During the course of a season, you'll hear hockey
coaches talk about the importance of winning one-on-one battles.
But it's ultimately a team game, which is why we cap our Recruting
Rankings with a look at the top incoming classes from coast
to coast. Rather than comment on the classes as the whole,
however, we use this opportunity to introduce you to a player
who may emerge as a key cog for his new team.
Inside College Hockey compiled its 2006 Recruiting
Rankings with extensive input from college and junior coaches,
as well as professional scouts. Participants were asked to
evaluate recruits based on their projected impact at the college
level, not on their professional hockey prospects.
We previously released our exclusive rankings
of incoming freshmen at each position.
an eye on: Six of the nine Gopher freshmen appeared
in our individual rankings. Two others – forwards
Tony Lucia (the coach’s son) and Jim O’Brien
– were also mentioned by at least one participant
in our survey.
an eye on: Forward Luke Popko comes to the Terriers
with high praise from his former coach. “If
I were ever to leave here to start a college program,”
said the U.S. NTPD’s John Hynes, “he’d
be the guy I start with.”
an eye on: Mike Davies, a 5-foot-8, 165-pound forward,
scored 71 points for the USHL’s Lincoln Stars
last season, tied for the third-best total in the
an eye on: Forward Matt Glasser scored 49 points in
62 games for the AJHL’s Fort McMurray Oil Barons
two years ago. His production fell off to just 35
points in 58 contests last year.
an eye on: Forward Addison Deboer broke the Spring
Lake Park (Minn.) H.S. career and single-season scoring
marks previously held by former Minnesota State standout
an eye on: Familiar names in this year’s Fighting
Sioux recruiting class include defenseman Chay Genoway
(brother of former UND letterwinner Colby) and forward
Darcy Zajac (younger sibling of New Jersey prospect
an eye on: Forward Ryan Lasch was named Central Ontario
Junior Hockey League MVP last season after scoring
146 points in 56 games for the Pembroke Lumber Kings.
an eye on: Colin Greening made our list of top 20
forwards. Three others – Blake Gallagher, Justin
Milo and Tony Romano – were on the cusp.
an eye on: Two River Hawk defensemen made our top
20 (Nick Schaus and Barry Goers), but a third –
Jeremy Dehner –
have just as much of an impact, at least this year.
an eye on: Defenseman Ryan Turek gave a verbal commitment
to the Spartans more than three years ago. Some feel
his development has stagnated, but the St. Louis Blues
liked him enough to take him with the 94th pick in
last summers NHL Draft.
an eye on: The Buckeyes welcome three of the Central
Ontario Junior Hockey League’s finest –
goalie Nick Filion was the circuit’s 2006 rookie
of the year and wing Mathieu Picard scored 84 points
in 49 games.
an eye on: There are just four freshmen on this year’s
roster. Ben Smith and Carl Sneep are the headliners,
but forward Matt Price had 51 points in 47 games for
the Milton Icehawks.
an eye on: Forward Kevin Deeth earned a spot on the
USHL all-rookie team by scoring 54 points in 59 games
for the Green Bay Gamblers.
an eye on: In two seasons with Battlefords of the
Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, defenseman Derek
Keller scored 90 points in 108 games. He was named
to the league’s all-rookie squad in 2005. Forward
Mike McKenzie also drew praise.
an eye on: At 6-foot-2, 205 pounds, winger Brian Lebler
has the size and skill to be a big-time goal scorer for
the Wolverines, but scouts question his work ethic and