E.G. Watkins Tournament
The Watkins Tournament put a lot of higher end prep talent on display. Lawrence won the tournament in a shootout over Culver. The champions have been building for a few years now under Head Coach Rob Barker. Beyond being very skilled, they seemed to be playing as a complete unit and on the same page. Culver displayed signs of a team that has been on the ice longer than the New England schools, as their structure proved to be on a different level. Very good players, very good coaching, but they also showed more of the mid-season form that you don’t get from NE schools until January/February. Dexter looked strong as well, and of all the teams, Dan Donato’s squad seems to have the most upside with an incredible group of freshmen. Gunnery, as well, boasts a young team with excellent potential. Lacking a pure point producing threat, the Highlanders will win a lot of games with depth should they overcome inconsistency. Thayer also has Elite Eight potential with their top end guys being as good as anyone else’s that we saw. Cushing, also in a bit of a rebuild after losing some guys early to the USHL, was trying to find their way during the tournament. Canterbury is an older team that lacks skill but will work hard. They need to keep games close in order to keep their mucky forwards engaged and believing that one shot/one goal can be the difference maker. NMH finds itself searching for identity in the post Tom Pratt era. Under Pratt, they always had low numbers but a few high end skill kids who would play a very offensive style. The current squad has a few skills guys on the top end, but the team, overall, needs to figure out who they want to be.
Below are players we felt stood out here. We listed them by teams in no particular order. Each player profile can be viewed by clicking on his name.
Dominic Vidoli, 11th grade, D: Talk of the tournament and top uncommitted here. Incredibly smooth and fluid skater. Dominated in his game against Dexter with his feet leading the way. Possessed the puck and started the rush many times, but he also jumped into the rush for an odd man situation goal. Showed a quick, accurate release both off the rush (his goal) and from the blue line. Pro scouts were also showing interest in the Poti scout room. It cannot be long until he commits to a Division I program.
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