College Prospects Notebook: February

By DJ Powers
Photo: After missing some time due to an injury suffered at the 2011 WJC, Colorado College standout and Blues draft-pick Jaden Schwartz has rejoined the Tigers lineup. To date he has 13 goals and 19 assists through 21 games. (Photo courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)

The final month of the 2010-11 regular season saw some fantastic finishes, great performances and a few surprises. Here’s a look back at what happened. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of Feb. 28.

Boston College wins 59th annual Beanpot Tournament

Tournament MVP Chris Kreider (NYR) netted a pair of power play goals and assisted on junior Jimmy Hayes‘ (CHI) game-winner in guiding Boston College to a thrilling 7-6 overtime victory over Northeastern in the Beanpot Championship game on Feb. 14. The contest was one of the most memorable in recent Beanpot history.

Kreider’s second power play tally of the game at the 11:44 mark of the third period gave the Eagles a 6-5 lead. But with less than two minutes left in regulation time, senior Wade MacLeod would tie the game for the Huskies at the 18:14 mark to force overtime.

At the 6:00 minute mark of the extra session, Hayes would give Boston College their second consecutive Beanpot title.

Junior defenseman Tommy Cross (BOS) added a goal and two assists in the contest, while sophomore defenseman Brian Dumoulin (CAR) chipped in three assists for the Eagles.

Earlier in the day, Harvard handed Boston University a stunning 4-5 loss in the Beanpot Consolation game. Sophomore defenseman Danny Biega (CAR) posted a goal and two assists, and junior Alex Killorn (TB) netted a pair of goals to lead the Crimson.

Hagelin leads Michigan to 11th CCHA Regular Season Championship

Senior Carl Hagelin (NYR) netted a pair of goals, including the game-winner, in guiding the Wolverines to a 5-0 win over Northern Michigan and their 11th CCHA regular season title on Feb. 26. The victory, coupled with Notre Dame’s loss to Western Michigan on the final day of the CCHA’s regular season, catapulted Michigan to finish atop the CCHA standings heading into the Mason Cup championship tournament.

Hagelin, a potential finalist for this year’s Hobey Baker Award, finishes the regular season fourth in the CCHA with 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists) in 28 conference games. His 45 points (17 goals, 28 assists) in 36 games overall currently leads Michigan and co-leads the nation among all NHL-drafted prospects. In addition to points, Hagelin also leads Michigan in power play goals (7), game-winning goals (6), shots (136) and plus/minus (plus-20).

Agostino helps guide Yale to third straight Ivy League title

Freshman Ken Agostino (PIT) tallied a power play goal and senior Chris Cahill added the game-winner in the latter stages of the third period lifting Yale to a 5-4 come-from-behind win over Princeton on Feb. 20. The victory also gave the Bulldogs their third straight Ivy League crown as well. Yale went on to finish second in the ECAC regular season behind Union College.

As good as Agostino was in the first half of the season, he was even better in the second half. His best month came in January when he posted 12 points (eight goals, four assists) in nine contests and earned the HCA National Rookie of the Month honor.

Agostino currently leads Yale in rookie scoring with 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) in 24 games. His three power play goals and plus-16 both rank tied for fourth on the team.

Zucker named HCA National Rookie of the Month

University of Denver freshman Jason Zucker (MIN) was named the Hockey Commissioners Association (HCA) National Rookie of the Month for February. The Las Vegas, NV native posted 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in Denver’s eight games during the month. Zucker also posted points in every game and multiple points in four of them, including the last three. His best outing came on Feb. 26 versus Nebraska-Omaha. In that game, Zucker posted a pair of goals, including the game-winner to propel Denver to a 4-2 victory. His stellar performance also garnered him the WCHA Rookie of the Month honor. Zucker is currently second on the team in points with 38 (20 goals, 18 assists) in 32 games. His five game-winning goals also lead the team. Since returning to the Denver lineup after the World Junior Championship, Zucker has been held pointless in just one game.

Four prospects named to the All-Ivy League Teams

Harvard defenseman Danny Biega (CAR) heads the list of prospects named to the 2010-11 All-Ivy League teams. Biega was named to the All-Ivy First Team after capping a stellar regular season campaign. He led all defensemen in Ivy League scoring with 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in ten Ivy League contests. Biega is also coming off of a great month of February where he posted ten points (four goals, six assists) in nine games. Overall, Biega currently leads Harvard with 25 points (ten goals, 15 assists) playing in all 29 games to date. His five power play goals and three game-winners co-lead the Crimson as well.

While Biega was the lone prospect to make the First Team, three others made the All-Ivy League Second Team. They are Harvard senior center Alex Killorn (TB), Cornell sophomore defenseman Nick D’Agostino (PIT) and Dartmouth senior defenseman Joe Stejskal (MON).

Killorn led Harvard for much of the season and continues to be the Crimson’s most consistent point producer this season. Of all the 29 games that he has appeared in to date, Killorn has been held pointless in only 11 of them. What makes the feat even more remarkable is the fact that Harvard has been one of the nation’s most goal-starved teams for much of the season. Killorn currently leads the Crimson in several categories including goals (13), shots (134), and plus/minus (plus-5). He also co-leads the team with five power play markers and three game-winners as well.

After recording 18 points (four goals, 14 assists) in 32 games during his rookie season in 2009-10, D’Agostino will, in all likelihood, top that this year. He currently leads Cornell in defenseman scoring with 17 points (seven goals, ten assists) playing in 27 games to date. One of his most memorable games came back on Nov. 27 against Colgate. In that contest, he posted a goal and an assist to guide the Big Red to the 4-3 victory.

The resurgence of Dartmouth College this season can be partly attributed to their vastly improved defense, led by Stejskal. The Grand Rapids, MN native is a part of the Big Green’s top defensive pairing, logging upwards of 20-25 minutes per game. To date, Stejskal has played in 28 games, posting five points (three goals, two assists). His most memorable game came back on Dec. 31 against Colgate in Dartmouth’s Ledyard Bank Classic tournament Third Place game. In that contest, Stejskal netted the game-winner in overtime to give the Big Green a 4-3 victory. It was also Stejskal’s first goal of the season as well.

Four prospects named semi-finalists for Walter Brown Award

Four of this year’s 15 semi-finalists for the 59th Walter Brown Award are NHL-drafted prospects and all are juniors. They are Boston College RW Cam Atkinson (CBJ), Merrimack College goaltender Joe Cannata (VAN), New Hampshire defenseman Blake Kessel (NYI) and Boston University defenseman David Warsofsky (STL). The award, presented by the Gridiron Club of Greater Boston, is given annually to the top American-born player playing at a New England-based college or university. Kessel and Warsofsky were both finalists for last year’s award, which went to now-former New Hampshire standout Bobby Butler (OTT).

The winner of this year’s award will be announced in March prior to start of the NCAA Tournament.

Nill named as finalist for Hockey Humanitarian Award

Michigan State junior RW Trevor Nill (STL) was one of seven collegians named as a finalist for this year’s Hockey Humanitarian Award. The award is given annually to college hockey’s top citizen.

Nill, the son of Detroit Red Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill, has appeared in 27 games to date for the Spartans, posting only three points (one goal, two assists). Nill has been utilized primarily in a support role on the ice for Michigan State this season. But many of his greatest contributions have occurred off the ice. The Spartans alternate captain is very active in the East Lansing community with numerous programs including "Spartan Buddies", where players regularly visit with patients at Sparrow’s Children Hospital and first started by former Spartan Drew Miller (DET). Nill also sports a 3.4 GPA in Mechanical Engineering as well.

The winner of the 2011 Hockey Humanitarian Award will be announced in April during the Frozen Four in St. Paul, MN.

Peak Performers

No prospect was hotter in February than Maine’s Gustav Nyquist (DET). The junior winger started off the month with a bang, posting his first career hat trick in the Black Bears’ 6-3 win over New Hampshire on Feb. 4th. All of his goals came on the power play. In Maine’s eight games during February, Nyquist posted 14 points (ten goals, four assists). He posted points in seven of the eight games, having been held pointless only in the Feb. 18 game at UMass-Lowell. His outstanding performance earned him the Hockey East Player of the Month honor for February. Nyquist currently leads Maine with 42 points (16 goals, 26 assists) playing in all 32 games to date. His 26 assists also lead the Black Bears.

Another Hockey East prospect that enjoyed an excellent February was Boston College’s Cam Atkinson (CBJ). In the Eagles’ eight games during the month, Atkinson posted 13 points (five goals, eight assists). His most memorable game was back on Feb. 18 when he notched two goals – one on the power play and the other shorthanded and added an assist in Boston College’s wild 7-7 tie with Northeastern. Atkinson currently leads the team with 43 points (24 goals, 19 assists) in all 32 games to date. He leads the team in overall goals, as well as power play goals (7) and shorthanded goals (3).

Equaling Atkinson’s 13-points in February was Denver’s Drew Shore (FLA). The sophomore center posted points in each of the Pioneers’ eight games during the month and finished with seven goals and six assists. His most memorable game came back on Feb. 19 versus Michigan Tech. In that contest, Shore netted the game-winner and added two assists to help guide the Pioneers to a 5-1 win. Shore currently leads Denver with 41 points (21 goals, 20 assists) in all 32 games thus far. His seven power play goals and plus-24 also lead the team.

Colorado College freshman sensation Jaden Schwartz (STL) made a triumphant return to the Tigers lineup on Feb. 18 and simply picked up from where he left off prior to the World Junior Championship. Schwartz appeared in four of Colorado College’s eight games during the month. Since his return, Schwartz has posted points in every game, finishing February with six points (two goals, four assists). His best game of the month came in his first game back on Feb. 18 versus Bemidji State. In that contest, he posted a goal and an assist to help the Tigers to a 5-5 tie. Overall, Schwartz currently ranks third on the team with 32 points (13 goals, 19 assists) playing in 21 games to date.

Having already clinched at least a share of the MacNaughton Cup as the WCHA’s regular season champions heading into the final weekend, North Dakota continues to roll right along. And leading the charge is senior Matt Frattin (TOR). The Edmonton, AB native continued his torrid scoring pace in February. In the Fighting Sioux’s six games during the month, Frattin posted 11 points (six goals, five assists). He posted points in every game and posted multiple points in four of them. Frattin’s most memorable game came on Feb. 18 versus St. Cloud State. In that game, he netted two goals, including the game-tying goal to lift North Dakota to a 3-3 tie. Overall, Frattin leads the Fighting Sioux with 43 points (27 goals, 15 assists) playing in all 35 games to date. His 27 goals lead all collegiate prospects and are tied for second in the nation.

When senior Garrett Roe (LAK) leaves St. Cloud State this spring, he’ll leave with his name firmly etched in the Huskies record books. In late January, he set a new school record for career assists with 105. Since then, Roe has continued to build on that. In St. Cloud State’s eight games during the month, Roe posted 11 points (five goals, six assists). His most memorable game came on Feb. 26 versus Wisconsin. In that contest, Roe netted a pair of power play goals, including the game-winner to lead the Huskies to a 7-3 victory. In the weekend series, he posted four total goals and earned the WCHA’s Player of the Week honor. Overall, Roe ranks second on the team with 34 points (ten goals, 24 assists) playing in all 34 games thus far.