Ranking of the Top 10 NCAA schools by NHL prospect performance

By DJ Powers





Sertich: Recruits boast skills to succeed

 

Below is a
ranking of the top schools in the nation according to the current performance
of their NHL prospects. The ranking is based upon the performances of skaters
only and does not include goaltenders, with the exception of goaltender assists.

All of the
statistics used are for all regular season, non-exhibition games for the
2003-04 season through November 16th.

 

These numbers
(average combined total points per game) were derived from the total number of
points (goals and assists) that all prospects collectively amassed and then
divided by total number of regular season, non-exhibition games that their team
has played this season. Please note that the statistics of all other
(non-prospect) players are not included nor have any impact on the information
in this article. Furthermore, national rankings polls have no influence in
determining these rankings.

 

 

 

1)      
UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA [WCHA]

NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 9

 

While the University of North Dakota Fighting Sioux have fewer NHL
prospects on their roster than many other schools in these rankings, their
average combined total points per game exceed all of them with a staggering
6.66. North Dakota’s top line of Brandon
Bochenski
(OTT), Zach Parise
(NJ) and Brady Murray (LA) lead the
way with 39 points collectively (17 goals and 22 assists). They rank second in the
nation in that category to only Michigan Tech’s top line combination of Chris
Conner-Colin Murphy-Taggert Desmet. Bochenski, who could become a Hobey Baker
candidate later this season, leads all Fighting Sioux players in scoring with
17 points (9 goals, 8 assists) as well as in goals. Murray leads the team in
assists with nine to go along with his three goals for 12 points. Murray’s 12
points also ties him for second in the nation in rookie scoring. Parise comes
in next with ten points (5 goals, 5 assists). In addition to their top line, North
Dakota gets excellent point contributions from their blueline. Collectively,
the North Dakota defensemen has amassed 16 points (6 goals, 10 assists). Matt Jones (PHX) leads all Fighting
Sioux defensemen in scoring with eight points (4 goals, 4 assists). His four
goals currently tie him for third in the nation in that category. The other
North Dakota defensemen prospects accounting for the scoring are: Matt Greene (EDM) with four points (1 goal, 3 assists), Andy Schneider (PIT) with three points (1 goal, 2 assists) and Matt Smaby (TB) with one point (0
goals, 1 assist). Rounding out the contributors are forwards Chris Porter (CHI) with four points
(1goal, 3 assists) and James Massen
(NJ) with one point (0 goals, 1 assist). In the category of average points per
game by each prospect, North Dakota ranks second among the top ten teams ranked
with 0.74.

 

 

2)      
UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA [WCHA]

NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 14

 

The University of Minnesota has more NHL prospects on their current roster than any other NCAA team. Despite being in a tailspin of sorts, the Gophers propects are doing very well on the scoreboard. They came in ranked second with an average combined total points per game of 5.90. Tomas Vanek (BUF) leads all Minnesota players with 11 points (8 goals, 3 assists). He also leads all Gophers players in goals. Matt Koalska (NSH) leads the team in assists with seven, to go along with his one goal for eight points. Tied with Koalska for second on the team is Troy Riddle (STL) who also has eight points (4 goals, 4 assists). Among the Gophers main defensemen, the currently injured Keith Ballard (COL) leads in the scoring catagory with 3 (1 goal and 2 assists). The rest of Minnesota’s prospects totals are: Andy Sertich (PIT), who lately has been playing on the blueline despite being a forward, with six points (1 goal, 5 assists), forward Gino Guyer (DAL) also with six points (2 goals, 4 assists), forward Grant Potulny (OTT) with five points (5 goals, 0 assists), forward Ryan Potulny (PHI), who was recently lost for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury, also with five points (0 goals, 5 assists), Danny Irmen (MIN) with 3 points (2 goals and 1 assist) and Barry Tallackson (NJ) with two points (2 goals, 0 assists). Rounding out the rest of the prospects scoring are defensemen Joey Martin (CHI), Jake Taylor (NYR) and Michael Vannelli (ATL) all with one point (one assist) each. The only prospect who has yet to figure in on the Gophers score sheet is defenseman P. J. Atherton (TB). In the catagory of average points per game by each prospect, Minnesota ranks tied for sixth among the top ten teams ranked with 0.42.

 

 

3)      
BOSTON UNIVERSITY [HOCKEY EAST]

NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 13

 

Along with Harvard, Boston University has the second most NHL prospects
on their current roster of any NCAA team. The Terriers came in ranked third
with an average combined total points per game of 5.57. No Terriers players
have reached double digits in points thus far. David Klema (PHX) leads the team in points with six (1 goal, 5
assists). He also leads the team in assists. Kenny Magowan (NJ) leads the team in goals with four, to go along
with his one assist for five points. Ken
Roche
(NYR), along with Magowan is tied for second on the team with five
points (2 goals, 3 assists). Dan Spang
(SJ) leads all Boston University defensemen with four points (2 goals, 2
assists). His four points is also tied with forwards David VanderGulik (CGY), John
Laliberte
(VAN) and Frantisek
Skladany
(COL).  VanderGulik has
three goals and one assist. Laliberte has two goals and two assists. Skladany
has zero goals and four assists. Defenseman Ryan Whitney (PIT) comes in next with three points (0 goals, 3 assists),
followed by forward Gregg Johnson
(OTT) with two points (1 goal, 1 assist) and forward Bryan McConnell (CGY) and defenseman Thomas Morrow (BUF) both with one point (1 assist) each. Defenseman
Sean Sullivan (PHX) and currently
injured defenseman Jekabs Redlihs
(CBJ), who has yet to play in a game this season, have no points thus far. In
the category of average points per game by each prospect, Boston University
ranks tied for sixth among the top ten teams ranked with 0.42.

 

 

4)      
CORNELL UNIVERSITY [ECAC]

NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 7

 

Among the school teams appearing in this ranking, Cornell checks in with
the second fewest NHL prospects on their current roster. However, they are also
getting much offense production from them, particularly among their forwards.
Cornell comes in ranked fourth with an average combined total points per game
of 5.00. The Big Red’s top line of freshman prospects Matt Moulson (PIT) and Byron
Bitz
(BOS) along with senior non-prospect Ryan Vesce account for a combined
31 points (14 goals, 17 assists). Even without Vesce’s points, the two NHL
prospects have combined for a respectable 19 total points (9 goals, 10
assists). Moulson is currently tied with Vesce for the team points lead. In
addition to offensive production of their top line prospects, Cornell is also
getting scoring from players on their other lines too. Shane Hynes (ANA) and Mike
Knoepfli
(TOR) who both currently have five points, are the most notably
amiong them. Hynes has two goals, three assists, while Knoepfli has one goal
and four assists. In addition, the Big Red is getting a little scoring from
their blueline. Defenseman Dan Glover
(NJ) has chipped in one goal for one point thus far. Forward Mark McCutcheon (COL) and Defenseman Ryan O’Byrne (MON) have yet to record
points. In the category of average points per game by each prospect, Cornell
ranks third among the top ten teams ranked with 0.71.

 

           

5)      
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN [CCHA]

      NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON
CURRENT ROSTER: 10

 

The lone CCHA representative in the top ten comes in ranked fifth with
an average    combined total points per
game of 4.83. Jeff Tambellini (LA)
leads all Wolverines prospects in scoring with 12 points (9 goals, 3 assists).
He is also the only Michigan prospect to be in double digits in points thus
far. Tambellini currently leads all Michigan players in goals. Defenseman Brandon Rogers (ANA) leads all Michigan
defensemen in scoring with nine points (1 goal, 8 assists) and ranks second on
the team among prospects. His nine points also currently ranks him fourth in
the nation in points among defensemen. Forward Eric Nystrom (CGY) is third with eight points (3 goals, 5 assists),
followed by forwards Milan Gajic
(ATL) with six points (2 goals, 4 assists) and Dwight Helminen (EDM) with five points (3 goals, 2 assists). Next
is forwards David Rohlfs (EDM) with
four points (3 goals, 1 assist) and Michael
Woodford
(FLA) also with four points (0 goals, 4 assists). Rounding out the
Wolverines scoring are forward Jason
Ryznar
(NJ) and defenseman Tim Cook
(OTT) who each have one point (1 assist). In the category of average points per
game by each prospect, Michigan ranks fifth among the top ten teams ranked with
0.51.

 

 

6)      
UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE [HOCKEY EAST]

NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 12 [includes two goaltenders]

 

The University of New Hampshire Wildcats comes in ranked sixth with an
average    combined total points per
game of 4.66. While UNH has gotten scoring production from most of its
prospects, the top three of forwards Justin
Aikins
(CBJ), Nathan Martz (NYR)
and Sean Collins (COL) account for
much of the scoring. Furthermore, there is a significant drop in numbers
following the aforementioned players among the prospects ranks. Aikins leads
all Wildcats prospects in scoring with 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists). His nine
assists ranks first among the entire team in that category. Martz is second in
Wildcats prospects scoring with 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists), followed by
Collins with ten points (4 goals, 6 assists). After that, the numbers go way
down. Next among the UNH prospects scoring depth chart is forwards Eddie Caron (EDM) and Brett Hemingway (COL) both of who have
a mere two points. Caron with two goals and zero assists and Hemingway with
zero goals and two assists. Forwards Tyler
Scott
(NYI), Patrick Foley (PIT)
and Dan Travis (FLA) checks in with
one point (1 goal) apiece. The lone UNH defensive prospect to amass points is goaltender
Michael Ayers (CHI), who has one
assist. Neither of the Wildcats defensemen prospects of John Doherty (TOR) and Michael
Hutchins
(SJ) has registered a single point thus far. In the category of
average points per game by each prospect, New Hampshire ranks tied for sixth
among the top ten teams ranked with 0.42.

 

 

7)      
HARVARD UNIVERSITY [ECAC]

NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 13 [includes one Goaltender]

 

Despite having 13 NHL prospects on their roster, Harvard is getting
scoring from only half of them thus far. Furthermore, no Crimson player has
points in the double digits. Harvard comes in ranked seventh with an average
combined total points per game of 4.40. One reason why there is no balanced
scoring among the Crimson prospects thus far is due to the fact that scoring is
coming only from the top two forward lines and two of the Crimson’s top four
defensemen. Tyler Kolarik (CBJ)
leads all Crimson players with seven points (1 goal, 6 assists). Forwards Tom Cavanagh (SJ) and Dennis Packard (TB) have six and five
points respectively. Both players also lead the team in goals with three.
Cavanagh also has three assists, while Packard has two. Charlie Johnson (NJ) is
the only other Crimson forward who has recorded any points. He has two goals
for two points. Defensemen Noah Welch
(PIT) and Peter Hafner (FLA) also
have two points each. Welch has 2 goals and zero assists. Hafner has zero goals
and two assists. On the long list of Harvard players who have yet to register a
point thus far: forwards Rob Fried
(FLA) and Rob Flynn (NYR) as well as
defensemen Kenny Smith (EDM), Tom Walsh (SJ), Dylan Reese (NYR) and Ryan
Lannon
(PIT). In the category of average points per game by each prospect,
Harvard ranks tenth among the top ten teams ranked with 0.36.

 

 

8)      
COLORADO COLLEGE [WCHA]

NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 9 [includes two goaltenders]

 

Despite losing two of the nation’s top points getters of last season
this past summer, the Colorado College Tigers look like they haven’t missed a
step as far as offensive productions goes, particularly from their prospects.
Colorado College checks in ranked eighth with an average combined total points
per game of 3.62. While no Tigers players have thus far posted points in double
digits, they are getting production from virtually every prospect. Joey Crabb (NYR) leads all Tigers
prospects in points with eight (7 goals, 1 assist). His seven goals also leads
the team overall in that category. In addition, Crabb is also tied for second
in the nation in power play goals scored with five. Scott Polaski (PHX) is next with six points (4 goals, 2 assists)
followed by Brett Sterling (ATL)
with five points (1 goal, 4 assists) and Colin
Stuart
(ATL) with four points (1 goal, 3 assists). Defensemen Richard Petiot (LA) and Mark Stuart (BOS) round out the
contributors with three points each (1 goal, 2 assists). The lone prospect yet
to register a point for Colorado College is defenseman Brady Greco (TB). In the category of average points per game by
each prospect, Colorado College ranks fourth among the top ten teams ranked
with 0.51.

 

 

9)      
BOSTON COLLEGE [HOCKEY EAST]

NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 11 [includes two Goaltenders]

 

Despite an offensively loaded team, Boston College is somewhat of a
surprise checking in ranked ninth. The Eagles come in with average combined
total points per game of 3.60. One reason for the surprise ranking is the low
number of goals that all of the team’s prospects have scored thus. However, the
scoring is very well spread out among all Eagles players. Ben Eaves (PIT) is the lone Eagles player that has amassed double
digits points total. Eaves has accumulated ten points thus far (3 goals, 7
assists). His seven assists ranks him tied for first on the team overall in
that category. One of the players he shares that tie with his younger brother Patrick Eaves (OTT) who currently has
nine points (2 goals, 7 assists). Two Eagles forwards who are Los Angeles Kings
prospects Brian Boyle and Ryan Murphy, both have five points
each. Boyle has three goals and two assists, while Murphy has two goals and
three assists. Defensemen J. D. Forrest
(CAR) and John Adams (BUF) are next
with two points (2 goals, 0 assists) each. The remaining production comes from
forwards Ned Havern (DAL) and Justin Dziama (NJ) and defenseman Andrew Alberts (BOS) all with one
assist for one point each. In the category of average points per game by each
prospect, Boston College ranks ninth among the top ten teams ranked with 0.40.

 

 

10)   UNIVERSITY
OF MAINE [HOCKEY EAST]

NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 5 [includes one goaltender]

 

The University of Maine comes into the Top Ten with the fewest NHL
prospects on their roster. However, they are getting a lot of points out of
those few. The Black Bears come in with average combined total points per game
of 3.27. Aside from their goaltending prospect Jimmy Howard (DET), only one Maine prospect has point totals in the
single digits. Forwards Todd Jackson
(DET) and Colin Shields (PHI) both
lead the team in points with 12. In addition to co-leading the team in points,
Jackson also currently leads the nation in short-handed goals scored with four.
Jackson has eight goals and four assists, while Shields has seven goals and
five assists. Not trailing far behind is Greg
Moore
, who has 11 points (5 goals, 6 assists). The only Black Bear to not
have points in the double digits thus far is forward Mike Hamilton (ATL), who currently has one assist. In the category
of average points per game by each prospect, Maine ranks first among the top
ten teams ranked with 0.81.

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