Friday, March 02, 2007

First 2009 recruit

BU has reached all the way across the country for its first 2009 recruit, 6-2, 180 right shot defenseman Max Nicastro of the Los Angeles Jr. Kings who turns 17 years old today. He’ll spend the next two seasons with the Chicago Steel (scroll down) of the USHL coached by former Colgate and NHL defenseman Steve Poapst.

Steel general manager Jason Koehler says “Max is one of the top young defensemen in the country not playing in the USHL right now," adding that “Boston University made a wise move grabbing him now, as his stock will only go up once he's in the USHL next season and getting many NHL Draft looks.”

Despite being injured early in last summer’s Select 16 national camp, Nicastro was named to one of the two USA U17 teams that played in the Three Nations Tournament in Rochester. His team, which also included 2008 recruit David Warsofsky, won that event. Nicastro was in Massachusetts this past December for the Fall Beantown Classic which the Junior Kings won.
One pro scout calls him a player with “potential, good size and offensive ability.” USHR says Nicastro “holds the blue line well, has a good stick, can make a pass, and sees the ice well.”

Nicastro currently has a 17-19-36 line with 15 powerplay goals. Like BU’s 2007 and 2008 blueline recruits (Kevin Shattenkirk, Colby Cohen, and Warsofsky) powerplay effectiveness is a big part of his game.

USHR on Warsofsky: [He] is small, but he has excellent mobility, an excellent stick, and he sees the ice uncommonly well. He can thread the needle with his passes – a high number of them are exceptional. He has poise a-plenty. When he’s running the power play for the Terriers in a few years, those high-priced seats in the new arena will be worth every penny. He’s just a fun player to watch.

U18 Coach Ron Rolston on Shattenkirk: He's one of the players on the team that's a difference maker on the ice surface. He's really good instinctively and creating off the blue line. He can really make things happen and is the catalyst of our offense."

Is there a BU connection at the Junior Kings. Yes, there is. It’s former Terrier Nick Vachon, son of NHL goalie Rogie Vachon. Nick, who briefly reached the NHL with the Islanders, is a coach on the Junior Kings staff.

With permission from Paul Shaheen, we’ve reprinted his report on Nicastro in Research on Ice.

In a week where many an NHL GM went searching for diamonds in the rough, the Boston University Terriers have done likewise, snagging 1990 born defenseman Max Nicastro from the AAA Los Angeles Junior Kings for the fall of 2009.

At 6-2 and 180 pounds, Nicastro is a fire-wagon type blueliner, who in 48 games has scored 36 points on 17 goals--15 of which have come on the power play.

"He's as dynamic as they come," says Junior Kings coach Mike Pilon, who took over the AAA Kings coaching duties earlier this year after (former Bowling Green star) Nelson Emerson stepped aside from his full-time coaching duties to work as an assistant with the NHL Kings.

"Max's biggest asset is his shot. He can get off a one-timer no matter what. Slow puck, bouncing puck, you name it, he can pivot and shoot and usually get it right on net. For a kid his size, he's very smooth."

From the Los Angeles suburb of Thousand Oaks, CA., Nicastro is a junior in high school, and according to Pilon, the type of kid any team would want to have around.

"He comes from a very good family, and he's a very dedicated young man," Pilon adds, "he's very good in the locker room, especially on our team which only has three kids that young. He could well develop captain-type qualities, but for now he's an excellent support guy. He does his job, and he's no distraction at all."

Only in his first year with the Kings, this may also be his last. Property of the USHL's Chicago Steel, Nicastro, born March 2, 1990, is more than likely to be playing in the USHL next year, and barring a trade, in Chicago.

The Junior Kings are preparing for their USA Hockey district playoffs, which will begin next week.

No comments:

Site Meter