Senators NCAA prospects update

By Derek Cheng

With six players moving on from the NCAA last spring, the Ottawa Senators have just five remaining college prospects. 

Louie Caporusso, C/LW

University of Michigan Wolverines
Acquired: 3rd round, 90th overall, 2007

After spending the past two seasons lighting the lamp for the St. Michael’s Buzzers in the OPJRA, Caporusso joined the University of Michigan.  In this his freshman year, the diminutive offensive dynamo has registered 10 goals, 7 assists, and a +11 rating in 25 contests.  His club currently sits alone atop the entire NCAA.  Caporusso got off to a fast start, potting three goals and nine points in his first 10 games, but his season was put on hold in mid-November when he suffered a knee injury during a practice session.  After missing eight games, he returned to action just in time for the Great Lakes Invitational.  He picked up right where he left off, netting a goal and an assist in the two-game mini-tournament.  Since then, he has tallied nine points over the past 16 games. 

The 5’9, 185-pound native of Woodbridge, Ontario has plenty of development time ahead. He will be looked upon to become a primary offensive threat for the Wolverines as his NCAA career progresses.  He will turn 19 in June.

Erik Condra, RW

University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Acquired: 7th round, 211th overall, 2006

Condra has become a model of consistency at Notre Dame.  The former Fighting Irish rookie of the year followed up on an exceptional freshman season by powering the club to their first CCHA championship in 2007.  Now in his junior year, Condra continues to keep up the pace, helping his club to a 21-10-3 record.  His production has tailed off slightly from last season, but he still maintains close to a point-per-game average.  Through 36 games, he has registered 13 goals, 21 assists, and holds an 11-point lead over the next best scorer on the club.  His plus/minus is a healthy +7 and he’s racked up 22 penalty minutes.  Condra has had eight multi-point games this season including a five-point night in early November.  His best streak came later in November when he scored 10 points over a six-game span.  Condra serves as one of the team’s alternate captains and he’s has been an effective leader both on and off the ice. 

A seventh-round pick of the Senators in 2006, Condra has been given ample time to develop his game.  His consistency, hard work, and pure skill have helped him to become an elite player at the NCAA level.  A strong finish to the season could mean a pro contract this summer.  He will turn 22 in August.

Colin Greening, C

Cornell University Big Red
Acquired: 7th round, 204th overall, 2005

A former BCHL standout, Greening is now in his sophomore year with Cornell.  An integral part of the Big Red offense, Greening is well on his way to setting career highs in all categories.  The St. John’s, Newfoundland native got off to a hot start scoring three goals and six assists in his first eight games.  Following the initial outburst, he went into a scoring slump, picking up just three assists in his next 10 contests.  It took a two-goal performance versus Yale University in late-January to break him out of the slump.  The streaky scoring continued as he got on another hot streak, scoring in seven consecutive games (five goals, four assists in that span).  He was held off the scoresheet the past two matches.  Greening has tallied a team-leading three game-winning goals.  His totals for the season thus far amount to eight goals, 13 assists, 37 penalty minutes, and a +3 rating in 27 games.  He sees plenty of time on the man-advantage, where he has tallied three goals.

At 6’2, 210, Greening is a power forward in the making.  Ottawa’s seventh-round pick in 2005 is likely to continue his development Cornell through his junior year.  Greening turns 22 in March.

Matt McIlvane, C

Ohio State University Buckeyes
Acquired: 8th round, 251st overall, 2004

After posting career highs in his junior year for a struggling Buckeyes team, McIlvane has followed up with similar output in his final year.  The Illinois native tends to score his points in bunches.  He’s scored points in consecutive games five times this season.  He’s also had two six-game point droughts along.  At the 36-game mark of the season, he has posted five goals and 11 assists, putting him just one point shy of his career high.  The 22-year-old has shown continued improvement from year to year, rounding into a solid two-way checking forward.  Though he has a -14 rating, it is more reflective of his club’s defensive woes than his own.  He is often pitted against opposing top players because of his responsible play.  At 6’0, 212, McIlvane plays a physical style of hockey.  What makes him stand out from the rest is the fact that he can do so in a disciplined fashion.  He has just 22 penalty minutes this year. 

The former Buckeye Power Club award winner, Scholar-Athlete and Academic All-Big Ten choice will be looking for a pro contract from the Senators this summer by Aug. 15.  A 2004 eighth-round pick, he has all the tools to become a solid checking line power forward. 

Eric Gryba, D

Boston University Terriers
Acquired: 3rd round, 68th overall, 2006

Gryba, a Saskatoon native, is in his sophomore year at Boston University.  After missing the first three games of the season recovering from mononucleosis, he had an offensive outburst by his standards scoring points in consecutive games.  Since then, he has gone 23 straight games without a point.  In that span, he also amassed 40 penalty minutes for a total of 44 on the season and registered a -2 rating.  He has suited up in 26 of the club’s 32 contests.  Aside from the bout with mono, Gryba has missed three other games this season.  With a blueline cast featuring the likes of Kevin Shattenkirk (COL) and Colby Cohen (COL), Gryba has played more of a supporting role as a third pair defender.  He H

At 6’3, 215, Gryba is known for dishing out bone-crushing body checks and using his frame as an advantage.  The towering rearguard is not offensively inclined, but he makes up for it with his rugged, physical and defensive style of play.  He will turn 20 in April.