At a Glance: BC Hockey’s Draft-Eligible Players

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June 26, 2013 by conteconfidential

The NHL draft is just days away. Here’s an at-a-glance look at all of Boston College hockey’s draft-eligible players.

Locks

Ian McCoshen: In his three years in the USHL with the Waterloo Black Hawks, McCoshen has matured into a defenseman wise beyond his years and also developed some offensive flair. What scouts love most about the 6-foot-3 blueliner is his play in his own end. McCoshen uses his size and wingspan well and plays an intimidating, physical game. He’s also mobile and good at moving the puck. As seen in his 44 point (11g-33a) line this season, he can generate offense, but scouts are divided on whether offense will be part of his game at the next level. McCoshen is considered one of the safer picks in the draft because he’s one of the most complete blueliners available. He’s been a consensus first round pick since the NHL Central Scouting Midterm Rankings came out, but he could fall to the second round because of the glut of high-caliber defensemen available and because he didn’t play in any high-profile international tournaments, like the World Jr. A Challenge, this year.

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Shutdown blueliner Steven Santini could go as early as the mid-first round according to some reports. (photo credit: Tom Sorensen)

Steven Santini: Santini has a risen on a lot of boards leading up to the draft. The consensus earlier this year was that he would be an early to mid second round pick, but now many news services are projecting him to be a first round pick. Santini is a prototypical shutdown defenseman, as he demonstrated at the IIHF Men’s World Under-18 Championship, where he was named the tournament’s top defenseman. A steady, dependable presence on the ice, he can munch minutes and consistently keep other team’s top forwards off the scoresheet. His defensive awareness is high-caliber, and he has shown unmistakable leadership potential during his time with the US National Team Development Program. The only knock on Santini is an apparent lack of offensive upside, but his solid, unflashy defensive play is reminiscent of NHL stalwarts like Brooks Orpik and Dan Girardi.

Ryan Fitzgerald: This year, Fitzgerald was named the EJHL Rookie of the Year and won the John Carlton Award, given annually to top student hockey players in the Boston area. In his rookie campaign with the Valley Jr. Warriors, he racked up 30 points (14g-16a) in 26 games and added six points (3g-3a) in six playoff games. Because Fitzgerald has keen hockey sense and can see plays developing before anyone else, he’s often in exactly the right place at the right time. He’s creative with the puck and can create space offensively. Though undersized at 5-foot-9, 170 pounds, Fitzgerald has the speed to elude bigger defenders and the edge to give as much as he gets. He also has a stellar hockey pedigree, as his father Tom played for seven NHL teams over the course of 17 seasons up until 2006. Fitzgerald will likely be an early-round pick.

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Ryan Fitzgerald’s father, Tom, was selected 17th overall in the 1986 NHL draft by the New York Islanders. (photo credit: Josh Boyd)

Zach Sanford: Sanford didn’t even start talking to colleges until this year and now he’s considered one of the hottest prospects in the draft, getting buzz from The Hockey News and many other news outlets. The 6-foot-3 forward still needs to add muscle mass to his lanky frame but has the pro-style body that teams love. After a slow start in his rookie season in the EJHL, he started racking up points at a tremendous clip to end the regular season and then notched eight in seven playoff games. Sanford skates well for a player his size, can be a handful during one-on-one situations because of his good reach and ability to protect the puck and has good hands. He can be dominant, as demonstrated down the stretch this year and during his time as a relative unknown at Pinkerton Academy. He’s likely to go in the second or third round and will continue to hone his game either with the Waterloo Black Hawks in the USHL or with the Middlesex Islanders in the EJHL next year before coming to BC in the fall of 2014.

Wildcards

Austin Cangelosi: Cangelosi spent the last two seasons with the Youngstown Phantoms and twice finished in the top 11 in USHL scoring. The co-captain set multiple team records and a league record during his career. In 109 career games, he totaled 123 points (50g-73a). Cangelosi is an explosive skater, a solid faceoff man and played in every situation for the Phantoms, demonstrating elite hockey sense and compete level. Even though he has a lot of what scouts look for, he doesn’t have a pro-style body and stands only 5-foot-7. Cangelosi’s small size proved to be a deterrent at last year’s draft in Pittsburgh and this year’s draft class is deeper, which lowers his chances of being selected in his second year of eligibility. Since he proved that he could not only compete but star in the top junior circuit in the U.S., a team may take a chance on Cangelosi with a late-round pick. He’s a risk and will be a “project” at the professional level because of his size but has the skill, drive and work ethic necessary to succeed. It’s worth noting that BC has had nine All-Americans 5-foot-9 and under (most recently Johnny Gaudreau and Steven Whitney) during the Jerry York era, making BC an ideal place for Cangelosi to continue his development.

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Austin Cangelosi did everything in his power to warrant a selection in the NHL draft but is considered a risk because of his small size. (photo credit: Robert Bindler/Youngstown Phantoms)

Scott Savage: Savage spent the last two seasons honing his game in Ann Arbor, Mich. with the NTDP, which has a strong track record of producing NHL-caliber players. Former NTDP players like Michael McCarron, J.T. Compher, Hudson Fasching and Santini are all expected to be drafted in the early rounds this year. Savage isn’t on the same level as these players but is intriguing because he’s still relatively new to the game, having only played ice hockey since he was 10 years old. He’s had a steep learning curve and succeeded at every level he’s played at. Although not the biggest defenseman at 6-feet, 168 pounds, he can still play a physical game. He’s mobile and willing to jump into the play but places greater emphasis on his play in his own end. Some projections have Savage going in the sixth or seventh round.

Other Draft-Eligible Players

Brendan Silk: A product of the NTDP, Silk has the pro-sized body that scouts generally love, standing 6-foot-3. He didn’t have the best career at the NTDP, suffering a serious injury during his U-17 year and totaling six points in 42 games during his U-18 year before coming to BC. Silk showed flashes of brilliance last year at BC, such as a savvy unassisted marker against Boston University, but bounced from line to line and never seemed to find his rhythm.

Teddy Doherty: Doherty played a lot of minutes for BC last year and proved to be a dependable blueliner. He finished second among BC rookies with 18 points (1g-17a) in 38 games and saw time on the power play. At only 5-foot-9, Doherty doesn’t look like a typical NHL defenseman and relies greatly on his mobility and hockey sense rather than physical play. He’s also a good puck handler and has the speed to effectively jump into the play.   

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Dependable defenseman Teddy Doherty is among 11 current and future BC hockey players eligible for the NHL draft this year. (photo credit: Ian Kates)

Evan Richardson: Richardson has lit the lamp at every level, from the BCMML to the BCHL. One of the most experienced incoming freshmen, the Canadian is hockey savvy and quick on his feet. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in gritty, hard-nosed play. He’s a solid two-way player and is always dependable on defense. Richardson said that he doesn’t expect to be drafted and hopes to follow in the footsteps of the equally undersized Whitney, who went undrafted and parlayed a successful college career into a two-year entry level deal with the Anaheim Ducks.

Conor McGlynn: McGlynn had an underwhelming rookie season with the Sioux City Musketeers, totaling 10 points (7g-3a) in 48 games. A late ’95, he’s still growing into his 6-foot-2 frame and projects as more of a skilled player than one who uses his size to bully opponents. He can generate offense because of his playmaking skills and has soft hands.

Matty Gaudreau: Gaudreau totaled 40 points (15g-25a) in 106 career USHL games with the Omaha Lancers. He’s not flashy offensively like his older brother Johnny, but he’s a solid defensively-minded forward and plays with a great deal of grit. Only 130 pounds, Gaudreau will need to put on weight.

By Jen Dobias

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