Berwick Academy (10-16-0) welcomes a new head coach in Jeoff Jarnot, who in the absence of depth at forward, will rely on some solid defensive play to lead the way for the Bulldogs.
Junior Byron Welch (15 pts) will be key cog up front, as will junior Derek Muse. Senior Anthony Cosentino can play well at either forward or defense.
On the blue line, seniors Keith Jordan and Sam Twombly will be cornerstones for Berwick, in front of post-grad goalie Matt Kenneally, out of Rhode Island’s Bishop Hendricken HS.
Once some of the new young players get up to speed, then Cushing (25-4-4) should be a pretty strong group as the Penguins aim to qualify again for the New England Elite Tournament.
With high-scoring David Cotton and Bailey Conger having moved on to the USHL, holdovers up front from last winter’s potent club are seniors Brent Hill, Jeff Morgan and Max Brainin, junior Marc McLaughlin (a St. Lawrence commit) and junior Dakota Mulcay.
On defense, coach Rob Gagnon will look for leadership from seniors Matt Dillon, Ethan Roswell and Ben Barton. They will hold down the fort in front of goaltenders Joey Halstrom, a junior, and Gavin Dykeman, a senior.
Among a host of new players looking to grab a roster spot in pre-season workouts are forwards Jacob Kamps (a Vermont recruit) and T.J. Walsh (committed to Boston College), junior forwards Ashton Fry and Alex Andreucci, junior defenseman Villa Saarilaoma and sophomore blue liners Noah Kim and Cam Berube.
Dexter (20-6-5) advanced all the way to the New England Elite title game last winter. To even think about getting there again, the team will need to replace the offensive production lost and get solid goaltending.
Coach Dan Donato still has a bevy of weapons up front, led by senior Patrick Daly (54 pts), senior Kevin Hock (36 pts) and senior Jack Donato. Sophomore Jay O’Brien, recently committed to Providence, had a production freshman campaign a year ago. Newcomers looking to blend with this group include John Femia, a junior, and sophomores Jack Halloran and Jack Nesbit.
On defense, blue-chipper Luke McInnis has gone to the USHL, which leaves key blue line duties to senior Ryan McDougall, junior Sean Keohane, a Dartmouth College recruit, and sophomore Jack Rathbone.
Who emerges as Dexter’s starting goalie will be a key for the squad.
There is optimism at Hebron (15-11-4), where the Lumberjacks have a nice mix of returning veterans and new faces. Special teams were a strength last winter and project to be again this year.
At forward, senior Ryan Boucher (22 pts) will be a go-to scorer for coach James LeBlanc. Joining Boucher will be post-grad Dominic DeRosa and juniors Phil Gilmour and Erik Friberg.
Post-grad Colin McKay (9 pts) and sophomore Sean Kimura (14 pts) are key holdovers on the blue line. New junior Steve Tettoni will be an added plus.
Post-grad Zach Robbins will be in the mix for the starting goaltender’s position.
Second-year coach Doug Friedman has bolstered his roster with an influx of players, giving Kents Hill (9-19-0) some much-needed depth as they aim to improve.
A pair of seniors – Conor Cassidy (21 pts) and Matt Henderson (20 pts) – return to power the Huskies offensive attack, aided by a host of newcomers like post-grads Isac Nordstrom, Ryan Spillane and Cam Stewart, and juniors Nicho Savignac, Nils Janson, Remi Allard and Justin Taylor.
Senior Joel Pottruff (15 pts) is a solid two-way rearguard. Post-grads Sean Holly and Tim Tierney will we welcome additions to the blue line.
In goal, senior Bill McLaughlin expects to have another excellent year between the pipes.
New head coach Paul Tortorella is excited to get the season going at Phillips Andover (8-15-3), where he anticipates a team that will have more depth this winter.
Key elements up front for the Big Blue will be senior Collin Nugent (39 pts) and senior Tyler Levine (35 pts). Post-grad Billy Stahley, and new juniors Jonny Edelson and Kevin Kastholm (both from Illinois) will be counted on offensively as well.
Senior Payton Jancsy (11 pts) will be Andover’s quarterback in the defensive zone. Post-grad Misha Song comes highly-regarded, becoming the first player born in China to be drafted in the NHL (New York Islanders, 6th round). New junior Jack Legler will see time as well.
Between the pipes, post-grad Matt Schoen from Connecticut will fight for time.
Exeter Needs To Replace Offensive Production
Graduation took a big bite out of the offense at Phillips Exeter (24-4-2), where 95 of last year’s 135 goals scored have moved on. So, the forward group as a whole will need to step it up. Having seven experienced defensemen back will help out.
There are some forwards back, namely seniors Devin Moore (30 pts) and Ben Solin (30 pts), along with juniors Brad Ingersoll and Colin Shapiro. Coach Dana Barbin has replenished the forward ranks with the likes of post-grads Ryan Petti, Christian Thompson, Steve Upton and Matt Brooks, and juniors Ryan Moore and Matt McShea.
On the blue line, senior co-captains Trevor Cosgrove (28 pts), a Colgate recruit, and Peter Christie (13 pts) will be the cornerstones. Both are 4-year varsity players. Other seniors back on defense are Jordan Haney, Derrick Spencer (Williams) and Jacob Dupont.
In goal, senior Nick Moore and post-grad Joe Lazzaro will team up to get the job done for the Big Red.
Keep An Eye On Experienced Tabor
A battle-tested senior class, with multiple four-year varsity players, will lead Tabor (14-11-4) as the Seawolves look to grab a post-season berth.
Coach Gerry Dineen has talent up front, paced by senior Ben Taylor, who has committed to Brown, and sophomore Max Sauve, already committed to Vermont. New junior Jeremy Cote, also committed to Vermont, will contribute right away.
Senior rock Michael Ryan, a Union recruit, will be the key component on the Tabor blue line and will get some help from new junior Brendan Casey.
A starting goalie will emerge from pre-season workouts.
With some good speed up front, Winchendon (11-13-2) will look to compete for a playoff spot.
Up front, look for senior Anthony Scarcella (28 pts) to be a focal point for coach Jarrett Sampson. He leads a returning group that also includes sophomore Ben Thomas (21 pts) and seniors Maxim Cote (15 pts) and Matt Chisholm. New guys to keep an eye on are juniors John Mulera (a Providence college recruit), and Mike Hardman, and sophomore Matt Fawcett.
Looking to make an immediate impact on defense for Winchendon are junior Brian Scoville, who has committed to UMass-Amherst, and sophomore Dante Vasconcellos.