NHL Draft Update
Earlier in the month the NHL CSS Midterm Rankings were released with four 2015 Michigan recruits, two 2016 recruits and one current player on the list, they are:
#6 Zach Werenski, Left Defensemen
#14 Kyle Connor, Center
#34 Brendan Warren, Left Wing
#63 Cooper Marody, Right Wing (2016)
#70 Joe Cecconi, Left Defensemen
#176 Nick Boka, Left Defensemen
#192 Sam Miletic, Center (2016)
Connor, Marody, Miletic and Cecconi took part in the USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and by all accounts the four had solid games.
Kyle Connor didn't find the scoresheet but had a strong showing; Sam Miletic found the net once but it was Joe Cecconi who turned in the most impressive night of the four playing strong in his own end and making smart decisions in both neutral and defensive zones.
Cecconi has shot up draft boards since his commitment, in large part due to his knack for turning in impressive performances in national showcases. His offensive game isn't flashy, but in the defensive zone he has all of the tools to be a shutdown defenseman at the next level.
After being released by Waterloo and picked up by Bloomington, I had wondered what the future held for 2015 goalie commit Hayden Lavigne. The Thunder already had two goaltenders and Lavigne didn't dress his first two weeks with the team, then Bloomington's second goaltender headed to the BCHL and gave Lavigne a shot as the starter.
So far in six appearances, the numbers have been solid. Lavigne has posted a 3-1-0 record with a 2.03 goals against average and a .919 save percentage. Over the weekend Lavigne put his talent on display, showing what he can do when he's zoned in posting a 30 save performance against Madison and a 16 save game against U-17. A 46 save weekend, with a .938 SV%.
In Sioux Falls, Cooper Marody has continued his red hot scoring streak with the Stampede. Marody has points in 13 of 16 games since joining the team, with a 9-14--23 scoring line.
Both USA programs will take part in Five Nations next week. Brendan Warren and Nick Boka will head to Czech Republic with U-18 and James Sanchez, Nick Pastujov, Will Lockwood, Luke Martin and Griffin Luce will travel to Western Russia with U-17.
On The Mend
2017 super recruit Michael Pastujov has missed almost the entire HPHL season with a shoulder injury but should start practicing again with Honeybaked soon. Pastujov is one of the top rated skaters for the upcoming OHL draft and is the #3 ranked prospect in Michigan's four classes behind Kyle Connor and his brother Nick.
Looking Towards The Future
As seasons draw closer to their ends, the state's top 98 and 99 prospects should come closer to making decisions. The state of Michigan is loaded with top tier talent at every position, lead by Little Caesars forward Justin Brandt and Honeybaked's Collin Adams. HB goaltender Dylan St. Cyr and Compuware's Nick Donofrio headline the goalie class.