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WNY Prospects

Just the Facts

4,363 Miles
The approximate distance a few Western New Yorkers traveled for their summer vacation. Representing the United States at the annual Ivan Hlinka tournament, Defenseman RJ Gicewicz (Orchard Park) and Forwards Justin Bailey (Williamsville) and Sean Malone (West Seneca) took the trip to Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia, this past week looking to make an impact.
These three US Select team members may only be a few of the talented stars Western New York has to offer for upcoming drafts, but that does show the depth of talent that the hockey hotbed in our own backyard is developing.
22 Months
The amount of time we will have to wait to find out where RJ Gicewicz will be drafted. With a late birthday, Gicewicz is not only the youngest of the three WNY stars, he also isn’t NHL draft eligible until 2014.
RJ Gicewicz| Defense – Nichols School
USHL: 2012 Entry Draft 3rd Round pick- Green Bay Gamblers
College: St. Lawrence University- committed for the 2014/2015 season
Only a 16 year old, Gicewicz will be taking his talents to Green Bay where he will play for the Gamblers of the USHL. And while the young blueliner is a bit undersized, because of his late birthday he still has some time to increase his size and strength before his draft year and before attending St. Lawrence U in the fall of 2014. Gicewicz is definitely a prospect to watch as one report named him one of the better 1995 born blueliners in the entire state.
Pat LaFontaine
A Sabre great, a Hall of Famer and the head coach of the Long Island Royals. The very team that Williamsville native Justin Bailey left home to play for.
Justin Bailey| Forward- Long Island Royals
USHL: 2011 Futures Draft 11th Overall- Indiana Ice
OHL: 2011 Priority Draft 7th Round- Kitchener Rangers
NHL: 2013 Draft Eligible
After a stint with the Buffalo Regals, Bailey moved to Long Island, where he actually lived with Pat LaFontaine, to continue his development. And that’s exactly what the 6’4” power forward did. From there he had intended to play for Michigan State University. That changed however just before what would be a very successful Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament that saw the young forward put up two goals for his US squad. Bailey, after much deliberation, chose to play in Kitchener instead, feeling that this choice would be better for his development. And with a nice package of skills in hand, Bailey will likely excel with a team that some feel has one of the best developmental track records in the league.
Harvard University
The school that will be accepting West Seneca native and Nichols School star Sean Malone into their hallowed halls. Malone, also a soccer star, chose to commit to Harvard University after his junior season.
Sean Malone| Forward- Nichols School
USHL: 2011 Futures Draft 4th Round- Lincoln Stars
College: Harvard University- Verbal Commitment, year pending
NHL: 2013 Draft Eligible
Malone, a smaller forward, has no shortage of skills, as he showed during his time at Nichols High School. Not only does he have the ability to score, but he can also set up teammates, much as he did at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament, making his presence known with an assist during the five-game tournament. And preparing to make a name for himself in the USHL, Malone was slated to play for the Lincoln Stars before heading to Harvard. However, USA Hockey recently released its US U18 National Team Development Program Roster, and Malone’s name was on it. This will give Malone the opportunity to play against some of the best young players in the United States and around the World.

I wish these three talented skaters the best of luck this season and for years to come!

-Mike Repertorio

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