Seven Junior Sabres Commit To Play NCAA Hockey
Earlier this fall, seven young men from the Buffalo Junior Sabres organization made commitments to pursue their hockey careers at the next level.
The seven players come from three different Junior Sabre teams; and all committed to seven different schools.
The two youngest commits came from the 14U Junior Sabres. Brody Crane will continue his career at Penn State and Owen Paskowski will attend Colorado State.
Penn State was one of the first schools to express interest in Crane. According to 14U co-head coach Craig Rivet, Crane fell in love with the campus in State College, PA. The Nittany Lions will not only be getting a kid that loves the school, but they’ve also got themselves one of the best players from his age level.
“Brody is one of the most sought-after players in North America,” coach Rivet said. “Everything he does is elite. He’s strong, has a great shot and is a fantastic skater. He’s also a great stick handler and can physical as well. He’s one of the most complete players in all of 2004 hockey.”
Owen Paskowski, similar to his teammate had offers from big schools like Penn State, but ultimately picked Colorado College because he felt it was the best place to develop his game and play many minutes.
Paskowski sticks out among his teammates, as well as most 14U players standing at over six-feet tall, which makes him an intriguing prospect.
“He’s already a very complete player, but there’s so much more growth he can have in his game,” Rivet said. “Owen has a great shot and skates very well for a kid his size and his size helps him as a defender. He’s a great competitor as well.”
The 16U Junior Sabres also had a pair of players commit. Michael Bevilacqua will attend Northeastern and Dalton Wright committed to Union College; the second Junior Sabre in the last three years to do so.
Wright is described as a “very elusive and smart” hockey player by his head coach Jake Brozyna. He also said Wright, “knows what’s going on around him at all times.”
Brozyna has seen his fair share of Dalton Wright as he coached him last season on the 15U Junior Sabre team that won a national championship.
Michael Bevilacqua is a newcomer to Brozyna’s group this year, however, the Northeastern commit has already established himself as a core member of the team and has had a number of different schools offer him a chance to play for them.
“He’s a very big and strong defenseman,” Brozyna said. “While he is a defender, he also has a nice offensive touch.
The 20U Junior Sabres had a trio of players commit to colleges.
Center Declan McDonnell committed to Providence College. The future Friar captained the previously mentioned 15u national championship-winning team.
At 16 years old, McDonnell is one of the youngest players on the 20U team and while he’s still a few years away from going there, the forward is excited to attend Providence.
“I loved the coaching staff,” McDonnell said. “I loved the small campus and their facilities. They have a lot of history in their program and they’ve been a hockey powerhouse for the last few years – that really drew me in.”
Nick Tuzzolino, the coach of the 20U Junior Sabres said McDonnell will definitely succeed at the next level, not only because he has elite skills, but he also has the drive.
“Declan’s best trait is his compete and his work ethic,” Tuzzolino said. “He’s highly skilled, but he understands the game well. He also has a good IQ and has a ‘won’t be denied’ type of mentality.”
Spencer Smith won’t be too far from McDonnell at UMass Amherst. Smith, a center and left-winger from St.Catharines, Ontario was heavily recruited by UMass from the start according to Tuzzolino. It only took one trip for Smith to decide he wanted to be a Minuteman.
“I think what really made me pick them was when I visited; it really felt like home,” Smith said. “The campus was gorgeous and the arena was amazing. Another reason I liked UMass was because my dad has always been a Boston fan. He kind of wanted me to go there and he’s really liking my decision right now.”
The third commit from the 20U team is 18 year-old Ty Glover, who ironically is currently living with Spencer Smith.
Glover was born in London, Ontario, but has spent the last month and a half living with his teammate in St. Catharines. Smith said they drive to practice together every day.
Glover will continue his hockey career at Western Michigan, a school he chose because of the loud and energetic atmosphere of Lawson Ice Arena in Kalamazoo, MI.
“It just had the right feel to me when I went there,” said Glover when talking about Western Michigan’s campus. “It was a really easy decision for me. I’m excited to meet all the guys, live on campus and go in my own individual direction.”
The physical style that the Broncos play also intrigued Glover, the six foot three forward who plays with a bit of edge to his game and thinks that Western’s system was a perfect fit.
“Ty is a big, powerful forward who plays a heavy g,ame, kind of like a pro-style already,” Tuzzolino said. “He’s a guy, in my opinion that could potentially be a draft pick this year. He’s a high-end physical player and has good speed. When you’re that big and fast and as well-rounded as he is – it’s the whole package.”
Over the last six years, the Buffalo Junior Sabres have had over 70 players from the program commit to colleges and junior league teams. Thanks to our coaches, the Academy of Hockey, IMPACT Sports Performance and our fantastic facilities at Harborcenter, we’ve been able to help dozens of young hockey players grow and develop their game into next-level players.