The 16U Division at the 2016 Boston Junior Bruins Shootout showcased some of the region’s top talent, including several under the radar, and uncommitted, prospects.
Westchester Express defeated Selects Academy 16U, 2-1 in overtime, in the championship game. New Jersey Hitmen, NH Avalanche (Full Season), NH Avalanche (Prep Split), NY Aviators, Select Academy 15U, and Skipjacks were the other six teams to make Sunday’s playoff games in the 16U Division.
While this post will cover the top uncommitted prospects, it would be negligent to leave out a commit who shined throughout the weekend. NH Avalanche (Prep Split) center Lynden Breen, a Maine recruit, was absolutely terrific. His skating and play-making ability are top notch, and he’s a savvy hockey player.
Westchester Express left wing Sam Steele, an Arizona State commit, also really shined here, especially on Sunday. His ability to take over a game with his size and strength is quite notable. He’s an early player to keep an eye on for the 2018 NHL Draft.
Islanders HC center John Young was the clear standout of the weekend, but there were several other very good prospects in the top five. The top 10 are ranked with the rest of the players who had notable performances listed in alphabetical order.
Boston Junior Bruins Shootout: Top Uncommitted Prospects (16U)
1. John Young, #77 Islanders HC, 6-2/185, 6/23/00, Center, Shoots Left - He bulked up a lot since last season, and it showed in how he played. He’s no longer just a lanky prospect with good hands. His first step and explosive stride allow him to be a dominant force in the offensive zone. He has a heavy wrist shot that he gets off quickly. He played a heavy game. His play here caught the eye of several Hockey East coaches in attendance.
2. Dylan Pena-Triana, #15 Selects Academy 16U, 5-10/170, Center, Shoots Left - He is a great pure skater who can finish as well as make plays from the wall. His first step is incredible and he gets to pucks. His hands are good. He made a real nice pass to a linemate for a power play goal after receiving a difficult feed from the point. The Swiss native has played on their national team for several international events already.
3. Sam Rhodes, #20 Skipjacks 18U, 5-7/150, ‘00, Left Wing, Shoots Left - A sixth round pick of the Barrie Colts in the OHL Draft, he comes over from the Don Mills Flyers. He’s playing up with the 18U team. He can really stick handle and make moves with the puck on his stick. He scored a beauty of a breakaway goal, finishing it off with a backhander. He’s a great skater - straight line and agility. He makes plays and sees the ice well. He’s expected to head north of the border to play in the OHL next season.
4. Josh Lawrence, #11 Selects Academy 16U, 5-7/150, 1/28/02, Center, Shoots Right - He was an ‘02 playing up and he made a huge difference. He’s a natural scorer, potting three of the team’s four goals in one game. He’s gritty and forces turnovers by his tenacious play and quickness. He made a great move on a penalty shot goal that he scored without slowing down or breaking stride. He also wasn’t afraid to plant himself in front of the net for rebound goals, despite his lack of size.
5. Jin Lee, #34 NY Aviators, 6-0/160, 5/9/00, Center, Shoots Left - He’s a little bit of an unknown, but not as much after this weekend. He’s fast and has a good first step. He makes good passes and is a playmaker. One play that really showed this off was a nice a breakout pass up the right wall that ended up in a power play tally. He made several end-to-end rushes, showing off his power ability by cutting to the net. He still needs to learn the game, but he’s an intriguing prospect worth keeping an eye on as he develops and is exposed to more coaching.
6. Clark Kerner, #24 Skipjacks, 5-9/165, ‘00, Right Wing, Shoots Right - He was very good here. He played right wing on the top line, centered by the team’s other top prospect, Joey Baez. He’s a good skater with above average speed. He distributed the puck nicely on the power play. He cycled the puck well down low and made a few good passes out to the scoring areas after winning battles below the goal line.
7. Michael Kesselring, #4 NH Avalanche Prep, 6-3/170, 7/18/00, Defense, Shoots Right - He continues to get better. He’s always had the size and the bloodlines to make him an intriguing prospect, but he’s starting to grow into his frame and become a solid player. He made a real good move to side step an opposing forward at the point before placing a wrister into the corner of the net for a power play tally. He has a good reach and is mobile. The only slight knock on him is that he needs to choose his spots to pinch more wisely. The Quebec Remparts took him in the 13th round of the QMJHL Draft.
8. Domenic Garozzo, #58 Virtua, 5-9/150, 11/26/00, Center, Shoots Left - He had a really good game Saturday night against Selects Academy 16U. He has the speed necessary to win races to loose pucks. He had good hands and showed offensive creativity throughout the game. One play in the third period exemplified this. He beat the left defenseman to a loose puck in the neutral zone. He charged in on net and made a really nice deke before putting the puck home.
9. Nolan Barrett, #7 Selects Academy 16U, 6-1/175, 7/26/00, Defense, Shoots Right - He’s a big-bodied blue liner who makes good breakout passes. He’s mobile and can step up, but he projects as more of a shutdown defender. He was just consistently solid in both ends. He was a 10th round selection of Youngstown in the USHL Futures Draft.
10. Joey Baez, #23 Skipjacks, 5-8/158, ‘00, Center, Shoots Right - He has a nose for the puck and goes hard to the net. A few of his goals here were just by working hard and crashing the net. He’s quick and gets on pucks quickly.
John Billingsley, #66 Westchester Express, 5-11/170, 10/8/00, Center, Shoots Right - He centered the top line in the two games this observer saw. He has good speed, creates space and is a playmaker.
Tyler Bodette, #7 NH Avalanche Prep, 6-2/180, ‘01, Left Wing, Shoots Left - He’s a newcomer to Brooks this winter. He played a heavy game, making a few hits and disrupting the breakout by being heavy on pucks and forechecking with authority.
Mickey Burns, #41 Jersey Hitmen, 5-9/160, 4/3/00, Center, Shoots Left - He’s quick and makes plays while contributing in all 200 feet. One play that stood out was a give-and-go for a goal. He came off the wall with authority, dished the puck off, and then drove the net for a pass back and score.
Colin Cobb, #59 NH Avalanche Prep, 5-11/175, ‘00, Forward, Shoots Right - He’s a strong skater and stickhandler. While he doesn’t have the elite skill of his brother, Aidan (‘02), he should have a good year at Kent.
Tyler Coffee, #43 Jersey Hitmen, 5-7/155, 5/19/00, Left Wing, Shoots Left - He has good hands, a quick stick and a good shot. He’s slippery and isn’t afraid to go into the corners and down low to win battles for pucks. He has a quick release. He scored a nice goal to cut the deficit to 2-1 in the semifinal against the Aviators.
Liam Copp, #13 NH Avalanche Prep, 5-11/175, ‘01, Forward, Shoots Right - The Duxbury, Mass. native is a good skater who showed signs of having some offensive upside.
Matt Crasa, #22 Selects Academy 15U, 5-10/165, Center, Shoots Right - He wasn’t as flashy as his two linemates here, but he showed signs of being a skilled offensive player. He made good passes, had good hands, and had a quiet, but effective stride.
Bradey Farrell, #5 Junior Bruins, 6-3/185, 4/5/01, Defense, Shoots Left - He’s a big blue liner with reach and good gaps for playing up. He has decent mobility and is worth keeping an eye on as he develops.
Christian Felton, #42 Skipjacks, 6-0/180, ‘00, Defense, Shoots Right - He’s a converted forward who liked to step in and join the rush. He showed some signs here. He had a physical presence and made a few big hits.
Parker Ford, #8 Selects Academy 16U, 5-7/155, 7/20/00, Right Wing, Shoots Right - He’s shifty and has good agility. He was quick and impacted the forecheck. A Rhode Island native, he’s a player worth watching.
Jack Garland, #20 South Shore Kings, 6-1/180, 6/28/01, Forward, Shoots Right - He has good size and played a physical game. He got his stick in lanes to break up shots and passes. He made a hard hit to disrupt a breakout. He backchecked consistently. Whether or not he has the offensive upside is unsure, but he’s intriguing with his size.
Trevor Giwerowski, #30 Selects Academy 15U, 5-10/165, 1/3/01, Goalie, Catches Left - It’s tough to measure goaltenders in environments like this, but he exhibited the ability to make post-to-post saves and he played the puck well.
Kyle Haskins, #88 Selects Academy 16U, 5-11/180, 2/16/00, Center, Shoots Left - He’s a possession type forward who centered the top line for most of the weekend. He got shots on net and drove the net. His hands aren’t the best, but he makes up for it with a solid north-south game. He’s a 2016 14th round pick of Sherbrooke in the QMJHL.
Trevor Ion, #17 NY Aviators, 5-10/150, 3/22/00, Right Wing, Shoots Right - He’s a good skater who is fairly quick. He made some nice passes here. As with most of the top players on his team, he’s still somewhat of a raw talent.
Frankie Ireland, #19 Junior Bruins, 5-9/155, 2/6/01, Left Wing, Shoots Left - He’s undersized, but he has good vision and he has touch on his passes.
Zac Jones, #39 Selects Academy 16U, 5-7/140, 10/18/00, Defense, Shoots Left - He’s small, but he’s very good with the puck on his stick at this level. He seems to always make the smart play with the puck. He skates well. He impacts the transition in a positive manner.
Jalen Kaplan, #13 NJ Frozen Tide, 5-10/165, 2/7/00, Defense, Shoots Left - A Youngstown draft pick in the USHL Futures Draft, he’s a steady blue liner. He got shots on net from the point and had a good stick.
Chris Konin, #8 NH Avalanche Prep, 6-1/185, 1/4/00, Right Wing, Shoots Right - The Rhode Island native didn’t see much ice time for KUA last season, but look for him to have an expanded role for Tim Whitehead’s Wildcats. He has a little bit of a power forward skill set. He makes good plays from along the wall and down low and has a good shot.
Luke Krys, #6 Westchester Express, 6-0/170, 9/27/00, Defense, Shoots Right - His skating and puck-moving skills are both good. It’s tough for him that he continuously gets compared to his older brother. He’s going to need to continue to develop, but he has solid skill with the puck on his stick.
Ian Lavitman, #22 NY Aviators, 5-10/160, 8/22/00, Left Wing, Shoots Left - He has very good speed and created offense. He scored a power play goal Sunday morning when he outraced a defender to a loose puck that was chipped up the right wall into the neutral zone. He made a nice play to finish it off for a power play goal.
Conor Lovett, #8 Junior Bruins, 5-10/165, 4/7/01, Forward, Shoots - He’s very quick and keeps his feet moving on the right wing.
Paddy Mangan, #2 NH Avalanche Prep, 5-11/175, 8/17/00, Defense, Shoots Right - He’s not as dynamic or as flashy as some other defensemen here, but he’s fundamentally sound, skates well and plays an honest game. He makes smart, heady breakout passes. He was an 11th round pick of Chicoutimi in the 2016 QMJHL Draft. He’ll be a newcomer to Brooks this winter.
Will Margel, #16 Selects Academy 15U, 5-8/150, 3/16/01, Left Wing, Shoots Left - He’s extremely quick and was able to create offense because of it. He had good hands and saw the ice well.
Luca Marini, #7 Islanders HC, 5-10/155, 2/10/00, Left Wing, Shoots Left - He was overshadowed by Young, but he had a nice weekend and complimented his center well. He cycled the puck down low, had a quick stick and had good acceleration. He made a few nice passes, especially on the power play from the wall. One low to high pass up to his left point resulted in a good scoring opportunity.
Owen Nolan, #14 Westchester Express, 6-0/170, 3/10/00, Defense, Shoots Left - This might have been the best viewing of Nolan to date. He had the puck, controlled possession and kept the other team going backwards. He’s quick and has good closing speed.
Jack O’Leary, #7 PAL Islanders, 5-9/150, 3/28/00, Left Wing, Shoots Left - He’s the offensive catalyst for his team. He’s quick and the puck goes through him to make plays.
Tyriq Outen, #31 South Shore Kings, 6-1/155, 8/16/00, Goalie, Catches Left - He was great in his team’s game Saturday against Selects Academy 15U. He stole the show to keep it close. He’s not the biggest goalie, but he’s athletic. He has a good push-off to get from post-to-post. He has a good glove and covers a lot of net. He also made a nice blocker save on a breakaway.
Ruben Rafkin, #88 Selects Academy 16U, 5-10/165, 1/8/02, Forward/Defense, Shoots Right - He was versatile over the course of the weekend. He’s an ‘02 from Finland who is playing up. He played defense and forward due to injuries. He sees the ice well and makes heady passes while skating up and down the sheet.
Harrison Rees, #77 Hill Academy, 6-0/145, 3/19/00, Defense, Shoots Right - The 2016 11th round selection of the Erie Otters in the OHL Draft was solid. He has good size, a good reach and possesses a good stick. He closed off on opposing forwards well.
Brendan Root, #7 NY Aviators, 6-4/220, 6/27/00, Defense, Shoots Right - He’s a big defenseman who showed the ability to close well. His skating, especially for his size, indicates he could develop into a college player. He had a good reach and made a few nice pokechecks to keep plays from developing. He’s still raw and needs work in his own end and on gaps, but that will come from experience and better coaching.
Tyler Sedlak, #44 Jersey Hitmen, 5-8/160, 10/24/00, Right Wing, Shoots Right - He plays much bigger than his size. He is fast in on the forecheck, gets on pucks quickly and delivered a huge hit which broke up a breakout and resulted in a goal for his team.
Zach Schrock, #91 Selects Academy 16U, 6-0/185, 2/28/00, Left Wing, Shoots Left - The Raleigh, NC native has good size and strength and played a big role down low and is somewhat of the glue guy on his line.
Nick Siffringer, #61 NJ Frozen Tide, 5-11/175, 2/18/00, Left Wing, Shoots Left - He’s not as skilled as his center, Cornell commit John Malone, but he plays a heavy game and makes an impact below the dot and near the goal. A few of the goals he scored were from right around the goal mouth on rebounds and loose pucks that he batted home.
Garrett Sundquist, #13 Selects Academy 15U, 6-2/187, 7/17/01, Defense, Shoots Left - He has good size, moved the puck well and played with a chip on his shoulder. He has length and did a nice job in both ends.
Artur Turansky, #17 Selects Academy 15U, 5-6/131, 7/21/01, Left Wing, Shoots Left - He had good vision and creativity with the puck. He’s still small and wasn’t quite dynamic enough to impact the game each shift, but he had some flashes. He made a nice pass out to the trailer on an odd man rush as he was coming down the left wing.
Eric Voloshin, #32 NH Avalanche (Full), 5-11/165, ‘00, Goalie, Catches Left - He skates well, is athletic and quick in the crease and did a good job getting square to shooters. He’s made national camp for both 15s and 16s, and is coming over to midgets from Bedford (NH) High School.
Noah Watkins, #28 Skipjacks, 6-0/160, ‘00, Center, Shoots Right - While centering the second line, he did a nice job protecting pucks and controlling possession down low. He sent out a nice pass to a linemate in the slot from below the goal line on Saturday.
Max Williams, #90 NJ Frozen Tide, 5-9/163, 5/23/00, Right Wing, Shoots Right - He didn’t show much offensive upside here, but that’s not to say he doesn’t have it. He did make an impact with his play in his own zone and being heavy on pucks, despite being on the smaller side. He broke up a few plays by backchecking and making stick checks in his own zone or through the neutral zone. He was able to get on pucks quickly with his speed.