Ice Hockey: Players to Watch in 2017-2018

Hockomock Hockey Players to Watch
Franklin senior forward Brendan O’Rielly will be one of the players to watch as the Hockomock League hockey season kicks off. (Josh Perry/
By Staff

Players are listed alphabetically

Brendan Campbell, Senior – Stoughton

The Black Knights are a relatively young team this year, so they will be relying heavily on their experienced players to lead the way and make a difference. Senior Brendan Campbell was one of three players to go over the 20-point plateau last season, and just one of two returning this season along with junior Sean Doherty. Campbell was second on the team with 11 goals and notched a team-high 15 assists for a team-best 26 points. Campbell is one of the fastest skaters in the league, which gives him an edge on defensemen. Once he gets the puck on his stick, he’s a threat to make a big play. Whether it be setting up a teammate for a great opportunity, or putting it on goal himself. He is someone opposing teams will need to focus on this again season.

Collin Cooke, Senior – King Philip

Two years removed from being selected for the Third Team and All-Underclassman Team, King Philip senior Collin Cooke remains one of the most dynamic forwards for the Warriors and someone capable of helping KP climb up the league standings. Last year, Cooke scored 10 goals and recorded seven assists and was tied for second on the team with 17 points. His speed and his ability to beat defensemen in the attacking zone opens up space for his teammates and he is capable of picking the right pass to ensure a scoring opportunity for the Warriors. Cooke will be one of the key players for KP, if the Warriors are going to book a spot in the state tournament.

Quinn Gibbs, Senior – Canton

Quinn Gibbs had big shoes to fill when he stepped between the pipes last season, trying to fill the void left by a three-year starter. But Gibbs held his own, and quickly made a name for himself around the league as a top goalie. During his first year in net, he made 320 saves (0.924 save percentage) while allowing just 1.31 goals against a game. As the year went on, you could see his confidence grow. He will be a vital part of the Bulldogs’ defense this year after losing a handful of starters to graduation. He already has a good amount of playoff experience as well, which will be key as Canton will likely be a contender in D2 South again this season.

Tyler Oakley, Senior – Mansfield

Mansfield senior defenseman Tyler Oakley will be the leader of the Hornets defensive effort this season and will set the tone with his physicality and ability to pick the right pass to spring the forwards into the attack. Oakley was a Second Team performer in 2016-17 after anchoring a defense that allowed only 50 goals on the season, which was second best in the Kelley-Rex division and fourth best in the league. He also recorded 10 assists from the blue line and recorded a team-high plus-18 for the season. With Oakley back as a top-four defenseman, Mansfield will be hoping to improve on last year’s third-place finish in the division.

Brendan O’Rielly, Senior – Franklin

Franklin senior forward Brendan O’Rielly will be hoping to lead the Panthers on a run similar to his sophomore season when they won the Div. 1 state title. O’Rielly was the team’s leading scorer last year with a team-best 20 goals plus 11 assists for 31 points. He will spearhead an experience group of forwards and will use his strong skating, good stick-handling, and accurate shooting to help Franklin make another run at a Kelley-Rex division title. As a three-year varsity player, O’Rielly has continued to develop throughout his career and has the potential to be one of the league’s leading scorers again this winter.

Jake Parker, Senior – Attleboro

Attleboro senior forward Jake Parker returns to lead the Bombardiers attack this winter and, as usual, will be counted on to not only create scoring opportunities for himself and his teammates but also to chip in on the power play and penalty kill. An unselfish forward with a keen eye for a pass, Parker is always the first look for an Attleboro defenseman to try and break the puck out of the zone with speed. With great stick-handling ability, Parker can get Attleboro set up in the offensive zone and gives the Bombardiers much-needed patience on the puck. Parker, who was on the Second Team last year, scored 20 goals and had six assists in 2016-17, including a five-goal performance in a tie with Mansfield.

Aidan Sullivan, Senior – Foxboro

Foxboro has been able to rely on Aidan Sullivan for the past three years and will look to him for leadership both on and off of the ice this season. Sullivan enters his fourth year as a member of the Warriors’ defensive unit and has improved every single year. He was named to the 2015-2016 All Underclassman Team as a sophomore and improved his production on the offensive end of the ice last season notching a career-high eight points, scoring twice with six helpers. Foxboro has a relatively young group of forwards this season so it will be important for Sullivan to be an anchor on the defensive end as the younger players gain experience.

Will Walsh, Senior – Taunton

After a season away with a juniors team, Taunton senior forward Will Walsh has returned to provide a boost to the Tigers attack. Walsh is a dangerous scorer with an accurate shot and a lot of energy that is contagious. His teammates feed off the emotion and energy that he plays with. Two years ago, as part of a powerful Taunton offense, Walsh scored three goals and 11 assists. In 21 games with the South Shore Kings in 2016-17, Walsh scored two goals and seven assists and his addition will open space for his fellow forwards and add to the potent Tigers attack.

Ryan Warren, Junior – North Attleboro

North Attleboro’s Ryan Warren has been one of the most consistent goalies in the league over the past two seasons. He was stellar during his freshman season and earned Underclassman of the Year honors, and last year during his sophomore campaign he helped Big Red to 14 wins by making 395 saves and a .892 save percentage. From his first year on varsity, Warren has always shown great positioning, and his ability to control rebounds makes it difficult for opponents to net second chance goals.

Brett Williams, Junior – Oliver Ames

Oliver Ames had a handful of young talented forwards last season, and Brett Williams emerged as one of the most talented in the league. Williams helped the Tigers have a terrific season, coming within one point of the Kelley-Rex division title. As just a sophomore, he scored a team-high 12 goals while adding eight assists for 20 points. His speed is what really sets him apart from others in the league. His quick burst allows him to get get pass defenses and fly in on goal, and on top of his speed, he has the ability to finish.

Girls Hockey Players to Watch

Players are listed alphabetically

Nicole Connor, Junior – King Philip

King Philip junior Nicole Connor is one of the most versatile girls’ hockey players in the newly formed Hockomock league and will be a key to KP making a run at the inaugural league title. Connor will see time as both a forward and on the blue line, giving the Warriors help all over the ice. As a sophomore, Connor scored five goals and had six assists while playing primarily as in defense and she is poised to have a breakout winter for the Warriors.

Colleen Kelleher, Senior – Canton

Canton senior goalie Colleen Kelleher returns after a strong season in net for Canton, leading the Bulldogs from the No. 14 seed to their first state final since 2006. Kelleher came through numerous times in the playoffs to keep opponents out and give the potent Canton attack the chance to find winning goals. She will backstop Canton’s attempt at winning the inaugural Hockomock League title.

Catherine Luciano, Senior – Mansfield/Oliver Ames

Foxboro senior forward Catherine Luciano has been one of the most dynamic scorers in the area over the last two years and led the Warriors in scoring last winter with 25 goals and 12 assists. Luciano is off to a flying start this winter with a hat trick in the season-opening win against Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton. The partnership of Luciano with Mackenzie Fraser (19 points last year) and Isabelle Shanteller (21 points) could be the key to Mansfield/Oliver Ames making a run at the first ever league title.

Regan Paterson, Junior – Franklin

Franklin junior Regan Paterson will be one of the primary attackers for Franklin, as the Panthers compete for the first ever Hockomock League title and book a return to the state tournament. Paterson score 11 goals and had five assists as a sophomore and is coming off a strong fall for the Franklin field hockey program. Her experience will be counted on to lead a young Panthers roster this winter.

Julia Russell, Junior – Stoughton

Stoughton senior defenseman Julia Russell is coming off a pair of all-star seasons for the new program and will be hoping to take her form from the SEMGHL to the Black Knights opening campaign in the Hockomock League. Russell is a speedy defender who can also step into the attack and her leadership will be key for a talented group of underclassmen that have Stoughton confident in a big improvement this winter, as evidenced by a season-opening win over Framingham.

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