Mid Fairfield and Yale Midgets will represent the New England District at the USA Hockey Nationals in San Jose, Calif. at the Tier 1 Midget Major and Midget Minor divisions, respectively.
Mid Fairfield 18U won the midget major division with a 5-1 win over Yale 18U in the title game. Mid Fairfield's roster was highlighted by St. Lawrence recruit Taggart Corriveau and Boston University commit Johnny McDermott. Selects Academy 18U and the CT Riverhawks 18U were both bounced in the semifinals.
Other standouts for Mid Fairfield 18U included Northeastern recruit Matt Koopman. The forward did a nice job of creating time and space with his speed. He had a nice backhand finish for a goal on Saturday.
A trio of uncommitted players, Berkshire's Barclay Gammill, Gunnery's Cameron Donaldson and Kent's Greg Krisberg, also played well on Saturday. Recent Colgate commit Jack Hoey, a '98 forward, was a standout for Yale 18U, the runner-up.
The Midget Minor Division had considerably more high end talent, headlined by a young Selects Academy 16U squad. The team, coached by former Providence College Friar Devin Rask, lost to Yale in the championship game, but had several blue chip prospects, including BU commit Joel Farabee and Denver commit Emillio Pettersen, both 2000s.
Yale Midgets avenged a loss to Selects Academy in pool play with a win in the championship game. The team, coached by Steve Novodor and Jon Bollonio, is the best run split-season midget organization in the region. The coaches have the best interest of the players in mind and are as prepared and ready to coach as any.
A team that surprised this observer was the Northern Cyclones National 16U team, coached by Frank O'Connor. Everyone knows about '99 Christian Thomas, a UVM commit, but the team has three other players with serious upside. They're a must-watch team this year for college coaches looking to find a few under-the-radar players.
For the 16U (Midget Minor) Division, prospects were broken down into A, B and C players. The grades try to combine the player's performance from Saturday with projected potential down the road.
Selects Academy #28 - LW - 5'10" 150 - 2/25/00 (Boston University)
Saturday did nothing to dispel my feelings he's one of top ‘00s in U.S., maybe only behind Jake Wise. He's shifty and can really hold onto the puck. He has exceptional awareness in offensive zone and can move the puck. He's a setup guy who mans the point on the power play. The puck goes through him. His skating is exceptional.
Selects Academy #20 - LC - 5'10" 155 - 4/3/00 (Denver)
He's a great skater with tremendous agility. He's a smart player who made a couple of heady chips up the boards in transition. He can stickhandle through traffic and finds the scoring areas. Norway native is similar to Farabee in that he looks to pass more than shoot.
Selects Academy #8 - LW - 5'11" 170 - 1/13/00 (UConn)
He has elite speed - fastest player in the tournament by a mile. He gets on pucks and on his man so fast. His speed creates turnovers and when he's in control, his speed leaves opposing defenders in the dust. He was taken off top line in order to create more balance.
Northern Cyclones #22 - RD - 6'3' 207 - 3/4/99
He's a big time pro prospect. He's big and has all the physical tools. His skating is above average for a player his size and age. He has a long reach, is mobile and can really move the puck up ice. He's a little raw and could benefit from choosing his spots a little more wisely. He has a heavy shot and can play physically. Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds own his OHL rights, but he's apparently committed to NCAA route.
Selects Academy #19 - RW (L) - 5'10" 170 - 3/10/99
He's a player I've really liked for a while, but it was a tough line pairing for him with Pettersen and Farabee. He's more of a player who just does his job and plays effectively. He projects as a real good third line player who plays a complete game and is tough to play against. He couldn't keep up with the skillset of his two linemates.
Selects Academy #2 - LD - 6'0" 160 - 2/2/99
He's been a kid I've liked for a while just because he's reliable, keeps it simple and rarely makes a mistake. Except for one brutal turnover, it was much of the same on Saturday. He was much more physical and tough than he's been in previous viewings. He's a heady player who makes the smart, simple outlet passes. He's not flashy, but he's consistently solid.
Selects Academy #11 - RW - 5'11" 180 - 4/20/99
He had two goals in the win over Yale on Saturday evening. He's not as fast as Elser, but he has good speed, skates well and is a tenacious forechecker. His first goal came solely due to outworking an opposing defenseman. He got to a loose puck first behind the goal line, threw it towards the goalie and it ricocheted into the net. He made a few very good passes, seemed to be in the right place at the right time and possessed a strong hockey IQ.
Selects Academy #14 - LD - 5'11" 170 - 6/2/00
He's a somewhat awkward skater, but he is solid and gets the job done effectively despite that. He's good in transition; makes good lead passes and has exceptional vision. Older brother, Nick, just signed NLI to play at Canisius.
Yale National #19 - LW (R) - Brunswick School - 5'10" 175 - 1/7/99 (Dartmouth)
Had a hat trick in afternoon game against SHA. He has a good, accurate shot. He picked corners on two of three goals. He had a real nice finish on one where he took a pass skating through slot and roofed it. He was in right place at right time for a rebound goal later in game. He has good feet, skates well and smart. He reads plays well and picked off a few passes.
Yale National #11 - RC - Salisbury School - 6'2" 175 - 8/17/00 (Boston University)
He's a big kid who cycles well behind the cage. He still needs to learn to take the puck to the net and finish, but his size is a threat and he does a good job getting pucks into scoring zone. He projects to be a much better player than the level he is consistently playing at currently.
Yale National #9 - RW - Salisbury School- 5'10" 145 - 7/12/99 (Providence)
Hit or miss, he has some real good shifts then isn't as noticeable for a few shifts, but elite skill when he's playing his best. He plays well away from the puck, showing hockey IQ. Had a real nice one-timer in game against Selects Academy from a bad angle. He has good footwork, skates well and has speed burst.
Northern Cyclones #8 - RC - 5'9" 155 - 8/27/99 (Vermont)
He's a good skater who can create time, space and scoring chances based on his agility and speed. He made a backhand pass to his right wing for a goal as they were entering the zone that exhibited his tremendous offensive instincts.
Northern Cyclones #24 - LW - 6'3" 195 - '99
A New York kid who I'd only seen once before, he has pro size and upside. He was the least involved of his three linemates on the top line, but the physical tools are there. His skating is getting better, but he needs to learn to use his big frame and play with more aggression.
Yale National #6 - LD - Salisbury School - 5'9" 150 - 5/7/99
He's a Carolina Junior Hurricanes product that I've seen with that program and at USA National Camps. His skating looks better than in previous viewings. He's a smooth skater who is affective in transition, moves puck up ice and can impact zone entry, especially on power play. He made a good look down to the backdoor from left point on power play.
Yale National #12 - RC - Loomis Chaffee - 5'11" 150 - 7/12/99 (Vermont)
Not his best day, but he's good. He's quick and can keep up speed with the puck. He made a real nice look out to LeSueur from in back of the goal line. Good skater who uses edges effectively to push off.
Yale National #14 - LW - The Gunnery - 6'3" 190 - 2/16/99
Big frame, good work on the half wall. Made a real nice look from left half wall to weak side. Consistently made nice passes, but needs to be more consistent using size to his advantage. Skating could use improvement.
Northern Cyclones #25 - LW - 5'9" 160 - 4/20/99
He's on the second line, but it's more to balance things out and keep the top line of all NY kids together. He's a kid who grew up in Pittsburgh Penguins Elite program. He's a natural goal scorer, who is skilled and skates well. He did a nice job possessing the puck and getting shots off.
Yale National #16 - RW (L) - Salisbury School - 6'0" 155 - 2/10/00
He'll be a first year prep player coming from Mid Fairfield full-season bantam team. He didn't do a lot on Saturday, but he's got the potential to be a legitimate power forward prospect. He's good holding onto the puck, drawing attention then finding open linemates.
Yale National #17 - RW - The Gunnery - 5'7" 155 - 11/9/99
He's small, but quick and really gets on the puck and puck carrier. He was terrific on the penalty kill. He created several odd man rushes while killing. He's gritty and not afraid to get into action for kid his size. He's a fun player to watch at this level and should be a great prep player before it's all said and done.
Mid Fairfield #46 - LW - Brunswick School - 6'3" 180 - 2/22/99
Big frame, made some plays, especially in morning game against Northern Cyclones. He's strong on his skates, could gain a good head of steam. He won some key battles for loose pucks and did a nice job distributing the puck. He was the only potential pro prospect on a down Mid Fairfield team, but he has a ways to go.
Yale National #4 - LC - Loomis Chaffee - 5'7" 160 - 3/8/99
Will be new to prep hockey this winter. He's undersized, but he's a competitor. He's fast, brings energy each shift and is a pest. He's crafty, made a couple of nice passes and created chances with his spark and speed. He made a nice move, cutting into middle from left boards on a zone entry, not letting lack of size impact him negatively.
Yale National #15 - LW - Taft School - 5'9" 145 - 1/1/00
Another first year prep player who came over from Mid Fairfield's full-season bantam team. He's small and needs to grow, but he's quick. He'll need to learn the game and play more effectively instead of just flying all over the place.
Northern Cyclones #3 - LD - 5'10" 150 - 1/1/99
He has a fluid stride and is very smooth while carrying the puck up ice in transition. He has a good stick and has good gaps. He doesn't have prototypical size for a defenseman, but he's athletic and has a good hockey skill set.
Northern Cyclones #37 - RW - 5'9" 175 - 6/5/99
He's gritty and around the puck a lot. He scored twice in afternoon game, but is typically more of a setup guy. He projects as more of an energy type.