Preseason Ice Hockey Top Players list: Mancinelli and Calvaruso of Detroit C.C. among state’s best
Here is the initial players to watch list to start the 2015-2016 season. Much like the rankings, this list will prove to be very fluid, and that is a great thing for the game. This list is in alphabetical order. It’s a culmination of the list that coaches around the state helped compile.
Jason Brancheau: Wyandotte Roosevelt. Coach Mike Quint and the Bears return their leading scorer from last year.
Bronson Foote: East Kentwood. The Falcons are a team to watch in the talented west side of the state, and Foote returns after over a point a game last season.
Logan Jenuwine: Romeo. Both Jenuwine and the Bulldogs burst on the scene in 2014-2015, what might they do for an encore in 2015-2016? 54 Goals, 38 Assists and 92 points in 28 games last season for Jenuwine.
Alex Lycett: Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood. The Cranes are loaded once again, and Lycett was a name brought up by every coach with whom I spoke.
Joe Mancinelli: Detroit Catholic Central. The Shamrocks always have depth up and down the roster, but many coaches singled out Mancinelli as one to watch.
Austin McCarthy: Manistee. The Chippewas return their leading scorer in McCarthy, who put up 59 points in only 25 games. One opposing coach called him "the best player in the state".
Ian Melrose: Berkley. Coach Jeff Fleming and the Bears are going to hit the top 25 much sooner than later, and are led by Melrose, who put up 67 points in 26 games last season.
Brandon Morgan: Trenton. The Trojans "Team 49" is loaded, and many coaches that I spoke to felt that Morgan will be a big part of the success.
Reid Pietila: Houghton. The Gremlins are always tough to beat, and Pietila led the way with 49 points in 28 games.
Hayden Taylor: Detroit Country Day. The Yellowjackets are looking to take the next step this year, and Taylor should lead the way.
Thomas Breazeale: Grandville. A four year player for the fine Bulldogs program, the sky is the limit for both Grandville and Breazeale.
Andrew Froese: Traverse City Central. Froese had 44 points in 28 games from the blue line last season. For this reason almost every coach mentioned the talented Froese.
Jay Keranen: Brighton. The Bulldogs are expected to challenge across the board in Division 1, and a steady back end, led by Keranen, will be a key.
Jaret Koger: Brother Rice. Another near unanimous mention by the coaches, Koger returns in the quest for back-to-back titles in Division 2.
Brennan Martin: Novi. The Wildcats are going to be fun to watch, and Martin will be a big part of it as a do-it-all player on the blue line.
Adam Olson: Livonia Stevenson. The Spartans entire back end is a reason they have been suggested as perhaps the team to beat at the start of the year. Olson is an impact player that can affect the game in all three zones.
Jake Phillips: Marquette. Coach Doug Garrow and the Redmen were a solid club last year, and might be even better this year with the returning Phillips patrolling the blue line.
Riley Richards: Grand Rapids Catholic Central. The Cougars are known for limiting the opposition, and Richards will continue to be a big part of that.
Jack Sturos: Calumet. The Copper Kings are the talk of the Upper Peninsula at the start of the season, and part of any future success will start on the blue line with Sturos.
Joe Ullstrom: Hartland. Coach Rick Gadwa has a knack for developing solid defenders, and Ullstrom might be the newest name added to that list.
Cullen Barber: Livonia Stevenson. A near unanimous mention, Barber is the last line of an already stingy Spartan defense.
Alec Calvaruso: Detroit Catholic Central. The Shamrocks have depth everywhere, and a solid goaltender as well, as we enter this new campaign.
Andrew DeYoung: Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills. Coach Wayne Skislak and the Knights return one of the best in the state for his senior season.
Dawson Kero: Hancock. Coach Dan Rouleau and the Bulldogs return a fine goaltender looking to better impressive numbers from last season.
Derek Schaedig: Chelsea. Coach Don Wright and the Bulldogs return Schaedig, who boasted a stellar 2.27 goals against average and a .915 save percentage last season.