FALMOUTH, MASS. -- This observer took in the second day of the Buddy Ferreira Classic on Monday at the Falmouth Ice Arena on Cape Cod. Austin Prep and Hingham advanced to the championship game with wins over BC High and Archbishop Williams, respectively, in the semifinals. Arlington Catholic edged Duxbury and Waltham downed Falmouth in the two loser's bracket games.
Boston Bruins Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney took in the late game between Austin Prep and BC High to watch Eagles '97 defenseman Ryan Shea, a Northeastern commit eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft. Scouts have been at just about every BC High game this season watching the smooth skater with great vision and ability to move the puck up ice. Monday night wasn't one of Shea's better performances. Even when he's off, he still does good things. He made a few nice pokechecks and a couple nice zone exits, but it wasn't his night, or anyone on BC High's for that matter. Shea has been so impressive for two years now that the expectations are sky high every time he steps on the ice so this is less a knock on him as it is that he didn't play as well as he's capable.
If there was one BC High player to point out other than Shea, it was '99 forward Jack Nisbet. The Eagles had their best chances of the night about midway through towards the end of the second period and the sophomore was responsbile for a few of them. He's not the fastest skater in the world, but he's elusive and does a good job separating himself and finding open space.
The best player on the ice in the late game was Austin Prep '97 junior forward Eric MacAdams, an uncommitted prospect out of Salem, Mass., who some recruiters might remember from last summer's USA Select 17 Festival and the midget nationals when he played for the Valley Warriors.
MacAdams is one of the most complete players in the state. He's a 200-foot player that does a lot of the little things. Last night he had two assists, but it was how he played without the puck that stood out. His pesky penalty killing caused BC High to have to take a penalty and then a few minutes later his tenacious forecheck resulted in a turnover which ended up in the back of the net for a AP goal.
He's got average size, but he plays a bigger game. He's strong on his skates and is a presence out there. His dad is an assistant coach and he plays like a coach's kid. He's got deceptive speed which allows him to cover a lot of ground as a penalty killer. He's very good on face-offs and does a lot of the little things well.
Cam Russo is a '97 senior who combined for three goals on the night with linemate Jake McKennelly. He moves the puck quickly, passes are almost always right on the tape and he is an above average skater. He's certainly a player that prep teams should be interested in for a PG year.
Two sophomore defensemen had good nights for AP as they limited BC High's offensive weapons for most of the night. Colin Murphy is a late '98 whose father played football at BC. He's got good size and made some very impressive physical plays to shut down BC High forwards coming down the boards. He skates pretty well for a guy his size and age. He's reportedly already drawn some interest from several ECAC Hockey schools.
Ryan Verrier is another late '98 who skates well and has good mobility on the back line. He's athletic and does some nice things with the puck. He's a player to keep an eye on for the future.
While on the topic of defense, Austin Prep's '99 freshman goaltender Dylan Regan was sensational in the second period. He kicked aside several quality shots, including two breakaway attempts. He's small, he's got a similar frame to former AP and current Kimball Union goaltender Elijah Harris, a Brown commit. He's young, but he's gotten better as the season has gone along. He's fought the puck in a few games, but he was on top of his game Monday in Falmouth. He's quick and relatively quiet in net for a smaller netminder.
However, the most talented and skilled player on the ice Monday at the Falmouth Ice Arena was Hingham's '99 sophomore forward Matt Demelis. He skates a little hunched over, but he can really turn the afterburners on to blow around opposing defensemen or catch up into the play. His vision led to two goals. He hit the trailer perfectly with a pass right on the tape for one goal and then gave a nice pass from low to high on another goal from the point.
As his coach Tony Messina said after the game, he's a possession player. He's very good with the puck, he has good hands and can weave in and out of traffic. There is no doubt he will one day be an impact player in Hockey East if he keeps working on his game.
Another '99 sophomore on Hingham who should be garnering Division I interest is defenseman Marc O'Rourke. He's very raw, he sometimes plays like a sophomore in his own zone, but he's a tremendous skater with puck-moving capabilities both passing and carrying the puck up ice. He gets pucks through and on net as evidenced by the tip-in goal in the second period.
Another '99 sophomore, forward Matt Egan, is a very heady hockey player with good offensive instincts, but doesn't have the elite hands or skating ability than Demelis has. Egan isn't the type of player who is going to score the highlight reel goal, but he's the guy that's always in the right place at the right time. He won't make that through the seam pass that wows people, but he makes precise, quick and short passes.
There were a few players in the early game who did some nice things. A pair of brothers patrolling the Falmouth blue line did some nice things. Junior Thomas Tobey is a left-shot defenseman who had a cannon for a shot and liked to join the rush. He's extremely raw and has to play a simpler game, but there were things to like about his game. Younger brother Cam Tobey, a sophomore, was a little bit smaller, but played a more simple game yet was perhaps more physical. Each could be a solid PG addition for a prep school team in the future.
Duxbury senior goaltender Tucker Kelly didn't have his best game, but he's a player worth taking a look at if you're a prep school coach in need of a goaltender for next fall.
Arlington Catholic's usual suspects looked good, but one player that has gotten better as the season has moved on is athletic winger Matthew Solviletti. He's a junior who is earning more ice time. Also a good baseball player, Solviletti is a player worth keeping an eye on if you're a prep coach for a potential PG year down the line.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.