Boston High School: Niko Rufo

St. John's Prep standout and soon-to-be NHL Draft hopeful Brian Pinho led a deep pool of local skaters selected in Tuesday's "Phase 2" of the United States Hockey League's Draft.

Pinho was one of 13 skaters with ties to MIAA hockey who were taken on the day, including 10 who played for member schools last season.

Here's a list of players with New England ties who were selected Tuesday, listed by overall selection:

6. Brian Pinho (North Andover), C, St. John's Prep - Indiana

15. Ryan Segalla (Hanover), D, Salisbury - Dubuque

18. Merrick Madsen, G, Proctor - Des Moines

22. Connor Light (Sudbury), D, Phillips Andover - Omaha

25. Anthony Petruzzelli, LW, Brooks - Green Bay

28. Zach Sanford (Auburn, N.H.), LW, Islanders (EJHL) - Waterloo

30. Liam Coughlin (South Boston), C, Catholic Memorial - Dubuque

34. Danny Tirone (Trumbull, Conn.),G , Loomis-Chaffee - Cedar Rapids

37. James Winkler (York, Maine), RW, Berwick - Muskegon

53. Jake McCarthy (Dedham), D, St. Sebastian's - Muskegon

56. Garrett Hehir (Auburn, Mass.), C, Cushing Acacdemy - Lincoln

59. Shane Starrett (Bellingham), G, Selects Academy (Catholic Memorial) - Sioux Falls

66. A.J. Greer, LW, Kimball Union - Des Moines

93. Kevin Duane (New Canaan, Conn.), RW, Boston Junior Bruins (EJHL) - Des Moines

94. Terence Amarossa, D, Holderness - Sioux City

100. Aaron Titcomb (Charlestown), D, Salisbury - Cedar Rapids

105. Shane Kavanaugh (E. Providence, R.I.), RW, Cushing Academy - Dubuque

111. Connor Brassard (Fitchburg), D, Cushing Academy - Chicago

120. Mark Hamilton (Winthrop), D, Salisbury - Dubuque

140. Mark Dufour (Winthrop), RW, Kents Hill - Cedar Rapids

165. David Belluche (Andover), D, Phillips Andover - Dubuque

177. Carl Hesler (Boxborough), F, Belmont Hill - Waterloo

191. Miles Gendron (Shrewsbury), C, Rivers - Lincoln

192. Shane Bennett, C, Milton Academy - Waterloo

210. Evan Smith, C/LW, Salisbury - Dubuque

211. Ryan Collins (Newton), C, Ottawa (CJHL) - Indiana

213. Brendan Shane, C, The Gunnery - Des Moines

220. Niko Rufo (Stoneham), LW, Kimball Union - Green Bay

225. Mitchell Smith, C/LW, Salisbury - Dubuque

226. Michael Turner, LW, Cushing Academy - Indiana

230. Tyler Sifferlen (North Andover), F, Malden Catholic - Cedar Rapids

237. Mason Krueger (Nashua, N.H.), LW, Avon Old Farms - Waterloo

246. Vincent Ditmore, D, Choate Rosemary Hall - Chicago

257. Tyler Bird (Andover), RW, St. John's Prep - Tri-City

266. Nick Rutigliano (Shrewsbury), D, Boston Advantage AAA - Lincoln

272. Andrew Cross (Saugus), D, Austin Prep - Tri-City

274. Tyler Drevitch (Middleborough), RW, Boston Bandits (EJHL) - Sioux City

279. Colin MacGillivray (Peabody - Malden Catholic), D, N.H. Junior Monarchs (EJHL) - Youngstown

285. Will D'Orsi (Sudbury), F, St. Sebastian's - Dubuque

300. Nolan Vesey (North Reading), F, Austin Prep - Dubuque

307. Joel Daccord (North Andover - North Andover), G, Cushing Academy - Chicago

309. Sam Tucker (Wilton, Conn.), G, Choate Rosemary Hall - Youngstown

310. Charlie Corcoran (New Canaan, Conn.), C, Berkshire School - Green Bay

366. Jack Adams (Boxford), F, Malden Catholic - Chicago

367. Luke Stevens, F, Duxbury - Omaha

382. J.J. Layton (Peabody), D, Austin Prep - Omaha

384. Charley Borek (Durham, N.H.), F, Choate Rosemary Hall - Youngstown

Player Perspective: KUA's Nick Roberto

December, 18, 2012
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Kimball Union Academy hockey wrapped up its first-ever Flood-Marr Holiday Tournament championship on Sunday with a 4-2 win over Westminster School. The Wildcats were led by senior forward Nick Roberto, who earned the tournament’s David Rogerson Trophy as its MVP.

Roberto, a Maine commit and Wakefield, Mass. native, also became the first KUA player to take home MVP honors since 1975.

Considered one of the top prep hockey teams in New England entering the 2012-13 season, the Wildcats are in the hunt for another NEPSAC championship this year.

We caught up with Roberto, who started his high school hockey career at Malden Catholic, in between games on Friday:

Q: You have some pretty skilled players beside you on your line with Casey Miller and J.D. Dudek. How do your skills complement each other?

A: “We’re always on the same page. We’re not selfish players, we’re always looking for each other. I like Casey because I’ve been playing with him for two years now. He’s a pass-first and shoot-second kind of player. He’s always looking. Dudek came over [transfer from Pinkerton Academy] and he’s just a hell of a player, he’s going to [Boston College], that says a lot. He brings a lot of skill to the line. I’m more of a grind-it-out player, but Casey and him, it’s all skill. That goal, my first goal [on Friday] was all Dudek, Casey drove the net and I was high and Dudek just made a nice pass. I was lucky to get it underneath the crossbar. And then, at the end of the game … At first, I thought it was going to be a little bit scary, but we got it. Casey just found a little hole on the ice and I tipped [the shot] up and batted it out of midair.”

Q: The tournament started a little tough for you guys, but you took over the third period of your first game against Salisbury with your two goals, including the game-tier and the game-winner. What was the difference?

A: “I think I played the worst two periods of my life, then the third period, Coach [Mike Levine] just told everybody to relax. I was a little snake-bitten with my stick and then I just came alive in the third. But it was a team effort.”

Q: You have a very talented roster and, as a result, there’s high expectations again for this team this year. What do you expect of yourselves as a team?

A: “I think today [Friday] really showed what we’re made out of as a team. It was the first time we’ve been losing for two periods and we fought back. No one gave up. Everybody was really positive on the bench, and that helps a lot. Coach wasn’t negative. He’s always helping us, encouraging us. We just starting playing hard, getting shots to the net and good things happened.”

Q: You have a couple of your old Malden Catholic teammates – Connor Evangelista and Brendan White – playing with you. What’s it like having been around those guys for so long?

A: “Well, Connor and I have been best friends since we were about three years old. We’ve gone to every school together: preschool, elementary school, middle school, MC and now here. We were roommates last year. Brendan came along this year, and I’m roommates with [Providence College commit] Niko Rufo this year, but I think Whitey’s in our room more than we are. It’s just fun up there with those two because we’ve been friends for such a long time.”

Q: You’re still a couple years away from Maine, but what are your hockey plans from here?

A: “I went up there a couple of weeks ago, I saw them play BC and we talked after the game. They said they don’t have that many openings for 2013, so then I can play a year of juniors and step right in and play. I’m fine with that, they’re really supportive of me – whatever helps. I’m not looking to go to college right now with the economy being what it is. I might as well live the dream some more and I’ll get there when I get there.”
Kimball Union Academy's Doyle Somerby was one of the more intriguing New England prospects in this year's NHL Draft Class.

The Marblehead, Mass. native started his high school career at St. Mary's of Lynn and, during his time with the Spartans, began the transition from playing forward to defense.

A rugged, 6-foot-5, 225-pounder, Somberby transferred to the Meriden, New Hampshire school for his sophomore season and continued his journey toward his professional dream.

That goal got a little closer to reality on Saturday as Somerby was selected by the New York Islanders in the fifth round (125th overall) in the NHL Draft.

"It's funny, [the Islanders were the first team I met with back in January," Somerby said in a phone interview from Pittsburgh. "But I only heard from them once more through the process, so it wasn't a surprise, but you're not really sure where you're going to end up."

Somerby will not be rushed to the NHL. He'll return for his final season at KUA in the fall (he'd also been drafted into the USHL and QMJHL) before heading off to join a deep class at Boston University in 2013. It's all part of a progression that Somerby's looking to fulfill.

"It was a tough transitition," Somerby said of his move back to the blue line. "It happened so fast. The biggest thing is still working on footwork. I'm a big guy and it took me a while to be comfortable with my body."

Somerby's development has been helped by playing against some of New England's top forwards at KUA, including Nick Roberto (Maine commit) and Niko Rufo (Providence College).

"Being at KUA, we have a bunch of small forwards who buzz around down low in the zone, like Roberto and Rufo," Somerby said. "It's built confidence in me being able to skate against those guys every day in practice."

He also credited his time in Lynn as having an impact on him.

"St. Mary's was great for me, it made me take school work seriously. Going out against the Austin Preps and Malden Catholics of the world and some of the players they had back then, that really helped me watching those players. It was great seeing them making the Super 8 so high last year, too."

While the work in progress continues, Somerby's looking forward to the hard work, with the ultimate pot of gold on the other side -- a chance to break in on Long Island.

"The team's been building with [Jonathan] Tavares and [Kyle] Okposo and they've got some really good defensemen," Somerby said. "I realize I've still got four, five more years to go, but it's exciting to see them buidling, getting the new rink and they have a great bunch of people in the front office. It's exciting to be a part of that."

KUA's Roberto commits to Maine

February, 23, 2012
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Kimball Union Academy junior Nick Roberto has committed to the University of Maine-Orono for the 2013-14 season, head coach Mike Levine confirmed to ESPN Boston on Thursday.

Through 28 games, the 5-foot-9, 170-pound forward has 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points for the Wildcats.

The Wakefield, Mass. resident played the previous three seasons with Malden Catholic, where last year he was a part of the Lancers Super 8 championship team.

"He competes extremely hard, plays with energy, and uses his speed effectively," Levine said.

Roberto is the fourth Kimball Union player with Bay State roots to give a commitment to a Hockey East school, joining Niko Rufo (PC), Doyle Somerby (BU) and John Macleod (BU).

Rufo commits to Providence

August, 23, 2011
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Former Arlington Catholic ice hockey standout Niko Rufo announced via Twitter that he has committed to Providence College for the 2013 season.

Rufo helped lead the Cougars to the MIAA Division 1 state championship during the 2009-10 season as a sophomore. The 6-foot, 180-pound center played for the Boston Junior Bruins last year before lacing up his skates with the Neponset Valley River Rats Tier 1 Elite AAA team this fall.

"I'm very happy for him," AC head coach Dan Shine said Tuesday. "He came to us as a varsity player in his freshman year and always worked very hard at the game. He made a major contribution to that [championship] team."

Rufo was given a 'C' grade on the NHL Central Scouting's 2012 Draft Watch List.

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