Photo Courtesy of Clare McManus
The Chicago Steel are producing multiple high-end prospects for the 2020 NHL Draft. Chicago was a dominant team this season in the USHL, having a franchise winning record of 41-7-1. Within the team, five players scored over 50 points; four of them being draft-eligible prospects. After an unfortunate ending to the season, forced by the coronavirus pandemic, it is time to take a look at some of the Steel’s most impactful players eligible for this year’s draft.
Brendan Brisson: Center
Playing a few seasons with Shattuck St. Mary’s Prep, Brisson played his first season in the United States Hockey League. After a stellar first season in the USHL, He has climbed up on NHL draft rankings, after being a lesser-known name at the beginning of the year. This season he was named the USHL’s “Rookie of the Year” after scoring 24 goals and 35 assists for 59 points in 45 games played. Then at the World Junior A Championships, Brisson led the tournament with 12 points in six games. Next season Brisson will take the college route and play for an exciting University of Michigan team.
One thing you notice when watching Brisson play is his shot and prodigious ability to finish. He is so sound in the slot area, especially on the man-advantage. His wrist shot and slapshot are both quick and accurate, although he could use more power. The undersized center plays his game with quickness and strong vision. He does a fantastic job of creating plays for himself and his teammates. His hand, speed, and vision combine for a package of elite playmaking abilities. Defensively, Brisson is not very physical but he maintains his defensive responsibilities using his active stick to force turnovers. Brisson is also noteworthy on transition play up ice.
Sean Farrell: Left Wing
Since coming to the Chicago Steel, Farrell has been another USHL player climbing up on NHL draft lists. This season, Farrell scored 15 goals and 41 assists for 56 points in 44 games played. Farrell also played alongside teammate Brendan Brisson in the World Junior A Championships, scoring eight points in six games. Next season Farrell will suit up for Harvard University.
Farrell is an elite playmaker who possesses strong vision on the ice. He does an excellent job of finding his teammates and creating dangerous offensive scoring chances. As an undersized 5-9 skater he is very good on his skates with strong edge-work and quick first steps. Although more of a playmaker, Farrell has an exceptional array of shots. He can score many different ways making him a threat on the ice. With his hands he is skilled in close to the goalie and also in the dirty areas on the ice. Defensively, Farrell is solid in all three zones. He does a quality job at reading the play and forcing turnovers. Not to mention, Farrell is not afraid to play the body, but still needs to work on building a bigger frame.
Sam Colangelo: Right Wing
Colangelo played an important role with the dominant Chicago Steel team this season. In 44 games, he scored 28 goals and 30 assists for 58 total points. He also led the team in plus/minus with plus-32. Last season, Colangelo played five games at the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup scoring two goals in the tournament. He also played in the World Junior A Championships with teammates Brendan Brisson and Sean Farrell. He scored one goal and one assist in six games. Next season Colangelo is committed to playing for Northeastern University.
Colangelo is a decent skater with good first steps and edgework. He works hard in the corners and can win lots of battles, because of his balance and lower-body stance. Offensively, he loves to score goals. He has an appreciable shot and uses it to his advantage all over the ice. With his hands and offensive awareness he also makes for a skilled playmaker. Colangelo is notable at finding teammates and creating lanes for scoring chances. On the defensive end, he is a hard-nosed player who plays with high energy. Colangelo plays more of a physical game, being able to play the body but he can also use his stick to break up plays. Although he may have to work on developing a stronger defensive awareness game if he wants to compete at the next level.
Some other under the radar Steel players eligible for the draft are Luke Reid, Gunnarwolfe Fontaine, Josh Doan, Jimmy Dowd, and Victor Ostman. Luke Reid is one of the bigger mentions. He is a two-way agile defender who plays a smart and simple game. His skating and vision allow him to be strong on transition play.
Two honorable mentions from this 2019-20 Chicago Steel team that are eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft are defenseman Owen Power and forward Matthew Samoskevich, who have both been with the team for the past two seasons and will both be playing for the University of Michigan next year. Owen Power is listed as a top prospect for the 2021 Draft, and with a strong campaign in the NCAA, he could very well make a push for the first-overall pick. Power is an elite skater and puck-mover who moves well for a guy his size, standing at 6-5. Incoming Steel players that should be very exciting to watch next year are brothers Luca and Adam Fantilli. Keep the name Adam Fantilli in mind, as he is a top prospect for the 2023 NHL Draft.
Thank you for reading. Make sure to check me out on twitter: @claremcmanuss