Monday, November 03, 2008

Terriers recruit a top power forward

BU has received a verbal commitment for 2009 from one of the top power forwards in junior A hockey, Alex Chiasson of the Des Moines Bucs of USHL. A native of Quebec, Chiasson, a 6-3.5, 187 lb., right wing and center, was recently given an “A” rating on NHL Central Scouting’s players to watch list for the 2009 draft.

An NHL scout, who has Chiasson as one of the top players on his 2009 draft list, says:
While his skating needs to gain a step, he has really nice hands and puck skills. Alex has to mature a little in gaining some strength, but he is a solid competitor who comes to play every game, every shift. He’s very good on faceoffs, has creative puck skills, works the corners, and goes hard to the net. He has all the assets to make a very good college player and solid potential to play at the next level. He is a great kid, is having a solid year in the USHL; if Bonino and Wilson stay, BU will be endowed with three outstanding centers.

Chiasson’s coach in Des Moines is former NHL star J.P. Parise, father of Devils’ forward—and former North Dakota standout—Zach Parise. Following September’s USHL Fall Classic in Sioux City, U.S. Hockey Report evaluated top NHL draft prospects and reported “The two forwards we liked the most in terms of their total game were Louis Leblanc and Alex Chiasson.” Leblanc, also from Quebec, had made his final choice between Harvard and BU, electing to skate for the Crimson in 2009.

USHR had first reported on Chiasson last January when he was playing prep hockey at Northwood Prep in Lake Placid (Pete MacArthur’s prep school):

Right now, the college guys are closely following junior Alex Chiasson, a 6’3”, 175 forward from Quebec City. As an Oct. ’90 birthdate, he won’t be eligible for the NHL draft until ’09.

“He’s gotten a lot better over the course of the season,” says [Head Coach Jeff] Matthews [who had coached BU assistant captain Brian Strait at Northfield Mount Hermon]. “And from what I’ve seen, and others have concurred, there’s not a better ’90 birthdate in the East. He’s leading the team in scoring. He’s every bit of 6'3". He's crafty. He protects the puck really well. He has really good hands. He’s similar to Krys Kolanos but bigger.”

Matthews says Chiasson wants to keep his college options open until the end of the school year. He’s a good student and should have his pick of schools.

Last month, as his stock as a top college prospect continued to rise, Chiasson was interviewed by McKeen’s Hockey Prospects editor Kevin Wey about his development as player, growing up in Quebec and moving on to Northwood, and his college interests. Also last month, another McKeen’s editor, Vincent Montabalo, ranked him the top 1990 uncommitted prospect.

In Chiasson's most recent game, a 2-1 Des Moines shootout win over Indiana, he scored the Buc’s tying goal and then added another in the shootout.

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