2015 NHL Draft Prospects
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09-17-2011, 11:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
here's parts of the article from the Lowell Sun:
CHELMSFORD -- He hasn't even begun high school, but every Division 1 college hockey program knows -- or should know -- of him. He won't turn 15 until late October, but Jack Eichel has been the leading goal scorer at a national tournament loaded with 17, 18 and 19 year olds.
"He'll go to any college he wants to. I think he really has the potential to be a pro," his coach, Chris Masters said. "I don't think there's anybody at this point who doesn't know him. He's pretty special."
Last month, competing against his peers at USA Hockey's Select 15 Player Development Camp in Rochester, N.Y., the North Chelmsford resident was ranked the No. 1 performer by United States Hockey Report. (He played five games at the camp, the last four with a broken toe.)
Yeah, the 14-year-old Eichel has a bright future.
"I thought I did pretty well," Eichel said. "Not bad, I guess."
He is as modest as he is talented.
Eichel (pronounced eye-kell), who plays center and wing, will begin his freshman year
at Chelmsford High later this month, but he won't play hockey for the Lions. For the second straight year, he will skate for the Boston Junior Bruins Empire team, a squad he led to a national title last spring.
Then it will be off to Ann Arbor, Mich., where he has an offer to join USA Hockey's National Team Development Program.
After that? Expect a feeding frenzy among Division 1 college hockey powerhouses.
A year ago, he stood 5-foot-9 and weighed 145 pounds. Now he is 6 feet, 170 pounds, and still growing.
"I don't think there's really a ceiling," said Masters, his coach with the Junior Bruins. "If there's a Division 1 hockey program in this country that doesn't offer him, I think they should have their head examined."
He showed a knack for scoring and drew the interest of the Boston Junior Bruins. He was 13 late last summer when he joined the Junior Bruins in a league which allows players up to age 20 to play. He failed to score a goal in his first 13 games.
Following a rough weekend in New Jersey against the aptly-named Hitmen, a two-game series in which he was hit all over the ice and failed to register a point, he drove home with his family when his father, Bob, asked if joining the Junior Bruins was too big a jump.
"It was really frustrating," Eichel said. "I was used to scoring regularly."
Eichel didn't quit, however, and by the end of the regular season the youngest player on the team had collected 36 points in 40 games. He was far from satisfied -- and far from done scoring.
At the USA Hockey Junior B National Tournament, the tournament's youngest player caught fire. In six games, he finished with nine goals (most in the tournament) and 15 points (second most).
"It was really something else," Masters said.
"I was trying to keep my game simple. To say the least, I was lucky," countered Eichel. "I started to get more comfortable."
In the semifinals, with the game tied in overtime, Eichel circled the net and stuffed a shot past the Long Island goaltender, putting his team in the national finals.
"It was a real highlight-reel goal," Masters said.
In the championship game, the Junior Bruins topped the New Hampshire Junior Monarchs in a 3-2 double-overtime classic in which Eichel netted a goal and assist.
"It was incredible. It shows you how much our team came along," he said.
Counting playoffs, he averaged a point a game in 63 games.
Leaving his mark
Eichel made his presence known during the first game of the Select 15 camp. Playing against kids his own age for a change, he dominated with a two-goal, two-assist performance. After the game, players from his team staged a water balloon fight. Eichel took off his shoes and, with an embarrassing grin, he tells how he struck his foot against a sewer drain.
The pain was excruciating. He was told that he had broken a toe. However, he kept icing the injury and a trainer taped two of his toes together, limiting the pain. He played in the rest of his team's practices and four games.
At week's end, a United States Hockey Report staff member ranked the camp's top 50 players and ranked Eichel the best overall player and No. 1 forward.
"I guess that's a pretty good compliment," he said, "to have someone list me the top kid out there. There were so many good kids out there. It definitely motivates you. Just because you're the top player, that doesn't mean you're going to stay there."
That's where hard work comes in and Eichel isn't afraid to work.
Last week, he worked out Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday for two hours at Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning in North Andover. He also skated for an hour Tuesday and Thursday night with several college and pro players at Stoneham Arena.
Looks like the kid is gonna be something special. Should be interesting to watch develop.
Last edited by sigx15: 09-17-2011 at
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