NHL Draft Profiles - Current Collegians

Ten college players ranked by NHL's Central Scouting Service

June 22, 2007

Compiled by CSTV.com Staff


Below are the ten current college players ranked for the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the NHL's Central Scouting Service. Skaters and goaltenders are ranked separately.


Billy Sweatt, Forward, Colorado College


Height: 6'0"

Weight: 180 pounds

NHL Central Scouting Rank: 27

2006-07 Stats:




Dave Starman, CSTV: "He's a really offensive-minded guy. I like his hands.  He skates well. Like his brother, he's competitive. I think he's got good size for a forward, and at six-foot, 180 pounds, he'll probably pack out at 6'1", 190, and that's a good size for a forward in the NHL these days."


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: "Sweatt has unbelievable speed, but what sets him apart from so many other collegiate speedsters, rookies or otherwise, is his ability to make plays at high speeds. He also has great acceleration. Sweatt possesses great hands and is smart in his decisions with the puck. Rarely can he be found turning the puck over. Sweatt's superb defensive play and awareness is one area that has progressed quite nicely this season and has made him an effective penalty killer. Sweatt also possesses excellent on-ice vision and has a keen sense of being able to find open spaces and knowing where the play is going to end up. While Sweatt has all of the necessary tools for future success, adding size and strength to his 6'0" frame will be essential to his pursuit of achieving that success."


T.J. Galiardi, Forward, Dartmouth


Height: 6'2"

Weight: 172 pounds

NHL Central Scouting Rank: 31

2006-07 Stats:


Dave Starman, CSTV: "I really like him. He's spunky, effective and has no fear. He goes to the net hard and has great hands. I just think that everything he does, he does it at full speed and he does it like he means it. The one thing that really impressed me about him was his work ethic and how hard he played. I think he's got a pretty good package."


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: "Galiardi is an instinctive playmaker with tremendous scoring capability. He is very smart, patient and creative with the puck. Those features along with his great on-ice vision help make him an efficient puck distributor who can easily find open teammates as well. One characteristic that makes Galiardi such an outstanding player is his ability to blend those brilliant puck skills with the mental side of the game. He can be deceptive and what the opposition is reading isn't always what he is thinking. While Galiardi is a strong competitor and has the puck skills needed to be successful, being more aggressive more often in his puck pursuits would not only make him more difficult to play against but also make him a much more valuable asset to his team. Galiardi is also a superb skater, combining power and speed with immense fluidness in his long strides. As he continues to develop his size and strength, the power and quickness in those strides will become more pronounced."


James O'Brien, Forward, Minnesota


Height: 6'2"

Weight: 184 pounds

NHL Central Scouting Rank: 38

2006-07 Stats:


Dave Starman, CSTV: "He's a good player, and I'm not overly in love with him, but he competes pretty hard, and I think he played a good role on that team. I have no idea what his professional future is, but I think he's a pretty dependable player who's got good size."


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: "His 6'2 frame, strength and his ability to use those qualities to great advantage are O'Brien's strengths. While it is quite evident that he is still growing into his body, it's the immense potential of what he can do with it when he does it that has many scouts taking serious notice. As good as O'Brien has shown that he can be in offensive situations, he's even better in defensive situations. He has the potential to become a very good defensive forward. His intelligence, willingness to block shots and the great care he takes in being responsible in his own end have helped make him an excellent penalty killer. He is also versatile in that he can play as a defenseman as well. O'Brien is an excellent skater combining powerful strides with deceptive speed. He isn't one to shy away from the physical side of the game and can deliver some very solid checks. With further physical development, O'Brien will become a more effective and intimidating presence on the ice."


Ben Smith, Forward, Boston College


Height: 5'11"

Weight: 195 pounds

NHL Central Scouting Rank: 133

2006-07 Stats:


Dave Starman, CSTV: "At one point, there were a lot of people who thought Ben Smith was the best player on the team. He seems to score when you need him to. He's around the net. He's got pretty good hockey IQ in terms of knowing where to be to make himself more effective at both ends of the rink. I think he's a better offensive player than he is a defensive player, but he's pretty comfortable at either end of the ice."


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: "Smith is a well-built, instinctive player who can adapt to just about any type of situation with ease. One attribute that sets Smith apart from many young collegians is his keen ability to assess situations to make the best possible plays both offensively and defensively. Smith has demonstrated that he can score from just about anywhere, but where he is particularly dangerous is in the slot area. He is quick, strong on his skates and transitions quite well. Though Smith made marked improvement in his overall speed, it's an area that should continue to get even better with further development."


Brendon Nash, Defenseman, Cornell


Height: 6'3"

Weight: 205 pounds

NHL Central Scouting Rank: 169

2006-07 Stats:


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: "Nash is a smart, offensive-minded defenseman who possesses a nice combination of size, mobility and puck skills. He uses his 6'3 frame and long reach to great advantage, particularly in protecting or stripping the puck. He's also not afraid to join the offensive play. Defensively, he is solid and keeps things pretty simple. Nash has great poise and patience with the puck, but what sets him apart from many young defensemen is in his timely passing ability, particularly on power plays. Though he skates quite well for a big man, Nash needs to work on having quicker feet. Developing speed and strength are two areas that will be paramount to his future success."


Dion Knelsen, Forward, Alaska


Height: 5'9"

Weight: 170 pounds

NHL Central Scouting Rank: 201

2006-07 Stats:


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: "Knelsen is a highly intelligent player that sees, thinks and understands the game extremely well. However, what separates him from many other collegiate players is how well he knows the players he plays with and against. What makes it even more remarkable is the fact that Knelsen is able to take that knowledge and use it to his benefit. One asset that immediately stands out about Knelsen are his superb hands. He has great poise and patience with the puck and moves extremely well with it. Knelsen also possesses excellent on-ice vision and as good as his sense of awareness is, his ability to exploit open spaces is even better. His low center of gravity combined with his quickness and mobility allows him to move efficiently through traffic, often making him a difficult player to contain. As Knelsen's development progresses, so will the skills that he can bring to his team."


Brian Schack, Defenseman, Minnesota


Height: 6'3"

Weight: 225 pounds

NHL Central Scouting Rank: 203

2006-07 Stats:


Dave Starman, CSTV: "I thought he was a pretty good player. He works. He makes do with what he has and stays within his limits. He's a depth player and he's a character. He's not going to come into the NHL and score 20 goals, but I think he's a project that probably would be worth looking at."


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: "Schack is an imposing, versatile defenseman. He plays a simple yet effective game and has demonstrated that he is quite adept at playing up front as well. Unlike most young players, Schack has tremendous natural physical strength. That and his enormous size are used advantageously, particularly in protecting the puck and moving opposing forwards off of it. Schack can also deliver some bone-crushing checks without being a liability to his team. He possesses good puck skills and can make nice outlet passes. Schack skates remarkably well for a big man with smooth, powerful strides but needs to add some foot speed."


Justin Braun, Defenseman, UMass


Height: 6'1"

Weight: 180 pounds

NHL Central Scouting Rank: 209

2006-07 Stats:


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: "Braun is a steady, hard-working defensive defenseman with excellent stick work. Braun's intelligence, superb on-ice vision and sense of anticipation allow him to effectively take away passing and shooting lanes, as well as aid in his ability to move the puck. He can also make good outlet passes as well. Though Braun is a very good skater and strong on his skates, he needs to develop some quickness. Defensively, Braun is fundamentally sound and is quite good in one-on-one situations. With further growth and development, most of Braun's weight and strength issues should eventually resolve themselves."


Jeremie Dupont, Goaltender, Nebraska-Omaha


Height: 6'2"

Weight: 175 pounds

NHL Central Scouting Rank: 23

2006-07 Stats:


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: "Dupont is a tall, thin butterfly style goaltender that possesses superb agility. His lateral movement was one noteworthy area that progressed quite nicely this season and should continue to improve with further development. He is positionally very sound and good on his angles. He does a good job of staying square to shooters and has shown a willingness to challenge them as well. Dupont is intelligent and remarkably mature for a player his age. While Dupont possesses a good glove, his proficiency with it was shown infrequently this year. Adding strength to his large frame will help to make Dupont even more impressive in the future."