The Flood-Marr Tournament, hosted each year by Nobles and Milton, is always one of the most well scouted events in prep hockey. The 51st edition will be no different, but it will lack the first-time draft eligible players that years past might have boasted.
In addition to Nobles and Milton, the tournament will feature three-time defending prep champion Salisbury, Kimball Union, Hotchkiss, Deerfield, Westminster and Phillips Andover.
Salisbury won the 2014 tournament with a 3-1 win over Westminster. Sarum Knights goaltender Bailey MacBurnie, an uncommitted '95 now with Trail in the BCHL, was named MVP. Andrew Will's team is the favorite to defend its title, but Kimball Union and Westminster have the horses to potentially pull off the upset and capture the coveted trophy.
The top 2016 NHL Draft prospect in the tournament is Hotchkiss junior left defenseman Marshall Rifai, an elite skater from Montreal, Que. who is in his second season playing prep hockey. The Harvard commit suffered an apparent upper body injury earlier in the season, but is expected to be in the lineup for the Bearcats.
Maine recruit and KUA senior center Pat Shea, Yale commit and Nobles senior left wing Luke Stevens and Phillips Andover PG defenseman Misha Song are the three currently drafted players in the tournament. The son of former NHLer Kevin Stevens, Stevens is a big grinder who can occasionally chip in offensively. He was a fifth round selection of the Carolina Hurricanes in this past June's draft. Shea is the son of Colorado Avalanche scout Neil Shea, and is a hard-nosed forward who has progressed into an offensive threat. He's not going to wow observers with dangling all over the ice, but he's got a knack for finding the score sheet. Shea was picked by the Florida Panthers in the seventh round. Song, a PG who played previously at Lawrenceville, was selected by the New York Islanders in the last round of the 2015 draft.
The Big Blue has one real good line, led by NESCAC recruit Tyler Levine and newcomer Johnny Edelson, a late '97 from Illinois. Edelson is a strong skater with decent size. He's a complete player that should open eyes around New England as more college coaches see him in action. Levine is a real good prep player who should find a nice home in the NESCAC. '97 Matt Schoen is the full-time starting goaltender for first year head coach Paul Tortorella.
The Big Green don't really have any big name superstars on their roster, but Brendan Creagh's team is off to a good start. Big senior Andrew Hadley and '98 junior Thomas Dale are the team's leaders offensively. Dale is a good two-way player who had a nice showing at the Beantown Summer Classic. '99 sophomore Thomas Craft is an uncommitted defenseman with good size. He's a player some observers project out well. Both Sam Vigneault and Nick Scarpa will likely see time between the pipes in the tournament.
As previously mentioned, Mike Traggio's best player is Rifai, who scouts will be watching closely this weekend. A pair of newcomers to prep hockey, Chris Theodore and Dan Stingi, are uncommitted prospects to keep a close eye on. Theodore, a late '97 from Quebec, is small, but he's quick, slippery and can create space to get chances. He has a little deception to his game, as well. Stingi, a '98 from the PAL Islanders organization, has some size, isn't afraid to go to the net and has above average vision. '96 senior Kyle St. Denis should be expected to start in goal.
Kimball Union (8-0-0)
Former Maine coach Tim Whitehead has the Wildcats loaded once again. Led by returners Shea, George Sennott, Nic Hamre and Jack Doherty up front, KUA has plenty of offense to go around. New '98 sophomore Roope Hirvonen has been a great finisher on a line with Shea. The Finnish native is a very good player and one scouts and college coaches will want to watch closely. Senior Ben Finkelstein, a late '97, is one of the better offensive defensemen in prep hockey. Keep an eye out for newcomers Bryce Dolan and Nolan Lavallee, both '99 sophomore defensemen. The undersized blue liner is committed to St. Lawrence. Expect Elijah Harris (Brown) and Payton Porter to split time in net.
This could be the best team Paul Cannata has had in a few years. The Mustangs have a very good top line with a trio of seniors, Trevor Turnbull, Spencer Fox and Andrew Dumaresque. Turnbull, a '97, is the best of the trio. He's likely destined to be a good NESCAC player, but he's a fringe Division I guy. '98 junior Jack Bliss and '99 junior Bobby Beniers are also key players up front. '97 senior Collin Van der Veen is likely the biggest defender in prep hockey. '98 junior goaltender Ethan Domokos is a very good goaltender, coming to the Mustangs from Shattuck St. Mary's. The New Brunswick native doesn't have the prototypical size of a modern goaltender, but he's quiet in net, moves well, squares up to shooters and smothers rebounds.
Brian Day's Bulldogs have two good forward lines with an abundance of talent. Stevens is joined up front by '99 Cam Burke (Notre Dame), '98 Michael Fahie (Brown) and '01 Patrick Moynihan (Boston College). Keep an eye out for '99 Jerry Harding, a hard-nosed player who is one of the better uncommitted prospects in prep hockey. '98 junior defenseman Ryan Heath is undersized, but is a good prep defender. He'll make a very solid NESCAC player down the road. '00 John Murray is a promising prospect on the blue line, joining his older brother, '97 senior Pat, in a Nobles uniform. Goaltending continues to be a question mark for the Bulldogs.
The Knights haven't skipped a beat, despite losing MacBurnie in net and Vimal Sukamuran (Providence) and Mike O'Leary (Cornell) up front. Salisbury has some older, uncommitted players to watch for, including Tom Lee, Edgars Treijs, Cole Poliziani, David Jankowski, Jordan Kaplan and Luke Israel. Will's team reloaded after losing some key pieces, in part by bringing in '99 Providence commit Tyce Thompson and '00 BU commit Jack DeBoer. '97 defensemen James Callahan and Dayne Finnson lead the blue line. '99 Nick Hale, a Carolina Junior Hurricanes product, was brought in as a newcomer on defense. Nick Sorgio, who has long been considered one of the best '98 goaltenders in New England, has taken over the starting role.
The Martlets enter the tournament undefeated and have two very good forwards in Taggart Corriveau (St. Lawrence) and Johnny McDermott (Boston University). Both '97s were predicted to be drafted last summer, but were passed over. Former NHL forward John LeClair's son Cal is a '98 junior. Kevin O'Leary, an uncommitted '97 senior, anchors the blue line. '99 sophomore Patrick Dawson and '98 junior Peter Horsfall are two younger defensemen to watch. Expect '97 senior Stephen Gasior to get the bulk of the action, but '96 senior Nick Sanford could see time.
|Friday, December 18th (Milton Academy, Milton, Mass.)
|Deerfield vs. Milton
|Salisbury vs. Kimball Union
|Nobles vs. Phillips Andover
|Westminster vs. Hotchkiss
|Kimball Union vs. Milton
|Salisbury vs. Deerfield
|Saturday, December 19th (Nobles, Dedham, Mass.)
|Hotchkiss vs. Nobles
|Phillips Andover vs. Westminster
|Milton vs. Salisbury
|Deerfield vs. Kimball Union
|Westminster vs. Nobles
|Hotchkiss vs. Phillips Andover
|Sunday, December 20th (Milton Academy, Milton, Mass.)
|7th Place Game
|5th Place Game
|3rd Place Game