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Scouting Kevin Boyle

On Sunday I took the opportunity to drive to New Hampshire to watch goaltending recruit Kevin Boyle and his New Jersey Rockets take on the Northern Cyclones as part of a Thanksgiving Showcase event.  Boyle is having a strong first season in the Junior A Atlantic Junior Hockey League with a 2.55 GAA and a .919 save percentage, as well as two shutouts in his 11 starts.

Boyle is a butterfly-style goalie with decent size.  He’s listed as six foot, but I thought he may be even a little taller.  His defense didn’t do him many favors in the first as they continued to let Cyclone forwards skate into the slot at will and take multiple shots on net.  At one point the shots totals were 12-1 in favor of the Cyclones and it wasn’t long before Boyle had given up three short proximity goals.  The good news is that at least two of them were after he not only made the intial save, but stopped a point blank followup before the third attempt got by him.  He didn’t allow another goal after the defensive problems in the first and ended up with 21 saves in 50 minutes of play.

One thing that impressed me was how fast he was able to drop down into the butterfly stance.  Once down he showed good lateral movement from post to post and was lightning fast with his legs on the kicksave and blocked a number of close up rebounds this way.  He seemed to be able to get back up on his skates without a lot of delay.  The Cyclones almost exclusively shot low on him so I got to see his padwork quite a bit but didn’t get to see a lot of shots to his glove or blocker.  He did put out a quick glove on one breakaway where the skater went far side and was able to stop it but not catch it cleanly as it trickled just wide of the net.  He seems capable of playing the puck but didn’t venture too far away from the crease.  His positioning seemed very solid and never seemed to have a tough time seeing the puck.

Overall I liked what I saw, though I wish the other team had tested him up high more so I could have a better opinion of his overall skills.  From what I’ve read it’s still up in the air whether he’ll be in Amherst next season or the following year.  As he’s only 17 It may be a good idea for him to delay another year and perhaps play in the USHL where he can continue to develop against tougher competition.  But in my non-expert opinion I liked what I saw and have no reason to believe he can’t contribute at the college level.

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Here’s an article on Jon Quick from the Orange County Register.

SI.com has an article on the links between the NHL and college hockey.  The story also mentions that a revamped Icebreaker Tournament will begin next season in St. Louis.

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4 Comments

  1. justin

     /  December 1, 2009

    I think the question, if people think he could be ready next year, is whether he would be better served by going to the USHL (or another ‘higher’ league) for a season, or backing up Dainton for a season.

    Driving to NH to scout 17 year olds? You’re a machine, man. 🙂

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    • I think it’d be better if he went to the USHL where he’d get a ton of game experience as opposed to sitting on the bench in Amherst. Ideally I think he would be in the USHL currently and then backup Dainton next year, but it didn’t work out that way. I think it’d be hard for him to jump right from Tier III junior hockey to college.

      It was BARELY in NH. 😉

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  2. John Lyons

     /  January 7, 2010

    WHat is the story with Devin Tringale from Lawrence Academy? There was a lot of talk about this kid at the Cushing Tournament that he was interesting in Umass Amherst.

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