Top 1997-born players in NB
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08-04-2012, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
I'm not sold on Conrad or Downey, but I'm not sure who'd take a spot from one of them. Maybe Tristan Young or Riley Scott. They, at least, are likely to make a midget major team (Miramichi). I don't see Conrad or Tingley making the Moncton team, which is deep with returnees, and I expect other players will pass them by playing midget major while they toil in HS or midget minor. Downey will be hard-pressed to make the SJ team, also.
Fredericton and Miramichi will likely both have very young teams this year, some kids that make those teams are unlikely to end up on u16 over players who are stronger today but will play Sept-Jan at a lower level of competition.
Someone said this event didn't get the top kids out. I have to disagree. There were only a few absences of note, including Jacob (recovering from surgery), Belec (overseas with family), Buck (not sure: he is NOT going to Shattuck, by the way) and Ostroski (don't think he's ever done the HNB program: certainly he passed on u15). Hayward suffered a serious spinal cord injury in the spring and is out of the picture, at least for a year. Robinson was there but not in games (concussion), and Deschenes there for only the first two days (sick). Yes, the pool of forwards was thin, but who was missing? The pool is what it is.
In my respectful opinion, the 12 D at the camp, plus Ostroski, are the top 12. We can argue ad infinitum about their relative ranking, but I think they shift day to day. Except that Thompson, Paul and Deschenes are clearly ahead of the others (with Deschenes sliding back to the back), and Ward, Hachey and Robinson behind. Cloutier, Becker, Comeau, Robichaud and MacDougall are the middle of the pack, from where I sit: all with potential, but all with visible weaknesses. Each of them has games where they look like an emerging star, and games when they're invisible, or all cement feet. Still, I think all of these kids are prospects worth watching, if they crack a midget major or prep school roster.
Ward, Robinson and Ostroski are probably all competing for one spot on the Moncton Flyers, so two of them will likely play "down" this year, but the rest will get good competition. Thompson is switching to RNS, and Becker returning to OHA and taking Cloutier with him. The others will likely all play midget major, and their relative ranking will shift weekly from now through next May.
Vance is absolutely a better winger than Dman. I suspect Kevin Pottle will be the man to make it clear he's a forward if he's playing midget major this year. That's if. Someone said the boy aggravates opponents but is loved in his own room. Unfortunately, I doubt more than two people believe that to be true. The boy is intense, for sure, and he comes by it naturally, but that does not go over well in any room or on any bench,
The best of the forwards? Jacob, Bower, LeBlanc, Belec, Tompkins, Sarault, Vance. Sometimes Daley and sometimes Theriault. All should play prep (Bower, Sarault) or midget major this year, and we'll see how they sort out. Like the Dmen, all have growing to do.
This is a big time for those goalies too. Goguen is the least reliable of the four, but going to the right prep program might fix that. Galloway is all potential: a lot depends on where he ends up this season. Meadows' interest comes and goes: if he doesn't make midget major, he may spiral. Betts never sparkles but he just keeps stopping pucks. These four are the only prospects, really. Brideau, Foulem and Landry are next, but behind, and fading.
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