College Prospects Notebook: October

By DJ Powers

In the first edition of the 2010-11 Notebook, Hockey’s Future take a look at an eventful opening month of the NCAA college hockey season. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of Oct. 31.

Islanders prospect makes history at Notre Dame

Freshman Anders Lee (NYI) made quite a debut for the Fighting Irish to start the season. He became just the second player in Notre Dame hockey history, and the first in over 40 years, to record a hat trick in his first collegiate regular season game. Lee accomplished the feat on Oct. 8 versus Holy Cross in the opening game of the Icebreaker Tournament in St. Louis. His performance, which also included an assist in the championship game versus Boston University, earned Lee the CCHA Rookie of the Week honor as well.

Most recently, Lee was named the CCHA Rookie of the Month after posting points in five of Notre Dame’s seven games in October. He currently leads the Fighting Irish with six goals and ranks second with eight points appearing in all seven games.

Barriball makes triumphant return to Minnesota

After missing most of the 2009-10 campaign due to a season-ending knee injury, redshirt senior Jay Barriball (STL) has returned and made an immediate impact for the Golden Gophers. The Prior Lake, MN native currently leads Minnesota in scoring with 11 points (eight goals, three assists) in eight games to date. His eight goals currently rank second in the nation.

In the season-opening series versus UMass back on Oct.8/9, Barriball posted four goals that included a hat-trick, and added an assist to guide the Golden Gophers to a sweep of the Minutemen. The outing also earned Barriball the WCHA Player of the Week honor as well.

Most recently, Barriball was named a candidate for the 2010-11 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, which recognizes the accomplishments and loyalty of seniors on the ice, in the classroom and in the community. Barriball is one of three NHL prospects that have been named a candidate for the award, joining Michigan’s Carl Hagelin (NYR) and Ferris State’s Zach Redmond (ATL). The winner will be announced in April during the Frozen Four weekend.

Re-emerging Dee helping Maine to excellent start

Last October, Maine got off to a 2-5-0 start. This year, the Black Bears are off to a 4-1-2 start. One reason can be attributed to the re-emergence of senior Robbie Dee (EDM). After posting five points that included just one goal last October, Dee has more than doubled his point total to 11 that includes five goals. He has proven to be quite effective on Maine’s power play, where three of his five goals have been scored.

Coyle and Schwartz living up to expectations

2010 NHL Draft first round selections Charlie Coyle and Jaden Schwartz were two of the most highly-touted players coming into this season, and they have been as good as advertised.

Boston University hasn’t lost a game yet this season. The 6-0-1 Terriers are off to their best start since 1978 thanks in part to the stellar play of freshman Charlie Coyle. The San Jose Sharks’ first round selection this past June has been one of Boston University’s most consistent players in the opening month of the season. Coyle has appeared in all seven games and has posted points in five of them. He currently leads all Terriers freshmen with seven points (three goals, four assists).

Equally impressive has been the play of Colorado College sniper Jaden Schwartz. The first round selection of the St. Louis Blues this summer currently leads the nation in rookie goal-scoring with seven and leads the Tigers with nine points appearing in all eight games in the month. Jaden Schwartz, along with his brother Rylan, have given Colorado College an outstanding scoring tandem that has just begun to show what they can do.

Hot start for Smith has RedHawks soaring

Midway through the opening month, sophomore Reilly Smith (DAL) suddenly found himself playing on the Miami’s top line, alongside seniors Andy Miele and Carter Camper. And so far, the move has paid enormous dividends for the RedHawks.

Smith currently ranks second on the team with seven goals and ranks third with 11 points in seven games. His most memorable game came on Oct. 23 versus Northern Michigan. In that contest, Smith posted his first career hat-trick to help guide Miami to a resounding 9-1 win.

Miami is currently one of two teams in the nation that have hit the century mark in total team points. The RedHawks have 102 heading into November. Union College, which leads the nation with 110, is the other team.

Defensive prospects duo getting it done for Minnesota-Duluth

The Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs is one of four teams that went the entire month without loss (6-0-2), joining Boston University, Michigan State and Yale. One reason can be attributed to the excellent play of defensemen Dylan Olsen (CHI) and Justin Faulk (CAR). The two rearguards currently rank first and second respectively on the Bulldogs roster in defenseman scoring appearing in all eight games to date. The sophomore Olsen has six points (one goal, five assists); while the freshman Faulk has five points (two goals, three assists). Both have been key cogs on the Minnesota-Duluth power play, which currently ranks fifth in the nation. In addition, Olsen and Faulk have provided depth to an already-explosive Bulldogs offense.

Panthers prospects guiding depleted Denver team

No team has been hit harder by injuries and illnesses this early in the season as the University of Denver has. But through adversity has come opportunity for freshman netminder Sam Brittain. After sophomore Adam Murray went down with a groin injury back on Oct. 19, Brittain became the Pioneers go-to guy between the pipes and he hasn’t disappointed. The Florida Panthers fourth round selection back in June has appeared in six games, posting a 2-2-2 record. His .939 save percentage currently ranks sixth in the nation, while his 1.79 goals against average ranks ninth. His 33-save shutout performance at North Dakota on Oct. 30, the first of his career, earned him his second consecutive WCHA Player of the Week honor in October. The first was as Rookie of the Week and the second was for Defensive Player of the Week.

Another Panthers prospect that enjoyed an excellent October was sophomore Drew Shore. The Colorado Springs, CO native has been one of Denver’s most impressive and consistent players to begin the season. He currently leads the Pioneers with eight points (five goals, three assists) appearing in all eight games to date.

Of all the injuries and illnesses that Denver has had to weather thus far, none has been more devastating as the one that recently ended senior Jesse Martin’s (ATL) season. The Edmonton, AB native suffered three neck fractures on Oct. 30 when he was checked by North Dakota senior Brad Malone (COL).

On the shelf

University of Minnesota freshman forward Nick Bjugstad (FLA) is currently out of the lineup due to mononucleosis. He is expected to return in mid-November.

Northeastern University sophomore forward Justin Daniels (SJ) is currently out of the lineup due to an ankle injury.

University of North Dakota freshman defenseman Derek Forbort (LA) missed the Oct. 29/30 series versus Denver due to illness.

University of Denver sophomore defenseman Paul Phillips (CHI) missed the Oct. 29/30 series versus North Dakota due to a nosebleed situation.

Providence College sophomore defenseman Alex Velischek (PIT) missed the Oct. 29/30 due to an ankle injury.

Miami University junior defenseman Will Weber (CBJ) is out until mid-December due to a neck laceration he suffered on Oct. 23 versus Northern Michigan.