2021 USPHL Raleigh Showcase
What is a highlighter player you make ask? Simply put, these players listed below are athletes that stand out beyond the stat sheet, put in the extra effort and stand out for all the right reasons on ice level. The below won’t always be your league leader, your point-getter or even the skater with the “C” on their chest; but you can rest assured these are the select skaters you want on your team.
At The Dan K Show, we pride ourselves on our ability to help scouts throughout the country find their diamond in the rough; we hope this segment will do just that. If you think you or someone you know is a Highlighter Player, reach out a www.dankshow.com/contact.
Daniel Nau (2002) – LW – Carolina Junior Hurricanes
The Jr. Canes Left Winger is a stellar two-way forward with ability to score, block a shot and make the right decision with the puck. At 5’9” this slightly undersized forward can play large along the boards when called upon, unafraid to dish out some physicality. Nau is a true development project of this Carolina organization. Last year he served as a role skater for the squad 14 goals and 14 assists for 28 points in 44 games played, while helping his team march into the postseason. This year, asked to take on more offensive responsibility, Nau has answered the call and shown up in the big moments. This young man is a must-watch in a rink near you.
Drew Ianucci (2001) – C – Charlotte Rush
Every wagon of a hockey team needs a Drew Ianucci at the helm. Ianucci is exactly what I talk about when I refer to a Highlighter Player. His game doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet, but trust me, it makes its presents felt in the standings. The 6’1” centerman can control the ice for his Rush side and as a 2001 birthyear, is ready right now to be a glue guy on the fourth line at the next level.
Evan Miles (2003) – RW – Hampton Roads Whalers
If you have been to a rink in the Southeast or Florida anytime in the past two years, you have probably heard me scream about the extraordinary ability and effort of Evan Miles, the Whalers leading point-getter. Miles is one of the most fun players to watch not just in the USPHL, but on the planet. He is a team guy, a hard worker and absolutely refuses to give up on a loose puck. At 5’8” a scout that doesn’t put in much time with the RW might turn the other way. Your loss. Miles, will go the extra miles for any squad that brings him in. Success in Hampton Roads translates to success at the NCAA DIII level and that is exactly what Miles is looking to do.
Damon Kiyawasew (2002) – C – Florida Eels
Kiyawasew skates by defenseman like they are standing still. The Eels product, is a great stick-handler, a speedster and a forward that helps spread the ice for coach Frankie Scarpaci. Where Damon shines is putting pressure on the defense with his breakout ability, making zone presence a taller task for opposing squads. This a Carl Hagelin-esque playing mentality, that if employed properly can turn a title pretender into a title contender. (I tried to the tell the New York Rangers this regarding Hagelin but they wouldn’t listen!)
Alexandre Caron (2001) – G – Florida Eels
There is not a better goaltender on the planet right now in my opinion. Alexandre “The Great” Caron, is the most underrated netminder playing in any rink nationwide at this moment. He stops everything that moves, skates well, can play the puck as a 6th man, kills the forecheck and just doesn’t give up easy goals. His performance in last year’s postseason nearly helped lift the National Championship trophy for his Eels in the 20-21 season. Crazy enough, Caron’s biggest competition for netminder of the year thus far is in his own locker room, Duncan Rolleman. Combined, Caron and Rolleman have allowed just 6 goals on 155 shots faced. Scouts should be going through an American Ninja Warrior style set of challenges just to get a chance, to have Caron in net for their squad!
Vesse Lampen (2002) – RW – Palm Beach Typhoon
This kid lights the “Lampen” better than most. A filthy wrist shot, good hand, skilled skating and an understanding of the game of hockey makes Vesse a tough matchup for any opponents. Mix him into Joe and Baye Flanagan’s Palm Beach system and you are guaranteed to add the toughness and grit every Flanagan developed product leaves Northern and Palm Beach with. As Vesse toughens up along the boards, we will be a true all tool prospect for a team at the next level. This is a top line power play star in the making who won’t be afraid to join the penalty kill as well.
Marcus Jallow (2001) – LW – Potomac Patriots
Every team needs a guy who is unafraid of the crowded spaces in front of the net and Marcus Jallow is that and more. As the competition gets better and we move up the ranks in the game of hockey, we will start to notice that space gets real limited. Jallow is a guy who’s game gets better as the competition grows. He plays to the style that will be needed to succeed in NCAA DIII, and playing under a former NHL bruiser like Josh Gratton will only help him develop and hone that toughness even more. Plant this guy on your third line tomorrow and watch him give opponents fits all year long.
Bryson Uhrig (2002) – RW – Tampa Bay Juniors
The Bryson is right down in Tampa right now as Uhrig continues to tear it up in the Sunshine State. Playing in the Strot lead development system, Uhrig has begun to thrive early in the year. His 9 goals and 5 assists rank him 6th overall in the Elite in point-getting and have him on pace for a potential player of the year campaign. Already in just 9 games, he surpassed his goal total from last season and sits one behind his 2019-2020 total. Uhrig could slot in almost anywhere throughout #USPHLNation at the Premier or Elite level right now and succeed. You are looking at yet another Tampa Bay Juniors development model success story in Uhrig. Scouts, get to this young man early.
Case Cook (2003) – LD – Richmond Generals
Need a defenseman who moves the puck better than anyone else on the planet right now? Cook is on the case. Case ranks in the top ten in point-getting with 11 assists through just 8 games played. The former Charleston Colonial, has found his niche in the RC Lyke led Generals system, allowing him to flex his offensive ability while honing his size and physicality. For scouts this is what we call a futures investment. Trusting in the incredible development model provided by the Richmond Generals, and Case Cook’s uncanny ability to create chances from the blue line will pay dividends for scouts looking for a diamond in the rough.
Nolan Bolt (2004) – RW – Carolina Junior Hurricanes
Fast as lightning, hitting as hard as thunder, the young Nolan Bolt is bolting to the top of The Dan K Show Players to Watch list. I would not be surprised to see Nolan in an NCDC uniform next year tearing it up. At this point in his development process, the Jr. Canes are a great squad to be with. Being able to watch the NHL club in his own home rink, while building the last few tools of his game with benefit Bolt greatly. Keep an eye on Nolan through the year, great things are still to come.
Chase Benjamin (2003) – D – Florida Junior Blades
It’s all about the Benjamins, Chase Benjamin that is. This defenseman skates with the skill of a forward while packing the punch of a powerful blue line threat. Benjamin is an absolute pearl and coach Lightning Rod Simmons and his Jr. Blades were ecstatic to find him. Benjamin is a must-watch for any scout looking for futures picks that can one day take them to the next level. At the Elite level Chase Benjamin just may have shined brightest in front of scouts and The Dan K Show, helping his team to a 4-0 weekend.
Chris Regan (2001) – C – Atlanta Mad Hatters
This cagey veteran in the Junior ranks is an undervalued asset for any team he skates with. Another former Colonials star, Regan has found success with the Atlanta Mad Hatters organization the past two years. Regan has hockey sense, a hardworking ice presence and will grind out shifts all day for coaches throughout hockey. Regan is the true embodiment of what our Highlighter Players segment is all about, shining a spotlight on those battling through the hockey world to make their mark. You want a leader on your squad, someone to make the rest of the team work harder? Call up Chris Regan.