Saturday’s slate of games at the 2016 Yale Midget Hockey Jamboree featured many of the top teams in the region, including the North Jersey Avalanche, the undefeated juggernaut that currently is considered the top midget minor team in the country.
In addition to the Avs, the Westchester Express 14U team played a game against Yale 14U. The Express were one of the top four teams from the USHL Fall Classic East, and they again showed why Saturday morning. Forwards Anthony Cipollone (UVM), Aidan Cobb, Zach Tonelli and defenseman Christian Jimenez all stood out in Pittsburgh, and they did here as well.
Many of the same players who have stood out over and over were again solid in the games at the Northford Ice Pavilion. Instead of rehashing the same names as before, here’s a look at several players who stood out (in alphabetical order), who haven’t been written about previously this fall from Labor Day tournaments, USHL Fall Classic East or BJB Shootout:
Robert Barrasso, #21 Westchester Express 14U, Forward, Shoots Left, 6-0/170, ‘02 - He typically plays LW on a line with Cipollone. He has good size and skates well enough for now. He’s around the net and gets chances by being in the right place at the right time and winning battles below the dots.
Nick Capone, #12 Yale 15U, Forward, Shoots Left, 6-2/195, 12/21/01 - His physical play stood out Saturday. He made at least five big hits, and it impacted the play. He plays with a purpose. His best offensive play of the game was a nice dish out front from behind the goal line that resulted in a goal.
Danny Colon, #81 NJ Frozen Tide 16U, Right Wing, Shoots Right, 5-8/160, 2/13/01 - He’s a quick and gritty player whose skating ability allows him to generate time and space. He gets chances and has a sneaky release that he gets off without much wasted motion.
Ryan Coughlin, #2 Selects Academy 15U, Right Wing, Shoots Right, 5-10/160, 2/9/01 - He’s a player that doesn’t stick out to you until you watch him closely. He has really slick hands, evidenced by his two nearly identical goals from poor angles. Both of his goals were tucked in up high from just above the goal line on the left side of the net. He was able to gain space off the face-off on one with an initial burst of speed.
Frank Djurasevic, #77 Westchester Express 14U, Defense, Shoots Right, 6-2/170, 3/9/02 - He’s a big kid with good size. He likes to step into the offense and he has a hard shot. His skating needs some work, but he’s a player to keep an eye on over the next few years.
Aiden Hotchkiss, #19 Yale 14U, Forward, Shoots Right, 6-1/170, ‘02 - He was the only player on his team to stand out in a game where they were overmatched by a very good and deep Westchester squad. He’s a 200-foot player who got chances from making good plays in his own zone. He’s heavy on pucks and has a strong core. He drew a penalty when he used his explosiveness to split two defenders. He is definitely a legit Division I prospect.
Simon Mack, #4 Selects Academy 15U, Defense, Shoots Right, 5-9/170, 3/29/01 - He’s a very good puck mover and skates well. He covers ground in the defensive zone and has a good stick. His tight gaps and confidence in all three zones keep the puck moving forward and he pushes possession for his team.
Griffin Mieczkowski, #21 Westchester Express 16U, Forward, Shoots Right, 5-10/160, 6/9/00 - He’s a good skater who has speed to his game. He can create offense from anywhere. He’s fast on pucks and has a quick first step. His net drive to the far post resulted in a goal on a nice pass from linemate Jake Willis.
Stefan Miklakos, #19 CT Rangers 16U, Forward, Shoots Left, 5-8/153, 1/20/00 - He’s the team’s leading scorer and top line center. He uses his edges and has good agility when skating in tight spaces. He can control the puck and has it on his stick a lot.
Jack Robilotti, #5 Selects Academy 15U, Defense, Shoots Right, 6-2/180, 7/18/01 - He’s a big, heavy blue liner with a hard shot from the point. He’s a smooth skater for his size and keeps the play to the perimeter with his reach and ability to keep up with opposing forwards.
Jason Ruszkowski, #87 Westchester Express 16U, Forward, Shoots Left, 5-10/160, 6/21/00 - He’s a good skater who can control the puck for long stretches of time in the offensive zone. He’s a good stickhandler who can maneuver his way into the scoring areas. He made a nice move off the right wall and finished it with a shot just inside the far post.
Vincent Spaziante, #2 CT Rangers 16U, Forward, Shoots Right, 5-8/147, 5/21/01 - He’s still learning to finish, but he’s an ‘01 with an offensive skill set worth watching. He’s fast with a quick first step. He protects the puck, made a nice low to high pass from down in the corner. He made a few other good passes and was able to gain the zone with speed down the right wing.
Max Willard, #88 Westchester Express 14U, Defense, Shoots Right, 5-10/140, 11/13/02 - He’s listed on the roster as a forward, but he played back. He is a good skater who made several nice plays going back. He keeps the play to the perimeter and closes quickly.