NHL Draft: Top Collegians - Forwards

July 26, 2005

NHL Draft
NHL Draft Preview Schedule
(July 25th-30th)
Tuesday, July 26:

What follows is a list of some of the top college forwards eligible for this Saturday's 2005 NHL Entry Draft, as ranked by the NHL Central Scouting Service and Hockey's Future.  Be sure to check back later this week for a closer look at another top college draft prospect: Denver forward Paul Stastny.


Dan Bertram, Boston College

Height/Weight: 5'11", 175 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 32/36

2004-05 Stats: 17 points (9g, 8a), 58 penalty minutes in 39 games


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: Bertram may be small, but his game is anything but that. He is considered to be one of, if not the top current collegiate player eligible for the draft, and it isn't hard to see why. Bertram is an exceptionally gifted goal scorer who plays with an edge. He is a superb skater whose explosive acceleration is really something to marvel at. Bertram can often be found frustrating the opposition, whether it is with his quickness or his grittiness. He drives to net hard, at times with reckless abandon. He has great hockey instincts and sees the ice very well. One thing that makes him so dangerous is the fact that he can score from just about anywhere on the ice. He works hard and is also ultra-competitive, particularly in his pursuit of the puck.


CSTV Analyst Billy Jaffe:  The knock on him is going to be his size, but he's a very shifty player who matured tremendously as the season progressed.  Excellent moves.  Even though he's not that big, he's not afraid to go into traffic whatsoever.  He's kind of a typical BC forward, that type of smaller player.  As he develops more strength, he'll obviously continue to get better.


T.J. Hensick, Michigan


Height/Weight: 5'10", 179

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 94/78

2004-05 Stats: 55 points (23g, 32a), 24 penalty minutes in 39 games


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: One way to describe T. J. Hensick is poetry in high-speed motion. He is a tremendously gifted offensive player who combines flair and creativity with blazing speed. He is of the pure goal-scorer variety. Hensick is a player who is very confident and has excellent hockey sense. His speed and quickness makes him an extremely difficult player to defend against. Hensick is very good on faceoffs, possesses a very quick release and dominates with the puck. The biggest knock on Hensick may be that he tends to avoid the physical side of the game. He has demonstrated that he can give and take the hits but it is not often, if rarely evident. He could also be more involved in the defensive side of the game as well.


CSTV Analyst Billy Jaffe:  T.J.'s an extremely creative player who, for the most part, flourished this year at Michigan. He's not that big, but has the ability, because of his speed and the way he thinks the game, to take over a game. His puck-handling skills are tremendous, he's got a very good shot, and he's very confident in the game.


CSTV Analyst Dave Starman:  What can you not say about T.J. Hensick?  As a scout said to me, this guy's got more moves than a can of worms.  He can look left and go right, he can look right and go left, he can have it on his backhand and get it to his forehand. I love the way he can look off a defender, freeze him, and do whatever he wants.  There are very few players who can do that.  When he shoots high, there are very few goalies in the NCAA who can stop it.  That's his trademark: he has tremendous accuracy in the top 25% of the net.


Jonathan Rheault, Providence


Height/Weight: 5'10", 190 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 70/82

2004-05 Stats:  19 points (11g, 8a), 36 penalty minutes in 36 games


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future:  Rheault is an outstanding offensive player with the capability to create and finish plays. He is a very good skater with speed and moves well through traffic. Rheault is intensely competitive with an energy level to match. He is a fierce battler for the puck. He has demonstrated that he can drive hard to the net as well as wreak havoc around it. Rheault is able to finish his checks and doesn't shy away from the physical side of the game. He is an opportunistic player. Rheault possesses a terrific wrist-shot and shoots the puck often. He also has great passing skills. One area where Rheault will need to improve is getting more involved on the defensive side of the game. He could be more assertive against opposing players in the defensive zone.


Nathan Davis, Miami


Height/Weight:  6'1", 193 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 73/87

2004-05 Stats: 25 points (14g, 11a), 30 penalty minutes in 38 games


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future:  Davis is a highly skilled forward who has become an excellent special teams player for Miami-Ohio this season. Of Davis' 14 goals, four came short-handed and six came on the power play. Davis makes great use of his 6'1 frame, particularly when driving to the net. He is strong on the puck and intensely persistent in his pursuits for possession. Davis is an outstanding skater with powerful strides and good speed. He is defensively sound and transitions very well. Davis possesses a good, quick release and plays well around the net. He is very good on draws. He also has good vision. As Davis continues to acclimate himself to the collegiate game, his overall confidence level and decisions on the ice should improve.


Tom Fritsche, Ohio State


Height/Weight: 5'11", 183 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 105/93

2004-05 Stats: 45 points (11g, 34a), 38 penalty minutes in 42 games


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: Tom Fritsche is an extraordinarily creative playmaker. He has superb passing skills, is very smart and possesses great hockey sense. Fritsche is an outstanding skater with speed who moves very well through traffic. His play is very good around the net and along the boards. He also possesses a quick release. Fritsche is defensively responsible and transitions quite well. He can play in any type of situation. While Fritsche has shown that he can give and take hits, he could stand to be more involved in the physical side of the game.


CSTV Analyst Dave Starman: He's just a go-getter.  I really like the way he plays.  He's up-tempo, his teammates love him, he works his rear end off all the time.  That's the thing I really like about him: his work ethic. Whether they're winning, losing, whatever it is, the kid competes.  I think he's got pretty good hockey sense.  He's good in corners.  He's not an All-Star, blow-you-out-of-the-water kind of player, in my opinon, but he just does every little thing well.


Blair Yaworski, Yale


Height/Weight: 6'2", 187 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 163/147

2004-05 Stats: 18 points (5g, 13a), 45 penalty minutes in 32 games


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future:  Yaworski is an excellent two-way forward who combines good size with skill and grit. He is a very good skater with speed and good acceleration. He is outstanding along the boards and the corners and will drive to the net hard and often. Yaworski is hard working, competitive and relentless in battles for the puck. He possesses a blisteringly hard shot. He is a player who is defensively responsible and has no trouble helping out his defensemen. He's also a player who is willing to get involved in the physical side of the game. While Yaworski possesses very good hockey sense, improvement in his decision-making should come with his maturity as a collegiate player.


Peter Macarthur, Boston University


Height/Weight: 5'10", 178 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 120/166

2004-05 Stats: 27 points (13g, 14a), 32 penalty minutes in 40 games


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future: MacArthur is a player who combines immense playmaking and scoring ability with lots of intensity. He is an excellent passer and very good on faceoffs. MacArthur is a skater with speed and good acceleration. He plays with a great deal of grittiness and has shown a willingness to get into the physical side of the game. He moves very well through traffic. MacArthur is a relentless puck pursuer who is also good along the boards. He possesses a good, quick release. He is a very smart player who sees the ice very well. The one area that MacArthur needs to improve the most is his body strength. Though he battles hard regularly, he can be knocked off the puck rather easily.


CSTV Analyst Billy Jaffe:  Peter Macarthur really burst onto the scene at BU.  One of the quickest releases in the college game.  He's very good from the mid-high slot area with the puck.  He plays a little bit bigger than his size, and was very comfortable stepping into what could have been a tough situation at BU.  He took charge, took his opportunity and ran with it, and he's not afraid at all.


CSTV Analyst Dave Starman:  I coached against him when he was playing at Northwood, and we went into that game with the idea that we could keep Macarthur off the ice a lot if we pissed him off, because he's got a temper to him.  So, we figured if we could keep in his ear and jaw at him and chirp at him, we'd a have a better chance at winning, and it almost worked.  However, the little bugger, in the limited time he played, scored three of the four goals they scored. 


He is a very good player in terms of his speed, his competitiveness, and his ability to get to the net.  He is that wonderful little object that will take a hit to make a play.  He doesn't care if he finishes the play, starts the play, whatever, but he will get hammered to move the puck, to get it into open ice.


Jonathan Matsumoto, Bowling Green


Height/Weight:  6'10", 184 lbs.

Central Scouting Rank (Midterm/Final): 153/192

2004-05 Stats:  32 points (18 g, 14a), 22 penalty minutes in 36 games


D.J. Powers, Hockey's Future:  Matsumoto is a brilliant playmaking center who brings an infectious enthusiasm to his game. He possesses superb passing skills and knows how to find his linemates. He is a strong skater who moves quite well through traffic. Matsumoto is a smart player with excellent hockey sense. His play around the net is also very good. He will drive to the net hard and often. He has a quick, accurate shot. One area where Matsumoto will need to improve is his foot speed. He doesn't quite have that burst of speed that is associated with many great skaters.



Men's Ice Hockey Home