Patrick Wiercioch, D – Denver
Acquired: 2nd Round, 42nd overall in 2008
Wiercioch, 19, who led Denver in rookie scoring last season with 35 points in 36 games, is currently tied for fourth on the team with 17 points in 22 games for the top-ranked Pioneers. Two of his four goals have come on the power play and he is considered as an all-WCHA candidate at this point in the season. Wiercioch stands out on a deep defensive corps and leads defensemen in scoring. Denver is 14-6-4.
Louie Caporusso, F – Michigan
Acquired: 3rd Round, 90th overall in 2007
After finishing last season with 49 points in 41 games and finishing second on the team in scoring, Caporusso’s production is down in 2009-10 with 19 points in 26 games, third best on the Wolverines. Four of Caporusso’s 12 goals have come on the power play. A Hobey Baker finalist last season, Caporusso, 20, has struggled with the departure of Aaron Palushaj (STL) to the AHL but has shown improvement over the last few weeks. The Wolverines are 14-11-1.
Chris Wideman, D – Miami
Acquired: 4th Round, 100th overall in 2009
Wideman finished with 26 points in 39 games for NCAA runners-up Miami last season, with all 26 points coming as assists. This season, as a sophomore, Wideman has 12 points in 26 games, two of them goals. The 19-year-old Wideman is +8 with one power-play goal this season. Second-ranked Miami is 16-4-6.
Ben Blood, D – North Dakota
Acquired: 4th Round, 120th overall in 2007
After registering a single point as a freshman, 20-year-old Blood has upped his production this season with three goals and three assists for six points in 26 games. While not known for his play on the offensive side of the puck, Blood has seen time on the Sioux power play this year due to injuries. Additionally, Blood has increased his physicality, as evidenced by the 68 penalty minutes he has accumulated.
In a recent interview with Hockey’s Future, Blood said he felt good about his play in his second year.
“I’m really happy with where I’m at right now,” said Blood. “Last year was a bit of a struggle to try to get comfortable out there, get my footing. This year I feel a lot more confident out on the ice and I think that’s showing with my play.”
North Dakota is 13-8-5.
Mark Borowiecki, D – Clarkson
Acquired: 5th Round, 139th overall in 2008
Borowiecki has shown an impressive increase in his statistics in his sophomore season. While Clarkson has struggled to a 5-16-3 record, Borowiecki, 20, has posted 13 points in 22 games, up from two in 33 from last season. Borowiecki has scored one power-play goal this season. A concussion suffered in January against Colgate as a result of a boarding penalty will keep Borowiecki out indefinitely.
Derek Grant, F – Michigan State
Acquired: 4th Round, 119th overall in 2008
After scoring 60 points in 35 games with the Langley Chiefs in the BCHL last year, Grant, 19, has performed well as a freshman with the Spartans, scoring 27 points in 28 games, which is good for second on the team behind Corey Tropp (BUF). Six of Grant’s 10 goals have come on the power play and two have been game winners. The Spartans are 16-8-4, second in the CCHA behind Miami.
Colin Greening, F – Cornell
Acquired: 7th Round, 204th Overall in 2005
Senior captain Greening, 23, has scored 20 points in 18 games for Cornell this season, good for second on the team. He came in second in scoring last season as well. Greening, who centers the first line of Blake Gallagher and Joe Devin, has scored four of his seven goals on the power play. Cornell is 10-5-3.
Holly Gunning contributed to this article.