clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

New Englanders for 2015 USHL Phase II Draft

Choate defenseman Billy Overby is a '98 that could be selected in the USHL Phase II Draft Tuesday.
Choate defenseman Billy Overby is a '98 that could be selected in the USHL Phase II Draft Tuesday.
Matt Dewkett

Most of the attention leading up to the 2015 USHL Draft has been on Phase I (Futures), but there are some very good unclaimed New Englanders born between 1997 and 1998 that will be taken in Tuesday's second portion of the drafting process. Any player born between 1995 and 1999, and not currently on a protected or affiliate list, is eligible for Tuesday's Phase II Draft, but this post will focus on 97s and 98s. The last available USHL Affiliate and Protected List was from last Summer so there might be some players omitted who shouldn't have been or players on the list that aren't eligible.

Here's a look at players born between 1997 and 1998, from New England prep and high school hockey that are candidates to be selected on Tuesday. This list isn't in perfect chronological order, but for the most part, it's from top-to-bottom of the potential impact a player could have. Note that players who have signed with BCHL or AJHL teams, but would have been ranked otherwise are not included. Also, there are more players on this list than will get drafted. Some are long shots, at best, but it's a list of kids who might have garnered some interest over the course of the prep year.

Jake MassieJr., Kimball Union, LD, 6-2/185, 1/21/97 (UMass) - A very slick skating forward, his stock skyrocketed in the second half of the prep season and he did nothing to hurt that at the Beantown. He's mobile and made a couple moves showcasing his lateral mobility, skating prowess and hands at the Beantown that just had the audience wowed. He's solid defensively. The big question mark with this pick is the speculation of would he ever make it out to the midwest and put a USHL uniform on? He recently committed to the Minutemen and is projected as a third or fourth round pick in June's NHL Draft.

Eric MacAdamsJr., Austin Prep, RC, 5-11/175, 4/29/97 - He's a very solid two-way center who is a coach's son. He had a nice showing at last summer's Select 17s and has always been a clutch scorer in the high school ranks. He doesn't have high end skill, but he's got incredible intangibles. He's good away from the puck, good on the PK and never stops moving his feet. Several Hockey East schools are in on him. Don't be surprised if a certain Eastern Conference USHL team with a recent history of taking Massachusetts high school kids selects him in the first few rounds.

Jacob BrysonJr., Loomis Chaffee, LD, 5-9/170, 11/18/97 (Providence) - A London, Ontario native, he sprung onto the scene with a stellar fall pre-prep season for the Neponset Valley River Rats. He's small, but he's a smooth skater that moves the puck well. He walks the line on the power play and can carry the puck or pass the puck up ice in transition. He has a good stick and has a good center of gravity in the defensive zone.

Colin MurphySoph., Austin Prep, RD, 6-2/180,11/27/98 - The son of a former Boston College football player, Murphy is an up and coming stay-at-home defenseman. He's very good in his own end, has a good stick and does a good job on gap control. He's a decent skater for a kid his size and age, but that could use a little work. He projects as a shutdown defender in the USHL and college levels although he made some nice lead passes from the back end this season. A very good student, he's already received interest from several Ivies.

John Hoey, Fr., Choate, RW/RC, 6-0/180, 11/3/98 - As a repeat freshman, coming in from Fairfield Prep, Choate coach Pat Dennehy cautiously brought Hoey along and into the fray of prep hockey. When he was out there he looked comfortable and had some flashes of good presence in the offensive zone. He was impressive at March's Beantown Spring Classic. He has good physical tools and appears to have had a growth spurt.

Noah BauldSr., The Gunnery, RC, 5-10/175, 1/2/97 - Scouts probably would have liked to see him find the score sheet more than he did, but he was always in the middle of the action. He's a little undersized, but he's a competitor who plays with an edge and does all the little things. He has a strong drive to the puck and is good on face-offs. He would be a good locker room guy who could add energy and bring a winning attitude to any USHL team.

Colin McCabeJr., Thayer, RD, 5-11/175, 1/27/98 - He's a defenseman who impressed at Select 16s last summer. He's definitely more of an offensive defenseman, but his play in his own end is improving. He's poised and confident with the puck, makes nice outlet passes and helps his team on zone entries. He's a kid who has plenty of prep experience and will be a leader for Tony Amonte's Tigers squad as a senior next winter.

Kevin O'NeilJr., Albany Academy, RC/RW, 5-11/170, 2/23/98 (Yale) - He had a huge season for Brett Riley's Cadets. He committed to Keith Allain's program shortly after a solid performance at the Beantown Spring Classic. His skating won't blow anyone away, but he's not a bad skater, and he has good hands and footwork. He showcased a few nice moves in Marlborough.

Jack AdamsJr., Malden Catholic, RW, 6-5/185, 2/5/97 (Princeton) - He had a coming out season for the Lancers, lighting the lamp often from the wing. He's big and his skating has improved and he learned how to use his frame to his advantage. He does a nice job leveraging to keep the puck away from defenders. A 2013 selection of the Chicago Steel, he is eligible as that organization didn't put him on the protected or affiliate list. He had interest from a few ECAC Hockey and Hockey East teams before choosing the Tigers.

Jake PappalardoJr., Proctor Academy, RC/RW, 5-11/170, 2/23/98 (Maine) - He's a competitor who has a knack for scoring clutch goals. He's a good skater who plays with an edge. He's a strong power forward at the prep level that still needs to learn to assert himself against the upper echelon teams and in showcases. However, he still shows flashes as he did in the Beantown Spring Classic.

J.J. Layton, Jr., Kimball Union, RD, 6-2/180, 1/23/97 - He's been drafted previously, but his rights are available on Tuesday. He's a kid who keeps getting better. He's been on this observer's radar ever since his time at Austin Prep. He's getting better laterally and making a better first move. He isn't as flashy at the prep level, but he's solid, has a good stick and is getting better every game.

Matt KoopmanSoph., Berkshire, LW/LC, 5-11/160, 6/17/98 (Northeastern) - He seamlessly made the transition to prep hockey, coming over from Marblehead High School. He's fast with a real good initial burst and he can accelerate well. He's good with the puck and crafty, but he'll need to become a little better in tight spaces.

Christian O'NeillSoph., Belmont Hill, LW/LC, 5-11/160, 6/17/98 - He's a player who has always impressed this observer. He doesn't have an elite skill set, but he's a smart player who has a good stick and is a strong skater. He projects as a solid two-way player who can chip in a little offensively.

Colin StevensJr., Brooks, LD, 5-10/170, 12/7/97 - He did a really nice job in all three zones for Dave Ries' club this winter. He skates well and is able to push the puck up ice and generate plays in transition. For a smaller defender, he does a pretty nice job in his own end and containing opposing forwards. He has a good stick and plays his gaps well. He's not a pro prospect, but he's a solid defenseman who could be a good junior player and fifth/sixth blue liner for the right ECAC Hockey team.

Jake GreshJr., Avon Old Farms, RD, 5-11/180, 2/1/98 - He's a versatile player that really grew on this observer the more he watched AOF play this season. He's a smooth skater who is good on the penalty kill, has a good stick and is smart on the ice.

Brian MatthewsJr., Belmont Hill, RD, 6-0/185, 4/21/98 - Playing in his third season for Jeremiah McCarthy's prep team, he was consistently solid. He's never going to be a player to wow observers with his flash, but he's steady. He really stood out the past month or so of the season, including the Beantown Spring Classic. He just simply goes about doing his job and shuts down opponents and plays his gaps well. His skating doesn't stand out, but it's certainly not a weakness.

Matt DillonJr., Cushing, LD, 6-1/155, 11/20/97 - He came over to the prep level after winning a Division 3 State Championship in high school hockey the year before. He's a smooth skater who has a good first step. He can really join the rush and he has a good shot. He's creative with the puck. He needs to improve his defensive play, but there is upside with his size and athleticism.

Peter ChristieJr., Phillips Exeter, LD, 6-0/177, 10/16/97 - A Durham, NH native, he was one of the big reasons for Exeter's success this winter. The Big Red were the last team in prep hockey to lose a game. He's steady and a consistently strong defender. He's solid on gaps and does a nice job forcing opposing players to the wall. He's not flashy, but he has better vision than given credit for. His intangibles and all the little things he does make him stand out.

Trevor Cosgrove, Jr., Phillips Exeter, LD, 6-1/182, 6/4/97 - He's better offensively than teammate Christie, but doesn't have the same offensive upside. He makes a good pivot, skates well and has good awareness of what's going on the ice. He distributes the puck well and gets shots on net from the point. He's a good possession defender. He has nice size and has started gaining some interest based on his play during the prep season and at Beantown.

Kevin O'LearyJr., Westminster, RD, 6-2/180, 3/24/97 - He's a big-bodied defenseman who has grown on this observer the past year. He's steady and fairly consistent, is a decent skater and plays well in his own zone. He projects as more of a stay-at-home blue liner.

Brendan LessJr., Choate, LD, 5-10/150, 4/24/98 - He's a small defenseman that came to Pat Dennehy's team for this season, but he is committed to the Big Green. He's fundamentally sound and plays his gaps well. He has decent vision and above average skating ability, but he plays a smart and simple game.

Ryan AsheSoph., Avon Old Farms, LD, 6-0/180, 10/21/98 - He was somewhat overshadowed by '99 Ben Mirageas during the prep season, but he's a real good defenseman in his own right. He doesn't have the offensive exploits, but he's solid, plays his gaps well and does a good job riding opposing forwards to the perimeter. He has a nice first step and skates fairly well.

Sam HeslerSoph., Belmont Hill, LC/LW, 5-6/140, 6/6/98 (Dartmouth) - A recent commit to the Big Green, he's small, but he plays really smart and has a good head for the game. He comes from a good hockey family and he possesses nice hands and feet.

Jack McCoolJr., St. Sebastian's, RD, 6-3/170, 3/23/98 - He could stand to bulk up some and learn to play with his big frame, but he's got the makings of a nice prospect. He has good size and skates fairly well. He's more a selection for the future and someone a team would be banking on to progress and hit the ceiling.

Ford HatchettJr., Brooks, LD, 6-4/190, 3/24/97 - He didn't stand out in any regular season viewings, but he was really good in the team's championship game win over Belmont Hill at Saint Anselm. He made two really solid lead passes that showcased his vision and ability to make crisp passes. He's got nice size and is relatively new to the game. This wouldn't be a pick for immediate help, but it's a pick banking on his continued progression and the potential for his raw talent and size to hit the jackpot.

Jack BlissSoph., Milton, LC, 5-11/170, 8/20/98 - A first year prep who came in from Cardigan Mountain, he is a solid two-way forward. He's strong on his skates while possessing good lateral mobility. He got better as the prep season went along, but seemed to play a little bit too much on the perimeter. Of course, most of the prep games he was going up against players two to three years older at times. His brother is a NTDP product who just finished his freshman year at Cornell.

Peter Owen HaywardSr., Northfield Mount Hermon, RW/RC, 6-1/180, 5/16/97 - A Vermont native, he led the Hoggers in goal scoring. He's a decent skater who has a strong stride. He has a good stick and plays well away from the puck, getting in shooting and passing lanes in the defensive zone and blocking shots.

Billy OverbySoph., Choate, LD, 5-9/150, 5/20/98 - A repeat sophomore at Choate this past season, he's a small defenseman who plays a smart game. He keeps things simple and is very effective when out there. He has a good stick and is solid on his gaps. He appears confident and comfortable with and without the puck. He's a fluid skater.

Dennis CesanaSr., Nobles, RD, 5-9/160, 4/4/98 - Rhode Island native wasn't kept on affiliate list after being selected in last year's draft by Green Bay. He has decent vision and can join the rush. His gap control needs work and he needs to bulk up to be considered a legit defensive prospect, but there are some physical tools in the making.

Tyler CarangeloJr., Avon Old Farms, LD, 6-0/170, 7/20/97 - He's a streaky player. There are shifts that he's real impressive and others that he's just a good prep player. He has the ability to keep the puck on his stick, wheel and deal in the offensive zone and make plays happen in transition. There's potential, but he has to prove he can do it all the time.

Billy CarrabinoSr., Nobles, LD, 6-3/205, 3/20/97 - The brother of BU defenseman J.D., he's a big blue liner who chipped in some offensively for Brian Day's club this winter. He has nice size, but he could work on his skating. He plays physically when he has to, but isn't overly tough. He definitely projects as more of a shutdown guy than a offensive defenseman.

Max SauveFr., Tabor, RW, 5-7/140, 9/2/98 - He's a small forward that is crafty, has good hands and feet. He was the third leading scorer for Gerry Dineen's Seawolves. He'll need to bulk up a little to truly be a legit Division I prospect, but he's slippery and his speed and stick skills help him create opportunities through the neutral zone and in the offensive zone.

Cam RussoSr., Austin Prep, RC, 5-7/140, 9/2/98 - A good skater, he's a good two-way center. He can finish as well as pass the puck. He's a proven leader who would be a long-shot, end of draft type pick.

Mike Egan, Jr., Austin Prep, RW, 5-11/160, 8/24/97 - Another prospect a team would be banking on for the future, his stock rose this winter playing on the wing with MacAdams. He's a finisher who always is around the puck and the net. His defensive zone play is underrated and he's a decent to above average skater.

Mike Robinson, Jr., Lawrence Academy, 6-3/195, 3/27/97 (New Hampshire) - A goalie who came to Rob Barker's Spartans program for this past season from the Boston Junior Rangers, he saw his stock soar during the prep season. He's a fundamentally sound goaltender who reads plays and anticipates well. He has size that scouts like that he combines with superior athleticism. He's rumored to be looking to leave LA and play in the USHL this upcoming season. Ranked No. 8 by NHL Central Scouting, he will likely hear his name called in June's NHL Draft.

Conor O'BrienSr., Northfield Mount Hermon, 6-2/180, 5/1/97 - The Florida native didn't get the credit he deserved, playing for an NMH team that didn't have the best of seasons. In most viewings, he faced a ton of rubber. He's fairly quiet in the crease and has good size and positioning. He challenges shooters and sometimes over-commits a little, but he's solid. He is athletic and has good reflexes, especially lower body.

Trevin KozlowskiSr., The Gunnery, 6-4/190, 3/27/97 - He's a good goalie that was ranked by NHL Central Scouting at the midterm, but he fell of the list by the time the final rankings were released. He has the size that scouts like and he's athletic. He's a little too active at times and seemed to fight the puck at times down the stretch. However, he's got good push-off and moves well from post-to-post.

Aaron FantiSr., Nichols Prep, 5-8/150, 4/4/97 - He's a smaller goalie with really strong reflexes. He's a competitor in net who moves around and has good push-off. He played for Jamie Printz at the prep level and had a strong showing at last summer's Select 17s.

David Altman, Jr., Pomfret, 6-0/170, 7/28/97 - Didn't get a chance to see the Griffins, but in past viewings, he's a fundamentally sound goaltender who plays his position well. He does a nice job squaring up to shooters. Several scouts who had a chance to see him play this winter were high on him.

Kyle MartinJr., St. John's Prep, 5-8/150, 4/21/98 - Coming over from Westford Academy, the undersized goaltender helped Kristian Hanson's Eagles win their first state hockey championship in 30 years. He doesn't necessarily look like the prototypical goaltender in the crease, but he flat out got the job done. Playing on a SJP team that had zero Division I commits, he helped stonewall BC High, Springfield Cathedral and Malden Catholic on the way to the Super 8 crown. Those three teams had 10 NCAA commitments between them.

Aidan Murphy, Soph., Xaverian Brothers, 5-10/155, 8/16/98 - He's a fiery competitor in the crease, always chirping and ready for some action. That mentality carries over to his play where he's an aggressive backstop that likes to challenge shooters at the top of the crease. He's athletic and has good push-off. He has a quick glove and plays a hybrid butterfly style. He will be transferring to the Dexter School in the fall.


Jeff Cox covers college, junior, high school and prep hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.