AMHERST, N.Y. — NHL and junior scouts, college coaches, and NHLPA agents continue to scour the Northtown Center for talent at the 2018 USA Hockey Select 17 Player Development Camp.
While it might not be a popular take around New England, the cream of the crop here just outside of Buffalo has little local flavor. There’s a high likelihood that the roster selected out of this camp for the 2018 Hlinka Gretzky Cup will have zero New England natives.
So far, the top player with any ties to New England has been Dexter School center John Farinacci, a Chatham, N.J., native who’s committed to Harvard. His skating is good, but his foot speed still needs a little improvement.
However, his offensive skill set and hockey IQ in the attacking zone are elite. He’s a lock to make the Hlinka team and he should be a top-three round selection at the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver.
Speaking of the 2019 NHL Draft, below is a look at five players who have increased their stock while at the Select 17s. Keep in mind that most NHL organizations have at least one scout here, but several have three or four scouts in attendance. Just about every NCAA Division 1 college has a coach or two here, and all the USHL teams are represented. Some Canadian major junior teams are present, too.
To come over the weekend: A projection of the U.S. roster for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, as based on first-hand analysis.