USHL 2004 Prospects: Green Bay

By Brad Deuster

The Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL have five players ranked by Central Scouting for the 2004 draft, among seven eligible. The league as a whole has 27 players ranked by CSS this year.

Victor Oreskovich from Oakville, Ontario is a 6’2, 216-pound forward, ranked 72nd by NHL Central Scouting. Oreskovich, a 17-year-old forward with good size, showed his potential with the team during the 2003-04 campaign. He was third on the team in points, shows good hands and is very good with the puck. At 17, he will continue to grow and if he uses that size to his advantage by crashing the net, more goals will come his way. Oreskovich is a good passer and never takes a shift off. As far as his weaknesses go, he needs to improve his skating speed. He will be following Gambler alum and fellow 2004 draft prospect, Wes O’Neill to Notre Dame. With some continued hard work, Oreskovich should make some NHL team quite happy. Last year, he had 11 goals, 26 assists for 37 points, 33 PIMs, and was +3 in 58 games.

Kyle Klubertanz is an 18-year-old defenseman that plays with a lot of spunk and does not back down from any confrontation. He led the team in plus/minus this season as he plays well at both ends of the ice. His plus/minus improved greatly over last year, by 32. This past season, he had 6 goals, 21 assists for 27 points, 124 PIMs and was +10 in 57 games. Klubertanz, ranked 98th by Central Scouting, will move on to the University Wisconsin when his days in the USHL are done.

Nate Dey, a 19-year-old forward with a deft scoring touch, averaged a goal in every third game in 2003-04. Checking in at 6’1”, 190 pounds, Dey has excellent hands and offensive awareness, but needs to work on foot speed to capitalize on this more. In 2003, Dey tallied 20 goals, 16 assists for 36 points, 26 PIMs and was +4 in 60 games. Nate Dey is ranked 115th on the Central Scouting final list. Dey has committed to play college hockey at St. Cloud State University.

Sean Garrity, an 18-year-old who isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty, had a fine debut with the Gamblers. The 6’0, 200-pound center from North Saint Paul, Minnesota finds himself ranked 122nd on the final CSS list. Garrity is comparable to Sami Kapanen, as he isn’t taller than others but is strong with the puck. He put up decent numbers in his debut year with the Gamblers with 11 goals, 18 assists for 29 points, 86 PIMs and was +5 in 48 games. Along with Dey, Garrity will attend St. Cloud State.

Matt Jones is an 18-year-old right-winger with an outside chance of being drafted. Hailing from Kentwood, Michigan, he needs to be more aggressive and shoot the puck more. Jones has the work ethic to work his way through a team’s system and improve. He had 7 goals, 5 assists for 12 points, 32 PIMs and was –7 in 45 games. Jones is ranked 213th by Central Scouting.

Jeff Hazelwood showed promise in his debut with the Gamblers. A shorter than average forward at 5’11, 168 pounds, Hazelwood took awhile to get adjusted to the new level. When he did, he seemed at home and helped improve the play of his linemates, supplying a steady scoring touch around the net. Like most players 18 years of age, Hazelwood needs to work on his skate speed. He has good hands and rarely makes a mistake on the ice. In 2003-04, he had 13 goals, 19 assists for 32 points, 40 PIMs and was –3 in 59 games. Hazelwood was ranked 159th at the midterm Central Scouting rankings but was unranked in the final.

Returning next year as captain of the Gamblers, Luke Beaverson is a 19-year-old with good size. He led the team in penalty minutes as a rugged defenseman. Beaverson has the body and size and is not afraid to hit anyone. In 2002-3 Beaverson scored 2 goals, 3 assists for 5 points, 69 PIMs and was –17 in 44 games. This past year, he had 1 goal, 6 assists for 7 points, 141 PIMs and was –8 in 57 games. Beaverson was ranked 191st by Central Scouting at the midterms but was unranked in the final. He will eventually be skating for the Fighting Sioux of North Dakota. Beaverson is a sleeper pick if he can utilize his size and play with consistency.