USHL Prospects for 2011 Draft

Discussion in 'Hockey Talk' started by Kevin Wey, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. Kevin Wey

    Kevin Wey Pee Wee

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    I have a few reports still in the cue that haven't been posted online yet, but I figured some of you die-hard prospects fans would want final reports for the season on the guys who have a chance of going in the draft today. So, I'm copying and pasting in the profiles on the prospects of note from Indiana (Sean Kuraly, Blake Coleman, etc.), Green Bay (Andy Welinski, among others), Cedar Rapids (Josiah Didier, among others), Dubuque (John Gaudreau, Joakim Ryan and their goaltenders), and Sioux Falls (headlined by Kyle Rau), as well as Brad Schierhorn for Tri-City.

    You'll still want to take a look at these when they come out, because they'll have notes on guys eligible for the 2012 Draft, the 2013 Draft, or even the 2014 Draft in Anthony DeAngelo's case (those of you in OHL country, enjoy!)

    Indiana
    Sean Kuraly (2011), LW, Indiana
    Played a third-line checking role most nights, but his offensive contribution increased toward the end of the season .. has decent cruising speed with the puck .. reasonably powerful stride, although he has some forward hunch at times ..able to make smooth turns and get down reasonably low .. decent quickness without the puck, and combines that with a good level of hustle .. only has adequate acceleration with the puck, which hurts his separation .. appears to lack lateral quickness with the puck, as he is unable to explode from packs and gets shots off quickly or make plays quickly .. stickhandles with his head down at times .. needs to improve his stickhandling, as his success rate dragging the puck around opponents isn’t where it needs to be .. can be pressured into giveaways and making plays without looking, resulting in turnovers .. makes hard, crisp passes .. did a better job of putting himself in a position to score as the season went on, but didn’t start finishing with much regularity until the end of the season .. had a 15-game goalless streak Nov. 15 through Dec. 18 .. had a 17-game goalless streak Jan. 21 through March 25 .. puts in a good defensive effort .. hustles on the forecheck and the backcheck .. finishes his checks and has decent size at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, but he wasn’t a heavy hitter .. does a good job of clogging passing lanes, tipping passes, and intercepting passes .. a regular on the first penalty killing unit .. saw sporadic time on the power play .. finished the season with 8 goals and 21 assists in 51 games .. scored 4 goals and 6 assists in his final 11 games of the season .. scored 1 goal and 1 assist in 5 playoff games .. played for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last August .. committed to Miami-Ohio (2012-13) .. difficult to consider Kuraly an early mid-round pick with some of the holes in his offensive game that he displayed most of the season and seems more worthy of late mid-round consideration or early late-round consideration.

    Brian Ferlin (2011), RW, Indiana
    Didn’t lead Indiana in scoring, but was consistently Indiana’s most impressive offensive force .. able to build impressive speed with the puck despite some skating flaws .. hunches over when skating .. gets a bit upright under acceleration .. displayed some explosiveness with his speed bursts .. has power forward size at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, and displayed the ability to drive the net nearly at will .. able to protect the puck for long periods of time along the boards with switchbacks and then can explode off the boards or out of the corners and toward the net .. guilty of overhandling the puck, as he stickhandles in front of himself too much .. despite his overstickhandling, still has good speed with the puck .. comfortable carrying and shielding the puck on his backhand .. makes hard, crisp passes, although he tends to carry the puck more than he passes it (despite his assist totals this season) .. played with more physicality as the season went on .. still not an aggressive checker, but capable of making some big hits and will engage physically .. played on Indiana’s first line and first power play unit .. power forward who created a lot of offensive opportunities with is ability to drive the net and to protect the puck .. finished the season third in USHL scoring with 25 goals and 48 assists in 55 games .. finished sixth in USHL goal scoring and second in power play goals with 12, as well as second in assists .. scored 1 goal and 4 assists in 5 playoff games .. named a Mid-Season All-Star by the USHL .. committed to Cornell (2011-12) .. worthy of strong consideration in the late rounds of the 2011 Draft?his second year of eligibility.

    Blake Coleman (2011), C, Indiana
    Put up numbers the USHL hasn’t seen in a while, and rarely made it look pretty .. has decent speed with the puck, but not breakaway speed .. drops his chest when skating and under acceleration .. could use a little more power in his strides and to extend his stride out more .. makes crisp, accurate passes .. has a decent wristshot .. has a decent slapper and one-timer, too, but none of his shots are overpowering .. doesn’t have the skating and release to get shots off quickly in tight quarters .. stickhandling improved quite a bit over his two seasons in the USHL .. became more confident with the puck and can now make some nice toe drags .. much of his offense came through effort and utilizing his more-talented linemates (Brian Ferlin and Daniil Tarasov) .. does a good job of driving the net off the boards and out of the corners .. seems omnipresent around the net and is willing to battle to establish position to put home loose pucks off of rebounds .. hustles to the net after making passes .. able to create chaos in front of the opponent’s net .. didn’t play with the level of physicality he played with last season as a checking-line forward, but is still very capable of making hard, hard hits .. able to make hard open-ice hits and crushing hits along the boards .. finishes his checks on the forecheck .. very sturdy at 5-foot-11, 200 pounds .. proved during the first half of the 2009-10 season that he’s a good fighter .. led the USHL in scoring with 34 goals and 58 assists in 59 games .. first player to surpass 90 points in a USHL season since Thomas Vanek in 2001-02 .. named the USHL Forward of the Year and Player of the Year .. named to the All-USHL First Team .. named a Mid-Season All-Star .. named the USA Hockey Junior Player of the Year .. led the USHL in plus/minus at +52 .. committed to Miami (2011-12) .. will need to improve his skating to be an offensive force at higher levels long term, but has more than proven he can be a checking-line forward who can chip in offensively at higher levels .. worthy of strong consideration in the late rounds of the 2011 Draft in his second year of eligibility .. long-term future is likely as a left wing, although a physical fourth-line NHL center could be possible.

    Daniil Tarasov (2011), LW, Indiana
    Russian was cut by the Waterloo Black Hawks after a two-game stint in 2009-10, but he had a breakout season in 2010-11 with Indiana .. has decent speed with the puck, but not enough to be a real threat to drive wide .. drops his chest a bit when skating .. could afford to bring his stride out more and not just back so much .. does display some explosiveness with the puck in tight spaces .. primary talents are his stick skills and offensive awareness .. a heads-up stickhandler who can assess his options .. a playmaker off the half boards who makes smooth, crisp, accurate passes .. has good peripheral vision to spot teammates and then connect on a pass .. very calm and poised with the puck and looks in control .. able to look pass and fire a shot or look shot and make a nice pass .. has a hard, crisp wristshot with a quick release .. snapshot is, similarly, hard and crisp and features a quick release .. also adept at firing hard, crisp slapshots in stride .. compete level improved a lot .. looked lazy early in the season, but was very involved offensively most of the season .. was a perimeter player in the pre-season, but not so as time went on .. not an overtly physical player, but didn’t shy away from physical contact to get a puck .. some of his checks are kind of feeble .. played on the first line and on the first power play unit .. the true playmaker on Indiana’s first line, even though Coleman and Ferlin had more assists .. Tarasov also had the most dangerous shot of the group .. led the USHL in goal scoring and was second in points with 37 goals and 38 assists in 57 games .. led Indiana in playoff scoring with 2 goals and 4 assists in 5 games .. named to the All-USHL Second Team and to the USHL All-Rookie Team .. named a Mid-Season All-Star .. ineligible to play college hockey, having played minor pro exhibition games in North America .. next logical step is a season of major juniors .. a potential late-round pick in his third year of draft eligibility, but NHL teams may pass, given options that could arise for the Russian back home.

    Jarrod Rabey (2011), D, Indiana
    Displayed some potential as a puck-moving defenseman, but generally only served as a fifth or sixth defenseman .. able to build decent speed with the puck .. able to power out of his crossovers and power out of turns when circling backward .. smooth circling backward with the puck .. gets a bit upright in his pivots from backward to forward .. appears unable to play with sustained quickness at 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, but does flash some quickness now and again to stick with opponents defensively .. calm with the puck and generally makes the simple play .. willing to skate the puck, but will also chip it off the glass and out if he has no play .. able to shield the puck with his size .. makes smooth, crisp passes .. does need to make his passes harder, though .. able to make smooth, crisp saucer passes .. has a decent wristshot that he’ll lob toward the net .. has a decent slapshot from the point .. however, shot power is one area Rabey could afford to improve .. maintains a wide base backward, gets fairly low, reduces crossovers, and lets his gaps close .. isn’t an overtly physical defenseman .. saw semi-regular time on the power play for some of the season, but this seemed to decrease down the stretch .. only saw spot duty on the PK .. finished the season with 5 goals and 13 assists in 55 games .. scored 0 goals and 1 assist in 4 playoff games and was a healthy scratch in one post-season game .. committed to St. Cloud State and will skate for the Huskies in 2011-12 after initially being a 2012-13 commit .. inability to establish himself as a top-four defenseman on a team that didn’t have impressive depth at defense makes him a bit of a long shot for the 2011 Draft .. does have some potential, though, particularly if he can transform his body composition and thus, hopefully, become more explosive and able to consistently play at a higher pace.

    Green Bay
    Andy Welinski (2011), D, Green Bay
    Statistics don’t reflect it, but Welinski made a big jump toward the end of the season and in the playoffs .. received a lot of ice time in the playoffs and played in all situations .. became very confident defensively .. gets a bit upright accelerating backward, but does have some speed and quickness backward .. lets his gaps close and confidently angles his man toward the boards .. able to eliminate opponents with hard hits after angling them .. will step up and engage physically as early as the center red line .. nice, smooth lateral movement in his angling .. able to subtly explode into his hits .. good stick defensively in clogging passing lanes and intercepting and tipping passes .. able to strip opponents of the puck .. passing game came along, as his passes are now fairly hard .. transitions the puck well with his d-partner and makes smooth, crisp passes .. also makes smooth point-to-point passes .. able to fire hard saucer passes and connect at a distance .. shot power was never a weakness, but it’s gotten even stronger .. has a hard, crisp wristshot that he does a good job of keeping low and creating rebound chances .. able to fire an exceptionally hard slapper in stride .. slapshot and one-timer from the point are fairly hard and crisp .. was a reliable puck-mover before, but now is showing some real offensive upside .. played the top of the umbrella on the second power play unit and looked confident distributing the puck .. now will venture down low when the opportunity arises .. confidently pinches and doesn’t second guess himself and is responsible doing so .. skating the puck more and is showing more cruising speed with the puck .. able to make nice sweeps to weave through traffic .. now has good speed and quickness .. doing a better job in staying lower in his skating stride in all directions and his stride appeared more fluid and powerful .. in every area that he needed to make small improvements this season, he did .. has decent size at 6-foot-1, 188 pounds .. two-way defenseman showing some upside to be one of the USHL’s best in 2011-12 .. statistics don’t reflect how good Welinski looked at the end of the season .. finished the season with 6 goals and 8 assists in 51 games .. scored 2 goals and 0 assists in 11 playoff games .. committed to Minnesota-Duluth (2012-13) .. not quite as impressive as Nick Jensen in his draft year, but not too far behind .. would tend to consider Welinski more of a fourth-round pick, but it’s very possible an NHL team bites earlier.

    Austin Czarnik (2011), C, Green Bay
    Didn’t have the season he would have liked statistically, but was still one of Green Bay’s most impressive forwards game in and game out .. has a fairly powerful stride that produces nice cruising speed with the puck .. stays fairly low in his skating stride and in his turns and has good explosiveness .. executes smooth turns and builds considerable speed out of his crossovers .. good lateral quickness to evade opponents .. powerful stops and starts .. uses his speed on the forecheck and finishes his checks on opposing defensemen .. not big at 5-foot-9, 160 pounds, but can thrust up into his hits and drop opposing blueliners .. engages physically down low in the offensive zone and competes hard .. anticipates the play well defensively and can intercept passes .. dangerous on the backcheck playing the body and stripping the puck .. has a hard wristshot .. makes smooth, hard, crisp, accurate passes .. will try to take the team on his back and make things happen offensively if his team is down late .. is typically a heads-up stickhandler who’s poised with the puck, but will start to force plays if his team is down late in the game, which results in some turnovers .. a regular on Green Bay’s power play and penalty kill .. physical game toward the end of the season was closer to the scrappiness he showed at the USNTDP .. finished the season with 20 goals and 14 assists in 46 games .. would have led Green Bay in goal scoring had he not missed a number of games .. missed a month from late January to late February due to a broken hand .. scored 8 goals and 4 assists in 16 games after returning from injury .. scored 3 goals and 1 assist in 11 playoff games .. named a Mid-Season All-Star by the USHL .. played for the U.S. Junior Select Team at the World Junior A Challenge and scored 2 goals and 1 assist in 4 games .. committed to Miami-Ohio (2011-12) .. numbers in 2010-11 weren’t what was expected heading into the season, but his resume with the USNTDP and the fact he was noticeable for positive reasons every night should ensure Czarnik is selected in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, albeit in the late rounds.

    Adam Wilcox (2011), G, Green Bay
    Made solid improvement over the course of the season and should be considered the top USHL netminder eligible for the 2011 Draft not on the USNTDP .. quick crease movements .. executes quick, smooth pad slides .. able to go post-to-post quickly .. maintains a compact butterfly and directs pad saves toward the corners and the end boards .. does a good job of absorbing pucks to the chest protector .. able to go down and up quickly .. resets quite quickly .. strong technically, but has a solid athletic base to work with .. displays very good flexibility in his splits saves and the extension of his kick saves .. able to spread out and make big saves when necessary .. makes crisp gloves saves .. directs blocker saves toward the corners .. conscientious in coming out and stopping pucks wrapped by the opponent .. able to adequately move the puck up to his teammates, but more often lets his defensemen or the center come take the puck .. very adept at using his stick to make poke checks .. able to “throw” his stick forward (catching it by the knob) well and clear the puck from out of his crease, and sometimes out of the zone .. sufficient size at 6-foot-0, 170 pounds .. solid backup for the Gamblers who allowed Green Bay to not overplay number one Ryan McKay .. played 1419:32 over 24 games and had a 16-6-1 record, 1 shutout, a 2.20 G.AA and a .922 SV% .. had one start in the playoffs and finished the post season with 87:49 played over 2 games, a 1-0-0 record, a 0.68 G.AA, and a .973 SV% .. committed to Minnesota (2012-13) .. very worthy of late-round consideration, as he’s a solid goaltender all-around and put up the numbers to prove it.

    Alex Broadhurst (2011), C, Green Bay
    Quietly one of Green Bay’s top contributors down the stretch and in the playoffs and looks set to be a standout player in the USHL in 2011-12 .. confidence level increased steadily during the season .. started showing the speed and poise of an elite USHLer .. skating stride became more controlled and he now has good cruising speed with the puck .. decent explosiveness for speed bursts with the puck in open ice and off the boards .. uses his speed to help him establish position in puck races .. able to shield the puck well on his backhand at speed .. also able to protect the puck with switchbacks .. comfortable shielding the puck with one hand on his stick for maximum reach and to block opponents with his free hand .. played point on the second power play unit .. makes smooth, crisp, accurate passes .. has a decent, crisp wristshot, but he could afford to improve his shot power over the summer .. increased shot power should help him become a more dangerous scorer .. forechecks and backchecks intelligently and his increased speed is only making him more effective .. hustles to loose pucks .. doesn’t play an overtly physical game, but will engage physically .. has some filling out to do at 6-foot-0, 165 pounds .. plays a two-way game and saw some time on the PK, too .. finished the season with 13 goals and 20 assists in 55 games .. scored 7 goals and 9 assists in his final 20 regular season games .. led Green Bay in playoff scoring with 3 goals and 6 assists in 11 games .. played for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last August .. committed to Nebraska-Omaha (2012-13) .. on track to become every bit as good as his brother Terry, who’s a standout college player at UNO .. a team whose scouts are truly paying attention will consider Alex Broadhurst as a late-round flyer.

    Aaron Harstad (2011), D, Green Bay
    Has so many great tools and shows flashes, but rarely impresses for an entire game .. after two-plus USHL seasons, still regularly makes bad passes on the breakout that are intercepted .. has too many passes that go right to the opposition or to no one in particular .. capable of making hard, crisp passes .. seems safer for Harstad to skate the puck .. has a smooth, powerful stride that produces impressive speed .. able to weave his way through traffic with sweeping stickhandling moves at speed .. able to make quick, powerful cuts to evade opponents .. has a hard wristshot from the point .. has a very hard slapshot .. needs to be smarter about when to shoot, as too many of his shots are blocked high in the offensive zone and out .. smooth backward and has the speed in reverse to stay with the USHL’s fastest .. smooth all-compass mobility backward and can make smooth, quick stops to stick with opponents .. stays fairly low backward, maintains a wide base, and lets his gaps close .. able to thrust up into his hits .. at the Fall Classic, looked capable of contending for USHL Defenseman of the Year, but fell out of contention early .. considered Green Bay’s number one defenseman, but was overshadowed by Welinski late .. finished the season with 7 goals and 14 assist in 51 games .. scored 2 goals and 2 assists in 11 playoff games .. named a USHL Mid-Season All-Star .. played for the U.S. Junior Select Team at the World Junior A Challenge and went without a point in 4 games .. committed to Colorado College (2011-12) .. excellent skater with all the physical tools, but needs to improve his hockey sense .. despite his upside, is a long shot for selection in his second year of draft eligibility.

    Cedar Rapids
    Josiah Didier (2011), D, Cedar Rapids
    Received significant ice time for the RoughRiders by season’s end and improved significantly over the course of the season .. forward skating was still upright at the end of the season, but his stride was becoming more fluid .. able to build decent speed with the puck .. acceleration with the puck became smoother, allowing him to become more confident and controlled with the puck .. was skating the puck more toward the season’s end .. also did a better job of keeping his feet moving before passing the puck .. now consistently makes hard, crisp passes .. still needs to hone his accuracy a bit, as his passes are a bit off the mark with some frequency .. flashes the occasional exceptionally hard, crisp, accurate pass from time to time .. makes smooth, crisp transition passes with his d-partner .. also makes hard, crisp point-to-point passes .. started showing some real ability to handle hard passes smoothly .. poised with the puck down low in his own zone and doesn’t panic when forechecked .. able to make powerful, tight turns to circle away from forecheckers .. also good with swivels and tight circles at the point .. fairly quick and smooth laterally both with and without the puck .. gets upright in his pivots, though .. has a crisp wrister from the point and does a good job of keeping it low .. has a fairly quick release on his wristshot, and this is his shot of choice .. not a slick stickhandler, but his increased confidence with the puck significantly decreased giveaways .. backward skating got a little better toward the end of the season .. still too upright backward, but did a better job of maintaining a somewhat wide base .. backward skating oftentimes looks awkward and lacks fluidity going straight back .. shows some ranginess laterally .. conscientious in keeping a close gap, but did get opened up semi-regularly .. minimizes crossovers and is capable of angling opponents smoothly and rubbing them out .. needs to get stronger on his skates .. listed at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds (looks 6-foot-3), but loses too many physical battles because he gets knocked off balance .. able to make some nice hits, but also just as likely to end up the one falling down himself .. additional strength as he fills out his still-growing body should allow him to improve his skating and become stronger on his skates, which will help make him a solid two-way defenseman .. was a regular on the second PP unit toward the end of the season and saw regular time on the PK, too .. finished the season with 8 goals and 13 assists in 58 games .. scored 0 goals and 2 assists in 8 playoff games .. committed to Denver and will now enter in 2011-12, a year earlier than initially planned .. not as far ahead in his development curve as many of the other USHL defensemen of note for the 2011 Draft, but he has some real upside .. worthy of consideration late mid-round and certainly in the late rounds.

    Sam Warning (2011), LW, Cedar Rapids
    Was one of the USHL’s top offensive threats mid-season, but he cooled down late in the regular season .. became one of the USHL’s fastest players as the season progressed .. has a fluid, powerful skating stride and excellent cruising speed with the puck .. able to explode with the puck and has very good separation .. able to drive wide with his speed .. fires hard wristshots in stride coming off the boards after driving wide, but most of them come from low-percentage angles .. needs to work on driving toward the front of the net after beating the opponent wide .. has a hard, quick snapshot .. quick release on his shots .. heads-up stickhandler and can assess his options .. has quick hands to weave through traffic .. good at protecting the puck along the boards and shielding it with his body .. not big at 5-foot-8, 180 pounds, but is sturdy .. makes hard, smooth, crisp passes .. able to make nice passes at speed, and he has considerable speed .. adept at finding teammates across the neutral zone with passes on the attack .. has good hands to receive hard passes confidently .. plays with some sandpaper and finishes his checks .. able to explode into his hits .. seems to make a lot of big hits in front of the penalty boxes .. a threat to come crashing in on opposing defensemen .. uses his speed on the forecheck and plays at a high pace .. a left-winger, but takes a decent number of face-offs each game and was called upon for some big draws .. finished the season with 24 goals and 19 assists in 56 games .. scored 14 goals and 11 assists in 21 games from Jan. 15 through March 17 .. only had 4 goals and 1 assist in 11 games from March 18 through April 9 .. scored 4 goals and 3 assists in 8 playoff games .. played for the U.S. Junior Select Team at the World Junior A Challenge and scored 2 goals and 2 assists in 4 games .. committed to Minnesota (2011-12) .. has the speed, skill, and compete level to be a pesky checking-line and energy-line forward who also contributes offensively .. very worthy of late-round selection.

    Cason Hohmann (2011), C, Cedar Rapids
    Goal-scoring decreased a bit after the Christmas break, but hovered around a point per game the entire season .. drops his chest, giving him a bit of a hunch when he skates, but still has good speed with the puck .. has good quickness and can execute some impressive speed bursts with the puck .. able to make tight turns with the puck at speed .. also able to make tight, tight switchbacks to evade checkers .. quick laterally to sidestep opponents both at speed and a standstill .. a heads-up stickhandler with good offensive vision .. able to find teammates through traffic and thread passes to them .. good peripheral vision allows him to see all of his passing options .. makes crisp, accurate passes .. has soft hands for controlling hard passes .. has quick hands and can come away with the puck in tight quarters .. an adept toe dragger and can also make quick sweeps across his body and catch opponents moving the wrong direction .. patient with the puck and doesn’t rush plays .. almost too confident with the puck, as he has a tendency to let his gap close too much on the opponent .. seemed to drive the net more toward the end of the season, but wasn’t at Warning’s level .. has a decent, crisp wristshot .. makes good reads on the forecheck and is a threat to intercept the opponent’s breakout passes .. not an overtly physical player, but he’ll engage physically when he has to .. excels in creating time and space and in the offensive zone .. played on the second power play unit .. finished the season with 22 goals and 34 assists in 55 games .. scored 1 goal and 7 assists in 8 playoff games .. named a Mid-Season All-Star by the USHL .. played for the U.S. Junior Select Team at the World Junior A Challenge and scored 1 goal and 2 assists in 3 games .. also played for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last August .. committed to Boston University (2011-12) .. a potential late-round pick, but doesn’t have the energy game Warning has to ensure he can excel in a number of different roles.

    Dubuque
    John Gaudreau (2011), LW, Dubuque
    Diminutive offensive dynamo finished second in the league in goal scoring and fourth in overall scoring .. one of the very best playmakers in the USHL in 2010-11 .. always a heads-up stickhandler and can expertly assess his offensive options .. has excellent offensive vision to find teammates through traffic and in the periphery .. great poise and patience with the puck .. dangerous playmaker off the half boards, out of the corners, around the net?anywhere there’s ice .. makes smooth, crisp, highly accurate passes .. slick stickhandler .. has quick hands and is adept at toe-dragging the puck around opponents .. able to patiently weave his way through traffic in open ice, but is also able to protect the puck in tight quarters .. adept at drawing the puck in toward his body .. shot power is only average, but he still has excellent finishing ability .. puts himself in positions to score and is dangerous on breakaways .. wristshot and slapshot are both decent and crisp, but Gaudreau beats goaltenders with shot accuracy and reacting to any holes they give him .. improved his top speed and explosiveness during the season .. now has pretty good cruising speed with the puck .. also displays some quickness for loose pucks and speed bursts to give him a little separation, although he doesn’t have breakaway speed .. can be shifty with the puck .. able to make smooth, tight turns .. uses his agility to evade opponents in tight quarters .. able to make ultra-tight switchbacks with the puck .. uses his improved speed on the forecheck and hustles to loose pucks .. added a little physicality to his game and finishes his checks .. very small at 5-foot-6, 140 pounds, but is so intelligent in his positioning and so agile that it rarely becomes an issue .. will engage physically and doesn’t shy away from traffic .. doesn’t give up on a puck .. has offensive awareness on par with Jaden Schwartz and T.J. Tynan .. finished the season with 36 goals and 36 assists in 60 games .. scored 5 goals and 6 assists in 11 playoff games .. named a Mid-Season All-Star by the USHL .. named the USHL Rookie of the Year and to the All-Rookie Team .. also named to the All-USHL Second Team .. played for the U.S. Under-18 Select Team at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament .. played on Dubuque’s first power play unit and led the league in power play goals with 15 .. committed to Northeastern and will now enter in 2011-12 .. small, but his sheer offensive IQ makes him worthy of at least late-round selection.

    Joakim Ryan (2011), D, Dubuque
    Reliable puck-moving defenseman established himself as Dubuque’s number one defenseman .. upgraded his speed and began skating the puck more during the final third of the season .. able to build decent speed with the puck and now has some cruising speed to weave through the neutral zone .. even skates it low into the offensive zone now on occasion .. very good at stickhandling with his head up so he can see all of his breakout options .. also does a good job of keeping his head up handling the puck at the point .. acceleration with the puck improved to give him some separation, but still isn’t real explosive .. a fairly smooth skater with good edge control .. skating is a little upright, but this seemed to improve late in the season .. mobile at the point .. walks the blue line smoothly and can also make smooth swivels .. has a very good first pass .. consistently makes smart plays and makes smooth, crisp, accurate breakout passes .. transitions the puck well with his d-partner, but began moving it directly to his forwards more often than before with his newfound speed .. able to make crisp, accurate saucer passes .. makes smooth, crisp passes from the point and distributes the puck well on the power play .. has a crisp wrister from the point that isn’t overpowering, but which he does a good job of getting on net .. has a decent, crisp slapshot that, likewise, isn’t overpowering, but it also gets on net and creates rebound opportunities .. positions himself intelligently when he pinches in from the point and joins the play down low and around the net .. mobility and poise at the point allow him to make convincing fakes .. saw a lot of time on the first power play unit .. his stickhandling, like much of his game, isn’t flashy, but it’s very effective and he almost never turns the puck over .. maintains his poise with the puck when forechecked and backchecked .. needs to improve his speed and acceleration backward .. gets upright backward and needs to instead get lower and generate more power .. susceptible to getting opened up wide by opponents .. takes too many steps pivoting when he does get opened up .. despite this pivoting short-coming, does a good job in recovering and not allowing a clean drive to the net despite lacking explosive acceleration .. small by NHL standards at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds and needs to improve his physical effectiveness .. has too many of his checks fought through .. lets his gaps close, but has a tendency to back in .. oftentimes doesn’t engage until the face-off circle .. positioning is decent, as he rarely gets cut back on toward center ice, but needs to be able to step up on opponents and stop their progress .. needs to improve his effectiveness in physical battles down low along the boards .. does do a good job of clogging passing lanes with his stick and with leg drags .. smart blueliner who moves the puck very reliably, but needs to improve his fast-twitch to give him more explosiveness to engage physically and even fire harder shots .. finished the season with 3 goals and 29 assists in 53 games .. eighth in USHL defenseman scoring .. missed a few games in March due to an undisclosed injury .. named a Mid-Season All-Star by the USHL .. scored 2 goals and 3 assists in 11 playoff games .. has dual American and Swedish citizenship and played for Sweden at the World Junior A Challenge and at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last August .. committed to Cornell (2011-12) .. a potential late-round pick, because he’s a smart defenseman whose weaknesses should be fairly easy to address with four years of strength gains in college.

    Matt Morris (2011), G, Dubuque
    Established himself as Dubuque’s number one in net and then as one of the USHL’s best .. simplified his game and harnessed his athleticism into a more technical game .. able to butterfly quickly and maintains a compact butterfly .. able to get back up quickly out of the butterfly two legs at a time .. takes a lot of shots to the chest protector and is very good at dampening shots to his chest and allowing no rebound .. smaller in height at 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, but keeps his torso upright .. relied on his quickness and scrambled quite a bit in early viewings, but became very composed in net and maintained a technical game and keep his torso upright on dangerous chances as the season progressed .. excellent positioning in his crease .. has good concentration and tracks the puck well and stays square to the shooter .. solid positioning and new, calmer game puts him in position to make second and third saves .. definitely has an athletic base .. able to reset very quickly .. powerful pushoffs get him across his crease quickly .. executes smooth pad slides .. able to make quick kick saves .. able to spread out for big saves if he has to .. typically does a good job of directing rebounds toward the boards and the corners and away from the net .. has the quickness to recover if he accidentally does put a rebound out front .. positions his stick well in his butterfly saves and uses it in combination with his pads to make a lot of saves .. confidently sticks pucks to the corners that are out front .. moves the puck reasonably well and can clear it off the glass and out of the zone .. typically makes crisp gloves saves .. directs blocker saves away and toward the corner .. huge part of Dubuque’s playoff success .. played 1989:48 over 37 games and compiled a 23-8-4 record, 4 shutouts, a 2.17 G.AA, and a.921 SV% during the regular season .. won eight straight starts Feb. 26 through April 1 .. played 667:48 over 11 games in the playoffs and compiled a 9-2-0 record, 1 shutout, a 1.53 G.AA, and a .943 SV% .. played every minute in net for Dubuque in the playoffs and backstopped the Fighting Saints to the Clark Cup .. named a USHL Mid-Season All-Star .. named to the USHL All-Rookie Team and the All-USHL Second Team .. committed to Maine (2012-13 or 2013-14) .. height makes him a long shot for selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, but a late-round flyer isn’t out of the question if an NHL puts heavy weight into results.

    Jackson Teichroeb (2011), G, Dubuque
    Numbers improved bit by bit over the course of the season, but was the definite number two as the season progressed and did not play in the playoffs .. needs to improve the consistency of his rebound control .. gets himself in front of the first shot and serves as a backstop, but doesn’t control his rebounds .. places too many butterfly saves back out front .. shots to his chest protector can result in erratic rebounds .. in final viewing of the season, his rebound control was better, but not elite .. doing a little better at quickly covering the rebounds he places back out front .. lateral movement needs improving, as his pushoffs could be stronger to get him completely across his crease and across quickly .. appeared to be working to improve his quickness across his crease, but he seemed unsteady making quicker pushoffs and trying to reset quickly .. maintains a compact butterfly and can get back up quickly .. drops early at times and can be susceptible to snipes top shelf .. normally makes crisp glove saves .. reaches for some of his gloves saves on shots from a distance .. directs blocker saves toward the half boards .. adequate puckhandler .. isn’t able to put a lot behind his clears, but is consistent on wrapping them high off the glass .. success rate of clearing the puck would increase with improved force on his clears .. technical game can break down and he can start diving and scrambling .. appears to lose focus at times, as he can be seemingly caught by surprise by some shots .. has decent size at 6-foot-1, 195 pounds .. will not return to Dubuque in 2011-12, as he has requested a trade .. played 1662:37 over 32 games and compiled a 14-6-5 record with 1 shutout, a 2.49 G.AA, and a .905 SV% .. no college commitment of yet .. a long shot for selection in the 2011 NHL Draft with how well Morris performed in comparison.

    Sioux Falls
    Kyle Rau (2011), C, Sioux Falls
    Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey for 2011 stepped into the USHL and quickly became Sioux Falls’ top offensive threat .. displayed his hockey sense by immediately working well with new teammates .. showcased his offensive awareness in his ability to add some needed playmaking to the Sioux Falls roster .. playmaker off the half boards and on the attack .. heads-up stickhandler who can assess his options .. not too big at 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, but still showed the willingness to drive to the net that he did in high school .. did a good job of positioning himself in the offensive zone to be a scoring option .. didn’t appear as fast in the USHL as he did in high school, but still had good speed with the puck .. flashed some impressive speed bursts now and then, reminiscent of the speed and explosiveness he showed in high school .. makes crisp, accurate passes .. has a decent wristshot and snapshot .. wasn’t quite as physical in the USHL as he was in high school, but still displayed a good compete level .. finished his checks .. displayed his customary tenacity in going for loose pucks and not giving up on pucks .. won his share of face-offs in USHL play .. played very similar to how he played in high school and did what few players do in making an immediate impact as a split-season player .. scored 4 goals and 6 assists in 11 USHL regular season games .. led Sioux Falls in playoff scoring with 7 goals and 5 assists in 10 games .. scored 41 goals and 40 assists in 31 games for Eden Prairie and led them to the Class AA state championship .. committed to Minnesota (2011-12) .. may very well have put up numbers similar to Dubuque’s John Gaudreau had he played the whole season in the USHL and has more of a physical edge than Gaudreau .. worthy of at least late-round selection, if not late mid-round.

    Stephon Williams (2011), G, Sioux Falls
    Sioux Falls’ number one goaltender the second and third quarters of the season, but lost that mantle down the stretch and again in the Clark Cup semifinals .. maintains a compact butterfly .. improved his rebound control as the season progressed .. does a good job of controlling rebounds in the butterfly .. usually directs butterfly saves into the corners .. now and then butterflies his legs out too far and puts the rebound back out front .. does a good job of eliminating rebounds off the chest protector .. has good size at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds and keeps his torso upright in the butterfly .. in some viewings, he stayed calm under pressure, and in others his form broke down and he started diving and scrambling around his crease .. able to make smooth pad slides across his crease when they don’t have to be too fast .. struggles when having to quickly pushoff and can lose his balance .. normally makes crisp glove saves .. directs blocker saves away from the net .. able to spread out to make some highlight-reel saves .. needs to make sure he’s not too deep in his crease .. tracks the puck well out in front, but seems to lose track of it at times behind the net .. tends to cheat pass when playing along his post .. moves the puck adequately to his defensemen or up the glass, but puck-moving isn’t a strong suit .. seems to have one or two occasions each game where he fails to make a clean save and gives the opponent a dangerous chance or a goal .. still, did a fine job in adjusting from midget minor hockey to the USHL .. played 2042:01 over 35 games and compiled a 20-7-6 record, 1 shutout, a 2.59 G.AA, and a .909 SV% .. started only 6 of Sioux Falls final 15 games in the regular season .. played 298:14 over 5 games in the playoffs and had a 4-1-0 record, a 2.21 G.AA, and a .924 SV%, but Juho Olkinuora got the not for the last three starts against Dubuque .. committed to Minnesota State (2012-13) .. respectable rookie season in the USHL, but is a long shot for selection in the 2011 Draft.

    Tri-City
    Brad Schierhorn (2011), LW, Tri-City
    Started as a fourth-liner, played a top-six role for a while prior to Christmas, but then production trailed again .. however, still made steady progress in terms of skills .. skating is still a bit upright, but it’s gotten better .. showing some cruising speed with the puck now and started to successfully drive wide toward the end of the season .. also displaying improved quickness, giving him a little separation know .. stride became more fluid .. improved skating made him more difficult to knock off the puck than earlier in the season .. stickhandling with his head up more consistently and showing some offensive vision to make some nice plays .. confidence with the puck increased, as he had more prolonged touches .. able to make hard, crisp passes, but some are a little wobbly .. similarly, has a decent wristshot with a fairly quick release, but sometimes it flutters .. played more of a physical game when playing a fourth-line role .. some of his hits are hard, but some also lack oomph .. displays a willingness to block shots .. has decent size at 6-foot-1, 190 pounds and is used as the big man in front on the power play .. also sees some time on the PK .. only scored 5 goals and 6 assists in 38 games after the Christmas break, but his game did continue to improve .. finished the season with 12 goals and 9 assists in 57 games .. committed to Dartmouth (2012-13) .. a fairly long shot for selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, but could come back as an impact player for the Storm if he has a strong summer.
     

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