Monday, November 26, 2007

ECAC Class of 2008 Rankings (so far)

Stealing a thread title from my peer over at Big Red Puckhead, I thought I would take a shot at ranking the various Classes of 2008 as they now stand. I considered the following criteria in my rankings - Size of Class, # of Impact players, NHL Draft Picks, NHL Pre-Draft Ratings, Chris Heisenberg's rankings, and finally, who else was competing for the player (ie if Minnesota was going after someone vs Holy Cross). The rankings follow:

1) Harvard (6 Players, 3 Impact, 3 NHL Bs)

This may seem like the ultimate homer pick, but in all honesty, this was not that close. Harvard has all the pickings of what looks to be a truly elite class - a 3rd round draft pick (Killorn - who should be ECAC Rookie of the Year), a shut-down goalie (Hoyle), a highly touted defenseman (Grimshaw). Mix in guys like Kroshus (seems to be having a down year), Colin Moore (NHL "B" rating), and a guy like Sam Bozoian (lighting up the NAHL) and you have to wonder if this is circa 1980s for Harvard.

2) RPI (7 Players, 2 Impact, 1 NHL B, 1 NHL C)

If nothing else, this class tells you that Seth Appert has arrived. Last year, he was able to deliver Polacek and Brutlag from Minnesota, but had to do so by bringing them early, perhaps somewhat prematurely. However, this class just about guarantees that RPI is on the upswing. Allen York out of Camrose is the biggest get, but Bergin and Morissette should make some noise as well. I am not sold on Cullen yet as he is showing some growing pains in the USHL.

Fairly Significant Drop

3) Yale (8 Players, 1 Impact, 1 NHL B)

Yale has the biggest class which is the cornerstone of this ranking. The class is highlighted by Nick Maricic (Goalie at the USNDT) and Coach Allain's own goaltending background seems to be paying healthy dividends. Not sure if Mike Richter is helping out as well, and if so, what goalie wouldn't sign up for that? No other big-time wins, but Yale is bringing in a lot of folks from the USHL who are older (1988s).

4) Cornell (7 Players, 1 Impact, 1 NHL C)

Cornell's biggest win is goalie Mike Garman out of the BCHL who should be able to compete for a starting spot right away (He is old - 1987). However, expectations have to be somewhat tempered after a disappointing season thus far for Garman. Other than Garman, Keir Ross seems ready to become another physical and solid, stay-at-home Big Red defenseman. Chris Moulson could be a sleeper, but Cornellians should not expect Chris to play at the same level as his brother, Matt. The rest of the class seems to be a lot of role players. I'd like to see Cornell bring some more skill and defenseman who can move the puck as more and more teams (BU at MSG) are going to exploit this weakness.

5) Dartmouth (4 Players, 1 Impact, 1 NHL C)

Not a great class for Dartmouth, but folks in Hanover should be very excited about Troy Matilla. Paul Lee also appears to have significant upside, but other than these two, a very ordinary class for the Big Green.

6) Quinnipiac (5 Players, 1 Impact, 1 NHL C)

Quinnipiac landed two solid recruiting class in both 2006 and 2007. This class does not appear to be in the same league as those prior. David Arudin and Joey Manley are two guys out of the BCHL who can put the puck in the net.

7) Clarkson (5 Players, 1 Impact)

To be truthful, Clarkson's class is somewhat of an enigma. There isn't a lot of information out there on the incomers, but 4 new Ontario bodies coupled with a 6'4'' forward who is "still filling out" has me thinking that this class could be higher. Louke Oakley looks to be a very good playmaker.

8) Brown (6 Players, 1 Impact)

Kevin Koopman (already drafted) looks to be a very solid and physical stay-at-home defenseman for the Bears. Unfortunately, Brown's scoring issues were not addressed by this class. A lot of 3rd and 4th line guys.

9) Colgate (2 Players, 1 Impact)

It's hard to put a class of this few players ahead of others with considerably more depth, but like last year, Colgate's focused efforts appear to be paying of. I think Austin Smith should be the 2nd best incoming forward after Alex Killorn. He is fast with great skills and a nose for the net. The other player is Prockow who should be an above average player for Colgate.

10) St. Lawrence (2 Players, 1 Impact)

A surprisingly sparse class for SLU who in my opinion, should have leveraged last year's success a little better on the recruiting front. The highlight here of course is Augie DiMarzo. He was Union's 2nd leading scorer as a freshman and there is no question he can and will produce. Character issues aside, he should step in and have an immediate impact up in Canton.

11) Princeton (4 Players)

This is a down year for Princeton as no one jumps out of you. Brodie Zuk has put up some stats in the BCHL, but he is a 1987, and I wonder if he is exploiting the age discrepancy. Princeton seems to have taken a step back in this year's recruiting.

12) Union (4 Players)

Recruiting like this make you realize the tough position that Union is in. It doesn't have the academic pedigree of an Ivy, it can't give scholarships like RPI, and it doesn't have the hockey pedigree as a Clarkson. It is the ultimate "tweener" school. This class isn't going to get Union out of the ECAC doormat.

This is clearly a work in progress. Should anyone have any additional insights, questions, etc, please email me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Welcome Marshall!!

Marshall Everson, a junior center / wing out of Edina High School in Minnesota, has committed to Harvard for 2009. This represents Harvard's 2nd player to verbal for the Class of 2009 in less than a week.

Everson is described as a good-sized power forward -- a left shot wing -- with good speed and acceleration for his size. He's a smart player, with good hockey sense. In the Fall Elite League, he posted a 9-11-20 line in 11 games

There does not appear the be a ton of additional information on Marshall, but he is rated as a "B" player by Central Scouting. He is known to be a good skater and a very hard worker.

It's good to see Harvard rejuvenate the Minnesota pipeline.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Central Scouting Players to Watch - 10/31/07

As we know, NHL potential does not always translate into college success. The ratings translate accordingly:
A - 1st or 2nd Round Pick
B - 3rd - 5th Round Pick
C - Later Round Pick

The following Harvard recruits, potential recruits, and recruits we lost out on were rated as follows:
Joe Colborne - A - Denver
Matt Hoyle - B
Mark Goggin - B - Dartmouth
George Hughes - C
Derrick Pallas - B
Tyler Barnes - A - Wisconsin
Ryan Grimshaw - B
Colin Moore - B
Joe Marciano - C - Colorado College
Mike Biega - Limited Viewing
Marshall Everson - B

A couple of points:
1) Chris Heisenberg ratings do not necessarily see eye to eye with these ratings. Plenty of folks who received B or C ratings are relatively low on Heisenberg's list.
2) "A" recruits seem very hard to come by for Harvard. Harvard has gone after a few and lost them to some WCHA heavyweights. Harvard is probably best served by pursuing upper-echelon B players like the Ryan Grimshaws of the world (who everyone was after anyway).


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Marciano Chooses CC over Harvard

USNDT defenseman, Joe Marciano, who happened to be the last player on the USNDT yet to commit, chose CC over Harvard. Before the USNDT, Marciano played at Shattuck St. Mary's and had 8 goals and 15 assists in 45 games.

It seems that Joe was waiting on an additional ACT score to meet Harvard's academic hurdle, but decided CC was the right fit.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Welcome Dan Ford

It looks like Dan Ford, a LD out of the EJHL's Syracuse Stars is set to join the Crimson in 2009. Interestingly enough, both Morin brothers formerly played at Syracuse.

Dan is listed as 6' 180lbs. He was drafted in the 5th round of the USHL Futures Draft in October by Sioux City.

Ford selected Harvard over Clarkson, Yale, and UNH

Monday, November 12, 2007

Harvard's Class of 2008

Thus far, Harvard's Class of 2008 (on paper) looks to be one of the strongest in recent years. In fact, one could argue that it rivals the Class of 2001 (Welch, Lannon, Cavanagh, Dov, etc) and has many of the same components. Thus far, the class consists of the following:

Matt Hoyle - Goalie - Indiana Ice
Ryan Grimshaw - Defenseman - USNDT
Colin Moore - Wing - USNDT
Eric Kroshus - Wing - Camrose Kodiaks
Sam Bozoian - Wing - St. Louis Bandits (returning as a sophmore)
Alex Killorn - Center - Deerfield Academy

Given the losses of Graduation to a very deep Class of 2005, Harvard would appear to have the following at the start of the 2008-2009 season:

Forwards - 14 (Seems light)
Defenseman - 7 (Seems light)
Goalies - 5 (Seems high)

My guess is that Harvard will be looking to bring in at least one more defenseman and one more forward for the Class of 2008.