Twenty-eight New England natives will take part in the 2022 USA Hockey Select 17 Player Development Camp that starts Thursday at the Northtown Center in Amherst, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo.
It’s a big event for the 2005 birth year as it begins the draft eligibility season for all but those born after September 15. The field of players at Select 17s were chosen from district festivals, including Massachusetts and New England, which consists of the other five states in the region.
Players on the USA Hockey NTDP are precluded from the national camps with the reason being that they’re already been given an abundance of exposure in international competition and USHL play during their two seasons with the program in Plymouth, Mich. For that reason, three top '05s from Massachusetts, Will Smith (Lexington, Mass.), Will Vote (Arlington, Mass.) and Ryan Leonard (Amherst, Mass.), won’t be in Amherst this week.
Not only is this a significant few days for 2023 NHL draft consideration, USA Hockey uses this event to choose the participants on the national team that will compete in the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup this July August. In addition, of the 28 New Englanders, only defenseman Lucas St. Louis (Riverside, Conn.) and goaltender Thomas Kiesewetter (Plymouth, Mass.) are committed. The rest are looking to have impressive showings in a setting that brings together multiple coaches from every college hockey program in the country.
Outside of the 28 local players in attendance, there are 19 skaters present who play for a prep school or midget program in the region or who are committed to a college within the New England borders. Here's a look at them.