College Prospects Notebook: March

By DJ Powers
Photo: After somewhat uneven production in his sophomore year, Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan has figured prominently into Notre Dame’s NCAA tournament success. (Photo courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

In the final 2010-11 edition of the notebook, Hockey’s Future takes a look back at some notable performances and items making news around the NHL prospects community. Unless otherwise noted all stats are current as of Mar. 31.

Two NHL prospects named to "Hobey Hat Trick"

The "Hobey Hat Trick", which is the top three finalists for college hockey’s top individual honor, has been announced. Among them are two NHL prospects – North Dakota senior Matt Frattin (TOR), Boston College junior Cam Atkinson (CBJ). Miami senior Andy Miele rounds out the group.

After tumultuous 2009-10 campaign, Frattin returned to the Fighting Sioux team this season with a vengeance. Frattin, who recently helped guide North Dakota to this year’s Frozen Four, leads the nation with 36 goals and is averaging 0.84 goals per game. He also comes in as the hottest point producer as well. In the Midwest regional versus RPI and Denver respectively, Frattin registered a goal and two assists. He was named the WCHA Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-WCHA First Team after posting 40 points (22 goals, 18 assists) in 28 conference games.

Atkinson, who recently signed with the Columbus Blue Jackets, finished another stellar year with Boston College leading the team with 52 points (31 goals, 21 assists) in 39 games. His 31 goals are second in the nation. Atkinson was a unanimous selection to the All-Hockey East First Team after finishing second in the conference scoring race with 38 points (24 goals, 14 assists) in 27 league games. He leaves Boston College having appeared in 117 career games in which he posted 124 points (68 goals, 46 assists), along with participating in two NCAA Tournaments and winning a National Championship in 2010.

Miele capped a tremendous career with a sensational senior campaign and that has garnered him a ton of NHL interest. At least 12 NHL clubs had expressed an interest in signing the Grosse Pointe Woods, MI native, before recently signing with the Phoenix Coyotes.

Miele currently leads the nation with 71 points and 47 assists and will most likely finish as the league’s scoring champion. Miele is just the second Miami player in the program’s history to be named to the "Hobey Hat Trick" since Ryan Jones (EDM) accomplished the feat in 2008. He was named the CCHA Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-CCHA First Team after posting 56 points (16 goals, 40 assists) in 28 conference games. Miele leaves Miami having compiled 159 points (60 goals, 99 assists) in 141 career games. He helped guide the RedHawks to the NCAA Tournament in each of his four years, including two Frozen Four appearances in 2009 and 2010. Miele also helped Miami claim their first-ever Mason Cup as the CCHA Tournament Champion this season as well.

Handing out the hardware

A number of NHL prospects were recognized with individual conference honors as well as named to All-Conference teams.

Michigan senior Carl Hagelin (NYR) was named the CCHA’s Best Defensive Forward as well earned a spot on the All-CCHA First Team. The Sodertalje, Sweden native has been a key cog in the Wolverines’ run up to this year’s Frozen Four and is noted for his play at both ends of the ice. He currently leads Michigan with 48 points (18 goals, 30 assists) playing in all 42 contests thus far.

Notre Dame junior Sean Lorenz (MIN) was named the CCHA’s Best Defensive Defenseman. Lorenz has been a steadying influence on a young Fighting Irish blue line this season. He has played in all 43 games thus far, posting 13 points (four goals, nine assists). Lorenz currently ranks second in the nation with a plus-29.

Brown senior and recent Philadelphia Flyers free agent signee Harry Zolnierczyk was named the Ivy League Player of the Year after posting 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in ten Ivy League contests this season. He finished his final year leading the Bears with 31 points (16 goals, 15 assists) in 30 games.

Recent Pittsburgh Penguins free agent signee Paul Thompson was named Hockey East’s Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-Hockey East First Team after leading the conference in scoring with 42 points (23 goals, 19 assists) in 27 league games and guiding New Hampshire to an NCAA Tournament berth. He finished his final season with 52 points (28 goals, 24 assists) playing in all 39 games. Thompson also finishes currently tied for second in the nation with 12 power play goals.

Boston University freshman Charlie Coyle (SJ) was named the Hockey East Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the Hockey East All-Rookie Team after leading all freshmen in conference scoring with 21 points (six goals, 15 assists) in 27 league games. Overall, Coyle finished his excellent freshman campaign leading the Terriers in rookie scoring with 26 points (seven goals, 19 assists) in 37 appearances.

Boston College sophomore rearguard Brian Dumoulin (CAR) was named Hockey East’s Best Defensive Defenseman and earned a spot on the All-Hockey East First Team. Dumoulin led all Hockey East blueliners in scoring with 23 points (two goals, 21 assists) in 27 conference games. Overall, he finished the season ranked sixth in the nation in defenseman scoring with 33 points (three goals, 30 assists) in 37 games.

Maine senior Tanner House was named Hockey East’s Best Defensive Forward. House, who was recently picked up by the Edmonton Oilers as a free agent signee, was one of the conference’s best two-way forwards this season. The Cochrane, AB native finished his final season at Maine with 35 points (ten goals, 25 assists) in 35 games.

North Dakota senior Matt Frattin (TOR) took home the WCHA’s Player of the Year honor as well as earned a spot on the All-WCHA First Team after leading the conference with 40 points (22 goals, 18 assists) in 40 league games. Overall, Frattin’s 36 goals currently lead the nation while his 60 points rank second. One of Frattin’s most impressive feats this season has been the fact that he has posted a goal in 28 of the 43 games he has played in with the Fighting Sioux thus far.

Denver freshman Jason Zucker (MIN) was named the WCHA’s Rookie of the Year and earned spots on both the WCHA’s All-Rookie Team as well as the All-WCHA Second Team after leading all conference freshmen in scoring with 36 points (20 goals, 16 assists) in 28 league games. Overall, Zucker finished his stellar freshman campaign with 45 points (23 goals, 22 assists) in 40 games. His 45 points rank third in the nation in rookie scoring and second among all NHL rookie prospects.

Wisconsin sophomore defenseman Justin Schultz (ANA) was named the WCHA’s Defensive Player of the Year and earned a spot on the All-WCHA First Team. Schultz led all WCHA defensemen with 29 points (ten goals, 19 assists) in 28 league games. His 29 points also ranked him tied for eighth in the conference. Schultz finished his sensational sophomore campaign with 47 points (18 goals, 29 assists) in 41 games overall. He led the nation in defenseman scoring virtually the entire year.

Season-ending prospect signings off to fast start

As NCAA teams’ seasons come to a close, so do the collegiate careers of some non-graduating players. The NHL Signing Season has begun with a number of notable players opting to forego the remainder of the collegiate eligibility to begin their pro careers.

Among the players that have opted to leave early thus far include Denver sophomore defenseman Matt Donovan (NYI), Wisconsin junior defenseman Jake Gardiner (TOR), Boston College junior RW Jimmy Hayes (CHI), Maine junior Gustav Nyquist (DET) and RPI junior goaltender Allen York (CBJ).

Donovan played a crucial role in the success of Denver this season, helping to guide the Pioneers to an NCAA Tournament berth. He led Denver in defenseman scoring with 32 points (nine goals, 23 assists) in 42 games this season. Donovan was named to the All-WCHA Second Team after registering 28 points (four goals, 17 assists) in 28 conference games. He leaves Denver with 53 points (16 goals, 37 assists) in 78 career games.

Gardiner was one half of the nation’s most prolific defensive scoring duo this season. He finished the 2010-11 season with 41 points (ten goals, 31 assists) in 41 games, which currently ranks him second in the nation in defenseman scoring. Gardiner was named to the All-WCHA Second Team after posting 23 goals (five goals, 18 assists) in 28 conference games. He finishes a stellar three-year career at Wisconsin with 75 points (19 goals, 56 assists) in 121 career games.

Hayes helped guide Boston College to a National Championship last season and both a Hockey East Regular Season and Tournament Championship this season. He was twice named Hockey East’s Player of the Week this season (Oct. 18 and Mar. 14). Hayes finished the season second on the team with 21 goals and third on the team with 33 points playing in all 39 games.

Nyquist enjoyed another outstanding season with Maine, helping to guide the Black Bears to strong finish despite being ousted in the Hockey East quarterfinals and missing the NCAA Tournament. The 2010 Hobey Hat Trick finalist finished his junior campaign leading Maine for the third consecutive season in scoring with 51 points (18 goals, 33 assists) playing in all 36 games. His 33 assists currently lead all NHL prospects. He was a unanimous selection to the All-Hockey East First Team after finishing third in scoring with 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 27 conference games. Nyquist finishes his stellar three-year collegiate career with 144 points (50 goals, 94 assists) in 113 games.

York was the backbone of a resurging RPI team that reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1995. In 34 appearances this season, York posted an 18-11-4 record that included two shutouts. He finished ninth in the nation with a .924 save percentage and a 2.17 goals against average. His .924 save percentage also leads all NHL goaltending prospects as well. York was named to the All-ECAC Third Team after compiling a 10-6-0 record in 19 conference games this season.

Merrimack sophomore standout Stephane Da Costa, who was one of the prized (undrafted) free agents on the market, recently signed with the Ottawa Senators. The 2010 Hockey East Rookie of the Year was a driving force behind an excellent Warriors team that earned their first NCAA Tournament berth since 1988 this season. The Paris, France native led Merrimack with 45 points (14 goals, 31 assists) in 33 games. He was named to the All-Hockey East Second Team after registering 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists) in 21 conference games, which ranked him tied for 12th in league scoring. He leaves Merrimack having posted 90 points (30 goals, 60 assists) in 67 career games.

Peak Performers

Freshman sensation Jaden Schwartz (STL) registered two goals, including the game-winner, and added two assists in Colorado College’s stunning 8-4 upset of reigning national champion Boston College in the West regional semi-final. He also added an assist in the Tigers’ 2-1 loss to Michigan in the regional final. Schwartz finishes his stellar freshman campaign leading Colorado College with 47 points (30 goals, 17 assists) in 30 games, which currently ranks second in the nation in rookie scoring and leads all NHL rookie prospects. He is also currently the only underclassman in the nation that has posted 30 or more goals to date as well.

In the Midwest regional, WCHA Rookie of the Year Jason Zucker (MIN) posted a pair of goals, including the game-winner in Denver’s thrilling 3-2 double-overtime victory over Western Michigan in the regional semi-final, and added two assists. Zucker finishes his freshman campaign second on the Pioneers team with 45 points (23 goals, 22 assists) in 40 games.

In the Midwest regional, North Dakota senior Brad Malone (COL) turned in a terrific performance, posting three goals, including the game-winner in the semi-final versus RPI, and added an assist to guide the Fighting Sioux to another Frozen Four appearance. Malone currently ranks fourth on the team with 40 points (16 goals, 24 assists) through 42 games thus far.

In the Northeast regional, Notre Dame freshman Anders Lee (NYI) posted two goals, including the overtime game-winner versus Merrimack in the regional semi-final, and added an assist. He currently leads Notre Dame with 24 goals and ranks second on the team with 44 points through 43 games thus far. Lee’s 44 points also currently ranks third among all NHL rookie prospects as well.

In the West regional semi-final, Michigan freshman Kevin Lynch (CBJ) registered a pair of goals, including the controversial overtime game-winner versus Nebraska-Omaha to help guide the Wolverines to a 3-2 victory. The tally, which was forced in off of a rebound shot from junior defenseman Greg Pateryn (MON), was ruled a goal after an agonizing 10-minute review. The goal warranted a review when the puck had lodged under Mavericks goaltender John Faulkner’s pads on the goal line. To date, Lynch has registered 16 points (11 goals, five assists) in 42 games.

Sophomore defenseman Lee Moffie (SJ) help vault Michigan to another Frozen Four appearance after posting the game-winner and adding an assist in the Wolverines’ 2-1 victory over Colorado College in the West regional final. This was Moffie’s third multi-point game of the season. In 30 games thus far, Moffie has posted 17 points (eight goals, nine assists).

Minnesota-Duluth freshman defenseman Justin Faulk (CAR) posted an assist in each of the East regional games versus Union College and Yale respectively to help propel the Bulldogs to their first Frozen Four appearance since 2004. Faulk currently leads all Minnesota-Duluth defensemen with 30 points (eight goals, 22 assists) in 37 games thus far.

Notre Dame sophomore Riley Sheahan (DET) had a hand in both goals in the Fighting Irish’s 2-1 victory over host New Hampshire in the Northeast regional final. The win lifted Notre Dame into the Frozen Four for the first time since 2008. Sheahan has appeared in 39 games thus far, registering 22 points (five goals, 17 assists). Of his five goals, three have come on special teams – two on the power play and one shorthanded.