Milton, Mass. — In a sloppy back-and-forth game Wednesday afternoon, Lawrence Academy scored the final four goals of the game to defeat Milton Academy, 6-3.
A pair of 2017 NHL Draft prospects, Neil Shea and Jack Cameron, both had helping hands in the victory for the Spartans on the same day they were listed in the NHL Central Scouting Mid-Term Rankings.
Shea, a Northeastern commit from Marshfield, Mass., is a left wing on LA’s top line. He was rated as the 196th best North American skater.
Cameron was listed as the 216th best North American skater. A Nova Scotian native, the right defenseman is committed to Dartmouth.
The top prospect on the ice was Boston University commit Braden Doyle. An ‘01 defenseman who played for Shattuck St. Mary's Bantam team last year, he is a lock to be invited to USA Hockey’s NTDP Evaluation Camp in March. He will be eligible for the USHL and QMJHL drafts as well.
Maine recruit Craig Needham had a goal. The first line center for LA, he's a ‘99 and first year eligible, but his game projects to be a better college player than a pro type forward. He's a very good skater who could be a nice second or third line center for the Black Bears.
Milton Academy isn’t as strong as it was a year ago when Paul Cannata’s team lost in the NEPSIHA Elite Tournament final to Gunnery. The Mustangs’ top player is Buddy Mrowka, a puck-moving defenseman who is committed to play baseball at Harvard. Milton has a few other NESCAC candidates, including a few who are already committed.
The following are the notes generated on the three top prospects:
Neil Shea, #27 Lawrence Academy, Left Wing, Shoots Left, 7/29/99, 6’1"/195 (Northeastern) - He had three assists and could have easily had three goals, but he was a little snakebit with the puck on his stick around the net today. He's a smart player who makes good passes and makes players around him better. He plays in all situations for the Spartans. He created an odd man chance for himself after winning a puck battle at his defensive blue line while killing a penalty. He chipped the puck past the defender and raced down the other way, but didn't convert. A few minutes later he had the puck with a two-on-one, but didn't pass the puck and as he slowed down to shoot, a backchecker picked his pocket. He read a play well and came away with the puck in the neutral zone on Doyle’s second goal. After gaining the zone he dropped it to the defenseman who sent laser right under the bar. He added another assist in garbage time by giving Tim Kent a look from just to the left of the net. Shea’s one weakness is his shot, but he sees the ice well and makes some really good passes off the wall. Down the line he projects as a bottom six forward who can be heavy on pucks. He's a really rugged kid who would fit that role well if he continues to develop. Like his brother, Florida Panthers prospect and Maine freshman forward Pat Shea, he's probably worth a pick in the seventh round for the right team.
Jack Cameron, #4 Lawrence Academy, Defenseman, Shoots Right, 4/18/99, 6’3"/180 (Dartmouth) - Despite scoring the game-tying goal towards the end of the second period, this wasn't a good game for the Big Green commit. He's capable of playing better. He was caught out of position on Milton’s third goal. His goal was scored in transition, as he let go a wrister from right inside the blue line on the right side. He didn't really grind going back to retrieve pucks for most of the game, but he had one really good shift with about three minutes to play in regulation. He used his stick three times to poke the puck away down low and delivered a good hit that broke up the play to the left of his goalie. Today wasn't his best showing, but he possesses the physical tools that intrigue observers. Even on his best day, he's likely just going to be a good college player who will go undrafted, but might be a free agent candidate down the road.
Braden Doyle, #9 Lawrence Academy, Defenseman, Left Shot, 8/24/01, 5’10"/165 (Boston University) - He scored two goals and it was my best viewing of him in a long time. His physical tools are very good, and always are. His skating, vision and puck-moving capabilities are consistently excellent. However, what stood out today was his poise and composure for being an ‘01 in prep. He didn't rush things and didn't appear intimidated going into corners with older players. Obviously he lacks a little bit of strength when going against ‘98s. His second goal put LA up by two and was a thing of beauty. He picked up a drop pass and sent a laser right under the bar. He has a good stick and makes crisp passes right on the tape of his teammates. He's a classic puck-transporting defenseman. The only knock on him came on a play in the third period when he lunged at a forward leaving the zone and missed, leading to a two-on-one for Milton. He has a legitimate chance to make the NTDP and be a top three round NHL pick in 2019.