Little Bruins (EHF Selects) and Junior Bruins (NCDC) defenseman Cade Webber is ranked 87th by NHL Central Scouting for the 2019 NHL Entry Level Draft that takes place this Friday and Saturday in Vancouver, B.C.
The 6-foot-6-inches, 197-pound 18-year-old is already committed to Boston University for the 2020-21 season. By the end of the weekend, Webber will know who he could potentially play for in the NHL.
Webber is ranked 87th among North American Skaters by NHL’s Central Scouting Service
Little Bruins Head Coach Peter Masters believes that if he continues down the right development path and puts on some more muscle, Webber could become a “premier shutdown defenseman” at the NHL level.
“Cade is a big-time prospect because he has a great stride and light feet for someone his size,” Masters said. “He is smart with the puck and if he fills out over his time at BU like I think he will he will be a big time, shutdown defenseman in the NHL.”
Webber also played four seasons for the Rivers School, where he scored 12 goals and 14 assists in 12 games this past season.
Webber will be playing for Penticton in the BCHL next season.
After a season to prepare, the Lake Erie Bighorns will add a little more depth to the USPHL’s Great Lakes Conference this season.
The Pennsylvania-based squad is one of a handful of new clubs that will give the league a solid and consistent footprint from the Atlantic Ocean all the way west to Minnesota.
Shortly after the Great Lakes Division moved en masse from a different junior league into the USPHL last season, Owner/GM Brian Ramm took over the Southern Tier Express, moving the club out of Jamestown, N.Y.
“Last year, at the Southern Tier Express, the owners up there decided not to bring their team into the USPHL,” said Ramm in a telephone interview. “They were looking for someone to operate it. We took it over about two months before the season. We tried to make it go and it just wasn’t possible to find the players we needed.”
Ramm said his group took a one-season sabbatical and the move paid off as the team is more prepared and hit the halfway mark of the off-season with a good core group of signed players.
“We’re still looking to sign our goalies, but we pick them last. A lot of them are still trying out for different teams and we want to be fair to all of them. We gave them a good chance to compete for that spot on the team.”
The move to Erie brings the Bighorns to a vibrant hockey community that includes the Erie Otters, a major junior hockey team, as well as Mercyhurst University, home of the NCAA Division 1 Lakers and a pair of ACHA (Division 1 and Division 2) teams as well.
“You know, it’s a great hockey town,” said Ramm. “They have a great history here, supporting hockey. All the way back to the East Coast League with the Blades. The Otters came in and they’ve supported them year in and year out. They have a great youth hockey organization that has supported hockey with players like Mike Rupp and Rick Chartraw (who have played in the NHL). It’s a great location to get this thing going in.”
Part of the Great Lakes Division identity is community-based teams that are heavy on local talent. While it can take time to build a local presence, the Erie squad has a solid core of players from the area as well.
“We will have between nine and 11 local players on the team,” said Ramm, explaining the local area includes players who call home towns within 30 minutes of the rink.
But like all teams, the Bighorns are turning over rocks all over the world to find talented players and like most USPHL teams, they will have a European influence, with a pair of players from Finland already signed to the squad as well.
The population of the entire area is only about 100,000 compared to some of the other teams in the division out of the Detroit or Pittsburgh area.
“We’ll reach a little bit into the Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo areas, or over toward the Detroit area,” Ramm said.
He added that the local youth hockey organization has some great young talent and the future looks good for the team in terms of hometown players who will not only want to play at the varsity level but look to play junior and ultimately make the move to NCAA or ACHA levels.
One of the interesting draws for the Bighorns is the fact they will play home games at Mercyhurst University.
“I am kind of excited about that, as I am a Mercyhurst alum myself. I played there when they were Division 2, so to go back there with the hockey team is kind of full circle for myself,” said Ramm.
“We’re really excited to be doing that and providing that opportunity for our players. Our athletic trainer is actually the men’s and women’s Division 1 trainer at Mercyhurst, Tyler Travis,” Ramm added. “He’s worked with the national women’s team and pro basketball teams, I could go on for an hour, he’s phenomenal, so that’s just another thing for our players.”
The team’s camp will take place at the Erie Park Sports Arena and they will practice there as well, but home games will be played at Mercyhurst.
The Bighorns have a website www.lakeeriebighorns.comwhich is currently under construction and there is also information on the team’s Facebook page.
Checkwww.usphl.comas well for more on the Bighorns and all of the USPHL teams as they prepare to begin the 2019-20 season in September.
Burmatov, a late 2002 birth year from Ivanteevka, Russia (he only turned 16 on Nov. 28), went 1-2-0 last season with a 3.91 GAA and a .883 save percentage in third-string duties for the Blaze. He was also credited with scoring a goal against the Tri-City Icehawks in October.
“Daniil is a great kid who hasn’t played hockey very long, so to see the strides he has made in the past few years and another great summer of training, I wouldn’t be surprised that he will continue to take drastic steps in his hockey career,” said Blaze coach-GM Zac Pearson.
Burmatov said that when looking at his options for the 2019-20 season, returning to Decatur was the only one that made sense.
“I resigned with the team because I like the team and the city, the coaching staff, and Zac Pearson and (assistant coach) Jim Meyer personally,” Burmatov said. “I like this league; this level of game is very high. Coaches carefully prepare for each game. My level of play on this team has grown and I don’t intend to sit on our laurels. I want to grow even higher. Next season, I hope to see the same high level of game as last year.”
Stay tuned to DecaturBlaze.com and the team’s Facebook and Twitter pages for more offseason news!