The most coveted uncommitted recruit in New England found a home over the weekend. BC High '97 defenseman Ryan Shea verbally committed to play college hockey at Northeastern. Shea, who really started to emerge on the national scene last summer, had a terrific high school season last winter for John Flaherty's Eagles.
Shea is so smooth and poised on the ice, especially for a young blue liner. A converted forward, his skating ability is second to none and he has terrific hands. He shows immense skill with the puck in all three zones. He's a player that will be instrumental in Northeastern's breakout as well as in the offensive zone on the power play. Shea, who plays split-season midget hockey for former Boston College forward Andrew Orpik's Cape Cod Whalers, is better in defensive zone coverage than many observers give him credit, but that is one area where improvement is most needed.
Shea also had offers from UConn and Merrimack, believed to be full scholarships, as well as Boston College and Boston University. Shea was constantly being scouted by Hockey East coaches throughout the high school season as well as the many showcases throughout the summer.
Shea made the Youngstown Phantoms roster, but elected to return to high school hockey for his junior season. He will play for BC High this winter, a team most have pegged as the favorite to win the Super 8. Shea, the son of former Boston College star Danny Shea, will play for the Phantoms next season before matriculating to Northeastern for the 2016-17 season.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on twitter @JeffCoxSports.