Top 10 drafted NCAA forwards

by DJ Powers
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Johnny Gaudreau - Boston College

Photo: Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau celebrates a goal during the Frozen Four championship game in which BC won the national championship (courtesy of Patrick Green/ Icon SMI)

The 2011-12 NCAA season featured many excellent forwards, a number of whom have already begun their professional careers. The 10 players listed below are among them and have yet to sign pro contacts. Most, if not all, will likely return to their respective collegiate teams this fall.

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Spencer Abbot enjoying new life as a pro

by DJ Powers
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Photo: Spencer Abbot signed an entry-level deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs following an illustrious senior season with Maine. (Photo courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

Spencer Abbott just concluded an excellent senior season where he led the nation in scoring with 62 points (21 goals, 42 assists) in 39 games at the University of Maine. In addition to being named a "Hobey Hat Trick" finalist, he was also named the Hockey East Player of the Year and was recently selected to the All-America East First team.

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Minnesota-Duluth’s Jack Connolly wins 2012 Hobey Baker Award

by DJ Powers
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Photo: Jack Connolly was awarded the Hobey Baker Award, an annual award that goes out to the top player in college hockey. (Photo courtesy of Patrick Green/Southcreek Global/Zuma Press/Icon SMI)

University of Minnesota-Duluth senior Jack Connolly was named the winner of the 2012 Hobey Baker Award as college hockey's top player. Connolly, who was also named the WCHA Player of the Year and the 2011-12 recipient of the Lowe's Senior CLASS award, finished the season second in the nation in scoring with 60 points (20 goals, 40 assists) playing in all 41 games for the Bulldogs. He was the first ever Minnesota-Duluth player to be named a Hobey Baker Award Top Ten finalist twice, after being named a finalist last year as well. Connolly finishes his stellar Minnesota-Duluth career with 197 points (66 goals, 131 assists) playing in a school-record 166 games.

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Isaac MacLeod enjoying breakout sophomore campaign

by DJ Powers
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Sophomore Isaac MacLeod is the youngest among Boston College's top six defensemen this season. He is also the lone underclassman on the Eagles blue line. The San Jose Sharks prospect has been paired with senior Edwin Shea for much of the season. MacLeod has played in all 44 games thus far for Boston College and has posted six points (all assists).

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Austin Smith starting new life with Dallas Stars

by DJ Powers
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Photo: forward Austin Smith exploded offensively this past season, managing 36 goals and 21 assists in 39 games. (Photo courtesy of Ed Wolfstein/Icon SMI)

Austin Smith was one of the three "Hobey Hat Trick" finalists this year after a sensational season in which he led the nation in goal scoring with 36 and finishing third with 57 points (36 goals, 21 assists) in 39 games with the Colgate Raiders. Smith's excellent senior campaign earned him numerous honors, including the ECAC Player of the Year and a selection to the All-America East First team.

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