As the calendar turns into 2020 and the Huskies look to build momentum towards a Beanpot threepeat, another run at the Hockey East Tournament and an NCAA Tournament berth, we’ll turn attention in this piece to how the program’s recruits have been performing this year in their junior hockey seasons. We’ll comment on what we can in terms of likely arrival date and possible roles that the players will fill when they arrive at Northeastern .
United States Hockey League
Sam Colangelo– The right-shot, right wing ’01 has put up 34 points (18 goals) in 23 games with the Chicago Steel, including a hat trick outdoors at the Cotton Bowl so far this year. Rated as a “B” skater, we expect Colangelo to be picked between rounds 2 and 3 of the NHL Draft in June, before arriving at Northeastern next fall and slotting into a top six spot immediately.
Gunnarwolfe Fontaine– In his first season as an overager in the USHL, Fontaine has kept even with his teammate Colangelo, scoring 34 points (16 goals) in 24 games played. The left winger will similarly be expected to fill top line scoring roles when he arrives next year. There is also potential for a a team to take a shot on him as a late, college-bound upside pick in the NHL Draft.
Ty Jackson/Dylan Jackson– Once considered for arrival this season, the twins decided to play an extra year in the USHL and it has payed dividends for them both. Ty, the left-shot center, leads Dylan, a right-shot wing, in points by one (34 to 33), but Dylan has the goals advantage 13 to 10. Linemates through their entire careers, I would be floored if they were separated next year when they suit up for the Huskies.
Justin Hryckowian– The former prep standout at Salisbury was playing at a near point-per-game clip for Cedar Rapids in his first USHL season (14 points in 17 games), however his progress has been derailed by recent injury. We could certainly see the staff wanting Hryckowian to get an extra season in the USHL in light of his injury, but as an ’01 that will soon turn 19, he is old enough to be considered for enrollment next fall. We have him slotted currently for enrollment on account of his age and pre-injury production.
Jack Williams– Williams committed to Northeastern with a ton of upside and expectations, and has shown flashes of that skillset in his first season in the USHL for Muskegon. With 9 points in 28 games, his production is roughly what we expected as a true-age first timer in the league. He also played for the USA U18 team at the Ivan Hinka Gretzky Cup this season. He won’t turn 18 until March this year, so the door is open for him to go back and play in the USHL one more year prior to enrollment. He also has NHL Draft potential as a C-rated skater by the NHL Central Scouting.
Matt Choupani– Choupani just turned 18 last week after the calendar turned, but you wouldn’t know it by his stat sheet. With 19 points (10 goals) in 30 games, the Canadian has looked right at home in the Des Moines. At this point I’d say it’s likely Choupani plays another year in the USHL before enrolling, both on account of his age and also the forward depth the Huskies currently have coming back in 2020 and the ones locked into NLIs already, however early departures or Choupani’s play forcing the issue could alter that. Choupani also has late NHL Draft potential, rated a C skater from NHL CSS.
Chase Bradley– Yet another recently-turned-eighteen recruit, Bradley has been much more productive this second season in Omaha, with 9 points in 14 games before injury struck yet again. At 6-foot, 180 pounds, he has the size to come in immediately but with the injury bug derailing his time in Omaha, we’d expect him to get one more year in the USHL before enrolling in 2021. He was also rated a C skater by NHL CSS.
Nate Hanley– Another right-handed center for the pipeline, and this one also is producing as an underaged first year USHL player. Hanley has 16 points (7 goals) in 28 games for Cedar Rapids, a constant producer of Huskies for years. Hanley I am confident saying will play one more year for Cedar Rapids before enrolling in 2021.
Brandon Chabrier– The young right-handed defenseman has played 22 games for Sioux Falls with only 2 assists to show as a 17-year-old. He won’t turn 18 until the summer, but playing a full USHL year as an underager will benefit Chabrier greatly going forward. While he could join the Huskies this summer after some graduations and early departures with the current defense corps, Chabrier will be expected to come in and replace them in 2021.
Ryan St. Louis– Now reaching two of the youngest players in the pipeline, St. Louis and Jack Hughes below both play for the US National Team Development Program U17 team. RSL has 28 points with the team this year in 50 games, and won’t hit 17 until the summer. He’s eligible for the 2021 Draft and is expected to enroll as soon as he can, in the Fall of 2021.
Jack Hughes– Not related to the current Devils center, our Jack Hughes has been extremely productive for the U17s, scoring 47 points in 58 games. He’s even younger than St. Louis, and as a November ’03 birth date, he’s one of the youngest players in that age group and in that program. That scoring touch has persisted from his St. Seb’s Prep days, and we expect will continue all the way to enrollment. Due to his late birth year, he isn’t eligible for the NHL Draft until 2022, meaning his freshman year at NU could be his Draft Year if he enrolls as we expect in 2021.
Central Canadian Hockey League
Devon Levi– The most recent player to join the Northeastern pipeline is the goalie of the future. Currently the most dominant goaltender in the CCHL this season, Levi has signed his NLI and will enroll at Northeastern this upcoming Fall, and we expect he will take the reigns of the starter’s job immediately once he laces up the skates for the Huskies. Check out our recent profile after his commitment HERE.
Alberta Junior Hockey League
Stanley Cooley– The Canadian right-handed center has been scoring since his bantam days with the Notre Dame Hounds program, and has continued racking up points for the Spruce Grove Saints of the AJHL, a league that has seen a recent rise in profile after producing numerous high-profile players for the NCAA, including Cale Makar and Oliver Chau for UMass. As a 17-year-old underager, Cooley has 33 points (11 goals) in 41 games, which is the 4th-highest total for an ’02 in the AJHL. Cooley is another C-rated skater for the 2020 NHL Draft.
British Columbia Hockey League
Chase McInnis– McInnis has 15 points (6 goals) in 42 games for Victoria, a program that spawned current Huskies defenseman Jeremie Bucheler and forward Riley Hughes. Widely considered an offense-driven league, we expect McInnis will find his scoring touch in time up north of the border before enrolling at Northeastern.
Michael Bevilacqua– A left-shot defensemen who, at 16 years old, already clocks in at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds according to Elite Prospects, “Bevo” has NCAA and pro size in spades already. He’s also shown impressive scoring touch this year, racking up 24 points (8 goals) in 37 games for the Buffalo Junior Sabres 16U team. He’s eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft and if he continues to develop his defensive game like he has his offensive one, he will get pro looks for sure.
Sasha Teleguine– The North Reading, Massachusetts native went back to Thayer Academy for his junior season, and unfortunately for us, prep stats are not always open to the public. The Huskies do not traditionally bring in players from prep school directly, especially forwards, so I would expect Teleguine to get at least one year of seasoning in junior hockey before enrolling at NU. He’s expected to get serious looks in the 2021 NHl draft when he is eligible.
Anthony Messuri– Currently playing for the Cape Cod Whalers U18 team in the EHF 18U Elite league. He, like Teleguine, does not have many stats available, and will likely play another year of junior hockey before enrolling.
Will Smith/Vinny Borgesi– I grouped the two youngest players in the pipeline together because they were the two final commits to enter before the new age cutoff was established for player/coach contact. Smith, a 2005 birth year, currently plays for the Boston Junior Eagles program, while Borgesi plays at the prestigious Selects Hockey Academy U15 program. An ’04 defenseman, Borgesi has racked up an absurd 76 points in 47 games this season, with 66 being assists. As he grows both physically (currently 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds) and within the game of hockey, we will watch to see how his scoring touch grows with him.
For all the latest prospect news, including highlights, transactions, and profiles, follow us on Twitter @NUHockeyBlog. We will do another recruit update as players get shuffled to different teams and leagues have their Futures Drafts later after the season.
As always, go Huskies!