With the prep hockey season winding down, now is a good time to look at the top uncommitted 2000-born prospects in New England. Here are the top 12 uncommitted '00s in prep hockey followed by some honorable mention players.
1. Jack Babbage, #24 Avon Old Farms, Soph., Defense, Shoots Left, 8/30/00, 6-0/180 - The Tully, NY native has started to develop his game in a major way this year. He’s shown flashes and the raw physical ability over the past few years, but it’s all coming to him now. He has good size and mobility and joins the rush. He does an excellent job of containing opposing forwards with his closing speed and reach. His footwork is getting better and he moves the puck well — both by skating and passing. The only area for concern is he needs to think the game a little better. He’s earning interest from a few Hockey East teams. He’s property of the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL and the Flint Firebirds in the OHL.
2. Kevin Wall, #20 Salisbury, Jr., Right Wing, Shoots Right, 2/1/00, 6-0/187 - The Fairport, NY native has the size and physical tools needed to garner a Division I commitment, but he’s not yet put it all together on a consistent basis. One game he’ll be absolutely dominant, but he’ll be less noticeable the next. He’s a power forward who plays a strong north-south game. He has a good shot and plays well below the dots. He has above average hands especially for a player of his size. He stickhandles well through traffic and protects the puck by switching sides. A third round pick of Madison in 2016 USHL Futures Draft, he’s gaining Hockey East interest. He’s also property of the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL.
3. Connor Sweeney, #20 Pingree, Soph., Left Wing, Shoots Left, 5/5/00, 6-1/175 - His improvement over the last 12 months is remarkable. He's developed an explosiveness to his game that allows him to create time and space to get off his hard shot. Simply put, he's a power forward who can really zip the puck. He protects it well and has been a dominant force this season for the Highlanders. He's gaining interest from a few Hockey East and ECAC Hockey schools, including an Ivy. The North Andover, Mass. native is on the affiliate list of the Muskegon Lumberjacks in the USHL. He's the son of former BC great and retired NHLer Bob Sweeney.
4. Tristan Amonte, #3 Thayer, Jr., Center, Shoots Right, 2/2/00, 5-7/150 - He's another player who has come a long way over the past year. He still needs to bulk up, but he will in time. He's shifty and makes good passes. He thinks the game very well offensively. Despite his small frame, he's not afraid to go below the goal line to fight for pucks and dish them out front. The Youngstown Phantoms affiliate is the younger brother of BU commit Ty Amonte and the son of Tony, his prep coach and former BU and NHL star.
5. Alex DiPaolo, #28 Salisbury, Jr., Center, Shoots Left, 4/28/00, 6-0/176 - The Oakville, Ontario native is one of the better two-way centers in prep hockey this winter. He has a quick stick and wins face-offs, skates well and thinks the game at an above average pace. He's a good passer, but his offensive skill set is still somewhat of a work in progress. He plays well below the dots and along the boards. The sixth round pick of Kingston in the OHL Draft is being tracked by a few schools.
6. Riley Hughes, #19 St. Sebastian’s, Soph., Right Wing, Shoots Right, 6/27/00, 6-1/150 - He still needs to become less of a perimeter player, but he's shown some signs of really reaching his potential this winter. He has an elite shot and has scored a few highlight reel snipes this winter. He's made a few visits to Hockey East schools. His father is sports agent and former Middlebury hockey player Kent Hughes. Sioux Falls Stampede own his USHL rights.
7. Hunter McCoy, #16 Exeter, Soph., Center, Shoots Left, 8/1/00, 5-11/175 - He's a good skater who took a major step forward in his game over last summer. He is a great passer and creates offense from all over the sheet. He has good hand-eye coordination and the necessary explosiveness for a player of his size. He plays a heavy game and isn't afraid to muck it up in corners and in front of the net. He's absolutely a Division I player in the future.
8. Wyatt Schlaht, #10 St. Sebastian’s, Soph., Left Wing, , Shoots Left, 6/4/00, 6-1/190 - He has battled injuries during the prep season, but he's a big power forward who can skate. He has a hard shot, wins puck battles and is north-south type player. He can bull his way into the scoring areas and plays a heavy game. He cycles, backchecks and thinks the game at a high level. A few ECAC Hockey schools have been on him for a while and his best hockey is still ahead of him as he projects to get better. Lincoln has him on its affiliate list and Chicoutimi has his QMJHL rights.
9. Phip Waugh, #4 Trinity-Pawling, Soph., Defense, Shoots Left, 1/10/00, 6-4/210 - He's a big defenseman who is still very raw, but he's made a visit to a Hockey East school and is talking to at least one other. The Virginia native is mobile, but needs to work on his skating. He has a good reach, an intriguing skill set and plays with a mean streak. He needs to continue developing his skating and how he sees the ice, but the potential is there.
10. Liam Gorman, #15 St. Sebastian’s, Soph., Center, Shoots Left, 5/8/00, 6-1/174 - He's a big forward who doesn't have the offensive skill set that college teams are necessarily looking for, but he has the intangibles that make him intriguing. He plays a heavy game in all three zones and likes to throw his weight around. He's a guy that can plant himself in front of the attacking net for screens and tips. He's good on face-offs.
11. Tommy Lyons, #20 St. Sebastian’s, Soph., Center, Left Shot, 4/1/00, 6-0/165 - His size and hockey IQ are his two best attributes. He has a good shot that he gets off quickly, but he does a good job of getting into positions and seeing the ice offensively. He plays a heavy game and is on the affiliate list of the Bloomington Thunder.
12. Thomas Gale, #33 Deerfield, Soph., Goalie, Catches Left, 6/10/00, 6-0/170 - He gained a lot of interest following the Flood-Marr Tournament where he led his team to the title. The Kirkland, Quebec native has good reflexes, tracks pucks well and is a smooth skater in the crease. He's probably a fringe player between an Ivy or other ECAC school and the NESCAC.
Honorable Mention (Alphabetical Order)
Cedric Andree, #29 Gunnery, Jr., Goalie, Catches Left, 5-10/152, 6/7/00 - He's a little undersized, but he moves well and is an athletic goalie who can make game-changing saves. The Orleans, Ontario native is a dual-citizen of Canada and Netherlands. He was picked in the 12th round of the 2016 OHL Draft by the Ottawa 67s.
Drew Bavaro, #22 Lawrence, Soph., Defense, Shoots Right, 6/10/00, 6-2/180 - He's the younger brother of Sacred Heart freshman Vito Bavaro. He's a defenseman with good size who can chip in offensively. His defensive play needs to improve to get a commitment, but he has potential. He's an affiliate of the Sioux City Musketeers.
James Davenport, #14 St. Sebastian’s, Soph., Defense, Shoots Right, 8/3/00, 5-11/160 - He's a good skater who sees the ice well offensively from the back end. He retrieves pucks, can break the puck out with passing and skating and moves it up in transition. He has good vision, but hasn't been quite good enough in his own zone during the prep season.
Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, #11 Moses Brown, Fr., Left Wing, Shoots Left, 9/16/00, 5-10/170 - He's tearing it up on the score sheet during the prep season, albeit against lesser competition than many of the top prospects. This observer hasn't seen him since the fall split-season and summer hockey, but he's a gritty forward who creates offense through his work ethic. He's quick, not afraid to fight for loose pucks and go into the dirty areas.
James Perullo, #10 Belmont Hill, Soph., Defense, Shoots Left, 6/10/00, 5-10/160 - He skates well and is an offensive defenseman, but he's a little on the small side. He sees the ice, joins the rush, makes good passes and gets pucks through from the point. He's not dynamic enough to be a sure-fire Division I player, but he could be a really good NESCAC recruit or a fringe Division I prospect as an older freshman.
Robert Radochia, #5 Belmont Hill, Soph., Defense, Shoots Left, 4/1/00, 6-0/163 - He's less offensively inclined than his frequent defensive partner, but he's an above average skater who plays solidly in his own zone. He's not flashy, but he makes smart breakout passes. He has good gaps and has a good first step.