2006 NCAA NHL Draft eligibles

By DJ Powers

While the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, as far as the current crop of NCAA players is concerned, does not look to be a particularly strong draft, they are many noteworthy players who are eligible.

Hockey’s Future takes a look at 55 draft eligible candidates who have played in the NCAA this season. This listing will be cut down to the top 40 players, and ranked, closer to the draft. Incoming freshmen are not included. Players with an asterisk (*) appear on the NHL Central Scouting’s Final Rankings.

Goaltenders

Mark Dekanich*
Sophomore, Colgate University

The 6’2/192 lbs. North Vancouver native led the Raiders to a share of the ECACHL regular season championship this season. He posted a record of 18-11-6 that included four shutouts. Dekanich, who posted a conference-best .923 save percentage, was the recipient of this year’s Ken Dryden Award, which recognizes the ECACHL’s top goaltender.

Chad Johnson*
Freshman, University of Alaska Fairbanks

The 6’3/183 lbs. native of Calgary, Alberta was part of the outstanding goaltending tandem backstopping the Nanooks this season. Johnson posted a 6-7-4 record that included a .917 save percentage in 18 appearances this season. Most recently, he was named this year’s recipient of UAF’s Doug Desorcie Award, which is given to the team’s top rookie.

Jeff Lerg
Freshman, Michigan State University

The diminutive netminder from Livonia, MI enjoyed a stellar rookie season, leading the Spartans to their 11th Mason Cup Championship and first since 2001. The CCHA’s Rookie of the Year posted a 17-6-6 record that included three shutouts. Lerg finished the 2005-06 season third in the nation in goals against average (1.96).

Matt Lundin
Sophomore, University of Maine

The younger brother of Black Bears defenseman and Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Mike Lundin was superb in goal for Maine this season, despite seeing action in just 14 games. The Apple Valley, MN native posted a 7-4-0 record that included three shutouts along with a .934 save percentage and a 1.72 goals against average.

Alec Richards*
Freshman, Yale University

The 2005 recipient of Minnesota’s Frank Brimsek Award enjoyed a solid rookie season with the Bulldogs this year. Richards posted an 8-15-3 record that included a .912 save percentage and one shutout. Most recently, he was named a co-recipient of Yale’s Martin Dwyer III Award, which recognizes the team’s top rookie of the year.

Billy Sauer*
Freshman, University of Michigan

The CCHA’s youngest goaltender enjoyed a very good season this year despite the struggles that he had to endure. Sauer posted an 11-6-4 record that included one shutout in 23 appearances. Coincidentally, his first (and thus far only) collegiate shutout came on his 18th birthday back on Jan. 6 versus Alaska Fairbanks.

Jeff Zatkoff*
Freshman, Miami (OH) University

Zatkoff was part of the nation’s top goaltending tandem from Miami (OH) this season. He helped lead the RedHawks to their first CCHA regular season championship title since 1992. The Chesterfield, MI native posted a 14-5-1 record that included three shutouts in 20 appearances this season. Most recently, Zatkoff was named Miami’s Rookie of the Year.

Defensemen

Mike Brennan*
Sophomore, Boston College

As a sophomore, the Smithtown, NY native emerged as a strong, stabilizing presence on a very young and talented Eagles blue line this season. Brennan posted 12 points (two goals, ten assists) and was a plus-20 playing in all 42 games. He will serve as one of Boston College’s assistant captains next season.

Jack Christian*
Freshman, Harvard University

The physical defensive defenseman became a driving force on the Crimson blue line this season. The 6’2/225 lbs. native of Wilton, CT posted three points (all assists) in 32 appearances this season. Christian played much of the season alongside the 6’4/215 lbs. sophomore David MacDonald (SJ).

Simon Danis-Pepin*
Freshman, University of Maine

The behemoth Danis-Pepin began to establish himself as a bona fide force on the Black Bears defense this season. Hockey East’s youngest player (born April 11, 1988) saw action in 23 games this season, posting five points (all assists). He was recently named the recipient of Maine’s Jack Semler Award as the team’s most improved player.

Ray Eichenlaub
Freshman, Miami (OH) University

Eichenlaub was a member of the superb and predominantly young RedHawks defensive corps this season. The Wilmette, Illinois native posted 13 points (four goals, nine assists) playing in all 39 games. He saw playing time alongside fellow freshman Alec Martinez this season.

Tim Filangieri*
Freshman, Boston College

This season Filangieri established himself as a gritty and reliable part of the strong Boston College defense. The Islip Terrace, NY native notched four points (two goals, two assists) playing in all 42 games this season. Filangieri earned the Hockey East Rookie of the Week honor back Nov. 28 after posting his only two goals of the season versus Merrimack.

Jason Fredricks
Freshman, Colgate University

Defensive defenseman Fredricks provided a dependable presence on the Raiders blue line this season. The Eagle River, WI native registered three points (all assists) playing in all 36 games this season. Fredricks’ first collegiate point came back in the Raiders season opening 6-2 win over UMass-Lowell on Oct. 7.

Brandon Gentile
Freshman, Michigan State University

The solid defensive defenseman from Clarkston, MI saw action in just 17 games this season. He has yet to post his first collegiate point. Gentile made his collegiate debut on Nov. 11 versus Nebraska-Omaha after having missed the opening month of the season due to an abdominal injury.

Jack Hillen
Sophomore, Colorado College

The small, tenacious sophomore defenseman saw regular playing time on the Tigers blue line this season. The Minnetonka, MN native registered 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in 42 appearances this season. Three of Hillen’s four goals this season came on the power play.

David Inman
Freshman, Yale University

The youngest member of Yale’s imposing blue line corps has gradually become a reliable defensive presence for the Bulldogs. The 6’0/211 lbs. native of San Diego, CA appeared in 26 games for Yale this year, registering four points (one goal, three assists). Inman’s first and only collegiate goal came on Nov. 11 versus St. Lawrence.

Zach Jones*
Freshman, University of North Dakota

Jones, along with his defensive partner Matt Smaby (TB), gave North Dakota one of the nation’s hardest-hitting duos this season. The younger brother of former Sioux defenseman and current Phoenix Coyote Matt Jones appeared in all 46 games this season. He registered six points (all assists) along with 93 penalty minutes.

Julian Marcuzzi
Freshman, University of Denver

As part of a predominantly young Pioneers defensive corps, Marcuzzi gradually established himself as a reliable, hard-working defenseman. He appeared in 23 games this season and has yet to record his first collegiate point. Early in the season, Marcuzzi saw most of his playing time alongside recent Hobey Baker winner Matt Carle (SJ).

Alec Martinez
Freshman, Miami (OH) University

The smooth-skating defenseman became a key component in Miami’s successful 2005-06 season. The Rochester, MI native registered 11 points (three goals, eight assists). Martinez scored Miami’s final goal at Goggin Ice Arena on March 11. The overtime game-winner over Western Michigan also sent the RedHawks to the CCHA conference semi-finals.

Brian McCafferty
Freshman, Harvard University

The offensive-minded McCafferty enjoyed a stellar rookie campaign with Harvard this season. The Lexington, MA native posted 15 points (two goals, 13 assists). He saw playing time alongside junior Dylan Reese (NYR) on the Crimson’s top defensive pairing. McCafferty recently was named the recipient of Harvard’s George Pearcy Award as the team’s top rookie.

Brendan Milnamow
Freshman, Union College

The 6’3/190 lbs. Milnamow provided the Dutchmen with both size and some stability on the blue line this season. The Wilton, CT native appeared in 33 games for Union College, posting seven points (three goals, four assists). Milnamow was recently named the recipient of Union College’s Most Improved Player award.

Mark Mitera*
Freshman, University of Michigan

Mitera is one of the most highly-regarded collegians eligible for this year’s NHL draft. The 6’3/210 lbs. defenseman from Livonia, MI posted ten points (all assists) in 39 appearances this season. Mitera, a CCHA All-Rookie Team honorable mention, was one of three Wolverines who represented the United States at the 2006 IIHF WJC in Vancouver.

Brett Motherwell*
Freshman, Boston College

The offensive-minded defenseman from St. Charles, Illinois was a key part of one of the nation’s best defensive corps this season. Motherwell finished the 2005-06 season second among Boston College defensemen in scoring with 23 points (four goals, 19 assists). His outstanding season earned him a selection to the Hockey East All-Rookie team.

Jared Seminoff
Freshman, Cornell University

On a team noted for its sheer size on defense, Seminoff is somewhat of an anomaly. At 5’10, he is the Big Red’s smallest defenseman. Despite his lack of size, Seminoff has become a mainstay on Cornell’s blue line. He posted seven points (one goal, six assists) playing in all 35 games this season. Seminoff also led Cornell in penalty minutes with 76.

Mike Stuart
Freshman, Brown University

The 6’6/230 lbs. defenseman saw playing time in just 17 games this season. His enormous size and strength have garnered Stuart quite a bit of attention. He has yet to register his first career point. Stuart made his collegiate regular season debut back on Nov. 25 versus St. Cloud State.

Matt Taormina
Freshman, Providence College

The mobile Taormina saw regular playing time alongside senior James Pemberton (FLA) this season. In 36 appearances, the Washington Township, MI native posted 11 points (one goal, ten assists). Taormina’s first and only goal of the season came in the Providence Holiday Tournament Championship game versus Sacred Heart on Dec. 22.

Cody Wild*
Freshman, Providence College

The 6’1/195 lbs. local product made a quite a splash in his rookie campaign for Providence College this season. The instinctive defenseman led all Friars blueliners in scoring with 21 points (six goals, 15 assists). Wild’s outstanding season earned him numerous accolades including a selection to the Hockey East All-Rookie team.

Forwards

Justin Bostrom
Freshman, University of Minnesota

On a Minnesota team loaded with high-end talent, Bostrom quietly became an effective support player this season. In 38 appearances this season, the Vadnais Heights, MN native registered 13 points (seven goals, six assists). Bostrom posted his first collegiate goal back on Oct. 22 versus in-state rival Minnesota State-Mankato.

Erik Condra
Freshman, University of Notre Dame

The small and skilled Condra established himself as a bona fide offensive threat in the CCHA this season. The Livonia, MI native led the Fighting Irish in scoring with 34 points (six goals and 28 assists). He became the first freshman in over a decade to lead the team in scoring. Among Condra’s accolades this season was a selection to the CCHA All-Rookie Team.

Chris Davis
Freshman, University of Massachusetts

Davis made quite an impact as a rookie for UMass this season. The Simsbury, CT native led all Minutemen rookies in scoring with 18 points (nine goals, nine assists). One of Davis most memorable outings came back on Nov. 22 in UMass 2-1 at Vermont. The outstanding two-way forward was recently named co-recipient of the team’s Rookie of the Year honor.

Kevin DeVergilio
Freshman, St. Lawrence University

The energetic DeVergilio turned in a stellar performance this season with St. Lawrence. He led all Saints rookies in scoring with 25 points (14 goals, 11 assists). His two goals helped SLU to a win over Harvard in the ECACHL conference playoffs on March 10. DeVergilio was recently named the recipient of the team’s Rookie of the Year award.

Nick Dodge
Sophomore, Clarkson University

Dodge made his sophomore campaign a year to remember after leading Clarkson in virtually every statistical category. He finished the season with 41 points (16 goals, 25 assists) in 38 appearances. The Oakville, ON native was recently named the recipient of the team’s Bill Harrison MVP Award and will serve as team captain next season.

Benn Ferriero*
Freshman, Boston College

The tenacious Ferriero completed an outstanding rookie campaign at Boston College, helping to lead the Eagles to a Frozen Four appearance and earning a selection to the Hockey East All-Rookie team. The 5’11/185 lbs. forward led all Boston College rookies scoring with 25 points (16 goals, nine assists). Of his 16 goals, seven came on special teams.

Jimmy Fraser*
Freshman, Harvard University

The centerman from Port Huron, MI enjoyed a superb rookie season at Harvard. Fraser led all Crimson rookies in scoring with 16 points (three goals, 13 assists) in 35 appearances. Two of his three goals came on the power play. The tenacious freshman forward also led Harvard with 54 penalty minutes.

Chris Higgins*
Freshman, Boston University

The dynamic Terriers freshman was a member of one of the nation’s most exciting and potent rookie lines this season. Higgins registered 21 points (eights goals, 13 assists). His sensational goal in the Beanpot Tournament semi-final game versus Harvard on Feb. 6 will go down as one of the year’s best highlight reel goals.

Michael Karwoski
Freshman, Yale University

The Ivy League Rookie of the Year enjoyed a stellar season with the Bulldogs. Karwoski led all Yale rookies in scoring with 17 points (four goals, 13 assists) in 32 games. His 72 penalty minutes rank second on the team. The high-energy forward from Greenlawn, NY posted 13 of his 17 points in ECACHL play this season.

Nick Kemp
Freshman, University of Minnesota-Duluth

The budding power forward from nearby Hermantown made quite an impact on a Bulldogs team deep in young talent this season. Kemp saw most of his playing time on UMD’s top line with fellow freshmen Mason Raymond (VAN) and MacGregor Sharp. He finished the season with 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 39 appearances.

Michael Kennedy
Freshman, Cornell University

The 6’2/195 lbs. native of Dorchester, ON began to quietly establish himself as force on the Cornell team this season. Kennedy led all Big Red rookies in scoring with seven points (three goals, four assists) playing in 35 games. He posted his first career goal and multi-point game back on Nov. 26 versus Niagara.

Phil Kessel*
Freshman, University of Minnesota

The WCHA Rookie of the Year quickly established himself as a key player on a talent-laden Minnesota Golden Gophers team despite the sometimes harsh criticism that has been directed his way throughout the season. The exceptionally gifted Madison, WI native led the nation in rookie scoring with 51 points (18 goals, 33 assists).

Jason Lawrence*
Freshman, Boston University

The Saugus, MA native was part of one of the nation’s best rookie trios this season at Boston University. Lawrence, a forward blessed with great hands, capped his freshman campaign with 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) in 40 appearances. Of his eights goals, three came on the power play.

Bryan Lerg
Sophomore, Michigan State University

The versatile forward from Livonia, MI became quite an offensive power for Michigan State this season. He finished second on the team in scoring with 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists). He was one of only five Spartans to play in all 45 games this season. Most recently, Lerg was named the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player and Most Improved Player.

Jonathan Matsumoto*
Sophomore, Bowling Green State University

As good as Matsumoto was in his freshman season, he was even better in his sophomore year. The Orleans, ON native made up half of one of the nation’s most explosive offensive duos. Matsumoto finished the season second on the team with 48 points (20 goals, 28 assists). His 20 goals and 12 power-play tallies both led the Falcons.

David Meckler*
Freshman, Yale University

Followers of Yale hockey won’t soon forget David Meckler. The Highland Park, Illinois native scored the game-winning goal in one of the season’s best games – the five-overtime marathon ECACHL first round playoff match versus Union College. In 31 games this season, the reliable forward notched ten points (seven goals, three assists).

Tim Miller
Freshman, University of Michigan

On a Michigan Wolverines team loaded with excellent young talent, Miller has established himself as one of the group’s toughest players. The hard-nosed forward from Davisburg, MI registered 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in 41 appearances this season. He posted his first collegiate goal on Nov. 26 versus Wisconsin in the College Hockey Showcase.

Chris Mueller
Sophomore, Michigan State University

The West Seneca, NY native was off to a promising start to his sophomore campaign when a shoulder injury temporarily sidelined him in early November. Mueller was a member of the Spartans effective “er” line with junior Drew Miller (ANA) and senior Colton Fretter (ATL). The skilled and hard working forward finished the season with 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists).

Patrick Mullen
Freshman, University of Denver

The son of NHL hall of famer Joe Mullen got off to a rather slow start but finished strong for the Denver Pioneers this season. He finished his rookie campaign with 17 points (seven goals, ten assists). His most memorable performance came back on Feb. 11 versus Minnesota State-Mankato, where he posted two goals to help lead Denver to a 5-1 win.

Jeff Prough
Sophomore, Brown University

The small and shifty Prough established an offensive presence on a team that struggled to score goals this season. He finished the season leading the Bears in scoring with 30 points (17 goals, 13 assists). His 17 goals also led the team. Prough was recently named the recipient of the team’s Class of 1936 Hockey Trophy, which goes to the Bears MVP.

Cory Quirk
Freshman, University of Massachusetts

The small and quick UMass forward enjoyed a superb rookie season. The 5’10/180 lbs. native of Brockton, MA played in all 36 games this season, posting 13 points (eight goals, five assists). Along with fellow freshman Chris Davis, Quirk was named the co-recipient of the team’s Rookie of the Year.

Jon Rheault*
Sophomore, Providence College

Rheault’s sophomore campaign saw a more mature and effective forward emerge. He finished third on the team with 30 points (16 goals, 14 assists). His 16 goals and eight power play goals both led the team. The Deering, NH native was recently named co-recipient of the team’s Lamoriello Award, which is given to the Friars’ team MVP.

Dale Reinhardt
Sophomore, College of the Holy Cross

The speedy sophomore was a key component in the Crusaders’ successful 2005-06 season. Reinhardt finished the season with 36 points (11 goals, 25 assists) and led the team with a plus-23. His first period goal helped propel Holy Cross to a monumental upset over top-ranked Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament West Regional semi-final on March 24.

Ben Street*
Freshman, University of Wisconsin

The Coquitlam, BC native is probably the best player on the reigning national championship team that few are talking about. Street quickly established himself as a smart, dependable player. He finished a strong rookie season with 15 points (ten goals, five assists) and holds the distinction of being the only Badgers regular without any penalty minutes.

Nick Sucharski*
Freshman, Michigan State University

The talented centerman from Toronto, ON got his rookie season off to a late start due to injury. Sucharski appeared in 36 games this season and posted seven points (two goals, five assists). Both of his goals were game-winning tallies. Sucharski made his collegiate debut on Nov. 11 versus Nebraska-Omaha.

Tyler Swystun
Freshman, University of Michigan

The CCHA’s youngest player (born Jan. 15, 1988) enjoyed a very good season, despite his struggles to adjusting to the college game. Swystun posted four points (two goals, two assists) in 36 appearances this season. The Cochrane, Alberta native notched his first collegiate goal and point on Oct. 16 versus non-conference foe Merrimack.

Jonathan Toews*
Freshman, University of North Dakota

The Winnipeg, MB native has become one of the most highly-touted NCAA players eligible for this year’s NHL Draft, made even more remarkable by the fact that he is the youngest collegian (born April 29, 1988) on virtually every scouting radar. The exceptionally talented Toews finished his stellar rookie season with 39 points (22 goals, 17 assists) for North Dakota.

Travis Turnbull
Freshman, University of Michigan

The son of former St. Louis Blue Perry Turnbull enjoyed a stellar rookie campaign for Michigan this season. The versatile Turnbull, who saw most of his playing time alongside Andrew Cogliano (EDM) and Tim Miller, posted 18 points (nine goals, nine assists) in 41 games this season. His three game-winning goals rank tied for second on the team.

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