After we highlighted the top goaltenders at USA Hockey's Select 16 Player Development Camp, it's now time to work through the standout defensemen.
The event, hosted from July 8 to July 13 at the Northtown Center in Amherst, N.Y., brought together many of the country's top 2002-born prospects, excluding those selected for USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP). At the event's conclusion, the Five Nations Tournament roster was announced.
The 2002 birth year isn’t the strongest, and there is a serious lack of depth, especially on defense. There were no obvious NHL prospects among the blueliners at camp.
That’s not to say a player or two from camp won’t someday be a NHL Draft pick or a NHL player. Many will likely be standout college players, too.
Listed below are the top defensemen from Select 16s. For the purpose of these rankings, players were evaluated based on performance at camp. Future potential is also noted.
Our analysis includes 14 players with ties to New England, including seven prep school standouts and six committed to colleges within the region.