NCAA prospects notebook for November, 2013

By DJ Powers

Johnny Gaudreau - Boston College

Photo: Boston College forward and Calgary Flames prospect Johnny Gaudreau is currently ranked second in the nation in NCAA scoring, but leads all NHL-drafted D-1 players in that category (courtesy of Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The first full month of the 2013-14 NCAA hockey season featured a little a bit of just about everything. Hockey’s Future takes a look back at some of the headlines and notable performances that took place in November. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of Dec. 1st.

Calgary Flames collegiate prospects hot in November

No NHL team got more collective production out of their NCAA prospects in the month of November than the Calgary Flames. The group combined for a whopping 50 points (15 goals, 35 assists).

Boston College linemates Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold led with 17 and 13 points respectively during the month. Gaudreau enters the month of December as the nation’s leading scorer among NHL prospects with 25 points (12 goals, 13 assists), while Arnold enters December leading the nation in assists among NHL prospects with 15.

Yale senior Kenny Agostino was next with eight points (one goal, seven assists). Providence College sophomore teammates John Gilmour and Mark Jankowski finished the month with five and four points, respectively.

Rounding out the group of skaters are Colgate freshman Tim Harrison with two assists and Michigan State sophomore Matt DeBlouw with one assist. While Harrison’s slow start isn’t all that surprising, DeBlouw’s is. After finishing a terrific freshman campaign last season with 21 points, DeBlouw has just two assists through the first two months of this season. He also spent time in head coach Tom Anastos’s doghouse, resulting in less playing time. If DeBlouw can return to last season’s form going forward, it will greatly help boost a Spartans offense that currently ranks in the bottom half nationally.

Providence College sophomore Jon Gillies, Calgary’s lone collegiate goaltending prospect, was brilliant in November, backstopping the Friars to a top 10 national ranking. The South Portland, ME native posted a 7-1-1 record along with a no decision versus New Hampshire on Nov. 22nd due to injury. Gillies finished the month leading or co-leading all NCAA goaltending prospects in wins (10), winning percentage (.846) and shutouts (3). On November 16th versus Vermont, Gillies posted his eighth career shutout, setting a new program record.

Six prospects among candidates for 2014 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award

The 20 candidates for this year’s Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award were announced on November 7th and among them were six NHL prospects: Michigan defenseman Mac Bennett (MTL), Denver goaltender Sam Brittain (FLA), St. Cloud State forward Nic Dowd (LAK), Notre Dame defenseman Stephen Johns (CHI), Brown defenseman Dennis Robertson (TOR) and North Dakota defenseman Dillon Simpson (EDM).

The award annually recognizes the top senior that excels in four areas – character, in the field of competition, in the classroom, and in the community.

The list will be pared down to the top 10 finalists at mid-season. The winner will be announced in April during the 2014 Frozen Four in Philadelphia, PA.

A whirlwind month for Ohio State goaltending

When the Ohio State Buckeyes began the 2013-14 season, they sported two NHL goaltending prospects on their roster in freshman Matt Tomkins (CHI) and sophomore Collin Olson (CAR). By the end of November, Ohio State wouldn’t have their services for different reasons. Tomkins, who won the Buckeyes starting job, is currently out of the lineup after suffering a leg injury on November 9th versus Niagara. Just prior to losing Tomkins, Olson left the program due to a lack of playing time. He has since returned to the U.S. NTDP. With the loss of their top two netminders, Ohio State has been forced to press freshman Logan Davis, a 2014 NHL Draft-eligible player, into service. In addition, the Buckeyes will be looking to add another goaltender to the roster.

Blues prospect begins to hit his stride with Michigan State

The St. Louis Blues have six prospects playing college hockey this season, including Michigan State freshman Mackenzie MacEachern. The Troy, MI native’s play began to pick up steam in late November with four points (two goals, two assists) in the team’s final series with Western Michigan and Princeton. Heading into December, he leads all Spartans rookies with eight points (five goals, three assists) in 12 games. MacEachern is part of Michigan State’s excellent all-freshman second line that also includes Thomas Ebbing and Villiam Haag.

Kasdorf goes under the knife

After a sensational freshman year last season that culminated with the ECAC Rookie of the Year honor, RPI sophomore goaltender Jason Kasdorf (WPG) looked to build on that success this year. That all changed in mid-October when the Winnipeg, MB native suffered a shoulder injury. Roughly a month later, Kasdorf underwent successful surgery that would end his sophomore campaign. He played in just two games prior to his injury, posting a win and a loss. Kasdorf, who will receive a medical redshirt, is expected to rejoin the Engineers next season.

Hitting the century mark

Four NCAA prospects tallied their 100th career points in November.

Yale senior Kenny Agostino (CGY) was the first to do so when he reached the century mark on November 1st versus St. Lawrence. The Flanders, NJ native finished the month with 108 career points (43 goals, 65 assists) through 111 career games.

A week later, another Calgary Flames prospect accomplished the same feat when Boston College senior Bill Arnold did it versus archrival Boston University on November 8th. The Needham, MA native finished November with 109 career points (47 goals, 62 assists) through 109 career games.

The following week on November 15th versus Denver, Western Michigan senior Chase Balisy (NSH) became the 52nd player in the program’s history to reach 100 points. The Santa Margarita, CA native capped the month with 101 career points (37 goals, 64 assists) through 135 career games.

Quinnipiac senior Kellen Jones (EDM) was the next to hit the century mark when he accomplished the feat on November 22nd versus Princeton, becoming the 21st player in the Bobcats D-I history to do so. The Montrose, BC native finished the month with 107 career points (43 goals, 64 assists) through 134 career games.

Shillelagh Tournament kicks off NCAA holiday tournaments

The Thanksgiving holiday marks the start of the annual plethora of NCAA holiday tournaments. And while the Thanksgiving weekend has, in past years, featured several tournaments, only one took place the last weekend in November – the Shillelagh Tournament in South Bend, IN. Hockey East foes Northeastern and host Notre Dame met for the tournament championship on November 30th after winning their semi-final games against Western Michigan and Alabama-Huntsville respectively on the previous day. The Huskies would claim the tournament’s championship after edging the Fighting Irish 3-2. Notre Dame senior T.J. Tynan (CBJ), who posted four points (one goal, three assists) in the tournament, was named MVP. Joining Tynan on the All-Tournament Team were teammates Bryan Rust (PIT), Stephen Johns (CHI) and Robbie Russo (NYI), along with Northeastern goaltender Clay Witt and forward Braden Pimm.

Follow DJ Powers on Twitter via @DJPowersHF