Boston High School: Cristoval Nieves

Locals taken during Day 2 of NHL Draft

June, 23, 2012
6/23/12
12:24
PM ET
Day 2 of the NHL Draft took place Saturday morning, and while there weren't any locals taken in Friday's first round, a host of New Englanders had their named called in the subsequent rounds.

Here's a rap sheet of those with New England roots who've been taken:

2ND ROUND
53. Tampa Bay Lightning - Brian Hart, Phillips Exeter, RW
56. St. Louis Blues - Sam Kurker, St. John's Prep, RW
59. New York Rangers - Cristoval "Boo" Nieves, Kent School, C

3RD ROUND
66. Nashville Predators - Jimmy Vesey, South Shore Kings (Belmont Hill), LW
75. Calgary Flames - Jon Gillies, Indiana Ice (USHL, South Portland, Maine), G
79. Chicago Blackhawks - Chris Calnan, Noble and Greenough, RW
85. Boston Bruins - Matt Grzelcyk, U.S. NTDP (Charlestown, Mass.), D

4TH ROUND
98. Minnesota Wild - Adam Gilmour, Noble and Greenough, C
106. Ottawa Senators - Tim Boyle, Noble and Greenough, D

5TH ROUND
125. New York Islanders - Doyle Somerby, Kimball Union (St. Mary's of Lynn), D
136. Ottawa Senators - Robbie Baillargeon, Indiana Ice (USHL, Enfield, Conn. via Cushing Academy), C
138. San Jose Sharks - Danny O'Regan, St. Sebastian's, C

7TH ROUND
189. Carolina Hurricanes - Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic, LW
The NHL Draft commences tonight in Pittsburgh and there is a host of New England-based high school, prep school and junior league players who hope hear their name called in the next two days.

Sam Kurker
Scott BarbozaMalden Catholic forward and ESPN Boston Mr. Hockey award winner Brendan Collier could be a sleeper in this weekend's NHL draft.
More than 20 local players were represented on the NHL Central Scouting’s final draft rankings, released in April. So we took the task to the Northeast regional scouts of an Eastern and a Western Conference team to give their evaluations of some of New England’s best and brightest.

The region is moving into somewhat of a renaissance. Folks might like to wax about the good ole days, but there’s plenty of talent to be found around the local ponds right now. That fact was not lost on Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who earlier this week during his annual pre-draft media availability, spoke about this year’s bumper crop.

“It is fairly deep,” Chiarelli said. “It’s the deepest that I’ve seen since I’ve been here and that’s a good sign. It’s a good sign that the registration numbers – usually, it means they’re going up – and obviously the quality of players for the NHL is increasing, too.”

So here’s a look at some of the local skaters to watch out for and their scouting evaluation.

(Players appear by NHL Central Scouting ranking among North American skaters.)

27. Cristoval "Boo" Nieves, Kent School, C
Scout’s take: “He’s an incredible skater, a tall, rangy kid. He’s more of a playmaker than a goal-scorer and finisher, but that’s what his role is, a playmaking-center man. His skating ability is as good or as close to as good as you’ll find in this draft.”

36. Sam Kurker, St. John's Prep, RW
Scout’s take: “He’s got great size, a big strong kid. He’s a great straight-line skater up and down the wing. [He’s got a] big, hard shot and she shows a willingness to play in the hard areas in front of the net, in the corners on the wall.”

54. Brian Hart, Phillips Exeter, RW
Scout’s take: “He’s got a huge shot. He’s real strong on the wall. He’s a very strong skater, in flight, he can really move.

Scout’s take on his soccer prowess as New Hampshire’s reigning Gatorade Player of the Year: “You know that overall athletes usually make the best players in whatever sport they decide on.”

69. Chris Calnan, Noble & Greenough, RW
Scout’s take: “Got better and better as the year went on. He started to play physical and use the body, which I think is everybody was waiting to see. He’s got a bomb of a shot. And he’s got a commitment to BC now, that was nice to see.”

Chiarelli’s take: “I mean there are some good kids in the prep leagues and the Calnan kid’s a good player – a big strong kid – very physically mature, power-forward type.”

76. Danny O'Regan, St. Sebastian's, C
Scout’s take: “He’s a smaller, undersized forward, but plays with a ton of hockey sense. He’s very strong on his skates and plays with a little bit of jam. His intelligence and hockey sense really stick out.”

77. Jimmy Vesey, South Shore Kings/ Belmont Hill, LW
Scout’s take: “The best player in the area. I don’t care where it’s at, 100 points is a 100 points [scored with the Kings last season]. He grew a few inches and he’s just coming into his own. Harvard stole him. BC and BU were sleepwalking on him. He slid through draft last year, but I thought someone would take a shot. Someone’s going to be happy with him this year.”

Chiarelli’s take: “You’ve got in the EJ [Eastern Junior Hockey League], you’ve got the Vesey kid’s a good player. He’s second time through the draft, but very skilled, had a breakout year there, can really make some really good plays with the puck, whether it’s shooting or passing.”

79. Devin Tringale, Lawrence Academy, LW
Scout’s take: “Talk about a vastly underrated player. I think he’s going to go later than he should, but someone’s going to get a steal in this draft. He’s going to be a big asset at Harvard when he gets there.”

88. Frank Vatrano, USA U-18 (East Longmeadow, Mass.), C
Scout’s take: “If you were to put him in the Catholic Conference or prep school hockey, he’s a 50-goal scorer. He’s got an NHL shot right now, he’s got such a quick release. He’s very hard to knock off the puck. He’s become a very good hockey player [with Team USA].”

99. Doyle Somerby, Kimball Union, D
Scout’s take: “He’s got great size, as a forward turned D-man, so he’s a pretty good puck mover. He’s more of a stay-at-home defenseman, but a big, rangy kid. Good smooth stride for a kid his size and good speed in flight.”

101. Adam Gilmour, Noble & Greenough, RW
Scout’s take: “He’s got high skill, sets guys up. He’s going to get stronger. He’s a tall lanky kid. He’ll go to BC and that’s his type of game, playing a type of run-and-gun game, he’ll do fine there.”

143. Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic, LW
Scout’s take: “We hear this about him, he’s just a pure hockey player. Goal line to goal line, he works so hard, got a good compete level. I think he’s going to be a great college player. He’s got some potential because he just works so hard.”

Chiarelli’s take: “A couple of interesting one’s, the Collier kid, [he is] kind of under the radar a little bit, but a real gritty kid.”

177. Matthew Grzelcyk, USA U-18 (Charlestown, Mass.), D
Scout’s take: "I love him. His hockey IQ is up there with kids who are taken in the top 15 in the draft. If had to pick one kid to make the right play getting out of the zone, it’s him. He thinks the game. He finds the seams. He’s a hockey player. I think he’ll be running the PP at BU last year. He’s that David Warsofsky, Matt Hunwick type of player.”

Chiarelli’s take: “You’ve got some kids that kind of went to the U.S. Development Program but are from the area. The Grzelcyk kid’s a very good, mobile defenseman. He’s later on down but he’s got a good head on his shoulders.”

Locals cracking NHL Draft final rankings

April, 9, 2012
4/09/12
10:11
PM ET
The NHL Central Scouting service released its final rankings of North American skaters and goaltenders ahead of the NHL Draft on Monday.

Here's the list of skaters with local ties who made the cut:

(The full list can be found here)
27 Cristoval "Boo" Nieves, Kent School, 6' 2.75" 184, C
36 Sam Kurker, St. John's Prep, 6' 1.5" 198, RW
54 Brian Hart, Phillips Exeter, 6' 2.0" 216, RW
69 Chris Calnan, Noble & Greenough, 6' 1.75" 188, RW
76 Danny O'Regan, St. Sebastian's, 5' 8.75" 162, C
77 Jimmy Vesey, South Shore Kings (North Reading, Mass.), EJHL, 6' 1.0" 200, LW
79 Devin Tringale, Lawrence Academy, 5'11.5" 186, LW
88 Frank Vatrano, USA U-18 (E. Longmeadow, Mass.) 5' 10.0" 218 ,C
99 Doyle Somerby, Kimball Union, 6' 4.5" 232, D
101 Adam Gilmour, Noble & Greenough, 6' 2.25" 193, RW
103 Alexander Gonye, Deerfield Academy, 6'0.5" 166, LW
108 Matthew Beattie, Phillips Exeter, 6' 3.0" 173, LW
127 Nicholas Bligh, South Shore Kings (Milton, Mass.), EJHL, 5' 11.5" 175, C
132 John Stevens, Salisbury, 6' 1.25" 175, C
134 Cam Darcy, USA U-18 (South Boston), 6' 189, C/RW
143 Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic, 5' 9.0" 168, LW
145 Kevin Duane, Brunswick, 6' 4.0" 219, RW
166 Alex Rauter, Choate-Rosemary Hall, 6' 0.0" 174, LW
177 Matthew Grzelcyk, USA U-18 (Charlestown, Mass.), 5' 9.0" 171, D
208 Tim Boyle, Noble & Greenough, 6' 1.75" 185, D
210 Zachary Pryzbek, Salisbury, 6' 2.75" 199, LW

Goaltenders:
31 Joseph Young, Boston Advantage AAA (Hanover, Mass.), 6' 1.5" 162
33 Dawson Sprigings, The Gunnery, 5' 11.25" 206

Recap: No. 7 St. John's Prep 5, No. 6 CM 1

January, 16, 2012
1/16/12
8:06
PM ET


BOSTON -- Catholic Conference rivals No. 6 Catholic Memorial and No. 7 St. John’s Prep entered Monday’s holiday matinee hungry for a win. Both teams sat at 4-4-0 entering the matchup with the Eagles yet to notch a conference win on the season.

Despite controlling play for the greater part of two periods, it was CM who left Walter Brown Arena with a sub-.500 record. Prep struck for three third-period goals, including senior captain Sam Kurker’s third of game, in a 5-1 victory.

“It was a must-win game,” Kurker said of the Eagles’ mentality leading in.

CM (1-2-0 Catholic) outshot the Eagles, 21-12, through two periods, but trailed 2-1.

Prep goaltender David Letarte (25 saves) was instrumental in keeping the Knights at bay early. Not to mention, Letarte along with the Prep defense, helped limit CM to one goal despite seven power play opportunities, including two 5-on-3 situations during the third period.

“He made some big saves early in the game, to keep things close,” Eagles head coach Kristian Hanson said. “Even after they came back, 2-1, he made a big save after that. If it had gone to 2-2, the game could’ve went either way.”

Prep (1-3-0 Catholic) went to the room with a 1-0 lead after the first intermission.

With the Eagles on the forecheck, Kurker forced a turnover in the Knights’ end. His dish out front found Brian Pinho, who beat CM netminder Shane Starrett with a wristshot for a 1-0 lead at 8:28 of the first.

Starrett denied the Eagles from striking again in the period, stoning Tyler Bird on a 2-on-1 chance, in close, at the goalmouth with five minutes remaining.

The Eagles added to their lead four minuts into the second, with Kurker potting his his first of the game.

Jack O’Hear put CM on the board with a perfectly placed wristshot from the slot. The power play tally, assisted by Liam Coughlin, cut the deficit to one before the second imtermission.

“We were doing alright, we played exceptionally well for two periods,” CM head coach Bill Hanson said. “We were right there with the power play opportunities.”

However, the Knights had the wind kicked out of their sails with Kurker’s second of the game, which came 21 seconds into the third period.

From there, the Eagles dominated what once was a tight game. Prep junior Nick Gianelli netted his first goal of the season on a short-handed breakaway at 1:55. Kurker collected the hat trick with a power-play goal with 6:37 remaining.

“The last couple of games, we’ve have opportunities to score and we haven’t capitalized on them,” Kristian Hanson said. “Today, we had fewer opportunities, but we did a better job with the ones we had.”

POWER TO THE PK
As the Knights’ goal-scoring struggles continued, the Eagles bettered their percentage on the penalty kill, which has been among the state’s best in the first half of the season.

Along with top-line stalwarts Kurker and Pinho, the Eagles’ PK has been a well-rounded group, with contributions from players up and down the lines.

“Our PK’s been pretty strong all year,” Kristian Hanson said. “Sam [Kurker] and Brian [Pinho] kind of lead the way with that, but then we’ve had other guys step in there like [Nick] Gianelli and [Derek] Osbahr and [Nick] Bragole, those were guys that were on the JV last year. This year, they’ve been asked to step up and contribute on the PK and play significant minutes.”

KURKER ON ASCENT
Kurker received weighty praise last week when he was ranked 41st among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm draft rankings. As one of only two MIAA skaters (along with MC’s Brendan Collier) included on the list, it speaks volumes that Kurker was the second highest ranked skater with New England roots, following Kent School’s Cristoval Nieves.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pound winger was also the second highest ranked high schooler (behind Nieves) on the list.

The BU-commit credited the achievement to the hard work he’s put in the weight room, under the watchful eye of recently named Boston Red Sox strength coach Mike Boyle.

“It’s nice to get recognition, but you have to keep working hard," Kurker said. "That’s so far off [the draft] that you have to keep on working.”

Prep's Kurker leads locals on NHL Midterms

January, 11, 2012
1/11/12
12:26
PM ET
St. John's Prep senior forward Sam Kurker leads the list of locals on the NHL Central Scouting's Midterm Rankings of North American skaters.

Kurker, who has 10 goals for 14 points through seven games with the Eagles, was ranked 41st on the list released Wednesday morning.

Kent School center Cristoval Nieves was the highest ranked player with New England roots, ranked 31st.

Here's the complete list of New England skaters making the grade:
31 Cristoval Nieves, Kent School, 6' 2.75" 184, C
41 Sam Kurker, St. John's Prep, 6' 1.5" 198, RW
60 Brian Hart, Philips Exeter, 6' 2.0" 216, RW
94 Chris Calnan, Noble & Greenough, 6' 1.75" 188, RW
98 Devin Tringale, Lawrence Academy, 5' 11.75" 195, LW
103 Cam Darcy, U.S. U-18, 6' 0.0" 189, C/RW
112 Danny O'Regan, St. Sebastian's, 5' 8.75" 162, C
118 Frank Vatrano, U.S. U-18 (Longmeadow, Mass.), 5' 10.0" 218, C
127 Doyle Somerby, Kimball Union, 6' 5.0" 220, D
131 Brendan Collier, Malden Catholic, 5' 9.0" 168, LW
145 Adam Gilmour, Noble & Greenough 6' 2.5" 194, RW
170 John Stevens, Salisbury, 6' 1.25" 175, C
172 Alex Rauter, Choate-Rosemary Hall, 6' 0.25" 175, LW
180 Zachary Pryzbek, Salisbury, 6' 3.0" 196. LW
194 Alexander Gonye, Deerfield Academy, 6' 0.25" 162, LW
201 Bron Loiselle, Northfield-Mt. Hermon, 6' 0.25" 173, C
202 Tyler Wood, Noble & Greenough, 6' 2.5" 189 D
206 Brendan Silk, U.S. U-18 (Wakefield, Mass.), 6' 2.75" 191, RW

Goaltenders:
24 Joe Young, Boston Advantage AAA (Hanover, Mass.), 6' 1.5" 160
31 Dawson Sprigings, The Gunnery,, 5' 11.0" 190

2012 NHL Draft futures list out

July, 1, 2011
7/01/11
10:54
AM ET
One week after the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, the league's Central Scouting service turned its attention to the 2012 field, presenting its summer prospect futures grades.

Leading the pack of Massachusetts high schoolers were Robert Baillargeon (Cushing Academy) and Devin Tringale (Lawrence Academy) who each received 'A' grades.

Among those receiving 'B' grades were the first MIAA players to be recognized by a pair of wingers: Brendan Collier of Malden Catholic and Sam Kurker of St. John's Prep.

Also receiving 'A' grades were winger Brian Hart of Exeter (N.H.) High and center Cristoval Nieves of the The Kent School (Conn.).

The full list of North American skaters, including high schoolers throughout New England, is located here.

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