Cason Hohmann | F | 5’8” |160lbs. | 1/10/93
The USHL veteran clearly has the skill set to play at the pro level. Hohmann is a quick, darting skater who also has great first step acceleration. He sees the ice well and has the ability to find open players. He’s also not afraid to shoot the puck and has a knack of getting open. Hohmann has the ability to handle the puck in tight quarters and is particularly strong at changing directions to shed the opposition. He plays equally well in open ice or along the boards where his small stature and skating ability make him an elusive player. Hohmann is responsible defensively and a leader on the ice. He plays sound positional hockey and is relied upon on the PK. Hohmann is also very good at creating turnovers by forcing the puck carrier in all three zones. The only knock on Hohmann is his size. As solid as his skills are, they aren’t the caliber of a smaller player such as Rocco Grimaldi who can compensate for his lack of size. That said, he’s worth the risk of a pick on draft day as he will have up to 4 years at BU to mature physically.
Josiah Didier | D | 6’2” | 200lbs. | 4/8/93
At this point, Didier does not look like a sure-fire NHL draft pick. However, he brings enough to the table to merit a close watch. He has a perfect frame with long arms and legs and covers so much ice with his body. He has very strong skating techniques and moves well laterally as well as getting from point A to point B to retrieve loose pucks. Didier is very strong on the puck and saw tons of PK duty on the Cedar Rapids blueline. He reads the play well and puts himself in the right spots. Didier has a long reach and poke checks pucks with ease. The question marks in his game are his offensive skills. He’s very composed and patient with the puck and clearly looks to move it quickly. His pro prospects will be determined on how much more he can enhance those skills at Denver University. It will also be interesting to see how he progresses during the season. I’ll be getting another live look in March.
Matt Hansen | F | 5’10” | 163lbs. | 5/11/93
Maybe I got lucky and saw this kid at the right time, but I really liked his game. He has very good hockey sense on both sides of the puck and was involved in the play all night. He has quick hands and very good vision and awareness. It was clear that Hansen was always seeing the game one step ahead…. from anticipating turnovers, executing quick tic-tac-toe pass plays, and getting open for shots on goal. He made a great play to set up Hohmann for an easy tap in as he barely had the puck on his stick, looked off the Youngstown defense, and through a crisp pass to Hohmann off the far post. He maintained discipline in the D zone and was also careful to play within the Roughriders’ system as he never chased the puck needlessly to take himself out of position. He’ll need to get stronger and can hone his game at the NCAA level with some great coaching as he is committed to Colorado College. I’m anxious to see him later in the season as well.
Anthony DeAngelo | D | 5’10” | 165lbs. | 10/24/95
In my opinion, the first star of the game. If you did not have a roster, you would never have thought this kid was 14 years old. Everything was at a high level especially his poise and confidence. All physical skills were top-notch….quick hands, powerful skater with quick first step acceleration, vision and awareness to make the right play and the ability to shoot the puck. DeAngelo played very strong positional defense and found himself on the ice in key situations. DeAngelo was never intimidated and showed heart and determination that set himself apart from most players on the ice that day. He made a great play to score…he saw a Cedar Rapids winger Sam Warning take the puck wide 1 on 2, burst down the middle of the ice and as he was beating the second Youngstown defender to the net, called for the puck. Warning made a nice saucer pass that DeAngelo easily handled to complete the play and put it past Youngstown netminder Matt O’Connor. I don’t know who the other 2014 top players are, but I can’t imagine many more better at this point than DeAngelo.