39 GP, 16-27—43
How good is Maine forward Teddy Purcell?
Let Black Bears centerman Michel Léveillé
and forward Josh Soares, no slouches in their own
"He's a terrific player,"
Léveillé told the Boston Globe
earlier this month. "He's got great speed, great
hands, and sees the ice really well."
"He doesn’t seem like a rookie
at all out there,” said Soares, who spent a
good chunk of the season on a line with Purcell and
Léveillé. “He knows where to go
with the puck and he always seems to be in the right
Purcell's rapid ascension has allowed
Maine coach Tim Whitehead to pluck him from the right
wing on the Léveillé-Soares unit and
use him to anchor a second, capable scoring line along
with junior left wing Billy Ryan and senior pivot
Mike Hamilton. In four games together, the trio has
combined for five goals and seven assists.
As skilled as Purcell is, his most admirable
trait may be his reliability, as one might expect
from a native of Newfoundland, a.k.a. "The Rock."
Purcell has been held scoreless in consecutive games
on just three occasions this season — one three-game
stretch and a pair of back-to-back blankings. He started
the year with at least one point in 18 of Maine's
first 20 games, a run that included one point streak
of seven games and another of 10 games.
Even as an older freshman (Purcell turns
21 in September) he's just scratched the surface with
regard to his potential. The willowy Purcell carried
just 177 pounds on his 6-foot-3 frame this season,
and could easily add another 25 pounds without losing
a step. If — or more precisely, when —
that happens, Léveillé and Soares might
have to return to Orono to revamp their scouting reports.
Runner-up: Andreas Nodl, St. Cloud