AJHL All-Star Game; Watson A Humanitarian; Hockey’s Future Evaluations

On Sunday I ventured over to Walpole to watch the Atlantic Junior All-Star Game featuring future Minutemen Kevin Boyle and Chris DelMauro.  This was my first time where I was really able to watch DelMauro as he hadn’t committed when I previously had gone to see the New Jersey Rockets play in New Hampshire.  He has decent size at 6’1″, 180.  His line (with two other Rocket linemates) started the game for the South team.  Overall I thought he played well.  He looks to be a grinder type player with some offensive skill, maybe similar to Scott Crowder.  Since it was an All-Star Game most players weren’t playing overly physical so I wasn’t able to see that aspect of his game.  He skates very well and seems quite athletic.  At one point he was skating through the slot when one of his teammates shot for the point and he jumped at least two feet in the air as to not block the shot and landed without missing a stride, drawing some “Ohs” from the crowd.  He seemed to play smart, was well positioned, and had good vision of the ice both on offense and defense.  He almost became a hero toward the end of the game when his team was down 2-1 and he received a pass on the break and got off a nice skill shot only to have it clang off the post.

Kevin Boyle played the third period of the game.  Unfortunately he entered with his team down 1-0 and quickly gave up a goal five hole to Mercyhurst recruit Tommy Thompson.  But he settled down after that and played well, having to come up with a couple tough saves.  One save that stood out was a slapshot up high that he was able to get a piece of, it deflected back and bounced off the glass in back of him.  He had the wherewithal to turn and follow the puck and thus was ready to catch the puck in his glove as it otherwise would’ve bounced off him and in.

There were a few uncommitted recruits that caught my eye but the one that stood out the most was David Bondra from the Washington Junior Nationals.  Yes, Peter Bondra’s son.  He looked good all over the ice and was able to get the South’s lone goal on a penalty shot where he put a nice half-slapshot in the perfect spot high corner.  I’m not sure if he’s planning on going the college or major junior route, but maybe he’s a kid that Toot is targeting.

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Congrats to captain Brett Watson who was named one of the nominees for the Hockey Humanitarian Award.  The award goes to a men’s or women’s hockey player who gives back to their community and is seen as college hockey’s finest citizen.  Also representing Hockey East are Lowell’s Barry Goers and UNH’s Bobby Butler while Kirsten Dier of crosstown Amherst College was also nominated.  Watson has been heavily involved in the Big Brother/Big Sister program while at UMass and has even recruited teammates to volunteer as well.

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The most recent USCHO Bracketology has UMass as the #2 seed in the Fort Wayne regional.  Interesting to note that if the tournament started today the ECAC would be on equal ground with the CHA and Atlantic Hockey in terms of number of bids with one.

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Martin Nolet is talked about in this Hockey’s Future article covering the L.A. Kings prospects in the NCAA.  Justin Braun is covered in their article on the college prospects of the San Jose Sharks.  Lastly, here’s their coverage of the New York Rangers prospects including Danny Hobbs.

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Jon Quick was an Honorable Mention for NHL Player of the Month for January.  He was 10-3-0 for the month.

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