Brian Pinho was a major reason the St. John's Prep Eagles have been winning the past two seasons. Pinho, a 2014 Providence College recruit, was one of the more complete players at the high school level.
The six-foot right-shot center from North Andover, Mass. scored 12 goals and added 24 helpers in 21 games played this season for Kristian Hanson's Eagles. The Eagles lost to Austin Prep in the Massachusetts High School Super 8 Semifinals. Originally from Beverly, Pinho had a stellar junior season the previous year that put him on the radar of Hockey East schools. Playing alongside Boston University forward Sam Kurker, Pinho compiled 20 goals and 37 assists in 24 games played.
His coach, a former player at St. John's and UNH, credits Pinho with leading the team's success. "Brian has been the driving force behind our success the past two seasons," said Hanson.
Pinho is a player that can stick handle in traffic and find open teammates when the opposition puts the pressure on him. "His ability to hold onto the puck in traffic and vision on the ice make him invaluable. He led our power play in addition to centering our top line," said Hanson.
In high school action Pinho certainly had a step up on the majority of the competition. He will have the offensive skill set to be an impact player in college and potentially beyond. Pinho also has the versatility to play in all situations and can be a very good checking line forward. "Brian was called on in all situations [including] our penalty kill," said Hanson.
Pinho will be playing in the USHL this upcoming season before joining Providence in the fall of 2014. Coming off one of the best seasons in over a decade, the Friars program is on the upswing. With some good recruiting classes lined up, and Calgary Flames goaltending prospect Jon Gillies coming off a solid freshman campaign, Pinho could be entering a very good situation.
His high school coach believes Pinho will be a welcome addition on and off the ice for the Providence program. "In addition to his on ice skills he has displayed strong leadership skills on the ice and on campus," said Hanson.
Jeff Cox covers college hockey, the NHL draft and AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.