This past week I was able to take in a game between Delbarton Prep and Bishop Eustace. Now if Delbarton sounds familiar to you, it probably is due to Kenny Agostino, a 5th round selection of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, who played with the school last season. With Kenny graduating from Delbarton last year and moving to Yale University, the prep school was forced to keep its winning ways with new, young, and tenacious talent. That’s where Matt Killian and Tommy Davis step in.
For the entire game, Delbarton outworked Bishop Eustace in all 3 zones showing how they were a team not to be reckoned with. The final score ended up 6-3 in Delbarton’s favor, with the goalie letting in a few softies, but that isn’t what I was focused on.
Matt Killian is a very smooth skating, big defenseman who is solid in every situation you place him in. He is capable of running the powerplay, leading the rush up the ice, in addition be a defensive stalwart on the backend. His long reach is certainly an advantage to his defensive game that is already proficient as it is. His vision is impeccable, and has tape-to-tape stretch passes that were used constantly leading Delbarton to a scoring chance. He is cool, calm, and collective with the puck and certainly showed his stickhandling skills blowing by 3 defenders with ease, as well as a few other occasions where Killian seemed to have the puck on a string.
There were not enough instances where I saw him unload his shot, however he was smart about shot placement by shooting it along the ice for possible deflections. Killian’s physical game cannot be counted out either. He served 3 heavy body checks in the game and nudged a few bodies to get the puck for a breakout out of the zone. Killian was rarely caught out of position, if at all, and posted some solid numbers with a goal and powerplay assist. I find Killian to be a all-around defenseman who would be comparable to Brandon Gormley, with the exception that he isn’t as tall. He did not truly stand out in the game and there wasn’t a single facet to his play that jumped out at you, but he was good at everything he did. Central Scouting has him rated as an A level prospects so keep an eye out for him in the 1st or 2nd round of the draft. But do not be surprised if he slips to the 3rd or 4th. He’s committed to Yale University for 2011/2012.
Tommy Davis was a completely different player altogether. Ranked as a C level prospect on Central Scouting, Davis plays a rough and tumble style of hockey from the backend. Davis loves to use the body and laid some bone-crushing hits along the boards and a few open ice hits. He and Killian are two of the biggest players on the team, and Davis certainly used his size to his advantage. Yet another thing I noticed about him was his eagerness to rush the puck up the ice.
He didn’t possess the patience that Killian did and joined the rush whenever he could. This caused him to be out of position a few times, one time in particular that led to an opposing goal. His stickhandling skills are a bit underrated, as he was able to pull some really nice dekes around the opposition for Delbarton to get setup in the offensive zone. His skating wasn’t as fluid as Killian’s but was still very good, but his speed was very quick for a big man. Overall, he’s a pretty gritty defender with some decent offensive upside.