Max Willman didn't get selected in his first year of draft eligibility, but his play during the past year has made sure he won't go home from Philadelphia without hearing his name called.
"One thing he did was made the most of every opportunity along the way. Starting with summer showcases last summer, midget hockey in the fall and then with us during the prep season, he got better and better," said Williston-North Hampton head coach Derek Cunha.
Willman spent his post-graduate year at the western Massachusetts prep school after finishing his high school career at Barnstable where he consistently put up gaudy offensive numbers. It was a worthwhile year for him as he landed a spot on a Division I roster at an Ivy League school and saw his NHL Central Scouting Service ranking climb from 177 at the mid-term to 116 in the final release.
Willman, a Brown University recruit, is a player that loves to learn the game and will continue to develop his game, according to Cunha. "Some kids level out, but Max keeps getting better. He has a lot more potential for growth."
When it comes to Willman's skill set, there isn't really one area of his game that stands out, but he is a very versatile forward who can do a lot of things well.
"He can beat defensemen one-on-one, shoot and score from the perimeter or bowl his way towards the net," said Cunha. "He really dictates the play. He forces the play and makes defensemen worried about him."
The team that drafts Willman can be assured his development will continue under Brendan Whittet at Brown. He joins an impressive freshman class at the Providence, RI school, including Kimball Union's Tyler Bird, ranked one spot below in the Central Scouting rankings.
Central Scouting Final Ranking: 116
Hometown: Barnstable, Mass.
2013-14 Team: Williston-North Hampton (New England Prep)
2014-15 Team: Brown (NCAA)
Strengths: versatile, skilled forward who can push the play
Weakness: is good but not great at doing a lot of things offensively
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.