Teammates on the Soo Thunder minor midgets two seasons ago, they all moved up to the major midget ranks in 2013-2014, albeit on different teams in different leagues.
Undrafted by any major junior team, all three 1997 birth-year forwards are still eligible to play at the midget level in 2014-2015.
But wise men say they are all capable of playing at the tier two junior level in 2014-2015, if not in the North American Hockey League, then most-definitely in the Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League or the new Canadian International Hockey League.
They are Matt Caruso, Jacob Palmerio and Cole Lussier and they have all attended an NAHL tryout camp of the Soo Eagles and earned considerable praise from coach-general manager Bruno Bragagnolo and head scout Tom Farnquist.
After playing together with the Thunder minor midgets in 2012-2013, the three played apart in 2013-2014.
Caruso headed to the Waterloo Wolves of the Ontario Alliance Hockey League, Palmerio moved to Sudbury to play for the Nickel City Sons of the Great North Midget Hockey League and Lussier skated for the Soo Indians of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association.
In 32 games with Waterloo, the 5-foot-8, 150 pound Caruso had 18 goals, 28 assists, 46 points.
In 28 games with Nickel City, the 5-foot-8, 155 pound Palmerio had 12 goals, 10 assists, 22 points.
In 56 games with the Indians, the 6-foot-1, 175 pound Lussier had 23 goals, 30 assists, 53 points.
It might be wise to keep eyes on these guys and where they play and how they develop in 2014-2015.
The major junior Ontario Hockey League may be where the lights shine bright but there is something to be said about playing tier two junior for two or three or four years and then moving up to skate — and get an education — within the National Collegiate Athletic Association or Ontario University Athletics hockey ranks.
Caruso. Palmerio. Lussier.
Three forwards from Sault Ste. Marie — Caruso and Palmerio from the Canadian side and Lussier from south of the International Bridge — all born in 1997.
Remember the names.