The Beantown Summer Classic Pro Division was watered down, but the quality of play was still much better than most regional showcases. The Pro Division, lasting four days, featured prospects born between 1995 and 1998.
UConn freshman forward and late '97 Tage Thompson was far and away the best pro prospect at the event. A US NTDP product, he'll be a rookie for Mike Cavanaugh's Huskies in his draft year. His size, combined with his puck skills, made him a threat each time he was near the puck.
A recent Harvard commit, '98 Marshall Rifai of the Hotchkiss School, was the top defenseman in Marlborough. There were several good uncommitted goaltenders, led by '97 Trevin Kozlowski (Gunnery) and '95 Bailey MacBurnie (Salisbury).
The only current NHL Draft pick in the event was San Jose Sharks pick Mike Robinson, a UNH commit who will be the starting goaltender for the USPHL's Boston Junior Bruins this season before matriculating to Durham in the fall of 2016.
A trio of Quinnipiac recruits, forwards John DeRoche, Alex Whelan and Khristian Acosta, were all very good and represented three of the better NCAA prospects in the event.
The division was labeled 'Pro,' but there weren't enough legitimate NHL prospects to rank players based on how they project as far as pro potential. The wide array of birth years also made it tough to rank players so the top five at each position will be ranked then the best of the rest will be listed below.
Heights and weights are taken from the showcase program and team listed is for the 2015-16 season.
1. Tage Thompson, 6-4/190, 10/30/97, Shoots Right, UConn (Saints #16) - His size and physical tools were just too much for opposing players to handle. He's big and strong and wins just about every battle for a loose puck. He has really good feet for a big guy and has soft hands.
2. John DeRoche, 5-10/165, 6/23/98, Shoots Left, Boston Junior Bruins Premier (Saints #10) - He's smaller, but scouts shouldn't write him off. He's gritty and plays with an edge. He's a good skater who has gained a step since the season ended. He has good puck pursuit. He's a smart player who makes some terrific passes. He scored the game-winning goal with 11 seconds left in one game. College Commitment: Quinnipiac
3. Khristian Acosta, 5-9/170, 5/5/98, Shoots Right, Jersey Hitmen Premier (Bombers #8) - He really stood out here as an undersized forward with play making abilities. He's a good skater who is deceptively quick. He's around the puck a lot and was creative. College Commitment: Quinnipiac
4. Alex Whelan, 6-0/205, 7/20/97, Shoots Right, Jersey Hitmen Premier (Bombers #15) - He had good footwork and some separation speed. He had a ton of shots on goal and seemed to know how to find shooting lanes in the slot. He had a nice one-timer goal and had a quick release. College Commitment: Quinnipiac
5. Jack McCarthy, 6-2/195, 3/14/96, Shoots Right, Green Bay Gamblers (Saints #13) - He missed the first game, but played well the last few days. He has a good frame and is a decent to good skater. He is strong, plays through people and wins battles. The KUA alum is a former Brown commit looking to land a Hockey East offer.
6. Tim Allen, 6-2/175, 5/12/96, Shoots Right, South Shore Kings Premier (Royals #8) - The Hotchkiss alum never stood out in prep school, but he looked good this week. He has good size, moved decently and was able to use his frame to his advantage. He had a nice backhand finish on a breakaway and had some decent moves.
7. Max Suave, 5-7/150, 9/2/98, Shoots Right, Tabor Academy (Warriors #14) - He's small, but he has elite speed and played with more purpose to his game here than he did as a freshman in prep hockey. He has good hands and can create time and space with his elusiveness. Watch for him to have a breakout year with the Seawolves.
8. D.J. Petruzzelli, 5-11/180, 1/8/97, Shoots Left, Nanaimo Clippers (Saints #14) - He wasn't as consistent as some of his Saints teammates here, but he had a few real good shifts and produced. He's a strong skater with a high compete level. He's a possession type player who doesn't mind digging pucks out of corners. The Springfield Cathedral alum has a quick release and could really be a kid who continues to develop in BCHL this year. College Commitment: Quinnipiac
9. Rylee St. Onge, 5-11/178, 4/22/98, Shoots Left, Markham Royals (Saints #15) - Simply put, the second-year OJHLer is a hockey player. He had good hockey IQ and knew where to go on the ice. His speed isn't elite, but it's good enough. He skates well, has a quick release and could be a good goal scorer at the collegiate level.
10. Matt Koopman, 5-11/175, 5/11/98, Shoots Left, Berkshire School (Royals #13) - He didn't have his best week here, but his speed, quickness and offensive instincts were good. College Commitment: Northeastern
11. Christian O'Neill, 5-11/165, 6/17/98, Shoots Left, Belmont Hill (Warriors #12) - He's a good skater who is strong on pucks. He has good hockey IQ. There is definitely something there if he can put it all together. He's likely going to be a good player in the ECAC as an older freshman down the road.
12. Michael Fahie, 5-10/150, 7/23/98, Shoots Right, Nobles (Outlaws #13) - He skated well, has good footwork and made some nice looks. He does a lot of the little things well in all three zones and has good hockey sense. College Commitment: Brown
Best of the Rest
Ty Amonte, 5-10/170, 1/1/98, Shoots Right, Thayer Academy (Outlaws #8) - He impressed more here than usual. He was around the play, created space for himself with his quickness. He makes some nice moves, but it would be nice to see him finish more.
Vito Bavaro, 6-2/190, 10/1/97, Shoots Right, Brooks School (Chiefs #8) - He has good size and decent speed. He uses his frame to his advantage and could be a legit goal scorer in Atlantic Hockey. College Commitment: Sacred Heart
Jack Bliss, 6-0/175, 8/20/98, Shoots Left, Milton Academy (Royals #14) - He has good hockey IQ and did some things here in all areas of the game. He's always been an intriguing prospect, one to keep an eye on in prep hockey this winter.
Charlie Borek, 6-1/205, 1/27/96, Shoots Left, Nanaimo Clippers (Apaches #17) - He's always moving his feet and has good hockey IQ. He has good pursuit, plays an honest game and scored a really nice goal where he sniped one top shelf after breaking free from traffic.
Patrick Daly, 6-1/185, 8/21/96, Shoots Right, Dexter School (Conquistadors #9) - He caught this observer's attention last winter, but his elite speed was quite impressive here. He creates time and space and had a nice backhand finish on a breakaway.
Michael Egan, 5-11/175, 8/24/97, Shoots Right, New Jersey Titans (Conquistadors #10) - He had a couple of garbage goals, which his signature. He goes to the net and finds pucks. He was good away from the puck and also made a real nice pass from the corner in one of the games.
Patrick Flynn, 5-11/170, 7/30/96, Shoots Right, South Shore Kings Premier (Bombers #10) - The former Dartmouth commit is a good skater. He's a solid player whose game doesn't really fit well for showcases. He had a good shot from the slot.
Ron Greco, 5-10/185, 3/20/95, Shoots Right, Philadelphia Junior Flyers Premier (Bombers #11) - He's quick, had good puck pursuit and was a good passer. He could be a player to watch for a team looking for an experienced freshman for next season.
Danny Jacobs, 5-10/165, 3/4/97, Shoots Right, Nobles (Outlaws #14) - He plays with an edge and has a high compete level. He has good mobility and made a real nice highlight reel pass through a defender's legs for a backdoor chance.
Nick Jermain, 5-11/170, 6/7/96, Shoots Left, Merritt Centennials (Chiefs #11) - He's quick, anticipates plays well and has an active stick in the defensive zone. He produced at the prep level, but he projects as more of an energy player who can be a play maker from time to time.
William Somers, 6-4/216, 1/14/97, Shoots Left, Hotchkiss (Outlaws #9) - He has a big frame which some scouts were talking about, but he didn't do enough to stand out as a legit pro prospect even with his size. He does some nice things, but he needs more foot speed to be considered an intriguing prospect.
David Szmyd, 6-0/190, 12/31/95, Shoots Right, Jersey Hitmen Premier (Bombers #14) - He scored a couple of garbage goals here, but it was indicative of his play. He was around the puck and was in the right place at the right time a lot.
Ty Turgeon, 5-9/173, 4/29/98, Shoots Right, New Hampton Prep (Chiefs #16) - He's quick, a pest to play against, was all over the ice and just had a good engine out there.
Brendan White, 6-2/185, Shoots Left, Williston Northampton (Conquistadors #17) - He's big and has decent hands for his size. He goes to the net hard and uses his size for leverage.
1. Marshall Rifai, 6-1/175, 3/16/98, Shoots Left, Hotchkiss School (Outlaws #6) - His physical tools are terrific. He's a great skater whose footwork is fun to watch. He had good gaps and a decent stick. It's a showcase so this could be nitpicking, but if he chooses his spots a little more wisely, he'd be better off. College Commitment: Harvard
2. Brian Matthews, 6-1/190, 4/21/98, Shoots Right, Belmont Hill (Outlaws #5) - He's not as flashy as Rifai, who he was paired with for much of the event, but he's solid. He skates well, is fundamentally sound defensively and keeps it simple. He's a good athlete who should continue to get better as he transitions back to defense. College Commitment: Yale
3. Sean Petrie, 6-2/191, 8/19/96, Shoots Right, Youngstown Phantoms (Conquistadors #7) - The Delbarton School alum will be with the Youngstown Phantoms this season. He was good here. He didn't do anything to catch the attention of a casual fan, but he was solid. He didn't make mistakes and just did a good job in his own zone.
4. Max Daigle, 5-10/195, 8/4/95, Shoots Right Islanders HC Premier (Bombers #5) - He keeps things simple, made some good lead passes, got shots on net from the point and had a good first pivot. He could be a late bloomer that will seriously benefit the Catamounts. College Commitment: Vermont
5. Simon Loiselle, 6-2/207, 11/24/97, Shoots Right, St. Paul's (Outlaws #4) - He has good size and an active stick. He's solid defensively and maintained good coverage in the defensive zone.
6. Spenser Young, 5-10/180, 3/24/97, Shoots Right, Dubuque Fighting Saints (Apaches #7) - It wasn't his best tournament, but the physical tools are obvious when watching him. He just didn't seem to have his heart in it. He's a smooth skater and made a couple of nice plays in transition. College Commitment: Providence
Best of the Rest
Trevor Cosgrove, 6-1/185, 6/4/97, Shoots Left, Phillips Exeter (Apaches #3) - He has a good first pivot and is a steady stay-at-home defenseman who can help with moving the puck up ice. He showed off his vision and puck-moving ability with a real nice pass down low to the weak side from the point.
David Giunta, 6-0/185, 4/10/97, Shoots Right, Belmont Hill (Outlaws #3) - He had good gaps, was solid defensively and made some nice lead passes. He could be a real good NESCAC player or fringe D1 player down the road.
Jordan Haney, 6-0/185,11/13/96, Shoots Left, Phillips Exeter (Apaches #4) - He never stood out to this observer in prep, but he was solid here this week. He had a good stick, was steady defensively and moved around well.
Gregory Krisberg, 5-10/175, 6/16/97, Shoots Left, Kent School (Royals #6) - His size and physical tools don't stand out, but he's an above average skater who anticipates well, isn't afraid to jump into the rush and gets shots through from the point.
J.J. Layton, 6-1/200, 1/23/97, Shoots Right, Islanders HC Premier (Apaches #5) - He's an above average skater who moves well. He has an active stick and just competes hard. He's become a much smarter player as he's developed. He's someone to keep an eye on and will likely take a year or two of juniors to catch on with a college team.
Max Luukko, 6-4/200, 12/28/95, Shoots Left, Philadelphia Junior Flyers (Saints #6) - A big imposing blue liner, he was solid. He kept opposing forwards to the perimeter and had a good stick.
Colin McCabe, 5-10/180, 1/27/98, Shoots Right, Thayer Academy (Apaches #6) - He didn't stand out as much as he sometimes does, but he had a good stick and can skate well. He's a player to keep an eye on this year at prep.
Billy Overby, 5-9/170, 5/20/98, Shoots Left, Choate (Chiefs #5) - He was his usual self here. He's undersized, but he has a good pivot and is consistently steady with a good stick. College Commitment: Vermont
Kyle Peterson, 6-1/187, 5/27/97, Shoots Left, Thayer Academy (Royals #5) - He wasn't flashy at all, but he was steady. He won battles and maintained coverage in the defensive zone.
1. Trevin Kozlowski, 6-4/190, 3/27/97, Catches Left, The Gunnery (Royals #1) - He's a goaltender that simply gets the job done. He does let up some rebounds and moves around a little more than you'd like to see, but he's athletic, challenges the shooters and squares up to shooters.
2. Bailey MacBurnie, 6-3/195, 4/28/95, Catches Left, Trail Smoke Eaters (Warriors #1) - He's gained some explosiveness and quickness. He was quick to pounce on loose pucks and challenge shooters. He's done a good job improving on rebound control and staying focused to avoid soft goals.
3. Ryan Ferland, 6-0/170, 2/11/98, Catches Right, St. Mark's School (Saints #1) - He's a really solid goaltender that seems to get better each time you see him. He's quick, moves smoothly in the crease and has a good blocker.
4. Mike Robinson, 6-2/200, 3/27/97, Catches Left, Boston Junior Bruins Premier (Saints #30) - The 2015 San Jose Sharks draft pick let in two soft goals on Sunday, but settled in from there. It's tough to deny his potential. His size, fundamentals and athleticism are obvious anytime he's in the crease.
5. Anthony Tirabassi, 5-10/175, 2/14/96, Catches Left, Islanders HC Premier (Apaches #30) - This observer hasn't seen the Nichols Prep alum as much as the other goalies mentioned, but he was solid here. He just made saves. He had a good push-off from post-to-post and did a good job covering rebounds and not allowing second chances.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior, high school and prep hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.