University of Michigan fans caught a glimpse of the future at the All-American Prospects Game, with a trio of Wolverine recruits pacing the attack for Team Housley.
Sniper Evan Allen (Sterling Heights, MI) fired both goals in a 5-2 loss, while Northbrook, Illinois native J.T. Compher turned in a strong performance.
On the flipside, Canton, Michigan native and potential first-rounder Michael Downing was not at his best thanks to a shoulder issue. Team Housley's other top-rated blueliner, Ian McCoshen (Hudson, WI), also struggled in the contest.
Others leaving a favourable impression in Buffalo included hometown native Sean Malone, hard-hitting defender Steve Santini (Mahopac, NY), and goaltender Eamon McAdam (Perkasie, PA) who led Waterloo to a silver medal at this summer's Junior Club World Cup in Russia.
Evan Allen (RW), USNTDP
Scored two goals late in the contest after a rather uneventful first two periods .. lacks elite talent in terms of skating, passing, and defensive positioning - however he does possess the ability to finish and bury his chances .. ideally suited alongside a hard-working pivot who can provide the distribution - as he doesn't put in the heavy work required to get the puck himself .. conversely, he does a good job of separating himself from the pack in order to exploit his shot .. darts in and out of traffic areas and knows when to crash the net for rebounds as he has good timing .. Allen has one prime weapon, though lacks several ingredients at this point to be considered a top-end prospect.
J.T. Compher (C), USNTDP
Steered the first line productively, making a handful of sensational plays including a 4-on-3 breakout in which he located the second trailer to create a terrific scoring chance .. Compher brings a complete game and generates his fair share of chances, backed by an aggressive nature plus soft hands .. willing to take assertive routes to the net and will take a bit of a pounding to get into prime open spaces .. his skating has improved substantially within the past fifteen months - can separate himself from his checks now and displays the ability to target holes and beat defenders to loose pucks .. excels at pick-pocketing defenders as they exit the zone .. does draw penalties due to his work ethic and non-stop motor as defenders are forced to haul him down to impede his progress .. continued upgrades in upper-body strength are critical in order to improve his effectiveness battling along the boards - and generally to play his style of game.
Michael Downing (D), Dubuque-USHL
Hampered by a shoulder injury suffered at the USHL Fall Classic, and wasn't able to play up to his potential - even appearing completely lost at times in his own zone .. his transitional footwork was exposed at times, as he was often beat wide .. he also over-committed a handful of times and was guilty of not activating his feet enough .. did manage to compensate however by exploiting a good active stick in the defensive zone, effectively closing down lanes and knocking down passes .. will stick up for himself and mates, albeit appears to miss a natural aggressive streak - and thereby requires encouragement to be a consistent physical presence .. best attribute is skating, yet he also possesses a good set of hands to make plays .. disappointingly, he was unable to showcase those elite talents in this particular contest as he was indecisive and ineffective all game.
Ryan Hartman (RW), Plymouth-OHL
Hartman played on the first line for Team Housley, offering some toughness and skill along the wall .. his skating is awkward in terms of appearance, however he is able to get to openings with a modest degree of success .. better in a straight line than in turns and cuts, where he loses some momentum .. made a series of good plays and went to the net hard on a handful of other occasions .. his hands are more than decent yet still not upper echelon .. projects to develop into a solid depth player if he habitually works and maintains a level of physical consistency.
Sean Malone (C), USNTDP
Hometown boy did not disappoint with strong efforts throughout the game as he used his blinding speed and quick hands to push the pace and challenge all defenseman regardless of size .. boasts an explosive first few steps which allows him to make strong cuts to the outside .. however, his smaller frame prohibits him from staying in dirty areas for prolonged periods - even if he isn't afraid to engage contact .. finishes his checks displaying the enthusiasm to play an honest, physical game .. exhibits more confidence in his physical play now after bulking up and adding over 15 pounds during the off-season .. nevertheless, he was still out-muscled a few times down low .. able to make plays with the puck as he is highly intuitive and aware of his options .. will transfer from Nichols Prep School to the National Team Development Program this year after competing in the Ivan Hlinka tournament for Team USA this past August.
Eamon McAdam (G), Waterloo-USHL
Led his USHL team Waterloo to a silver-medal finish at the 2012 Junior Club World Cup in Omsk, Russia this past August .. boasts good net coverage thanks to an expansive frame .. moves well going from post to post .. thick pads swallow the bottom portion of the net .. beaten three times in the contest - two of which he didn't have much of a chance on .. displays decent rebound control, as he did an admirable job kicking shots to the side of his goal .. recovers impressively - moves well vertically - dropping down and getting back to his feet with above-average quickness .. exhibited positive body language throughout the game, always appearing focused and 'dialled' in .. still can develop better patience, waiting for the shooter to commit before dropping into his butterfly .. boasts a solid foundation in terms of size and talents and should assume a bulk of the workload this year for the Blackhawks.
Ian McCoshen (D), Waterloo-USHL
Entered the game with a fair degree of pre-hype, however did not live up to the billing .. appeared to play a rather conservative game and wasn't much of a factor .. a fixture on special teams, power play and penalty kill .. shows better abilities with the puck than without .. launched a couple of counter-attacks, effectively spearheading odd-man rushes the other way .. exhibits a healthy share of poise and confidence to make plays with the puck .. however, he failed to offer much of a dynamic difference in the offensive zone, always backing off and playing it safe .. equipped with excellent passing abilities plus a decent shot .. much more adventurous in the neutral zone conversely, chasing hits and taking himself out of position .. his skating appears to be steadily refining having lengthened his stride while also polishing up his edge work .. still misses high-end separation and recovery speed .. defensively, he did an effective job of using his body and stick to angle players off the puck - and also made low-risk plays exiting the zone .. distinguished himself last season with the Blackhawks, showing impressive maturity given his youthful age while handling increasing ice time .. a cornerstone piece on the back-end.
Ross Olsson (RW), Lincoln-USHL
A relative unknown to begin the season, Olsson played Prep school in the Boston area prior to joining the Lincoln Stars this season .. the initial assessment is a completely raw project at this point as he lacks strength and puck skills .. appeared overwhelmed at times by the pace of play and, despite making adjustments in the second and third periods, was still very ineffective .. did not protect the puck particularly well - in spite of possessing nice size and a long stick .. appeared to lack the confidence to make plays and often surrendered the puck as quickly as he received it .. made a handful of suspect plays, either turning over the puck or via weak clearing attempts .. packs a strong wrist shot which he unleashes assertively .. doesn’t always consider or look for the pass however .. attempted to finish his checks, only to bounce off the opposition at this level .. will require plenty of seasoning in order to fulfill potential - and certainly has some promise due to his size and overall rawness.
Steve Santini (D), USNTDP
The future Boston College Eagle threw several open-ice hits and was extremely aggressive on the boards .. a punishing hitter, already fully developed at an imposing six-foot-one and 210 pounds - towered over several players on the ice .. a gifted skater with surprising mobility and fluidity .. moves better in a straight away as opposed to laterally .. offers good range and an active stick to break up plays .. displayed excellent gap control in this contest - routinely and efficiently taking away time and space .. finds ways to stay involved when the play shifts to the offensive zone .. reads plays well and makes timely pinches to maintain pressure inside the zone .. showed an impressive slap-pass on the power play that led to Evan Allen's second goal .. recovers well and doesn't get caught out of position as his skating and long stick will bail him out .. his puck skills are rather modest however .. can deliver a flat, accurate first pass and avoids getting into trouble by over-thinking his options .. will require further developing to improve his puckhandling skills .. his nastiness and physical stature usually affords him additional time to make plays, which he utilizes effectively.
Keaton Thompson (D), USNTDP
Quite arguably one of the smoothest skaters in the game, Thompson showed off his impeccable footwork and effortless skating style .. covers, inhales a large portion of the rink when defending as he has a swooping motion that allows him to navigate the ice with ease, bolstered by strong stickwork .. misses physical pop however - does not take the body - even though he can exploit nimble all-around footwork to at least slow down a player or jar a puck off a forward's stick .. composure and decision making under pressure will require attention - tends to cough up the puck under fire .. can also be guilty of trying to do too much in the defensive zone .. does boast good puck skills though - and may be considered more of a defensive defenseman for purposes of projecting his pro path .. looks to be an ideal match-up player as his range and skating prowess can efficiently neutralize most forwards .. the native of Devil's Lake, North Dakota will join UND for `13-14.