June 16, 2004
2004 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Inside College Hockey will profile some of the best NHL Draft-eligible college players between now and when their names will be called, June 26-27 in Raleigh, N.C. Check back often to get the scoop on where you can expect your favorite players to go on draft day.

6-2 | 200
North Dakota

2003-04 Statistics: 36 GP, 11-21—32

Central Scouting: 7th among North American skaters
The Hockey News: 9th

Background: The "other" heralded freshman at North Dakota, along with 2003 L.A. Kings pick Brady Murray, Stafford finished fifth on the Sioux in scoring with nearly a point per game. Was a member of the gold medal winning U.S. National Junior Team.

Scout's Take: “I don’t know if he always got as much ice time as he would have liked at North Dakota; it’s tough at a program like that when you come in as a freshman and there are so many good players ahead of you. But the funny thing was, when they needed offense, they always seemed to put him out there. Same thing on the World Junior team – he was a third- or fourth-liner, but when they needed a goal or had a key power play, they used him.

“He’s a smart player with pretty good hands, and good offensive instincts.

“A lot of people look at him as a safe pick. He’s big, he can skate, and plays hard. The question is whether he’s really a scorer or not. If not, he’s just a big, powerful winger – and that’s still good.”

INCH Projection: A top 15 pick for sure, Stafford should contend with Al Montoya and A.J. Thelen to be the first collegiate player taken in Raleigh.

"Scout's Take" is Inside College Hockey's exclusive evaluation of the player from one or more NHL scouts. Scouts were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.

Archives: Dartmouth's Grant Lewis | Maine's Mike Lundin | Michigan's Al Montoya

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