Examining New England hockey prospects in the 2000 birth year is fascinating for a number of reasons.
I often think that the term “late bloomer” is overused in hockey development circles. But for New England’s ’00s, there are significant examples of players who were at the top of the class in Bantam and Midget minor but have slipped since. There also are examples of players who were under the radar back then, but have vaulted toward the top of the rankings.
At the 2015 USA Hockey Select 15 Player Development Camp in Amherst, N.Y., Oliver Wahlstrom, T.J. Walsh and Jake Wise were thought to be the three of the top ’00s in the country, let alone in the New England region. It should be noted that Walsh missed that year’s festival due to an injury. The point stands that at that time, all three were considered the best in New England.