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4 SKS Alumni Play in the USHL / NHL Prospects Game
On Tuesday, January 10, 2017 the USHL/NHL Top Prospects game was held at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Featured in this game were 4 former players from the Selects Academy at South Kent School. The players were Alexis Binner from the Green Bay Gamblers, a defenseman committed to the University of Maine, who has 1 goal and 2 assists through 32 games this season, Greg Printz from the Omaha Lancers, a forward committed to Providence College, who has 8 goals and 12 assists through 33 games this season, Keith Petruzzelli from the Muskegon Lumberjacks, a goaltender committed to Quinnipiac University, who has 11 wins and 7 losses with a 2.71 goals against average and a .908 save percentage in 20 appearances in net this season, and Alex Limoges from the Tri City Storm, a forward committed to Cornell University, who has 12 goals and 13 assists in 28 games this season. All 4 players played huge roles in the program’s success over the years. All 4 have been to the USA Hockey National tournament for either the SASKS U16, U18, or both teams, while also winning USPHL championships.
Binner and Petruzzelli both played for the Top Prospects East team while Limoges and Printz played for the Top Prospects West team. Limoges finished the game with 1 shot and a +/- rating of 1. Greg Printz finished with 1 assist, 1 shot, and a +/- of 1. Printz’s assist came on the second goal of the game 5:23 into the 1st period. Binner finished the game with 1 shot and an Even +/- rating. Petruzzelli came in relief of starter Maksim Zhukov and played 27 minutes and 15 seconds stopping all 21 shots he faced. He is now 1 of only 8 goaltenders to stop all shots faced in Top Prospects Game history. Petruzzelli was also voted 2nd overall star of the game as well as Team East MVP becoming the first goaltender in the games 5 year history to win MVP honors for his individual team.
When asked about each of the individuals, Matt Plante, Head Coach for the SASKS U-16 National team this year, who coached each of the 4 players at some point in their careers here at South Kent, had this to say...
“Alexis Binner has a ton of natural talent and ability and tremendous upside. He also has an undeniable work ethic on and off the ice. As he continues to mature mentally along with his physical attributes and ability, he is definitely a very intriguing prospect that could have a nice pro career.”
“Alex Limoges’ hockey IQ and stick skills are top notch. You can never give Alex a bad pass as his retrieval of the puck in all areas is excellent. He is very sturdy and strong on his feet and with his outstanding stick skills he can possess the puck and make plays in high traffic areas. He continues to prove he is an elite level prospect at every level he has played, based on his performances last year in helping lead Tri City to a Clark Cup Championship in the USHL, the current year he is having in the USHL, as well as his performance at the World Jr. A Challenge in December in Alberta, Canada where he earned Player of the Game honors in the Gold Medal Game for Team USA. You can't teach what Alex has.”
“The scary thing about Keith Petruzzelli is that he is still very raw and really only scratching the surface of his potential. He is a monster in net and is still only 190 pounds at 6'6". Once he fills out and continues to physically mature the sky is the limit for Keith. He has a very calm and poised demeanor in net which is very soothing for a coach. He is huge, athletic, and very fundamentally sound which is why he is able to play at an elite level now, but I think the best is yet to come for Keith and we may not see the best version of Petro until he is playing in the National Hockey League. His upside is insane and no question, he is a prospect that will be getting a lot of attention moving toward the draft in June!”
“Greg Printz is a tremendous example of how our program develops players. Greg played on every team at Selects Academy over his 4 years here. U14, U16 American, U16 National and U18 National. He really started to become a dominant presence in his U16 National year and that carried over to his U18 year. Greg is the prototypical power forward and possesses a lethal shot and release. When he keeps his feet moving and plays a north-south game is when he is at his most dominant and typically when his production is significant as well. Greg is also a very intriguing prospect by the way he can skate for a big man and the power he possesses. He will continue to only get better and I expect his development to dramatically improve in college at Providence, which could serve him well for a pro career. If I am an NHL scout, Greg is certainly a player I am not sleeping on with his potential.”
“The common denominator with all 4 of these guys is that they are terrific human beings and I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with them and build relationships with these guys and their families. I am extremely proud to have played a small part in their development process but even more proud of the type of character these four guys possess and their determination and work ethic. It is not easy to get to the current level they are at and to be as impactful as they are at that level so it is a testament to their desire and passion for the game of hockey.”
The Director of the Selects Academy at South Kent School and current U-15 National head coach, Devin Rask, had this to add…
“We are very proud of Keith, Alexis, Alex, and Greg. It's quite an accomplishment to be picked as one of the top players in the USHL/NHL prospects game. As a program we pride ourselves on developing players both on and off the ice and all 4 boys are great examples of what both the hockey program and school expect and teach to our boys. With this they are also great role models for our current players as well.”
Coach Plante had this final thought to add when discussing the boys and the program…
“If you look at the most recent draft in 2016 as well as these 4 players now, and the projections for some of our alumni in future NHL drafts, on top of all of our college commitments, it shows that our program is a premier place for development. I have been amazed and continue to be amazed at how much better each of our players get over the course of each individual season let alone the players that have been at the Selects Academy at South Kent for multiple seasons. With the resources and support on and off the ice and the repetitions our players get on and off the ice each week they are able to make substantial gains in their development and not only become very impactful at our level but at the next level beyond our program as well.”