Forward Benjamin Wilmott Commits to Northeastern

On the first day that rising juniors could commit to college hockey programs, Northeastern received a commitment from three players on August 1st. The first to announce was Benjamin Wilmott, a forward originally from Seattle and currently in New Jersey.

Wilmott is a late 2006 birth year, turning 17 at the end of August, and has dual-citizenship between Canada and the United States. He played last season for the North Jersey Avalanche 16U program and at West Morris Central High School in New Jersey. The North Jersey Avalanche program has produced multiple former Northeastern players, including Grant Jozefek, Julian Kislin, Steven Agriogianis, current defenseman Pito Walton, and current recruit Ben Yurchuk.

Wilmott is a 6-foot, 170 pound left shot center who has been a point per game player at every level he has reached, including a staggering 118 points (54 goals) in 84 games with North Jersey last season. He participated in USA Hockey Selects 15, Selects 16, and Selects 17 camps for the past three seasons, and was part of the selection camp for this year’s Team USA Hlinka-Gretzky team. He’s won divison championships with North Jersey at the 15U and 16U levels and was named the Rookie of the Year in 2021-22 while with West Morris Central High. He was selected in the sixth round of the 2023 USHL Entry Draft by the Chicago Steel, one year after being selected by Chicago in the 16th round of the 2022 USHL Entry Draft, so the Steel, one of the dominant USHL programs, very clearly see something in Wilmott.

From a scout’s perspective, Wilmott has a lot of positive traits to look forward to. Rated 3.5/5 stars on PuckPreps, Wilmott was captain for the North Jersey Avalanche and according to a report from Neutral Zone, “leads by example in all facets of the game, going to the dirty areas of the ice to compete and stepping up when his team needed him.” He is noted to have a good burst with speed, and has the ability to play physical or he can skill it up when needed. He goes into the hard areas of the ice, forechecks well, and gives the combination of skill and compete level that Jerry Keefe and Mike Levine have prioritized for multiple recruiting classes now.

PuckPreps similarly praised his work ethic, stating he does not give up on plays and has an ability to keep plays alive. He has good vision, can pass well, and as evident by his stat line, isn’t a stranger to scoring himself either. New England Hockey Journal mentioned he is good off the rush and was named MVP of the Paul D. Merritt Holiday Classic last December, and that multiple Division 1 schools were evaluating him. All in all, his profile reminds me of one Justin Hryckowian, the current captain of the Huskies and if Wilmott turns into anything remotely close to the player, leader, and person that Hryckowian is, this is a home run recruit waiting to happen. He strikes me as someone Northeastern fans will love.

As a late 06 birthday, he will be eligible for the 2024 NHL Draft, however he will be one of the youngest players in the pool. A rising junior, he is at least two years away from Northeastern, which puts his earliest enrollment in the Fall of 2025. With the way recruiting and development works he may not arrive until 2026, however Mark Divver of the New England Hockey Journal mentioned today he’s expected to play with Chicago this season. If he plays two years with Chicago in the USHL, expect him in 2025.

Congratulations to Ben on his commitment to Northeastern! As always, go Huskies!