2004 Players Begin Making College Commitments

Saturday was a huge day in college hockey recruiting. August 1 marked the first day that schools could offer student-athletes entering their junior year of high school, which meant a slew of 2004-born players flew off the board over the course of the day, with many players announcing their commitments via social media.

Below is a compilation of 2004-born commits Neutral Zone was able to confirm via social media posts over the course of the day, as well as snippets from our scouts on each player. Click on the player profile links to learn more about these players.

D Ryan Healey to Harvard: “He is a long, athletic right-shot defender that can make defenders miss. He wants the puck on his stick and is confident making plays in all three zones. He handles the puck well at speed and did a good job facilitating the offense off-the-rush. Keeps good gaps defensively through the neutral zone and uses his stick to cut down passing angles.”

D Seamus Powell to Boston College: “Powell seems to have the puck on his stick for extended periods of time and uses various escape moves to elude pressure and maintain possession. He does an amazing job getting a few quick strides up ice which makes it easier to make a first pass in or out of the defensive zone. Given open ice he will take it and back defenders in only to use them as a screen. He knows how to get inside the dots quickly as he backs off the offensive blue line.”

D Nick Wallace to Quinnipiac: “Stood out all weekend as one of the best Defensemen in Showcase. Excelled at reading rush and using his active stick defending. Smooth skater with outstanding edge control and his feet were noticeably good every shift. Played at top speed more times than not. His powerplay time he displayed outstanding poise and vision while quarterbacking his team’s time with the man advantage. Liked how he used the net on breakout to create separation from forecheckers.”

F Christian Kocsis to Providence: “Christian works hard on the forecheck as he tries to create turnovers. He has strong edges as he is able to protect the puck by cutting back by using his strong hands. He will take the puck to the net to create scoring opportunities by shooting the puck or looking for the open player. He will back check and plays a good game defensively by being in the right position.”

G Paxton Geisel to Denver: “Paxton is a big goalie who is very sound positionly and will make the initial save. He will stop the puck behind the net and will pass the puck up ice. He made some big saves to keep his team in the game and he also made a remarkable diving save. He recorded a shootout in the game we watched.”

F Owen Baker to Michigan State: “Owen is an exciting player to watch as he is natural goal scorer who has a quick, accurate release. He scored 4 goals in the games we watched as he was able to pick the corners with ease. He quickly moves his feet as he’s able to shoot while moving his feet. He works very well with his teammates as he makes hard, accurate passes to create scoring opportunities.”

F Connor Welsh to Boston College: “Welsh is a speedy forward with a short stride thats effective as he gets on pucks quickly and is very irritating on the forecheck. The Greenwich native’s crafty, has great stick skills and was an apple machine this weekend. Intriguing trait about Welsh was his sense for the play and where the puck was going to be.”

D David Hejduk to Harvard: “David is counted on to play big minutes on the back-end for the Thunderbirds. He is used in all situations and is at his best on the Power Play. He is an average skater but moves well once he gets up to speed. He sees the ice well and made several nice reads through the neutral zone. Closes well on forwards and uses good angles and an active stick to breakup plays. He has a big shot from the point. On the Power Play he constantly looks to find teammates backdoor.”

F Connor Gourley to Arizona State: “Gourley is a big body forward who plays at both ends of the ice and battles hard for the puck on every shift. The lengthy center is at his best in down low play and using his size to protect the puck and extend offensive zone time. Gourley has decent passing play in the offensive end, making hard cross ice or short effective passes in tight to teammates.”

D Shaun McEwen to UMass: “He is more puck mover than a shutdown guy at this point but that is mainly because he has the puck so much. He can lead or join the rush and get back to break up plays. His regroups are superb and he has elite vision. He has improved a lot.”

D Jeremiah Slavin to Colorado College: “Jeremiah is tall and strong for this age group. He scored on a rifle wrister against Orange that caught our eye quickly. He has improved since Nationals as he reacted quicker to intercept and break up plays. He is tough to play against in the corners. His skating is still a work in progress but he got everywhere he needed on the ice here. Big players take longer to smooth out their stride.”

F Andon Cerbone to Michigan: “Cerbone is a tenacious forward that plays like he’s 6’5 as he has a great motor and creates offense quickly off of mistakes. Young forward who showed poise and great deception with the puck. Wasn’t afraid to make a play in gray areas and had a chip on his shoulder. He turned over two pucks in the St Sebs game for goals as he dished two crisp passes to his line mates.”

F Marek Hejduk to Harvard: “Marek wants the puck on his stick and doesn’t hesitate to shoot at any opportunity. He is a skilled, fleet footed winger that plays a direct game up-and-down the wing. He can make defenders miss in space and has a slick set of hands which lets him make plays in tight spaces. He has a big shot and is most effective on the half-wall during the Power Play. He hits the one timer easily and scored a few goals on the Power Play during our viewings. He anticipates well and hits lanes quickly and with conviction.:

F Braedon Ford to Miami: “Ford is a poised, possession style forward who is skilled and crafty with the puck. A polished skater with smooth hands and a creative offensive flare to his game. He can spin and deke his way through traffic and showed an explosive first step. Ford has a quick release and the vision to sense pressure, find the soft spots and get pucks to his teammates in scoring areas.”

F Michael Murtagh to UConn: “Very sharp skater who is agile and athletic altogether. Great feet and can elude defenders, change directions and make players miss. Was strong on the puck and did a great job of swiveling his hips to get away from defenders. Went inside out and drove the net a few times and showed he wasn’t afraid to hang out in the dirty areas either. Delayed and curled on the half wall on line rushes and made a couple crisp passes to the late guy.”