Sacred Heart added an important piece for the future in 2003-born forward Jake Bongo this week. A local product – he’s from Ridgefield, Conn. – Bongo had a whopping 76 points (27 goals, 49 assists) in 56 games for the Selects Academy 16U team this season. Bongo was also selected to USA Hockey’s Select 16 camp last season.
“Very elusive and his IQ and agility skating makes him a threat offensively,” our scouts said at this year’s Northeast Pack U16 Showcase. “Every corner scrum he came out with the puck. His work ethic and IQ makes it easy to like his game. Size is not a deterrent.”
Former Denver commit Jordan Biro committed to Colorado College. The Sherwood Park, Alb. native apparently likes the Colorado area, choosing to stay in state after things didn’t work out with the Pioneers.
Biro had 44 points (15 goals, 29 assists) in 50 games for the Spruce Grove Saints (AJHL) this season and also had six points in five games for the AJHL Selects. Biro has played all of his hockey close to home, playing midgets and bantams in Sherwood Park before joining the Saints in 2017.
Minnesota State added a future forward in 2001-born Adam Eisele, a Lake Elmo, Minn. native. After finishing high school hockey at Stillwater High, Eisele moved to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs in the NAHL where he has 43 points in 51 games this season.
“Adam is a good smooth skater with above-average speed and stick handling abilities,” scouts said. “Adam’s shot is hard.”
Michigan native Tim Erkkila is staying in his home state after committing to Northern Michigan. A defenseman, he had 18 points in 49 games for the Fairbanks Ice Dogs (NAHL) this year.
“Tim caught our eye as another defensemen that excelled at breaking the puck out for Fairbanks,” our scouts noted at the NAHL Showcase. “He is mobile and a true puck carrier. He took his ice and forced defenses to make decisions and often leave their coverage. Erkkila proved valuable on the power play as he made accurate first passes and used the indirect well. He moved pucks to smart spots and made allowed his forwards to succeed. He also can rip the puck. In his end, he got on opponents quickly and was physical to separate opponents from the puck. He didn’t play in one game so we had limited viewing viewing but he projects nicely to the next level.”
’99-born forward A.J. Bella committed to Manhattanville College. The Norwalk, Conn. native has had a monster year in the EHL, scoring 40 goals in 40 games with the Connecticut Roughriders. Bella formerly played at Trinity-Pawling School and the Connecticut Oilers.
“He is impossible to move from the net front at this level at 6’3” and 210 lbs,” our scouts said at this year’s EHL Showcase. “His ability to settle to soft ice and just at the right time is unique in this group. His skating is still raw but that will improve.”
Wellington Dukes (OJHL) ’99-born defenseman Quinn Hanna committed to the University of Toronto (U Sports). Another sizable forward (6-foot-3), Hanna had 57 points (16 goals, 41 assists) in 52 games this season for the Dukes.
Hanna has OHL experience with the Guelph Storm and played in the QMJHL for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and Sherbrooke Phoenix.
“A very experienced veteran defenseman with more than 75 CHL games under his belt,” our scouts said at the OJHL Showcase. “He was the go to guy on the blue line for this very good Wellington team. Real good size at 6’3. Can carry the puck out of trouble situations in his end.”
’99 forward Billy McDevitt announced his commitment to SUNY-Cortland on Wednesday. The New York native has 53 points (26 goals, 27 assists) in 46 games for the Philadelphia Jr. Flyers in the EHL.
“He has quick feet with a compact stride,” scouts said at the EHL Showcase. “His turns were tight and he kept control of the puck as he changed direction. His hand eye coordination was excellent as he picked pucks off the wall and out of scrums. His stick is very quick.”
Prior to the EHL, McDevitt played high school hockey at Geneseo/Livonia/Avon High.
Wisconsin Eau Claire added a key defenseman in ’99-born Sam Martel. After 44 games of USHL experience last year, Martel has 16 points (5 goals, 11 assists) in 49 games for the Bismark Bobcats in the NAHL this season.
“A small defender, Martel played his role well as a puck mover,” scouts said at the NAHL Showcase. “He was strong on his skates and his size never limited his ability to defend or distribute the puck. He was very athletic. His feet were elite and he had excellent four-way mobility. He played the QB on the power play.”
Charlestown, Mass. native Matt Lakus committed to Nazareth. The former B.C. High forward skated for Pomfret this season and also played for the Rhode Island Hitmen in the BEAST U18 series.
“He is not a burner but uses his length and strength to get on pucks quickly,” our scouts said recently at the NE Prep finals. “He can make plays in transition or near the net. He stuck his nose in all over the ice.”