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Zwak wrote:

Just curious, for those of you who have seen players go from youth hockey to D1 stars (and possibly NHLers), when did you start noticing they were going to be something special?

Couple very different examples: Played against WBL all the way up with a really good rivalry and then in HS with them and Hill Murray. Tom Quinlan (Tartan/ HM) easily would have been D1 if he didn’t choose baseball. Jon Anderson in WBL was a very good player, and glad he got the chance at the U, ended up Captain. Dave Espe – year older than me, he came across the blue line and cut across. I had him lined up dead to rights – my shoulder hurt the rest of the game and he never broke stride. Always thought he’d do more at the U, but a solid player.

2nd example – my kid got to play with Tommy Novak in AAA in first year of squirt age. At the end of that summer, we had a father/ son scrimmage. After watching him be dominant for most of the summer, and he was coming down on me 1 on 1, decided to play him straight up. Even though he was only 10, never looked down at the puck, skated right with me and did the smoothest turn out and fed a teammate going to the net before I could close the gap. I went – “wow, that kid will play D1 someday and maybe the NHL”. Fun memory for both me and my son.