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USHL Fall Classic: Top 14U Prospects

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Minnesota Blades vs. Rochester Monarchs

The following is a list of the top uncommitted prospects from the 2017 USHL Fall Classic 14U Youth Tournament that was held at the UPMC Lemieux Complex, Baierl Complex and RMU Island Sports Center from September 30 through October 2.

The Minnesota Blades won the 14U Youth Tournament for the second consecutive year. It was an impressive group out of Minnesota once again.

Prospects are broken down by position. The top 15 forwards and top eight defensemen are ranked followed by players in the honorable mention category. Those players in the honorable mention category are listed alphabetically. Goaltenders were not ranked, as it was difficult to do so in a short tournament when not every goaltender was viewed since teams rotated that position by game.

The only two committed players, Chaz and Cruz Lucius, at the tournament were omitted from the list. The brothers played for the Minnesota Blades and are committed to play college hockey for the University of Minnesota.

Forwards

1. Anthony Agostinelli
#3 Rochester Monarchs, Shoots Right

Agostinelli’s skill set is far and away the best of any player at this age group. He’s an elite skater with a terrific shot. He has the agility to wheel around the zone. He scores and he draws penalties because he’s so tough to defend. His offensive zone hockey sense is solid. He scored a beauty of a goal Sunday, penetrating the slot and ripping a wrist shot off the post and in to the net. He recovers pucks to start possession in both zones. He needs to improve on some of his habits, but that should come.

2. Carter Batchelder
#9 Minnesota Blades, Shoots Left

Batchelder is a very good forward who just kept making plays throughout the game. He’s nifty in tight spaces and was creative with the puck. He’s a great skater with high-end speed and he works hard and competes each shift.

3. Colby Saganiuk
#71 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, Shoots Right

Saganiuk is small, but he has a very good skill set and he works hard each shift. His feet never stop moving. He can stop and start to throw off defenders. He keeps plays alive and is very fast. His vision is good and he has good hands to coral tough passes.

4. Jackson Truchan
#71 Victory Honda, Shoots Right

Truchan is small, but he carried his team on his back here. His skating and offensive skill set are both elite, allowing him to take over games offensively. He’s dynamic with the puck on his stick.

5. Ryan St. Louis
#26 Mid-Fairfield, Shoots Left

The son of Marty St. Louis, Ryan is a great passer who plays like a rink rat. It’s easy to tell he grew up around the game with some of the things he does with the puck on his stick. He keeps pucks going, had a really nice sauce pass and recovers pucks. His vision and skating are both high-end.

6. Tyler Boucher
#16 Virtua, Shoots Right

Boucher is the son of former NHL goaltender Brian Boucher. He’s a power forward who is heavy on pucks. His pressure forced a turnover at the defensive blue line. Once he recovered the puck, he just blew by the other defender for a breakaway goal. He can separate from defenders with his explosive stride. He had a few good looks to the back door on a power play sequence.

7. Davis Burnside
#22 Chicago Mission, Shoots Right

Burnside is a physically mature center who can protect the puck. He started zone entry on a power play goal with a strong rush in the left side. He finds seams and has above average agility. He plays hard and has explosiveness as evidenced by a wraparound attempt that drew a penalty. He made a few great passes to the slot from the wall. He’s heavy and forced turnovers down low.

8. Vincent Salice
#8 Little Caesars, Shoots Left

Salice is a small forward who has the potential to be a special player as he grows. He made a great pass to the backdoor to show off his vision. He scored a beauty of a power play goal. He’s great in tight spaces and was sneaky and hard to contain.

9. Matt McGroarty
#13 Mid-Fairfield, Shoots Right

McGroarty is a big power forward with a strong stride. He’s hard to knock off pucks, can protect pucks from opposing defenders and has a heavy shot. He’s a player who projects better than where he’s at right now.

10. Nickita Moiseev
#71 Little Caesars, Shoots Left

Moiseev had good size and a net front presence. He scored a nice tip-in goal by planting himself right outside the crease. He was an above average skater who could project as a power forward down the road.

11. Trey Zagrzebski
#17 Team Wisconsin, Shoots Right

Zagrzebski was a solid two-way center who can skate well. He is a good passer and he does a nice job of finding seams in opposing defenses. He has a quick release and recovers pucks in all three zones. He made a nice finesse move after driving the net with power to finish off a goal. He just kept making plays.

12. Jeremy Wilmer
#16 LI Gulls, Shoots Left

Wilmer is extremely small, but he’s smart and his hockey sense allows him to create offense. He had a great assist to a teammate for an easy tap-in goal on a two-on-one rush. His vision and agility are his top two attributes.

13. Tim Delay
#19 Boston Jr. Eagles, Shoots Right

Delay is a terrific skater who was clearly his team’s best forward. His agility and straight line speed allow him to penetrate into scoring areas and make plays.

14. Jack Devine
#7 Chicago Mission, Shoots Right

Devine is a smart, two-way center who had the speed to separate, draw penalties and create chances. He broke in alone a few times. He made a good pass to the goal mouth from up high in the zone that led to a goal. He’s creative and facilitated offense.

15. Jayden Sison
#64 Virtua, Shoots Right

Sison doesn’t have the flash or high-end skill of others listed above, but he plays the game the right way. He does all the little things, including puck support. He’s a good skater, recovers pucks, and is smart enough to find seams to exploit opposing defenses. He makes plays and knows where to go.

Jackson Blake
#8 Minnesota Blades, Shoots Right

Jackson is the son of Jason Blake, the former North Dakota star and retired NHL player. He’s really small, but his agility, ability to maneuver around defenders and stickhandling were notable.

Matthew Brille
#19 NJ Colonials, Shoots Right

Brille had a nice mid-air deflection in front of the net for a goal. He has a nose for the net and likes to be a presence there. He’s a physically mature forward who can contribute in all three zones.

Davis Codd
#43 Little Caesars, Shoots Right

Codd had good agility and made a few nice plays in tight spaces. He made a highlight reel pass out front with a behind-the-back pass as he was skating in back of the attacking net.

Kenny Connors
#25 Virtua, Shoots Left

Connors isn’t the best skater, but he has good size and impacts the offense at this level. He made several really nice passes to the slot after recovering pucks in back of the attacking net.

Paul Davey
#11 Mid-Fairfield, Shoots Left

Davey is a tall forward with good reach. He can bull his way around the attacking zone while protecting pucks from defenders. He needs to learn how to use his teammates in order to be more effective going forward.

Joseph Davis
#9 Chicago Mission, Shoots Right

Davis plays with good pace and has agility. He was able to wheel and deal in tight spaces and make plays from nothing in back of the net. He has a good stick.

Jack Hughes
#4 Boston Jr. Eagles, Shoots Left

Hughes plays a similar game to his older brother, ‘00 Riley Hughes (St. Sebastian’s). He has a good shot, can possess the puck and dish it to teammates. Most of his work comes on the perimeter.

Liam Gilmartin
#11 Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Shoots Left

The Virginian native is a big forward whose end-to-end rush on Saturday led to a goal. He does a good job of drawing defenders to him and finding open teammates with good passes.

Griffin Jurecki
#21 Little Caesars, Shoots Left

Jurecki was an explosive skater with a good first step. He split the defense with a strong push up the middle. His skating was his best asset, but he made plays.

Samuel Lipkin
#3 NJ Colonials, Shoots Left

Lipkin made a few really nice puck retrievals in the offensive end to start possession and lead to scoring chances. He does a good job getting in on the forecheck and moving pucks to open teammates.

Niklas Miller
#91 Little Caesars, Shoots Left

Miller was another big power forward on his team. He drove the net with authority and made a few other plus plays throughout the tournament.

Jack Musa
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, Shoots Left

Musa is the younger brother of ‘00 Joe Musa, a Dartmouth commit. Jack is very small, but he plays with a chip on his shoulder and can produce offensively. He has good hands and is a pass-first player. He’s quick and has good hockey sense in the attacking zone.

Shawn O’Donnell
#63 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, Shoots Left

O’Donnell is a big, rugged forward who plays tough. He scored a nice rebound goal. He’s heavy on pucks and skates well enough.

Casey Raffone
#17 Mid-Fairfield, Shoots Left

Raffone plays hard and recovers pucks. He’s heavy on pucks, has a good shot and goes to the dirty areas.

Nick Roukounakis
#88 Boston Jr. Eagles, Shoots Left

Roukounakis is a big winger who is hard to knock off pucks and plays with a physical presence.

Jack Silich
#8 Chicago Mission, Shoots Right

Silich played a heavy game and was hard to knock off pucks. He played hard going back as well. He made a nice play on the backcheck, riding an opposing forward into the wall on a transition play. He drove the net for a goal on a broken play during an odd-man rush.

Gregory Spitznagel
#5 NJ Colonials, Shoots Right

Spitznagel had a hard shot, drove the net and had good size.

Nick Sweet
#17 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, Shoots Left

Sweet is a good skater, but doesn’t have lightning speed. He has good hands and is crafty with the puck.

Max Toijala
#15 Team Wisconsin, Shoots Left

Toijala scored at least a few goals here. He drove the net for garbage goals as well as scoring a goal off a nice shot from out in the mid-slot. Simply put, he’s a finisher.

Jak Vaarwerk
#13 Buffalo Jr. Sabres, Shoots Left

In two games viewed here, he had a power play goal and a shorthanded goal. His shorthanded goal was a snipe coming down the left wing after picking off a pass at his own blue line. He has a quick stick and played hard.

Ty Voit
#96 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, Shoots Right

Voit is a good skater who has agility and makes some really good passes that lead to goals and other scoring chances.

Ryan Walker
#21 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, Shoots Left

Walker has good feet and a quick release. He scored a nice one-timer. His skating is above average.

Defensemen

1. Luke Mittelstadt
#16 Minnesota Blades, Shoots Left

Mittelstadt is a great skater with vision. He moves pucks up ice and made some good plays defensively. He has a good stick.

2. Drew Tsakounis
#47 NJ Colonials, Shoots Left

Tsakounis isn’t the biggest player on the ice, but he’s extremely smart. He has great feet and poise. He can move the puck up ice and quarterback a power play. He has a good stick and can defend with his feet in the rare instances he doesn’t have the puck on his stick. He compares to Providence sophomore and Buffalo Sabres prospect Jacob Bryson.

3. Carter Schade
#37 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite, Shoots Left

Schade is a very good skater who knows what to do with the puck on his stick. He makes great breakout passes. He keeps pucks going north with his skating and passing. He has touch and a good stick in both ends.

4. Ethan Straky
#10 Little Caesars, Shoots Right

Straky was a standout and noticeable immediately. He’s mobile, pushes the pace and was on the ice for a lot of the goals scored by his team.

5. Chase Ramsay
#4 Mid-Fairfield, Shoots Right

Ramsay is a solid two-way defenseman. He’s mobile, he pushes the pace and can move pucks north with his skating ability and with his breakout passes. He has a hard shot from the point and made a couple of nice looks in the attacking zone.

6. Michael Rubin
#4 NJ Colonials, Shoots Right

Rubin is a tall, lanky defender who has good stick and body positioning. He likely will be more of a stay-at-home defenseman who plays a smooth, steady game. His upside is there, but he’s not as flashy as others.

7. Michael Bevilacqua
#6 Buffalo Jr. Sabres, Shoots Left

Bevilacqua has good size and can move well enough for his age and frame. He pushes pucks north, has a hard shot and mobility to be effective.

8. Nicky Wallace
#33 NJ Colonials, Shoots Left

Wallace is yet another tremendous blue liner on this NJ Colonials team. He’s smooth and makes quick transitions from defense to offense. He really moves the puck and scored a goal in transit on a nice wrist shot. He has good hands, but his skating isn’t quite as elite as some of the offensive-minded defenders listed above him here.

Aidan Ballotin
#8 Buffalo Jr. Sabres, Shoots Left

Ballotin is a smooth skater who is solid on positioning and can move pucks in transition.

Sean Behrens
#89 Chicago Mission, Shoots Left

Behrens was a smaller defenseman who had mobility, a good stick, and made great passes from the blue line to start scoring sequences.

Shai Buium
#6 Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Shoots Left

A Californian, Buium has good size, but his feet are still a little heavy.

Ryan Chesley
#4 Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Shoots Right

Chesley is an ‘04 who didn’t play like he was intimidated at all. He’s a little small, but he’s physical. He made a couple of nice hits. He’s mobile and can quarterback a power play. He’s definitely a player worth watching as he grows.

Colin Doherty
#8 Chicago Young Americans, Shoots Left

Doherty was the first player to stand out on CYA with his poise with the puck on his stick. He retrieved pucks and made a good first breakout pass. He kept pucks in at the attacking blue line and was a smooth skater.

Nick Donaldson
#10 Mid-Fairfield, Shoots Right

Donaldson projects as a shutdown defender. He does a great job of getting his body and stick in lanes and keeping pucks to the outside with pokechecks.

Will Elias
#28 Boston Jr. Eagles, Shoots Right

Elias plays a heady game and can skate well. He consistently makes the right decision on his first touch going back. He gets pucks going north.

Jake Geraci
#5 Mid-Fairfield, Shoots Right

Geraci is a puck-moving defenseman with a smooth stride. On a lot of teams, he’d be the top blue liner, but he’s overshadowed by Ramsay.

Luke Hughes
#6 Little Caesars, Shoots Left

Hughes is the younger brother of ‘99 Quinn Hughes (Michigan) and ‘01 Jack Hughes (NTDP). He has poise with the puck on his stick, made a couple of good looks to set up teammates for scoring chances, and kept possession in his team’s favor. He’s not as high-end as his brothers were at this stage, but he’s a promising prospect.

Nolan Joyce
#27 Boston Jr. Eagles, Shoots Right

It wasn’t his best showing, but he’s an offensive-minded defenseman who has good mobility and vision.

Jacob Martin
#7 Minnesota Blades, Shoots Right

Martin was a mobile defender who did a nice job moving pucks forward.

Trevor Mitchell
#27 Honeybaked, Shoots Left

Mitchell had good size and showed the ability to play physically in his own end. He was the standout among his teammates.

Tyler Procius
#58 Rochester Monarchs, Shoots Right

This wasn’t his best viewing to date, but Procius is an offensive-minded defenseman who skates well and keeps pucks going forward.

Tyler Rubin
#97 Boston Jr. Eagles

Rubin gapped well, had a good stick and good feet. He’s on the smaller side, but he walked the blue line well and did some nice things with the puck.

Will Staring
#16 Shattuck-St. Mary’s, Shoots Left

Staring projects as a shutdown defender with good size, reach, and body and stick positioning.