OneHockey held a tournament at the Super Rink in Blaine, Minnesota last weekend. The tournament was mostly geared towards younger age groups, but they did have a U16 and Bantam division which included the top teams at Shattuck-St. Mary's, as well as good teams from Arizona and Canada, so it was worth checking out. Here's a few notes from the tournament.
A couple teams here--Colorado Thunderbirds, San Jose Jr. Sharks, Anaheim Jr. Ducks--sent what were essentially their U15 teams, meaning all '98 birthdates, which hurt the overall quality of the field. Though Anaheim did somehow manage to upset Shattuck in round robin play. I missed that game, and have no idea how that happened. But other than that one hiccup, Shattuck pretty much cruised in the games I saw, defeating the Thunder Bay Kings in the tournament final.
From Shattuck-St. Mary's...Boston College commit Graham McPhee looks to have taken another step forward since I saw him last year. SSM used this tournament as an opportunity to spread out their ice-time a little more, so he didn't play as much as he normally would, but looked great while he was on the ice. I've got him right up among the best in the country for his age group among the kids I've seen. Defenseman JD Greenway looks a lot like his older brother Jordan in terms of size and the way he skates. He's likely a kid the NTDP will very seriously consider for next year. Goalie Ryan Edquist from Minnesota will also get an NTDP tryout camp invite. He was fine here when he needed to be, but he wasn't tested all that often in the games I saw.
Among the other '98s, defenseman Liam Schioler looked very strong as well. He was a 2nd round WHL pick last year, but if he stuck with the college route, would be a great pick-up for a USHL team. Canadian Brett Crossley is very highly ranked for this summer's QMJHL draft and another talented player. He separated his shoulder really early in the weekend and didn't play after that, but looked good in the little he did play. Kenny Johnson, Ben Lown, and Niko Karamanis are all likely USHL Futures picks as well.
Off the Arizona Bobcats '98s, forward Phillip Knies and defenseman Dylan Dix are probably the top two prospects, and borderline to earn invites to the NTDP camp. I wouldn't be surprised if four or five other players off this team ended up being USHL Futures picks as well. Captain Ethan Roswell is a smaller kid, but plays a very poised, mature game.
Thunder Bay didn't have much depth, but their top line of Brad Belisle, Brendan Gillis and Zach West was very good. Belisle is a really strong power forward type. Gillis and West are really good skaters
I didn't see as much of the other teams. Justin Dixson from the Anaheim U15 team looked good in the little I saw. Allan Kirsch from the Chicago Falcons scored the prettiest goal I saw all weekend, with an incredible individual effort in an upset win over Thunder Bay.
This group drew the most scouting interest with most of the local WHL scouts making an appearance since these kids are WHL Draft eligible this year.
Shattuck was again, head and shoulders above everyone in the tournament, including beating the Winnipeg Hawks 8-2 in the championship game. I know a lot of the teams they blew out were upset that Shattuck didn't go to the John Reid tournament in St. Albert, which would have been a little more their speed, but that probably wasn't realistic for them after skating at Silver Sticks the weekend prior.
In any case, I was very impressed with this year's Shattuck bantam team. Comparing them to past groups that have come through their program, I think they're the best bantam team I've seen since the '95s(the vaunted group of MacKinnon, Cammarata, McCoshen, Hurley, etc.). I know some of these kids have played together in the past, but I was really impressed with the way they moved the puck together.
Grant Mismash led the bunch in my eyes, but there's a ton of good really good players on the team. Among the WHL eligibles, Austin Pratt, Brandon McManus and Scott Reedy would all be very high WHL picks if they committed to that route.I really liked the two players from Philadelphia: Josh Maniscalco and Brendan McMenamin. Logan Hutsko is a smaller player, but incredible with his stick. Tyler Inamoto is a very good skating defenseman. This should be a very fun group to follow.
From Calgary's Edge Academy, forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan is rated as a potential top ten WHL pick, and was impressive in the game I saw. Edge got steamrolled by Shattuck, but when Anderson-Dolan was on the ice, it at least looked like a competitive game. It's been six months since I've seen some of the other kids rated above him in the WHL draft, which admittedly, might as well be a lifetime for how young these kids are, but I liked him more than some of those kids. He might be a top 5 pick. The other two forwards on his line, Lukus McKenzie and Akito Hirose are likely WHL picks as well.
Arizona had some huge kids on their team. I really liked their top line of Edwards-Dorsey-Oliver. They've got some really big kids as well that might get a look from the WHL.
Off Winnipeg's team, goalie Dylan Myskiw actually had a pretty good game in the final despite giving up eight goals. Forward Cody Glass and defenseman Bronson Kelly look like good WHL draft candidates.