AMHERST, N.Y. — With USA Hockey’s Select 15 Player Development Camp underway in Amherst, N.Y., college coaches, junior scouts, and NHLPA agents have converged on the Greater Buffalo area to watch the top 2003-born prospects in the United States.
As crazy as it might sound to hockey outsiders, many of the top ‘03s in the U.S. are already committed to play college at a Division 1 program. New Englanders Jack Hughes (Westwood, Mass.) and Ryan St. Louis (Riverside, Conn.) fall into that category, with both pledging to Northeastern.
Boston College and Boston University have gotten in on the action as well. The Eagles have committed Aidan Hreschuk — arguably the top defenseman in this age group — out of the Los Angeles Jr. Kings. Forwards Tyler Boucher and Jeremy Wilmer, meanwhile, have both verbally committed to play for the Terriers. Providence, Quinnipiac and Vermont are other New England colleges that have commitments from top ‘03s.
While many college programs attended the 2018 World Selects Invitein Voorhees, N.J., in May, Select 15s represents a time when virtually all of the top ‘03s in the U.S. are in one facility showcasing their talents before various evaluators.
Below is a look at the top uncommitted U.S. prospects in the 2003 birth year, heading into USA Hockey’s Select 15 Player Development Camp.
Please note that a more thorough and in-depth review of all prospects — committed and uncommitted — will be posted here following the conclusion of Select 15s.
1. Justin Janicke
Maple Grove HS, 6/30/03, Forward, Left Shot
Janicke combines skating, skill and hockey sense to be one of the top offensive producers at this age group. The Maple Grove, Minn., native is the younger brother of Notre Dame recruit Trevor Janicke.
2. Carter Batchelder
Eden Prairie 14U, 2/25/03, Forward, Left Shot
Batchelder, from Eden Prairie, Minn., is a speedy goal scorer who drives the net and penetrates the scoring areas.
3. Henry Nelson
Osseo-Maple Grove 14U, 3/25/03, Defense, Left Shot
Nelson is a another Maple Grove, Minn., product. He’s a tall, lanky defenseman who is only scratching the surface of just how good he could be down the road. He skates well and has solid physical tools for a player his age and size.
4. Colby Saganiuk
Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 14U, 1/31/03, Forward, Right Shot
Saganiuk, from Plainfield, Ill., is an undersized forward with tremendous speed and compete. He recovers pucks and isn’t afraid to go into the greasy areas, despite being significantly shorter than many of the defenders he’s going up against. His grandfather, Rocky, played 265 NHL games, mostly with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
5. Griffin Ludtke
Lakeville South HS, 2/1/03, Defense, Left Shot
Ludtke is a terrific skater who is very smooth and poised, especially with the puck on his stick. The Lakeville, Minn., native has five-way mobility, can quarterback a power play, and move pucks north in transition.
6. Anthony Agostinelli
Rochester Monarchs, 1/7/03, Forward, Right Shot
The Rochester, N.Y., native has a fantastic offensive skill set. His speed and hands allow him to control pucks and create chances. His one downside is he sometimes tries to do too much and doesn’t move the puck quick enough.
7. Liam Gilmartin
Shattuck St. Mary’s 14U, 1/7/03, Forward, Left Shot
Gilmartin is a hard-nosed, north-south power forward with a heavy shot. His size and strength allows him to out-muscle opponents and position him into the dirty areas. The Falls Church, Va., native is at his best when he’s keeping it simple and just going hard.
8. Michael Bevilacqua
Buffalo Jr. Sabres 14U, 1/26/03, Defense, Left Shot
The Buffalo, N.Y., product is a big, pro-style defenseman. He’s a stay-at-home type who can move pucks up the ice as well. He needs to guard against over-handling the puck, which he does at times.
9. Davis Codd
Little Caesars 14U, 8/19/03, Forward, Right Shot
Codd is relentless on the forecheck and along the walls. He’s on the smaller side, but he wins battles by getting to loose pucks quickly. He’s gritty and not afraid to take on bigger defenders.
10. Nick Wallace
New Jersey Colonials 14U, 5/7/03, Defense, Left Shot
Wallace missed some of the 2017-18 season with an injury, but he’s a dynamic, puck-moving, offensive defenseman – all despite being on the smaller side. His footwork allows him to sidestep oncoming forecheckers and make plays look easy.
11. Cole Huckins
Stanstead College, 5/14/03, Forward, Left Shot
Huckins is a dual-citizen who plays prep hockey. His boots can be a little heavy at times, but he’s a goal-scoring threat with a hard shot. He’s heavy on pucks and does a good job taking games over below the dots.
12. Paul Davey
Brunswick School, 1/11/03, Forward, Left Shot
Davey, from Greenwich, Conn., is a tall, lanky winger who can win puck battles below the goal line and facilitate plays to his linemates. He also has the ability to unleash a heavy shot from between the circles. He’s got some jump and should only continue to get better as he fills into his frame.
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