streaking up ice with a sharp feed.
In the net we have sophomore Patrick Green of North Andover who took the Knights’ job and did not let it go. He was excellent in the playoffs allowing no more than two goals per game in regulation before Lincoln-Sudbury ended the run in the Semis. He has great reaction times and stays square to his shooters.
F Jason Cooke, Tewksbury
F Zach Piersol, Marblehead
F Logan Campbell, Masconomet
D Damon Alexander, Boston Latin
D Connor Kohan, Triton
G Patrick Green, North Andover
D2 Third Team
We start off the Third team with a selfless forward in Will Shull who played D in the team’s playoff exit against Wilmington. He has some size and a clean skating stride plus some nifty stickhandling maneuvers which make him tough to shut down for a full game. Next up is big-bodied forward Brendan Quinn who is starting to grow into his frame and use that in puck protection. He has great reach and the ability to win along the walls – he has more upside to tap into and that will translate into more points. There is also Hagan’s running mate on the Bulldogs in Chris Lavoie. He is great at finding the puck and using his feet to create space and time. He also is a bully down low and can protect the puck effectively to boot.
On defense, we were really impressed with the leadership and offensive acumen showed by Tim Duffy throughout Lincoln-Sudbury’s run to the D2 North sectional title. He was constantly involved offensively but he also found weak points in coverage quickly and closed down space. There is also Robert Melvin who has good size on the blue line and is constantly keeping his head up ice. He hasn’t grown into his frame yet but he is rock solid and dependable in every game we watch him.
Speaking of the Wolfpack, one of the biggest players on the ice resides in net in Luke Young and the sophomore was lights out when we saw him midway through the season. He takes away a ton of the net and he suppressed shots really well. He might be one of the better goalies in the state next year.
F Will Shull, Marblehead
F Brendan Quinn, Lincoln-Sudbury
F Chris Lavoie, Canton
D Tim Duffy, Lincoln-Sudbury
D Robert Melvin, Boston Latin
G Luke Young, Boston Latin
D2 Honorable Mentions: F Kevin Barrera, Bishop Feehan, G Ryan D’Amato, Bishop Feehan, F Noah Sargent, Boston Latin, F Sam Hutchinson, Boston Latin, D Ellis Vish, Brookline, D Owen Lehane, Canton, F Noah Thorpe, Concord-Carlisle, F Evan Foskett, Haverhill, F Jonah Sacher, Lincoln-Sudbury, D JT Monahan, Marblehead, F Jason Schueler, Masconomet, F Peyton DeFeo, Masconomet, F Kai Roberto, Masconomet, F Cole Fagan, North Andover, D Nick Herald, North Andover, D Sean Brown, North Reading, F Anthony Marchant, Norwood, F Jake Russo, Norwood, F Brandon Stewart, Stoneham, F Danny Storella, Stoneham, F Campbell Pierce, Tewksbury, F Will O’Keefe, Tewksbury, F James Tatro, Triton, F Brad Killion, Triton, F Matt Moniz, Wakefield, F Joey O’Brien, Wakefield, F Colin Fahey, Westwood, F Riley Fitzgerald, Wilmington, G Sam Cedrone, Wilmington, D Matt Pendenza, Wilmington
As we mentioned above, this was a big year for freshmen across the state, and there were a number of great candidates for these six spots but each of these players impressed us at different points during the year.
Let’s start with the biggest freshman season in Ryan Leonard, he came into the year with big expectations having dominated at the bantam level and he succeeded playing up against players four years his senior. Next, we have his linemate in Ryan Shaw, who should not be forgotten as a result of the Leonard hype. A fellow 2005, he found ways to take ice and get free from coverage all season long and he really locked in with his linemate making passes to space and creating lanes. The speedster from Braintree Nolan Leonard rounds out our freshman forwards. He is one of our top 2004s in North America and not only is he a great skater, but he sees the ice well and knows how to take advantage of coverage as it develops.
On defense we have another Kinne, and another 8th grade Kinne at that in Harrison from St. Mary’s Lynn. The young defender was so instinctually smart all season and he has the size and athleticism to do damage at an early age. Look out for him as a freshman next year. Rounding out the D pair is Connor Welch from Woburn, he didn’t get nearly as much ink as his offensively gifted teammates, but the big man plays an honest game and relished playing the role of the hammer.
As for the goalie, this was an easy pick as freshman netminder Tom Kiesewetter took control of the job at BC High and never let it go, despite a number of qualified upperclassmen on the roster. He was clutch in BC High’s run during the Super 8 and made a number of big stops to extend their season before being ousted by St. John’s Prep in OT.
F Ryan Leonard, Pope Francis
F Ryan Shaw, Pope Francis
F Nolan Leonard, Braintree
D Harrison Kinne, St. Mary’s Lynn (8th grade)
D Connor Welch, Woburn
G Tom Kiesewetter, BC High
Rookie Honorable Mentions: F Ty Wood, Austin Prep, F Ryan Flaherty, BC High, F Jimmy Fallon, Milton, F Evan Pennucci, Reading, F Cam Russo, St. John’s Prep, F Brady Bullock, St. Mary’s Lynn, F Eli Cardosi, Shrewsbury, F Jackson Powers, Woburn, Michael Nigro, Winchester, Noah Thorpe, Concord-Carlisle
D3 Honorable Mentions: F Damien Medeiros, Dartmouth, F Manning Morris, Hanover, F Nate Delprete, Hanover, F Ethan Davis, Hanover, G Sean Ennis, Norwell, F Brendan DeMarco, Lowell, F Owen Goulette, Lowell, G Jake Viera, Lowell, G Espen Reager, Foxboro, F Drew Olivieri, Swampscott, F Sean Walsh, Hopkinton, F Pavit Mehra, Hopkinton, F Bobby Guilford, Silver Lake, D Sean Gardner, Wachusett, F Kevin Skagerlind, Wachusett, D Jake Krajeski, Essex Tech