Boeser, Novak, Spaxman Slots Mostly Unchanged
Goaltender Cale Morris was not on the National Hockey League Central Scouting “Players to Watch” list in September, nor the service’s midterm rankings in January, but his play with the Waterloo Black Hawks during the second half of the United States Hockey League season landed him squarely in the midst of the final appraisal released by Central Scouting on Wednesday.
Morris was 15th among the 30 draft-eligible North American goalies listed. The Larkspur, Colorado, native was traded to the Hawks from the Chicago Steel days before the Central Scouting midterms were posted. Morris’ play since the deal led to him being voted Waterloo’s “Most Valuable Player” by his teammates. He has appeared in every game following the trade, recording four shutouts as part of a 17-6-3 record. His 93.8% save percentage and 1.84 goals-against average for Waterloo have drawn his season stats in those categories among the league leaders. In late March, he committed to Notre Dame for the 2016/17 academic year.
Morris could become the fourth Waterloo goaltender chosen during the last three NHL Drafts. Eamon McAdam, Stephon Williams, and Cal Petersen were each selected in 2013. Williams signed an NHL contract with the New York Islanders last week.
Meanwhile, Hawks forwards Brock Boeser, Tom Novak, and defenseman Ethan Spaxman generally maintained their positions from Central Scouting’s January list.
Boeser and Novak each moved up one slot among the leading North American skating prospects to 27th and 28th respectively. Both are candidates to join Peter Ferraro, currently the only Waterloo player ever selected during the first round of the NHL Draft (24th overall in 1992 by the New York Rangers). Spaxman sits 181st in the final count.
Currently Boeser is tied for the USHL lead with 34 goals, while holding the third position in points with 65. Novak – who has been sidelined since March 7th – maintains the Black Hawks’ team lead in assists, with 34. Spaxman, a November acquisition from the Bloomington Thunder, has generated five of his 14 Waterloo assists since the beginning of March and has 16 total points.
A player with ties to the Black Hawks has been selected in each of the last dozen drafts. Over the last three years, the honor roll includes at least one selection in the top four rounds.
This season’s draft will be held in Florida on June 26th and 27th.