October 30, 2013

Juniors Journal: South Shore's Starrett is a star

By Shawn Hutcheon

The South Shore Kings' Beau Starrett (Bellingham, Mass.) caught the eye of his coach, and then he caught the eye of NHL scouts and Cornell University, where he'll play his college hockey starting in 2015.

The player is always chasing the dream of playing at the highest levels of the sport, and for Beau Starrett (Bellingham, Mass.) of the South Shore Kings, climbing the ladder to a college scholarship and beyond is his dream – one that he’s already achieving.

Starrett was in the process of making a name for himself last season while playing for the Kings’ under-16 team. He played on the half-season split team, whose season ends in November in order for players to play for their high school and prep school teams. After enjoying a successful high school season with Catholic Memorial, Starrett had planned to play for South Shore’s under-18 team, but as Kings junior team head coach Scott Harlow (East Bridgewater, Mass.) tells it, people around the organization thought he could play at the junior level.

“Beau was going to play for our 18-Under team this season,” Harlow said. “I knew he went to a [United States Hockey League] camp and made that team but he came home and was working out at the training center in Foxborough (Mass.) where we play our home games and everyone was telling me to take another look at him. We invited him to our junior camp in July and he was the best player at camp and we elevated him to our junior team.”

Harlow’s decision to put Starrett on his club was proven to be a very good one, as the forward’s name appeared on the National Hockey League’s Central Scouting preseason list of players to watch in September.

“Beau’s upside is tremendous,” Harlow explained when asked to describe the youngster’s style of play. “He has size (6-foot-4), good hockey sense, great hands and can really shoot the puck. He has great offensive ability. He does need to increase his compete level but I think that will come as the season progresses.

“Of course, we’re talking four or five years down the line when it comes to the NHL but I think Beau has the potential to be drafted in the top three rounds of the upcoming draft.”

According to the coach, Starrett is an asset off the ice, as well.

“He works hard in the gym,” Harlow said. “That hard work is paying off. Overall, his teammates love him and he’s a pleasure to have on the team.”

According to Harlow, Starrett does not put pressure on himself to perform for the scouts, who pack the stands to watch him. The forward agreed.

“I don’t like to think about the draft,” Starrett said. “I just play the games and block that out and hopefully, everything will work out (at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft).”

Up to now, it is working out just fine as Starrett is third in team scoring with four goals and 10 assists in 16 games. He prides himself on his playmaking abilities and tries to pattern his game on that of San Jose Sharks centerman Joe Thornton.

“He’s (Thornton) a good playmaker with great on ice vision. He knows where his teammates are on the ice, he wins draws and plays good defense.”

Recently, Starrett saw the fruits of his labor help him make another step up the ladder in the form of a college scholarship offer from Cornell University. He quickly accepted the offer and will become a member of the Big Red in the fall of 2015.

“I chose Cornell because it’s an Ivy League school and education is very important to me,” He said, “Also, hockey is like a religion there and when I visited the school, I could see myself playing there.”

And while Beau Starrett can see himself playing for Cornell University and scouts can see him playing in the NHL, Scott Harlow and the Kings are happy to see the budding star play for South Shore.

Game of the Week

The schedules of the USPHL and EHL have many games to look forward to this week but the tilt that had fans and scouts anticipating came on Wednesday, Oct. 30, between USPHL league leader Boston Jr. Bruins and the second-place South Shore Kings.

The Kings are led by scoring leader Nolan Vesey, whose 18 points leads the USPHL.

The Jr. B’s had Sean Lawrence in goal. He leads the league in wins (11), goals against average (1.91), and save percentage (.937).

The puck dropped at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough, Mass., at 2:30 p.m.

New England Junior Power Rankings:

1) New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs (12-2-0-0) – The Monarchs added to their win column last week with a victory over the Boston Jr. Bandits. The Monarchs continue to stand atop the Eastern Hockey League standings.

2) Boston Junior Bruins (12-2-0-1) – BJB picked up two big wins over the weekend in Exeter, N.H., by defeating the Islanders Hockey Club and the Jersey Hitmen. The Junior Bruins remain in first place in the United States Premier Hockey League.

3) South Shore Kings (9-5-1-1) – The second place club in the USPHL is in the midst of a four-game win streak. The Kings trail the Jr. Bruins by five points in the standings.

4) Connecticut Oilers (10-2-1-1) – Last weekend, the Oil played three games in three nights and emerged 2-1-0 to continue leading the EHL’s Central Division by five points over the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.

5) Northern Cyclones (8-2-0-0) – Northern registered two victories over the weekend to extend its win streak to seven games. Coach Bill Flanagan’s squad sits in second place in the EHL’s North Division trailing the New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs by eight points but Northern has four games in hand on NH.

6) Bay State Breakers (6-5-3-1) – A 1-1-0-0 weekend and the misfortune of other USPHL teams saw the Breakers move into fourth place in the standings. Bay State is two points in arrears of the Jersey Hitmen in the race for third place, however, Jersey has two games in hand on the Breakers.

7) Connecticut Yankees (6-6-0-0) – With recent additions to its playing personnel, the Yankees are beginning to surprise some observers with wins over the USPHL’s heavyweights. The currently occupy seventh place after spending the first part of the season in the league’s basement (ninth).

8) Boston Junior Bandits (6-3-1-1) – The Bandits dropped a tough one last week to New Hampshire. It was the only tilt on the schedule for Boston, who resides in third place in the EHL’s North Division. This week, the Bandits, who have won only once in their last six contests, will take to the ice three times in an effort to regain its winning ways.

9) Islanders Hockey Club (6-8-1-0) – The IHC is unaccustomed to being under .500 but a recent 1-5-0 stretch has seen the Islanders slip to sixth place in the USPHL.

10) Portland Jr. Pirates (5-8-1-1) – An 0-3-0 week saw the Jr. Pirates sink to eighth place in the USPHL. They have a six-point lead on the last place P.A.L. Islanders but that Islanders club has three games in hand on Portland.

11) Valley Jr. Warriors (4-5-0-1) – Valley did not play last week and remained in fourth place in the EHL’s North Division.

12) Walpole Express (3-4-3-1) – Although the Express dropped their only tilt over the weekend, they are fifth in the EHL’s Central Division and have a two-point lead on the Hartford Jr. Wolfpack.

13) Boston Jr. Rangers (4-7-1-0) – A 2-1-0 weekend, saw the Rangers move into a fourth place tie with Valley in the EHL’s North Division. Boston’s next five games will be played at their home arena in Tewksbury, Mass.

14) Hartford Jr. Wolfpack (4-6-0-0) – The ‘Pack picked up its fourth win last weekend after losing seven consecutive games.