The 2004 birth year is a talented group across the United States with New England being no exception. There are a number of `04s from the region who will have successful college careers and close to a dozen who are likely to hear their names called at the NHL draft in 2022 or 2023.
Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire all have at least two to three players who could legitimately be in the discussion for best `04 by New England state. Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont have a clear cut top player who is not a stretch for the nomination, compared to some of the other surrounding birth years.
When looking at the New England `04s, it’s interesting to note that many of the top players didn’t make the NTDP and a few were even passed by entirely during the 2020 USHL Phase I draft. While the top players by state haven’t changed much, there have certainly been players in this age group whose development has soared and others who have stalled or regressed. It’s just another example of this whole process being a marathon and not a sprint.