Prospect Impressions: Caggiula rocked, Quinnipiac advances with highlight-reel goals, CHL playoff snipes

By David Hahn
Jake DeBrusk - Red Deer Rebels

Photo: Red Deer Rebels forward and Boston Bruins prospect has been a point-per-game player following his trade to the Rebels, posting 12 goals and 39 points in 37 games (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

 

The number of names that have taken Drake Caggiula off his feet this season is an awfully short one, and an unlikely source tagged him behind the net while North Dakota was in the midst of advancing to the 2016 NCAA Frozen Four. Quinnipiac also earned a berth with a pair of highlight-reel goals, and JT Compher’s no-look pass is a must-see. Also in this week’s Prospect Impressions, the CHL playoffs are underway, and a pair of veterans unleashed furious shots to put their teams ahead in the clutch.

University of North Dakota center Drake Caggiula should have a number of NHL suitors following the season. But, before he gets to that point, the senior forward has a little bit of business to attend to. Almost impossible to stop on the rush, Caggiula darted around a pair of defenders and drove to the net to notch his 21st goal of the season. Not expecting anyone to be in his way behind the net, a rather unexpected source finally got a piece of him. He’s okay, North Dakota is on the way to Tampa to play for a national championship, and the rest of his teammates can have a little chuckle at his expense on the way there.

As if the Arizona Coyotes prospect pool could get any deeper, the emergence of Quinnipiac University’s Connor Clifton as an offensive threat moved him up the depth chart. Clifton, a rangy defender with nine points to his credit coming into the 2015-16 campaign, burst onto the scene among elite defenseman in college hockey with seven goals and 20 assists. His latest dish came at the end of a beautiful rush, and he didn’t even watch it after it left his stick, an unbelievable play that helped send Quinnipiac to the Frozen Four.

Not to be outdone by his teammate, Quinnipiac center Sam Anas was a surprise entrant into the lineup after taking a hard hit in last week’s ECAC Tournament. Known for his disciplined play, Anas was in the box when UMass-Lowell struck for a quick 1-0 lead just two minutes into the game. Later penalized again, Anas decided to do something about that deficit, springing out of the box, drawing the Bobcats all square with a sensational dangle, and then launching a pinpoint snipe.

The University of Michigan picked up their first NCAA Tournament win since 2011 before bowing out with a loss to North Dakota. In the Wolverines’ win over Notre Dame, Tyler Motte was afforded a wide-open look at the goal after a feed from Wolverines captain JT Compher, who stripped a Notre Dame defender of the puck at the blueline and tossed a no-look pass to Motte who was in the right place at the right time.

The Red Deer Rebels enjoyed center stage Sunday night as the club was showcased on national television. The duo of Jake DeBrusk and Evan Polei combined to put the Rebels up 2-1 in their best-of-seven set against the Calgary Hitmen. Down 2-0 early in Game Three, DeBrusk and Polei ramped up their game and brought the game level. With the game all square in the third period, DeBrusk dug a puck out and darted a pass over to Polei, who adjusted on the fly and ripped a pretty shot top corner for the game-winning goal.

He may not be the flashiest forward, or perhaps the most skilled, but Brandon Robinson has been one of the most under-appreciated players in the Kitchener Rangers lineup. The overage forward is in his last season in the OHL and is hoping to make it out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time in his lengthy five-year career. Take a look as Robinson rips one off a set faceoff play in overtime.

Former Little Caesars Bantam standout Garret Forrest is enjoying the best season of his career with the Powassan VooDoos of the NOJHL. Quite a ways from his home in Ashburn, VA, Forrest is a prospect of the North Bay Battalion who could potentially have a chance to make it into the OHL next season. Forrest finished the regular season tops among all goaltenders with a .934 save percentage and five shutouts. Currently competing in the NOJHL playoffs, Forrest flashed the leather to come up with the save of the week.

 

Last week’s Prospect Impressions feature

Follow Dave Hahn on Twitter via @DHahnHockey