Bruins Prospect, Yale Center Curtis Hall Turning Heads During Sophomore Year

BOSTON — Curtis Hall is thriving at Yale.

The 19-year-old, a 2018 fourth-round pick of the Boston Bruins, is in his second year in New Haven. A hard-skating power forward, Hall historically had not been an overly prolific goal-scorer, but he’s found another level in Year 2 with the Bulldogs.

In 24 games with Yale last season, he posted just five goals and six assists. With his one goal, two assist performance in a 4-4 tie against Harvard on Friday in Allston, Hall now has 14 goals and five assists in 20 games this season.

His goal against the Crimson seemed to point to why his style of play captured the Bruins’ attention. He won an offensive zone draw, getting the puck up to the point. The second he won the face-off, he high-tailed it to the front of the net. A slap shot zipped to the net, and Hall was there to tip it home.

His second goal put his passing ability on full display. As he skated down the right wing, Hall was patient and sure not to force anything. Upon getting to the bottom of the circle, he shoehorned a pass in through some traffic to a Justin Pearson on the doorstep, who redirected Yale’s second goal of the game into the back of the net.

But outside of his increased scoring ability, what stands out most about Hall offensively is his ability to control the puck. While fully acknowledging that comparing a player’s performance in ECAC hockey to that of an NHL player is a little apples to oranges, there is some Charlie Coyle in Hall’s game.

Hall — who played for Team USA in World Juniors earlier this winter — really can drive a line, and it’s thanks in large part to his skating ability, the fact that he hunts pucks well and that he makes it near impossible for opposing players to pry possession from him.

“He’s a tremendous player,” Harvard coach Ted Donato said Friday night. “Strong, very good on face-offs, really good in front of the net on the power play, I think he leads their team in power play goals. He’s a talented kid. Super competitive and a guy that’s one of the more impactful players in our league I would say.”

It’ll be a while before Hall sniffing the NHL becomes a reality. But as he cooks in the lower levels, there’s plenty to like about where his game stands.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter screenshot/@YaleMHockey

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