Jack Johnson, D Freshman – (6’1, 206 lbs)
third overall in 2005
made a suitably large splash as a freshman with the Michigan Wolverines this
season. The best defenseman in the 2005 draft crop, Johnson is currently tied
for 21st in overall league scoring, he’s fourth in power play
points, and he’s second in points for both defensemen and freshmen.
physical play has also been very evident statistically as he has 143 penalty
minutes, almost 18 percent of the Wolverines entire penalty minute total, a
whopping 4.33 per game.
played for the U.S. World Junior team in December and January and had one goal
and five assists in seven games, but he was also the most penalized player in
the tournament with 45 minutes. That total was aided by an incident at the end
of the game versus Canada when he picked up 25 of those minutes in one play
after he took a shot at Canada’s Steve Downie following an empty net goal for
an intimidating blue line presence and his rough edge is just a part of a
strong game that includes his ability to contribute offensively.
third in the CCHA, and as soon as the team wraps up its season, Johnson can,
and likely will be, signed and moved into the NHL.
Casey Borer, D Junior (6’2, 197 lbs)
69th overall in 2004
captain of the Huskies and is one of the team’s top two defensemen. A
defensive-minded blueliner, Borer has continued to develop well and exudes
confidence on the ice with his expanded leadership role. He’s the type of
player to lead by example.
can play physical, he isn’t “in your face” like Johnson, but rather he does all
parts of his job well and is the type of player whose work might go unnoticed
by the casual fan.
Nate Hagemo, D Sophomore (5’11, 189 lbs)
58th overall in 2005
played the first three games of the season before a shoulder/neck injury held
him out of the lineup for the Golden Gophers and he hasn’t appeared since.
Hagemo is a hard working defenseman who had two goals and eight assists last
season. Although he brings a fair bit to the table, his injury troubles and
their effect on his development is becoming an increasing concern.
Tyson Strachan, D Junior (6’3, 205 lbs)
174th overall in 2003
another ‘Canes NCAA prospect with some injury troubles. Strachan broke his
wrist on Jan. 13 and missed games because of it, and last season he missed time
due to a knee injury.
joining the Buckeyes, Strachan displayed some offensive talent in the BCHL with
the Vernon Vipers, but he has yet to show he can contribute much offense at the
NCAA level. As a defensive defenseman, however, Strachan is hard checker who
uses his large frame well, working hard and playing smart.
Buckeyes will be opening the playoffs this weekend against Ferris State without
Strachan, but he’s expected to return to the lineup soon.
Tim Kunes, D Freshman (6’1, 170 lbs)
145th overall in 2005
Kunes is in
his first year with the Boston College Eagles and the two-way defenseman has
only a goal and three assists in 27 games thus far. He’s part of a very young
blue line at BC – four of the six are freshmen. Last season Kunes had 40 points in 50 games for New
England of the Eastern Junior Hockey League. With his freshman experience in
place the ‘Canes will be hoping that Kunes can grow into a bigger role with the
Eagles next season.
D.J. Powers contributed to this
article. Copyright 2006 Hockey’s Future.
Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the