Lawrence-Groton Holiday Tournament: Top 57

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Neutral Zone attended the Lawrence/Groton tournament on Thursday and Friday December 15-16th. The tournament was cut short due to the snow on Saturday, however, our scouts wer able to see each team play at least once.

There were eight teams in the tournament. Included are the records of each teams after 3 games played: (Culver 3-0, Cushing 0-3, Holderness 1-2, Lawrence 2-1, Dexter 2-1, Pomfret 2-1, Groton 1-2 and Proctor 1-2). Below is a listing of the top forwards and defensemen on the weekend.

Santeri Hartikainen (Groton, 6’1/185, 1/5/99) – Long, powerful skating forward who doesn’t have breakaway speed but has hockey sense and great touch. Plays a very controlled game and uses his long body and reach to protect the puck from defenders. Doesn’t hesitate to shoot the puck and has an above average snap shot. Thinks the game well and is always looking to create offense. Have seen him take shifts off in the past, however this weekend his compete level was high. Plays with an edge and although he does not go out of his way to be physical, he doesn’t shy away from contact. He was listed on NHL Central Scouting as a C rated prospect but will likely need to improve his quickness and speed before he gets serious attention from the NHL brass.  Grade: A

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EHL Simsbury Showcase: Top 63

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Neutral Zone headed to Simsbury, CT for the EHL Showcase in mid December, 2016. We did not see the entire event. We were able to watch almost every team at least once and about half the games overall. We did not evaluate the Boston Bandits or Hartford Wolfpack. Below are the players we noticed. Players’ grades are for this showcase only and relative to others on this report.

In our previous report from the Cyclones’ Showcase, we evaluated 125 players. Considering here in CT, we saw about half the number of games we did at the NH showcase, 63 players is about right. We will continue to evaluate the EHL this season and post reports. Players’ profiles can be seen by clicking on their names. All scouting reports on those players will be linked to their profiles. Thirteen players below are new additions to our player profiles.

Adam Papayoanou #9 (F, Jr. Flyers, 5’10”, 170lbs, 1996)-Adam was excellent here. The 1996 is a water bug type that was previously with the Nighthawks. We noted back at the Cyclone showcase that he was fast but had some trouble accessing his skills at full speed. Here, he was better. He made plays with speed and showed very good stick skills. He scored on a nice deak at full speed on a breakaway. The puck seemed to find him and size did not limit. Grade: A

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T1EHL U15 Showcase: Top 28

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Neutral Zone headed to catch some Tier 1 U15 action December 9-11, 2016. As is the case with many U15 games, there was a wide range of talent and quality of teams. The games ran the gamut from a great battle between Buffalo and the Avs to some really bad “running time” affairs. The players below stood out and grades are relative to others on this report. Almost every player listed is a new addition to our player profiles. Click on players’ names to view their profiles.

Adam Varga (Washington, 5-1-6) Adam has dynamite acceleration good hands and can flat out shoot. He plays a lot like a European though he is from the states. A pure natural sniper, he is great in tight can shoot off forehand and backhand. He does not distribute a lot off the rush, he is a pure shooter. In the zone he likes to carry around the net at speed to look for openings. Grade: A

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Tier 1 U14 Showcase-Philadelphia-Top 56

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Neutral Zone headed to Philadelphia on November 19-21, 2016 to see some U14 action. Below are players we noticed. We did not see much of TPH, Pittsburgh, Rampage and the Thunder Birds. It was a pretty even tourney. 25 of 40 games were within a margin of 2 goals or less. All the players here have been added to …

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Brooks/Pingree Holiday Tournament; Top 25

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On December 16 and 18, 2016 we were able to catch games across both Divisions and put together a list of the tournament players who we felt showed best. For scouts and hockey professionals please keep in mind that our rankings are in order as we saw fit, but not numbered because we feel their letter grade was more important than their numerical grade. Most importantly, the letter grade is NOT a reflection of the player’s overall ability or upside; it is simply based on how that player performed at this particular tournament.

Editor’s note: due to inclement weather we were not able to secure viewings of Pingree and Hebron on Saturday. In addition, we noticed that four rostered players did not see game action for New Hampton, hence why they have not been included in the listing below.

00 F Michael Kane (L, 6′, 185, New Hampton #9) was an offensive threat the same way he showed in midget hockey down in CT. Uses his big frame to guard the puck and punish anyone in his way. Throws hits on nearly every shift and finds ways to take the puck away along the boards as a result. It took him a few prep games to really get in rhythm but he is firing on all cylinders now. His wrist shot is dangerous if you don’t close down his space: ripped one off the left post from the RW. Willing to take a hit to make a play in the offensive zone because his frame can absorb it. Grade: A-

 

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Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep Showcase: Top 25

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The December Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep Showcase was filled with a lot of top players that are competing at the U18 Tier 1 Level. The games were fast and physical throughout the weekend and didn’t disappoint.  There were many players here that will be fixtures in the next couple seasons in Junior hockey and at the Division 1 Collegiate level in the near future.

Nathan Clurman (D) (R, 6-2/190, CULVER, 98) – A great frame with good strength and athleticism.  He can skate and cover a lot of ice.  Was a danger offensively as he can bring it from the point.  Tough to play against defensively with his size and skating ability.  Had an impact on every game.  Was a 6th Round NHL selection in last year’s draft by the Colorado Avalanche.  (NOTRE DAME)  Grade: A

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Avon Old Farms Christmas Classic: Top 60

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Avon Old Farms held its 43rd annual Christmas Classic from December 15-17, 2016. Neutral Zone headed down to check in on what is always an excellent tournament full of quality prep teams and players. Each school played one game the first day, two games the second day and Saturday was the championships.

Avon edged Loomis for their second straight title in a matchup of what we thought were the two best teams here.

Below is a list of the top 60 players that we evaluated during the weekend. We saw each team at least twice. Grades are for this weekend and in relation to others on this report. Ten players are new additions to our prospect profiles

Trevor Zegras #11 (So. F, 5’11”, 160lbs, Avon Old Farms)-Trevor only added a couple of points here but his ability was obvious. The 2001 was the best prospect in the tournament. His skating is as elite as it gets at any level and for any age. He is very fast and seemed to jump on pucks or to space twice as fast as others. His edges and balance are superb and his skating style allows him to see the ice at an elite level. He can access all his stick skills at full speed. The BU commit worked hard, stuck his nose in on the wall and in front of the net. He created and facilitated. Trevor was excellent and his effort was superb. College: Boston University.    Grade: A

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Chatham vs. Leamington: GOJHL

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Information is based on the game between Chatham and Leamington on December 15th, 2016 in Leamington.  Chatham won the game 2-1 in overtime. Grades are for this game only. Several players are new additions to our player profiles.

Lucas Patton # 31 (Catches Left, 6-1/185, 1999)-Patton stopped 24 of 25 shots and was steady in net as usual. He had no chance on the goal that was scored and made quite a few big saves in the first and second to give his team a chance when they were flat.  He was out of his net quickly to play the puck but needs to work on his shot and make quicker decisions with the puck.  He tracked the puck well and controlled his rebounds well giving Leamington few chances for second chance goals.  His angles were off a bit in the second period coming down on his glove side as Leamington rang two off the post to his blocker side.  Grade: B+

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CCHL Games; December 2nd, 8th, 9th, 14th

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Dec 2nd, 2016 Kanata Lasers vs. Gloucester Rangers #11 Bennett Stockdale (RW, 5’10/170, Kanata, 99) – Bennett had a strong cycling game tonight in Gloucester zone, he created 3-4 chances by working the puck down low and cycling the puck and then driving to the net. He seemed to be around the puck a lot …

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Ottawa Minor Midget Recap: CP, Ottawa, Gloucester, Nepean, Hawkesbury

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Below are reports from Midget AAA games on December 12, 2016. Carleton Place Midget AAA- December 12, 2016 Trent Harris #88 (L-Winger-5’11 190 lbs- Carleton Place Midget AAA- Feb. 27, 2001)-Scored the first goal and added an assist.  He played a steady game tonight competing finishing checks and winning puck battles.  He did a good …

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