I’m not going to pretend that I saw every team play over the first few weekends, but I did see every player on this list play more than once in the past 10 days.
Jake McManus is smart as hell. He might not be the biggest player on the ice, but he processes plays quickly and usually looks like he’s two or three steps ahead of everyone else.
Liam O’Keeffe is a 2006 playing on a U16 team, who also played on a U18 team this weekend. He’s a bull who has a high compete level, loves to block shots and expects to win physical confrontations. Coach Donato has something here.
I like Shane Spinale. I always have. He’s involved in every game I’ve ever seen him play. He’s physical, has an edge and is incredibly quick witted when it comes to yapping.
Ryan Shaw plays with his eyes up and serious touch on his passes. Yes he can fire it, but his passing skills should get way more credit.
Denver Damphousse is a big boy who can move. Watch for him this year at Kent. I didn’t notice the 10 & 2, but I did notice him making plays and creating transition.
Brendan Boring can back it up. I’m sure it was a pleasant conversation he was having with the opponent’s bench and I’m sure it was just some Holiday well wishes, but as soon as the puck was dropped he immediately went out and scored two goals. BK ended up winning by 2.
If Ryan Wead gets a second in the slot he can turn the red light on.
Markus Keller is sneaky strong. I saw a few guys takes runs at him and they ended up on their rears.
Opponents despise William Cannata. I’m not 100% sure why, but good God do they hate him.
It’s obvious that Kyle O’Leary spent time working hard on his stride, strength and explosiveness this summer. It’s going to pay off.
Giovanni Digiulian may be on the all name team, but his feet are what you notice first. His outside edges create real separation.
There’s not a whole lot of people talking about Dane Carter, but they will be soon.
Mick Frechette has a rocket and will protect his teammates.
Teddy Mutryn. That’s it. Just Teddy Mutryn. You’re going to be saying the same thing very soon.
Brennan Cail shoots bee bees while his feet are moving. Bee Bees. They’re hard, they hit the net and it looks like they get on the goalie before they’re ready for it.
Coach Gardner is going to like having Charlie Gollob on campus. I was wandering around trying to find rink 8 when I said to myself “Who the hell is that?”
Speaking of Avon, Joseph Odyniec has some serious mitts for a big kid. He’s a December 2004 and he’s 6’2″ 190lbs. Watch for him because he’s coming like truck. He and his Avon teammate Tyler Anton worked well together.
Michael Fisher has a real chance to be drafted. He’s deceptively fast, strong and has an edge. NHL Eyes will be watching him closely.
Stephen Yang is tough to beat 1 on 1. He’s got a nice smooth pivot, his hips are low and his center of balance makes it tough for opposing forwards to get to the net.
Bryce Russ is really cool under pressure. He can have a forechecker in his pants and he just keeps on dishing it.
Clarence Beltz is a big strong kid who’s upward trajectory has been quite dramatic. At 6’3″ 180 he’s just starting to realize what he is.
It doesn’t matter how bad the ice is because Brendan Gorman‘s first 3 steps are electric.
Mathew Hanscom has upside. He just keeps getting better and more confident every time I see him play.
Bennet MacDonald is going to put up serious numbers with Nobles this year. They might even be foolish. I’m not sure who Coach Day is going to put on his wings, but college coaches better be ready to grade on the curve.
Landyn Greatorex can see things that other players can’t. He made a backhand sauce pass through the Royal Road that still has me grinning.
Nate Porter can fly and he’s very slippery, but I love the grime he’s playing with. He’s digging for rebounds and extending the cycle. Great sign for things to come.
James Fisher wants to be a player who plays in the three letter league. There’s no doubt about it. His mentality has changed and people are noticing.
Brendan Burke from BC High does not quit. Ever. He is relentless. He’ll be first on the forecheck, first on the backcheck and the first guy to cheer for his teammates.
Jack Bosco has a very solid first pass. He sucks forecheckers to him, passes through the triangle and puts it on the tape.
Easton Swift can dish it. He judges gaps and then manipulates them into his favor. He has a nice easy glide that works well with his vision.
Connor Sutherland is a shooter. Plain and simple. There are other players who get more love, but there’s not many who have a release like him.
Ryan Walker is a moose. When he lowers his shoulder and wants to get to the net, he gets there.
Somehow Mike Callow is taller, but has a lower skating base. My guess is he spent time in the gym training to be more powerful and explosive. The athletic 6’4″ forward should be watched closely.
Dillon Cooney can box out and clear shooting lanes with the best of them. He understands leverage, gets opponents on a single foot and makes it look easy as he clears the lane. He did it all weekend.
See you around the rinks.
Photo Credit: Dan Hickling/Hickling Images