St. Dominic Academy’s Reese Farrell watches the puck fly over the Falmouth goalie during a game in 2015 at the Norway Savings Bank Arena in Auburn. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The Maine Nordiques stayed local with their first pick in the NAHL supplemental draft, selecting Auburn native Reese Farrell seventh overall.

Farrell spent the past two seasons at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Massachusetts. He started his high school career at Saint Dominic Academy in 2015-16 before transferring to North Yarmouth Academy for two seasons.

“I had a two-year hiatus over there to (Northfield Mount Hermon), kind of leaving the state of Maine behind. It feels pretty cool to comeback to play in front of your hometown, basically,” Farrell said.

The 19-year-old forward had 10 goals and 26 assists in 28 games this past season for Northfield Mount Hermon. With the Greater Boston Junior Bruins 18U midget team prior to the prep hockey season, he tallied three goals and six assists in 10 games.

Farrell transferred to Northfield Mount Hermon for the 2018-19 season, during which he recorded seven goals and 18 assists in 28 games.

“Reese is pretty dynamic player. He has a good skill set on him, and he’s an above average skater,” Nordiques coach Nolan Howe said. “I think in the last year, you really saw him develop more on the defensive end, as he had some center responsibilities as well as (playing the) wing (position). He really helped lead and captain (Northfield Mount Hermon). His 200-foot game is something we are really excited about, but I think he has a good release, a good shot and I think he can score goals.”

Farrell said the Nordiques began scouting him in the fall when he was playing with the Jr. Bruins, and he met with the organization during the season. Leading the pursuit of Farrell was Cam Robichaud, who was the Nordiques’ associate head coach last season before being named the head coach of the Maine Nordiques Prep Academy U16 team.

“I think it starts with his character, and I think Reese being from Auburn and growing up close to the (Androscoggin Bank) Colisee, he really wanted to be a Maine Nordique,” Howe said. “He came out and participated a little bit last year (with us). Cam Robichaud has known him for years and they had a close relationship. It was a great job by Cam bringing him up on our radar early in the process, and we talked throughout the (process).

“We felt really comfortable we were bringing a player that can grow with us over the next two seasons and hopefully use us to advance on to the Division I level while playing hockey in a Nordique sweater.”

St. Dominic Academy’s Reese Farrell ties up a Lewiston player in the corner during a game in 2016 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Farrell started his high school career at St. Dom’s, and as a freshmen he led the Saints with 10 goals and 25 assists in 18 games. The following two seasons (2016-17, 2017-18) he played at North Yarmouth Academy, tallying 28 goals and 15 assists in 56 games.

Farrell said that he learned and benefited from every school he attended.

“Each step along the way has definitely made me the player that I am now,” Farrell said. “It has helped me development-wise to get out of the state, I used NYA as a stepping stone to (Northfield Mount Hermon), where I had a great coach under Kevin Czepiel for two great years. It really set me up to succeed and come back home.”

Farrell said he didn’t start considering junior hockey until he was selected by the Moncton Wildcats in the 13th round in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s 2017 entry draft. He didn’t think too much about going to the QMJHL, knowing he had a few years at the prep hockey level to further develop as a player.

Farrell is also looking to play college hockey, which targets older players, and he anticipated playing junior hockey once his prep schooling was complete.

“I knew essentially from the start, (junior hockey) is a part of the game now with development,” Farrell said. “A lot of these guys are going into college 20, 21 years old, and they are taking these gap years or developmental years. I knew it was something I had to look forward to.”

LOADING UP ON D

With their second selection, the Nordiques picked 20-year-old defenseman Cooper Swift, who spent most of last season with the New Jersey Hitmen of the National Collegiate Development Conference.

Swift notched two goals and 10 assists in 33 games with the Hitmen. He also played in four games with the Langley Rivermen of the British Columbia Hockey League, recording one goal and one assist.

“I think the NAHL will be little bit more competitive and I look forward to playing against some better players,” Swift said. “I look forward to have bigger role on the Nordiques and moving up a level, kind of.”

Howe said he expects Swift, a West Hartford, Connecticut native, will have an impact on the defense as a whole coming into his final season of junior hockey and coming from a winning program in the Jersey Hitmen.

“We felt like he’s a missing piece in our roster build as a guy that can come in and play good minutes for us, playing in a lot of different situations and anchor what we hope to be a really strong defensive core,” Howe said. “We have a lot of players returning and we felt we were a few pieces away. We tried to identify that in the draft and tender process.”

The Nordiques stayed within their organization for their third and final pic, taking Maine Nordiques Development Program 18U defenseman Kasden Johnson, an 18-year-old defenseman from Princeton, New Jersey.

Johnson said it he was excited to be selected by the Nordiques, and that he sees himself as an all-around defenseman.

“I would say I am a two-way defenseman who sees the ice pretty well,” Johnson said. “I can make plays in the open ice with my feet and skating ability.”

Howe coached Johnson with the ISS Kings prior to becoming the Nordiques coach.

“I have coached him now for six years, and last year he was with our U18 team,” Howe said. “He’s a tremendous young man, but super competitive, even last year in the 44-man (Maine Nordiques tryout) camp he dropped the gloves with Noah Kane and those two guys went toe-to-toe. He wasn’t backing down last year and he’s someone that epitomizes what our program is all about as far as his character, his commitment to his development and to his teammates.”

THUNDER DRAFTEE PICKED

The Odessa Jackalopes selected goaltender Connor Hasley with their second pick in the NAHL draft. Hasley was previously selected by the Twin City Thunder in the 2019 NCDC entry draft.

Hasley was a teammate of Farrell at Northfield Mount Hermon and the Greater Boston Junior Bruins. At Northfield Mount Hermon this past season, the 19-year-old Bentley College commit had a 2.32 goals-against-average and .932 save percentage.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.