TORONTO, Ont. -- As originally reported by Over the Boards, former New Jersey Colonials centre John Farinacci has confirmed a commitment to join the Harvard Crimson of the ECAC starting with the 2019/2020 season.
Rated fifth overall on Priority Selection's top-200 list heading into the 2017 OHL Draft year, Farinacci is a dynamic offensive producer who has game-breaking ability and a hockey IQ that separates him from most of the age group at this point. The 6-foot centre is purported to be joining Shattuck-St. Mary's next season where he should be in the mix for a potential spot with the prep team, although competition will undoubtedly be stiff for high school sophomores.
Farinacci's commitment came alongside another '01 addition for Harvard, as Boston Junior Bruins forward Sean Farrell also committed to the program. With an impressive recruiting haul in the '00 birth year at this point, things are shaping up exceptionally well for Harvard with the '01 class as the two talented forwards join Marshall Warren, our top-rated defenseman who committed to the program back in September.
While Farinacci will still see considerable interest from the OHL, it would appear that the commitment likely cements his path to the USNTDP in Plymouth, at least for now. Where you could make the argument that Warren has legitimate pro tools at this point and would be more apt to make an immediate impact in major junior - should he be wooed in that direction - Farinacci's skating could benefit from some development in the program, which should make that a very attractive option for him.
Assuming his NCAA intentions remain sincere through next year, Farinacci does have the type of talent that might entice a team to still take a calculated gamble on him in the second or third round of the 2017 OHL Priority Selection. If that fails to materialize, it would still be a shock to see him still on the board beyond the top-100 picks as even a one in five chance of ever seeing him report to the league would be more than enough to justify a selection.
Harvard has had a couple situations where they've been challenged on retaining a player commitment over the past few years, and with the NHL Draft always throwing a curve ball, it's far from conclusive to say that we'll see Farinacci in a Harvard for certain. That said, you have to think that head coach Ted Donato is nothing short of pleased with the strides he's been able to make in the recruiting game thus far; and the paper gains are rather impressive for the program from our vantage point.
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