NCAA: Top 10 schools by prospects’ performance (mid-term rankings)

By DJ Powers





Below is the mid-term edition of the ranking of the top schools in the nation according to the performance of their NHL prospects

Below is the mid-term edition of the ranking of the top schools in the nation according to the performance of their NHL prospects. This is based upon the performances of all skaters only and do not include goaltenders nor goaltending statistics (with the exception of assists). However, several of the listed schools do have goaltenders among their prospects and as such are noted in parenthesis.

All of the statistics used are for all regular season, non-exhibition games through February 8h. 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 in the inclusive period.

Please note that the statistics of all other undrafted 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. Also included are the conferences in which each school team plays in, the number of NHL prospects on their current roster as well as information about each team’s prospects with NHL team affiliation abbreviation in parenthesis next to the players’ names.

 

  1. UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA (WCHA)
  2. NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 14

    (PREVIOUS RANK POSITION: 2)

    The University of Minnesota has more NHL prospects on their current roster than any other NCAA team. After a slow start to their season, the Golden Gophers have steadily improved their overall play this season and as a result have gotten points from virtually every position. Minnesota is arguably the most balanced scoring team in the nation. The Golden Gophers come into the mid-term rankings as the top ranked team with an astounding average combined total points per game of 7.47, quite a jump from their previous 5.90. Minnesota also ranks first in the categories of average combined total goals per game (3.10) and average combined total assists per game (4.37). Sophomore sensation Tomas Vanek (BUF) leads all Minnesota players in scoring with 35 points (18 goals, 17 assists). In addition to Vanek, senior Troy Riddle (STL) has amassed 30 or more points thus far with 32 (16 goals, 16 assists). The Golden Gophers have three players with 20 or more points: senior Matt Koalska (NSH) with 28 (nine goals, 19 assists), junior Keith Ballard (COL) with 26 (nine goals, 17 assists) and sophomore Gino Guyer (DAL) with 21 (eight goals, 13 assists). The 26 points that Ballard, who is an early WCHA Defensive Player of the Year candidate has amassed thus far ranks him second in the nation in scoring among defensemen as well as leads the WCHA. Outside the 20+ scorers, Minnesota also has another four players with ten or more points: recently injured senior Grant Potulny (OTT) with 19, sophomore Andy Sertich (PIT) with 18 and freshman Danny Irmen (MIN) and junior Barry Tallackson (NJ) both with 12 points each. The rest of NHL prospects points totals are: freshmen defensemen Jake Taylor (NYR) and Michael Vannelli (ATL) with seven and six points respectively, followed by injured freshman Ryan Potulny (PHI) with five, sophomore P. J. Atherton (TB) with two and senior Joey Martin (CHI) with one. In the category of average points per game by each prospect based on the total combined points per game of all prospects, Minnesota ranks second with 0.53.

     

  3. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH DAKOTA (WCHA)
  4. NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 9

    (PREVIOUS RANK POSITION: 1)

    Despite losing their top ranking, North Dakota’s NHL drafted players are still putting up big numbers. Recently however, the scoring has been picked up their current non-NHL drafted players as well. Their drafted players continue to put up sensational numbers. North Dakota comes into the mid-term rankings ranked second. Their average combined total points per game is 6.11, which is slightly lower than their previous 6.66. They also rank second in average combined total goals per game (2.48) and average combined total assists per game (3.63). Early Hobey Baker candidate junior Brandon Bochenski (OTT) continues his torrid scoring pace as he leads both the Fighting Sioux as well as the nation in scoring with 44 points (22 goals, 22 assists). Sophomore phenom Zach Parise (NJ) comes in next with 34 points (14 goals, 17 assists). Early WCHA Rookie of the Year candidate freshman Brady Murray (LA) leads both the Fighting Sioux as well as leads the WCHA in rookie scoring with 30 points (13 goals, 17 assists). Next on the list is surging freshman Chris Porter (CHI) with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists). The Fighting Sioux defensemen also continue to put up outstanding numbers, led by junior Matt Jones (PHX) with 14 points. Jones is followed in scoring by sophomore Matt Greene (EDM) with 12 points and junior Andy Schneider (PIT) with seven points. Junior forward James Massen (NJ) and freshman defenseman Matt Smaby (TB) round out UND’s NHL draft prospects scoring with six points and three points respectively. In the category of average points per game by each prospect based on the total combined points per game of all prospects, North Dakota ranks first with 0.68.

     

  5. BOSTON UNIVERSITY (HOCKEY EAST)
  6. NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 13

    (PREVIOUS RANK POSITION: 3)

    Despite having many NHL prospects on their roster that can score, Boston University as a team has struggled to put up big numbers this season. Nowhere is this more evident than in their forward lines. Boston University has, however, gotten some excellent scoring from their blueline. Four of the team’s top ten scorers are defensemen. The Terriers come in again ranked third with an average combined total points per game of 5.50. That is slightly down from their previous 5.57. They also rank third in the categories of average combined total goals per game (2.08) and average combined total assists per game (3.42). Amazingly, no Terriers players have reached double digits in goals this far into the season. Junior defenseman Ryan Whitney (PIT) leads BU in scoring with 18 points (six goals, 12 assists). Senior Frantisek Skladany (COL) leads all Terriers forwards in scoring with 16 points (two goals, 14 assists). Senior Kenny Magowan (NJ) leads the Terriers in goals scored with eight and along with junior David Klema (PHX) has 14 points thus far. Next is sophomore David Vander Gulik (CGY) with 12 points, followed by defenseman Dan Spang (SJ) and forward John Laliberte and freshman Kenny Roche (NYR) all with 11 points each. Rounding out the scoring among BU’s prospects are junior Brian McConnell (CGY) with nine points, freshman defenseman Sean Sullivan (PHX) and senior forward Gregg Johnson (OTT) each with five points, and defensemen Jekabs Redlihs (CBJ) and Thomas Morrow (BUF) with three points each. In the category of average points per game by each prospect based on the total combined points per game of all prospects, Boston University ranks fifth with 0.42.

     

  7. HARVARD UNIVERSITY (ECAC)
  8. NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 13 (includes one goaltender)

    (PREVIOUS RANK POSITION: 7)

    Another team that has had problems with all-around points production from their forwards this season is Harvard. The majority of Harvard’s scoring thus far has come from their top line, of which two-thirds are NHL draft prospects. Recently however, the overall point production, particularly from their NHL prospects has greatly improved. As a result, the Crimson leap up from their previous seventh position to come in ranked fourth with an average combined total points per game of 4.50, which is slightly higher than their previous 4.40. Harvard also ranks fourth in average combined total assists per game with 2.86. They rank tied for fifth in average combined total goals per game with 1.64. Junior Tom Cavanagh (SJ) leads the Crimson in scoring with 22 points (12 goals, ten assists). Amazingly, he is the only Harvard player who has 20 or more points as well as amassed ten or more goals thus far. Cavanagh’s linemate senior Tyler Kolarik (CBJ) is next with 19 points (five goals, 14 assists). His 14 assists lead the Crimson in that category. Towering senior Dennis Packard (TB) is next with 15 points (seven goals, eight assists). Senior Noah Welch (PIT), who leads all Crimson defensemen in scoring thus far, is next with ten points (four goals, six assists). Next is senior forward Rob Fried (FLA) with eight points. Junior defenseman Ryan Lannon (PIT) and team captain Kenny Smith (EDM) is next with six points each. All of Lannon’s points are all on assists. Sophomore Peter Hafner (FLA) is next with five points. Junior forward Rob Flynn (NYR) and sophomore defenseman Tom Walsh (SJ) round out the scoring with four points apiece. Talented freshman defenseman Dylan Reese (NYR) who has seen very limited ice time due to injuries this season has yet to record his first collegiate point. In the category of average points per game by each prospect based on the total combined points per game of all prospects, Harvard ranks eighth with 0.37.

     

  9. UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN (CCHA)
  10. NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 10

    (PREVIOUS RANK POSITION: 5)


    The lone CCHA representative in the top ten comes in again ranked fifth with an average combined total points per game of 4.39, which is lower than their previous 4.83. Michigan has gotten excellent points production thus far from their junior class. While the Wolverines rank fourth in average combined total goals per game with1.82, remarkably they have only one player on their talent-laden roster whose reached double digits in goals scored thus far in the season. In the category of average combined total assists per game, Michigan is ranked sixth with 2.57. Junior Milan Gajic (ATL) currently leads all Wolverines NHL prospects in points with 22 (nine goals, 13 assists). Sophomore Jeff Tambellini (LA) is next with 17 points (nine goals, eight assists). Gajic and Tambellini co-lead the Wolverines prospects in goals scored. Juniors Dwight Helminen (EDM) is next with 16 points, followed by Brandon Rogers (ANA) with 15 points. Rogers currently leads all Michigan defensemen in scoring as well. Next are two Calgary Flames prospects in juniors David Moss with 15 points and Eric Nystrom with 14 points. Surging junior forward Jason Ryznar (NJ) is next with 12 points, followed by towering freshman David Rohlfs (EDM) with seven points. Junior Michael Woodford Jr. (FLA) and freshman defenseman Tim Cook (OTT) round the Wolverines scoring with four points and one point respectively. In the category of average points per game by each prospect based on the total combined points per game of all prospects, Michigan ranks tied for third with 0.44.

     

  11. UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE (HOCKEY EAST)
  12. NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 12 (includes two goaltenders)

    (PREVIOUS RANK POSITION: 6)

    Since the previous rankings, the Wildcats continued to have an up-and-down November and December, but followed it up with an excellent performance in the month of January, particularly among many of their NHL prospects. New Hampshire checks in again ranked sixth with an average combined total points per game of 4.21, which is lower than their previous 4.66. UNH comes in also ranked fifth in average combined total assists per game of 2.76. Interestingly, they come in ranked seventh in average combined total goals per game with 1.45. Junior Justin Aikins (CBJ) is the top prospect and second on the team in scoring with 33 points (eight goals, 25 assists). His 25 assists not only lead the Wildcats in that category, but also lead the nation. Junior Sean Collins (COL) is the only other Wildcats NHL prospect with 30 or more points. Collins has thus far amassed 31 points (11 goals, 20 assists). His 20 assists rank second on the team in that category. Senior Nathan Martz (NYR) is the only other drafted prospect with 20 or more points on the Wildcats roster with 22 (four goals, 18 assists). Next is freshman Brett Hemingway (COL) whose amassed 14 points (six goals, eight assists). From there, the point totals drop off significantly. Towering junior forward Eddie Caron (EDM) is next with six points (five goals, one assist), followed by seniors Tyler Scott (TOR) and Patrick Foley (PIT) and freshman Dan Travis (FLA) all with four points each. Freshman defenseman John Doherty (TOR), who has seen limited ice time this season thus far is next with three points. Sophomore defenseman Michael Hutchins (SJ), another blueliner who has seen limited ice time is without a point thus far. Amongst UNH’s two goaltending prospects, senior Michael Ayers (CHI) has notched an assist. In the category of average points per game by each prospect based on the total combined points per game of all prospects, New Hampshire ranks tenth with 0.35.

     

  13. BOSTON COLLEGE (HOCKEY EAST)
  14. NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 11 (includes two goaltenders)

    (PREVIOUS RANK POSITION: 9)

    One of the best all-around teams in the nation checks in ranked seventh among their NHL prospects scoring, up from their previous ninth position. Boston College, currently the second ranked team in the nation, has an average combined total points per game of 3.92, which is significantly higher than their previous 3.60. Despite having only one player on their entire roster who has ten or more goals thus far, the Eagles has had some exceptionally well-balanced scoring as the season has gone along. Furthermore, the scoring has been coming from some lesser-known names on the roster. The Eagles come in ranked eighth in average combined total goals per game of 1.44, and ranked seventh in average combined total assists per game of 2.48. Currently injured senior Ben Eaves (PIT) leads all Eagles NHL prospects in scoring with 26 points (six goals, 20 assists). His 20 assists is second on the BC roster in that category. Younger brother Patrick Eaves (OTT) is next with 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists). Talented junior Andrew Alberts (BOS), who leads all Eagles defensemen in scoring, is next with 13 points (three goals, ten assists). Junior Ryan Murphy (LA) is the other Eagles player in double digits in points with 11 (four goals, seven assists). The 6’7" freshman Brian Boyle (LA) and senior J. D. Forrest (CAR) are next with eight points each. Next are a pair of juniors in defenseman John Adams (BUF) and forward Ned Havern (DAL) each have six points. Rounding out the prospects scoring is senior Justin Dziama (NJ) with five points. In the category of average points per game by each prospect based on the total combined points per game of all prospects, Boston College ranks ninth with 0.36.

     

  15. COLORADO COLLEGE (WCHA)
  16. NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 9 (includes two goaltenders)

    (PREVIOUS RANK POSITION: 8)

    Colorado College checks in again ranked eighth with an average combined total points per game of 3.39. That is down from their previous 3.62. The Tigers continue to get outstanding points production from virtually all of their NHL prospects. Colorado College ranks tied for fifth in average combined total goals per game with 1.64. However, they rank tenth in average combined total assists per game with 1.75. Sophomore Joey Crabb (NYR) leads all Tigers prospects in points with 23 (14 goals, nine assists). His 14 goals also leads the team overall in that category. Sophomore Brett Sterling (ATL) is next with 18 points (11 goals, seven assists). Junior Scott Polaski (PHX) is next with 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) followed by senior Colin Stuart (ATL) with 15 points (four goals, 11 assists). Sophomore defenseman Brady Greco (TB) who leads all Tigers defensemen in goals has nine points. Hard-hitting sophomore defenseman Mark Stuart (BOS) is next with seven points. Junior defenseman Richard Petiot (LA) rounds out the scoring with four points. Both of Colorado College’s goaltenders in senior Curtis McElhinney (CGY) and freshman Matt Zaba (LA) have notched an assist each. In the category of average points per game by each prospect based on the total combined points per game of all prospects, Colorado College ranks tied for sixth with 0.38.

     

  17. CORNELL UNIVERSITY (ECAC)
  18. NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 7

    (PREVIOUS RANK POSITION: 4)

    No team in this ranking has taken a hard hitter in overall points production by their NHL prospects than Cornell. The Big Red tumbled five positions to ninth. After a red-hot start that saw them amass an average combined total points per game of 5.00 and ranking fourth, Cornell’s average combined points per game among their NHL prospects has drastically fallen to an average combined total points per game of 3.13. They also come in ranked ninth in both average combined total goals per game (1.30) and average combined total assists per game (1.83). Two likely reasons for Cornell’s fall has been the lack of scoring in the month of January, where they scored more than two goals only once in addition to having a top line that accounts for roughly 40 percent of the entire team scoring. Sophomore sensation Matt Moulson (PIT) continues to carry and lead the team in scoring with 26 points (13 goals, 13 assists). The Cornell points production drops significantly from there as Moulson’s linemate freshman Byron Bitz (BOS) is next with 15 points (five goals, ten assists) followed by junior Mike Knoepfli (TOR) with 14 points (four goals, ten assists). Sophomore Shane Hynes (ANA) is next with 12 points (seven goals, five assists). Rounding out the prospects scoring are three freshmen: forward Mark McCutcheon (COL) and defensemen Dan Glover (NJ) and Ryan O’Byrne (MON). Collectively, the three have amassed a mere five points (one goal, four assists). Glover has tallied the lone goal from the trio. In the category of average points per game by each prospect based on the total combined points per game of all prospects, Cornell ranks tied for third with 0.44.

     

  19. UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN (WCHA)


NUMBER OF NHL PROSPECTS ON CURRENT ROSTER: 8 (includes two goaltenders)

(PREVIOUS RANK POSITION: N/A)

The University of Wisconsin is the newest member of the Top Ten, knocking out previously tenth ranked Maine. The key to the Badgers’ turnaround and success this season has been the exceptional performance from their freshman class. As the season has progressed however, the Badgers have gotten scoring from not only their top players but also from some of their relatively unknown players as well. The Badgers rank tenth in average combined total points per game with 3.03. They also rank tenth in average combined total goals per game with 1.12. However, the Badgers rank eighth in average combined total assists per game with 1.91. Sophomore power forward Ryan MacMurchy (STL) leads all Wisconsin NHL prospects in scoring with 22 points (13 goals, 9 assists). His 13 goals leads the team overall as well. Next in scoring is the talented freshman Andrew Joudrey (WSH) with 20 points (six goals, 14 assists). Next is a pair of defensemen: freshman phenom Ryan Suter (NSH) and sophomore Tom Gilbert (COL) along with sophomore forward Adam Burish (CHI) all with 16 points each. Rounding out the scoring among Wisconsin’s NHL prospects is senior John Eichelberger (PHI) with seven points. In the category of average points per game by each prospect based on the total combined points per game of all prospects, Wisconsin ranks tied for sixth with 0.38.