This weekend, hundreds of the continents best amateur players descended on Foxborough, Walpole, Wrentham, and Rockland to take place in the Chowder Cup Jr hockey tournament, one of the elite high school tournaments in the entire nation. I didn't get the chance to go down either Thursday or Friday but I got down to Foxborough tonight to watch two teams, first the Cape Cod Whalers, a team loaded with local talent and coached by former Eagle Andrew Orpik. Headlining the Whalers was 2015 recruit Colin White and also current Eagle Teddy Doherty (the fact that he is still allowed to play in high school tournaments shows you how young our team is). Also on the squad were Harvard recruit Ryan Donato and Yale recruit Billy Sweezy, among others. I thought the two best players on the ice were by far and away White and Providence recruit Erik Foley (Tabor Academy). Sure, it's only a summer league tournament but it seemed like White was just tremendous, a level above everybody else. Physically, he is the totally opposite of former stars such as G and Nathan Gerbe. He's one of those guys that you look out there and instantly notice his size and the amount of speed and skill he posses for a guy of that stature. I can't really think of a recent player to compare him to because we haven't had a lot of 6'1 "star" forwards. He doesn't have the explosive step that Kreider has and as I said earlier he is to different of a player than Gerbe or G but no matter what style he plays, he is going to make a big impact on this hockey program. We obviously know what Doherty brings as we've seen him hundreds of times already @ the Heights, he looked fine today but his shot from the point is something that still needs a lot of work. The Whalers won their game and will play in the semifinals tomorrow.
After watching those guys, I got my first glances of Jeremy Bracco, Sonny Milano, and Noah Hanifin (I haven't seen Noah since he left the ISL, but I've obviously watched him before). Yes, it was basically a shinny game out there as the score was 9-9 but I couldn't stop giggling about how much skill these three have. Milano and Bracco didn't seem to want to play on the defensive half of the red line but when they got the puck, they were like Crosby and Malkin out there. In fact, they're #1 (Milano, 15 points) and #2 (Bracco, 14) in scoring throughout the entire tournament. If we could ever get Milano to stay two years to team up with Bracco, White, and Wood, I would make the case that we could beat a Hockey East all star team. I mean that squad is going to be LOADED.
I haven't had the chance to watch Zach Sanford this weekend but he is 7th in scoring with 7 goals and 3 assist so far this weekend. He is coming this fall.
I was at dinner a couple weeks ago and the person sitting next to me asked if I thought Hanifin would be our #1 defenseman by the Beanpot. I thought about it for a few seconds and replied with "No, second behind Matheson". Now I see why the staff wants these guys to develop with the USNTDP, he is so much stronger, so much faster, so much more skilled, than he was during his sophomore year @ St Sebs. People can talk about Golden Boy Eichel all they want, I mean the guy gets more publicity than Sidney Crosby but if the staff puts Noah in a position to succeed right away (meaning playing same minutes as Matheson/Santini/McCoshen, first power play unit, second PK unit, etc) then he will be the #2 overall pick in next years draft behind Conor McDavid. I've seen a couple of phenomenal defensemen come through this school and I think this kid has a chance to be the best there ever way, and yes, I know, we had a guy named Leetch come here.
I've always been a guy that likes to think in the "now" and not in the future but I am going to leave you with this thought.....
2015-16 Eagles 1st rounders (Hanifin*, White, Bracco, Milano*, Tuch) Matheson is gone.
2015-16 Eagles 2nd rounders- (Sanford, Santini*, McCoshen*, Demko,)
That's not even counting Calnan, Gilmour, Cangelsoi, Fitzgerald, and Miles Wood.
* means they could leave.
Have a good night. Go Eagles.