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Prep Hockey: Top Uncommitted '99 Defensemen

1. Hale, Nick
Salisbury #3 - 5'9" 160 - LD - 5/7/99

His height is a knock against him in the view of some scouts, but he projects to be a very good college player. He's a smooth skater who does a good job with outlet passes as well as keeping puck possession. He always has his head up and distributes the puck well. He was a solid quarterback on the power play for the Yale 16U team during the fall season. He makes some heady looks and has good awareness of the ice.

2. McElhaney, Nolan
Cushing #2 - 6'3" 165 - RD - 4/22/99

He has the size to draw the intrigue of scouts, and his play on the ice is also leaving favorable impressions. He looked good in the fall season and has been paired with Cushing senior and 2016 NHL Draft eligible Matt Dillon during over the course of the first few games of the prep season. He skates relatively well for a player his size, but could stand to gain some lower body strength for more foot speed. The Yorba Linda, Calif. native makes nice looks up ice, has a good reach and holds his own defensively.

3. Cameron, Jack
Lawrence Academy #3 - 6'2" 175 - LD - 4/18/99

He's more of a raw talent, but there is plenty of upside for the big blue liner from Nova Scotia. He skates relatively well for a kid his size, and has a long reach. He was solid during the fall season, paired with Reilly Walsh (Harvard) for much of it with the Neponset Valley River Rats. He didn't stand out against Milton on Wednesday, but he's certainly an intriguing prospect.

4. Lucas, Andrew
Loomis Chaffee #7 - 5'9" 160 - LD - 5/7/99

The Alexandria, Va. native is a converted forward who has transitioned well to playing defense for the Pelicans. He's a very good skater who moves the puck well and gets shots on net from the point. He has an active stick and his skating allows him to make up for what he lacks in size in the defensive end. Clearly, he projects as an offensive defenseman, but he's a player that will catch anyone's attention, if watching LC this winter.

5. Craft, Tommy
Deerfield #20 - 6'1" 190 - LD - 1/5/99

A lot of scouts like his size. His play has grown on this observer over the past few months. He's big and covers a ton of ground in the defensive zone. He has a long reach and does a good job containing opposing players in his own zone. If he can improve his foot speed and make quicker decisions with outlet passes, he could become a dynamite prospect.

6. Lavalee, Nolan
Kimball Union #22 - 6'0" 170 - LD - 2/21/99

He's an athletic defenseman who likes to be aggressive, pinch and join the rush. His first pivot isn't always great, but he can pick up steam once he gets going. He has good mobility and plays physically. He's a prospect to watch, especially as he learns to play a more simple game and choose his spots more wisely.

7. Dolan, Bryce
Kimball Union #3 - 6'0" 170 - LD - 2/13/99

He's improved quite a bit in the last year. He has good mobility, moves around the defensive zone well and has an active stick. He can jump into the offense, get shots on net and distribute the puck with precision.

8. Dawson, Patrick
Westminster #3 - 6'0" 175 - LD - 1/14/99

He's a simple, solid defender who can be counted on to be reliable nine times out of ten. He's not always noticeable on the ice, but in a good way. He makes few mistakes, has good gap control and has an active stick.

9. Schmitt, Cameron
Groton #4 - 6'0" 170 - RD - 1/20/99

He's a converted forward who is repeating at Groton after playing two seasons at Pingree. He moves the puck well and is an above average skater. He was given power play time in the team's appearance at the St. Paul's Jamboree. He's a player who this observer hasn't seen much of, but there is some potential.

10. Colman, Blake
St. Sebastian's #21 - 6'2" 170 - RD - 6/15/99

He does a pretty good job limiting his mistakes and maintaining coverage in the defensive zone. He has the physical tools to improve and climb this list. He makes good pokechecks, using his reach and overall athleticism, in this observer's previous viewings.

Honorable Mention: Pearl, Bobby (Dexter #4), Napolitano, Tommy (Brunswick #7), Zegras, Billy (Berkshire #6), Bermingham, Mike (BB&N #8), Slick, Matt (Proctor #5), Boudreau, Cameron (Governor's #22)