September 16, 2004
Recruiting Trail: Top Classes

Inside College Hockey compiled our 2004 Recruiting Rankings with extensive input from college and junior coaches, as well as professional scouts. Other ratings:

Top 20 Forwards
Top 15 Defensemen & Top 10 Goalies

Top Players by Origin
All-Name Team

Stay tuned in the coming days for our exclusive ranking of the top players by junior league or geographical area, as well as our annual all-name team.





North Dakota

It’s not an exceptionally large class, just exceptionally talented. The Sioux bring in five players, and more than one coach said “they went five-for-five.”
Impact players: Travis Zajac, Rastlislav Spirko, Kyle Radke, Philippe Lamoreaux, Rylan Kaip


Boston College

If anybody’s going to be gun-shy about bringing in a 17-year-old freshman, it would be the Eagles after the Adam Pineault experience, but they have a gifted offensive talent in Dan Bertram. Bringing in undisputed No. 1 goaltending recruit Cory Schneider this season boosts this class.
Impact players: Cory Schneider, Dan Bertram, Mike Brennan, Todd Perry, Brian O’Hanley



They should rename the mascot Gol-D Gopher, what with impact blueliners Alex Goligoski, Nate Hagemo and Derek Peltier now in the fold. But forwards Chucko and Howe aren't bad either. Maybe Goal-D Gopher?
Impact players: Alex Goligoski, Nate Hagemo, Kris Chucko, Mike Howe, Derek Peltier


Boston University

Coaches love that Chris Bourque has no holes in his game, and regardless of his name, he never takes a shift off. He’s got a solid supporting cast as well.
Impact players: Chris Bourque, Dan McGoff, Peter MacArthur, Boomer Ewing, Karson Gillespie


Michigan State

Adding Bryan Lerg at the 11th hour gave this class a big lift. But they’re solid throughout, with several players – most notably Peder Skinner – who just missed being listed on INCH’s positional rankings.
Impact players: Bryan Lerg, Peder Skinner, Jim McKenzie, Jeff Dunne, Dan Vukovic



Curiously, coaches said several Badger recruits weren’t as good last year as they had been in the past. This class could be even better if they recapture some magic in Madison … or use the previous sentence as motivation.
Impact players: Kyle Klubertanz, Joe Pavelski, Matt Auffrey, Matt Ford


New Hampshire

We said last year that the Wildcats had a “typical UNH class” – talented players, but no superstars. These guys, again, will fit right in.
Impact players: Craig Switzer, Matt Fornataro, Kevin Regan, Brad Flaishans, Mike Radja



Detractors say forward Paul Stasny is one-dimensional. After scoring 77 points in 56 games in the USHL last season, we say that's one hell of a dimension.
Impact players: Paul Stastny, Peter Mannino, Geoff Paukovich



In NHL circles, Shawn Weller is the guy Ottawa traded Radek Bonk to draft. In Potsdam, he'll headline a talented trio of freshman forwards that also features Nick Dodge and Steve Zalewski.
Impact players: Shawn Weller, Nick Dodge, Steve Zalewski, Grant Clitsome



Wanna bet some of the Black Bears’ less-heralded recruits turn into stars? Even now, opposing coaches are impressed with this group. Alfond fans will love Rob Bellamy’s hit-anything-that-moves style.
Impact players: Bret Tyler, Billy Ryan, Rob Bellamy


Ohio State

Don't let the size of their recruiting class fool you: even though the Buckeyes have 11 freshmen, the quantity contains plenty of quality led by forward Tom Fritsche and defenseman Johann Kroll.
Impact players: Tom Fritsche, Johann Kroll, Kyle Hood



Talk about range: the Big Green's top recruits come from Alberta, the BCHL, and the Minnesota High School league.
Impact players: Nick Johnson, J.T. Wyman, David Jones



There’s no room for error when you only have two scholarships to give, and the Wolverines got two good ones. There’s even more on the way in a very special class arriving next fall.
Impact players: Kevin Porter, Chad Kolarik


Bowling Green

Our panelists raved about freshman forward Jonathan Matsumoto and defenseman Michael Hodgson. Add this class to last year's group spearheaded by Jonathan Sigalet and James Unger, and the Falcons have the look of a program on the rise.
Impact players: Jonathan Matsumoto, Michael Hodgson



With classes like last year – which featured Matt Christie, Marty Guerin and Brandon Crawford-West – and this group, the RedHawks are almost dispelling the theory that Oxford's best talent is its coed population. Almost.
Impact players: Nathan Davis, Nino Musitelli, Mitch Ganzak

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