Neutral Zone sent two scouts to the first HPHL U16 Showcase took place on October 22-23, 2016. The showcase displayed Chicago vs. Detroit in all of their games. The Detroit area took this month winning most of the games. The Chicago Mission appeared to be the team to beat moving forward showing a 2-1 record on the weekend and dominating opponents despite losing a tough one to Compuware in the last game. Compuware made it aware that they are going to be hard to deal with moving forward with a deep group and Honeybaked is a young team that should only get better as the year goes along.
Below are the players that our scouts evaluated. If both scouts had notes one one player, we listed both sets below that player’s name. Grades are in relation to those players listed here. Every player on this list had a good showcase. All of these players will be in our NZ profiles.
Luke Toporowski (L, 5-10/166, Mission, 01) – He was very dynamic and dangerous throughout the weekend. Showed a mix of skill and compete level consistently. He showed he can change the game with the puck on his stick whether it’s on the rush or down low. He was a 1st round pick and currently signed with Spokane in the WHL, where his father Kerry was a legend back in his playing days. Kerry accrued over 600 penalty minutes in the regular season and playoffs during the 1990-91 season.
– Toporowski’s skating really stood out in these games. He appears taller than he is, and a lot of that lies within his really long, fluid stride. It just appears to make him rangier than he may actually be at 5-9. He generates a lot of power in his stride and it is very smooth and effortless looking. It was utilized well in winning some races to loose pucks and on a few occasions in beating defensemen wide to the net. Toporowski protected the puck well and is really good at using his body to edge off defenders. Very difficult to remove from the puck. We look forward to seeing more from him as the season progresses.
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