By Joshua Boyd / USPHLNCDC.com
We’ll be taking time over the month of June to look at how some NCDC teams are working on building their 2023-24 squads through the acquisition of tenders, commitments from returning players and past draft selections they continue to evaluate.
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights were one of two new teams in the NCDC in 2023-24, and they are pushing for a super sophomore season both on the ice and in their college advancement, as they expect to bring in a strong mix of returning players and what looks to be an intriguing and exciting tender group.
All quotes below are from GM Nick Perri.
The WBS Knights are working through conversations with many of their junior-eligible team veterans, and have one very exciting NCDC veteran signing they recently announced.
“We are going to depend on all of our returning players to be impact players. They are all prepared to take a step from last season. We are excited about adding Chance Uzzell from the Northern Cyclones. He is a multi-year vet in this league and he gels nicely with our returning group.”
An ‘04 defenseman, Uzzell comes to the Knights with 89 regular season games and three playoff games, over which he has put up 20 points. He also represented the Cyclones at the 2023 NCDC All-Star event, playing for the Team National Young Guns and registering an assist in the game.
“We are very excited about all of our tenders. We have a great incoming group of recruits that will help us take steps in Year 2 of being an NCDC program.”
Sacha Trudel – Pembroke Lumber Kings
An ‘03 from Quebec, Trudel posted 28 points in 43 CCHL games for the Lumber Kings after a long and productive career with Bishop’s College School going back to 2019.
“Sacha is a highly intelligent player who is very competitive. He brings a veteran presence and a package of skill, playmaking, and effort.”
Luca Cesario – Navan Grads 18U AAA
Cesario is such a highly-regarded defenseman that he was playing 18U this past year even as an ‘06. He posted 14 points in 41 games for the Grads this year, and was a Hockey Eastern Ontario (HEO) Champion as a 16U player in 2021-22.
“We are also excited about 2006-born, right shot defenseman Luca Cesario, who hails from Ottawa. Luca is a mobile, puck-moving defenseman who has already talked to some Division 1 schools. We are excited to work with him.”
Brady Baehser – Holy Ghost Prep (Pa.)
The ‘04 forward captained Holy Ghost Prep this season, posting 23 points in 24 games for the No. 3-ranked school in Pennsylvania (according to myhockeyrankings.com). He also put up 72 points in 39 games with the Philadelphia Blazers in the Atlantic Hockey Federation.
“Brady is a speedy, skilled goal-scorer who was signed out of Holy Ghost Prep. He is poised to provide production with our group.”
Quin Filizetti – Cleveland Barons 18U AAA
A sizeable defenseman (6-feet-2-inches, 190 pounds), Filizetti put up nine points in 52 games with the Barons.
“He is another exciting signing, a big-bodied steady defender from Ohio who should offer immediate benefits on our NCDC club.”
Triston Sherwood – Gilmour Academy
An ‘05 from California, Sherwood is “a talented two-way forward” who put up nine points in 17 games for Gilmour this past season.
Ben Pouliot – Hartland High School (Mich.)
Pouliot, an ‘04 forward, put up a 14-19-33 in 25 games and earned a Division I All-State selection for his efforts for the No. 2-ranked Division I squad in Michigan.
Jake Kloss – Canterbury School
Kloss, an ‘04-born “speedy skill forward” put up 29 points in 29 games for Canterbury (also alma mater of WBS All-Star Colin Anna) and added eight points in 20 games with the Connecticut Chiefs 18U AAA team.
Chase Hannon – Philadelphia Little Flyers 18U AAA
Born on the Fourth of July in 2004, this “tough defenseman” is also tough on teams offensively. He put up 19 points in 14 games for the Little Flyers, and then also produced seven goals and 10 points in 19 games with La Salle High School.
“There are several draft picks that we believe could crack our roster. We intend to take several high-end young players this year, so we are excited to see how our prospects perform at Main Camp in August.”
The Road Ahead
“We have a tryout camp in Mesa, Ariz., at the end of June, and our Main Camp runs from July 29-August 4 for goalies, and July 31-August 4 for skaters. Our staff will attend each of three USA Hockey National Selection Camps this summer and we will also attend several summer showcases.”