"The CC studs you mentioned of days gone by are still there, but you're probably seeing them skate as freshman and sophomores, not as juniors and seniors."
Not really! They are going prep right out of the gate. Look at every prep roster and you will see it is true. In the Boston area you have six very good prep programs that are day schools; Rivers, Thayer, St Sebs, Nobles, Bell Hill & Dexter. This year 5 of 6 have been ranked top 10 in New England and the other in the top 20. Every high end player ( from the area) ends up at these schools as Frosh or at the other boarding schools throughout New England.
Not really sure why you think looking at current New England Prep School rosters and rankings prove your point. There are only 60 or so Prep schools that play hockey in New England, and some are god awful, so I would hope 6 MA teams could crack the top 20. Look at the current New England college rosters. What you see is what you have always seen. There is about a 50/50 split amoung the few MA kids that actually make it that far, of kids that started out at an MIAA school as opposed to straight prep. The South Shore has always trended towards Prep, and the North Shore has always trended towards Catholics, with a few publics thrown in on both sides of the border. Nothing new here. T1EHL has seen a slight up tick in current college recruits, but most of those kids are from other parts of the country not MA.