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USHL Phase I (Futures) Draft Reaction

BC High freshman Jayson Dobay was selected in the 8th round of the 2015 USHL Phase I Draft by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
BC High freshman Jayson Dobay was selected in the 8th round of the 2015 USHL Phase I Draft by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders.
Matt Dewkett

With the 2015 USHL Phase I (Futures) Draft completed, there aren't too many surprises to report as far as prospects with New England connections.

Proctor Academy defenseman and Harvard commit Riley Walsh was the first New England defenseman taken, selected 14th overall in the first round by the Tri-City Storm. The offensive defenseman with terrific skating ability and stick skills was this observer's top ranked defenseman.

The next two New Englanders to get selected were also defensemen, Dexter's Jack Rathbone and Avon Old Farms' Ben Mirageas. Rathbone, uncommitted, went in the second round, 25th overall, to the Youngstown Phantoms. Mirageas, a Providence recruit, was picked off the board by five spots later. Rathbone and Mirageas were the second and fourth ranked New England defensemen by this observer.

As expected, St. Lawrence commit Marc McLaughlin, out of Cushing Academy, was the first New England forward to be selected. He was pegged with the 11th pick of the third round by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders. This observer's second ranked New England forward, Notre Dame recruit Cam Burke, was taken off the board just two spots later by the same organization.

The two biggest snubs of the night were Belmont Hill freshman forward John Copeland, ranked 5th. He's a big kid with a lot of raw potential, but the son of a former Michigan Wolverine did not hear his name get called. On the defensive end, St. John's Prep freshman forward Paul Edson was not selected.

Here's a complete breakdown of all the New Englanders selected in each round of Monday night's 10-round USHL Phase I (Futures) Draft with players' pre-draft rankings and scouting reports. This includes kids from outside the region who play prep hockey in New England or are committed to a Division I school in New England.

Round 1


1. Reilly WalshSoph., Proctor Academy, RD, 5-9/150, 4/21/99 (Harvard) - A smaller defenseman, he's a phenomenal skater. His stride is so smooth and he glides well with good lateral movement. He needs to get better in his own zone and put on some bulk, but his skating, vision and puck skills are all elite. He visited Harvard for the Crimson's second half game against Union and recently committed to Teddy Donato's program. His father Mike, his prep coach, played college hockey at Colgate. Walsh is a player who has a ton of upside. With a little improvement in his defensive play and adding some size to his frame, he could be an elite defenseman.

Round 2


Cayden Primeau, Philadelphia Revolution U19, G, 6-4/175, 8/11/99 (Northeastern)


Logan CockerillDetroit Belle Tire U16, LC/LW, 5-8/155, 3/3/99 (Boston University) - He was a kid this observer first noticed at last summer's Select 15 Festival. He had good hands, skated well and exuded confidence with the puck. However, it didn't look as if his skill set was high end. Fast forward eight months and the Brighton, Mich. native took the Beantown Spring Classic Pre-Draft Division by storm. He was the talk of the division. He was flying all over the ice, distributing the puck and finishing. BU assistant coach Albie O'Connell spent a good amount of time watching Cockerill, who committed to the Terriers just a few days after leaving Marlborough.


2. Jack RathboneFr., Dexter School, LD, 5-10/155, 5/20/99 - He needs to fill out and he looked much better in the showcases against kids more his age than he did against the older prep competition. However, there is a ton to like about the son of former Boston College forward, Jason. He's a really fluid skater with a nice stride. He has a nice initial burst and pivots well. He has good vision and patience with the puck. He doesn't try to move it too quickly and carelessly like a lot of kids his age do. He lets the game come to him. He's pretty solid in his own zone as well. He could be considered a big time prospect down the road.


4. Ben MirageasFr., Avon Old Farms, LD,  5-10/160, 5/8/99 (Providence) - The repeat freshman progressed nicely as the prep season went along. He skates well, retrieves pucks in his own zone, transitions the puck up ice and is smooth. He's one of those players that you don't notice too much -- in a good way. He doesn't make too many mistakes and he makes smart, simple plays with the puck especially in transition. He saw some power play time and did a nice job walking the blue line.

Round 3


1. Marc McLaughlinSoph., Cushing Academy, RC/RW, 5-11/175, 7/26/99 (St. Lawrence) - The North Billerica, Mass. native emerged this season for Rob Gagnon's Penguins club. He didn't get as much playing time as a younger player due to the big first line and other upperclassmen, but when he was on the ice, he was very noticeable. He gets the puck off his stick quickly. He has a hard, accurate shot. He isn't the prettiest of skaters, but he's very strong on his skates and is strong on pucks. He also accelerates really well and has a high motor. He's as good away from the puck as he is with the puck on his stick and spent time on the penalty kill. His physical tools made it hard to believe he was a '99 if you didn't know better. Greg Carvel's Saints have a real nice prospect lined up for the future.


2. Cam BurkeSoph., Noble & Greenough, LC/LW, 5-8/150, 1/8/99 (Notre Dame) - The brother of Cedar Rapids RoughRider Cal, the Fighting Irish commit logged a ton of minutes for Brian Day's squad this season, playing with NJ Devils pick and BC commit Miles Wood for a good portion of the campaign. Despite his overall lack of size, he plays a bigger game. He isn't afraid to go into the gritty and dirty areas to find pucks. He has good speed, skates well and developed nicely over the past year.


Joey Cipollone, Connecticut Wolf Pack U16, RC, 5-11/160, 7/12/99 (Vermont)

Round 4


14. Michael CallahanFr., Roxbury Latin Academy, LD, 6-0/170, 9/23/99 - Another player that this observer didn't see during the prep season, he left a solid impression from some of the showcases. He's a decent skater and moves well backwards. He did a nice job getting shots through traffic and on net from the point.

Round 5


Christian ThomasNorthern Cyclones U16, RC, 5-9/150, 8/27/99 (Vermont) - After a big weekend at the EJEPL All-Star Game at Brown's Meehan Auditorium, he committed to play for Kevin Sneddon's Catamounts. He's small, but he's got an engine. He has good hands and foot work. He can score and set up and has a good head for the game.


4. Riley PrattsonSoph, Springfield Cathedral High School, Shoots Right, 5-8/150, 4/28/99 (Providence) - He battled some nagging injuries down the stretch, but he's a very solid offensive prospect. He hasn't yet hit his growth spurt that his older brother, a LeMoyne lacrosse commit, did. He has nice hands, good vision and is shifty out there. The Friars commit has quick hands and always has his head up in transition and around the offensive zone.


Matt AllenSelects Hockey Academy U16, LC, 6-0/155, 3/14/99 (Providence)


5. Dan PetrickSoph., Springfield Cathedral High School, RD, 5-9/175, 4/6/99 (Northeastern) - He's a player who compares somewhat to Boston Bruins prospect Torey Krug. He's short, but he's as rugged of a defender as there was in high school hockey. He wasn't afraid to throw his weight around against anyone. He has nice vision and skates fairly well, but his first few steps could use some fine tuning. He's physical and there is plenty of upside, but he needs to learn when to reel it in and keep it simple.


6. Christian LeSueurSoph., Brunswick School, Shoots Right, 5-10/160, 1/7/99 - He is one of those players that just seems to find the score sheet. His skating is average to slightly above average. He has soft hands and does a nice job fitting pucks through seams and working through traffic. He has good hockey IQ and is a player that could continue to see his stock rise with a little bit of refining to his overall game.

Round 6


8. Colin FelixSoph., St. George's School, RD, 6-1/172, 1/7/99 - This observer didn't see him in the prep season, but he was solid and quietly impressive at last summer's USA Hockey Select 15 Festival. He goes about his business and makes smart, good plays defensively. He has decent vision, but certainly isn't flashy. He has nice size and there were good things said about him playing for the Dragons, a prep school that doesn't get as much attention.


Ben PirkoSelects Hockey Academy U16, LD, 6-0/155, 2/2/99 (Union) - He's a smart defenseman who is usually solid on gap control. He's not flashy, but he goes about his business out there and gets the job done in his own zone. He's a recent commit to Rick Bennett's Dutchmen.


7. Sean KeohanSoph., Dexter School, RD, 5-11/170, 2/9/99  (Dartmouth) - The Big Green commit isn't as flashy and doesn't have the elite puck skills of teammate Rathbone, but he's very poised and smooth. He has a nice stride and is a smooth skater. He has nice mobility and moves well side-to-side. The way he was able to play with confidence against kids a lot older than him at the prep level was impressive.


15. Jay O'BrienFr., Dexter School, RD, 5-10/160, 11/4/99 - He has a good skill set and is a play maker who can make things happen down low in the offensive zone. He's an intriguing prospect, despite not logging as much ice time as some would have liked for an older and deep prep squad that made it all the way to the Elite 8 Tournament championship game before losing to Salisbury.

Round 7


3. Brian ScovilleSoph., Cushing Academy, LD, 6-3/200, 3/28/99 (UMass) - A big rangy defenseman, he's another player who impressed more in the showcases against kids more his age than he did at the prep level. He's not a poor skater, but his stride and initial acceleration could use some work. He's a big kid who does a nice job retrieving pucks behind his own zone. He has nice awareness of the ice and makes heady lead passes.


Tyce Thompson, Connecticut Wolf Pack U16, RC, 5-8/150, '99


3. Matt DemelisSoph., Hingham High School, LC/LW 5-11/160, '99 - Some might scoff at seeing a public school player this high on the list, but he's that good. He was really impressive during the high school season, helping Tony Messina's team to a MIAA Division I State Championship. He has a very strong, long stride, but skates a little hunched over. He does a good job keeping the puck on his stick and is a possession-type forward. He has good hands and vision and has interest from several Hockey East schools. He also plays for Tim Lovell's Boston Advantage program.


7. Craig NeedhamSoph., Lawrence Academy, LC, 5-10/155, 3/31/99 - Led Rob Barker's young Spartans team in scoring this winter after transitioning over from Arlington Catholic. He's a rugged player who gets pucks off his stick quickly and is always around the scoring areas. Admittedly, this observer didn't see as much of LA as he'd have liked to forge a better opinion, but there is upside.

Round 8


9. Jayson Dobay, Fr., BC High, LD, 5-11/160, 7/27/99 - His skating needs some work, but his vision and hockey IQ are very strong. There were a few times during the high school season that he made passes through seams that wowed observers. He still needs to improve in the defensive zone, but he's an athletic player with nice size and good vision.

Round 9


Ethan DeStefaniNew Hampshire Jr. Monarchs U18, RC/RW, 6-2/170, 2/16/99 - He didn't really stand out at Select 15s last summer, but in a few viewings this winter, he was much improved. He had a nice offensive zone presence at the Beantown Spring Classic. He's a big body that will likely continue to develop and become more of a force on the ice once he grows into that frame. He'll have that chance next winter for Chris Baudo's Gunnery squad at the prep level.


Patrick DawsonFr., Westminster, LD, 6-0/175, 1/14/99


1. Keith PetruzzelliSoph., Springfield Cathedral High School, G, 6-6/175, 2/9/99 (Quinnipiac) - There is little doubt the Wilbraham, Mass. native is the clear cut top '99 goaltending prospect in New England. There is plenty to like about the big, lanky netminder who is headed to Quinnipiac University with his older brother, D.J., a '97 forward. Petruzzelli has the size of the prototypical modern era goalie, he squares up to shooters and is quiet in net. He's rarely making the flashy saves. He didn't face much rubber on an incredibly talented Cathedral team that didn't lose all season until the Super 8 Tournament. However, he really stood tall in a couple of marquee regular season games against BC High and Malden Catholic. When he's on top of his game, he's eating up rebounds and taking up a lot of space in net as a butterfly goaltender.


Thomas Craft, Fr., Deerfield Academy, RD, 6-4/200, 2/15/19 - Admittedly, this observer isn't as high on Kraft as others are. He was invited to the NTDP Evaluation Camp, but didn't make the squad. He played for a Deerfield team that had a down year. He didn't have his best week at last summer's Select 15 Festival so it's hard to truly gauge his potential.


Neil Shea, Fr., Marshfield High School, RW, 5-10/145, '99

Round 10


14. Steven AgriogianisSoph., Delbarton School, RC/RW, 5-9/145, 1/7/99 - Really good skater who plays with an edge and is tough in gritty areas for a smaller player. Only saw him once in the high school season, but he was impressive in showcases last summer and fall.


Nicholas HaleCarolina Junior Hurricanes U16, LD, 5-10/155, 5/7/99 - He's a very solid defenseman who will be headed to Andrew Will's Salisbury program in the fall. He's sound fundamentally, makes crisp, clean passes in transition and exudes confidence and poise with and without the puck. His skating isn't elite, but he skates well enough to do the job in all zones.