I'll be the first one to admit it, I probably underrate some recruits and overrate others, mainly because of the amount of time I have watched some and not others. I live in Chestnut Hill, so I don't get a chance to watch recruits out in Ann Arbor (I'm not that crazy, I don't fly out to Michigan to watch recruits), but I always try and get to any local games that involves any potential recruits. Don't get me wrong, I watched Noah Hanifin a lot while he played @ St.Sebastian's, heck I probably went to every game over the course of his sophomore season but like I've said in past posts, it is getting difficult to measure the quality of players in the ISL mainly because the product of the league has gone so far down due to the rise of the USHL/EJHL/BCHL etc.
Listen, I watched Noah twice this summer and I left the rink thinking he was by far and away the best player on the ice but like anyone else would, I've always been curious as to how his talent would translate onto the ice @ Kelly Rink. I saw him practice for the first time yesterday and I know it's just a one hour session with no real flow to it yet but I'm telling you right now, you won't believe how good this kid is. I'm sure Jack Eichel is a tremendous hockey player and he will do great things down the street but the amount of attention he receives compared to Noah is just typical Hockey East media bias towards BC.
I'm not going to go out and say Noah's going to be the next Bobby Orr or Nick Lidstrom but there is one thing I can say with very little hesitance, he will be one of, if not the best, defensemen in Hockey East this year. Everyone always talks about an "adjusting period" for freshmen and I think both Sanford and Tuch will have a little bit of that, but Noah? Not so much. He looked like a man playing with kids during some of those drills. When was the last time you saw a defensemen that was 6'3, 200 pounds, and was without a doubt one of the best skaters on the ice?
I know we are all worried about the lack of scoring up front and trust me, I can understand why but adding this kid to what was already the best returning D core of the Coach York era is a huge boost for the team's chances at a National Title. Again, I know he hasn't even played a game yet and I just watched about thirty minutes of practice but a freshman doesn't show up on day one @ this program and look like the best player out there unless he is something totally unique. I don't know how long he will be at BC, getting him for more than a year would be icing on the cake but I'm telling you right now, this kid is going to have as big an impact on this program as anyone that has ever put on that uniform. Trust me.
Oh and he is the youngest player in the history of the program. Go figure.