October 14, 2008

2008 ECAC Hockey Recruiting Final Rankings

Here's BRP's final look at the ECAC's 2008-2009 recruiting classes. For the second year in a row, Harvard claims the magic puck.

2008 ECAC Hockey

1) Harvard - Players, 8; Score, 120; Grade, A+
  • Another deep and talented class. Snagged two from the NTDP.
    Buzz: Ryan Grimshaw is a tough, relentless worker who's going to give opponents fits. Alexander Killorn is the highest drafted player coming into the league and should be in the running for the league's top rookie.
    NHL: Alexander Killorn, #77 (Tampa Bay) in 2007.

    2) Clarkson - Players, 8; Score, 113; Grade, A+
  • Class is full of scary scorers. Had more players selected in this summer's NHL draft than any other team in the league.
    Buzz: Julien Cayer is a talented striker who could make for some long nights in the crease. Mark Borowiecki should be a difference-maker at the blueline.
    NHL: Mark Borowiecki, #139 (Ottawa) in 2008.
    NHL: Julien Cayer, #151 (Detroit) in 2008.
    NHL: Nick Tremblay, #173 (Boston) in 2008.
    NHL: Paul Karpowich, #185 (St. Louis) in 2008.

    3) Dartmouth - Players, 9; Score, 106; Grade, A
  • The Green follow up last year's talented class with another one. 4 defensemen and 2 goalies restock the backend.
    Buzz: Paul Lee is big and skilled...nice combination. Lee was the second-leading goal scorer on Avon's Division 1 Prep champs.
    NHL: Troy Mattila, #190 (New York Islanders) in 2006.

    4) Colgate - Players, 7; Score, 96; Grade, B
  • Colgate's rebuilding effort should be hastened by its solid class.
    Buzz: Austin Smith will be expected to make an immediate impact. Nicholas Prockow was Berkshire's top scorer the past two years and could make as big a splash as Smith.
    NHL: Corbin McPherson, #87 (New Jersey) in 2007.
    NHL: Austin Smith, #128 (Dallas) in 2007.

    5) RPI - Players, 8; Score, 94; Grade, B
  • Another impressive group of forwards are joined by top prospects in goal and on the blueline.
    Buzz: Mike Bergin was referred to as " the surprise of a class deep in forwards" in our midterm rankings -- not much of a surprise anymore.
    NHL: Allen York, #158 (Columbus) in 2007.
    NHL: Mike Bergin, #208 (Dallas) in 2008.

    6) Cornell - Players, 6; Score, 91; Grade, B
  • Only Princeton and Union bring in fewer students than the Big Red. A nice combination of speed and size should keep the Faithful happy.
    Buzz: Keir Ross arrives from Texas, via Omaha, a bit under the radar, and that's just fine. Locke Jillson, another Texan, adds some needed speed.
    NHL: Sean Collins, #187 (Columbus) in 2008.

    7) Yale - Players, 7; Score, 66; Grade, C
  • Did a good job picking up players from the USHL.
    Buzz: Yale's on a roll with bringing in small scoring phenoms. Hmm, Brian O'Neill (5' 9", 165) finished 6th in scoring in the USHL.

    8) Brown - Players, 9; Score, 59; Grade, C-
  • Brings in a a nice group across the board..
    Buzz: Mike Clemente arrives from the USNTDP. Jack MacLellan's a playmaker who finished tied for third in scoring in the Alberta JHL.

    9) Princeton - Players, 4; Score, 53; Grade, D
  • The Tigers could afford to be selective, and they were.
    Buzz: Derrick Pallis was one of the top Prep setup players. He'll have lots of hungry Tigers to feed.

    10) Union - Players, 5; Score, 46; Grade, D-
  • Although they're light in number, they did a nice job in British Columbia.
    Buzz: Brian Yanovitch is a speedy player who doesn't quit and is fun to watch. Nolan Julseth-White should bolster the blueline.

    11) St. Lawrence - Players, 9; Score, 39; Grade, D-
  • Experience will not be an issue in Canton. The Saints bring in 5 '87s and 4 '88s.
    Buzz: Brandon Bollig, Jake Klancher, and Mark Armstrong bring size to the wings.

    12) Quinnipiac - Players, 11 Score, 32; Grade, D-
  • The Bobcats land the league's largest class.
    Buzz: From Spencer Heichman (5' 6", 160) to Mike Glaicar (6' 4", 215), the 'Cats bring in a bit of everything.

  • Note: For background on the rationale used in calculating these grades, take a look at 2007's final rankings.

    2007 ECAC Hockey

    Background: BRP's attempting to take a quasi-objective look at ECAC Hockey's incoming 2007 class. The process is pretty simple. Without going into too much detail, however, Central Scouting's list has been used to weigh the relative depth of various source leagues (junior, prep, and high school) and then players on Chris Heisenberg's list have been awarded bonus points (with the top half of each eligible league's list receiving more points than the lower half). Bonus points are additionally awarded for having been named to Central Scouting's watchlist or for having been drafted; there is also a minor deduction if one is dropped from the final list and has been previously awarded bonus points. Finally, bonus points have been (or will be) awarded for certain league-wide or conference-wide awards (MVP, ROTY, all-star teams, etc) -- though these are the smallest bonuses in use -- and for being named to INCH's top-positional players list. The goal is to calculate an average value per class (represented by each team's score) so that the effect of class size is somewhat mitigated.

    There were some late additions to a couple of classes so the number of players has increased since the post-draft list.

    ECAC Hockey

    1) Harvard - Players, 7; Score, 119; Grade, A+
  • A very talented class across the board. There's a lot to be excited about...if one's a Crimson fan.
    Buzz: Michael Biega (5' 11", 180), 1989-born forward, Salisbury Prep. It was a little surprising that Biega was bypassed during this year's draft.
    NHL: Matt McCollem, #154 (St. Louis) in 2006.

    2) Cornell - Players, 8; Score, 105; Grade A
  • Filled numerous roles with this class. A solid showing in British Columbia.
    Buzz: Riley Nash (6' 1", 175), 1989-born forward, Salmon Arm/BCHL. The top recruit in the ECAC this year.
    NHL: Riley Nash, #21 (Edmonton) in 2007.

    3t) Colgate - Players, 5; Score, 100; Grade, A
  • Class is probably as talented as Harvard's, just fewer of them.
    Buzz: Brian Day (6', 185), 1988-born forward, Governor Dummer Prep. Should make an impact early for the Raiders.
    NHL: Brian Day, #171 (New York Islanders) in 2006.

    3t) Dartmouth - Players, 9; Score, 100; Grade, A
  • Tied with Clarkson and RPI for the largest class. The Green did very, very, very well in Minnesota.
    Buzz: Joe Stejskal (6' 2", 190), 1988-born defenseman, Grand Rapids (MN) HS. One of three outstanding prospects from Minnesota.
    NHL: Joe Stejskal, #133 (Montreal) in 2007.

    5) RPI - Players, 9; Score, 84; Grade, B
  • Joins Clarkson and Dartmouth with the league's biggest class. The good news in Troy is that Seth Appert can recruit. The bad news is that he may be coaching in the WCHA or CCHA before his first class has graduated.
    Buzz: Bryan Brutlag (6' 1", 190), 1989-born defenseman, Holy Angels (MN) Academy. Tied for the most assists in Minnesota prep play this year.

    6t) Clarkson - Players, 9; Score, 82; Grade B
  • Added a couple of players late which gave them the largest class, along with Dartmouth and RPI. Clarkson did very well in Ontario.
    Buzz: Scott Freeman (5' 11", 180), 1988-born forward, Bowmanville/OPJHL. Leading scorer in the OPJHL and divisional MVP.
    NHL: Bryan Rufenach, #208 (Detroit) in 2007.

    6t) Princeton - Players, 7; Score, 82; Grade, B
  • Did a nice job in the USHL. Also landed a pair of defensemen from one of Alberta's top teams, Fort Saskatchewan.
    Buzz: Cam Ritchie (6', 190), 1987-born defenseman, Fort Saskatchewan/AJHL. Averaged nearly a point per game for the high-scoring Traders.

    8) Quinnipiac - Players, 6; Score, 67; Grade, C
  • Added a solid prep prospect late -- Sean Coughlin.
    Buzz: Zack Hansen (5' 10", 165), 1987-born defenseman, Sioux Falls/USHL. Was the first Minnesota high schooler selected in last summer's USHL draft. Small, but showed offensive potential in his rookie year.
    NHL: Pat McGann, #222 (Dallas) in 2005.

    9) Union - Players, 8; Score, 64; Grade, C
  • The league's oldest class should provide immediate help. Union also snagged ECAC Hockey's top incoming goalie.
    Buzz: Cory Milan (5' 10", 160), 1986-born goalie, Penticton/BCHL. Named the BCHL's top goalie.

    10) Yale - Players, 8; Score, 56; Grade, C-
  • This group will probably be more successful than any goofy ranking system could predict.
    Buzz: Broc Little (5' 9", 160), 1988-born forward, Cushing Prep. Runner-up for USHR Prep forward of the year.

    11) St. Lawrence - Players, 5; Score, 32; Grade, D-
  • The league's smallest class.
    Buzz: Nick Pitsikoulis (5' 9", 175), 1988-born forward, Westminster Prep. Has the potential to be a solid playmaker for the Saints.

    12) Brown - Players, 5; Score, 30; Grade, D-
  • 5 players from 4 different areas, only double-dipping in British Columbia.
    Buzz: David Brownschidle (6', 173), 1989-born forward, Tri-City/USHL. Solid, hard-working player whose contribution transcends the scoresheet.
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