The month of February is a bit shorter but it certainly did not lack in quality of play as many youth leagues around the country concluded and champions were crowned. The Florida Exposure Cup was also a highlight at the beginning of the month and added a whole different high-end competition for everyone to get excited for. The 15-goal thriller between Mid Fairfield Rangers and Dallas Stars Elite to cap off the Florida Exposure Cup is just one of the examples of some of the intense matchups that were featured over the course of the month.
Movement Inside The Top-5
Jeffrey Hurlbert III has reclaimed his position at number 3 in the rankings for the 2008 American group after previously being moved down to number 4. His play as of late has simply left me with no other option, and moving forward I may have to take a long hard look at him compared to the two names above him, because it is certainly hard to see why he doesn’t have a shout at being rated as the top player in the country for his age group. He does a little bit of everything for Dallas when he is on the ice, and his 17 points in 6 games at Florida’s Exposure Cup is just another indication of the type of offense he is bringing to the table. He is a bigger body and uses his blend of size and speed to drive to the net and create chances for himself and his teammates. His consistency is another thing that is just so impressive about his game, it feels like he is always on his “A-game” and generating opportunities even when he has been kept quiet for periods in a game.
Boston Boys Gain Some Ground
I was able to catch a handful of Boston Jr. Eagles games this month and some players turned in a few quality performances and earned some little boosts in the rankings. The biggest jump of the group came from David Bosco who leapt up to 36 from 41 after a string of performances showing his qualities as both a playmaker and finisher in tight with some nifty hands. His ability to play with speed and then use his low center of gravity to gain the inside track as he powers through to the net earned him plenty of good opportunities. Noah Survilas earned himself a bit of a boost as well by moving up two spaces to 40. I like his game and he uses his speed very well to earn space for himself and get in behind the defense to find passing lanes. I would like to see a little more finishing ability from him in and around the net, but he does well to get into areas where he can produce and is capable of doing so on a consistent basis. Defenseman Brady Sloper finds himself moving up one spot to 69 and I am starting to appreciate his game a bit more after he slid earlier in the season. He plays a physical brand of hockey on the back end and is able to pinch hard and keep plays alive at the point, and throws a heavy hit as he closes the gap between himself and the puck carrier. His work as a creator from the blueline is also important to Boston’s game and his booming slapshot is both a scoring threat as well as a rebound generator. Spencer Thornborough also finds himself re-entering the rankings at 85 after some strong play over the last month.
Dylan Kolcun of WB Scranton jumped 6 spots to 42, his playmaking capabilities and clear presence as an offensive driver on his team with his combination of skill and skating ability make him a headache for defenses to deal with.
Debuting at 94, Honeybaked’s Trevor Theuer is someone I am keen to see potentially rise up this list. I like his ferocity when battling for the puck, he isn’t afraid to throw his body around and has some good skill when driving at the defense with the puck, he can be a real catalyst at times.
Yale Jr. Bulldog’s Max Hu is a player I have been keeping an eye on for a while and he comes in ranked 97 right now. He makes some very intelligent plays at the point, and uses his agility to evade pressure and slip down low where he gets some really dangerous scoring chances.