The 2016 Beantown Fall Classic brought many college coaches, NHL and USHL scouts, and agents to the New England Sports Center in Marlboro, Mass. There were far too many teams to see everyone.
Obviously, no one saw every team, myself included. I skipped some of the teams that I’ve seen many times this fall such as Little Bruins 18U, Boston Jr. Eagles 16U and Westchester Express 16U.
Forwards ‘00 Clark Kerner, ‘01 Arthur Kaliyev, ‘00 Hunter McCoy, and ‘98 Jack Dugan were the top uncommitted prospects this observer saw over the weekend.
Here’s some of the top performers, broken down by 18U and 16U:
Arthur Kaliyev, #34 Compuware, Forward, 6/26/01, Shoots Left, 6-1/165 - He’s a legit pro prospect and will almost certainly make the NTDP. He has an explosive stride and is physically mature. He wins battles along the wall. He gets space for his teammates and himself. He is strong down low. He can camp out front and impact the net front. He plays a heavy game. He went from forehand to backhand for a beauty of a finish on a two-on-one Friday.
Clark Kerner, #24 Skipjacks, Forward, 6/16/00, Shoots Right, 5-10/165 - I first wrote about him after the BJB Shootout. He was great again here. He’s a big time prospect that has seemingly come out of nowhere. He’s an elite skater with vision and good hands. He thinks the game and slows it down to his pace. He has that extra gear to blow by opposing defenders. He creates offense from all over the sheet.
Hunter McCoy, #12 NEFPHL, Forward, 8/1/00, Shoots Left, 5-11/175 - He really took a major step over the summer, and was very good at the ECC Labor Day Cup. He reinforced that with a nice weekend here. He is a very good skater with a good first step. He made a nice play with his stick to break up a play at his defensive blue line and take it the other way for a two-on-one. He protects the puck, has good hand-eye coordination and is a complete two-way center.
Jayden Struble, #11 Cape Cod Whalers, Defensemen, 8/9/01, Shoots Left, 5-11/170 - He’s always tremendously athletic and the physical tools are there. This was one of his best viewings in a while. He was really good here. His skating and ability with the puck on his stick are both top notch.
Gabe Blanchard, #18 Buffalo Regals, Defenseman, 9/15/00, Shoots Left, 5-11/180 - He is a good skater with above average footwork. He is mobile and can impact possession for his team in a positive manner. He gets shots on net from the point. He positions himself well in the defensive zone and gets his stick in lanes.
Camden Thiesing, #26 Team Illinois, Forward, 3/26/01, Shoots Right, 5-10/150 - He has an explosive first stride, separation speed and scored a nice goal on a backhander.
Connor Sweeney, #15 NEFPHL, Forward, 5/5/00, Shoots Left, 6-2/185 - He’s made major strides in his game and is finally starting to use his size to his advantage. He has a quick release and heavy shot. He creates space and has developed an explosiveness to his game.
Xan Gurney, #11 Compuware, Defenseman, 5/28/00, Shoots Left, 6-3/190 - He has good size, length and moves well enough. His skating has improved since last summer.
Ryan Sorkin, #22 Team Illinois, Forward, 6/13/01, Shoots Right, 5-9/145 - He made a few nice passes, including one good look to the right wing after gaining zone entry. He scored on a wraparound after driving into the zone down the right wall.
Jake Flynn, #4 Boston Bandits, Defensemen, 2/1/00, Shoots Right, 5-11/162 - He’s a good athlete with mobility and an offensive flare. He’s going to be a fun player to watch develop further.
Matt Kessell, #72 Compuware, Defenseman, 6/23/00, Shoots Right, 6-2/180 - He has good footwork, keeps pucks going forward and has a heavy one-timer from the point.
John Murray, #5 Cape Cod Whalers, Defensemen, 4/18/00, Shoots Left, 5-10/170 - He skates with his head up and has good mobility. He made a nice look to the weak side upon zone entry in one game.
Ian Pierce, #21 North Jersey Avs 15U, Defenseman, 1/24/01, Shoots Left, 5-9/150 - He was steady and solid on the blue line, and logged key minutes late with his team up a goal on Thursday.
Javi Ubarri, #13 Team Illinois, Defenseman, 5/4/01, Shoots Right, 5-9/170 - He’s a mobile defender that has patience, slows the game down and thinks it offensively. He’s mobile, skates well and is good with breaking the puck out. His speed on one rush drew a penalty.
Jack Dugan, #8 Northwood, Forward, 3/24/98, Shoots Right, 6-2/185 - He has good size and skates well. He made a behind the back pass to the bottom of the right circle for a goal that was highlight worthy. He ripped a one-timer for a goal from the top of the right circle. He has a good first stride and plays a heavy game.
Sam Rhodes, #20 Skipjacks, Forward, 2/19/00, Shoots Left, 5-7/150 - He’s small and quick with the ability to generate quality chances, playing up with the 18U team. A sixth round pick of Barrie Colts in OHL, he’s supposedly leaning toward the college route now.
Oscari Rauhala, #23 Red Bull Salzburg, Forward, 2/9/00, Shoots Left, 6-1/201 - He’s good below the dots, digs pucks out from the corners and below the goal line. He plays a heavy game and skates well enough.
Vilho Saariluoma, #19 Eastern Mass Senators, Forward, 7/14/99, Shoots Left, 6-2/176 - The Finnish native can be dominant with the puck and take over games with his ability to cycle down low and protect the puck with his size and skating ability. He has a hard shot and finds his teammates coming off the wall.
Cael Brennan, #3 Fox Motors, Forward, 3/10/99, Shoots Right, 6-2/190 - He is heavy on pucks and camped out front of the net. He’s quick to get on pucks and in applying forecheck pressure.
Ryan Lovett, #8 Junior Bruins, Forward, 7/6/99, Shoots Right, 6-2/185 - He’s a good skater who moves the puck well and sets up plays. He’s shifty and can create offense.
Kyle Jadatz, #17 NEFPHL, Forward, 6/1/99, Shoots Right, 5-10/175 - He’s a solid two-way player with physicality to his game. He has above average hands, skating ability and vision. He’s one of those players that could be a nice add for a college team in a few years.
Keenan Johnson, #7 Fox Motors, Defenseman, 7/17/99, Shoots Right, 6-0/215 - He scored on a really nice shot from the point. He has good vision and poise with the puck. He rode off one of Red Bull’s top forwards. He can escape well on breakouts and in transition.
Adam Panacci, #43 Hill Academy, Forward, 7/3/99, Shoots Left, 5-10/152 - He’s a good skater with the ability to come off the wall and penetrate the slot to get off good shots.
Tommy Pasanen, #3 Red Bull Salzburg, Defensemen, 7/31/01, Shoots Right, 6-2/190 - Playing up, he was poised and confident. He projects well with his size, mobility and ability to move the puck.
Aleksi Peltonen, #4 Northwood, Forward, 6/8/98, Shoots Left, 5-10/170 - He’s a little undersized, but he’s fast, shifty and can find the score sheet.
Justin Schutz, #10 Red Bull Salzburg, Forward, 6/24/00, Shoots Left, 5-8/163 - He made a great feed out front for a goal from the right corner. He made several good moves with the puck on his stick. He finds seams in the defense.
Patrick Cotton, #24 Junior Bruins, Forward, 5/25/99, Shoots Left, 6-2/210 - He’s heavy on pucks, applies forecheck pressure and plays an honest game.