Select 70: Top 10 Uncommitted College Hockey Prospects, January 2014

Select 70: Top 10 Uncommitted College Hockey Prospects, January 2014

The season’s absolutely flown by since our last Select 70 uncommitted ranking in October, and as we move towards releasing an updated edition later next month, we’re going to be highlighting plenty of the top uncommitted talent around the country in preparation. Our refreshed top 20 newsletter this month saw a number of prospects make their commitments, including Jordan Greenway (#2, BU), Tyler Nanne (#9, Ohio State) and Ted Hart (#15, Providence), so we’ve got a new top ten. Other top prospects who recently committed include AJ Greer (BU), James Sanchez (Michigan), Jake Walman (Providence), David Cotton (BC) and Brandon Hickey (BU), but there’s still plenty of high-end talent available. It’s worth noting that top prospects Jakob Chychrun, Chad Krys, and Max Jones, all 1998s, remain omitted as we haven’t caught them live yet. Chychrun, skating with the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, would likely be our #1 in the country, while Krys and Jones are thought to be potential top five talents throughout the nation. With that, here are our top ten uncommitted prospects in the country.

1.    97 D Zach Werenski – NTDP U17

Height: 6’1, Weight: 201

Projected Role: #1 Defenseman – All Situations

London Knights (OHL) 2nd round draft pick shines all over the sheet and has been our top uncommitted prospect since summer. Among Boston College recruit Noah Hanifin (NTDP U17) and Swedish phenom Oliver Kylington (Färjestad BK), who is already playing pro hockey, the 2015 group of top-end blue liners is an exciting group. Where Werenski falls among them is still up in the air, but should he head to the NCAA, one has to expect he’d be in a top pairing role as early as 2015.

2.    97 F Luke Kirwan – NTDP U17

Height: 6’1, Weight: 232

Projected Role: Top Line Power Scorer

The 2016 draft eligible has a huge frame and the heaviest, most lethal wrist shot around right now. Very hard on the puck and comfortable with a frame that defines “imposing”, Kirwan’s highly regarded by the OHL (Guelph). He gets up the ice straight-away with velocity and has hands not often seen in a skater of his figure. Very effective in the offensive zone because he brings a combination of assets rarely seen and an undeniable nose for the net.

3.    96 F Ryan Donato – Dexter School

Committed: Harvard

Height: 6’1, Weight: 180

Projected Role: Top Line Scorer

Noted Active Schools: BU, BC, Harvard

No cerebral, game-breaking forward has seen their stock rise faster over the past year than the son of Harvard coach Ted Donato. At one point leading prep school in points as a sophomore, this year he’s taken it to another level. With 21 goals and a matching 21 assists to go with that, in just 16 games, Donato has Dexter already up 1 or 2 goals going into every game – and he’s even got a goal of the year candidate under his belt already, too. At the collegiate level, his uncanny ability to get past defenders and bring it to the net is going to translate well, as is his finesse in handling and firing the puck, and his deceptive playmaking vision.

4.    98 F Logan Brown – Indiana Jr. Ice U16

Height: 6’4.5, Weight: 200

Projected Role: Top Line Playmaker

The skater with the highest upside on our list, especially without Jakob Chychrun ranked, has to be Brown. Unless he gives a commitment soon, the son of NHLer Jeff Brown is earmarked to be our number one prospect soon and stay there for a while. He’s smart and skilled in the offensive third, making some really eye-opening plays right now and is an excellent skater for a prospect his size and age. With the Jr. Ice, he’s on pace for a big season offensively, at a goal-per-game pace and will be looked at to make offensive magic at every level.

5.    97 D Ivan Provorov – Cedar Rapids Rough Riders

Height: 6’0, Weight: 193

Projected Role: #1 Defenseman – All Situations

Noted Active Schools: Penn State, Yale, Cornell  (Jim Ecker, MetroSportsReport.com)

The former Wilkes-Barre Scranton U16 stand-out made the decision to jump up and play the best amateur competition available to him this season in the USHL, and he’s likely going to come out a much stronger player for it. He’s tough to play against, and he skates hard for his build, getting up the ice with pace. Brings an edge to his play off the puck, and highlight reel playmaking ability on it. In 51 games for WBS last season, Provorov tallied a 42-55-97 line in 51 games. With two of those old WBS teammates already committed to Penn State, Provorov too has talked to the Nittany Lions and would be a great pull for them, though other programs are in the mix too, and Major Junior will never be out of the conversation.

6.    97 F Wade Allison – Omaha AAA U16

Committed: Western Michigan

Height: 6’1, Weight: 200

Projected Role: Top Line Scorer

The Manitoba native is a dominant, athletic goal-scorer for the orange buckets down in Omaha this season, coming down after skating with now-Western Michigan recruit Colt Conrad last season for Pembina Valley (MB). The Western Hockey League’s Brandon Wheat Kings (who drafted Allison) will want the smart, strong skater especially because he doesn’t get pushed around and has the ability to take over games. Allison would be a premier talent up front for a D1 program in just a few years.

7.    95 F Tyler Sheehy – Waterloo Black Hawks

Committed: Minnesota

Height: 5’10, Weight: 185

Projected Role: Top Line Versatile Threat

Noted Active Schools: BU, Denver, Minnesota, North Dakota, Western Michigan (Andy Baggott, Madison.com)

The former OSU commit has been playing on another level since this fall’s Elite League, where we named him our Elite League MVP, and hit the ice running in the USHL with 24 points in 21 games already. What’s most impressive about Sheehy is his versatility as his game is grounded in hockey sense and offensive instincts, so his compact frame limits his ceiling less than it otherwise would. He’s tough to play against and unselfish, rarely making the wrong play and getting into scoring position in a blink to pierce the opposing crease.

8.    99 F Sean Dhooghe – Chicago Mission U14

Height: 5’3, Weight: 120

Projected Role: Elite Playmaker

We didn’t expect to have a 1999 within our top ten, let alone one that stands sub-5’5, but Dhooghe’s a special player in our eyes. The younger brother of OSU recruit Jason Dhooghe has a natural feel for the puck and off-the-charts hockey sense, anticipating everything on the sheet and using his quick feet to get where he needs to be before everyone else. Even if he grows to only 5’6, the younger Dhooghe is arguably the fastest, smartest skater in the 1999 age group and tough as nails to boot. If he ends up a Buckeye, it should be viewed as a major coup for the program and the Big Ten. Has 20 points in 12 games, including 11 goals, to lead the HPHL’s Bantam Major division.

9.    95 F Alex Rodriguez – SSM Prep

Height: 6’0, Weight: 185

Projected Role: Top Line Playmaker

Hard-nosed forward plays the game fast and intense, using poise on the puck and a willingness to make plays in the hard area to great effectiveness. The late 1995 isn’t an elite playmaker, but his work rate on a shift-to-shift basis and vision serve him extremely well and allow him to wear other teams down. As a whole, the long-time Shattuck product is 5th-leading scorer on the countries top U18 team and plays a style of hockey that seems like it will translate beautifully to the D1 level.

10.    96 F Anthony Petrella – SSM Prep

Height: 5’9, Weight: 186

Projected Role: Top Line Finisher

The Fargo Force just acquired the USHL rights to the Sabres leading goal-scorer (24) for next season, and he’s already got serious interest from major programs through Big Ten and Hockey East. Not unlike Rodriguez, he hits the ice like he’s been fired out of a cannon and has advanced offensive timing that gets him into scoring position to bury with a wicked wrist shot. He’s a lethal threat with sustained possession, where he can slip through lanes as an unignorable threat, or on the transition. Isn’t afraid to throw his body around in the hard areas and make a play.

Thanks for reading. We’ll have a number of previews of top uncommitted prospects around the country as we get closer to our new Select 70 release in late February.