Top Prospects Tournament Review

Attleboro, Massachusetts – The Springfield Jr. Blues were represented by four players this year at the North American Hockey League’s 2020 Top Prospects Tournament. Leo Bacallao, Jonathan Panisa, Jackson Salt, and Caden Villegas each played well during the two day event held at the New England Sports Village.

Bacallao, Panisa, and Villegas all played for the NAHL Selects Red squad while Salt (and former Jr. Blues players Aaron Swanson and Max Osborne) played on the Midwest Division squad. The Red team opened up the tournament on Monday morning with a loss to Team South, 7-3. The Midwest team played in the late afternoon on Monday against Team East and lost 3-1. The two teams then wrapped up tournament play Tuesday morning facing off against each other, Team Red won 7-4. 

Leo Bacallao, who joined the Jr. Blues in late November, is in his first season in the NAHL. The native of Madison, WI did not register a point in Monday’s game, but did score a goal and an assist in Tuesday morning’s contest. In 19 games with Springfield, he has 7 goals and 6 assists. Bacallao is not currently committed to an NCAA program.

Jonathan Panisa is in his second season with the Jr. Blues, although a majority of last season was spent playing in the USHL. The Irvine, CA native registered an assist in Monday morning’s game before scoring a shorthanded goal in Tuesday’s victory. In 33 games for the Jr. Blues he has 11 goals and 18 assists. He is committed to UMass-Amherst.

Jackson Salt, a native of Okotoks, AB, CA, is in his first season in the NAHL after playing in the AJHL last season. He failed to register a point in Monday afternoon’s game, but added two assists in Tuesday’s loss. Despite missing time due to injury, he has appeared in 28 games and has 3 goals and 9 assists. Salt is not currently committed to an NCAA program. 

Caden Villegas, a Union College commit, is playing in his second season with the Jr. Blues. The native of Plano, TX was held off the score sheet on Monday before scoring the first goal for Team Red on Tuesday. Villegas has appeared in 47 games for the Jr. Blues this season, and leads the team in scoring with 14 goals and 22 assists. 

We would like to congratulate all of the players who participated in the Top Prospects Tournament this week, and would like to thank all of the volunteers and staff who helped put on the event!