NCAA: Notre Dame Adds a Throwback Forward

(‘04) Brennan Ali (F) to Notre Dame for 2022

Ali is from Chicago and played for the Chicago Mission before he joined the U.S. NTDP U17 team last season. In 11 games with the NTDP, he finished with three points. Ali has good size and he was selected by the Lincoln Stars (USHL) in the 2021 USHL Entry Draft. When the Mission announced his commitment on their website, they said that his “physical prowess is a throwback to an earlier era of hockey” and praised his intensity.

NZ Scouts: “He has a dog on a bone mentality but can make plays and finish plays with a 3-1-4 line in 4 games including one of the best goals of the tournament on a quick release snap shot bar and in from beyond the dots. Ali isn’t perfect as no player here is; he can be tunnel visioned on net drives, he isn’t overly dynamic with the puck and attacks in straight lines; however, he’s a gamer, he plays hard and physical and is tough to defend and he outworked everyone he went up against which points to a high ceiling. In one shift he toe dragged an opponent, zipped a cross ice pass on tape, he leveled a defender on the forecheck and took him off his feet and beat out an icing with pure effort and speed.”

(‘05) Nathan Murray (F) to Colorado College for 2023

Murray is described as having a high motor. He’s played the last two seasons for Honeybaked and the Michigan native won a USA Hockey Tier I national title with the organization this past season. He was selected in the third round of the USHL Futures Draft (2021) and is considered one of the most significant commits since the new staff took over this spring.

NZ Scouts: “Murray was speedy in straight lines, tricky with the puck and played with great acceleration. His first step was very good and that allowed him to stop and start and lose defenders. He was slippery coming out of the corners as his turns were tight and he moved pucks to the point to stretch out the defense. He showed he had balance as he backchecked hard and bumped opponents off track. He took hits and made plays. He went to tough areas and kept on coming. He scored a nice tip goal at the net front and pressured pucks relentlessly.”

(‘04) Ryder Matter (F) to Michigan Tech for 2023

The Alberta native had a short-lived debut in the AJHL last season due to COVID, but he finished with three goals in seven games. He came up playing AAA hockey for the Leduc Oil Kings and last season played for the Fort McMurray Oil Barons. In his last full season (2019-20) he played on the Oil Kings U16 team and scored 31 points (12g-19a) in 37 games.

(‘03) Hunter Wallace (F) to RPI for 2023

Wallace is an undersized forward but has put up huge offensive totals at every level. Last season he played U18 hockey for the Southwest Cougars in Manitoba, and he finished with 11 goals and 4 assists in just eight games. In 2019-20 he appeared in 48 games for the Cougars and scored 36 goals with 33 assists. The 5-foot-7 forward will take a step up this season and play in the AJHL with the Brooks Bandits.

NZ Scouts: “Hunter is an extremely talented forward with elite skating abilities. His feet are lightning-quick, and he can change his direction on a dime. His edges are smooth, and he does well to change up his shooting angles in a hurry to get open looks on net. The ’03 is deadly off the rush and he can make things happen on any given shift. His vision and hockey sense are superb, and he anticipates the play well.”

(‘04) Jake Manfre (F) to Princeton for 2023

Manfre came up through some of the more well-known youth programs in the Northeast, playing for both the Mid-Fairfield Rangers out of Connecticut and then spending last season with the North Jersey Avalanche. With the Avalanche last season, Manfre recorded 15 points (9g-6a) in 11 games.

NZ Scouts: “He’s a big body power forward who is strong on the puck, strong on his edges and tough to play against below the dots with his sheer size, strength and power game. He protects the puck very well using his reach, his lower body strength and puck skill to keep defenders from getting to the puck and has a heavy shot.”

(‘04) Ty Daneault (F) to Merrimack for 2023

Daneault is from Red Deer, Alb. and has played the last two seasons for the Red Deer Chiefs U18 team. He debuted with the team two years ago as a 14-year-old (he didn’t turn 15 until that December), and he posted 13 points in 31 games playing against players who were as many as four years older. Last season he once again played with Red Deer’s U18 team as a 15-year-old, and he posted 10 points (5g-5a-10pts) in just five games. 

Daneault represented Team Alberta Black at the Alberta Cup in 2019. In January he signed on to join the Drumheller Dragons (AJHL), but the season was never restarted. Daneault was selected by the Saskatoon Blades in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft.

So far in the 2021-22 AJHL preseason, Daneault has five points (2g-3a-5pts) in five games for Drumheller.

NZ Scouts: “Ty uses his low powerful stride to get around the ice at speed. He has a natural playmaking ability, his poise and patience with the puck is excellent, and his ability to buy time with his feet and stickhandling is very good. Ty likes to use his speed and vision off the rush to make plays to streaking teammates. He works hard at both ends of the ice using a strong work ethic and high IQ to read and react well to plays.”

(‘05) Charlie Kinsman (D) to Vermont for 2023

Kinsman has played for the Buffalo Jr. Sabres AAA team since his 14U year and he’s on the roster for the 16U team this upcoming season. He also appeared in four international games for USA Hockey at the Five Nations tournament and finished with four assists.

NZ Scouts: “Kinsman is a strong, balanced skating defenseman who stood out at both ends of the ice. He is strong on his edges, he makes crisp, accurate passes out of his end and maintains calm with the puck under forecheck pressure. He has the skating ability and edge control to maintain good gaps and can instantly stop and propel himself forward to deliver open ice hits and stand up opponents through the neutral zone. He uses his reach to poke pucks and breakup passes into the slot and proved his strength on the puck by stealing it right off opponents blades, lifting sticks and winning 50/50 pucks along the boards.”