NHL Draft Notebook
Top prospects van Riemsdyk and Turris
sticking with college plan
By Joe Gladziszewski
and Mike Eidelbes
|He wore Phoenix colors Friday,
but come fall, forward Kyle Turris will wear the red
and white of the Wisconsin Badgers. (Larry Radloff photo)
COLUMBUS, Ohio – It's good for college
hockey when the second and third overall selections at the
NHL Entry Draft are college-bound, but only if those players
follow through with their commitments.
Fortunately for New Hampshire, Wisconsin,
and college hockey in general James van Riemsdyk and Kyle
Turris will honor their commitment to play college hockey
van Riemsdyk, a New Jersey native, was selected
by the Philadelphia Flyers with the second overall pick.
Turris, from British Columbia, went to the Phoenix Coyotes
with the third overall pick.
Both players made certain statements that
they will play in the NCAA and are excited about the upcoming
opportunities, and confident that they will be well-served
by playing college hockey.
"I felt that UNH had the best offering
overall from the coaching staff to the atmosphere at the
rink, and the guys on the team seemed like a great group
of guys," van Riemsdyk said.
Turris, who was rated as the top North American
skater by the NHL's Central Scouting Service, is eagerly
anticipating his time at Wisconsin.
"Mike Eaves and Mark Osiecki and Kevin
Patrick are great coaches," Turris said. "There
is a very professional atmosphere and they make sure they
get the best out of their players. I think they're really
going to prepare me well."
College hockey has proven itself as an excellent
place for prospects to develop, and the Flyers and Coyotes
confidently endorsed that fact by taking future collegians
with their prominent draft picks.
van Riemsdyk and Turris may not play college
hockey for four years, but will play this upcoming season.
It's good for college hockey, and good for these marquee
SEEN AND HEARD AT NATIONWIDE ARENA
• Riley Nash will
be a freshman at Cornell in the fall and embraces the opportunity
to walk into a program where excellence is demanded. He
was selected 21st overall by the Edmonton Oilers. The Big
Red set their sights on championships every year. Nash is
excited about the challenge.
"I think that's a good thing, having
to go out there and perform every night is something I look
forward to and having the pressure put on me, I really don't
mind that at all. I think it'll make me get better and better
each practice and each game. Hopefully we can bring a championship
back there," Nash said.
• NHL team colors were prevalent as
each of the first-round picks wore sweaters of the teams
they were selected by. Max Pacioretty (Michigan) and Patrick
White (Minnesota) also represented their future colleges
with neckwear, as Pacioretty donned a maize and blue tie,
while White sported a maroon and gold tie.
• Patrick Kane, who entertained offers
from several colleges before ultimately joining the Ontario
Hockey League's London Knights, and James van Riemsdyk made
history Friday by becoming the first two Americans to go
1-2 in the draft. Kane hails from Buffalo, while van Riemsdyk
calls Brick, N.J. – the hometown of former Lake Superior
State standout and longtime NHLer Jim Dowd – home.
• According to the official first-round
summary the NHL handed out to the media upon completion
of the first 30 picks, U.S. NTDP defenseman Ian Cole, who'll
be a freshman at Notre Dame this fall, hails from Ann Arbour,
Mich. Isn't Ann Arbour the sister of former New York Islander
• Vancouver general manager Dave Nonis
said he wasn't tipped off about the abilities of future
Minnesota Gopher Pat White by former 13-lined ground squirrel
Trent Klatt. Apparently, the White family and the Klatt
clan are acquainted. Klatt, an Osseo, Minn., native who
retired from the NHL following the lockout, enjoyed some
of his best years in the league with the Canucks.
• Speaking of White, it wasn't his choice
that he was announced as having played for Tri-City of the
United States Hockey League. White did play for the Storm
— a dozen games. He spent the bulk of the year playing
high school hockey for Grand Rapids (Minn.).
“That’s kind of a tough thing,"
White said. "I’d like to have Grand Rapids get
credit. If anyone’s reading this, I’d like to
get a lot of credit to everyone back there. It’s really
fun to have all those people back there supporting me.”
• Boston University-bound
Kevin Shattenkirk of Greenwich, Conn., was drafted by the
Colorado Avalanche with the 14th overall pick. The defenseman
will have the opportunity to make an impact on the Terriers
right away, since three of their regular defensemen last
season graduated. The coaching staff and city drew Shattenkirk
to Boston University.
"I love the coaches there. I worked with
David Quinn in the recruiting process and he was just a
great guy and has a lot of knowledge of the game. Obviously
coach (Jack) Parker is a famous coach and you can't really
go wrong there. I love the city of Boston and felt in the
end that it was the best fit," Shattenkirk said.
• van Riemsdyk, a native of Middletown,
N.J., will eventually play for the Flyers and have plenty
of support in the area. Many of his childhood and high school
friends who were in attendance are headed to St. Joseph's
University and Villanova.
• Several trades were made during the
first round of the draft, and many of them involved trading
picks that were previously acquired from other teams. It
made for some humorous language in the transaction sheet.
An example: Washington traded Buffalo's pick to San Jose
for Carolina's pick.
• Defenseman Ryan McDonagh, a future
Wisconsin Badger, told reporters that he emulated former
Wisconsin defenseman Chris Chelios and admired his leadership
qualities and the respect that he commands from opponents.