2016 NHL Draft: NCAA Preview
Photo by: Tom Sorensen
After taking a look at the OHL and which 2016 NHL Draft-eligible prospects will be there to watch this season (which can be seen here), it’s time to move in alphabetical order to the NCAA. This will be followed by the QMJHL and then the WHL.
When looking at the prospects coming into this year’s draft, one school sticks out among all others. That school is Boston University. BU has a very exciting group of young players coming in for the 2015-2016 season.
It is not hard to recollect the year that 2nd overall pick Jack Eichel had for Boston University in 2014-2015; however, it is quite difficult to collect a prospect such as Eichel for your team. These incoming prospects all possess one or two parts of the entire game Jack Eichel played and by all playing on one team, bind their respective games to form one miniature, Jack Eichel.
Starting with Chad Krys, the best of the bunch, he committed to the school last month. Krys is a two-way defenseman who is still tinkering with his defensive abilities, as described by Future Considerations.
“A two-way defenseman who plays bigger than his size and possesses impressive hockey sense. His skating is both smooth and quick, allowing him to be extremely elusive and slippery. Very creative and always thinking, he makes plays that make those watching say ‘Wow.’ That coupled with his excellent defensive positioning, elite skating and strong offensive tools have many thinking Krys has the ability to become a special player.”
Playing with the United States Development Team Program, Krys has been a consistent 20 point defender. Playing on the U18 team Krys was just on the cusp of a breakthrough. He scored 20 points in 22 games instead of scoring 29 in 41, or 26 in 35 like he did for the U17 team. That is a 1.1 points per game compared to a .74 in the previous 2 years. If he had played a full 40 games, he could have hypothetically scored 44 points.
Kieffer Bellows committed to Boston University last June and made a name for himself during his rookie season in the USHL with the Sioux Fall Stampede. His goal scoring dexterity was under the spotlight every night and he managed to satisfy just about every night, scoring 33 in 58 games. Bellows won’t be bringing his powerful style of play until the 2016-2017 season.
Other prospects not committed to Boston University are still key to watch in case one or more were to fall or rise into the first round. Ryan Lindgren and Nick Pastujov are top 30 prospects not at BU. Lindgren is going to the University of Minnesota and Pastujov is headed to Michigan.
Lindgren is a Minneapolis, Minnesota native who played for the Shattuck St. Mary’s in high school. Speed and power are on Ryan’s side when he plays. He has quick feet and a big body. At 6’0″ and 196 lbs as a freshman, Lindgren will grow and could become a useful power forward at the NHL level. His shot is strong and powerful but needs to be developed a bit more.
Pastujov is a Florida native who came to Michigan through Honeybaked Bantam hockey. There he developed a name for himself scoring just about a goal per game rate. He now brings his offensive threat to the University of Michigan. Pastujov is a goals scorer and playing on a Michigan team with players like J.T Compher, he’ll do a fine job with scoring for the Wolverines.
As the season rolls on freshman will start to change how they play due to the upbeat and mature style of play the NCAA has. It is up to draft eligibles to keep their draft stock high while they get used to the new league.