Hitting The Links: 1998s keep going, Denver goes hard in Western Canada
Florida Jr. Everblades product Austin Cangelosi scored two opening goals against Wisconsin this weekend, so fill yourself in on BC’s newest ‘undersized’ superstar with this piece from BC blog Conte Confidential: The Pride of Estero, Austin Cangelosi Aims to be Difference-Maker at BC.
Three Big Commits
Eastern schools were pretty active this week (as was Denver, who picked up three nice gets from Western Canada), as three 1998-born forwards committed to play their college puck on the East Coast. Two went Hockey East, Springfield Cathedral’s Johnny Leonard and Shaun Bily (Honeybaked U16), who is currently on the IR, while Johnny DeRoche sounds like he could be one of the most elusive, perfect-for-college skaters with an elite skillset and work ethic packed into a smaller frame. That description reportedly fits Denver’s newest 1997 commit as well, Liam Finlay, who is one of British Columbia’s most prolific 1997s and pulled the trigger on his decision to be a Pioneer a few days ago. Robert Morris netted a nice get in Olds Grizzlys captain Spencer Dorowicz, a 20-year-old forward, while Ohio State snagged an AJHLer of their own in Sherwood Park’s Nick Jones, who has hit this season running and looks to be a really nice get.
There will be many more 1998s to come – a large number of marquee prospects still remain and many more have yet to emerge – but with so many going already, one has to ask, will we see a 1999 commit before the year is over? There are certainly some candidates, and it wouldn’t surprise us too much the way recruiting is going right now.
1. 98 F Johnny DeRoche commits to Quinnipiac
2. 98 F Johnny Leonard commits to UMass
3. 97 F Liam Finlay commits to Denver
Five Rising Uncommitteds
1. 99 F Kyle Kawamura – TPH Thunder Bantam Major
Kawamura’s a driven, killer-instinct skater with a finesse player’s skillset and hockey IQ tucked into a compact, energy player body. Runs down the other team with purpose and makes some really jaw-dropping plays on and around the puck. Elite skater is going to end up at a major program.
2. 98 D Cam Dineen – NJ Rockets U19
Early reports from the Beantown Classic out East are that Cam Dineen is showing up some of the nation’s best 98 defensemen with some seriously strong play.
3. 98 D Casey Staum – Hill-Murray
Speaking of emerging top 98s, Staum put himself on our radar in a big way with a pretty much mistake-less game for the MN Blades against SSM’s U16 squad and is going to be one to really watch in Minnesota HS hockey this year. The smooth, polished defender makes tons of plays and has a feel for the puck. Red Line Report’s Dan Shrader proposed that he should be right up there with top uncommitted (#20) Matt Kiersted and after this weekend, it’s tough to disagree.
4. 96 F Austin McIlmurray – Selects Hockey Academy at South Kent U18
Another Beantown Classic stand-out, McIlmurray was described to us as a ‘smart forward who does a lot of things right. Hockey sense, strong on his feet, and just makes plays. Not overly dynamic, but the 5’10 skater is always around the puck and Selects’ second best player after UConn commit Karl El-Mir.’
5. 96 G Al Rogers – Selects Hockey Academy at South Kent U18
From the same game as McIlmurray, Rogers is a stand-out netminder with a .929 save percentage to back it up.
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