The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim have always maintained a good number of prospects in the NCAA ranks. There are currently seven Ducks prospects currently playing in the NCAA, and the organization also features another five prospects that were former college
stars. Here’s a look at the Ducks prospects that are currently playing in the NCAA.
Brandon Rogers, Defense, University of Michigan
In his final year with the Wolverines, Rogers is filling out
his game in anticipation of turning pro. In his second season as an
assistant captain, Rogers, 22, is using his position as a team leader
as a role model for many of the younger blueliners, especially his
defensive partner, sophomore Matt Hunwick (BOS). He’s been making an effort to use his 6’2, 192-pound frame more
effectively and so far, he’s leading his team in penalty minutes with 34.
That’s not to say he’s taking anything away from his excellent two-way skills. Rogers
is a blueliner who is seeing time in all situations and is second on
team in plus/minus with a +11. Michigan is currently tied for second in
CCHA in power play effectiveness and Rogers is one of the top set-up
players on their first unit. Meanwhile, Michigan’s penalty-kill is ranked first
in the CCHA and Rogers is an important part of that unit as well. Second among
Michigan defenseman in scoring, he was named Defenseman of the Week on
December 8, 2004. The week in question saw him help kill 18 of 19
opportunities in a two-game series versus Notre Dame while also posting
four points (a power play goal in the first game along with three assists
during the second night). His puck handling abilities are outstanding and this season he has really picked up his hitting and is willing to get in the opposition’s face when necessary. He is truly a blueliner who seems to do it all well.
Shane Hynes, Right Wing, Cornell University
A junior with the Cornell Big Red, Hynes continues his development as a
power forward. His team is currently in the middle of the pack in the
standings, but they’ve also played a conference low six games so far
season. Hynes, 21, is currently ranked second on his team in scoring,
team leading 9 assists. His best night was no doubt against Yale during
first weekend of December, when he posted a goal and two assists. He
a game that is wanted in every NHL arena around, tough and gritty with
offensive sizzle. While he has suffered injury problems before due to
style of play, he hasn’t missed time recently. As the story goes with
power forwards, it will take time for all the pieces of his game to
come together, but the end result should be worth the
Matt Auffrey, Right Wing, University of Wisconsin
A freshman with the Badgers, Auffrey was drafted over the summer by
after a strong showing with the USA Hockey National Team Development
U-18 team. However, the season hasn’t been going as planned for the
18-year-old. Six games into the year, Auffrey suffered a broken wrist
has him out of the lineup. He’s scheduled to return to the ice after
holiday break. In the first six games, he
recorded four points (two goals and two assists) for an outstanding start to his collegiate career. The season opener was
his best outing, where he tallied a goal and an assist. Auffrey does
best work around the net, whether it is to screen an opposing
to score the so-called garbage goals. He’s a fierce competitor, can
grind things out and is quite good along the boards.
Matt Christie, Left Wing, Miami University (Ohio)
A 19-year-old Toronto native, Christie is playing his second season
with the Redhawks after earning All-CCHA Rookie Team recognition last year. Despite
his average size, he’s an offensive catalyst with the Ohio-based team.
He started the year part of one of the more dominant offensive lines in
the CCHA, if not the whole NCAA. Playing with Nathan Davis and Marty
trio put up 24 points in their first six games before being split up. The split could have been the cause that after four games, the Redhawks
winning and proceeded to lose seven straight, although it is more
to the massive number of injuries that Miami has been hit with.
Christie had an impressive first month in the end, leading the nation with 15 points
(5 goals and 10 assists). This was enough to earn the CSTV/Hockey
Commissioner’s National College Hockey Player of the Month as well as
RBC Financial Group CCHA Player of the Month. He was also named the
Player of the Week for the week of October 18, 2004. Christie remains
Miami’s scoring leader and is ranked eighth in the CCHA, which is even
surprising since he hasn’t played a game since November 20th due to an
undisclosed injury. It’s still unknown how long he will continue to be
of the lineup, but if Miami wants to reclaim any of October’s glory,
need his return to come soon.
Kyle Klubertanz, Defenseman, University of Wisconsin
Another 2004 draft choice playing for the Badgers, Klubertanz’s
season is going remarkably better than teammate, Matt Auffrey.
Despite his freshman status, Klubertanz has established himself as one of the top blueliners with Wisconsin. At just 19 years of age, he’s currently leading
the team in defensive scoring and sees plenty of power play time. He is a very smooth skater that loves to jump up to join
the play whenever possible. He has excellent puck skills and has the
ability to make very good outlet passes. He does need to add some muscle to his frame,
and that will no doubt help him deal with the physical side of his play
better as well. His partner on the back end is usually Edmonton
prospect Tom Gilbert, a two-way defender in his junior year who Klubertanz could
learn a lot from. Klubertanz’s defense also needs some work, but for a
he’s a standout offensive blueliner.
Drew Miller, Left Wing, Michigan State University
In his second year with the Spartans, 20-year-old Miller has stepped up
his game tremendously. He’s currently part of Michigan State’s “ER” with freshman Chris Mueller and junior Colton Fretter (ATL).
The trio has combined for an impressive 37 points, and Miller is third on his team in scoring. An assistant captain, Miller is an example of hard work and
determination paying off. He’s leading the team in power play goals and
has surpassed last season’s totals with half of the season left to play. Compared to last season, where his intensity and competitive nature sometimes got him into to trouble, this year he’s tapping into them for the
good of the team. Miller has shown a willing to
drive the net and along with his ability to capitalize on scoring
opportunities has made him an integral offensive part of the Spartans. Miller has involved himself more in the play.
Dirk Southern, Center, Northern Michigan University
again one of the prime offensive contributors for Northern Michigan.
The 21-year-old is currently tied for fourth on his team in scoring, as
well as second on the team in power play goals. His best night may have been October 16th, when he tallied a game-winning power play goal and an assist.
Northern Michigan is currently third in the CCHA and remarkably, has yet to be beaten at home this year. One under-rated skill where Southern truly excels is
in the faceoff circle. Southern is currently out with an ankle injury, at the
time of the injury, he was tied to team lead in scoring. Northern
Michigan has been struck hard with injury problems, and has many players in
their lineup who aren’t completely healthy.
Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were invited to Canada’s
junior team evaluation camp in preparation for the World Junior
Championships in Grand Forks, North Dakota later this month. Ville
Mantymaa has been named to the Finland’s national junior team and
Ladislav Smid is expected to play for the Czech Republic’s
Perry’s London Knights have set a Canadian Hockey League record by
30 games in one season without a loss. The previous record was 29
back in 1978-79. The Knights have yet to lose a game this season and
looking to add to their record.
Ilya Bryzgalov was loaned to Russia’s national team to play in
Rosno Cup. As part of the loan, he also played against the Primus
Worldstars, a team that is touring Europe and is made up of locked-out
Chris Kunitz and Tim Brent returned to the Cincinnati
after missing significant time due to injuries. Kunitz tallied two
his first game back. Juha Alen is due to come back soon, which
cause troubles on a full Cincinnati blueline. Eddie Ferhi may be
in the near future as well. Ferhi is currently assigned to San Diego
after Cincinnati called-up Mathieu Chouinard to replace Bryzgalov.
DJ Powers contributed to this article. Copyright 2004 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.