Prospect Round-up: USA Leads the Way

With other circuits on pause, the NCAA and American junior leagues take center stage before the world juniors.
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Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Boldy. Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

While we wait to see the fate of the world juniors, there's at least some comfort in the prospect world that the NCAA has gotten most of its teams into the fray already in this chaotic 2020-21 season. The NCHC has its own bubble for conference play right now, while other programs are just simply doing the best they can given the circumstances. That has meant delays and cancellations, but that was to be expected.

Nonetheless, with no major junior hockey to speak of and Canada's top Jr. A leagues on pause, this is an all-American circuit edition of the Prospect Round-up. Here are some of the players making noise right now.

Matt Boldy, RW, Boston College Eagles (Hockey East): Remember when Boldy started to heat up in the second half of his freshman campaign? Well, it wasn't a mirage. The Minnesota Wild pick is the top scorer in the conference right now with eight points in his first four games. Now he'll get a shot at Team USA's world junior squad.

Matt Coronato, RW, Chicago Steel (USHL): While he's playing on an incredibly talented team, Coronato can create offense by himself when he needs to and he is off to a torrid pace. The slick-shooting Harvard commit leads the league in scoring with eight goals and 18 points in just eight games. He's a 2021 NHL draft prospect.

Tyler Kleven, D, North Dakota Fighting Hawks (NCHC): From splashy hits to a skillful goal, Kleven was red-hot in the NCHC bubble. The defensive defenseman and Ottawa Senators pick now gets a shot at Team USA's world junior squad thanks to a last-second replacement invite.

Anthony Romano, RW, Clarkson Golden Knights (ECAC): Another sophomore on the ascent, Romano has five points in his first three games for Clarkson. The Arizona commit is halfway to his freshman totals already and leads the conference in scoring, which netted him conference first-star honors for the week.

Thomas Bordeleau, C, Michigan Wolverines (Big Ten): The Maize and Blue have been incredibly entertaining this season and Bordeleau has been a big factor. The San Jose Sharks pick has 10 points in his first eight games for Michigan, using his excellent playmaking skills to be a difference-maker. He's off to Team USA's world junior camp now.

Owen Millward, G, Janesville Jets (NAHL): Millward put in some work on the weekend, backstopping Janesville to a 5-4 shootout win over the U.S. NTDP's loaded U17 squad. A big netminder with quick lateral movement, Millward stopped 39 shots that night. With him out of the net the next day, Janesville lost 10-1 to the same NTDP kids. He's a 2021 NHL draft prospect.

Alex Jefferies, LW, Merrimack Warriors (Hockey East): Making the leap from prep school to Hockey East is daunting, but Jefferies has fit in right away. The New York Islanders pick has three points in his first two games for Merrimack, using great speed to produce offense and earn conference rookie of the week honors.

Tristan Broz, LW, Fargo Force (USHL): The most remarkable aspect of Broz's season so far has been his consistency: the University of Minnesota commit has nine points in nine games for Fargo and has only been held off the scoresheet once. Broz has great hands and can play in all situations. He's a 2021 NHL draft prospect.

Mason Lohrei, D, Green Bay Gamblers (USHL): A big part of Green Bay's lineup this year, Lohrei always seems to come up big when the Gamblers need him the most. In fact, all three of the Boston Bruins pick's goals have been game-winners so far. Overall, the Ohio State commit has nine points through six games.

Veeti Miettinen, LW, St. Cloud State Huskies (NCHC): There was a lot of anticipation around Miettinen, who had been preserving his NCAA eligibility by playing junior in Finland. Now the freshman and Toronto Maple Leafs pick has shown why: Miettinen has three points in three games for the Huskies, demonstrating his wicked release in the process.

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