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

With the release of our new Select 70 uncommitted prospect ranking tomorrow, here are our refreshed Top Ten Uncommitted Prospects. One fundamental change from October’s list to this one is that 1999’s will not be ranked side-by-side with the older skaters, and so this list is missing an old staple in 1999 phenom Sean Dhooghe. It’s made room for some new prospects, and doesn’t force us to have to compare 14 year olds to 20 year olds, a task that was bordering on arbitrary. If you want to sign up to receive the Select 70 newsletter when it comes out tomorrow, you can do so by clicking here.

Three skaters already made their college decisions from last month’s list, but the ones that remained have the same bio.

1. 95 F Miles Wood – Noble and Greenough School

Height: 6’2, Weight: 195

Projected Role: Top Line Scorer

A new entrant to the board of uncommitted prospects, the former Brown recruit is going to provide an instant boost to whoever garners a commitment from him. Few skaters have the potential to take over games like New Jersey’s 4th round pick in 2013 can, and even fewer are available so close to their first semester of college.

This season, Wood has taken a large step in his development. Nobles coach Brian Day quoted to us, on Miles’ development, “Miles successfully has worked very hard this season to become a more savvy player with the puck who will take any open ice that is available to him but will move the puck when that is the play to be made.  Through the course of this season we have seen a growing level of creativity in his game and a better understanding of how to create more time and space for he and his teammates.  An incredibly dynamic player who will attack when he has the puck, he is developing into a more dynamic player who not only has the ability to finish but who has the ability to make those around him better. He is a great kid and a joy to coach.”

A surprisingly deft passer in a big man’s body, with a lethal shot. Deadly with speed behind the puck as he weaves towards the net, word on the street is that Wood’s likely going to end up on Commonwealth Ave – BU or BC – but a decision could take a little while, as he’s got a pretty pressing concern this week: Nobles travels to face a deep Phillips Exeter squad on Wednesday, in quarterfinal action of the New England Tournament.

2.    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.

3.    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.

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. 98 D Chad Krys – NJ Rockets U19

Height: 5’11, Weight: 165

Projected Role: #1 Defenseman – Fourth Forward, Powerplay Quarterback

If Krys, a pre-eminent prospect for the QMJHL draft, chooses the college route, he’ll be a major coup. The son of former BU captain Mark Krys plays loose, dynamic, opportunistic hockey for the Rockets U19 team and is impactful on nearly every shift. At the U19 level, his anticipation and ability to dictate the tempo are at an elite level, as few skaters can orchestrate the play from the point like Krys can at any age – let alone at 15 years old. Has some Erik Karlsson in his ability to shrug opposing skaters off leading the rush and jump-start the offensive attack at will, but fellow CT-native Kevin Shattenkirk is a closer long-term projection. Scouts will look to see his game round out, especially defensively, though skating ability and sharp stick-work save him now, and he doesn’t lack for defensive awareness.

6. 98 F Trent Frederic – St. Louis Blues AAA U16

Height: 6’2, Weight: 180

Projected Role: Top Line Complete Forward

Noted Active Schools: Wisconsin (Andy Johnson, Bucky’s 5th Quarter)

Huge forward has come a long way in the past year, where he was still definitely a prospect, though he now possesses the earmarks of a potential pro. An athletic skater who plays an honest, hard game in every zone, Frederic doesn’t seem to have touched the surface of his upside. Could fill out to add 20-30 pounds to an already imposing frame and possesses a bullet of a release. Makes smart, well-thought out plays to move the puck decisively and is a sharp contributor on the man advantage. Subtle passes around the offensive zone betray a hockey mind that can make plays through traffic at a high level. Tough to play against. Arguably more impressive than Frederic’s rise is that an elite group of 1998s including him, Logan Brown (#4), recent Michigan recruit Luke Martin and recent Harvard recruit Joseph Woll all hailed from the same St. Louis AAA program.

7. 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,

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.

8. 98 D Callan Foote – Colorado Thunderbirds U16

Height: 6’1, Weight: 170

Projected Role: #1 Defenseman – All Situations

The son of NHLer Adam Foote is weeks away from being a 1999 and that thought is scary. The tall, athletic defenseman was consistently one of the best skaters on either team as an underager at the Tier 1 U16 playoffs this month, whether it was using his quick feet and skating ability to get into position to pick apart plays defensively or moving the puck up to a breaking out forward. Reads the play as it develops extremely well and quickly glides into position to negate clear attempts and restart the offense. Isn’t an elite powerplay quarterback defenseman, but a two-way defender with upside in most facets of his game. WHL rights are owned by Kelowna, who selected him in the second round in last summer’s Bantam Draft.

9.    95 F Alex Rodriguez – Shattuck-St. Mary’s 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. Headed to Surrey of the BCHL next season.

10.    96 F Anthony Petrella – Shattuck-St. Mary’s 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.

Photo Credit: Dave Arnold

Jasper Kozak-Miller

Jasper covers college hockey recruiting and directs scouting operations at OTB. He is also a columnist for Minnesota Hockey Magazine. You can find him on Twitter as @JasperKozak or @OTBPuckWatch.

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