Tyngsborough, Mass. — After a somewhat evenly played first period, the Islanders broke out in the final two frames for an easy 11-1 win over the Cyclones in USPHL 16U action on Tuesday night at Skate 3.
Nate Bostic’s team has two very good lines for this level. The top line is centered by Canadian Marcus Joughin with the team’s top prospect, Alex Jefferies, playing his off wing on the left side. Nicholas Niemo, who had a big night offensively, occupies the right wing spot. Big Ben McGlashing centers the second line.
Frank O’Connor’s Cyclones are better than they showed Tuesday night, but they were simply over-matched. The Islanders should be in a fight with the Junior Bruins for the top spot in the North Division.
#8 Islanders, 11/8/01, LW, Shoots Right, 5-10/161, Lunenburg, Mass.
Jefferies' line was dominant in an 11-1 win. He has an explosive stride, playing his off-wing in this game. He scored a couple of goals with the highlight reel one coming in the third. He came off the left wing wall, drove the middle and sniped a shot just under the bar. He has a heavy shot that he gets off quickly. He does a good job of finding seams and penetrating the scoring areas. Undrafted this past year, his play tonight was deserving of a late round USHL Phase II pick. He's the type of player that could be a good, older freshman for the right Hockey East or ECAC Hockey school. He'd be a big pickup for most Atlantic Hockey schools.
#97 Islanders, 7/5/01, C, Shoots Left, 5-9/154, Tecumseh, Ontario
This was my first viewing of Joughin, who has played north of the border previously. He was able to control possession for his team with his skating and poise. He forced a turnover on one of his goals with a quick stick and strong puck pursuit. He has a quick release and knew where to go with the puck. There's a lot to like about his game. He's a player to keep an eye on as he faces stiffer competition. He went undrafted in both the OHL and USHL this past spring.
#9 Cyclones, 6/21/01, RW, Shoots Right, 6-1/165, Bedford, N.H.
Destefani assisted on his team's only goal of the night. He carried the puck up ice, blowing by a defender down the left wing. He drew the defender over before finding an open teammate coming down the middle for a fairly easy finish. His skating is very good. His compete level and ability to penetrate into the scoring areas both need to improve in order to be successful at the next level. That could come once he bulks up. He’s the younger brother of Merrimack commit and Waterloo Black Hawks forward Ethan Destefani, a ‘99. Undrafted in 2017, his skating ability could intrigue a USHL organization into selecting him late in the 2018 USHL Phase II Draft.
#53 Islanders, 2/25/01, C/RW, Shoots Right, 6-3/175, Arlington, Mass.
McGlashing has good size and scored two goals and assisted on another. He's heavy on pucks, forechecks well, and can disrupt a breakout with his reach and strength. He did a good job digging a puck out from behind the attacking goal on a score in the second period. On the last goal of the game, he split the two defenders and made a nice, strong finish on his forehand. He lacks elite hands and he needs to improve his first step. His size and potential to develop into a power forward are intriguing. Projecting his game out, he is somewhat comparable to recent Merrimack alum and former Ottawa Senators pick Chris Leblanc. He went undrafted in the USHL Phase I Draft, but was picked in the ninth round of the QMJHL Draft by Quebec Remparts.
#11 Cyclones, 3/11/01, D, Shoots Right, 6-0/165, Windham, N.H.
What you got Tuesday night is what you usually see with Hurrell. He logged a lot of ice time. He made a few big hits, including one play where he stepped up to prevent the opposing left wing from breaking the puck out. He's strong and has decent mobility, but he lacks stamina. His play falls off during shifts. He’s previously had some interest from Division I schools due to his compete and mean streak on the blue line. He went undrafted in the USHL Phase I Draft.