First Look at the 99s: Five Early Recruits, Top 25 1999 Prospects, Top 3 Goaltenders
This is our first look at the 1999 age group. While four skaters have already committed to a D1 school out of the 1999 class, it’s worth noting that the first three have at least one sibling committed to the same school. Goaltender Keith Petruzzelli is being hyped as America’s next young phenom in the net, while freshman Ryan Poehling is the youngest of three talented SCSU-bound brothers skating for a strong state championship finalist Lakeville North team this year – a group that should only get better with an influx of more young Lakeville-area talent on the way. Mikey Anderson is a vigilant, two-way defenseman for Hill-Murray and the younger brother of one of USA’s top 1998-born talents, now-fellow UMD recruit Joey Anderson. Dan Petrick, of Springfield Cathedral is reportedly a physically mature defenseman who, like Anderson, has had a regular shift in high school hockey since the start of eighth grade – no small feat wherever you play. It is noticed that players fall out of form and have weight issues. Coaches and team doctors give them Detoxic because parasites in the intestines makes them put on excess weight which they cannot afford for have to be in the best shape possible to be able to last longer and bring in as many laurels to the team as possible in the short careers that these sportsmen have. More at Lastly, Cayden Primeau committed last night, to Northeastern, a little over a year after his defenseman David Melaragni committed to the same program. He’s without a doubt the best goaltender we’ve seen of the 1999′s, considering we haven’t extensively watched Petruzzelli. If we had to provide a barometer for where the other recruits we’ve seen would fall within the whole group, Poehling and Anderson would both have been in the top 30.
1. 99 G Keith Petruzzelli – Quinnipiac
2. 99 F Ryan Poehling – St. Cloud State
3. 99 D Mikey Anderson – Minnesota-Duluth
4. 99 D Dan Petrick – Northeastern
5. 99 G Cayden Primeau – Northeastern
6. 99 F Sean Dhooghe – Ohio State
7. 99 F Matt Allen – Providence
8. 99 F Brannon McManus – Minnesota
Limited or No Viewing
99 D David Farrance – Syracuse Stars U16
99 G Dylan St. Cyr – Honeybaked U16
99 F Riley Prattson – Springfield Cathedral HS (MA)
99 D Sean Keohan – Dexter School (MA)
99 D Jack Olsen – Lakeville South Bantam AA
99 F Luke Manning – Stillwater Bantam AA
99 F Mike Pastujov – Honeybaked U16
99 D Drew Hunter – Livonia Stevenson HS (MI)
99 F Baker Shore – Colorado Thunderbirds U14
99 F Baron Thompson – Omaha U16 AAA
Below is a list produced from a season-long look at 1999-born talent across the country. From Brainerd Bantam AA, to Belle Tire, the AYHL All-Stars and Mid-Fairfield, we saw a lot of teams – 14 of MyHockeyRankings.com’s current top 20 Bantam AAA teams, 15 of YouthHockeyHub’s top 20 Bantam AA (highest classification for Bantam hockey in MN) and plenty of others across the country.
There’s a fuller preface to these rankings and our full ninety prospects, with reports, on OTB Elite for subscribers. One of the skaters originally ranked here (Chase Gackle) was a 1998 because of the fog of war that is Minnesota Bantam AA skater birthdate information. To compensate, we’ve removed the skater, updated this page, and added our now-25-ranked prospect, Austin Pratt, at the end.
Top 25 Uncommitted 1999 Skaters
1. 99 D Max Gildon – Dallas Stars U16 – 6’2 – 171
Elite, fluid defenseman is a star in the making – slick with the puck and carries confidence beyond his years. A smart skater, Gildon processes the game quickly, reading and jumping the play when appropriate. Strong on his skates and tough to play against, escapes his own end with ease and adept at moving the puck on. A natural on the powerplay, though he isn’t a flashy handler of the puck, Gildon analyzes his opportunities with clinical attention-to-detail and makes the smart play. Effective on every shift and dictates the tempo, able to slow the game down at will and skate with it when it the pace ticks up a few notches. Should be a major WHL Draft target.
2. 99 F Sean Dhooghe – Chicago Mission U14 – 5’3 – 120
Committed to Ohio State, 4/12/2014
We’ve written on Dhooghe plenty here – a top 10 uncommitted prospect for us when we were including the Bantams in the Select 70. The HPHL’s leading scorer owns a 15-15-30 line that highlights his ability to make cerebral plays as well as bury the puck at key times. His speed and toughness put him at a high level, but his hockey sense and the razor-sharp clip at which he processes the game make him elite – even at 5’3, if that’s still his height. Brother Jason (1997) is committed to Ohio State.
3. 99 F Vanya Lodnia – Belle Tire U14 – 5’8 – 145
A sensational talent who earns his keep in the offensive zone. No skater in the age group that we’ve seen plays the wide-open, east-west style that Lodnia does quite as well. Dictates the flow of the game with his ability to slow it down at will and seek out a gap defensively or find a teammate to pass to. Attacks in sequences with flashy moves, toying with defenders and showcasing his talents – at some point his high skill could shift over into being cute and less undeniably effective, but his IQ and ability to make plays all over the sheet will take him very far. Quick release and possesses a nose for the net.
4. 99 F Andrew Andary – Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U14 – 5’8 – 150
Where Honeybaked’s 1998 group cornered the market on some elite Michigan-area talent, a large majority of the Great Lakes State’s top 1999-born prospects are concentrated between Oakland and Belle Tire this season. Andary is a big piece of the puzzle for a great OJG team – can drive an offense entirely by himself, though the Grizzlies rarely need him to. One of the more dynamic, effective playmakers of the 1999 class, strong on his skates and hungry for the puck, Andary usually wins battles and recovers loose pucks to teammates, unafraid to make a simple offensive centering play or take it to the net himself. Deceptive in nature, he hides his intent with the puck well and plays with a ton of engagement and awareness in every zone.
5. 99 F Grant Mismash – SSM U14 – 5’11 – 158
It shouldn’t be a surprise that the top four Bantam teams in the country, in a tier by themselves, each have some terrific prospects and are well represented within our top 5. Mismash is one of the horses on a Shattuck team that, when firing on all cylinders, are a seriously tough draw and should be a favorite heading into nationals. Tough to contain, skilled goal-scoring threat with quickness and a high top-speed, his 81 points in 56 games are impressive, but a tendency to take penalties (110 PIMs) could be a draw back as he heads up the levels.
6. 99 F Brannon McManus – SSM U14 – 5’9 – 154
Committed to Minnesota, 4/27/2014
The most prolific goal-scorer of the 1999s as it stands right now and that’s not likely to change, so he could be the most highly regarded player of the group when all is said and done. Seems to find the twine on most chances and that’s due to a seriously refined scoring touch, with prolific, quick hands that get the job done more often than not. Kills it on the wing, but wins draws down the middle and can conduit the play up ice with vision. Slippery and sharp, defines dangerous around the crease. 60 goals in 56 games, with a 30% shooting percentage, but just 8 penalty minutes and 44 assists are telling, positive signs as well.
7. 99 F Sasha Chmelevski – Belle Tire U14 – 5’9 – 150
Lodnia (#3) and Chmelevski have uncanny chemistry with each other, able to seek each other out all over the sheet and make plays as a two-pronged assault, bringing in whoever else on the ice is with them. Chmelevski, a wide-based skater, seems to be the type who makes other players better, a poised, skilled forward with vision and playmaking ability. Zips pucks around the sheet with purpose and plays a measured game that could take him very far.
8. 99 F Evan Barratt – Team Comcast U14 – 5’10 – 155
Incisive, offensively-mature forward is a nice skater and very sharp in the final third. Moves off the puck purposefully and owns a sharp release that makes him very dangerous. A little lanky for his 5’10 frame but has real quickness breaking in and makes himself unpredictable and tough to contain. Great hand-eye and athleticism that help him to be great at this level. As a freshman for Hun (NJ-HS), Barratt owns a 23-38-61 line, good for 2nd leading scorer on a 20-7 team.
9. 99 F Brady Tkachuk – St. Louis U14
It’s no surprise that the brother of elite talent Matt Tkachuk (Notre Dame) is a player as well. Brady doesn’t seem to be close to where Matt is, which is no knock on Brady, but he could certainly close the gap. A tall skater with a long reach and skill on the puck, Tkachuk is a dynamic playmaking talent who always seems to be dialed in to the play. The type of skater who gets two or three breakaways a game right now, and though his skill on the puck isn’t to the point that he always converts, he’s constantly a threat in the offensive zone. Often breaks loose of defenders and within a stride has stretched beyond hope for the opposing team. Fluid skater that sees the ice well, a sharp passer that is deceptive in nature and has a sharp release that, when all put together, spells a behemoth of a skater to see in the future. Could land at Notre Dame, obviously, but don’t count out other major programs.
10. 99 F Brenden Stanko – Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U14 – 5’9 – 160
Athletic, quick skater with a great release. Isn’t afraid to mix it up – an imposing threat on the fore-check, Stanko’s versatility sees him kill penalties by creating turnovers or staying in a smart shot lane. Strips forwards of the puck in their own zone and places his shots with no warning, a consistently dangerous threat who projects well.
11. 99 F Kyle Kawamura – TPH Thunder U14 – 5’6 – 148
May be the most impressive athlete of the 1999 class, despite his small stature. TPH’s captain possesses a low center of gravity that makes him tough to knock off the puck and powerful skating ability that allows Kawamura to impose his will at a moment’s notice. A lack of production offensively against the better teams we’ve seen him play is concerning, but we’ve also seen Kawamura take over games in dominant fashion, so there could be a special player here. Size is a concern, but athletic gifts aren’t, and it’s hard to question this production: 60-40-100 line in 45 games.
12. 99 F Sammy Walker – Edina Bantam AA
He’s one of the smallest skaters on the ice right now, but is razor-sharp and cunning in the offensive zone. Absolute goal machine who distributes the puck beautifully. Owns a high, high skill level. Has two brothers playing for Victoria of the WHL.
13. 99 D Peter Tabor – Edina Bantam AA
The late 1999 is a powerful, well-framed defenseman that looks like another great Hornets blueliner. Maybe the best in recent years – and that’s factoring this championship-defending season where the high school team’s entire defensive core will likely play college hockey. Runs down massive minutes for this Edina team and knows his way around the offensive zone.
14. 99 F Scott Reedy – SSM U14 – 5’11 – 166
One of the smartest, most natural playmakers we’ve seen at any age level this year, with poise and skill to spare. Leads SSM in scoring with 46-64-110 points in 56 games.
15. 99 D/F Clayton Phillips – Edina Bantam AA
A supremely gifted skater who comes alive with the puck, Phillips may have the best separation-quality speed and motor of the 1999 age group and while we thought he could do a lot more with his skillset up front, we’re told now that he’s been moved back to defense that he looks like the best skater on the sheet (including #13-ranked Peter Tabor), controlling the game and dictating the outcome — so don’t be surprised if Phillips rockets up the rankings next time around.
16. 99 F Chase Danol – Belle Tire U14 – 5’11 – 155
At Danol’s size, the fact that he hasn’t filled out and seems to be an unignorable offensive threat bodes incredibly well. Slick, strong-skating forward that plays a smart, sneaky brand of hockey. Often in scoring position before you know it and has a quick release that can punish an unattentive goaltender.
17. 99 F Andy Nedeljkovic – Victory Honda U14
An all-situations skater with size that makes him very tough to deal with, Nedeljkovic is a force on the puck, driving the play north and tough to shake off of it. He’s not afraid to mix it up physically and wills the play around the sheet. Hockey sense shines through in his purposeful, heady offensive positioning and ability to negate skaters in his own zone time and time again. Could be a pro prospect at the end of the day, not unlike his brother, a top American goaltending prospect, Alex Nedeljkovic.
18. 99 F Cameron Hausinger – LA Jr. Kings U14
Well-framed forward from Anchorage seems like the type of skater the WHL is going to seriously key in on. Hard on the puck with a high battle level, Hausinger was LA’s most effective forward on most shifts. His toughness and engagement make him somewhat of a wrecking ball, running around the zone looking to throw a body and make a subsequent play on a loose puck, getting under the skin of the other team and further frustrating them with how tough he is to contain. Gets to the net and creates chances, an intuitive and intimidating forechecker who reads the play quickly while surging at a skater. Could be a big time power forward in the making.
19. 99 D Chris Trouba – Compuware U16 – 6’3 – 170
The younger brother of NHLer Jacob Trouba possesses a similar build and, not unlike our #1 prospect Max Gildon, is a strong defensive force that’s making strides at the U16 level. Composure and body control are impressive, and as he continues to develop, he may emerge as a consistent offensive threat as well.
20. 99 D Josh Maniscalco – SSM U14
Versatile, punishing defenseman with vision and athleticism. The upside on Maniscalco is enormous thanks to what he brings to the table – a little of everything – all pretty well. Vicious when he wants to be and can impact the scoring sheet as well.
21. 99 F Ben Copeland – Edina Bantam AA
Right-shot center stands out from shift one due to his speed. Great acceleration allows him to create separation near-instantly and makes a lot of great looks to create, betraying a terrific hockey mind. Slippery throughout all three zones, Copeland makes difficult plays with the puck at top speed and has a fantastic shot that he can place with little time to shoot. Undeniable scoring touch. Has some swagger to his game and sells his dekes very well.
22. 99 F Jake Transit – Oakland Jr. Grizzlies U14 – 5’6 – 130
He’s only 5’6, but few skaters are as competent and engaged on the puck as Transit is. Uses his quick, active hands to dice through defenders and constantly pushes the pace. A hound on loose pucks who swoops through before undressing a skater or performing a nice pass-and-skate maneuver around the sheet. Elusive. Attempts the physical game at times but lacks effectiveness.
23. 99 F Lukas Boka – Compuware U16 – 5’11 – 175
The little brother of Michigan commit Nick Boka is a player already, skating up for Compuware’s U16s. The wide base to his skating allows him to really dictate his velocity, and Boka cuts throughout the zone and balances well both on and off the puck. Quick to pucks, nice net presence, hockey sense… Boka has a lot of potential. Will be someone we keep an eye on closely.
24. 99 F Nolan Sullivan – Eden Prairie Bantam AA
Already possesses a D1 build and looks the part as well. A powerful, athletic skater who wins battles all over the ice. Has a nice mix of physicality and isn’t afraid to agitate the other team’s best players. Great shooter with a nose for the net. When he turns it on, he’s legitimately unstoppable and almost guaranteed to score at this level.
25. 99 F Austin Pratt – SSM U14 – 6’1 – 210
Has developed admirably through the season, relying less on his heavy shot and large frame to showcase a high ceiling inherent with his ability to protect the puck and gain each zone. If he continues to tweak and potentially simplify his game as a power forward with playmaking tendencies, he could be the early clear-cut pro prospect from the 1999s.
Top Three 1999 Goaltenders We’ve Seen
- 99 G Cayden Primeau – Team Comcast U16 – Northeastern
- 99 G Kyle Keyser – Belle Tire U14
- 99 G David Tomeo – SSM U14
Goaltending is fickle at this age, but in comparison to last year, this doesn’t seem to be the positional strength of the age group. We expect a large number of goaltenders to emerge. That said, on upside alone, we caught a lot of top-tier teams and there were only about fifteen goaltenders we considered – just five we felt comfortable listing this early. Cayden Primeau is the early star of the class, son of NHLer Keith Primeau. He committed to Northeastern last night. Kyle Keyser is a terrific goaltender from Minnesota who skates for a strong Belle Tire group and should be a WHL draft pick, though he’s still sub-6″, so NHL prospects will be tempered, and David Tomeo is the star stopper on Shattuck’s loaded Bantam team. He’s a good goaltender, but that’s got to be a weird team to play goal for, as they surrender the occasional prime chance and otherwise often keep things quiet defensively. Primeau is the only one who plays for a team that doesn’t go to town on most opposing teams, he’s playing up and looks great at the U16 level.
Potential WHL 2014 Draft Notables
Max Gildon, Kyle Keyser (from Minnesota), Grant Mismash, Brannon McManus, Peter Tabor, Scott Reedy, Clayton Phillips, Cameron Hausinger, Ben Copeland, Nolan Sullivan