Nico Sacchetti, C — Virginia High School, Minnesota HS
2nd Round, 50th Overall, 5’11, 189lbs
A very offensively gifted high school forward, Sacchetti had his most productive season in 2006-07, scoring 90 points on 38 goals in only 25 games, which was good enough for third in the state of Minnesota in scoring. He was an All-State selection in 2007. Sacchetti also gained valuable experience playing for the United States at the 2007 Under 18 World Junior Championships. Sacchetti has a good set of hands and has a knack for finding the net. He fits the model of other Stars prospects; he plays with an edge and finds ways to score.
He has committed to play for the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2008.
Sergei Korostin, RW — Dynamo Moscow, Russia
3rd Round, 64th Overall, 5’11, 180lbs
A native of Prokopievsk, Russia, Korostin shows good open-ice speed, which he is able to use to get around the defense and create scoring chances. Korostin is not afraid to go into traffic though. He has not seen much playing time with HC Dynamo, which was the cause of his lack of offensive numbers this year. While playing with the Russian team at the 2007 Under 18 World Junior Championships, Korostin netted five goals on his way to six points in seven games; Korostin and Russia won the gold medal. Still, he does not yet see the ice as well as he should at the Super League level and should better utilize his linemates. His average size and lack of experience of playing against professional players in the Super League or High League (Russia 2), make him a skilled project pick.
Colton Sceviour, C/RW — Portland Winter Hawks, WHL
4th Round, 112th Overall, 5’11, 201lbs
A native of Red Deer, AB, Sceviour had 38 points on 12 goals in his third season with the Portland Winter Hawks in 49 games. His 38 points is more than four times his point total from last year, having played nine more games. Sceviour has shown goods hands and the ability to generate scoring opportunities. He has average size and is not afraid to finish any check. He plays the game with good intensity and knowledge. Sceviour will be looked upon to provide solid offensive numbers for a Portland team that will be looking to rebound from a dismal 2006-07 season.
Austin Smith, RW — The Gunnery High School, Connecticut HS League
5th Round, 128th Overall, 5’11, 160lbs
In 30 games this season with The Gunnery Prep School in Connecticut, Smith scored 25 goals on his way to 63 points. Smith is a small, high-energy type forward. He boasts very good puck-handling skills and is able to make plays to set up scoring chances for his teammates. Smith does a great job at reading plays and putting himself in a position to make a play on the puck. He’s also a very good forechecker.
Smith, a native of Dallas, TX has committed to playing at Colgate University in 2008.
Jamie Benn, LW — Victoria Grizzles, BCHL
5th Round, 129th Overall, 6’2, 185lbs
A native of Victoria, ON, Benn was third on the team in scoring during the 2006-07 season registering 42 goals and 23 assists for 65 points in 53 games played. In 11 playoffs games, Benn had nine points on five goals with 12 penalty minutes. Benn is a pure sniper with both good shooting abilities, especially in close. At 6’2, 185 lbs he doesn’t use his size particularly well and he’s not an overly physical player. He is extremely effective when he has the time to set up and shoot or on odd-man rushes. His defensive play will also need improvement.
Benn is committed to Alaska-Fairbanks for the 2008-09 season.
Ondrej Roman, C — Spokane Chiefs, WHL
5th Round, 136th Overall, 6’0, 168lbs
In his first season with the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL, Roman had a very productive season tallying 48 points on four goals and 44 assists in 70 games played. A native of the Czech Republic, Roman boasts excellent vision. His 44 assists lead the Chiefs and was good for 19th in the WHL (third among rookies). Slightly undersized at only 168lbs, the Stars will look for Roman to bulk up some over the next few seasons and look for him to put a few more pucks in the net while continuing to impress with his passing ability.
Michael Neal, LW — Belleville Bulls, OHL
5th Round, 149th Overall, 6’2, 188lbs
The younger brother of Stars prospect James Neal, Michael Neal posseses some of the same skills as his older brother. He did not post eye-popping numbers in his second OHL season, scoring only four goals on his way to eight points in 52 games played. Part of the lack of production by Neal is a result of playing on a very talented and deep Bulls team. Neal plays a smart brand of hockey and takes very few penalties, registering only 31 penalty minutes in 98 games in his two-year OHL career. He possesses good size already at 6’2, 188lbs and should see his offensive numbers increase as he begins to see more playing time in 2007-08.
Luke Gazdic, LW — Erie Otters, OHL
6th Round, 172nd Overall, 6’3, 210lbs
In his rookie season with the Otters, Gazdic scored 13 points on five goals in 58 games played. The Toronto, ON native is known for his tough physical play. Registering 137 penalty minutes this year, Gazdic has shown that he is not afraid to go into the corners and do whatever is needed to get the puck. Possessing good size already, as Gazdic continues to grow he will become a tough player to win pucks from in the corners. Gazdic should see his offensive numbers increase as he gets more playing time during the 2007-08 season.
Eugene Belashchenko and Matt MacInnis contributed to this article. Copyright 2007 Hockey’s Future. Do not reprint or otherwise duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.