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Noah Cates Is Wise Beyond His Years

Some players stand out in development camps because of their play. Noah Cates certainly did that. I felt like it took him a day to get used to the talent level and by Day 2 I gave him this report:

Noah Cates – 6-1, 165 – LW – Stillwater High School – Looked a lot more confident in his second day. More spring in his step and a confident, fast shot. Took good angles on defense to cut off the offensive player. Decent speed to the net. Cates has promise.

Then there was the 3-on-3 scrimmage and he shined again. Here were my thoughts:

He had great pursuit to the net. He told me that came easy in high school but knows it won’t in the USHL. He was tough in close. Had a slick drop pass.

Cates will fill out. That’s not a concern. The interesting part to me is at this stage of the game he was still able to get to the net. Some players have a nose for the net. An innate ability and that inner drive to make a play. He seems to have this.

“It’s been great. I’m just learning from the older guys. Seeing how they handle themselves on the ice and their everyday habits,” said Cates.

The Flyers drafted him 137th overall. He played 11 games (he scored 7 points) for the USHL’s Omaha Lancers this year. He’ll play there next year and he will eventually suit up for Minnesota Duluth after that. Considering he’s a Minnesota kid, that’s a great fit. He’s looking forward to playing against tough competition.

“Looking forward to that change in speed and tempo. Playing with better players. Some things get easier and some things will get harder,” he added. “I’ll learn throughout the year. The ups and downs compared to high school. But it will be a good learning experience for me.”

Cates was 5-8 as a Sophomore in high school and then he started to grow and shot up to his current 6-1 frame. This kid is the ultimate work in progress but he already has the “hockey brain” to play this game at a high level and that’s a big deal. Once he turns into the power forward type, he will be very formidable. He will have to figure out how to keep getting to the net going forward.

“There will be a little bit of a learning curve going to the net level with that. I’ll have to try new things. Working out and being in the weight room will help that,” Cates stated. “I am going to try and gain some good muscle weight over the summer.”

His summer will be split.

“I’ll be down with Omaha at the end of the month. A training camp. Learning and developing with them. By the end of August and early September I’ll be there full-time.”

Keep an eye on this player. He may take 3 years to turn pro but if all goes well the Flyers may have a prototypical left wing, something they will need down the road. Just like potato chips, you can’t have just one.

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