Ryan Stoa, C Freshman – (6’3, 213)
2nd round, 24th overall in 2005
A second-round pick in the 2005 draft, Stoa is second in freshmen scoring at the University of Minnesota behind 2006 eligible Phil Kessel. He started the season slowly, scoring just two goals in his first 16 games. But put on a line with juniors Ryan Potulny and Danny Irmen (MIN), he took off thanks to good chemistry and increased confidence.
A good skater who is strong in the corners, Stoa is effective in setting up teammates and also has the ability to chip in offensively. He now has five goals, 12 assists and 37 penalty minutes in 34 games for the Golden Gophers, who have recently moved into first place in the WCHA.
Stoa played the last two seasons in the U.S. National
Team Development Program and was a member of the gold medal-winning
U.S. team at the 2005 World Under-18 Championship.
|U. of Minnesota||34||5||12||17||37|
Paul Stastny, C Sophomore – (6’0, 210)
2nd round, 44th overall in 2005
The 44th-overall selection in the 2005 draft, sophomore Paul Stastny is second on the team in scoring for the Denver Pioneers behind
San Jose defensive prospect Matt Carle. Stastny has 13 goals, 32 assists in 34 games. His 45 points place him fourth in the WCHA in points per game in overall scoring. His 77 penalty minutes lead his team and are on pace to triple his total last year. The son of NHL Hall of Famer Peter Stastny, the younger Stastny has very good offensive skill with good speed. He possesses strong playmaking skills and gets a lot of ice time in all situations. He has excellent chemistry with linemate Ryan Dingle.
In 2004-05, an NCAA championship
season for the Pioneers, he led the team in scoring for a rookie and was
second overall with 17 goals and 45 points in 42 games. He was named to the
Frozen Four all-tournament team as well as the WCHA All-Rookie team and received
WCHA Rookie of the Year honors.
|U. of Denver||34||13||32||45||77|
J.D. Corbin, RW Junior – (5’10, 185)
8th round, 249th overall in 2004
A teammate of fellow Colorado prospect Paul Stastny, J.D. Corbin is a junior at the University of Denver. Small at 5’10 and
185 pounds, Corbin brings a lot of energy to the team. He is a hardworking, tough player, he will drive to the net and fight for the puck in the corners. Responsible in his own end, he plays on a checking line and also on the penalty kill. In 33 games this season he has 13 points and is tied for second in the conference with two shorthanded goals. When Dingle was injured, he filled in on a scoring line and doubled his point total in just seven games. With his terrific speed, he draws a lot more penalties than he takes, with just 10 penalty minutes on the season. An eighth-round selection in 2004, he had one goal and 19 points in 41 games last season.
|U. of Denver||33||4||9||13||10|
Tom Fritsche, LW Sophomore – (5’11, 185)
2nd round, 47th overall in 2005
The 47th overall selection in the 2005 draft, Tom Fritsche leads team scoring in his
sophomore season at Ohio State University with 30 points in 35 games. He hasn’t scored at as high of a rate as in his freshman year, but with the Buckeyes being hit very hard with injuries in the past month, Fritsche’s importance to the team has only increased. And perhaps in response, he has been extremely disciplined this season, taking only 12 penalty minutes.
As a freshman with the Buckeyes, Fritsche led the team in scoring with 45 points, including a team-leading 34 assists. He was voted the team’s George Burke Most
Valuable Freshman, named to the CCHA all-rookie team and voted to the CCHA
all-tournament team. A smart player with good hockey sense, Fritsche is creative
with the puck, skates well and will battle it out along the boards and in front
of the net. He was also a member of the U.S. team that placed fourth at the 2006 World Junior Championship.
He lives with brother Dan Fritsche of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
|Ohio State U.||35||11||19||30||12|
Derek Peltier, D
Sophomore – (6’0, 190)
6th round, 184th overall in 2004
A sophomore at the University of Minnesota, Derek Peltier was a sixth-round
pick in 2004. In his freshman season with the Golden Gophers he was third in
scoring for a defenseman with six goals and 19 points in 43 games. A smart
player who is capable at both ends of the ice, Peltier possesses a strong shot
and will move up on the rush to contribute offensively. In 34 games this season
he has one goal, 13 assists and 26 penalty minutes. He is part of the WCHA’s second best defense, having given up only 1.64 goals per game.
|U. of Minnesota||34||1||13||14||26|
T.J. Hensick, C Junior – (5’9, 180)
3rd round, 88th overall in 2005
A junior at the University of Michigan, T.J. Hensick was a third-round pick
in the 2005 draft. Serving as an alternate captain on the Wolverines this season, Hensick leads the team
with 47 points in 36 games, including 14 goals and 38 penalty minutes. He is third in the CCHA with a 1.31 points per game average, behind only Scott Parse and Alex Foster. But his scoring rate is down from his freshman and sophomore years. As a sophomore he was second on the team in scoring behind
Los Angeles prospect Jeff Tambellini with 23 goals and 55 points in 39 games.
Among his many awards in 2004-05, Hensick was a finalist for the Hobey Baker
award and was named to the all-CCHA first team. He also played for the U.S. team at the 2005 World Junior Championship.
For most of the season, Hensick has played on a line with David Rohlfs (EDM) and Kevin Porter (PHO). A highly skilled player with plenty of speed, the 5’9 Hensick displays creativity and confidence on the ice. He is also strong in the faceoff circle.
|U. of Michigan||36||14||33||47||38|
Ian Keserich, G Sophomore – (6’2, 200)
7th round, 215th overall in 2004
A teammate of fellow Colorado prospect Tom Fritsche, goaltender Keserich
is a sophomore at Ohio State University. He hasn’t seen much playing time yet in his college career, playing behind senior David Caruso, and he won’t be playing the rest of this season, having been lost for the remainder of the season due to an ankle injury suffered in the final week of January. This season, he appeared in four games with two wins and one loss, posting a .900 save percentage and a 2.66 goals-against average. A seventh-round selection in 2004, Keserich appeared in six games as a freshman as well. A butterfly
goalie, Keserich will challenge shooters and possesses strong footwork. With Caruso’s upcoming graduation, Keserich should see a big increase in playing time next year.
|Ohio State U.||4||2||1||.900||2.66|
Brett Hemingway, RW Junior – (6’1, 190)
7th round, 225th overall in 2003
A seventh-round selection in 2003, Brett Hemingway is a junior at the University of New Hampshire. After 26 games this season he is
leading the team with 18 goals and also in the power-play goal category with
10. His 35 points place him second in team scoring behind David Winnik (PHO). Both was among seven UNH forwards suspended for one game earlier this month by head coach Dick Umile for breaking team rules. The exact infraction was not released.
A good playmaker who is effective around the net, Hemingway has
speed and isn’t afraid to play physical. He played most of the season on the top line with Winnik and Daniel Jacob Micflikier, before the line was split up at the end of January. In his sophomore season with the Wildcats his 22
goals were second highest on the team behind Preston Callander, his 11
power-play goals were the most for any player on the team and he had 42 points
in 42 games.
|U. of New Hampshire||32||18||17||35||18|
Justin Mercier, C
Freshman – (5’11, 180)
6th round, 168th overall in 2005
A freshman at the Miami University, Justin Mercier has hit a wall the past several weeks, not increasing his eight points in 30 games.
He played for the U.S.
National Team Development Program where he helped the team win the 2005 under-18
world championship. A sixth-round selection in 2005, Mercier is a physical
presence who is willing to work hard at both ends of the ice. He is a
competitive player who is reliable and will battle for the puck.
David Jones, RW Sophomore – (6’1, 218)
9th round, 288th overall in 2003
A ninth-round pick in 2003, David Jones has had a real breakout year as a sophomore at Dartmouth College. He went from .41 points per game as a freshman to 1.10 points per game as a sophomore, and currently leads the team in scoring with 32 points in 29 games. Nine of those points have come in the last six games, including his first career hat trick on Feb. 24 against Clarkson. His 16 goals put him first on his team and tied for sixth in the ECACHL in goal-scoring.
Effective on the power play and penalty kill, Jones has a good shot and is not afraid to play physical. The Dartmouth Big Green are tied for first in the ECACHL with Colgate.
Stephen McClellan, D
Freshman – (6’1, 185)
9th round, 281st overall in 2004
A freshman at Northeastern University, Stephen
McClellan was a ninth-round selection in the 2004 draft. He has seen action in only eight
games, going scoreless with six penalty minutes. He is one of five freshmen defensemen on the squad.
Before Northeastern, McClellan played for Cushing Academy, where he had six goals and 26 points in 2004-05. A hard skating defenseman, McClellan is good in his own zone.
Mark McCutcheon, C
Junior – (6’1, 195)
5th round, 146th overall in 2003
A fifth-round selection in 2003, Mark McCutcheon
is a junior at Cornell University. He has found his footing offensively this year, with more ice time and more confidence to go with it. After going goalless in his previous two seasons with Cornell, McCutcheon has eight goals, putting him tied for second on the team. In total, he has 13 points in 28 games this season. He has proven to be a clutch performer, with two of his three game-winning goals coming with less than a minute to play.
McCutcheon plays both on the penalty kill and power play, and two of his goals have come shorthanded. In 22 games as a sophomore with the Big Red in 2004-05 he had just five assists and 12 penalty minutes. A strong player who will grind it out for the puck, McCutcheon sees the ice well and has a good work ethic.
Brandon Yip, RW Freshman – (6’1, 186)
8th round, 239th overall in 2004
A freshman at Boston University, Brandon Yip got off to a very good start to the year. Recently, Yip was named Superskills Hockey Rookie of the Month for January. He has hit a wall in February, however, with just one point in the last six games. He is currently first on the Terriers in rookie scoring and fourth overall with eight goals, 24 points in 31 games. He is first in Hockey East among rookies with .71 points per game.
An intelligent and skilled offensive player who reads
plays well, Yip possesses an accurate shot and will battle in the corners for
the puck. He played most of the year on an all-freshman checking line with Jason Lawrence and Chris Higgins. Prior to Boston, Yip played for the Coquitlam
Express of the BCHL where he led the team in scoring in 2004-05 with 62 points in 43 games.
Courtney Wagner and Holly Gunning contributed to this article. Copyright 2006 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.