The 10 years after: 2010 New England-area draft preview


Kevin Hayes, 24th overall selection in 2010 NHL Entry Draft (Kirk Luedeke photo)

It’s hard to believe that we’re approaching a decade after the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, held in Los Angeles.

That year, the Bruins had the second overall selection by virtue of the Phil Kessel trade to Toronto, and used it on Tyler Seguin, who played just three seasons in Boston before he was dealt to the Dallas Stars.

For New England, the 2010 NHL Entry Draft marked the first time more than one native of the six-state region was drafted in the first round going back nearly a decade to 2002 (Ryan Whitney– 5th overall/Penguins, Mike Morris– 27th/Sharks).

In the 10 years since Kevin Hayes and Charlie Coyle went to the Blackhawks (24th) and Sharks (28th) respectively, that New England class has seen some other local players establish themselves as NHL players, such as Chris Wagner (drafted) and Garnet Hathaway (undrafted).

As is always the case, players who were pretty highly regarded (Bill Arnold, Connor Brickley) played games in the show, but never made the anticipated impact in the NHL given their draft position.

Of course, others who we were high on as NHL prospects never came close.

Coyle was ranked ahead of Hayes in the draft preview because we simply felt at the time that Coyle’s harder/heavier style would translate to pro hockey more than Hayes. Both players have gone onto success in the NHL, though ironically, neither played a single game for the teams that drafted them.

In the end, the 2010 New England (late 1991 and 1992 birth year) NHL draft class ended up being a pretty successful one for the region, all things considered. Below, you can see what we thought of the players then and compare those notes to how they turned out.- KL

This article appeared in the June, 2010 issue of New England Hockey Journal- Kirk Luedeke

The 2010 NHL Entry Draft may not boast a local talent along the lines of Chris Kreider (Boxford, Mass.) who went 19th overall to the New York Rangers last year, but Charlie Coyle (Weymouth, Mass.) and Kevin Hayes (Dorchester, Mass.) represent two quality options for teams late in the opening round or early in the second.

“I think it’s excellent,” the NHL Central Scouting Sevice’s veteran evaluator and regional expert Gary Eggleston (Wakefield, Mass.) said when asked about the quality of the New England class overall. “It’s deep enough so teams will get a decent player well into the second round.”

Gritty, character types like Bill Arnold (Needham, Mass.) and Connor Brickley (Everett, Mass.), who were important contributors to Team USA’s gold medal-winning squad at the World Under-18 Championship in April are sure to be picked anywhere from the third round on, while Brian Billett (Kennebunk, Me.) simply has not gotten the respect he deserves as the EJHL’s Goaltender of the Year and workhorse in net who led the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs to the 2010 league title.

Also in the mix is Mike Pereira (West Haven, Conn.), whose sensational performance in the New England Prep School Ice Hockey Association tournament in leading the No. 7 seeded Avon Old Farm’s to the school’s record eighth title since 1982, should appeal to teams looking for winners who elevate their game in the clutch.

Another prolific scorer who was passed over in 2009 is Chris Wagner (Walpole, Mass.), who set the EJHL single season scoring record this season with 83 points, and plays bigger than his size. He and Coyle made things very difficult for opponents of the South Shore Kings, and nearly led the team to the national Jr. A Tier III championship in the spring, falling to the St. Louis Jr. Blues in the title game.

If you’re looking for a New England draft dark horse in the later rounds, then look no further than Winchester High forward Mike Seward, another of Ted Donato’s (Dedham. Mass.) Harvard recruits, who joins Mark Adams (Malden, Mass.) as another product of Massachusetts public high school hockey who could see his name called late in the draft, as Buffalo did with Adams in ‘09. Phillips-Andover standout and Brown recruit Garnet Hathaway (Kennebunkport, Me.) is another late-rising power forward who brings size and physicality, but will need to improve his skating going forward.

Not to be forgotten are teammates Brian Ward (Haverhill, Mass.) and Cody Ferriero (Essex, Mass.) of Governor’s Academy. Ferriero is another small, but skilled forward who could be drafted in June, much like older brother Benn, is in the San Jose organization after a standout career at BC (drafted by Phoenix). The younger Ferriero is arguably this New England class’s most talented player, but he needs improvement in his maturity and discipline, in the words of several scouts who acknowledged the upside, but have issues with his attitude. Ward is a big centerman (6-2, 190) who works hard and does a lot of things well, but is more of a jack-of-all-trades and doesn’t have the kind of elite ability that would put him near the top of the crop.

Given the quality and depth of this class, the New England region should have solid representation throughout the lottery in terms of native players and those with ties to the area.


  1. Charlie Coyle, RW South Shore (EJHL) 6-2, 201 Shoots: R (E. Weymouth Mass.)

GP- 42 G- 21 A- 42 PTS- 63 PIM- 50            CSB Final Rank: 24

Plus: Superb size and hockey skills. According to Eggleston, seamlessly transitions from finesse to a power game depending on the situation; willing to go into traffic and play in the “dirty” areas of the ice. Aggressive and tenacious; goes hard to the net and excels in winning battles for loose pucks along the boards. Good on-ice vision and overall hockey IQ. Gritty, gutsy gamer played hurt during the EJHL playoffs and elevated his performance, nearly upsetting the favored Monarchs in the championship game.

Minus: First step explosion is only average, although straight-line speed is very good. Needs to be able to bring the production with him to Boston University, where he will have the chance to play in all situations for Jack Parker (Somerville, Mass.)

Quotable: “Charlie’s ability to control the game as a ’92 birthdate playing up a level in the EJHL says a lot about his potential to be a very good pro player one day.”- Gary Eggleston, regional scout, Central Scouting Service

  1. Kevin Hayes, LW Noble & Greenough (HIGH- MA) 6-3, 190 Shoots: L (Dorchester, Mass.)

GP-29 G- 25 A- 44 PTS- 69 PIM- NA            CSB Final Rank: 26

Plus: Tremendous skater with outstanding edge control and agility. Top speed is a plus and uses his agility and ability to make moves at full gallop to befuddle defenders. Wicked shot with a quick release. Deft passer who exploits seams in defenses and can hit the open man with ease. Excellent character; a model teammate. Skills and upside are the best of any player in this regional class; which is why he’s right behind Coyle on the list, but could easily be the first New England player off the board in the late first-round because of his measurable attributes and appeal to NHL scouts.

Minus: Needs to improve physical play and willingness to take the puck to the net more consistently. Play in all three zones is not quite as good as that of Coyle. Spends more time on the perimeter than a player of his size and ability should; doesn’t use his terrific shot enough.

Quotable: “Kevin has turned out to be a very good playmaker; his passes are right where they need to be and after seeing him two years ago, I didn’t expect him to be as good as he’s become in that regard.”- Gary Eggleston


  1. Bill Arnold, C U.S. NTDP U-18 Team (USHL) 6-0, 210 Shoots: L (Needham, Mass.)

GP- 26   G- 8   A- 15 PTS- 23 PIM- 20            CSB Final Rank: 36

Plus: Underrated hockey skills; can handle and shoot the puck very well. Very strong on the puck and tough to knock off stride because of low center of gravity and tremendous lower body drive. Takes the puck hard to the net and has the hands to finish off plays in close. Smart and tenacious; really came on after a slow start. Left the comfort of home and what would have been explosive scoring totals at Nobles to challenge himself in Ann Arbor.

Minus: Lacks explosive drive and separation gear in his skating. Conditioning could be an ongoing issue; he began the year heavy and worked himself into shape, but will need to continue to keep his weight in mind as he moves on to Boston College in the fall. Upside could be as a third/fourth liner at the NHL level.

Quotable: “As the season went along, Billy got more and more comfortable and more dominant for his team, looking the way he did when he was at Nobles.”- Gary Eggleston


  1. Connor Brickley, LW Des Moines (USHL) 6-2, 195 Shoots: L (Everett, Mass.)

GP- 52   G- 22   A- 21   PTS- 43   PIM- 68                        CSB Final Rank: 58

Plus: A gritty competitor who elevates his game at crunch time. Good skater who willingly goes into high traffic areas. Despite lacking the size of other bigger, more physically mature players in the USHL, often initiated contact and did a good job of separating opponents from the puck. Intelligent, two-way player who excels on the forecheck and defensively; the reason he made the under-18 team ahead of several forwards with more skill.

Minus: Hands and pure finishing ability could hold him back at the next level; scores a lot of his goals by going to the net and converting rebounds, but has to work harder at it than others who have the natural talent. Needs to play more in control at times and not take undisciplined penalties.

Quotable: “He really jumps out at you right away because he hits as hard as he does. He’s one of the few guys in the USHL this season that I project to be a pretty good pro because of what he brings to the table in terms of his tenacity and intelligence.”- Max Giese, regional (Midwest) scout, Red Line Report


  1. Brian Billett, G NH Jr. Monarchs (EJHL) 6-1, 190 Catches: L (Kennebunk, Me.)

GP- 26   MIN: 1565 W- 21 L- 2   T- 3 GAA: 1.92 SPCT.943            CSB Final Rank: NR

Plus: Long, live athletic build with nice quickness and instincts. Extremely focused; able to make key saves at critical moments on a team that doesn’t give up a lot of shots. Calm, poised gamer brings a quiet, but intense focus and preparation to the rink with him each day. A winner; secured the league title and took top goalie honors in the process. Criminally underrated—not even put on Central Scouting’s top-30 goalie list, but ranked 75th overall by Red Line Report

Minus: Struggled to make a name for himself at the Select-17 and Hockey Night in Boston Showcases last summer. Injury earlier this season detracted from his play at the beginning but he rebounded well.

Quotable: “We really like this kid and sometimes feel like we’re the only ones who do, but all he did was win this year and lead his team to the EJHL championship. That says a lot for the kind of player he is and what he’s capable of doing at the next level.”- Kyle Woodlief, Chief Scout and Publisher, Red Line Report


  1. Mike Pereira, LW Avon Old Farms (HIGH- CT) 5-11, 180 Shoots: L (West Haven Conn.)

GP- 29 G- 28   A-36   PTS- 64   PIM- N/A                        CSB Final Rank: 63

Plus: Outstanding skater with big-play ability. Has an excellent shot and is also a deft passer. Sees the ice well and has a penchant for raising his compete levels when the intensity picks up. Productive; put Avon on his back and carried them to the prep title this spring with one of the most impressive individual performances seen in quite a while.

Minus: Has a lean frame and needs to get stronger. One scout felt that Pereira can be a selfish player at times and needs to better use his teammates.

Quotable: “He can pull away with his speed and is a great playmaker. He’s a smart, shifty kid who became a team leader through his competitiveness.”- Gary Eggleston


  1. Chris Wagner, C South Shore (EJHL) 5-11, 190 Shoots: L (Walpole, Mass.)

GP- 44   G- 34   A-49   PTS- 83   PIM- 70                        CSB Final Rank: 136

Plus: The most productive player in EJHL history with some scrappiness. Circles the net like a hungry shark then pounces on pucks and fires them into the back of the net. Has some real jump in his stride and can separate from defenders when he gets a step. A fine stickhandler who takes the puck into traffic and usually comes out with it.

Minus: Size is barely average and needs work on his functional strength. Passed over last year, so will have to win over the same scouts who didn’t see him as an option in ’09.

Quotable: “He’s got a chance (to be drafted) this year given what he’s accomplished. He’s much stronger than he was last year, although he’s still on the smallish side. He looks like a good college player (Colgate) at least, and in time could develop into a solid pro.”- NHL regional scout, Western Conference team


  1. Tom O’Regan, C/LW St. Sebastian’s (HIGH-MA), 6-2, 195 Shoots: L (Dedham, Mass.)

GP- 28   G- 21 A- 21   PTS-42 PIM- N/A                         CSB Final Rank: 129

Plus: Excellent size and skating ability; fast and agile with rapid change of direction and natural athleticism. Good offensive skills with the ability to dangle and make moves at top speed. The Arrows’ top scorer; fast release and soft touch on the puck for passes. Has committed to Harvard in 2011.

Minus: Consistency could stand to improve; can be a dominant force in the offensive zone but doesn’t always compete as hard as he should.

Quotable: “After a rough middle stretch, he played with some drive and grit toward the end of the year, and started to become the player I saw at the beginning (of the season). He’s a really good skater who’s very determined and plays well in the corners.”- Gary Eggleston


  1. Garnet Hathaway, C Phillips-Andover (HIGH- MA), 6-2, 190 Shoots: R (Kennebunkport, Me.)

GP- 23   G- 10   A-21 PTS- 31   PIM- 16                        CSB Final Rank: 110

Plus: Brown recruit is an intense competitor and outstanding character kid who is highly coachable. Very good size and strength. Has a nonstop motor and never stops moving feet. A leader who gets the most out of his modest skills and a classic “more than the sum of his parts” overachiever.

Minus: Offensive upside and hockey sense at the next level is questionable

Quotable: “He’s like a windup toy that never quits. A great, great kid and competitor who was one of the biggest risers on our final list.”- Gary Eggleston


  1. Luke Curadi, D Penticton (BCHL) 6-6, 250 Shoots:   (Cheshire, Conn.)

GP- 58   G- 7   A- 10   PTS- 17   PIM- 98                        CSB Final Rank: 125

Plus: Gargantuan blue liner is a decent skater for his size (good straight-line speed) and plays with a real nasty edge and mean streak. He left New England to play in British Columbia and earned some praise in scouting circles for his solid, tough play on defense. Possesses an absolute cannon of a shot that, if he can improve the accuracy on, should be a registered lethal weapon. Passed over last year after skating for Hartford of the AJHL, he’s committed to RPI and will play a year in the USHL with the expansion Dubuque Fighting Saints first.

Minus: Puckhandling skills and hockey sense are his biggest shortcomings, but he’s such a banger that any team drafting him isn’t looking him to fill an offensive-minded role. Lateral agility needs work. His age and time spent in junior before reaching the NCAA could be an issue for some teams.

Quotable: “I felt pretty strongly about Luke last year; why not take a chance on a kid with his monstrous size and upside?”- Gary Eggleston


New England natives outside top-10 also ranked by Central Scouting:

  1. Brian Ward, C, Governor’s Academy (Haverhill, Mass.)
  2. Cody Ferriero, F, Governor’s Academy (Essex, Mass)
  3. Jacob Rutt, D, N.H. Jr. Monarchs (Scarborough, Me.)
  4. Derek Deblois, LW, Cedar Rapids (Naragansett, R.I.)
  5. Brandon McNally, LW, Belmont Hill (Saugus, Mass.)
  6. Michael Reardon, D, Noble & Greenough (Norwood, Mass.)
  7. Mike Seward, LW, Winchester HS (Winchester Mass.)


Not ranked by Central, but could get an NHL look:

Danny Federico, D, Boston Jr. Bruins (Acton, Mass.)

Nick Lovejoy, D, Deerfield Academy (Orford, N.H)

Peter McIntyre, F, South Shore (Norfolk, Mass.)

Pat Mullane, F, Boston College (Wallingford, Conn.)

Brandon Russo, D, Salisbury School (Fairfield, Conn.)

Nick Thompson, G, Westminster School (Simsbury, Conn.)

Steven Whitney, F, Boston College (Reading, Mass.)

Jared Wiedemann, D, Dexter School (Pembroke, Mass.)

New England watch list in 2011:

Michael Paliotta, D U.S. NTDP (Westport, Conn.) The slick-skating, two-way defenseman who left the prep ranks for Team USA in Ann Arbor enters the 2010-11 campaign with a first-round grade. Can he stay at the head of the class?

Colin Sullivan, D Avon Old Farms (Milford, Conn.) One of coach John Gardner’s go-to guys on the blue line for the 2010 prep champions, he has good size and mobility, but will need a huge season to break into the second round or higher.



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