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 Muskegon Lumberjacks

Boisvert, Gridin Highlight Lumberjacks in the NHL Central Scouting Final Rankings

April 16, 2024 - United States Hockey League (USHL)
Muskegon Lumberjacks News Release

MUSKEGON, MI - Tuesday morning NHL Central Scouting released its final set of rankings for the 2024 NHL coming up at the end of June in Las Vegas. 9 Lumberjacks appear in the rankings with both Sacha Boisvert (Trois-Rivieres, QC, CAN) and Matvei Gridin (Kurgan, RUS) ranked within the first round.

Read about the Lumberjacks ranked and hear from Lumberjacks Head Coch Parker Burgess on each player below.

#16 - Sacha Boisvert

Boisvert, a 2006 birth year from Quebec is in his second season with the Lumberjacks. His big frame and smooth skating ability has helped him progress to becoming one of the premier players in the USHL this season. This season Boisvert finished second on the team in points with 68 (36g, 32a) highlighting his strong offensive skills. What sets him apart though is his ability to be effective no matter where he is on the ice.

"Sacha has come so far from last season just fine tuning his game. He has always had the size, the stick, the shot, and the compete level. What we as a staff are so proud of with Sacha is his commitment to developing his overall game in all three zones." - Parker Burgess, Lumberjacks Head Coach

#21 - Matvei Gridin

After starting the year with a "B" ranking in the preliminary report Gridin has turned lots of heads through strong play at the top of the USHL. In his first game of the year Gridin recorded 4 points and continued the production finishing as the USHL league leader with 83. Not only did Gridin lead the USHL in points, but he also led the Lumberjacks in every major offensive stat with 38 goals and 45 assists. Throughout the season Gridin developed a stronger ability on the defensive side of the puck appearing on one of the Jacks penalty killing units.

"If you were on our staff last year and got to work with Matvei day to day and see his skill and compete level it is definitely not a shock that he led the league in scoring and is ranked as high as he is. It is a credit to him and how hard he's worked. When you watch him play whether in practice or a game, he is a special, special player to watch." Parker Burgess, Lumberjacks Head Coach

#74 - Xavier Veilleux

Another Quebec native for the Lumberjacks Veilleux has been a steady presence on the blue line all season long. One of just 3 Jacks to play in every single game during the regular season Veilleux led defenseman in Muskegon with 32 points (3g, 29a).

"I cannot imagine many '06s having as many responsibilities and trust as Xavier has. It is a credit to the maturity that he has in his game and serious he takes his development. He comes to the rink every day with a plan and executes that plan. He is not just in the gym to workout or watching video just to watch video. His goal everyday is to get better. He strikes me as the kind of player who is going to play a long, long time in the NHL because of how mature he is." - Parker Burgess, Lumberjacks Head Coach.

#95 - Jimmy Dodig

The first of four affiliate players ranked Dodig played this season at Cretin-Derham Hall in Minnesota. In 30 Minnesota High School games this season Dodig paced the CDH defensive core with 23 points (6g, 17a). The Minneapolis native does not just produce on the offensive end. His 6'5, 205-pound frame is a "massive" addition to any team.

"Jimmy is obviously a huge defenseman with a long reach and he has a very intrinsic desire to be physical. He has got a nasty edge to his game and a very strong presence about him. Back at our main camp he made a really big impact on some of our veteran players as a first-year guy." - Parker Burgess, Lumberjacks Head Coach

#118 - Joe Connor

After not hearing his name called at the NHL draft last summer it felt like Connor entered this season with a chip in his shoulder. With six 3-point performances this season including a 4-goal game against the Fargo Force on January 12th. His high IQ helps him create offensive opportunities for not just himself, but his teammates on the ice with him.

"Joe does everything for our team. He is a heart and soul player and he drives the game. Joe is the kind of player that drags his teammates into the fight. Whether it is with a goal, a hit, a fight, whatever it is, he plays with emotion and passion. I do not think the teams will make the same mistake twice." - Parker Burgess, Lumberjacks Head Coach

#139- Matthew Van Blaricom

The second affiliate player for the Jacks in the rankings spent this season in the SJHL with the Humboldt Broncos. Van Blaricom tore up the SJHL this season with 68 points in just 47 games played (27g, 41a). "MVB" finished top ten in the league in all three major offensive categories displaying his prowess in the offensive zone.

"Mathew is another guy that turned some heads at main camp. He has had an incredible year up in Saskatchewan. Him being in the top ten of scoring is impressive as is, but when you look at those nine other guys, they are all '03s and 20 years old. He is doing it all at 17 in a very hard checking, mature, tough league." - Parker Burgess, Lumberjacks Head Coach

#154 - Bauer Berry

Just shy of two hundred pounds Berry brings size to the blue line with his 6'4 frame. His dedication to the defensive side of the puck is shown through his fearlessness when sacrificing his body to block shots. A familiar face on the penalty kill Berry showed flashes of offense in his game with fourteen points on the blue line.

"Bauer is a consistent defenseman who prides himself in doing the little things that at times may not pop out at you, but his willingness to defend, play in the corner, and block shots are needed on every team. You need the players like Bauer who is willing to sacrifice his body and engage physically." - Parker Burgess, Lumberjacks Head Coach

#166 - Chase Stefanek

The final Lumberjack skater to be ranked Stefanek is an affiliate player who spent the season with the Trail Smoke Eaters of the BCHL. Before moving up to Canada to start his junior hockey career Stefanek was at Mount St. Charles Academy in Rhode Island with Boisvert. His 35 points this season come on the back of 23 assists highlighting his ability to find teammates in high scoring opportunities.

"Chase is a big, strong player with high end stick skill and can see the game really well. I think it has been good for him to be up in B.C. to grow and mature so that when he does come to us next hear he can help anchor our group and provide production while making an impact at both ends of the rink." - Parker Burgess, Lumberjacks Head Coach

#25 (Goalies) - Stephen Peck

The only goalie for the Jacks to be ranked is Stephen Peck, an affiliate out of New York. Following last season at the prep school level Peck moved to junior hockey and the Bismark Bobcats of the NAHL. A top ten goalie in the NAHL with a 2.247 GAA Peck finished with a 22-7-01 record and is leading the way in the crease as the Bobcats look to make a run through the playoffs.

"Stephen has had a great season in Bismark, He is expected to come in and compete for starts next year. He is a big goalie and technically sound. You could tell it is not just about him being big and athletic. He has got a great IQ and ability to read the rush, power plays, and things like that. He is very invested in his development and his position." - Parker Burgess, Lumberjacks Head Coach

The 2024 NHL Draft starts with the first round on June 28th. The draft will be in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Sphere. Follow along with the Jacks on social media @muskegonjacks on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) for updates and exclusive content from the event.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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