June 21, 2007
2007 NHL Draft: Prospect Previews — Part One

INCH NHL Draft Center
Prospect Preview: Part II

Inside College Hockey's coverage of the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft in Columbus continues with a look at some of the best current collegians and incoming freshmen eligible for Saturday's draft. Rather than focus on this year's big names — consensus first-round picks like Turris, van Riemsdyk, and Petrecki — we opted to highlight players whose draft fortunes aren't as clearly defined.

You know where the various independent scouting services have ranked these prospects. In addition to the Central Scouting Service comments on each prospect, we offer "Scout's Take," Inside College Hockey's exclusive evaluation of the player from one or more NHL scouts. Scouts were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.

Players are listed in order of their final CSS ranking.

6-0 | 180 lbs.
Colorado College
Elburn, Ill.

2006-07 Statistics: 30 GP, 9-17—26

Central Scouting Service Rank: 27th among North American skaters

CSS Says: “A skilled forward with the ability to make plays ... is a great skater and creates a lot of chances with his speed ... is a hard worker and very determined each shift ... has good puck handling skills and good anticipation ... needs to get stronger and needs to improve his ability to fight through checks."

Scout's Take: “Bill Sweatt is a tremendous skater. Now he's got a hand with severed tendons from punching a wall — that's another story. But you're talking about a guy they want to take in the first round, and I don't know how much offense he's got.

"I know he gets offense right now because he beats guys one-on-one because he skates so well. At the World Junior level he was a penalty killer and a checker, which is fine ... but I'd like to get a little bit more than that in the first round."


6-2 | 184 lbs.
Maplewood, Minn.

2006-07 Statistics: 36 GP, 6-6—12

Central Scouting Service Rank: 38th among North American skaters

CSS Says: “A skilled forward ... good on-ice awareness ... handles the puck well ... has a good work ethic and a good wrist shot ... often comes up with the puck in traffic and along the boards ...needs to improve his mobility and speed ... also needs to be more consistent in the face-off circle."

Scout's Take: “He has size and skill, and he plays with an edge, so that has his name mentioned as a possible first-rounder. He turned 18 midway through the season ... I think he went to college too soon and was put in a role at Minnesota that was not a go-to role. He offers enough — whether he goes in the first round has yet to be seen.”


6-1 | 211 lbs.
U.S. National Team Development Program
Notre Dame
Ann Arbor, Mich.

2006-07 Statistics: 49 GP, 4-16—20

Central Scouting Service Rank: 81st among North American skaters

CSS Says: “A stay-at-home defenseman with good hockey
sense ... has good passing ability and likes to make the long stretch pass ... has quick feet and a good shot from the point.”

Scout’s Take: “Earlier in the year, he was ranked really low. But in February and April, he had great tournaments and since then, his stock has risen.

"He’s simplified his game. At times early in the season, he would try to do too much and make mistakes with the puck. He’s gotten comfortable with his game and with the kind of player he’s got to be to be effective, and he played much more consistently during the second half of the season."


5-11 | 195 lbs.
Boston College

Avon, Conn.

2006-07 Statistics: 42 GP, 10-8—18

Central Scouting Service Rank: 133rd among North American skaters

CSS Says: The Central Scouting Service did not provide a report for Smith.

Scout’s Take: “Even though he projects as a late-round selection, but he's got some good qualities. He's skates fairly well — he's quick, not fast — and makes crisp passes. He's not the biggest player, but he plays aggressively and doesn't back down from anyone. He's a smart player, too, with a lot of character, and he works hard every shift."


6-2 | 163 lbs.
U.S. National Team Development Program
Notre Dame

Farmington Hills, Mich.

2006-07 Statistics: 24 GP, 15-5-0-2, 2.33 GAA, .913 sv%

Central Scouting Service Rank: 9th among North American goaltenders.

CSS Says: The Central Scouting Service did not provide a report for Phillips.

Scout’s Take: “He's tall and real skinny. He's going to have to develop physically. He's definitely got ability, but he'll have to be more competitive at the next level. People who rank him higher do so based on his size and his physical attributes, but his competitiveness and intensity will have to improve in order for him to reach his potential.”


6-1 | 175 lbs.
U.S. National Team Development Program
Bowling Green

Toledo, Ohio

2006-07 Statistics: 26 GP, 16-7-1-1, 2.96 GAA, .884 sv%

Central Scouting Service Rank: 15th among North American goaltenders.

CSS Says: The Central Scouting Service did not provide a report for Unice.

Scout’s Take: “Phillips might look better, but Unice is tenacious and a battler. In the last couple years he has developed and pushed himself ahead of [Phillips] and took the starting job at the [IIHF] under-18 championship. He's got a more competitive nature and attitude, and that's a big factor in making it in the long run.”