Miami picked up an elite, puck moving defenseman over the weekend in Alec Mahalak. The Monroe, Mich. native is a smooth skater with good vision who can really push the play and help in transition. At 5-8, the '98 is undersized, but has elite skill and plenty of upside.
Mahalak, who previously played for Compuware, is skating for Victoria Honda's U18 team this fall. He was ranked the ninth best defenseman at this past summer's USA Hockey Select 16 Festival, but his play got better as the week went on.
9. Alec Mahalak (#5 Royal) 5-9/160 Compuware U16 - Small defender who caught my attention more as the week went on, especially in the All-Star game. He's good in transition, has good vision and is a smooth skater. He's been taught the game well as he always seems to be in good positioning.
Mahalak, whose brother is considered a solid football recruit out of Culver Military Academy, comes from an athletic family. Mahalak, who was drafted in the third round of the 2014 USHL Futures Draft by the Youngstown Phantoms, will reportedly arrive in Oxford for the 2017-18 season, but that could potentially be accelerated by a year.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.