2017 NHL Entry Draft

2016 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game Preview

America’s top draft hopefuls converge on Philadelphia
Steve Kournianos  |  09/21/2016 |  New York  |  [hupso]

Photo courtesy of Terry Wilson / OHL Images

Thursday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m. ET

Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA


Pre-game notes

Streams: www.FastHockey.comwww.allamericanprospectsgame.com

Team Leclair

2 Mikey Anderson LHD 5’11 196 Roseville, MN L Waterloo USHL Minn-Duluth
Defensively-sound blueliner who can play physical and entrusted with top line matchups. Anderson didn’t have the kind of breakout performance for Team USA at the Ivan Hlinka, but he does the little things that don’t appear on the scoresheet. His shot is above average and he doesn’t hesitate to use it, and he’s accurate even if firing one off in haste. He has a short stride but covers ground in a hurry, but at times he skates himself into trouble spots which explains why he doesn’t seem to take as many risks as a top-pairing guy should. Anderson’s older brother Joey is a former NTDP’er and New Jersey Devils draft pick.
3 Nate Knoepke RHD 6’3 202 Farmington, MN R U.S. U18 NTDP Minnesota
Knoepke is similar to fellow NTDP’er Max Gildon in that both have very good mobilty with an NHL build to support it. He has an excellent shot and improved his footwork and quickness to the puck. You’d like to see him play more controlled and not force passes after crossing center ice, but Knoepke defends well in one-on-one situations and improved his footwork to close quicker on puck carriers. Entrusting him with a power play is still a work in progress, however, and there’s a strong chance he dials his game back to settle into a shutdown role.
4 Tyler Inamoto LHD 6’1 194 Lake Barrington, IL L U.S. U18 NTDP Wisconsin
Swift puck mover who can run the power play but is prone to turnovers. Inamoto’s speed is his biggest asset, but he can also play physical and separate his man from the puck rather effortlessly. His speed-shot combination didn’t translate to points last year — he registered only three assists in 27 games for the NTDP’s U17 squad. But he looked poised and confident handling the puck and the Ivan Hlinka and should see an increase in responsibility and power play time.
5 Jack Rathbone LHD 5’10 185 West Roxbury, MA L Dexter HS-MA Harvard 
Another New England-trained puck rusher with exceptional skating ability who on the ice acts like a fourth forward, Rathbone is a Bostonian (West Roxbury) who was reared in the Junior Whalers program and will remain in the area when he suits up for Harvard. He’s a lot like Crimson commit (and Calgary Flames pick) Adam Fox — an excellent playmaker with vision who is a threat from anywhere on the ice.
6 Phil Kemp RHD 6’3 200 Greenwich, CT R U.S. U18 NTDP Brown 
Kemp is an athletic, big-bodied depth defender who likes to play physical and use his strength to overpower forwards of any size. His ability to create plays or quickly transition the puck up the ice is limited, so don’t expect anything flashy. While Kemp’s as dependable as they come in one-on-one situations and crease battles, the future Brown rearguard must improve his speed and not treat the puck like a hand grenade.
7 Reilly Walsh RHD 5’11 180 Andover, NH R Chicago USHL Harvard 
Solid puck distributor who is an excellent skater and can quarterback a power play, Walsh steadily developed his defensive play and bulked up to where he shouldn’t be considered a liability. His vision is excellent, and he looked extremely comfortable at the Hlinka working the puck around on a power play full of talent. Yes, he’s not very physical and will resort to some pretty weak stick fouls. But his step-ups and stick placement while defending zone entries revealed a defenseman who used technical know-how to make up for any physical shortcomings.
8 Ronald Brickey RHD 6’4 195 Burtchville, MI R Muskegon USHL W. Michigan 
A sound one-on-one defender who knows how to properly release if he opts to chase an opponent behind the net. Brickey plays with his head up and effectively uses the boards to evade pressue, and his decision-making at the Hlinka was excellent. His intentions are rarely telegraphed and he consistently connects on difficult break out passes.
9 Logan Hutsko RW 5’9 173 N. Caldwell, NJ R U.S. U18 NTDP Boston College 
Hutsko is an energetic dual threat in that he can create plays or finish one off. He’s definitely a player to keep an eye on as he worked tirelessly to get back into shap after breaking his neck last season. He plays bigger than his size indicates, and is relentless on the forecheck. Knocking him down isn’t impossible, but keeping him down is.
10 Sean Dhooghe C/W 5’2 140 Aurora, IL R U.S. U18 NTDP Wisconsin
There’s not much more you can say about Dhooghe other than he’s probably the world’s best 17-year-old under 5’4. He’s exceptionally quick and an absolute assassin off the rush, using his high IQ and elite vision to carve up opponents. And keep in mind the program he plays for — the NTDP wants the best, and Dhooghe’s one of them.
11 Vanya Lodnia LW 5’10 180 Novi, MI R Erie OHL N/A
Dynamic offensive player with a sick set of hands who could stand to work on his balance and limit his amount of dipsy-doodling and haphazard thrusts into the offensive zone. Lodnia was an OHL standout on a pretty stacked Erie squad and make some big plays at the Hlinka, but he came across as an “outside” player who only ventured between the hash marks if nobody was there. Are we being too critical towards a possible first round pick? Yes, but chalk it up as tough love — Lodnia has star potential.
12 Brannon McManus C/W 5’10 181 Newport Beach, CA R Omaha USHL Minnesota
A nondescript Hlinka shouldn’t steer talent evaluatrors away from this talented two-way puck wizard, who is an excellent skater and uses deception and a bag full of moves to lull defenders into a state of confusion. McManus at first glance comes across as an offense-first forward, but a deeper analysis reveals a kid who has improved his defensive zone play and will bust it back to lend support in the defensive zone. His lack of size may become a deterrent, but a prolific career at Shattuck-St. Mary’s transferred over to a solid rookie campaign with Omaha last year.
14 Jacob Tortora RW 5’8 168 Victor, NY R U.S. U18 NTDP Boston College
There are several forwards on Team USA who are on the smaller side, and Tortora is your classic case of a speed demon with elite puck skills who needs to work on his strength and balance. He played some hockey in Canada for the Don Mills Flyers and was a top draft prospect for the OHL before committing to the NTDP. Tortora doesn’t back down and will challenge bigger players, but he won’t get away with it as much when he hits the NCAA circuit.
15 Grant Mismash LW 6’0 183 Edina, MN L U.S. U18 NTDP North Dakota
Mismash is a top-line talent with a variety of ways to score goals. He has a hunter’s mindset, using speed and hand/eye coordination to interdict passes and take a direct route to the net. Mismash will be a key cog in Team USA’s offense, and he’s one of the best draft-eligible wingers at finishing off breakaways and odd-man rushes.
17 Austin Pratt RW 6’2 202 Lakeville, MN R Red Deer WHL N/A
Pratt is a big-bodies power forward who loves to mix it up and put pressure on defenders. His skating is average, but he makes up for it with an active stick and sound instincts. Pratt is a relaible two-way player who rarely gets caught wandering. Once the puck enters the opposing zone, he goes right for the low slot, using his lower body strength to gain posiitoning. Pratt has an underated wrist shot and he’ll fire it off with quickness.
18 Ryan Poehling C 6’2 185 Lakeville, MN L St. Cloud State NCHC St. Cloud State
Poehling put on quite a show at the Ivan Hlinka, leading Team USA to the championship game and finishing as one of the tournament’s top scorers. And though it was his questionable major penalty off a faceoff that ultimately cost his team the chance for gold, the Americans don’t get there without him. Poehling displays tremendous puck skills and quickness for a big-bodied center, and there are times when he’s impossible to defend. He’s a game-changer with top-center upside and a load to handle in any situation.
19 Sasha Chmelevski C 5’11 188 Northville, MI R Ottawa OHL N/A
Chmelevski is one of the few OHL’ers to participate in this year’s exhibition, gaining notoriety as the kid Sarnia had to give up in order to acquire top prospect Travis Konecny. He’s a cerebral forward with a soft touch and an elite set of hands, and his ability to deliver in the clutch, especially on the power play, was a big reason the Americans came close to winning the Hlinka. He led the tournament in scoring with five goals and five assists, centering the top line and making elite plays off the rush. A silent assassin who can sniff out a bad pass with the best of them, Chmelevski is also capable of killing penalties and taking critical defensive-zone draws.
20 Evan Barratt LW 5’11 189 Morrisville, PA L U.S. U18 NTDP Penn State
Barratt is a depth player on the NTDP but is versatile enough to fill in with one of the top two lines. He owns a ridiculous wrist shot, and he’s quick enough to escape from a board battle and fire a quality shot on net — one that goalies have a tough time handling from any angle. Finishing around the net could be an area he needs to work on, but he can wear a defender down to the point where he will get multiple opportunities all on the same shift.
21 Mark Kastelic C/W 6’3 206 Phoenix, AZ R Calgary WHL N/A
A physical power center who likes to lay punishing hits while on the forecheck, Kastelic is an effective checker who owns a very good shot and possesses very good speed. He can kill penalties and win key defensive-zone draws, but he also has the skill to be counted on to create and finish chances. Kastelic’s ability to stay wide of opponents while protecting the puck for extended periods of time makes him the perfect fit for a puck possession environment.
22 Kyle McLean LW 6’0 175 Basking Ridge, NJ L Oshawa OHL N/A
The son of long-time New Jersey Devils sniper John MacLean may not score goals at the rate his dad did for the Generals in the early 1980’s, but he works just as hard and possesses an strong understanbding of the game. The younger MacLean is a fearless competitor who plays eveery shift as if it was his last, and playing on the fourth line of a rebuilding team didn’t seem to phase him. He has a soft set of hands and can corral tough passes, but he likes to pass the puck more than shoot it.
1 Jake Oettinger G 6’4 206 Lakeville, MN L Boston Univ. HE  Boston Univ.
Oettinger is one of the top goalie prospects for the 2017 draft thanks to an impressive season backstopping the U18 squad who used him as a 16 year old for half the season. His size is the first thing that stands out at you, but he’s quite flexible and nimble for someone standing close to 6’5. Oettinger covers the lower half extremely well, an while his rebound control is still inconsistent, he’s quick enough to reset properly and cover the right angles. He’s not married to his crease and will challenge shooters above the blue paint.
30 Cayden Primeau G 6’3 180 Voorhees, NJ L Lincoln USHL Northeastern
Primeau made a little name for himself by nearly backstopping Team USA to an improbable Hlinka title. And while he made extrordianry save after extraordinary saves, he had a habit of whiffing on shots from near the blue line. Primeau, whose father Keith played six season for the Philadelphi Flyers before retiring in 2006, has excellent side-to-side quickness and plays with extreme confidence.

Team Howe

3 Ben Mirageas LHD 6’1 180 Newburyport, MA L Bloomington USHL Providence
The Providence-bound Mirageas is a shifty, smart puck mover who is poised and decisive under pressure. He’s an offensive defenseman who gets out of trouble with either clean, crisp passes or a burst into open ice. Mirageas isn’t a physically intimidating defender, and while we appalud him for not avoiding contact altogether, he still needs to work on his timing and finishing checks.
17 R.J. Murphy LW 6’2 196 Needham, MA L Dubuque USHL Harvard
Hard-working power forward who starred for St. Sebastian’s and will suit up for Jason Lammers’ Dubuque Fighting Saints before makingit over to Cambridge. Murphy can be a force on the ice, at times one who is unstoppable. He’s a tireless worker and does anything asked of him, but he’ll need to fine tune his decision making and invlove his linemates on a consistent basis. Murphy isn’t a brute but uses his strength and reach effectively.
14 Casey Mittelstadt RW 6’0 197 Eden Prairie, MN L Eden Prairie HS-MN Minnesota
No draft-eligible player exemplifies infectious leadership the way this Minnesota-reared super scorer does, and there’s a strong chance Mittelstadt will end up within a select group of prospects to challenge Nolan Patrick for the top slot. Speed, grace, power and enthusiasm are just a few words one throws around when dissecting his game, and it will be on display for the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2017. Mittelstadt is a money player with a deadly shot, using his size and lower body strength to step into it with NHL-level velocity. He can play both center and wing, but on the flanks is where it’s probably best for him to exploit his acute sense for finding and acquiring pucks.
6 Clayton Phillips LHD 5’11 178 Edina, MN L Fargo USHL Minnesota
Phillips was expected to play on Team USA’s top pairing at the Hlinka but was displaced to a depth role as the tournament progressed. He’s an excellent skater who looks more comfortable in the offensive zone than in his own end — understandable when you consider he’s a converted forward. Phillips remains a gifted playmaker who will exploit open ice and identify multiple options as he attacks moving forward.
11 Jason Robertson LW 6’2 190 Northville, MI L Kingston OHL N/A
A native Californian who moved to Canada to hone his skills in the Greater Toronto Hockey League for the Don Mills Flyers, Robertson was one of the CHL’s top 2017-eligible players last year, scoring 18 goals and 32 points in just 54 games. He’s a winger who knows where he needs to be and is willing to pay a price to get there, and his straight-line speed has improved. Robertson isn’t a “fire and forget” kind of power forward — he has a clear understanding of the game and adjusts towards his linemates’ strengths and weaknesses. What amazes us is how a kid that big consistently slips away into prime areas completely undetected.
12 Mick Messner C 6’0 195 Madison, WI L Madison USHL Wisconsin
One of the top draft-eligible defensive forwards who understands how and when to attack puck carriers. Messner is relentless on the puck and had quick enough hands to steal a puck from an unassuming defender with regularity. His two-way play and clutch scoring proved invaluable to Team USA’s successful Hlinka run, and he was their best penalty killer.
9 Patrick Khodorenko C/W 6’0 196 Walnut Creek, CA L Michigan St Big-10 Michigan St
Khodorenko was a mainstay for the NTDP’s U18 squad and at time found himself in the top six. The numbers weren’t gaudy (13 points in 43 games), but he battled through injury while playing for a team that didn’t offer much in terms of talent on the lower lines. True, he’s always been on the radar as a blue chipper — he went 26th overall to Everett in the 2013 WHL Bantam Draft. And why not? Khodorenko is very quick and an excellent stickhandler who plays a 200-foot game from start to finish. He’s more of a set-up man than a finisher, although he has an array of moves to score goals from in close.
30 Keith Petruzzelli G 6’6 185  Wilbraham, MA R Muskegon USHL Quinnipiac
Petruzelli is a gargantuan butterfly-style netminder stapled to his crease and rarely challenges shooters. The Quinnipiac-bound Bay Stater has very quick hands and looks comfortable in the crease for someone so big, and his rebound control is quite consistent for a youngster. Don’t expect Petruzelli to act as a third defensman — his puck handling is below average. But he communicates well with his blueliners and reads plays extrememly well.
19 Cole Coskey RW 6’0 190 Zion, IL R Saginaw OHL N/A
Coskey is a menacing player who is a nightmare to play against, using his size and a fearless mindset to cause multiple problems for opponents. If he isn’t mashing you into the boards, the Illinois native will use his quick hands to steal a breakout pass and wire a heavy shot on goal. He’s what every power forward should be — engaged at all times and a maximum effort put forth on every shift.
18 Kailer Yamamoto RW 5’8 153 Spokane, WA R Spokane WHL N/A
One of the CHL’s top 2017 draft-eligible players, Yamamoto showed ridiculous chemistry with Casey Mittelstadt and 2016 lottery pick Logan Brown at the U18 world championship to a tune of 13 points in just seven games. He’s an undersized puck magnet and playmaker who has a habit of making opponents look foolish, and leaving him behind the net untouched becomes a decision you’d like to take back. He’s been in the CHL for a while now, but he’s a lock to represent Team USA at the WJC’s in December.
2 Tommy Miller RHD 6’2 185  W. Bloomfield, MI R US U18 NTDP Michigan St
One of the better positional defenders you’ll see at the AATPG, Miller is as textbook as they come when sealing off an oncoming oppoents into a helpless situation. He isn’t overly physical, but rubbing a guy out with authority is something you rarely see in a puck-rusher with excellent mobility.
5 Josh Maniscalco RHD 6’2 202 Perkiomenville, PA R US U18 NTDP Minnesota
It will be a sort of a Philadelphia homecoming for this imposing defender with a heavy shot, as Maniscalco was raised in nearby Perkiomenville. Strong and mobile with an improving defensive game, the Minnesota-bound blueliner plays a similar game to former NTDP’er and future Gopher Ryan Lindgren, who was drafted by the Boston Bruins last June.
7 Max Gildon LHD 6’3 195 Plano, TX L US U18 NTDP Wisconsin
Gildon is a tantalizing prospect whose skill-size combination is worthy of a long look, and it’s scary to think what kind of player he’ll develop into if he puts it all together. He skated extremely well, using a powerful stride to create immediate separattion and keeps his head up in order to make hard, accuarte break out passes — an area he improved on for the U17 squad. His shot is pretty average and he tends to shoot it into the shins of opposing checkers, but the rest of what he offers more than makes up for it.
8 David Farrance LHD 5’10 192 Victor, NY L US U18 NTDP Boston Univ
The NTDP U17’s leading scorer from the blue line offers an array of skills, making him one of the better three-zone defenders among his peers. Farrance is an excellent skater who can sniff out opportunities before anyone else can, yet he’s quick enough to recover and cut his losses at the right time. The points he put up last year (23 in 52 games) are not indicative of his overall contributions, which are never quantified by convnetional stats.
10 Logan Cockerill RW 5’9 165 Brighton, MI L US U18 NTDP Boston Univ
Cockerill is the atypical bottom-six NTDP’er who plays a feisty, hard-nosed game at high speeds with then occcasion contributiuon offensively. To his credit, the future Terrier made the most of his limited opportunities on one of the top two lines, using speed and a relentless forecheck to force turnovers. You’d like to see more finish and creativity out of a player who’s always on or around the puck, but he’ll have plenty of time in collegee to address deficiences.
15 Josh Norris C 6’1 192 Oxford, MI L US U18 NTDP Michigan
Norris is sort of the forgotten man when it comes to the NTDP, but he’s easily one of their top offensive players and one who can be trusted in his own end. He’s similar to former NTDP’er (and Boston Bruins draft pick) Trent Frederic in that he can play physical, match up against top players and provide offense on special teams. Norris is no slouch — he centered the U17’s top line for quite a while.
20 Scott Reedy C 6’1 205 Prior Lake, MN R US U18 NTDP Minnesota
A gifted playmaker, finisher and leader who will be one of the the NTDP’s top players, Reedy shouldn’t be expected to come close to matching the production the program received from Jack Eichel, Auston Matthews or Clayton Keller — the U18’s last three first line centers. He’s a unique player with his own identity, and he’s already showed chemistry with winger Grant Mishmash to warrant the big minutes and key sitautions. He’s a borderline first-round pick, and will be challenged by Josh Norris for Team USA’s top-line pivot.
22 Michael Pastujov RW 6’1 192 Bradenton, FL L US U18 NTDP Michigan
Bulldog of a power forward who was a bright star for the Americans at the Hlinka as the NTDP’s lone representative. Pastujov, who’s older brother Nick was an NTDP’er and a New York Islanders draft pick last year, has a quick first step and an excellent shot. He’s pretty close to a complete player, and it’s rare to see such a strong lad handle the puck with care while steamrolling through the opposing zone’s dense network of sticks and bodies.
1 Adam Scheel G 6’3 190 Lakewood, OH L US U18 NTDP Notre Dame
Scheel did a solid job for a kid whose team of 16 and 17 year olds faced older competition on a nightly basis, so don’t panic when you see his 5-18-0-1 record. His biggest developmental need is gauging where the net is and keeping both hands steady, becuase everything else (rebound control, puck handling and tracking the puck) improves with time.
4 Luke Martin RHD 6’2 216 St. Louis, MO R Michigan Big-10 N/A
It may have taken a while, but Martin developed into a confident and calm defender by the time his season with the U18 squad ended. He went from a mistake-prone liability to a dependable puck mover by the time he was invited to Team USA’s world junior evaluation camp. And while making the U20 squad is probablyt a bridge too far, Martin is one of the few draft-eligible defenders who just gets it, even if his offensive upside is still somewhat of a mystery. Still, Martin has an excellent shot and can hang with the elites on a top power play unit.
21 Matt Miller C 6’2 185 Leo, IN R Victory Honda T1EHL Michigan St
Speedy center with size who uses his long reach and upper-body strength to his advanatage during board battles and penalty killing. You won’t get much from him in terms of creativity and flash, but he’s a grinder who understands his role and plays with a team-first attitude. Miller is tireless on the forecheck and makes smart decisions when he gathers loose pucks.