NAHL Showcase Day 2

Day 2 of the tournament saw some of the younger prospects start their tournament, making for a pretty crazy day. I said these would be scattershot.

Michigan vs. Topeka

I'm only about halfway around the league, but if I had to pick one skater that has the best chance to get drafted out of this league, it would have to be Michigan's Corey Schueneman('95 Western Michigan commit). He's such a fluid skater, with decent size, but what sets him apart from some of the other younger players in the league is the confidence that he plays with. He's not afraid to jump into the rush, or throw his body around. He looks like a veteran player out there, which is rare for a player that young.

Detroit Honeybaked vs. Chicago Mission U18

This was a really fun, really high-level game to watch. The first thing that stood out is that I probably saw more good hits in the first period of this game than I would in a month of watching high school hockey in Minnesota. Wisconsin recruits Christian Dvorak and Peter Tischke both had solid games. Dvorak has a lot of strength to add(Mission's heights and weights seem pretty inflated), but is really a really smooth skater and puckhandler, with a good frame to build on. Tischke played a quiet game, but again, has a big frame, and a lot of talent. Mission forward Sam Kauppila and Honeybaked D Wes Guenther also had nice games.

Little Caesar's vs. Team Illinois U18

This game drew a big crowd of scouts. I know I had it marked because I was interested in seeing '97 D Zach Werenski, who is considered one of the best players in North America for his birth year. Werenski lived up to every bit of the hype. Watching him reminded me of watching Jon Merrill play at this same tournament, on the same team, on that same rink five years ago, and in comparing them, I'd have to give the edge to Werenski. I've long held Cam Fowler was the best 15 year old hockey player I'd ever seen, and haven't put any other player in that category since then, but Werenski is in that category.

Amarillo vs. Wenatchee

Amarillo started their back-up goalie, which put them in a hole they couldn't dig out of, but this was a fun, ridiculously physical game between two old school junior teams. I felt sorry for the linesmen in this game, who must have woken up really sore this morning, because they had to throw themselves in the middle of scrums at nearly every whistle.

Corpus Christi vs. Austin

After losing Anthony Stolarz to Nebraska-Omaha, Corpus is back with an even bigger goalie in 6'5" 205 lbs. Dillon Kelley. Corpus has some young talent that should gel together nicely if they can keep them together all season, and they get a little experience under their belt.

Team Wisconsin vs. Chicago Mission U16

I only caught the tail end of this game, and I wish I had been able to see more. Two really strong teams in a pretty intense battle. Not to keep harping on Werenski, but Notre Dame recruit Tory Dello is also a top '97 and a shoe-in for the NTDP, but for as good as he looked, he's not close to the same class as Werenski. Mission takes on the Minnesota U16 team tonight, which should be a great battle.

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