St. John's Prep had four double-digit goal scorers on its team that made it all the way to the 2013 Super 8 semifinals. All of them, including Providence recruit Brian Pinho and Brown recruits Tyler Bird and Jack McCarthy, have moved on to junior hockey or prep school.
The Eagles are in rebuilding mode, but they have the best defenseman in the state on their side. Senior Ean Mendeszoon, who is being recruited by several Hockey East and ECAC schools as well as having an offer on the table from an Atlantic Hockey School, looks to lead the way.
"Ean is returning for his third season with the varsity. Ean brings experience and leadership to a young Eagles squad," said St. John's coach Kristian Hanson, a former player at UNH.
Mendeszoon, a draft pick of the Acadie-Bathurst Titan in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL), said his goal is to help the team go as far as it can go this season.
"We're underestimated due to all the players that we lost. We want to make it back to the Super 8, get to the [TD] Garden. I just want to help lead the team. I'll do what I can to help the team and be as consistent as I can," said Mendeszoon.
Mendeszoon, a Methuen native, stands tall at six-foot-four and is an imposing force on the ice, especially during the high school season.
"What makes Ean such a sought after commodity is his size coupled with his strong offensive abilities. Ean will be relied on in all situations, and his game will transition well to the college game," said Hanson.
"I want to be a two-way defenseman. I'm known for being a shutdown guy, but I man the power play, and I will do whatever is needed," said Mendeszoon.
Mendeszoon, who will graduate from St. John's this spring, said he has been in contact with a few teams in both the BCHL and USHL. He will play a year of junior hockey next season before heading to college.
"I just want to prove myself every game," said Mendeszoon. He and his teammates will have their first chance to show they are still contenders Thursday night when they open their season against Bishop Fenwick.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting, NHL Draft prospects and the AHL for SBNation. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSBNation.